This is the recap I submitted to David Goggins after my 4x4x48 challenge. It is slightly edited for tone so it doesn’t sound like I’m talking to you. And edited to for better grammar.
I also added a story about the creepy Jason-like guy we saw at the end.
This is the story of how I found it, why, and some reflections. There’s plenty more, but this is plenty!
On the night of Feb 8th, while doing my usual IG scrolling, I got a DM from a friend who I play ultimate frisbee with about doing the David Goggins 4x4x48. I told him it sounded like madness and maybe another time - I'll pass. I told him I was flattered he thinks I could do this on short notice. I didn't know why he thought of me, I run less than 20mi a week.
That then led me to finding a 4x4x48 post of D.G. IG page. So then I messaged my friend "oh this is forreal". At that point I was considering. Days later, while coaching my athletes, I joked to one of the adults "yo how about I have this friend who wants me to do this mad challenge - to run 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours".
Said adult, Marcel Minutolo, joked with me about it and shortly talked me into it. By “talk me into it” I really mean, entertained the conversation enough that he was interested enough that I knew I wasn’t gonna do it alone. We spoke about it the following week on the 17th while recording a podcast and then boom, it was going to happen.
He did the entire challenge with me.
Now, I run a coaching business, working largely with runners, athletes, and people wanting better feeling bodies and use that platform to support the community in various ways. I wanted to support a person or organization locally who the money would have a large impact on
One of my members, Janel Young (www.janel-young.com) does absolutely amazing work. She is a painter, muralist, consultant, strategist, and is quite influential in advancing Pittsburgh's art scene. Most notable recently, she had art commissioned by the US Open on display. With this platform she’s established over the yeras, she began self funding a scholarship for up and coming artists - JY Originals Scholarship for Creatives. She gave her first away in January.
The scholarship is to support a promising artist to have financial backing for a current or upcoming project. Our society can many times downplay the importance of artists in our everyday lives based on how we financially value their work. Yet at the same time we spent much of our non-working time consuming art.
This was an awakening I've recently had myself and wanted to put some action behind it. As I've been growing a more influential platform online as I've learned how to better display my life's work online, I felt I could raise all the money to support her scholarship.
I'm glad to tell you that we raised $1075 for our $1000 goal. Janel, who is not a runner, also came out and got some miles in.
While I'm a runner, I'm a “run 3-6 miles a few times a week” type of guy and pre-Covid spent much of my fitness time playing ultimate frisbee. I've never done a marathon and have only done a half marathon once.
Marcel, who I ran with, who's nearly twice my age, is an ultramarathoner.
Mr. Goggins, this was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done in my life. After the 2nd run my legs felt like cinder blocks. The first 6 runs built up a lot of euphoria. I was really doing it. I was running a lot of 8:40-9:15 pace miles and even sprinting at the end of many.
I was able to tap into an aggression and next level of exertion that I rarely have ever been able to reach. I was yelling and screaming and just impassioned.
But, Mr. Goggins, I'm not a marathoner or ultramarathoner.
By run # 7, my appetite had begun to shut down. Taking down greek yogurt was challenging. Run # 8, which was 3am Sunday morning EST, caused me to question if I was off my rocker. I was yelling and causing a fuss for 2 miles (many motivational things but plenty of just plain noise) on the 2nd half of our out and back. I ran 2 of my top 5 fastest miles actually during #8. I was terrified of that 3am run.
It took me 15minutes of standing outside in 19 degree weather to decompress.
My body began betraying me after this. Now, admittedly I have a steep academic and experiential background in human physiology so I wasn't clueless. All of that was put to the test.
I was able to get away with foam rolling and some mini band warm ups during the first 24 miles. Afterwards I had to start being more serious. The stiffness in my hamstrings and hurting of my feet was just too high. Starting the runs was an absolutely terrible feeling.
Run # 9 at 7am EST was the first time I was forced to stop and walk a bit. My legs were SHOT.
I had to design a full fledged recovery plan that was not laying on the couch in a daze.
Ice / Hot Bath / Long Stretches / Foam Rolling / Lower leg exercises / Light Weight Exercises to reestablish ROM and blood flow / Long Isometrics to regain mobility in my tendons, ligaments, and the rest of my fascia.
Lots of greek yogurt, apples, smoothies & gatorade. I couldn't eat any hard food.
My eyes were deeply tired from the lack of sleep. But during the 2nd half, I was basically in a trance. Like someone put a spell on me.
I unlocked a different level of intensity I never knew I could reach after run 9. I had accepted that my body was truly resilient. That it was truly capable of amazing feats. It was less "rah-rah" and more calm. More certain. More confident. Run # 11 I was able to race a friend during the final mile with an uphill finish in Downtown Pittsburgh. Mile 44 and I could still sprint!
This time I wasn't surprised like I was earlier.
He still beat me though.
Take agency of the mind, & the body will obey.
The final run Marcel and I did alone. During several of the runs, someone from my gym joined us. It was a night run through the park with an uphill finish. But sometimes, you have to finish how you start. We had a good reflecting 2 miles out and a tough 2 mile finish to complete the weekend.
Except for the random creepy guy standing on the edge of trail with a mask on by himself who frightened me and may have eye problems for how long and direct I had the flashlight in his face. I mean it’s nearly 8pm in Frick Park, pitch black, noone else was in the park. And here’s this guy standing on the edge basically in the trees, alone, with a mask.
Just staring at us. Not startled at all. He almost seemed surprised that we were surprised.
He was giving off Jason vibes.
Anyways, what was funny was that my body felt rather decent starting and finishing that run.
It was quite a challenge and has really opened my mind up to new levels of possibility of what I can do.
I'm quite grateful for what this challenge has brought into my life.
Like my teenagers I coach thinking I actually might be crazy :)