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This week was both fun and challenging. It was fun because I got to try something new, like run everywhere, but also challenging because change can suck. The first day was a success because I packed my suit, dress shoes, 3 meals and laptop in my backpack, put on a rain cover and over it. It’s bright orange and makes me stick out like a thumb.

Nothing fell off the pack and I got to work without anything moving around or getting lost. I also didn’t forget anything that I needed like a belt or sox… or dress shoes. It was pretty easy to run in but it definitely made the run harder. This was brutally apparent when I got to work on Monday.

Nose pollution: Yes NOSE pollution, not noise pollution. I smelled on day 1. I was overdressed for the temperature, my clothes needed an extra cleaning with some added scent in order to keep them fresh and my shoes also needed to be washed. I do all my workouts on my own so I don’t notice and actually don’t care about any disgusting smells that I create. However when I’m sitting on a commuter train and have everyone smelling nice and dressed up going to work, it is obvious who smells. It’s the guy in workout clothes with the bright orange pack.

Tuesday it was 13C/55F and raining the whole time. It was hot to be running with a pack and warm shirt. I was definitely overdressed and I was soaked when I got to work. My shoes and clothes all smelled. Wednesday I worked from home but Thursday I got another crack at the commute. This was way better and packed baby wipes in case I needed to do a field bath. A field bath is from the army, when you’re in the field, and don’t have any way to clean yourself so you bring baby wipes and clean the necessary places.

I only wore shorts and a t-shirt that day even though it was -4C/25F in the morning and 0C/32F on the way home. I was running down town in the wind with nothing but shorts, T-shirt, gloves, hat and my big orange pack. I stuck out like a sore thumb and had a lot of looks given that everyone else was in a winter coat with gloves, hat and shivering. One day I’ll get used to the looks I say to myself.

Given that I just decided to start this challenge and that I started to make the necessary changes to my life on Tuesday, it is a short week to report on. In the 4 days I’ve been pursuing the challenge I’ve run 40km/25 miles this week. I haven’t run 40k in a week in a long time.

I hurt, I’m sore, I’m really tired but I’m excited. I keep making incremental improvements to my pack and the way that I run. I’m feeling good in a way. I think it also helps to break up the runs in to smaller ones and is probably less stress on me.

Again, I drive my kids to daycare and school. I park my car at my son’s school, grab my pack and run to the train. I then run from the train to work and reverse the process on the way home. I also do a 3k/2 mile run after my morning weight workouts. It’s a lot of smaller runs and I have a longer run planned for Sunday. I’m hoping to hit 20k/12 miles.

The interesting thing that happened to me was that my intentions to make myself better started to spread to other people. Dressed in shorts and a big backpack the kids at school asked the adult there why I had such a big pack. So they sat down in a circle together and had a discussion on it. They discussed what I was doing: running to the train and the pack had my nice clothes to change in to when I got to work. They also discussed that what I was doing was healthy and important. In the process my son got the opportunity to stand up in front of everyone and explain what I was doing.

I wasn’t there but the adult said that he had a lot of pride and was excited to tell everyone what his Dad was doing.

So I not only am making myself better but I made the 30 kids and two adults there better. I gave them ideas and showed them how I’m willing to make changes in order to get what I want. I also showed them that it’s okay to dream big. Those big dreams are achievable with small daily actions.

I had lunch with my friend Shell who has run the Comrades race in South Africa twice and is going back for a third year this year. He’s also run the antarctic marathon. He’s the person that I know with the most experience running. It was great to sit down with him and catch up. He’s a super nice guy and super helpful.

After our lunch my takeaways were: Nutrition is going to be something that I’m going to have to plan. I’m going to need to figure out resupply points. Also that I’m going to need to continue to fuel and hydrate so that I don’t hit “the wall”. He came up with a great idea of asking friends to show up at certain checkpoints throughout the race as I will likely know a two hour window as to when I will be passing by there. I could prepare them with my favourite running food, water, hydration pack replacements, spare socks, shoes etc and even a foam roller. I’m also going to need to borrow someone’s head lamp for the night portion as this will likely take me anywhere between 24-30 hours to complete. I also found out that the route is likely closer to 200k/125 miles. That would be an awesome accomplishment to know that I’ve run 200k. Thinking about it gives me pride and excitement.

He likes to eat salted potatoes while running so I’m going to give that a try. I like bananas so I’ll try that on Sunday.

On top of all this running I also consumed some cool things across the internet and read some books. Here’s the ones that I loved:

Read one paragraph from this every morning: Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink
I loved this short video on running 100 miles. It’s really well done: https://youtu.be/8YWyac1ZdsU
And this one too: https://youtu.be/iC7Lh4opLsc

Lastly if there is nothing else you read this year, read this book for fun, entertainment, because you need to have another book under your belt and because it’s motivating as hell: Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler

If you’ve never hear of this Navy SEAL who was the SEAL in the above book, you need to listen to this interview. He’s straight up badass but leaves you feeling like you are too. https://youtu.be/78I9dTB9vqM

If you’ve never heard “Fuck you and you’re excuses!” yelled at you then this podcast is for you:
Warrior Week – episode Father and Son