Pain is inevitable, but the mind will not break.
So it's been seven days since I started my agoge, and so far, it's tested me in plenty of ways. That im in honest; I thought I wouldn't be facing it until much later into the project. I've named it a project to see if it will break my mind or body.
Days in = 7
Distance Covered = 70miles
Injuries = x3
Road side wee's = x2
Rice consumed = 2.5kg (uncooked weight)
Footwear lost = x1
So it's apparent that im slower than a tortoise taking a nap. But this does mean that I have been able to listen to quite a few hours of audiobooks. Many of you will know that im very keen on the stoic philosophy and have probably been subject to me quoting from Marcus Aurelius or Viktor E Frankl. So I think it's only appropriate to add some of these as the days pass as these have been extremely valuable and integral to me doing it.
If you have passed through life without an opponent - No one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you. - Seneca
I think that quote kicks off the purpose of these 30days well. The secret is that you don't even need an opponent. You can create tests that will challenge your mental fortitude, and I believe that the only way to ensure you keep this skill is to force yourself to challenge yourself continually.
Day 1 Miles 0-10
This day was perfect. All runs went smoothly split times were reasonable. I must admit i was thinking, ahh, this challenge is going too easy you should have made it more challenging.
Day 2 Miles 10-20
Roll over, slip out of bed. WTF scream my knees. I suddenly felt like it would be more appropriate if I were on my way to bingo. I should be reaching for a blotter pen and not those running shoes. Anyway, we lace them up, and we get it done. Once I warmed up, the pain seemed to dissipate, and I could run no problem. By the last run of the night, however, the pain had decided to move very precisely to the back of my left knee. I gave my best impression of Sir Francis Drake going up the stairs. The level of creaking in my joints was good enough for someone to get a sea chantey going.
Day 3 miles 20-30
Surprisingly today was good. The pain at the rear of my left knee was persistent, but as long as I slowed my speed, it was actually that unbearable, so I just pushed through no problems. I was, however, feeling drained at this point. Maybe 300 miles was a little ambitious. Especially for a non-runner.
"We suffer more in imagination than in reality" - Seneca.
Day 4 miles 30-40
Are you sure about that, Seneca? It sure feels like my Achilles might detach today. I'm in trouble here. All the other pains and aches have been minor, but this is something, and I can't ignore it. To complete this challenge now was going to be about just trying to find a way to get through all this pain. I'm thinking, what am I going to do? I can't run, but There's no chance im giving up. I know what I'll do; I'll power walk it. The distance is getting done no matter what. I'll drag this corpse if I bloody have to. Now I wouldn't have called it a power walk. I was limping with an uneven gait, and every step was just excruciating for the Achilles. But I was making progress all be exceptionally slowly. 3hr's in and only achieving 8km in that time; it wasn't looking good.
I still had 8km to go, and it was getting later and later. I needed to call the big guns in and get some deep tissue. Was it going to help? I didn't know but to say I was desperate was an understatement. Mr Dean Collins proceeded to go to town on my calves, hamstrings and quads. A mistake was that we didn't fully establish our safe word before beginning the torture. I don't know how many times a man can shout pineapples, but he wasn't getting it. But when I got off the bed, it had given me a lifeline. It wasn't fixed, but I could walk relatively pain-free. The remaining 8km, I was back in the game. It was clear I had to establish a new strategy because I was in a bad way.
Day 5 miles 40-50
My new game plan was this walk-run-walk-run alternating every kilometre. It was working. I was getting through the distance. I'm not moving flat-footed to avoid any impact on the Achilles, but I'm proceeding, and there's more than a walk-in me. Not much to report on this run. I'm getting it done. The ankle is hurting, but it's manageable. I feel like I'm back in the game.
Day 6 miles 50-60
Feeling surprisingly better, I hit the distance in two runs, 8km each way. It feels like I have hit a new level of drive at this point. I remembered something I heard Goggins say - 'I don't stop when im tired. I'll stop when im done. This helped me a lot because, on the run home, I returned to my front door with 2km to go. I had to run the estate for two laps beat up. Going past the front door twice, I felt good because I wasn't even tempted to go in and cut it short I wasn't done yet, so I wasn't stopping.
Day 7 miles 60-70
New wave, I go out and hit a solid 12km not a problem for the first time since i had the idea it felt like I could pace myself and run and run. I was moving well, and it felt comfortable. I'm still not running with what I call a full gait, but the Achilles hasn't healed yet, so I'm hesitant to go full pace and stress it seeing that im not even a quarter of the way through this yet.
I want to finish this with one final little quote
Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the capabilities and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also. - Marcus Aurelius