• Rob Olson

Thoughts Headed Into 4x4x48

Friday at 11pm begins the 4x4x48 Challenge.

What is the 4x4x48 challenge? Run 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours.

As we are about 36 hours out from the event starting, here is what is running through my head, in no particular order:

"I'm going for a 4 mile jog." That's it. Period. I'm not thinking about the magnitude of the event. It's just 4 miles. That's all I have to deal with. Once I get through the first interval, then I'll worry about hydrating, nutrition, and recovering. Then when it's 3am, I'll deal with the 2nd 4-mile interval. Everything stays broken down into manageable chunks. I never get ahead of myself.

At lot of times when people think about the enormity of a task, it is overwhelming. Whether its losing 100lbs, running their first 5k, going to grad school, saving for the down payment on their first house ... all of these things are life goals that are pretty big goals. They can all be achieved by breaking it down, similar to my run, in that if I want to lose 100lbs, I'd focus on losing 10lbs first. Once that is achieved, then I'll deal with the next 10lbs. Everything stays manageable and directly in focus.

"Keep moving forward no matter the pace." Things will get gnarly. I'm not in what I would call "running shape". Yes I have good overall fitness, but I don't run much in the winter. So this will surely get wild and difficult at times. The important thing to remember is just to keep moving, no matter the speed. Whether I'm running, jogging, or walking, it's all better than stopping.

Similar to the goals above, if I'm saving for a down payment on my house, even if finances are getting tight, saving $5 is still getting me closer to my goal. It may not be the $100 I wanted to save, but that $5 still gets me closer to my goal. Always move forward.

"Take care of yourself." Specifically to this challenge, it means ensuring I take in enough calories, electrolytes, and water, rest and stretch when able, and be mindful of foot care to avoid blisters and small nagging injuries.

We can't be so consumed with the acts required to achieve the goal (running, jogging, walking) that we neglect what actually fuels us - food, water, and happy feet. It's easy to not drink enough, especially in the winter, and we know that even slight dehydration can decrease performance by 15%.

Similar to the goals above, if I'm trying to get into grad school by passing an exam, I can only study so much while ignoring healthy eating and sleeping habits before it comes around to bite me. Take care of yourself in order to bring your best self to the game.

"Embrace the suck." Grit, determination, perseverance … these traits don't develop themselves unless you put yourself in situations that require those very traits to come out. When I'm 32 miles into this thing and its 3am on Sunday morning and 18 degrees, it's going to suck. 100%. But the key is to thrive on that adversity. Switch your mindset. Instead of saying "this sucks", I say "I love this shit, look at how many other people are out here".

If you want to achieve great things, whatever that may be for you, you are going to have to get uncomfortable at some point in order to make progress. It's important to embrace that suck, take it all in, and realize this is what is making you better.

Everything ends eventually. 4 miles will end if I keep moving forward. Surf torture at BUD/S will end eventually. Studying for that exam will end eventually. Reducing your spending to save for the down payment will end eventually. Even the 20min amrap will end eventually. Pain is temporary. Pride and regret are forever. The choice is yours how it ends.

Be sure to keep up on social media - I'll post updates along the way, even with some Whoop data (can't wait to see what it shows!)

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