And I Lived To Tell About It

Posted: September 10, 2011 at 10:19 am

Oh, boy. I did not look forward to my long run this morning. Normally I enjoy the thought of heading out to be alone with my thoughts and to see just what my body can handle. I just wanted to crawl back in bed this morning and whine “Do I haaaaavvvvveeee to?????”.

I loathe the treadmill for any run longer than 4 miles…and I had to crank out TEN on it this morning! That thought killed my long run mood faster than a baby cry can kill other certain moods. I. dreaded. It!


I considered taking my recovery run a week early so I would only have to do 5 or 6 miles on the dreadmill, but then I realized I needed to suck it up cupcake, put on my big girl panties, and just do it. Then, get my revenge letting Peter know allll about my misery having to run on the treadmill because he just has to have a life too. Winking smile

I brought in the heavy artillery to make me not hate every second of my life for the next 1.5+ hours.

  • three magazines - Just in case today happened to be the day I could handle reading and running at the same time. A lofty goal.
  • a treadmill with a TV and prayers for a good movie playing on the gym’s “Cardio Cinema” circuit
  • some musical friends - Adele, Katy Perry, Glee, Kelly Clarkson, Aerosmith and Toby Mac specifically
  • Twitter encouragement
  • my game face


It was on like Donkey Kong.

The first four miles went by incredibly quickly. I almost couldn’t believe it and fooled myself into thinking that maybe this whole ten miles on the treadmill thing wouldn’t be so bad. I got a little more antsy between miles 4 and 6 but kept myself distracted with flipping through my magazines. No article reading, but I could look at workouts/recipes or some of the short highlights.

Then the dang treadmill stopped on me!


I kind of expected it to happen since it happened to Heather when she tackled ten treadmill miles last week. It still didn’t change me wanting to drop kick the machine. You know – not only because I was annoyed but also because it would probably break at least one toe and give me a reason not to continue. Shifty

I paused to refill my water, down a Gu, and take a fast potty break in the hopes that it would help me fool myself into believing it was a new workout and I was only running four mile. Or more acurately only 3.8 because you know I wasn’t doing more than necessary on the treadmill. Yeaaahhhh. Didn’t work so much. I don’t think four slower miles have ever passed in my life.


But sometimes training isn’t all about the physical challenge. Sometimes you have to overcome the mental challenges too. Today was definitely a “push past your self-doubts” training day. I made it through, but I didn’t like it. I think I deserve a break after all of that. Too bad I know that isn’t going to happen. Ahhhh….life.

  • What workouts tend to challenge you mentally?
  • What is one of your favorite silly motivational catch phrases? I obviously had a thing for them in this post – “suck it up cupcake”, “put on my your girl panties”, “it’s on like Donkey Kong”…I know I’m special.

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52 Comments to “And I Lived To Tell About It”
  1. Oh my gosh, I love that you say “suck it up cupcake.” That has been an inside work joke between me and some coworkers forever, I’ve never heard others say it. I seriously love using it b/c sometimes in life it really is just about “sucking it up” and who doesn’t love anything with “cupcake” at the end!?
    My motivational mantra while running at least is always “you can do ANYTHING for a mile” that seems to always get me through the mile I’m in and usually by the time the next one comes I’m mentally refreshed.

  2. Congrats!! 10 miles is a huge accomplishment ESPECIALLY on a treadmill! For me, treadmill running is 90% mental 10% physical. (I guess I would say that about running in general though). Enjoy your day — and eat some treats!

  3. I love the “it’s on like donkey kong” catchphrase – when hubby and I like to be silly we use that one all the time 🙂

    What you went through on the treadmill is my #1 definite mental challenge – the longest I’ve run on a treadmill is 6 miles and I don’t even know how I did that, I start to get sooo antsy and bored! That’s why I think I love my spin and bootcamp classes so much 🙂

  4. Megan says:

    Oh my goodness – I LOVE that you used the phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong”. Totally made my day.

    I’m also thankful that you and Heather have taught me that the treadmills stop after 60 minutes. At least I’ll know that going into my Michigan winter training (i.e. treadmill training) so I don’t fall off the treadmill like a crazy person 🙂

  5. Kara says:

    I hate running anything over 5 on a treadmill, so I feel your pain. I don’t understand how some people run 20 miles on those things.

    I usually watch DVDs of TV shows when I run and that helps some. Normally I just think about a race coming up and that occupies my mind and encourages me to finish the run. 🙂

  6. Great job on the 10, even if they were rough. Actually, an even bigger congrats BECAUSE they were tough. I did 8 this morning, but outside.

  7. Mac says:

    Nice work! The t-mill stopping is such a buzz kill! You’ve inspired me to tackle my long run!

  8. Liz says:

    Good job! I was supposed to do 8 but it’s been raining constantly, so I settled for 45 minutes doing hills on the treadmill. I don’t think I could have done 10. Hoping for better weather tomorrow!

    I’m impressed 🙂

  9. I ran long on the treadmill yesterday – not easy, but I think it gets easier. The first time my treadmill suddenly stopped on me (mine stops at 100 minutes) I didn’t know what happened. Kind of a shocker!

  10. Girl! I think you are too hard on yourself sometimes….Seriously haven’t gone more than 3 mi on a tready and 36:56 is my best 5K time to date and that’s no joke! Give yourself a big high five cause you DID IT!

  11. Anna Marie says:

    Running gets to me mentally! I had a 9 miler today and I did NOT want to run at all. I just told myself to lace up and get on out there. Thankfully my legs overrode my desire to quit and carried me through. I ironically kept telling myself “the finish is worth it.” At the end of a run I am always glad I did it and do not regret having run. I have to remind myself of that feeling when I am not wanting to start or keep on.

  12. Wow, way to go! 10 miles on a treadmill is quite rough…props!! Running long distances definitely challenges me mentally as well. The thought of how I’ll feel when I’m finished is usually what finally motivates me though.

  13. Well look at you, Tina! You ended up accomplishing the dreaded task 🙂

    I’m convinced that running is SO much more of a mental game than a physical one. When I ran my marathon last year, my legs were doing just fine– it was my brain that kept slowing me down! Even so, the most I’ve ever run on a treadmill is 8 miles and that was some tough stuff, so awesome work! I’m so proud that you “sucked it up, cupcake” haha

  14. Oh boy hahaha I trained for my half through winter, and all my runs were on the deathmill. The entire training was more mentally challenging than physically challenging, but it was worth it and sometimes you need to push yourself past your comfort level. I still ended up with a 1:49 time, not bad for a first timer and doing all but one (4 miler) run inside! But after that..4 months later… treadmill still has remained to be only used for HIIT 20 min runs haha 🙂

    • Tina says:

      That is seriously impressive. You probably felt so FREE when the actual race came that running 13 miles felt fun. You really rocked it. 🙂

  15. Good job on the treadmill ten! I am pretty sure that counts as like 20 miles in real life running 😀 The mental challenge of running on a treadmill is something I am not good at at all! 4 miles feels like 40 on that darn thing… I often choose running in rain, snow, sleet and wind just to avoid it. But you are done now!!!!

    Have a great weekend!

  16. I had to do a few 8-mile training runs on the treadmill for my first half. At least there were intervals included to help break it up. And yes, it’s soooo mental. I kept thinking about the finish line and also that if I could tackle the mileage on the treadmill, then outside would be a cinch. Nice job!

  17. Great job Tina! Running is always more mental than physical for me (well, except during pregnancy) and I always have to encourage myself by saying “I feel good… I feel strong”. The longest I’ve done on a treadmill was a half marathon – It. Was. Painful. I don’t think I’ll ever be doing that again!

  18. Congrats on 10 miles on the dreadmill!!! I hate even doing 2 on it! 😀

    Have a great Saturday!

  19. Great job Tina!

    I don’t mind the treadmill too much, as long as I have some music and a tv 🙂

    Maybe I missed where you wrote why you chose the treadmill today instead of the gym?

    • Tina says:

      Oh oops! I left it out. I mentioned Peter having to do something…but that’s it I noticed. He wasn’t able to watch the kids so I needed the childcare.

  20. The mental part of running is definitely one of the toughest parts of running long. Glad you were able to run 10 miles on the treadmill. That’s awesome! 😀

  21. Heather says:

    I am so proud Of You. You did it and I knew You would! Glad you saw my warning About the TM stopping after an hour ha. Yiy are white talented to be able to flip through magazines!

  22. 10 on a treadmill?! You are a far better woman than I! 🙂

    I like to tell myself that the training starts when it gets hard.

  23. Lee says:

    Ugh, 10 miles on the treadmill sounds painful! I’ve done 8 before and it was the longest 8 miles of my life. Good job!

  24. That’s the most I’ve ever run on the treadmill. Thankfully, my gym plays some good movies on Sundays!! It was pretty hard, though 😛

  25. Khushboo says:

    Wow go you! I would have lost it after 10 miles on the t-mill..I did that distance once and am still in awe of how I had the mental capacity to…5 miles is my max now! As ‘cupcake’ was part of your motivation, hope it’s also part of the reward 😀

  26. Oh my gosh, 10 miles on the treadmill is my worst nightmare. Props to you for finishing them!! I think the most I’ve ever run on the treadmill is 6, and they were very. long. slow. miles.

  27. Jolene says:

    Wow. You’re my idol!! Rock on! That’s awesome!!

  28. Wow, good for you for sticking on the treadmill even when it stopped on you!! Treadmill workouts are definitely a challenge for me! Anything beyond 30 minutes is too much…unless I have a HIIT day.

    It’s kinda funny…I’ve never really thought of bringing magazines with me on the treadmill. I keep telling myself it would be like reading in a car and I’ll get motion sickness! Haha.

  29. Oh man, my run yesterday was awful…and I actually didn’t make it the full 8 miles haha. I should really run outside (I don’t know why I’m “afraid” to do that). It was so hard, my mouth felt so dry that I wanted to be sick, even though I was drinking water throughout it, and I got several side stitches…grrr.

    You’re 10 miler is motivating me to not give up!

  30. I just started running longer distances on the treadmill and I am liking it more than I thought I would. I thought the monotony would kill me, but surprisingly it hasn’t been too bad. I don’t know that I could do 10 on a treadmill, but it’s definitely worth trying. And as long as you have enough to keep your brain and ears occupied (I too love TobyMac on a playlist! We are actually seeing him in concert tonight – omg), anything is possible!

  31. Hilary says:

    Ive done 10 miles on the treadmill and I’m with you…BRUTAL! I had a tough long run last week ( no treadmill though) and I went all Dawn Jackson Blatner and created my own action mantra: light, fast, powerful…that and the Help on audiobook helped get me through.

  32. Argh, Matey! says:

    […] feels so nice to finally be at the winding down part of the day. Today has been mad hectic. Running ten miles on the treadmill wore me out, of course, but that doesn’t stop life from happening. We had some fun on our […]

  33. Brenda says:

    All I can say is…wow. I can’t even imagine accomplishing a feat such as 10 miles on a treadmill!!! Zowie!!!

    I love your attitude though….”suck it up cupcake”..and I love your honesty. So inspiring. Makes me feel more “normal”…whatever normal is anyway! LOL

    Thanks Tina and awesome job with that run! Woot Woot!


  34. You are totally insane, but also my hero 🙂 I had to jump on the treadmill for 4 miles this morning because a thunderstorm struck during my long run! It was miserable, especially because when I got off I still had over an hour left to run!

  35. Amy Lauren says:

    Good job on the treadmill 10 miler, if you can do that you will totally beast through the half. Ours also turn off after an hour so I have to divide my long runs up just like you do but it’s all good.

    Long runs are definitely the most mentally challenging, so with ya there!

  36. Jen says:

    Great job, Tina!! I’ll never, ever forget my first 9 miler on the treadmill. I had only done 3-4 mi previously, and the thought of nine made me shudder. But, just like you, I got through it. And guess what? Treadmill running only gets easier from here! Promise 🙂 Last marathon training cycle, I loved the treadmill and even did a 16 miler on it.

  37. I love the mental challenge of workouts! I used to loathe it but now I embrace it – it will only help you on race day.

    Last week I did a 10 mile run, and did 5 x 2 mile loops, which meant I had to pass home 5 times during the run. It took a lot of toughness to keep trotting past every single time!

  38. Cycling is a totally mental game for me. Cycling up a hill this morning, I really wanted to stop, but I have to remind myself that stopping when cycling is counter-productive — it’s impossible to get going again up a hill once stopped. I always make a deal with myself that I can stop at the crest; but once I’ve crested, it’s either a flat or a downhill, and I can DO those! I have never once stopped (unless I’m waiting for someone). And that is an awesome feeling!

  39. Jess says:

    WAY to rock that treadmill run!! This gives me GREAT motivation to find a way to keep the miles up this winter when i’ll be stuck treadmilling it more than I’d like to. The longest I’ve done is 6.4 miles (to be exact haha) on the treadmill and that felt so long…10 is amazing!

  40. teresa says:

    Good for you!
    I’m so glad you brought up the mental challenges. Just good timing for me today.
    And your post gave me just the push I needed to get up and get my elliptical groove on.

  41. […] thought of getting on a treadmill after doing ten miles on one yesterday just did not sound appealing. Even the thought of free childcare and a break from […]

  42. Nice work Tina! I hate running on the treadmill and don’t think I’ve ever been able to accomplish more than 5 miles!

    You must be getting so pumped for your upcoming race!

  43. I am SO impressed that you ran ten miles on a treadmill- that is some dedication! I think my longest run on a treadmill has been seven miles, and that was painful! Awesome job!!!

    I lurve it’s on like donkey kong- that phrase has been known to come out of my mouth more than a few times 😀

  44. Running is so mental. I struggle with it a lot. I have to constantly tell myself “You know your legs are strong are strong enought to finish this. Get out of your head!”

  45. I loved this post! I just started training for a 10K and had really similar experience this morning for my little 3.5 mile treadmill run. Its just so boring compared to running outside. This is coming from someone who used to LOVE the treadmill.

    My phrase is “just do it.” I picture those nike ads and I want to be strong like those athletes. Not as cute as yours, but it works. I may adopt the “big girl panties” line because its perfect 🙂

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