How to Run a Marathon on the Treadmill

How To Run A Marathon On The TreadmillMy 3rd annual running of a marathon on the treadmill took place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Each year my friend Wendy and I run a marathon on the treadmill the day before thanksgiving to show gratitude that we have the mental and physical capability to do such a challenge.

This year Wendy moved to Georgia, so I was solo on my treadmill that morning. I decided to post a pic on Facebook and share what I was grateful for at each mile during the 26.2 run. At each mile I took a pic, posted my gratitude, and by the time I was done with both of those, I was half way through my next mile! I hardly had time to listen to my podcasts, drink my Shakeology, pee (poop), watch Scandal, fill up on Energize, or struggle through the marathon! And before I knew it, I was done!

Here was my mile by mile gratitude during the 2016 treadmill marathon…

1 mile down…25.2 to go!!! I am listening to the Rich Roll podcast and his interview with the Spud Fit. He is the guy who ate only potatoes for a year!!! He has lost over 140 pounds and his blood work is pristine health-wise!

Mile 1 Gratitude…

Grateful I have made a lifestyle for myself where I can choose what I want to do on a Wednesday!

Happy Hump Day!!

So far so good! Mile 2 DONE! Easier than mile 1 since I’m not a morning person and unless I am racing I usually don’t workout until 8-ish!

Mile 2 Gratitude…

Grateful for the Rich Roll podcast. I have been listening to it since it very first came out and have loved almost every single episode! I always learn something about someone cool as well as something about myself.

3 miles down! When I am running a marathon, this is a milestone for me. I always think “5K done…I only need to do this 7 more times and I have done hundreds of 5Ks. I got this. This will be easy!”

Mile 3 Gratitude…

Grateful for technology! I love that I can listen to this amazing interview while sharing my experience with you! This is the first year I am doing this challenge alone and I don’t feel alone at all because of technology!

Mile 4 done! Feeling good and sweating up a storm. I don’t swear outside because of the breeze, dry air, and coolness, but the gym is a different story! Plus I’m wearing my full compression tights for maximum support.

Mile 4 Gratitude…

Grateful for self-discipline. I don’t know if it’s an inherent skill or a learned skill, and I’m not always as disciplined as I want to be, but for the most part I will do what it takes to get me toward a goal.

5 miles down!! Legs a little fatigued and I have to poop but other than that I am feeling great!!

Mile 5 Gratitude…

JoeyWhile looking through my photos on my phone I am reminded how grateful I am we found Joey… He makes me laugh every single day!!!

10K done! This is another huge milestone for me during a marathon. My average marathon takes me 4 hours so each 10K is approx an hour. After my first 10K I say to myself “You are awesome! 3 more of these and you are done!! You have done dozens of 10Ks and you know exactly how they feel! Keep it up you are rocking this!!”

Also in a race this is the point where I drink my first sports drink (whatever they have on the course). In training I drink Beachbody Performance Energize. It’s made with beet sugar and has electrolytes and caffeine and I love the taste which is super important for me!

Mile 6 Gratitude…

Speaking of Beachbody, I have been a coach with them for almost 6 years and am grateful my friend Wendy for introducing me to them. I love their mission, their products, and their CEO Carl Daikeler!

Beachbody EnergizeMile 7 done! Poop break! I also grabbed a drink of Beachbody Performance Energize. Break felt good!

Maybe too good….ack!

Mile 7 Gratitude…

Rick SmithI was thinking about my incredible husband and how supportive he has been in everything I’ve ever attempted. I have seriously started like 30 businesses over the past 20 years (with most of them failing).

Plus all my crazy health and fitness challenges I do!! He didn’t choose to be vegan or to be an ironman widow, but he cheers me on every single day!!

Mile 8 DONE!! Time flies when you are having fun!!! Done with the podcast…I think I’ll watch an episode of Scandal!! #guiltypleasure

Mile 8 Gratitude…

Grateful for social media so I can connect with my friends and family every single day!!

Mile 9 done!! Wow that Energize gave me a boost and my last mile was 8:34! Not that I have a time goal, but I like numbers and keeping track of everything! You should see my geeky spreadsheet!!!

Mile 9 Gratitude…

Grateful I was raised by parents and in an environment where I was encouraged to be, do, and have whatever I could dream up!!

Mile 10 in the bag!! I love mile 10 in a marathon! It’s the first mile in double digits and is only about a 5K from the halfway point. I like to remind myself how easily I am progressing toward the halfway point and how many 5Ks I have under my belt. I also remind myself that I have done 5Ks sick and sore and injured and out of shape so I can definitely do this next one. I am a running machine!

I am drinking my Energize every 10 minutes now and the only thing getting sore on my bod is my booty!

The hour on the stepmill yesterday may have been a bad idea!!!

Mile 10 Gratitude…

Speaking of sore glutes…I am grateful for my compression tights and calf sleeves. I am wearing them both today. Since I am not actually trained for the marathon today, I figured I could take all the help I can get!! Compressport and X2U I thank you!!

Mile 11 down the tubes! See ya!! I love mile 11 because 11 is my fave number! Been watching Scandal and doing a couple faster intervals just for fun!

Mile 11 Gratitude…

Kirsten McCay Smith - BeachbodyGrateful for my Pure Romance biz (, my Beachbody biz (, my coaching biz, and my blog biz for letting me make money online and on my own schedule! You have allowed me to accomplish so many of my fitness, financial, and personal goals over the past 10 years!!

Mile 12 DONEZO!! Ahhhh! Only one more mile to the halfway point! Still drinking my Beachbody Performance Energize every 10 minutes and actually feel amazing right now!!

Mile 12 Gratitude….

Grateful my body is healthy, strong, able, fit, and does what I ask it to do!!

Oh how I love you 13.1 . Halfway point in any challenge for me means “it’s all downhill from here” and by downhill I mean easy!!! I love hitting the halfway point!! And I’m right on target for my time restraint I have today. It’s not too bad but I agreed to sub a class at the gym at noon so I gave myself 5 hours to finish. Got to 13.1 in 2:02 so I am good to go! Still feeling strong! Getting a bit hungry…may drink a Shakeology® in a couple miles!!!

Mile 13 Gratitude…

I am veganGrateful I am a vegan. I became a vegetarian when I was 8 because I didn’t want to eat animals. Becoming a vegan was a 10 year process of breaking my physical and emotional addiction to cheese and dairy. I have been vegan now for almost 3 years and I have never fly better both physically, emotionally, and ethically.

14 miles down!! 12.2 to go!!! I’ll be honest with you…I love seeing the numbers of calories burned! I know they aren’t accurate on a treadmill, but I know running for 4+ hours will burn a lot of calories!! I’m not as obsessed as I used to be (14 Mile Gratitude) but I still want to be fit and thin. I love food so burning calories helps me stay healthy and in shape on the days when I do tend to over eat! I know I will indulge at the vegan buffet at Native Foods tomorrow for Thanksgiving so I am grateful for the calories I am burning today!!

Mile 15…crushed it!

Yes, I am sweaty Betty but I feel great! This is my longest run since IRONMAN Boulder August 7th. My body doesn’t mind it at all!!

Mile 15 Gratitude…

Speaking of IRONMAN…grateful for my performance last season. I cut over an hour from my ironman PR in Boulder at the age of 44 and am grateful (and excited) to see how well I do in my new age group next year! I love that my body is faster, stronger, and recovers more quickly than it did in its 20s and 30s.

Mile 16 DONE! Yikes! In less than an hour I have to restart or switch treadmills! Last year Wendy ran her first 10 miles on one treadmill and the last 16 on 16 different treadmills!

Mile 16 Gratitude…

Speaking of Wendy…I am grateful I have friends who will do crazy and fun things with me!!

Mile 17…killed it! Ok maybe not so much of a kill as a slap actually I LOVE mile 17 because it means I only have 9 left. 9 is a single digit number and it seems manageable! In a race it is mile 17 where I start counting down. I’ll say to myself “9 miles to go, an hour and a half, nice and easy 3 miles and then see how you feel.’ Usually by then most marathons have an aid station so I’ll start drinking a cup of electrolyte at each aid station.

Mile 17 Gratitude...

Kirsten McCay-SmithI often forget to be grateful for things I take for granted because it’s just part of who I am, but things I like. I am grateful I have blonde hair, grateful for my blue eyes, grateful I am tall, grateful that when I do gain weight my stomach stays fairly flat. I am grateful for my calves and forearms-2 of my body parts I like. I am grateful I have full lips. I am grateful I never got in the habit of wearing make-up or a push-up bra! What you see is what you get!

Mile 18…YIPPEE! My joints are getting a bit achy, but that is to be expected!! I drank half a cup of Shakeology® because I was a bit hungry. I’m holding steady at 10:00/mile which is perfect for me at mile 18. In a race if I have snacks like PROBAR Bolt or an energy shot, this is when I would take it.

Mile 18 Gratitude…

I am grateful for Dave Ramsey and his baby steps. It took us about 7 years to get on board but this is the first time in my life I have had no debt, had an emergency fund, had an HSA, and starting to save money toward retirement!

Mile 19 just flew by!! Ok maybe not flew…But I did it! Just a little over a 10K to go! This is when I am amazed at where the time went. Often I strongly remember the first and last 6 miles of a marathon, but not much in between!

Mile 19 Gratitude…

Kirsten McCay-Smith ShakeologyI am grateful I have a free membership to this gym. I sub fitness classes here so I get my membership paid for! It’s almost like I’m getting paid to run today! Almost!! #professionalatete

Mile 20 COMPLETE! My 3rd favorite part of the marathon (after 3 miles to go and the finish). I finished off my Shakeology®, walked a couple minutes, restarted the treadmill and off and running again! 10K to go!!

Mile 20 Gratitude…

I am grateful for my family. They are all so supportive of me, my lifestyle, and all my choices. I am super excited to see my sis and her kids at Xmas! I haven’t seen them since April and I miss them all soooooo much!!

Mile 1 what?? Is it Groundhog Day? I would not choose treadmill marathon day to be my day I live over and over! Actually I had to restart my treadmill…hit the time limit!! It’s slower going but I will most likely still finish under 4:22 which is always a great goal for being “out of shape”. 4:22 is a 10:00/mile average. 21 down…5 to go!!

Mile 21 Gratitude…

Grateful that thinking about gratitude and sharing my experience with you is making my marathon fly by!! I spend time every single day focusing on gratitude and I know it has made me a better person and my life more meaningful.

Mile 22 done! Filled up my cup and drank half while walking one minute. Pretty much every muscle from my neck down to my toes is achy. Luckily I have done this before and know this is normal, that my body can handle it, and that I can easily finish with 4 miles to go!!

Mile 22 Gratitude…

Grateful my mind is tenacious and more resilient than my body! Running this marathon on the treadmill will only make me  stronger!!!!

I love me some mile 23!! My 2nd fave part of the marathon. This means I have about 5K to go and as I mentioned a couple hours ago, I have done hundreds of them in my lifetime! At this point I know I am almost done! I know I will make it through! And I typically get a 10th wind…at least for 1-2 minutes

Mile 23 Gratitude…

Grateful for my husband’s job. His boss is super flexible and lets him take time off for his adventures and his adventures make him very happy! I also get a gym membership at UCHealth – Poudre Valley Medical Fitness through his job and that is where I do most of my swimming and indoor training for triathlon.

Mile 24 DONE! And I may have tripped on the treadmill belt twice in the last mile. Joints and muscles are all pretty much done but my stubborn brain is forcing them to keep going for 2 more miles!!

Plus finishing my bottle of Energize didn’t hurt!!

Mile 24 Gratitude…

Grateful for my tenacity and pushing when things get hard in my life. The harder the challenge, the stronger I feel!

Mile 25…WHAT??? Only 1.2 to go! This makes me very happy!! My legs are getting super super tight and I’ve been walking about a minute for every 5 of running!! Still on track to finish under 4:22.


Mile 25 Gratitude…

Grateful for guilty pleasures! I love binge watching shows and drinking Zevia when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed!!!

26 miles OMG! Sooooooo close! I walked a few minutes but overall felt good! I am super thirsty but didn’t want to take the time to stop and fill up since I’m almost done!!!

Mile 26 Gratitude…

Pure Pleasure LubeGrateful for silicone lube to prevent chaffing!!! When I was w Passion Parties I used Slip-n- Slide and now w Pure Romance I use Pure Pleasure. They are 100% silicone and even after 4 hours of running today and sweating like crazy, I chaffed NO where!!! YES!!

DONE AND DONE! 26.2!! My 3rd annual treadmill marathon is complete! I feel amazing! My legs are tired (DOY) but for not running a lot in the past 2 months I did so great!! I may be sore later today but that is expected! I am grateful for my body! Good job girl!! Now off to bike (easy to loosen my legs and get my bike streak in). I’ll swim later too since that always makes me feel better!!

Mile 26.2 Gratitude…

Grateful for the awesome things that helped me get through the past 4 hours and 13 minutes…

And all YOUR energizing words of encouragements, thoughts, and messages!

I’m out!!!

Follow more of my fun fitness endeavors at…

See you SOON!

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