Apologies for the delay in the final part of my write up about last weekends epic 4x4x48 Challenge. This weekend has seen the creator David Goggins do the 2nd annual event but I’m so glad I did it last weekend. Got to say though I’ve never slept so much this past week and can still tell I’m tired, I think it will take me another week or so to recover from it. So if you have yet to read my first two parts you can bring yourself up to speed by reading part 1 here and part 2 here.
I was now into the early hours of Sunday morning and was down to my final 5 legs having passed the half way mark Saturday tea time. My next leg was at 1:43am and like the previous night it was very cold. I had once again got kit for the over night legs out and on kitchen table so I cold get up, dress and go run. Leading into this leg I knew if I could get up and get it done I was on the home straight. So out of bed, kit on including head torch and off I went. The first mile was my slowest as took me a while to wake up but it was a run I built into, I kept to the same route with hardest point was the turn around as majority was in dark but as I turned around to head home my speed picked up and my last two miles back home was 7:37 & 7:38. I didn’t see a single soul or car this time round. The night was so quiet and peaceful. It was just a case of me lost in my own thoughts. Leg 8 took me 30:53 which as expect was a little slower then my day legs but still I was comfortable under my 8:00/mi target.
I was straight into house, stripped off and back to sleep and got my head down till 5:30 am and the final night leg. Looking back being able to get 2+ hours between each night leg helped keep the fatigue at bay. I was up again before the alarm and downstairs waiting to go. Was actually sat on my phone waiting to go. Was freezing as I left the house, it was probably my coldest leg as the Sunday morning was just breaking on the horizon. Off I went and like my previous leg my first mile was my slowest then I got going. There wasn’t many cars out this early on Sunday morning but I did get the shock of my life just as I hit the head torch section. First an old man was walking! then I could hear a bat, which was amazing but also eerie when it’s dark and all you got is a head torch to light your way. After my first mile my pace settled to under 7:40 for rest of my leg. I was buzzing on the way back home as I knew I had completed all the night legs and all that lay ahead was 3 day legs. I knew it was in my grasp. Leg 9 was completed in 30:43 and my legs still felt fairly fresh TBH which I was shocked about and I do feel the change of footwear to my Zoom Fly 3 helped protect the legs!
Back home and decided to get another few hours kip. Decided to follow pattern I did yesterday in getting sleep, then breakfast before starting the first day leg of Sunday. After getting up and having a shower I had breakfast and caught up with Sarah about how my night had gone. We also planned our day. Sarah opted to go shopping with Molly while I did my next leg (usually I run with Molly) as we worked to get the gym finished in between my legs. The next leg at 9:39 and it turned out to be a glorious Sunday, the fuel in me did it’s trick as just like the previous day my pace picked up as I headed out towards the reservoir, knocking out 7:27 first mile. Then my next 2 miles were 7:19 and 7:17. Not bad to say those were mile 38 and 39. I saw someone I knew on Strava who told me to keep going. I hit last mile and decided to just cruise home. So I eased right back as I headed home to complete leg 10 in an impressive 29:45.
I got in house and waited for wife to get back and help her put shopping away. Sarah then finished putting down the gym mats as I dismantled the spin bike in my office. We then took it down into the gym and reassembled it as the gym started to look good (have a look on my instagram for photos) I had some lunch before the penultimate leg at 13:37. As I walked to my start point an old club friend had chalked “Go Rich” and No Pain No Gain” on the floor. This was an amazing gesture and was a massive pick up. I set off on my leg with a massive smile on my face. Just like Saturday legs I was getting faster throughout the day a 7:17 first mile set the tone for the leg. I was just running to feel and a 7:06 2nd mile but then as I headed back I had a wobble as fatigue hit me but just as quick as it came I shook the cobwebs off and it was over again. I think my body was just having a wobble. I slowed down in last mile but it still ended up with a 29:13 leg which was my 2nd quickest so far.
After getting in I was buzzing but knew if I relaxed now I could easy struggle to get going. We continued working on the gym and made another trip to B&Q for more piping, it meant the gym just needed a few more finishing touches and it was finished. Sam who had also been doing it was now finished and enjoying her down time. A friend of mine Keith said “Go smash the last one” which kinda gave me extra motivation. The amount of support from social media friends was amazing. So at 17:30 Sunday evening I set off on my final leg, having just helped prep the Sunday evening meal (Shepherds Pie). I set off and kinda counted down the miles. I started with a 7:22/mi then I built into it with a good 7:14/mi going up my final hill climb as I hit the turn around I hit the fast button and decided to just go for it a 6:54 mile was amazing to say it was my 47th mile but would go even faster in my final mile. As I came up the hill to finish my wife and daughter had come down to see me finish. For the first time since the 2015 Great Birmingham Run I had a lump in my throat and felt like I was going to burst out crying. Molly present me with a nice chocolate Costa gold medal to help me celebrate.
My final leg was also my fastest in 28:29!! So after I had my tea and done my social media posts. I worked out that my moving time over the weekend was 6 hours 4 minute and my average pace for the entire challenge was an impressive 7:33 average. This felt incredible, my coach after getting over the shock of me ignoring the plan and doing this daft challenge, insisted I take a few days rest, which I was happy to oblige. TBH my body needed it.
For me this is one of my greatest achievements in running and is up there with any races wins. I want to do more challenges like this in the future and already have an eye on my next one. It also shows me that I do have mental strength to do the longer events.
Doing this challenge massively helped change the way I was feeling. I was so angry for no particular reason! but having something to focus my mind on really helped change this and I was able to finish on a real high. Plus want to thank Sarah who supported me this weekend, how she puts up with me I never know!
So there you have it 12 legs, 48 miles and a lot of coffee later I can proudly say I completed the 4x4x48 challenge. I will review those awesome Zoom Fly 3 trainers and also catch up on my training blog. Plus my plans for 2021