After finishing up my latest project of running every street in my city, I was challenged to run 100 miles in my basement on my treadmill. It was a virtual event that 41 people participated in nationwide. All proceeds from entry fees would go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association. The event was called the Dreadmill 48 Hour Endurance Challenge.
There was only two ways this could go. It was either going to be horrible or great.
I thought with a generous 48 hour time limit I could certainly finish it, since I’d finished a few other 100 milers in less than 30 hours. But little did I know that my trip down satan’s sidewalk would be way harder than I thought.
I made my basement into a deluxe aid station with everything I could possibly need. My husband (also known as my Sherpa) crewed me via a walkie talkies. If I needed anything extra, I just called him on the radio and he brought it to me.
Our basement tends to quite warm. So we turned the heat down, opened up the windows and set up some fans. I wore my Skirt Sports sleeveless tank top and Gym Girl Ultra Skirt in a pattern aptly named “Tantrum.” Since I’d likely have one of those later in the day.
The first two hours went by quickly. I ran and walked at intervals and watched the movie 13 Going On 30. Then Netflix started acting up and wouldn’t load my shows. After 20 frustrating minutes, I finally got it going again and proceeded to watch the series Friends from the beginning.
During long distance events, I prefer to eat more solid food and less gels and energy chews. I was able to keep fueled well with Tailwind drink, fruit, peanut butter on cinnamon raisin toast, salty and sweet snacks and a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
I had my runner’s high, but it only lasted for a half a mile.
By the marathon point, my feet started to feel really hot. At the 50K mark I stopped and changed my shoes and socks to try to stop the heat from building up. It never seemed to get any better and by 38.1 miles I knew my journey was at an end.
Everything else on my body felt fine and I was in great spirits. But my feet would just not let me go on. Every step I took I could feet the water in the blisters moving around, as if I was stepping on a gel pad. I have run through some agonizing foot pain at the end of my 100 mile races, but I’ve never had blister problems like this so early on. I would have liked to have pushed through the pain, but I have a marathon scheduled in South Carolina in three weeks and couldn’t chance that. It will be a new state on my 50 state marathon quest (#40.) The last time I attempted to go to a race in South Carolina, it was cancelled at the last minute do to a hurricane.
The race director posted on Facebook that a lot of people dealt with blister problems like never before. A friend told me that there is a lot more friction on your feet when you run on a treadmill, and even more when you walk. I guess that explains some of what went wrong. My husband thought that the motor on the treadmill may have given off some heat too. Regardless of the event, I could not go so far that it would take me a month to recover from foot injury.
Even thought I didn’t finish the event, I was glad to have challenged myself to try something crazy and different. I got in a good long run, made a donation to a good cause and the next time I need to run on a treadmill - it should seem far easier. Would I try this event again? You bet!