Denny Hodge #TrainWithOrangeMud Update! May 27 2016, 0 Comments

"Embrace the suck."

I hear that in my head when I’m training. The Marines beat that into my head and it never leaves me. When things get tough, there it is again and again. Training can get grueling, and you already know at times it's going to hurt. You also know that if you run long enough -- or run distances that most people drive on their daily commute -- that it's usually just a matter of time before things go bad. Confidence can unravel almost instantly. The most careful preparations and plans can quickly become secondary to just surviving another mile. Another step even.

But with me, that reminder tells me that this is the BEST part of training. I don't meditate in my head and visualize rainbows or fantasize about unicorns. I grab that pain and hold it. Stay in the moment. Embrace it. Be in the now. That's where mental fortitude is built and honed. Sharpened to a deadly edge that you can rely on when things go south and you have to battle adversity. A weapon in your arsenal that you can depend on when your physical body is screaming for you to stop. To quit. To give up.

My entire life I've needed every ounce of that mental toughness just to survive and be here today. Now I've embarked and committed to the hardest physical challenge of my life with testing the waters at the 100 mile distance. Month 1 is in the books and none of it has been easy. But every moment has been satisfying and brings me one step closer to stepping up to that starting line and giving it all I have.

With a job that keeps me working a minimum of six days a week -- and with rotating on calls and night shifts -- ramping up training has been a challenge, and flexibility has been the key. I ran about 120 miles in Month 1, but it's the "other" training that has really been the biggest challenge. The countless stairs, hill repeats, cross training, weight lifting, boxing, and anything else that can be squeezed into an opportune time. The journey has and will continue to be an amazing one.

The other key point in Month 1 of training has been nutrition. At 6'2", and after a bad second-half of 2015, my weight peaked at 230 coming into 2016. In the last 30 days, my diet has gotten strict. No cutting calories in any extreme way, just being disciplined and eating super clean. So, now with 30 days down -- and 15 pounds lighter -- I'm well on my way back down to my ideal race weight of 200 lbs.

Orange Mud has a team full of bad asses that motivate me daily, and a whole shop full of gear that keeps me motivated and moving while I chase my dreams. My original HydraQuiver single barrel is still number 1 to me, but the VP2 is always close by and is crucial on long treks through the wilderness. 

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @_The_Mad_1 or search #trainwithorangemud

Never. Stop. Running.