4 miles every 4 hours over 48 hours…
I will begin this ultra challenge tomorrow night; Thursday March 9, at 10pm. The final run will be on Saturday night at 6pm.
I got exposed to this Goggins challenge for the first time last year around this time of year. Apparently this is something that David Goggins does, and he invites anyone and everyone to join him while he’s doing it. At least that’s my understanding. Last year I was hoping to do it, but had some family plans. This year I was intentional about finding the time to attempt this challenge. Since I’m technically on Spring Break this week, I’ve made the effort to find the time in my schedule, so I’ll be giving this a GO beginning tomorrow night.
Apparently Goggins is too busy to solidify a date for the challenge this year, so he informed his faithful followers that they should complete it whenever they want to, regardless of whether or not he completes it this year. That was about a month ago, so I found time in the schedule and I’m up for it.
It will be a tough challenge, no doubt. I have ZERO experience with ultra running. I do, however, have a full Ironman under my belt. So I’m somewhat familiar with the mental and physical challenge this will present. There are a few things about this ultra event that I love…1) there is no barrier for entry. Anyone anywhere can complete this event. There is no entry fee, there is no fitness requirement, etc. That makes this an easily accessible (relatively speaking) ultra event for the everyday athlete. 2) I love that this event requires a significant amount of preparation. Part of endurance sport is developing the fitness, no doubt. But for an event like this, waking up and running every 4 hours won’t be enough, even for the fittest of the fittest. 3) I love that this event includes the element of sleep deprivation. This is a hard one to really prep for. I like that this poses a challenge in itself. And lastly, 4) I love that this event pushes people to new levels of their mental capacity. With minimal sleep, running in the dark, running during the day, needing to fuel, supplement, sleep, shower, recover, etc. will NOT be easy. I imagine this will be just as much of a mental challenge as a physical one.
I am planning to start at 10pm because I want to have a normal night sleep Saturday night into Sunday. Selfishly, I don’t like missing Sunday church, so I’m hoping I’m well enough to get up for church on Sunday. I’m lucky I’m able to even attempt this. Since I’m on spring break, I have the luxury of starting this on a Thursday evening. Lucky me, I guess…
I don’t have too much of a game plan to be honest. I’m very prepared mentally, and I have a routine in mind. But I know I’ll need to adapt on the fly. I’m hoping to run the 4 miles in just under an hour for each of the 12 runs. During the 3 hours of recovery, I will sleep during the night sessions, and try to maintain some normal circadian rhythm throughout the day sessions. I will rehydrate immediately, use my hyperice for at least 5-10minutes, put my feet up for at least 1 out of the 3 recovery hours, and make sure I’m eating enough. I won’t be too picky with WHAT I’m eating. I’ll simply make sure I’m eating enough. I also plan to take an ice bath after my run in which I WON’T be heading to bed right after. That will probably be after the 10am run on both Friday and Saturday. I’ll take more ice baths throughout the day if I feel like it, because the cold bath typically wakes me up in an instant. That’s why I won’t be taking a plunge after EVERY run. One of the difficult logistical aspects of this event is the clothing. I’ve done my due diligence to ensure I have at least 7 full outfits ready to go and lined up. I will do laundry ONCE during the event so that I am able to refill my wardrobe. Having everything laid out ahead of time is one way I hope to reduce the number of things I need to remember. Lastly, since I know this will be a crazy mental game, I am planning to read a short devotional for runners before and (maybe) after each segment. This should hopefully keep my mind on the right track and help me stay focused.
So here we go. 12 separate 4-mile runs, every 4 hours, for 48 hours, totaling 48 miles. This is my first dip into the world of ultra running and sleep deprivation. I’ll do my best to document as much as I can so I can provide a full report after the event.
See you on the other side.