The GoRuck Challenge New York is fast approaching (9/9/11 starting at 19:00) and thanks to the generosity of many I have exceeded my fundraising goal (http://firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Shanahan/nyc911). Thank you all! All that remains is to complete the challenge and earn all those donations.
For a long event like this (which I’ve no experience with), I really want to bring everything I need but nothing more so I’ve completed a gear-test run as a final “big run” before the event next Friday. It was very useful, no injuries and I learned a lot. Here’s the rundown.
I planned about 10 miles with fully loaded pack just to see how it’d go. 4 bricks, 2 liters of water, cell phone and food. For food I packed some GU gels, Clif bars, PowerBar Energy Bars. Total pack weighed 30lbs. Heavy.
I wanted to run in our local wildlife reservation but I didn’t want to drive home muddy, wet and sweaty. So I did something I’d never done before which is run to the reservation. It’s about 4 miles each way.
I set out and decided I needed some lower-body PT so another crazy move: I lunged all the way down a neighboring street. By now my neighbors are used to the crazy Irish guy who lives on the hill so they pretty much took no notice but this is not something I’d do in my native Dublin, down Collin’s Avenue for instance. This killed my legs but felt great and highlighted the need to do more in this area.
The Reservation is great. Within about 5 minutes on the trail you’re completely cut off from the rest of the world. It’s a real adventure. This time around I had my pack and Irene had just blown through the area so it made it that much more of a discovery to see what the damage was. Trees were down, creeks were flooded, some creeks were completely blocked so although I was running as much as possible I had to break into a fast hike in many cases.
The elevation is all over the place, sometimes the trail is level, sometimes veering down, sometimes you’re climbing over a 100 year old oak tree, sometimes you’re jogging straight up for 200′. It’s pretty fun.
Overall my body held up OK but there was no way I could’ve stayed running for the full duration. The whole run took over 3 hours, 11.5miles total and by the end I was alternating between running/hiking/running/hiking. My shoulders, quads and hamstrings were shredded even today my collar bones are still bruised.
Nutrition-wise I think the PowerBars worked well for me, Clif Bars not so much. The gels I probably will skip aswell. I wished I would’ve brought some salted Almonds or something as despite drinking plenty of water I think my body was completely depleted of all salt so I wasn’t absorbing anything. Next step is to track down some Perpetuem powder and see what that does mixed in with my water. I’ll try some ShotBloks and 5-hour energy between now and the challenge.
Mentally was really tough. The first 4 miles were just me psyching myself out thinking of all possible coupons that I couldn’t possibly carry in addition to the pack I was hauling. Then when I got into the Reservation I hit another mental wall thinking “what the eff is wrong with me? trying to run through a frickin’ hurricane stricken forest with a 30lbs pack”. Just pure determination, a bit of stupidity and a bit of “when are you ever going to do this again type thinking” got me through. Good lessons.
So I think/I hope the work is done. We have less than a week to go. I’ll do some light runs this week but I don’t think I can do much more. Need to lean on my team now and hope for an injury-free night. Either way it’s going to be an adventure. I’ll post my final “load-out” before the challenge and a debrief afterwards…Should be a night to remember.
+ The picture in today’s post is of “The Endurance”, look it up, you won’t be disappointed.