People all around the world are in a stay-at-home/lockdown/quarantine situation. This has involved social distancing and restricted a lot of movement that we are used to. Where I am, it has meant that you cannot leave your home without a filled-out form for the police with one of six permissible activities cited on the form. Also, you are not supposed to leave your town or be out from your property for long on physical activities.
Running 26.2 Miles on a 110 Foot Loop – Over 1,300 Laps
Note: you can see the difference of the “course” wear in the before and after photos below! 🙂
Why Do This?!
But, I had missed my Jerusalem Marathon (canceled) and had planned my backup which was to run at least 25 miles for my birthday (March 26). This is something I do pretty much every year – run my age either in miles or kilometers (depending on the time I have). This year, I had turned 38 and planned to make it meet in the middle. I found a really great route I wanted to try but it would involve 15 miles out and then 15 miles back.
According to the guidelines, that was no good! So, inspired by runners like this guy, I decided to run in my backyard on a small, loop course. Distance of the course? 110 feet. The funny thing is that I have actually always wanted to try running a marathon (26.2 miles) in a very small, confined space. I had always put it off, however, because I knew it would be pretty taxing on the body for small, tight turns. But, with the quarantine measures in place, I thought why not try it now?!
I did switch directions every 100 laps or so to reduce the strain on my body for the direction turning. The shortest loop I had previously run (for a distance over 26.2 miles) had been a 1/2 mile loop (I did 100km on that one) so I knew how the body could feel!
Do Some Good!
Of course, I wanted something good to come from it as well so I had encouraged people to give to #Bstrong – an organization and movement organized by Bethenny Frankel (I know of her from Shark Tank) which has been doing a fantastic job of getting things like masks to our frontline medical staff throughout the US. You can still do that here on this page!
So, last Friday, I took to my freshly mowed course to give a try at running circles for 26.2 miles – over 1,200 circles. I actually counted off the laps in my head as I ran but messed up on a few – going up or down one. So, to be safe, I went more than 1,300 laps to make sure I got the total number in! Plus, I had my Garmin tracking it as well. Using GPS on such a small course just doesn’t work so I went with the pedometer function instead. I had used it before on measured courses and found it to be pretty accurate though it would, of course, be off a bit on a smaller course like this.
My Gameplan – and What I Actually Did
According to the watch, my feet went over 27 miles and the laps indicated that I went the 26.2 mile minimum. It ended up being quite an interesting day! I had planned on listening to an audio book while I ran but I didn’t listen to a single thing! Why?
One reason is counting laps every few seconds keeps you busy! But, I also had my family coming over to participate with me throughout the afternoon. This made it the most fun a marathon distance had ever been! My kids ran with me for some of the the distance, played near me, in the middle of my loop, outside of the loop, read stories to me – it just made for a really fun afternoon!
The Running Part
I decided to run it at a very conservative pace. I had not been running much in the previous month so I figured I was probably in like 4 hour marathon shape if I just went out on a regular course. Given the turns and the desire to not get an injury, I opted to go at a slower pace. I went through the halfway point (13.1 miles) right around 2 hours and 25 minutes. I finished 26.2 miles (according to my watch) in 4 hours and 59 minutes so pretty even splits.
I really just had fun with it – I would walk a bit with the kids, run fast for a bit, jog slower – just really mixing it up. I actually ended without feeling marathon-sore much at all. The only issue that kept with me the next day was a little pain on the outside of my foot, thanks to the turns.
Above is a time-lapse of miles 18-20. Yeah, it looks boring! 🙂
But, I did a speed workout a few days later that worked out pretty well and now feel ready to go again! Will I do this ever again? Probably not! I am glad to have done it once – just so I know! My “track” is still there from all those laps so I will probably keep doing some laps on it with my kids but I do not think I will shoot for 26.2 miles on it again!
Again, why do this? At the basic level, because I could and wanted to see what it would be like! I couldn’t go out for a typical run like I would want to do but wanted to do 26.2 miles.
Also, I just wanted to have some fun with it! I had the best aid station in the world – I passed it every 110 feet! 🙂 Plus, I had the best cheering squad ever and was always in view of them! It was a beautiful day and I had some beautiful views, so, why not? 🙂
Finally, if doing something a little insane like that could bring the work that #bstrong is doing to others, that would be the cherry on top! If you would like to help out with this, everything goes straight to getting the equipment to those that need it. Of course, I get nothing from it!