Last weekend, I joined in an annual tradition with about 30 like-minded individuals that combines two of my favorite things: running and beer. This sounds like an unlikely combination, but I assure you, it’s fantastic. It’s true that the results can be ugly, many men have sworn it off only to show up and toe the line the next year. Here’s the gist: 10 bars covered over 8 miles, at each bar a team of three drinks a pitcher of beer. Add a 500 foot climb and descent, mix with hijinks, what could go wrong? Oh yeah, and this year I thought I’d make it a test/training run for the GORUCK Challenge, wearing my loaded ruck.
I wrapped my bricks a while ago with a cheap camping pad and a couple of layers of duct tape. (Did you know that you can get cupcake patterned duct tape?) I also added a canoe carrying block (some people use yoga blocks) to the bottom of my pack to help elevate the load and cushion the bottom. I don’t know if the block made any particular difference, but properly wrapping the bricks added a lot of stability and some additional padding. And fake mustaches, because who doesn’t love fake mustaches?
The run is pretty much what you make of it. The focus is on being social, but some guys still run pretty hard. The older we get, the easier we go. I think I averaged around 10:00 minute miles over the 8 miles. That includes a monster hill climb (as shown in the first pic at the top). All in all I felt pretty good, but my legs were pretty tired over the last two miles. The actual run time took about 80 minutes, but the entire event took about 5 hours. So there was a lot of time where I was able to set the pack down and roam the establishment freely.
The next day my legs were pretty tired, but my back and shoulders were quite sore. The biggest surprise was my internal muscle soreness. I’m not exactly sure, but it felt like the muscles that support my lungs and rib cage were just beat. I assume it was from having to support my chest cavity with the additional load of the pack and bricks. Two days after the run, I was pretty much back to normal. It was a great lesson, and mostly a confidence builder. I have run very long distances before, but carrying a 35LB pack for 12 hours while being subjected to various activities is a bit of a new realm for me.