today is the 29th day of my challenge. it is monday and hence the right time to describe main thoughts, ideas and events that happened during the week number four.
i remember writing about making myself doing things that were not comfortable during first two weeks. i also do remember how hard it was. exactly, it was and it is not anymore. suddenly i got used to the routine. it is not an issue to wake up at around 4 am anymore. usually i even wake up a few minutes before the alarm clock starts beeping. there is no more stress or anxiety or some other kind of negative feelings. i often remember a yellow watermelon which i squeezed the juice out of a few weeks ago in order to prepare some homemade lemonade. once the juice came out, the soft mass was thrown away. exactly the same has happened to my mind recently: i squeezed the juice out of it, threw away the remains and now i am enjoying a glass of fresh delicious drink. ant that is awesome.
one more important thing that i have noticed during that week was that by making even the smallest decision the mind uses a lot of energy. i do not know if other people notice that but sometimes before going for a jog i spend a few minutes thinking about which pair of socks i should put on, which route i should choose, how good is the weather, is the rain too hard and so on. however it is much easier when all these things are prepared the evening before. then i just have to wake up and act. like a toy soldier. i am trying to automate these small everyday decisions as much as possible in order to save my thoughts for the whole day that is ahead of me. especially in the morning.
that is a very interesting topic. once during one of the long jogs i was listening to a podcast with jesse itzler. he is such an interesting person. i really enjoyed his attitude towards life and doing things that are difficult. and i do remember him telling a story about living with monks for two weeks. he mentioned that for them everything is decided in advance. they wear the same set of clothes every day, eat food that they are given and so on. such strategy is motivated by an idea that eliminating these simple decisions from one’s everyday life might save up a ton of mental energy which can be used for other things later. the variety of decisions puts a significant amount of stress to one’s brain. have not you ever been confused which meal to order at some eating place? i have experienced this as well.
as far as motivation is concerned, it shows up quite rarely. in my opinion motivation gets too much of attention. it might be a spark, an idea of some beginning but definitely not a feeling that leads through the whole journey. i remember sitting at a coffee shop during the sunday before the very first day of my challenge. back then i was motivated about the first monday’s early run. however after waking up at 4:30 am the next morning i was not motivated. all i wanted was to get back to my warm bed bed and sleep. discipline and hard work is what realises the idea of motivation. without the latter two components motivation is just a dream which is not meant to come true. it is like a seed of some plant: thousands might be spread by the wind but only a few will survive and turn into tall trees.
nutrition and physiology
during the last week my body composition has not changed significantly. neither has the body mass. it has been fluctuating around 86 kilograms. if the same pattern occurs after this week i will have to change nutrition habits and try eating less. recently i have been trying to count my calories only approximately. i always keep in mind that i should get enough protein and the rest can be filled with fats and carbohydrates which help a lot during long jog sessions. i am never on a constant feeling of hunger. also i do not feel the lack of energy.
one thing that i am extremely joyful about is that finally i can walk along passages of sweet goods at a grocery store. i simply do not care about sweets anymore. the craving for junk food has disappeared as well. i cannot believe how amazing this is. the problem with binge eating that i have been facing just a month before today is gone. and it was serious. awfully serious. i feel like someone has pressed the restart button on my brain and now it works without any bugs. also this is indeed strange that only a combination of 4 weeks lasting strict eating routine and discipline was necessary in order to fix the problem which looked impossible to solve for years. that is a wonderful experience.
the gym routine has not changed at all. the same three times a week on even days hold. in this area i can also track some progress. it is very tiny and small yet positive. every workout i am able to do a few repetitions more than i had done before. hence i am glad to move forward by some baby yet consistent steps. i know for sure after some long time period they will accumulate into something great.
doing two different things at the same time appears to be possible as well. i am talking about the combination of jogging and hitting weights. i managed to jog 95 kilometers during the 4th week and increase my pace a little bit as well compared to my pace few weeks ago. at the same time the heart rate stays approximately at the same level. this gives an indication that the heart performance is increasing: it is able to pump the same amount of blood with less beats per minute. i also plan to lose approximately 6 or 7 kilograms of body fat that is completely unnecessary at the moment. my body fat percentage (23%) is above what i would like it to be. losing that tissue will increase my pace as well. and health benefits are included!
yesterday, i.e. sunday of the 4th week i ran a marathon. this has been the second i have ever done. the first was on the 11th of september, 2016. the preparation period was extremely poor back then as well as the performance, of course. it had been a torture to complete the race without stopping. however yesterday i ran the whole distance in 3 hours and 47 minutes which is by 7 minutes faster than the first attempt. also it was not that hard. first two hours were not comfortable. it had been raining. also i had been carrying a 1.5 litre bottle of water and it was a little bit hard to move on. the second part i would say was even easier to cope with. the rain stopped and weather became suitable. however i think that no one should praise things that have been done yesterday. hence the next morning, i.e. today, at 4:30 am i was outside jogging again. and it has been raining. again.
thoughts for the future
it is interesting to see how well the body can adapt. once it is put under some stress and uncomfortable conditions and provided with adequate nutrition and rest it starts coming up with a response: it adapts and improves. you get amazed by every step of the journey. however i do not recommend anyone training for 29 days in a row and running a marathon every sunday. but this is my own experiment and journey which i am so happy to be on and to share all insights with other people. i believe that everything i do is still a lightyear away from boundaries of a human body. and first of all, of a human brain and mind.
one more important thing that i have noticed during the journey is that in order to achieve progress one has to experience some kind of stress or difficult circumstances. it is simply not enough to buy 200$ running shoes or to acquire a gym membership. it is not enough to just show up. in order to achieve above the average, one has to work hard and own the day with the crazy no-matter-what attitude. i would like to generalise. it is not necessary to bound ourselves and think of sports only. it can be any other activity. science, business, family, relationship, anything. one can have the best set of tools, sponsors, budget, mentors, teachers, friends and families. however if the mind does not demand realisation of some goal the same way as our bodies demand oxygen there is a high probability of not succeeding.
i know that the strangest and scariest things might be uncomfortable and might cause a lot of thoughts and even feeling of fear. but if there is something that you really wish to achieve, do just one thing: stop dreaming. wake up, put your shoes on and go towards it. run, jog or even crawl if necessary. after some time you will understand that it is not that hard.
a muscle moves by an order of the brain. in mind the strength of a human being is found.
have a productive week.