Last week I decided to embark on a challenge that, at first glance, didn't exactly scream "fun" for me. For those who know me you know, I'm all about pushing my limits, not just physically but mentally too. That's why I decided to run a marathon in a day – yes, you heard it right, a full 26.2 miles. However, I added my own twist to it by running 1.1 miles every hour for a solid 24 hours. I even teased my friends and family about my unconventional approach, claiming that the only marathon I'd ever run is the kind done one mile at a time. Running isn't my go-to activity; it's more of a mental chess match for me. But hey, when you've got a tattoo that proudly declares "be uncommon," you can't shy away from embracing uncommon challenges!
I thought I would share with you how the 24 hours went and the lessons I learned from doing it.
Here are the rules, you must stay productive throughout the day so no sleeping, every hour on the hour you must complete 1.1 mile, you can run, jog, or walk the mile it doesn’t matter, you just must complete it. I set an alarm on my phone for 7 mins till the top of each hour, so I had time to go to the bathroom, get my clothes on, put my running light on if needed. I did not train for this, the last time I ran was about a month ago and it was 2 miles. I had not run over 3 miles at a time in at least 6 months.
4 AM - Mile 1.1: The Adventure Begins
I got up at 3:40am to start my challenge at 4:00am! The weather was playing nice at a toasty 71°F. As the first mile unfolded, tasks like gratitude, journaling, and coffee consumption were already checked off the list. Productivity game strong!
5 AM—8AM Coffee-Powered Productivity, Cold Showers and waiting for sunlight!
I decided to start working on my December Joy Boxes since December is a busy month with Christmas Boxes, why not knock those out first thing!
After munching on a banana post-run and hydrating like a pro, temperatures dropped, and the wind picked up, but it still wasn’t too bad. I continued building joy boxes in between runs.
Mile 5.5 was the first mile in sunlight, which I enjoyed much more. I was sweaty and stinking though, so I decided to take a cold shower, a change of clothes, I also started drinking electrolytes.
9:00AM – 1:00PM Walking Dogs and Holiday Decor
By mile 8 my dog was really confused why I kept running coming back and not taking her for a walk! So, I decided to use this mile as a time to walk her.
Then I put up our outdoor Christmas decorations. I also checked some emails and by mile 10 it was time for another shower! This time I took a cold bath and did some stretching. I also did some grounding work and meditation.
Remember, I had not ran more than 3 miles in about 6 months so my body was streaming at me by this point.
2 PM -6:00pm Catching up with Friends, Creating more Joy, Dinner Time, and More Dog Walks.
My legs were feeling tight so I decided stretch a little more. I used this time to catch up with my best friend Cory, build some more Joy Boxes. I also decided to eat dinner, come chicken and rice, then took Bailey for another walk as one of my miles so that my dinner could digest before running again.
8 PM- 11PM - Mile 18.7: Ice Baths and Quality Reading and time with Hubby, also a little more Coffee!
My legs were getting tired at this point, and my normal bedtime is around 9:30-10:00 so I was getting sleepy. I decided a cup of coffee was just what I needed.
We caught up on some episodes of the Morning Show, while I did some stretching.
I decided it was also time for another ice bath and some reading would be a good idea.
11pm was my last “walk my dog” mile. I really don’t like running or being out in the dark, so I took Bailey with me one more time. By this time my feet were getting really sore, and I had switched out my shoes about 4 times.
For some reason I started getting heartburn which never happens, I mean never, the last time I had heartburn I was pregnant so that was 12 years ago. I also started wheezing and having to cough it was kind of odd but the weather was getting cooler at this point so I could feel it in my chest as I was breathing.
12AM- 2AM The Final Stretch
The last stretch involved cleaning up the office, eating another banana, sending out a few emails, powered through, even with tired legs and heartburn kicking in. My cough stayed consistent, not during my runs but once I was done.
Exhaustion had set in; the finish line was within reach! Around this time, I started counting the “runs” I had left not the miles, so I was excited when there was just “one run” left.
3 AM Mile 26.2: I DID IT!
I had done it, I could have cried, I was exhausted, my legs were so tired, and my feet were sore. All I wanted to do was go to bed. I jumped in the shower and then went to bed.
Next Day: Post- “Marathon” Thoughts
I woke up with very sore feet, my lower back was tight and walking downstairs felt like the worst chore ever. Luckily, I had a massage scheduled that day and I was so thankful for that because she did a great job on my legs and feet! I was truly exhausted though; I love sleep and I keep a very consistent sleep schedule so being up 24 hours and running 26.2 miles really took it out of me.
Final Thoughts: Gratitude, Darkness, and a Love-Hate Affair with Running
In everything I do I always try to find the lessons because what is the point if I don’t learn something from it!
- I am so grateful that I live a healthy life and that my body was able to run 26.2 miles in a day without training. I may not be a consistent runner, but I do workout every day and fuel my body with good nutritious foods, this enables me to do these “crazy” challenges with out really training for them.
- I still do not enjoy running. Running for me is 100% mental, my mind takes over and tells me to stop or to give up, so that is why I do it, I will not let that voice win, I will push through and run anyway.
- I love to sleep. Staying up for 24 hours was hard for me, like I said before I have a very consistent sleep schedule, so this really affected me for days after, my body was not ready for a 24 all nightery let alone running 26.2 miles.
- I am very proud of myself for completing this challenge AND I can say this is one that I will not repeat. I did it and don’t need to do it again! I would encourage others to do it but completing it once is good enough for me!
I will continue embracing the uncommon and challenging myself! Here's to health, discipline, and the pursuit of joy, even if it means running through the night!