Over the past weekend, the hubster and myself embarked in what is known as the Goggins Challenge. If you aren't familiar with this challenge, it's where you voluntarily run 4 miles every 4 hours for the next 48 hours. If for some reason, you are not able to run or want to mix things up, you may also participate in another form of movement/exercise for 45-60minutes.
Here's the thing, this was the FIRST time I would be participating in a challenge of this sort of magnitude as a mom. The last race I finished was 150 miles across the Sahara; however, this was BEFORE the Gillies and in my late twenties. Somehow, participating this challenge in my *ahem* late thirties with two 7-years still needing me to "parent' between legs or runs seemed a wee bit more daunting. Yet I accepted the challenge and managed to coax my sweet-loving hubster into doing this with me.
We started on March 5th at 8pm PST and wrapped up the event on March 7th at 5pm PST with the last "leg" of the race happening at 4pm PST on the 7th. When we tallied up the mileage, the hubster calculated my miles were 76.4 over the last 48 hours. 76 MILES!
Here's a few things I learned about myself during this challenge... some I think are also quite helpful in just the every-day chaos of LIFE. *they are listed in no particular order*
Visualize the end goal, however, keep your eyes forward and focus on the race you are currently in. I treated each leg as it’s own personal workout, no sense worrying about the ones I just finished + ones in the future haven’t happened. When I was on leg number 4 of 12, I didn't flip back to how leg number 3 went or how I was going to manage to do 8 more... it was simply one foot in front of the other. Takeaway: Focus on the race YOU are in NOW, yet know where you are headed in the long-game.
Never change the goal, but it’s okay to adjust the way you get there. Around 12am, I noticed my calves were seizing up a wee bit so instead of running - took in my body’s feedback + adjusted the path by hopping on a bike for a 60min workout. Takeaway: There's no space for an ego, amigo! Receive feedback, adjust + keep moving forward towards the goal. It's okay to take a new path, it's not okay to forgo your dreams.
Keep your mental shields UP! You’ll negative chatter from folks in their own journey, and it’s easy for their negative words to penetrate + infiltrate your thoughts. Takeaway: Squash that negative chatter, offer an encouraging word to them… and keep your mental shields INTAKE!
What you focus on MATTERS. You can focus on all the little things YOU suck at -true. Takeaway: It’s more beneficial to step back and see what YOU did accomplish + know you there’s MORE residing inside you.
You are stronger and capable of so much more than YOU realize. Takeaway: Don’t be afraid of your own strength.
The RECOVERY process can be just as important (if not more than) the race itself. After each leg, there was a three hour haul where I would have this recovery routine in place and I noticed the hubster would (pending time of day) hit the sheets to sleep. Myself, I would take 15 minutes extra to stretch my legs followed by 10 minutes of massage with a theragun and placing my legs up on a wall to aid in circulation. While I was doing this, I would hydrate with electrolytes and at times take a quick cold shower. This added 30 minutes on to each leg; however, the benefits were HUGE. I noticed after the 24hr mark few folks mentioning how "sore" they were yet I still felt strong... maybe a wee bit tired, but not sore. That is until I decided to run hills --- epic mistake, but I learned and kept moving forward. Takeaway: Spend time "resting" and "recovering" properly; there's growth in rest, too.
Your mind goes to WEIRD places when left alone... I began thinking, "do folks know penguins actually have knees" to "there are so many ways to actually cook an egg, it's really the most versatile protein source". And occasionally you think the BEST thoughts are amazing such as when I said to the hubster, "when we breath in, we are taking in oxygen. oxygen actually fuels a fire. so with each breath I take, I'm actually FUELING the fire which burns within." He, of course, looked at me like I was crazy and kept his own mouth shut. Wise man. Takeaway: Allow your mind to go to the weird spaces + have someone to listen yet keeps their mouth shut! HA!
Now, the absolute best thing about this weekend besides finishing. It was seeing our twins, the Gillies watch mama (and daddy) do this. They kept me moving between each leg with tickle fights, ninja moves + dance sessions; they cheered me on + tackled me with kisses when I was finished.
They may not SEE the challenges I faced, but they SAW their mama FINISH with a smile on her face… and that meant everything.
Which one of these takeaways speaks to YOU? If you want to see my post-run collapse before the Gillies-tackle, I shared it here... however, my face was cut off because, well, we all can't do everything perfect!
Grit + Gumption,