Sunday, March 2, 2014

That One Time I Ran 16 Miles on a Treadmill

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was feeling strong, it was feeling constantly rungry. It was the season of marathon training, it was the season of a Polar Vortex.

As you know, I've been struggling a bit with the cold. And by struggling I mean I am dying. DYING. But one does what one must. One puts on layers upon layers, bites the bullet, and gets out there. Once you get moving it truly isn't so bad.

But then two weekends ago I woke up to this:

The world is a solid sheet of ice!
Now, I'll run in the cold but I will not -- I repeat -- NOT run in this. I am sorry. This is just wrong! The last thing I need is to end up in a boot again because I twisted my ankle running on ice. Keep in mind, you are reading the blog of a girl who has fallen not once but twice this winter season just WALKING.

My longest run of the training season -- 16 miles -- was on the schedule and I wanted to stick to it. I knew that the weekend after (last weekend) I was going home to run the Hyannis Half. So, because I couldn't shift around my training plan due to this race I had only one solution: Off to the treadmill!

I've written about my non-hatred for the treadmill before, and I've run up to 12 miles on this bundle of joy. However, 16 just seemed a little absurd. Then again, as you know, I am absurd myself. So this of course does fit the profile.

Now, you might think that over 2 1/2 hours on a treadmill would be hell. And, sure, it could have been. But there were three critical things that kept me going.

1) My personal fueling station!

I got to the gym just after opening too pick one of the "good treadmills" (any NYSC-frequenter knows what I'm saying) and got myself set up for the long haul.

Water? Check. Towel? Check. Gus? Check. Gatorade? Check. Bag full of every potential pharmaceutical item I may need? Check. iPad and headphones? CHECK PLUS.

Often when I run outside I am either fidgeting with my belt or wishing that I had an item that I forgot. Especially in the winter when the water fountains are turned off around the city, I sometimes run out of water or -- worse -- dehydrate from not drinking enough.

The treadmill offered a nice personal little station where I could just lay out my stuff and settle in.

2) This:

Hey. Girl. Hey.

I have started watching Friday Night Lights and spent the first 110 minutes miles lookin' at this. Oh, would you look at that! 11 miles done! How the time flies when the scenery is good...

And, sure, also two episodes of a very entertaining show too.

3) Friendship:
Miles 11-16 I was accompanied by my friend Jazmin (who I met training for 2012 NYC Marathon with Team for Kids) and Brittney (who I met through the Twitter!) They joined me for those last five miles and distracted me while I trudged to the finish. Running friends truly are the best.

The limit of the time you're allowed to be on the treadmills at my gym when there is a line is sliiiiightly less than the nearly 2 1/2 hours that I needed. By about two hours. Luckily there was no one waiting until about 1 1/2 hours in. Even more luckily, I am a jerk and just kept going.

My heartfelt apologies to anyone who had to wait a little bit longer because of me. I feel a bit sheepish.

All-in-all I made it through relatively unscathed. Would I do it again? Only if I had to. Am I glad I did it? Kind of! Although this winter has been a bit hellish, with each run that pushes me to a new experience or to a limit I didn't know I could surpass, it reminds me that I'm doing something special and unique. It reminds me that a lot of amazing people have donated a lot of amazing money so that I can run for the Dana-Farber team. And it reminds me -- as running tends to do -- that anything really is possible if you put your mind to it.

Except touching my toes. This seems to be an elusive and unattainable feat.

* * * * * * * * * *

I am running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge! I have raised an amazing $8,163 towards my goal of $10,000! Find our more or donate here:

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