The longest I have run in any training this year is 9.5km.
Yesterday I completed 28.7km on a treadmill in my 4 hours on a treadmill challenge to raise funds for the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse Cancer charity.
Hour 1 was easy, a nice 8.25km, paced well, a friend running with me for half an hour and then nearby for the rest of the time. Lots of "mexican waves" on the treadmill, jokes, I spy even!
Hour 2 got a little harder. I had other friends running with me, but I essentially relied on some "old school" def leppard and foo fighters to get me through. 8.3km and half way. My calves were starting to feel like they were half the length they should be considering how tight they were.
After some quick smacks on the calves to try and get them moving and about 10 minutes of walking and talking to my PT on the phone to make sure I was doing the right thing, and I could feel my legs starting to cramp a bit, so I started jogging again. I was struggled a bit to get to the 21.1km mark - a half marathon, but I had 2 friends with me for the km or so to that mark which got me there!
Then the cramps set in. First my adbuctors, then my calves started giving me grief again. I had to walk most of the rest of the third hour but go there. 5.79km.
The final hour was done completely on my own. My support runner didn't show and it was all I could do to jog where I could with the pain I was suffering. I desperately wanted 30km and kept calculating how many km I had to go, what speed I had to maintain to get it. Even listening to my ipod was one more thing I couldn't bear (I never thought I'd say that) and I just listened to the mind numbing top 20 of the gym and celebrated every 5 minutes more.
I had 2 minutes to go and called over my staff member minding me. James headed over, counted down the clock with me and recorded my last distance - 6.36km.
I tried to run in the last minute with everything I had. My breathing was fine, my heartrate was very low (112bpm) but my right calf finally completely locked up and I was almost hopping the last 20 seconds.
When the treadmill finally stopped for the last time, James had to almost lift me off the treadmill. Somehow, in complete agony, I managed to get onto the floor and on my back, slowly trying to stretch my calf. I thought I was OK, then when I started to sit up I cramped up my inner quad. Another 10 minutes of lying on the floor and flexing my leg muscles did the trick. I was finally able to slowly stand.
After 10 minutes in the hot shower I was walking very slowly, heading up to the cafe for pasta and ice coffee.
I proved that you can do ANYTHING your mindset lets you. I proved I am fit enough to complete well beyond a half marathon, AND on a treadmill. I burnt 2,245 calories and I completed 4 hours without stopping.
AND I raised well over $1,000 for charity.