20 Miles: No food; No water
Why you might ask would someone do that for a training run. The answer is to train for the event I will be participating in. Now, I’ve never gone that far or that long (3:25) on a run without food or water before but when you get out there in the woods, you never know what you will encounter.
Last fall I encountered a black bear in the middle of the trail. I dealt with severe dehydration and cramping.
What I did on Sunday this past weekend was work to train my mind to overcome my body. I focused on separating the two completely. The mind controlled my run, not my body. My body likely would have given up with 5 miles to go when I was a quarter mile from my house and faced with a decision to do one more loop or turn around and go home.
It’s easy to go home. Most people would have gone home. I am not like most people. You don’t have to be like most people either. Why then do we settle for being like most people most of the time? I don’t have an answer to that question. You do though.
Do you settle for average and easy? Why? What do you do when the going gets tough? What do you do when your career is backed up against a wall and there is nowhere to go from where you are? Do you cower in the corner and wait for someone else to come and get you out or do you fight like there is no other option?
It’s easy to cower. It’s easy to quit. It’s easy to accept failure and let that be the end of it. Be different. Stand up and fight to uncomfortable circumstances. Stand up and fight for what you want in this life. Stand up and fight.
I ran the entire 20 miles. My mind did not let me stop. If I am to earn my belt buckle this fall at Superior, my training will need to be brutal. I’ll need to push myself in my training to the point where I want to quit. Once I reach that point, that’s when the training session starts. I’ve covered 72 miles in just less than 30 hours. In order to succeed I’ll need to cover 100 miles in under 38 hours. I will succeed. I will persevere through whatever that course throws at me on that combination of days in early September. My attitude will be relentless. I will need to be more relentless than the course, more rugged of mind than the rocks that look to stop me through the night. My mind will need to be stronger than the piles of rocks that stand in my way.
I will be successful. I will overcome. I heard it said this past weekend about Spartan warriors that the battle was a reprieve from the training. The fighting against the enemy was a break from the rigors of their intense training. I will create an environment where the Sawtooth 100, through the rock and root littered hills of north eastern Minnesota, will be a reprieve from my 100 mile training this summer.
My business will thrive. My time will be well spent. I will succeed.
Oh, and I started a new company this week called "10x Traction Wellness". If you know any employers looking to improve upon their company culture, have them contact me.
Jon Howard - Husband and Father of 3 | Ultra Endurance Athlete | Owner - 10x Traction Wellness, Training Edge Sports