72 Miles in 72 Hours–The Journey

It’s now exactly one week since  I started my #72in72 challenge. I ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 72 hours in a row. During that time, we posted as many updates as possible so that people could follow along with me through the challenge. It was a challenge that I’d set for myself, but it was also in an effort to raise money to help those who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 task force. While I never doubted that I could do 72 miles in 72 hours, I’d also never done anything like this. If you saw my stories on Instagram during the 72-hour challenge, then you might have an idea of the journey that we went through.

The Game Plan. Our approach wasn’t anything fancy. We were prepared on the water, food, stretching, recovery, front. And I knew generally how much time it would take me to run 4 miles, so we knew that I would have about 3-3.5 hours of downtown between the runs. In the military we always had a “safety vehicle;” somebody who could watch your back anytime we went out. Likewise, Gardea followed me during every run on his bike in case anything happened. As I said, this challenge was never an issue of getting it done. It was about the unpredictable or uncontrollable elements like injuries, which are much more likely to happen when you’re fatigued. Other than that, my military background gave me confidence that I’d be able to adapt to the exhausting schedule of running every 4 hours.

The Running. We started off pretty strong and feeling good for the first 24 hours or so. It wasn’t until maybe Saturday night going into Sunday that I started to feel the fatigue in my legs. At that point I would have been around the halfway point if this had been a 48-challenge. But I wasn’t even at the halfway point of my 72-hour challenge. The task never felt daunting mentally, but I knew that some runs would be getting a little slower. Even so, I fortunately never got an injury. I have and can work through pain, but it would have been an additional mental strain on my existing mental and physical fatigue. Looking back, everything went pretty smoothly, including sleep, eating, and recovery. The was never a point when I thought I would quit or even considered it. I was just focused on doing the miles, resting, and then doing the miles, and then resting.

Throughout this 72-hour ordeal, we experienced many moments of gratitude. For the guys who came along to run with me, for the messages of support, for the nice weather until it wasn’t nice and I was out running at night and morning in the rain. I am also grateful for the donations that people have made in support of those who we are all eternally grateful for–the people working the front lines during these hard times.

The link to donate to my #72in72 challenge is up on TrifectaStrong.com/72in72. You can still make donations and any/every amount is very much appreciated. 100% of the donations go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund. Please consider making a contribution there if you have not already.

In the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe.

72 Miles in 72 Hours--The Journey

Comments (1)

I can’t believe this was only a week ago. Literally felt like just yesterday that we were talking about this. Paul did such a great job. Pretty proud of you. I don’t think I would have been able to run 4 miles every 4 hours.

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