Why did I do the Yeti 24 Hour Challenge?
It was actually on a whim! The 50 miler I was supposed to run was moved from Saturday to Sunday due to a winter storm.
Here’s the problem with that: I don’t race on Sundays.
I’ve explained it a bit here if you want to go deep; it comes to this:
I’ve struggled with idolatry in the past and it’s a slippery slope with running for me. Limiting races to Saturdays only has been a great solution.
The good folks at Without Limits allowed me to defer my race until 2023.
Still, I wanted to do something with the current training cycle. That’s why I chose the Yeti.
What is it?
The rules are simple: run 5.2 Miles at the top of every 4th Hour for 24 Hours. 6 Legs, full 50K (slightly over 31 miles). This is very similar to a Bourbon Chase style event, just without teammates.
I had done the Goggins Challenge last summer so I came to this with some sense of strategy for pace, fueling, and recovery.
On Friday (the day before my Yeti 24 Hour Challenge), I did the following:
- scheduled all of my Peloton runs
- laid out six different running outfits
- stocked the refrigerator with easily digested healthy foods
1st Leg (5 AM)
I did my first leg at the time I would normally exercise.
As anticipated, it was not hard to wake up and I was able to keep my meal timing as normal as possible while flipping back into full “Mom mode” between each segment.
Some of you are going to be able to dedicate an entire day to the Yeti 24 Hour Challenge and not worry about any other responsibilities.
To that I say: good for you. Maybe I can do that one day too, but not now (see also: four young kids).
These events are an accomplishment for all seasons of life, though- logistically, physically, and mentally.
Running when you’re tired and sore, getting up when you don’t want to, etc. doesn’t physically compare to a single ultra, but mentally puts you in a similar place.
If you are looking at getting into an ultramarathon distance from the half or marathon, this is a great way to train.
Running on fatigued legs is the most important factor to success at higher distances!
Stats – 5.2 Miles, 46:18:07, 8:54 Avg Pace
2nd Leg (9 AM)
I had planned to do all of this challenge on the treadmill, but the weather threw me for another loop. Just as I was lacing my shoes up for the second leg, our power went out.
No power = no treadmill
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even have one pair of YakTrax lying around for occasions like this (had multiple when we lived in Alaska!). So, I put on my trail shoes- which have much more substantial tread and a waterproof upper- and went for it.
It was cold, the roads were icy, and I only had two near misses with patches of black ice.
This was my fastest segment of the day but I attribute that directly to it being so miserable, I sped up to make it end.
Stats – 5.20 Miles, 43:16, 8:19 Avg Pace
By the time I got home, the power was back on and our kids were happily playing Nintendo again.
Side note: that’s a big difference between a real event and something like this. There’s absolutely no fanfare here.
The kids never even asked why I was changing clothes all day, disappearing, and taking so many showers!
3rd Leg (1 PM)
On the treadmill once more, I did the third segment happily without the fear of slipping on ice. We are really blessed to have a garage gym; I realize this was much easier because I could just step into another room and go.
Even without my Husband’s support, I could have asked the kids to come play in the garage or driveway while I ran.
There’s a lot of debate in the running community about treadmills as a training tool.
I don’t think any of us treadmill lovers dispute it’s less challenging versus the outdoors.
Here’s why we love them:
- less risk (attacks, falls, help for a cardiac incident)
- controlled environment (some treadmills even reduce the risk of impact on joints with a softer deck surface)
- convenience (eliminates weather or childcare excuses)
At this point, my body still felt great but I was mindful to do some mobility after and take in more calories.
Stats – 5.20 Miles, 45:36, 8:46 Avg Pace
4th Leg (5 PM)
I was 15 miles in at this point and my body felt great.
Given the timing of this segment, I had to be careful not to eat too much at dinner and ensure the things I ate were easy on my tummy: egg casserole with veggies, meat, and cheese + crackers + grapes.
My family moved meal time up to 4 pm for me so we could maintain a normal day.
We do a quick family worship session after dinner and though it’s not the end of the world to miss it, I don’t want to!
Side note tangent: if you’re wondering what this looks like for 6 and 8 year olds, we are currently reading Pilgrim’s Progress and memorization (Psalm 23 right now and they are all nailing it!).
We’ve come a long way since our days of doing a single song and single Bible verse!
Stats: 5.20 Miles, 45:11, 8:41 Avg Pace
I had every intention of getting in the infrared sauna in between these two segments, but I was really tired and just wanted to sit on the couch with my family instead.
We watched Megamind and I did some TheraGun while the kids took showers instead!
5th Leg (9 PM)
Our kids go to bed at 7:30 pm.
If you’re thinking I just stayed up until 9 for the next segment, you’re wrong. I was so exhausted by this point, I needed the slightly over an hour nap I got.
We can agree less than four hours is a nap, not “sleep”, right?!
Did a perfectly timed 45 minute Peloton run for this one and, per usual, the Instructor said the exact right thing in the exact time I needed them.
I knew from doing Goggins last year I would need to have their positivity in my ear, versus watching something on Netflix.
Stats: 5.20 Miles, 44:26, 8:33 Avg Pace
When I was done here, I showered and took a longer nap until the final run.
6th Leg (1 AM)
I considered walking this one.
It wasn’t my body in disrepair or anything- it was the lack of sleep.
You’d think I’d be used to this, having triplets. I’m not.
Here’s how I rallied:
I told myself if I jogged slowly for 10 full minutes and didn’t feel like running after that, I could walk.
You can see the status below and guess what happened: after 10 minutes, I felt good.
This is something to remember in daily workouts when you don’t feel like it: make a mental deal with yourself.
Endorphins will likely take over; you just have to make yourself do that first few minutes of movement.
Stats: 5.20 Miles, 45:57, 8:50 Avg Pace
There is no medal for this race- you register online and opt for your choice of a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or joggers.
Me? I chose a sweatshirt as the lesser of three items-I-won’t-ever-use.
Do I wish they’d provide a registration only or offer something functional like a towel? Yes.
That said, I don’t mind paying for a promo item I don’t need because it is a lot more inexpensive than an ultra ($29-39) and supports a small running-based business.
I have more t-shirts than any one person should in a lifetime. I’m extremely picky about joggers (read: if they aren’t Senita Studio Skin, I don’t want them!).
Registration is by quarter, so if you don’t complete during the first attempt, you can simply try again within four months.
This would be really fun to do with a running partner together in person or as a similarly paced group.
That’s how I may go about it next time since I’ve officially done the solo version.
You should do this!
I personally think everyone should do something like this or the Goggins Challenge at least once- it builds grit and is a great test of mental endurance, even moreso than physical!
If none of that make sense, here are a few reasons to do the Yeti 24 Hour Challenge:
- it is fun and low pressure
- can be done from home, minimally disrupting parenting responsibilities (assuming you have an understanding spouse or caregiver here to help during your legs!)
- proceeds from this event help out a small business
It also gave me something to put the past couple of month’s training toward without compromising my no Sunday race rule
If you’ve done the Yeti 24 Hour Challenge, drop me a line and tell me what you learned. If you’ve got a race recap, I’d love to link it here on my blog!
Come hang with me on Instagram, which is where I hang when I’m not running, lifting, and momming.