This Long Island teacher ran 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents

EAST HAMPTON, NY — A Long Island teacher is back home after she ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

That's more than 183 miles. Cara Nelson, a middle school teacher in East Hampton, feels better than she expected to after the grueling runs.

"My body broke down every day," Nelson said. "I kept thinking 'I’m never going to make it.' You have to play a mind game every step of every race."

The temperatures ranged from -40 to above 90 degrees during her globe-spanning runs. She started on Jan. 30 in Antarctica and ended on Feb. 5 in Miami.

Nelson has always been a nervous plane passenger, but she relished the flights as a time to relax.

"My teammates and I would be joking, 'don’t land yet - give us another hour,'" she said. "I soon as the plane landed, we knew what we were headed for."

Her team hoped to raise $2 million for charity with the runs. Nelson is proud she ran all seven marathons and never walked. The students in her social studies classes were able to follow her every step of the way in the World Marathon Challenge.

Despite the tendinitis, torn ligaments, blisters and bruised toes, she hopes her students learned a valuable lesson.

"They can do anything they want in life," she said.