Last Workout Recap of 2013 – Week 17 of Walt Disney World Marathon Training

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2014! Where did 2013 go? This past week was a pretty good week for me in training for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon! It was crazy with Christmas coming in the middle of the week. However, I did make my way through 3 training runs of 6 miles each! The first taper week is now complete.

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

On Monday evening I finished my Christmas shopping! Between Marathon training, Christmas get togethers, visits to the California-based Universal and Disney theme parks, and performing at the Disneyland Candlelight Processional and another Church gig, Christmas shopping got put on the back burner this year. By the time December 21st rolled around, I was in a bit of a panic because I hadn’t done very much Christmas shopping. Well, I got it all done between Saturday, December 21st and Monday, December 23rd! However, it was one crazy night of dealing with going down my list of presents and just getting what I could. I ended the night at Starbucks with my wife, her two sisters and another friend. They went out to look at Christmas lights while I was out shopping.


On Tuesday, I totally intended to get out and run 6 miles in the afternoon before heading to my parents house. However, with temps in the 80’s most of the week, it was just too hot outside to run. While it was a blessing to have only a half day at work, I was left with the choice to run in the afternoon or not at all. On top of the weather, I still had to wrap the presents for Christmas. So, there simply was not enough time to go out for a run. I did have fun with my wife and parents in the high desert. The above photo from the ride around Apple Valley on Christmas Eve. My wife and I are not always able to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas night with my parents. However, when we do, it’s become a tradition for us to go out and see the lights.


On Wednesday, Christmas morning, I did make it out for a 6 mile run! Nothing like running 6 miles in the high desert with Christmas tunes in your ears. Hearing all the songs about snow and cold outside while running with the sun out, nice temps, and not a cloud in the sky is just plain AWESOME! I think I need to make this the start of a new Christmas tradition…running on Christmas day. So, whether I’m in the Pasadena area (my home and close to Brooke’s parents), the high desert (my parents home), in Houston (where Brooke’s brother lives along with our nieces and nephew), or if we ever visit Chicago (where Brooke’s parents are from originally), I need to find some time to get out and run. It doesn’t have to be 6 miles. However, I need to make this a new tradition. Running with Christmas music on Christmas day was just too awesome to make it a one time thing! Not only was it fun to have Christmas music in my ears, but those who were out and about would not only wave and say “hi.” They would also include, “Merry Christmas!” That was fun.


Thursday evening, I got out and ran another 6 miles through the streets of Pasadena again. After running on a mostly flat area (the high desert) on Christmas day, the hillier Pasadena was a bit more challenging. Also, running on back to back days was a bit of a challenge. However, I was really glad to get out and finish a second run for the week. On this run, my first 3 mile loop went of pretty well. I made almost all of the traffic lights. So, the time it took me was pretty good. On the second lap, there were a few more red lights and that loop was a bit slower. However, what was interesting is that I finished in roughly the same time as I did on Christmas day. With all of those upward inclines in Pasadena, came downward inclines. I slow down a little for the uphills and am faster on the downhill parts. The lesson is that it all balances out in the end.

Friday was a rest day. It was a true rest day. Brooke and I just chilled out at home in the evening. It was the first day I did nothing other than work in over a week! So, the rest felt really good!


On Saturday, I took advantage of the fact that there was only 6 miles on the training plan. Since I can do that distance in the evenings, I slept in and had a slow morning. There were still chores to do during the day. So, it wasn’t a total lazy day. I was really happy to have purchased the final elements of the race “costumes” Brooke and I will be wearing for the 10K and that I will need for my costume for the marathon.  Our 10K race gear will feature shirts I really wanted to wear for the Disneyland 10K back on Labor Day weekend. So, I was beyond thrilled that it’s going to work out this time around. Next Monday, our final day in California before heading to Walt Disney World, I’ll reveal our race costumes. In the evening, I ran 6 miles that felt like torture. I’ve been battling this cold since Christmas eve and on Saturday night, it decided, during the run, to hit me full force. Breathing was way off and it was a battle after the first mile. The second mile was so hard on me that I had thought of quitting after the end of that 3 mile loop. As this mantra says, I went as far as I could go and then went another step until I made it to the last mile. What I like about the 3 mile loop I do is that the first mile is mostly flat with a couple small inclines followed by small declines. So, it’s a little challenging, but not that much. The second mile gradually goes uphill. The end of that mile is a small hill. What makes it hard is that it’s the end of the mile. Then, the third mile has a lot of downhill to it. This downhill part usually leaves me feeling like I can do more. When you’re going two laps, it’s always good to feel like you can do more at the end of a lap. What happens a lot on these 6 mile journeys is that I feel a little gassed at the end of 2 miles and 5 miles, but feel fantastic at the end of miles 3 and 6.

On Sunday, I wanted to go to the gym. However, this cold decided to hit me hard following the 6 mile run on Saturday night. I took some cold medicine on Saturday night and went to bed around 9:30pm. Still, on Sunday morning, I didn’t wake up until almost 9am and felt horrible. Brooke also wasn’t feeling well for different reasons. So, we watched a church service online. Neither of us wanted to get out and do our grocery shopping that day. However, the afternoons are not that bad when you have a cold. So, we got out and got that done. Instead of pushing myself, I took the day off and cancelled the gym workout I really wanted to do. Even though I was bummed to be skipping a gym workout, I knew that it needed to be done. The marathon is now less than two weeks away and it’s better for this cold to have hit now rather than closer to marathon day.


With that, Week 17 of the Walt Disney World Marathon training is now in the books. Let the fun countdowns begin! 8 Days until Brooke and I fly off to Orlando! Now that Christmas if over, it’s all about the marathon and going to Disney World. I know that this week will have its challenges to training with New Years Eve and New Years Day. When you live in Pasadena, that means lots of people will be in town for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game. There are also lots of road closures to deal with. We’ve got a New Years Eve party to get to and another gathering of friends on New Years day. However, nothing is as exciting to me as getting ready to head off to Walt Disney World for the first time since August of 2009!


The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon is 13 days away! It’s hard to believe, but at this time in 13 days time, I’m hopeful that I will be able to say that I’m a marathon finisher! Before then, I’ve still got 3 training runs this week in Pasadena to finish. Then, I’m planning on running once (either Tuesday or Wednesday) around the All Star Resorts before the races. Then, there is the 10K on Friday and the Marathon on Sunday. Then…


5 thoughts on “Last Workout Recap of 2013 – Week 17 of Walt Disney World Marathon Training

  1. HI Greg –

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts. I’ve started my own a few months ago as I am running my first marathon at Disney World in just under 2 weeks as well. It seems like we’re pretty much the same as far as running experience and body build, so I’m wondering what your running pace is? Are you using Jeff Galloway’s run:walk method? I’ve adopted it and have been doing my longer runs at a 5:1 pace, but at about mile 14 or so I’ve been really losing stamina. I’m thinking about dropping it to 4:1 from the very beginning to conserve my energy. If you do use the run:walk method I’d be interested to know what’s been working for you.

    Good luck next week. I look forward to reading your posts up to race day.


    1. Thank you for this post Jeff! My half marathon PR stands at 2 hours, 43 minutes and change, which is just over a 12 minute per mile average. On my training runs for the marathon, distances longer than 15 miles have fallen at around 14 minutes per mile. I use a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk Jeff Galloway intervals in training. One thing I did for some of the longer runs was breaking the run up into 5 mile segments. Every 5 miles, I would walk for 5 minutes and then go back to the 1:1 ratios after that. It seemed to work pretty well for the most part. I am stil very much a work in progress on distance running. I need to learn how to pace myself better. For me, having a mental focus of making it to a certain distance has also helped. When I start to tire out, I have to sift the focus to just running 1 minute (or 1 interval) at a time. The cool part about the WDW Marathon course is that the last 5 or 6 miles will have plenty to keep us distracted. It’s like, just make it to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the rest will take care of itself.

      Keep up your training. The WDW Marathon will be here before you know it! What corral are you in for the Marathon?

      1. I’m in corral N. I had hoped to use my Charlotte Half Marathon time as my qualifying time, but I didn’t read the fine print – I submitted that proof of time too late. I ran the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October, but my time wasn’t what I wanted it to be. Because I waited I missed the deadline. So they just used the time I thought I’d finish in when I registered – can’t remember what it was, but I think I put close to 7 hours to be safe, however I’m hoping for closer to 5 and a half. I’m just thankful that I’m not in the last corral. My longest run will be 15 miles before the marathon, so I’m thinking I’ll need all the extra time I can get.

        I know there will be a billion people there, but I’ll keep an eye out for you. I’d love to say hello. Keep up the great work!

      2. That’s a bummer about missing the deadline. I’m sure that you will do just fine. If you do see me, please say hello. It would be awesome to meet someone who reads my blog! On Monday, I’ll be revealing the “costumes” that I’ll be running in for the 10K and the Marathon. So, stay tuned…

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