Two weekends ago I was supposed to run 20 miles on Saturday and race a 5K Sunday.

The run didn’t happen on Saturday. I didn’t run when I first woke up and I kept putting it off. Then I came up with a million and one reasons why it was everyone’s fault but my own as to why I didn’t run.

I came up with different plans in my head. Wake up at 4 am. Run 17 miles. Go to the race – run a 1 mile warm up – 3.1 race and then a 1 mile cool down. THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE.

My alarm went off early, because part of me actually believed I would actually do this hair brained plan. The other part of me knew that it was total BS that I would run a discombobulated run like that.

Eric had to run to his parents and said he would take the kids with him, so I could get the run in.

I have literal rage when he asks me how many miles I plan on running, so he knows not to ask. He asks around how many hours I think I will be running or gone for.

The rage comes from the fact that I am stressed and unsure of myself. 2013 marks 10 years of consistently running marathons. I still don’t know when I run 16+ miles how I am going to run that far on that day. My mind doubts me. My body doubts me. I doubt me.

I don’t want to fail. I don’t like failing even though I know it’s part of growth.

If I don’t say how far I want to run then there is no failing. I’m running the day and what my body gives me. I can say I hope to run 20 miles but I will see how I feel. It’s not so much of a way out but a way of not freaking my mind out.

I didn’t want to be alone outside on the trail for almost 3 hours so I opted to run on the treadmill inside. It builds up my mental endurance, which is often more important to me than my physical endurance.

The goal was to run 20.

I hit 20 and I started thinking about my fitness level. Can I possibly PR at B & A with little training this cycle. My mind said no. So I asked myself why then was I waiting on running a treadmill marathon. I’ve wanted to do it for years. Why not today?

A treadmill marathon long run may seem silly to most people. It’s not silly to me. I like doing things that make me happy and running long on a treadmill, no matter how boring, makes me happy. I’m not the type of person that can do it every day but once in awhile I love these types of runs.

When I hit 26.2 I hit pause on the treadmill, took a picture of the time, and danced alone for a moment. I was HIGH on life.

I’ve always wanted to run MORE than 26.2 so I told myself if you run only 1.8 more miles you will have run 28 miles!! Do it – Do it. I started up the treadmill and ran another 1.8. At which point I hit pause again, took a picture of the time and again did a little happy dance.

Do it. Do it. Were the only words I heard in my head.

I’ve always wanted to run my age in miles. I had planned last year to tack on an extra 3.8 miles to Boston Marathon and run 30 miles that day to celebrate turning 30. As it turns out – it was a miserable day for me and I was lucky to even finish. Time ticked on and 30 miles didn’t happen.

I started the treadmill again, ran another 2 miles, and finished 30 miles with the biggest smile on my face I’ve had in awhile.


Was it boring? Yes at times.

Why did I do this? It made me happy.

Do I think I’ve run a *real* ultra? Nope. The only thing that counts to me is race day. One day I’ll race 30 miles, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the accomplishment.

Do I want to run an ultra? Yep. I really think clearest when running long. Life just makes more sense to me in those exhausted blissful last miles of a long run or race.

Was it too long of a run before B & A? Probably but it was only 4 hours of running. When I first started training for marathons my long runs would take me 4 1/2 hours. I want to do well at B & A because it’s in my nature to give it my all, but I do not regret for a moment running 30 miles, even if that means my time is slower at B & A.

What did I watch? Dexter. I’m obsessed with the show. I jumped up and down when I saw that one of the main characters is on the cover of Women’s Running Magazine. I’m pretty sure I’ll never get sick of smiling when I think about that magazine.

Did I listen to music? YES. I grabbed the BOOM BOX I’ve had since I was around 10 years old, plugged it in, dusted it off and listened to the radio. It helped. I lost my shuffle and yurbuds – insert sad face – and just haven’t had a chance to go buy a new one yet.


For the past week, I’ve walked around with this little voice in my head saying – you ran 30 miles on a treadmill – you can do anything you put your mind to. Each and every time it’s made me smile. That’s what life is about to me. It’s about being happy. Happiness isn’t a destination as I once thought. Life is rarely perfect, things often don’t go as planned. You have to learn to ride the wave of life and just enjoy it. Don’t worry so much what others think, do what makes you really happy. On that day, last Sunday, running 30 miles on a treadmill made me really happy – SO I DID IT.



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  1. Good for you!!

    That’s quite impressive!

  2. Jenn Pitre says:

    Congrats! Great accomplishment!

  3. that is amazing!!! I did my long run on the treadmill yesterday and had to psyche myself up for an hour. Great job!

  4. Wow! When do you sleep? Seriously though, are you not exhausted the rest of the day after running that far?

  5. I love it! I ran 16 on the TM on Friday (my longest distance) and felt like I could keep going. I have to tell you I smiled the entire weekend. CONGRATS!

  6. Congrats on 16!!!!

  7. I learned long ago that if I complained about being tired then my husband would say to run less. I just suck it up. I’m tired al the time…..but when you have three kids you really have no choice but to keep going. I actually think it’s helped because my recovery is active rather than just sitting on the couch and getting stiff and sore. I also head to bed REALLY early when I’m tired. Most nights I’m in bed before 9pm :) I really like to get 8 hours of sleep a night!!

    That day though my husband knew I was going to be tired and was super dad the rest of the day so I didn’t have to do my fair share! 😉

  8. Thanks Jenn!!

  9. Congrats on getting it done! I’ll be so happy when it’s warmer out and the treadmill can gather dust 😉

  10. Thanks Natalie!

  11. I’m curious what you ate or drank on a run like that?

  12. That makes sense. I feel the same way – if I’m choosing to spend my time running, I can’t complain about it. When I do long runs, however, I almost always sneak in a nap in the afternoon (works since the kids are still young enough to nap). I lack the discipline of getting to bed at a decent time so I’ll have to follow your lead on that. I was just making sure you are in fact human :)

  13. I only drink water on runs. I’ve tried out every sports drink out there and they all make me sick to my stomach and don’t improve my performance at all. I had four gu’s – 3 of them were peanut butter flavor and I forget the flavor on the other one but it had caffeine in it :) I only use fuel now on runs of 16 miles or more. Hope that helps!

  14. Wow! that is quite an accomplishment! Congrats. :)

  15. I’m a very sleepy person….I would fall asleep at friends houses when I was little when we were all hanging out….so literally I can’t really force myself to stay awake. My eyes get tired and I just start to pass out :) it helps with the not staying up late part. I really like mornings, so I don’t mind getting up early, which also helps with the wanting to get to bed early. Naps are awesome – so jealous!! 😉

  16. I feel tired all the time and I don’t have your syndrome (forget the name???) – I think that’s why your running is so impressive. One more question and I’ll stop bugging you. Do you drink lots of coffee/caffeine???

  17. Gilbert’s Syndrome – ugh – it makes me mad even talking about it because doctors won’t take it seriously…but anyways….I am really trying to lower my coffee and caffeine intake. Katie from is helping me to figure out nutritionally what will give me more energy. I am finding that the healthier I eat the more energy I have. I didn’t eat well on Valentines Day and I woke up the next day so tired and lethargic….I barely made it through 3 miles on the treadmill. Ran one, had to stop and have a pep talk with myself and then suffered through 2 more and gave up. I think too much caffeine can have the reverse effect and end up making you more tired and for me it makes me overeat. Anyways sorry for the all over the place response. Hope that helps!!

  18. wow that’s some major brain power.

    I often read your blog or other runners’ and think “what is wrong with my body?” I’ve been a runner for over 15 years and it is an obsession but I just really feel like my body is not meant to run. I have such bad knee and hip pain! And have for almost 15 years. Do you think some bodies just really aren’t built to run as much?

  19. Hey Amber – I do think that for some people their bodies are not ideal for running. That being said – you mention obssesion – do you have an eating disorder [please don’t be offended by me asking – I could be VERY off base]? The reason I ask this is because often times when our bodies do not get the nutrients they need and crave we are more likely to get injured. Second thing I would ask yourself is if you take enough time off. If you have run almost every day for 15 years then your body is breaking down[not sure you have – again just saying]. We need periods of rest and recovery and I don’t just mean one day off a week. There have been periods in the past ten years of marathoning that I have taken a week, two weeks or sometimes more completely off, just to give my body a break. Another thought is your shoes? If you aren’t in the proper footwear it can certainly cause pain in various places throughout your body if you are out of alignment. I know it’s hard but don’t compare yourself. I struggle with this all the time. I am someone who doesn’t look like the typical runner – I’m bigger than most of the girls that are my speed. I often ask myself why can’t I look like a slinky runner – but that’s not my body – and I’m learning to love me for me and not worry about the fact that my thighs are stronger/bigger than other girls. Anyways I hope that helps – remember pain is there to tell you something – you just have to figure out what your body is saying and try to fix it. :) :) :)

  20. 30 miles on the treddy is pretty awesome! You & Deb are like twinsies on the cover of your magazines!

  21. Way to go girlfriend!!! Amazing to run 30 miles and even more amazing to run 30 miles on a treadmill. What heart and dedication! You should buy yourself something pretty to celebrate. :)

  22. Jen Selvig says:

    I love everything about this post. What kind of mill do you have? We are shopping for one and having a hard time.

  23. Dang, that is a hardcore treadmill run! You definitely proved that you have a strong mind and sense of determination, and it sounds like your race training is on a roll. Enjoy your accomplishment. :)

  24. I have a Landice. I think it’s the L8. It’s a really nice treadmill – but it has too many bells for me – I don’t really use any of them. I would not suggest that specific model – I didn’t pay full price for it – I would NOT pay what it retails for! I do think Landice makes really good treadmills though and they have less expensive models.

  25. I hear ya about treadmill runs–sometimes it is a great way to get in the zone and just keep going. With my crazy work schedule sometimes long runs must be done on the mill. last summer, during forest fire season it was ashing outside so i ran a 22 miler on the treadmill. it went GREAT–the day before I could barely eek out three…
    Way to go on running further (farther?) than ever!

  26. As always impressive. As always. I don’t know how you do it. :)

  27. That is awesome!! Good for you for doing what made you happy in that moment! And I understand that rage you speak of when the hubs asks how many miles that day. So funny!

  28. You have been my motivation all week when I hit the treadmill since I hate the cold as well. I did 9 last weekend on the treadmill and it felt great when I was done. I must always remind myself how great it feels when I am done and reflect back on the run. Today I had to run 10 and kept putting it off because I thought ehh I will let the sun come out some more…I need to wash…I need to clean the kitchen…finally I laced up and hit the road and have felt so much better all day. Thanks for inspiring and motivating others to follow in your path to “finding their strong”.

    PS I also get cranky when people ask me “how many miles you doing today?” :)

  29. haha – so glad I’m not the only person who get rage over something so silly!

  30. Wow! I can definitely relate to doubting each long run, and wondering how it will go. And I love that you kept going and going and hit your 30 miles unplanned! What a confidence booster. Fantastic pace, too!!

  31. You are such an inspiration! I am 21 weeks pregnant, with no treadmill and freezing temps outside, so I have resorted to running stairs, haha, but it brings be such joy and it is, like you said, the moment of clarity during my day. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  32. As someone who failed to run 8 on the treadmill this weekend, I bow to you.

  33. Inspiring as always. Dream big, and go for a 50k next year (31 years :) ). Can’t wait to see how you do at B&A.

  34. SO inspiring!!! Congratulations, that’s a wonderful accomplishment :) Especially when you have 3 kids to chase after!

  35. When I tell my running buddies that I ran 6 miles on the treadmill they all look at me in shock and can’t believe that I did it but 30 miles.. wow! You are an inspiration!

  36. Dannnnnnnnng. 30 miles. 30 miles on a treadmill. You are one crazy runner. I ran the B&A half marathon last year. It is super flat and fast. If you can run 30 miles, then I don’t think you’ll have much trouble. Plus, the Striders always have an awesome selection of post race-food. (I mean, what’s most important after all?) :) Good luck with all your training.

  37. Wow way to go!! That is a loooong time to run on a treadmill! Good job!

  38. That is AWESOME!!!

  39. Love this post! I’m the exact same way with my husband. It’s been an ongoing joke for the past 4 years when I head out (or to the basement treadmill) for a Sunday run, I always say, “I’ll be back in 15 minutes or 3 hours.” He knows not to ask! And I do the same thing on my treadmill! One more mile and you’ll hit x…etc, etc. Great post!

  40. Awesome, that sounds like it worked out perfectly.

    Side note: I heard that girl from Dexter is a pretty fast marathoner, like 3:30ish. Which is pretty awesome.

  41. That is truly amazing! Happy that you did What Makes You Happy 😉

  42. You are amazing, Dorothy!

  43. Great stuff! 30 miles!

  44. I’ve been doing my long runs on the treadmill as I train for my half marathon because it is too cold outside. I find it surprisingly fulfilling that I lasted that long on a treadmill, I feel like it helps my pace, if I slow down I will fly off, I am have been catching up on Weeds on Netflix

  45. You rock!
    I ran 20 miles on the treadmill once, December 2009, when there was a blizzard on the morning of my last long run before taper for Goofy Challenge. And I *still* brag about it :)
    (Of course it took longer than your 30 miles!)

  46. Such an awesome achievement!

    I need to find the motivation to run again. I feel centered and accomplished when I actually do it…it’s just getting out there that’s the problem.

  47. Joseph Frazier says:

    Great job! I ran 30 miles 3 weeks befoer the Dallas Marathon even though my plan only called for 24 miles. Sometimes it just feels too good to stop :0)

  48. 30 miles on a treadmill.
    you are amazing

  49. I recently stumbled on your blog and am so happy to have found it! I just kicked off my training for an upcoming 10 miler this past weekend. It’s still cold where I live and I have to run early in the morning before work so I do lots of treadmill work. This post is such an inspiration to me! I love the idea of using the runs to build my mental stamina. 30 miles is so impressive! Way to go!

  50. Totally awesome!! You rock! I, too, enjoy time on the treadmill at times :) Glad to hear someone else enjoys that as well. Good luck at B & A!!

  51. Wow. That is so cool that you did something like that to made you happy. I am amazed and really enjoyed reading about it.
    I relate (on a much smaller scale of miles) because sometimes people don’t understand why I choose to run even when I’m busy or on vacation. I simply enjoy the balance it brings to my life.
    great post!

  52. ROCKSTAR!! Proud of you!

  53. Wow, 30 miles, I am impressed! The most I have done on the treadmill is 10 and that was pushing it for me :). Just found your blog info on Women’s Running. I really like it and look forward to reading more!


  1. […] Dorothy Beal at Mile–Posts wrote this week: “Happiness isn’t a destination as I once thought. Life is rarely perfect, things often don’t go as planned. You have to learn to ride the wave of life and just enjoy it. Don’t worry so much what others think, do what makes you really happy. On that day, last Sunday, running 30 miles on a treadmill made me really happy – SO I DID IT.” […]

  2. Sandal Blog says:

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    […] s outside, so I have resorted to running stairs, haha, but it brings be such joy […]…

  3. […] Do What Makes You Happy (Mile Posts) – If you don’t already follow Dorothy’s blog, you need to. She is so motivating. This post is about how she ran 30 miles on the treadmill. She seriously inspires me. […]

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