Race Reports

4 x 4 x 48 Challenge Part.2

Saturday and the challenge really gets going.

Welcome to part 2 of my write up about doing the #4x4x48 Challenge. If you’ve not already done so, please read part 1.  So quick recap I had just done my first 3 legs over Friday night/Saturday morning, with my 6am run being my quickest so far. I had managed to get my head down between each legs. I had slept for 90 mins after the last leg and had just had my breakfast.

The sun was shinning and I was ready to go again. I opted to swap trainers to my Nike Zoom Fly 3 (I stuck with these for rest of challenge and I do think they helped protect my legs). I headed out at 9:50 and was still cool but felt good to be running in day light. The sleep, breakfast and coffee gave me the pick up I needed as I set of with a spring in my step and I felt like I wanted to go faster but held back pace but still knocked out my fastest mile so far of my challenge. Despite the route and extra junction crossings I didn’t have any issues stopping for traffic, which was good. I saw a few runners out on their runs but I did get a buzz when after the turn around I saw my friend Jodie who was running towards me. A quick exchange and we carried on in opposite directions. Good thing is I was looping round so made a point to pick it up so our paths merged. Which it did Jodie always has a smile on her face which helps give anyone a pick up. I had a conversation but wanted to keep the momentum going so said my goodbyes and carried on. By this point I had recorded 3 sub 7:30/mi which was mile 13-15 of the challenge. I slowed in last mile as didn’t want to over cook it going back up to finish line. Kinda autopilot mode. I finished leg 4 feeling good in 30:03, again my fastest leg. Now at no point did I think the pace was unstainable and it’s not a conversation I had with myself. The fact it was only 4 miles each time, mentally I told myself anything under 8 is my bread & butter pace, so to speak.

After I decided I wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing between reps as I would probably find it harder to get going again. So a quick change and I went down the road shopping with family. Got Molly a Greggs bacon roll. Then a few other shops before a well earnt visit to Costa Coffee. I got back and made sure I had lunch at noon, knowing I would have enough time for it to digest before leg 5. Now for those wondering I eat a typical lunch for me, only exception was kept the dairy out (so no yogurt), a sandwich and pack of crisps. I then chilled out on ipad and it was worse I felt throughout the challenge as I sat doing nothing.  Molly was baking cloud bread and Sarah was just putting the finishing touches to the painting in our new gym.

Throughout the challenge I spoke to Sam over on Twitter who was doing her own version but was two legs in front of me. It was great to be able to bounce off her and encourage each other and we were both working on same mindset that if we could get the second night shift done we was home and dry.  I set off on leg 5 just before 2pm and after shaking off the cobwebs I was soon into my groove, it was a lovely afternoon and for first time this year I was in my shades. I also wore my Black Sheep top as challenges like this is what the group is all about. I expected it to be busy out and it wasn’t I didn’t see many people out and navigating the road junctions were no bother. I noticed the wind had picked up on the way out. Nothing to effect effort but definitely added a chill to the air. I again found myself in the sub 7:30/mi pace in first mile and usually my first mile sets the tone for what sort of pace I run throughout, so it meant it would turn out to be another quick leg, with mile 1 in 7:28 then mile 2 with the hill in 7:29 before I picked it up on way back with a 7:26 3rd mile. I then slowed pace as again I found the climb from bottom of Nanny Hill to finish to be a drag. However I clocked 30:01 to improve my time for fastest leg by 2 seconds.

I was back home, changed and then wife and I went to B&Q to pick up some piping insulation to cover the pipes in the gym, I had painted them but we decided they didn’t look right. The trip out and change of scenery helped keep me going. Between legs 5 and 6 not only did we go buy them but we also managed to cut and put them all up in the gym.  Plus I had time to chill. For tea we decided to have take away, so I place order just before 5:45 expecting them to take 45-60 minutes to deliver. I then proceeded to start leg 6 and the last daylight run of Saturday. Leg 6 also marked the half way mark of the challenge.

As I knew tea was on the way and I was hungry the pace of this leg was a lot quicker. However as all the local takeaways were open I found that it was a lot busier both with traffic and with people so had to keep switching from one side of the road to the other to keep close contact to a minimum. I was soon into my second mile and was starting to lose daylight but had just knocked out 7:17/mi and 7:18mi for first part. I picked it up on mile 3 as was feeling good. My last mile again had to dodge all the takeaway cars parked on the main road like idiots, despite hitting the halfway mark, the legs felt good and didn’t feel that tired. It showed as once again I had gotten quicker with a 29:11 leg.

I got back home to find out tea had come already and wife had waited for me. So we dished up (for record I had a beef burger and fries, nothing spicy) then we put on TV this was the moment I flagged, so Sarah told me to go get my head down before my next leg. So I did but it seems this is the time my street wakes up as it was so noisy with boy races and people shouting. I managed to get 90 mins broken sleep. I did feel better for some sleep. I then got kit ready for the 3 night legs and made sure I had charged up watch etc so when I was half a sleep just had to get dressed and run. I made sure before & after each leg over night I drank some Lucozade sport just to put something in my system.

Leg and 24 hours after starting I began what I suspected would be hardest part the second night. I knew if I could get to Sunday morning I would finish this challenge. So off I set and it was still pretty busy at this time, despite lockdown plenty of youths knocking around looking shifty, but then anyone in a hood and all in black at 10pm at night looks dodgy to me, God knows what people thought when they saw me bombing along the road at that time with head torch on!!

My pace slowed down on this leg, as I seem to run quicker in daylight but still quicker then my previous nights legs, I had noticed a smell of manure at 1.5 miles as local farmer had moved cows in to field near the reservoir so I had these eyes shinning in my head lamp throughout the night legs. It was getting cold so knew I had made the right call to put out extra layers for later. The miles just flew by clocking 7:32, 7:28, 7:23 and then a slow last mile of 7:39 to finish with 30:12 for leg 7. Again my times were consistent and wasn’t pushing pace or heart rate which was good. I then got in and after posting latest leg, set my alarm clock and got head down till 1:30am for the next leg. This one I felt was the make me or break me leg.

In the final part of my write up, will cover the final two night legs and then the final 3 legs on Sunday.



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