34 Days into the 120 Day Challenge

This is my workout calendar checkoff list for last month:

First Month 31/120

Didn’t miss a day.  I have never gone 6 days in a row.

Why the madness?  My friend Rich Grote (of the noble iVolunteer push) decided to do it, and I was working on some pretty ambitious physical goals for this year, including two triathlons and the Tripple Bypass.

And to do this, you have to think bigger.  Think what your body has done, and more importantly, what it can do.

So there it is, 31 workouts, 29 of them over an hour.  Many miles pounded on the trails outside my house (by far my favorite choice of exercise these days).  It is January, the worst time of the year to work out (in my opinion, the gyms are packed with resolutionaries, the trails are icy and there is too much snow to cycle).

Yes, I know it is much smarter to have rest days.  Yes, I know that this is a really stupid way of going about getting into shape.

But if we don’t do things like this, we don’t know how far we can push the limits.

I estimate I am doing 30-40 miles running per week, with some swimming, yoga, lifting and cycling mixed in.  December 30th was a low point for me with almost no workouts in the last month.  Boo to winter.  But here I come with the 120.

I’m on the verge of the best shape of my life.  Today I did a 5.5 mile 1.25 hour trail run with over 1000 feet of climbing, and felt strong the entire way.  I was talking with Rich about what I’ve learned, and wanted to document it here.

Lesson 1: Social Hour

I wouldn’t have made it 3 days without Rich doing this.  Having a partner is key, and having someone to work out with makes the whole thing fun.  Rich and I talked during our entire run today, having great discussions and laughing quite a bit.  I’ve met some great people, and really developed friendships.

Lesson 2: Amaze Yourself

I spent 4 years watching runners go by my house before I started this.  I thought they were crazy, and far more in shape than I would ever be.  I passed someone a couple days ago, going up a very steep pitch.  I’m a big guy, at 6’5″ and 220, I shouldn’t be able to do that.  But here I am, going for 90 minute runs up and down some really impressive stuff.  Feeling great extends really far beyond your workout.  Take baby steps, then work yourself up.

Lesson 3: Pros Don’t Blame Equipment

I tend to do sports with little equipment.  Running (shoes).  Ultimate (shoes, disk).  Volleyball (net, ball, boardshorts).  Don’t let equipment get in your way.  January is really a hard month to be on the trails.  Pure ice for days.  Rich had read an inventive way to get around this: roofing screws.  See the picture of our shoes (and notice the ice on mine):

Day 30 /120

Total cost: $1.35.  They work perfectly.  We have had some night runs on sheets of ice called paths that went on without a hitch.  Get inventive.  Don’t blame your equiptment.  Move on, you are the solution.

Lesson 4: I Can Push Myself

In today’s run (day 34 of 120) I pushed up a steep hill about 70 minutes into the run, and felt strong.  My heart rate was pounding, my body was oxygen deficient, and mentally, I was fresh. This is after 34 straight days of pounding workouts.  Bring on the rest of the 120.

Lesson 5: Listening is Important

In our first two weeks, it was common on runs to just stop and stretch.  Really listen to your body.  If I am going to achive this goal of 120, I am going to have to be healthy the entire time. To do this, I must listen.

Lesson 6: I Hate Gyms

I joined a gym.  I went once.  I hate them.  Give me a midnight run with a star filled sky so bright the moon is being faded into the distance any day over a gym.  I hate them, and won’t work out in a quality way in them.  At least for now.

28% done.  Almost there.

Want to join in for 30 days?

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