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Training for a Marathon

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This is a guest blog from Kristen Capogrossi. You can find her blogs at: Oven Lovin' Runnin'


I just completed my 4th marathon on June 1—the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.  For this marathon I trained with Team In Training which is an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) by training for running, cycling and triathlon events.

I was happy with my time seeing as I moved across the country and was transitioning to life in NC for the last 5-6 weeks of training.  However, the first part of training took place in Madison, Wisconsin and during the Polar Vortex.  Now let me tell you, this was serious business.

Here is a story from one of my training runs while in Madison.


Yesterday I was somewhat dreading my LR (long run).  Ever since we got more wintry mix on Wednesday, the roads have been bad, the sidewalks worse and the winds monstrous.  The last two days we have had wind advisories.  It could feel like -15 to -30 outside with the wind-chill...umm....yeah...have I mentioned that I don't do cold very well? And it was -11 on my way to work on Friday.

When I woke up this morning, I immediately checked the temperature on the phone:  3* (not including wind-chill).  Not TOO bad for Polar Vortex weather.   Then, I took the girls outside:  wind.

I swear—wind is the worst.  I have warm clothes to deal with running in the cold.  You can strip down to nearly nothing (spandex and a sports bra) if it is blazing hot.  But nothing keeps the wind out.  Nothing.  Believe me, I know this from experience.

What's a girl to do?  Answer:  hit up the gym.

Yes.  I did 15 miles on the treadmill—at the gym.  It wasn't quite as miserable as I thought it might be.  Boring?  Yes—but not awful.  I kept a decent pace, too, although there were no hills to speak of.  I averaged 8:05 min/miles for the first 11 miles and 8:04 min/miles for the last 4.  Not too shabby.  (I had to split it up because the treadmill only lets you run for so many minutes before restarting.  Sad that I spent that long on a treadmill, right?)

So, what does one think about when on a treadmill for that long?  Well, here are some of the thoughts that got me through 15 miles.  

Spoiler alert:  there were no profound thoughts in the slightest.  Things in parentheses aren't actual thoughts but just added tidbits to help some of my thoughts make more sense to everyone else.

Man it looks cold outside.  That wind is really blowing.  Good thing I'm not out there.  (The treadmills at my gym face the windows).

Someone obviously hasn't heard of deodorant.  The person on the treadmill next to me stinks!  I hope she gets off soon.  And she is only walking.  Oh dear, she is increasing the incline.  This could be a long 15 miles if she is next to me the whole time.

Is that girl really getting on the treadmill with only a cami on top?  No sports bra?  And a nude-colored one at that!  She must just be walking.  Oh, God, she's running!  How is that comfortable at all??  And she isn't thatflat!

I wonder how far I've gone. (I put a towel over the treadmill screen.)  Should I look?  I must be getting close to 6 miles.  4.05??  That's it??  That's only about 30% done!  Well, let's do the math...4 into 15...30.75% actually.  I will take my nutrition between mile 6 and 7.  Why did I think this was a good idea?

Dang—that wind is really blowing.  That’s why I thought this was a good idea.

And no sports bra girl is still running!?  If we weren't facing the window, every guy would be totally be ogling her.

Ooooh!  New song!  (I spent 30 minutes last night adding songs to my marathon playlist.)  "If I knew what I was doin', I'd be doin' it right now..." You got that right, Keith.

At least my shoes are staying clean and dry.

Time for nutrition?  Only 5.92 miles?  Really?  Fine.  I'll wait one more song to take my goo.

Haha!  I stayed on the treadmill longer than you, man in the orange shirt!  Kristen, who are you kidding?  You have been on the treadmill longer than anyone else at the gym.  You are the idiot running 15 miles while staring out a window.

Thank God, the girl with no sports bra just got off the treadmill.

7.5 miles...half-way there!  Time is 60:41...okay, I got this!

Could I re-qualify for Boston at this marathon?   Just drop the thought.  There is no way.  First of all, the course has a HUGE hill at mile 20 that lasts 1.5 miles.  Second, your training has pretty much been crap because of this thing they are calling the Polar Vortex.  Third, you have off and on shin splints.  Fourth, you need to lose 10 pounds.  Don't even let that thought cross your mind again.

Man, I'm starting to chafe.  I should have worn my spandex shorts under these ones...dang it.

Taylor Swift song!  I want to go to an outdoor concert.  Well, not an outdoor concert in the Polar Vortex.  But an outdoor concert this summer.  Never mind, I just want it to be summer.

I wonder if Anthony will put hot sauce on dinner that I make tonight.  Probably.  That man puts hot sauce on everything!

Don't lift the towel.  Don't lift the towel.  You don't what to know how much longer you have.

Really?  I ran out of music with 0.75 miles left?  Come on!  I really need to find more workout songs.

I wonder what Callie and Envy are doing right now.  Probably lying on the sofa.  I want to be on the sofa.

Yes—­that was a little insight to the meandering thoughts that went through my head while running 15 miles on the treadmill.  But the LR is done!


I’m so glad that I have moved to NC and now have a partner in crime for my future LRs:  Shawn Hart!  Instead of meandering thoughts in my head, I will be meandering out loud.  And what is said on a run always stays on a run.

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