5km x 4hrs x 48hrs

I’d heard about the Goggins Challenge – 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. But I don’t work in miles, and 4km seemed too short, so I did 5km every 4 hours instead. Preparation: going out the night before until 1.30am and then having a full day at work….

Friday 7pm, 5.2km: Finished work early and started running at 6.47 as I got bored waiting. Ran home from the office, stopping on the bridge to order a pizza. Very rainy, shoes soaked, couldn’t see, quite slippery. Got home and did laundry, ate pizza, watched a film. Wrote up the times of all the runs on post-its and stuck them to the wall. Set alarms for the next few runs.

Friday 11pm, 5.2km: Decided to treat myself to my favourite shoes and to not wearing underwear. Set off with no route in mind, choosing roads depending on which lights were green. A few people at bars but not very busy. Not raining anymore. Felt full from dinner and regretted watching sentimental films. Replayed conversations in my head, thought about the person who makes me the saddest. Got home and washed my face then got into bed and lay there feeling miserable.

Saturday 3am, 5km: After 1.5 hours sleep, I drank two glasses of water and put on a long sleeve top as I feel cold when tired. Switched the air con on before going out. Took the bins out. Wore my glasses as I thought contact lenses would wake me up but can’t run with glasses so took them off and ran blind. High AQI. Saw some weasels or rats or something. Ran past one of the clubs, where people were just arriving. Saw a friend and shouted hello but he looked confused. Thought about how daytime would be better. Thought about my brother’s friend who only ate jaffa cakes for a month and survived. Got home, drank a pocari sweat and got back into bed.

Saturday 7am, 5.1km: Meant to leave at 6.45 but faffed about what clothes to take as I was going to volunteer at a race after running. Finally took a shower (yes I’m disgusting). Face kind of hurt. Had a small coffee but no food. Ran to the park and then along an uninspiring straight road, with the only interesting thing when a girl from the Sunday group cycled past and we chatted (apparently I looked very professional). Got to the race with a km to go so did a loop around the block. Bought a large pocari sweat, iced coffee and a pain au chocolat.

Saturday 11am, 5.7km: After volunteering, went for coffee and two friends said they’d join me running to brunch. Set out in the road and realised that my sketchy road crossings were less acceptable with other people. Ran along a shaded one way street but still hotter than expected due to the (not forecast) sun. Cheered every km and an old man joined in the cheering once. Decided, foolishly, to go for free flow brunch and drank 3 bloody marys.

Saturday 3pm, 5km: Downed final drink and set off feeling tipsy. After 1km bowels not happy. Ran to the park where I knew there were public toilets, then a loop north and an out/back on my street to make up 5km. Hot. Staggered home, stripped off, switched on the air con, carried a bottle of water to my bed and lay down on a towel, then immediately fell asleep without drinking any water.

Saturday 7pm, 5.1km: Had a 2hr nap and felt better. Left toe hurting. Raining lightly. Did a loop I’ve done many times from mine, mainly running in the road but stepped onto a pavement to avoid a scooter, which mounted the pavement as he was looking at his phone. Shouted FUCK YOU in his face. Felt tired and annoyed. Thought about dinner and how to get through the next runs. Ordered dumplings when I got in. Popped the giant blister on my foot and slathered on antibiotic cream. Tried to doze but felt wired. Measured my heart rate and it was nearly double my normal resting heart rate.

Saturday 11pm, 5km: Very bleak, no motivation. Rain. No pants. Chafing on arm. Every km felt like five. Managed to drink a pocari sweat when I got in. Garmin Connect wouldn’t upload the run so had to upload via my laptop, which wasted time. I’d thought about going to the riverside to meet friends for the next run but felt horrific so decided to stay at home. Lay on my bed and tried to nap for an hour.

Sunday 3am, 5.1km: Put on clothes from the last run and set out at a slow pace. Roads all very quiet. Extremely rainy so glad that I had stayed in the vicinity of home. Took a minute’s rest in the doorway of the metro as it was so wet. Everything soaked, watch completely drenched and display not working properly. Got in, stripped off, drank a pocari sweat, forced down a banana and got back into bed, where I lay awake, shaking.

Sunday 7am, 5.2km: Woke up from a dream where I’d lost my teeth but couldn’t get them replaced until the challenge was over. Put on trail shoes as they’re the biggest I own. Ran up Ferguson Lane and started thinking about how nice it would be to drink a Monster, so stopped at a shop WHERE THEY DIDN’T HAVE MONSTER. Tried to drink a coke while running but it didn’t work well. Tons of police everywhere, couldn’t cross roads on red despite no traffic. Accidentally ran a route that looked like a baby T-rex. Finished at the convenience store near my house where I bought 2 Monsters, then went to buy a pancake. Couldn’t speak to order. Weighed myself – down 2.5kg from Friday. Decided not to bother going back to sleep.

Sunday 11am, 5km: Felt better after eating and watching two episodes of Billions. Wore trail shoes again. Raining but not as bad as before Ran an uninspiring route but much more positive than earlier. Final countdown – surreal. As I walked up the stairs to my flat (I live on the 5th floor, no lift) I wondered if I could carry on doing this indefinitely. Got home, showered, lay on the sofa a bit more, ate a custard tart and messaged a friend to arrange the final run.

Sunday 3pm, 5km: Agreed to meet my friend at the park and run laps. Took a shower (only my 3rd, I think) and cycled over feeling nervous. My friend said he would join for the second half only so I did a loop around the block before going into the park (the park is only 800m round so would have crushed my soul). Started raining really heavily. Met Oli at 2.7km and chatted but started feeling terrible, heart rate high and stomach cramping. Walked for 100m at 4km to try to lower my heart rate (197 despite only 5:45 pace). Oli pointed out that we’d finish by the weird creepy fairground and we sprinted the final bit. DONE!!!

TLDR: 61.6km in total over 48 hours. Around 8 hours sleep in short bursts. A lot of rain. Three bloody marys. Not that many showers. A lot of laundry. Nowhere near enough food.

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