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A Marauder's Story

11 Posts tagged with the weighted tag

The Goruck Challenge

Posted by Superfiend May 5, 2011

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Goruck Challenge: http://goruckchallenge.com/

 

It will take me some time to fully process the breadth of this accomplishment. I am now the proud owner of a well-earned GR2 bag and a TAC hat with the widely-sought-after Goruck Tough patch.

 

Peter and I had been spending time together in preparation for the event. Spending Friday waiting for the hour to come was excruciating. We passed the time and then eventually got to organize our materials. Here is a look at what I brought:

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I was fortunate enough to be allowed to record the data from the challenge, and I will go into some detail about it as I describe the experience. There was a short period where I lost the GPS signal, which I would attribute to the frequent switching of rucks during the run. For the most part the data came out really well. The most impressive piece, in my opinion, is the route as represented by the GPS markers.

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That imposing red line represents almost all of our cadre’s movement over the course of the morning.

 

Rucking Of Where Everybody Knows Your Name, But No One Cares

The event began in earnest at the ruckoff which took place at Cheers on Beacon Street. We were fortunate to have the entire back room reserved for us, and people filed in as the night progressed. The first few were nervous enough before two towering figures strode into the room. An awed hush came over the group as we realized their TAC hats were adorned with already worn-in Goruck Tough patches. They introduced themselves and soon became the topic of the majority of the conversations. We sat and talked about our apprehensions, anxieties, experiences and hopes. It was a good bonding experience, outside of the obligatory name-game about which most people, save Sarah – our motivational “mouth-made-for-pain” Goruck girl – seemed relatively ambivalent.

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The ruckoff lasted from 9pm to around 12:45am Saturday morning. There were 20 of us before 12:30am, and then the final ten showed up as a group. We rallied and brought our things out to the sidewalk to await Jason and Brian. They arrived before long, pulling up in their jet-black Escalade and strutting down the sidewalk like bosses. Handshakes were exchanged briefly and sporadically before we were organized and the lectures began. Our bricks were to be inspected and everyone was to be given a GR bag.

 

I was thankful to have some friends join me for the beginning of the event who were willing to tote my discarded things home for me. I cleared out the unnecessary things from my standard backpack and soon thereafter began the transfer into my stiff new GR2. In a moment of panic I realized that I had forgotten to take my hydration pack out of my other bag and put it in my GR2. Luckily my friends hadn’t left and I retrieved it from them.

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Our group weight was provided by Rod Butler’s saint of a wife who found it in her heart to bake us 25lbs of cookies. There were 30 individual Ziploc bags of cookies to be distributed to the cadre.

 

Soon everyone had their bags packed and we went through the logistics of signing the waivers. Jason ran through some basic, sparse details about the ideology of the challenge. He hesitated, looked around, screwed up his face, and went to the back of the truck muttering something about another ruck. He pulled out a GR2 and began loading it with some horrific slabs of what looked like lead. After fiddling with it for a moment he stood up, looked it over, asked out loud “Hm, is that heavy enough?” Silence. He looked at the group, raised his eyebrows and playfully said “Nope.” Some more slabs were added to the bag that would become known as “The Bítch”. Our group lined up along the sidewalk and Jason placed The Bítch in front of us. He said simply “29 rucks, 29 guys”. We all looked around stupidly. His eyes narrowed. “I see 30 rucks. We’re leaving with 29 rucks and 29 guys. Get it together!” His tone was sterner and perhaps even angrier than an exclamation point can express. We slowly converged on the bag and began emptying one of the borrowed bags to distribute its contents among us. The Bítch was born and saddled. It quickly became clear that Jason would be accompanying us instead of Brian, as I had originally been told.

 

I will not deign to describe Jason for those of you who don’t know him. Very simply, it comes as no surprise that his personality spawned something as profoundly progressive as the Goruck Challenge. I greatly appreciated his leadership and dedication to our team cohesion.

Unceremoniously, we began. The run commenced with a light jog into the Commons.

 

Figure Eight That Shít Out – Your System Sucks

We traipsed along through the Commons with no recognizably consistent pace, no formation and no regard for Jason’s various instructions. He would occasionally shout “Go!” to which we would either respond with awkward silence or someone would shout “Ruck!?” Jason was unforgiving in realizing that we had no idea how to organize ourselves into a reasonable line. We also had no idea what the “Go” command meant. He stopped us in front of the water and berated the group for being incompetent. We were facing him with our backs to the water and he told us to take a step backward. Everyone stepped to the ledge of the pond. He said “Take a BIG step” with a twinge of contempt in his yet untrusting voice. In the water we went. He went on to explain what we were going to do for some indeterminate period of time.

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Jason described this portion as “Doing figure-eights”, which puzzled everyone. The nature of this devilishly clever exercise would soon become uncomfortably familiar. There is a footbridge across the pond in the center of the Commons. We were to form a two-by-two line and do bear crawls along the bridge until we reached the stairs at the end which lead down to the lower level. We would descend one flight of stairs, crawl under the bridge, ascend the other set of stairs, and then go back across the bridge to repeat the pattern at the other end; hence the 8-shaped portion on the GPS readout. At the beginning of this exercise we were instructed to perform all movement as bear crawls. It was explained that there were snipers around and that no one, unless called upon, should stand.

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We were finally told what the “Go” command meant: each time he calls this out, two of us from the back are to move to the front of the line. The partners are meant to remain the same. Jason left it to us to figure out how to best coordinate this movement and it took our group an inordinately long time to come to a consensus which, at first, was a resounding failure. It was demoralizing and we paid for it with the skin of our hands and knees as we scrambled along on loose gravel and shards of glass from broken beer bottles. Our pace was inconsistent at first, but we were able to reduce it to something more accurately resembling a crawl, which serves to make the movement more difficult.

 

Eventually Jason decided that the crab-walk would be better suited for moving down the sets of stairs than the bear crawl. This was such a relief. If you’ve never tried a bear crawl, do it now. Look it up if you don’t know what it is and have no imagination. Now that you realize how that might feel on flat ground with no weight, just try to go up and down a set of stairs. Yes. Now imagine doing that fifteen times with a backpack full of bricks, pond water and any assortment of what Jason calls “useless bullshít” (food, for example).

 

I estimate from following the GPS markers that we went up and down those stairs at least fifteen times. At our pace, and with frequent setbacks, it took us about two hours to get our team to a point where Jason deemed us worthy of a dip. We lined up in front of the water again and locked arms. Suddenly we were on our backs in the water and were being told to flutter kick. I lost my mind and started yelling like a madman. I was euphoric. We kicked our way through the water from one end of the bridge to the other and then did about another half an hour of bear crawls on the stairs. I experienced a wonderfully grounded moment when I was waiting in the bear crawl pose. The pond water was dripping heavily from my GR2 into my face and it felt amazing. We continued the exercise for some time. Our pace and formation tightened and we eventually graduated to running. We were briefly praised by Jason saying that the Baltimore groups had taken three hours to organize themselves in this way, and that we had done better. We had no way to know if this was true, but it sure was reinforcing in the moment.

 

We began a shuffle-like trot around the pond, still straining to maintain a two-by-two formation. Jason began belting out his “Go!” commands, but we weren’t getting it. He stopped us and we were told that we were no longer allowed to talk while running. He was not happy and would give us some short period of time (ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes) to devise a system for our Indian Sprints (here again the idea that the back runners run up to the front on each “Go”). We spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide on a system and ended up failing again. We were punished with doing pushups and flutter kicks in the rocky dirt while Jason told us how “silly” it was. The flutter kicks absolutely killed my right Sartorius, but I did not stop. We were given another chance to find a working plan while listening to the faraway shouts of Jason exclaiming how much our system sucks.

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While running, Jason would often shout two or three “Go” commands, so we had to devise a way for the people in the back of the line to know whether they were meant to run without looking around or talking. It took us a few tries before we decided on a shoulder/ruck-slapping method which seemed to do a passable job. A slap on the shoulder meant you run, a slap on the ruck meant you are now the last man in line. This was shaky at best, but we made it through. This method evolved with us throughout the morning, eventually becoming an effective method of counting off running placements. Without this basic skill we never would have been able to complete the various challenges to come.

 

Bounding for Breakfast

We ran around two full laps around the pond with general success at the Indian Run order which allowed us to graduate to the actual run itself. We left the commons and crossed over onto a footbridge leading to Storrow Dr on the Charles. We made our way into a little park and we were about to practice an exercise called Bounding.

 

We split off into four groups and were numbered. Groups 1/3 and 2/4 were paired, and were to run together and drop to the ground on command. The exercise was actually quite fun. Peter was in my group and was carrying The Bítch at the time. This made getting up considerably more difficult for him, and he was liable to topple over from the sheer weight of the pack. We were just beginning to enjoy ourselves when we were interrupted by a police cruiser which was prowling the park. They explained that the park is closed at night because there are “weirdoes” out at night. We grumbled our compliance and ran back across the footbridge onto Beacon Street. Jason nominated a navigator and we were off to see Fenway Park.

 

Fumbling through Fenway – Coupon Commencement

We went down along Arlington Street and someone asked to switch out The Bítch. I volunteered because I was feeling light and strong. Those feelings quickly dissipated with all that extra weight on my back. I still maintained my pace, and had only slightly more difficulty with the sprints. We turned onto Newbury Street and continued the length of it, enjoying the breadth of the deserted road as a nice contrast to a narrow sidewalk. We ran the length of Newbury and turned out onto Comm Ave. I handed The Bítch off and we briefly stopped under the Charlesgate Bridge for bladder relief and some refueling. We followed Comm Ave to Brookline Ave and Fenway was finally in sight at around 4:45am. We reached Lansdowne Street and Jason explained that we were going to do laps around the park. He also mentioned, in an off-hand unconcerned kind of way, that we were to begin our buddy-carries.

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I don’t remember the exact ratio, but Jason chose a fraction of the group to be carried. I believe we began with six carriers. We took some time to determine who was the lightest and to exchange our rucks. It soon became clear that many of us didn’t know how to carry another person with any efficient technique. Jason told us to work it out, and one guy stepped up to explain the Fireman’s carry. We adopted this technique and worked our way around the park for the first time. I took turns with Peter, carrying him first. Some carriers were handing off their rucks to the others, while some preferred to leave theirs on to act as a sort of “shelf” on which the carried buddy could rest. We reached the other side of the park and I was no longer carrying or being carried. Jason spotted a burlap sack with one end wrapped in duct tape. He pointed at it and said “There’s our first coupon. Somebody grab it.” With a faint understanding of the coupon system from my obsessing over past Goruck pictures, I shouldered the bag and continued along. Coupons are essentially any object added to the group which comprises extra burden, typically chosen as a punishment but occasionally the result of Jason’s aimless whim. We went around the park once more and then rested from 5:12am to 5:18. We left the street corner and started to run again when Jason suddenly realized that we no longer had the sandbag coupon. Fortunately for us he brought this to our attention so early. We turned around, reclaimed the bag, and began again.

 

We stopped at a corner at 5:26 to check on Rod since his stride was locking up. Jason determined that he was carrying too much weight, so we took some bricks out of his ruck. Rod was not happy and one could easily tell from his frustrated sighs (which sounded suspiciously like the word “shít”), that he was even ashamed of himself. Not one person reproached him, and we were all very supportive. I gave him a high-sodium stroopwafel which I hoped would help loosen his cramp.

 

Muck, Mire and Mental Grit – Lifting Logs from the Fire Pit

We worked our way along Ipswich Road to some strange, muddy garden which is located behind the Charlesgate Bridge. By this point our team was bonding quite well. The shrill cries of Sarah, our inspirational Goruck diva, were profoundly inspirational. We trudged through the gardens, some of us still making a bizarre effort to avoid mud by balancing along haphazardly-placed boards, eventually making our way out to more water. Jason stopped us at the water and by this time he didn’t have to say anything for us to realize what he expected us to do. Brian, one of our group’s largest members and a Goruck veteran, took it upon himself to tackle the water first. This became one of the few instances during the run when his size became a hindrance to our group.

 

Brian was suddenly sucked into the water, knee-deep, in mud. The two guys following him were sucked in as well. Jason was standing at the rear of the group, idly surveying the area and remaining generally ignorant to the developments at the front. Suddenly he took an active interest and balked “Hey what the f*ck is going on up there? Why aren’t we moving?” Weak cries for mercy leaked from the front “We’re stuck in the mud-”, Jason interrupts, aloof and dismissive, “Well yeah-”, the stuck members and those pulling them out respond “-up to our knees…” Jason’s expression, for the first time, showed surprise. He expected us to simply slosh through the water. About face. With our larger, more ambitious members out of the mud, we stood around awaiting our next task. Jason indicated a wood pile.

 

We started picking it apart. Not knowing what we were expected to do, I pulled a thick branch off the pile. Jason barked “That is a disgrace to every class that has come before you.” I hastily tossed it back, ashamed and confused. It soon became clear that we were trying to find one of the legendary logs to be carried by our group. As we searched Jason expressed his lament at not being able to find a log during his scouting of the route. As if by magic we produced two horrific misshapen trunks from the pile. These awful arboreal antiques were scarred by fungus, decomposition and burns. Both touted significant weight from being waterlogged and dense. Their shape was as conceivably far from portable as they might have been; replete with jagged edges, bumps in inappropriate places, uneven weight distribution and flaky patches which provided the occasional ejection of ashes into the faces of the carriers. They were lovely and nothing made Jason happier than to see us shoulder them. He sounded like Donald Trump in his speech about the President’s birth certificate, “I’m so proud of myself. I was so upset earlier, like, I didn’t think we were going to have a log for these classes. It would have been the only Goruck class to not have a log and then BAM! there they were. I am so good.” He also was sure to mention that he was proud that we had thwarted a few “drug deals”, this judged by the number of shady characters hanging around in the gardens in the wee hours of the morning. One guy picked up a thick, awkward waterlogged stump, one picked up a large ball of cement, and another grabbed a sapling with its ball of earth clumped around the roots.

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And so began the log saga. We carried those things for an hour and a half – over a total distance of approximately 1.5 miles according to my Forerunner. It felt a hell of a lot longer and farther than that.

 

We toted them from the park back into actual civilization. By this time the sun was up and people were out and about. We received plenty of dazzled stares and we took the opportunity to crack jokes. The streets began to refill with cars and the sounds of the city began to dwarf our grunts – “bítch noises”, according to Jason.

 

We worked our way along Massachusetts Ave, and faced the long bridge across the Charles. We picked up another coupon along the way, a Rock Band guitar controller, which although initially humorous was more of a logistical concern than anything. By the end of the challenge there was a general consensus to want to smash it. The view from the bridge was incredible and I took a few selfish peeks away from the group to savor the moment. The sunrise was just what I had hoped it would be, and it did indeed have the rejuvenating effect I expected. Jason furiously snapped some photos and teased us about being done when we reached the other side of the river.

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When we made it to the other side it became clear that we were done with the logs. To say that we were happy to see them go would be a severe understatement. Despite our contempt we were considerably ginger about placing them on the ground to be handed off to the following cadres. It was almost 7am at this point, but our best guesses relied on judging by the sun’s position. We briefly rested before tackling our next undertaking.

 

Brian’s Brainchild and The Bítch – The Handoff from Hell

Jason took some time after the logs to explain what we were meant to do. “Your shoulder straps no longer exist. You will continue to do Indian Runs, but the rucks have to stay with their owner. Figure it out.” Renewed puzzlement. We stood bewildered for a moment before rallying and deciding to continue with our current system which had proven successful. So it began. We ran along the Charles, handing off the rucks to the person in front of us as we ran. Most of the handoffs were done by the top handle while the GR2s usually required cradling in both arms, especially The Bítch.

 

I’m going to take a minute to note that the right line, my side, was stuck with The Bítch for the ENTIRETY of this task. I assign no blame for this development; this is simply a digressional gripe.

 

It seemed like we endeavored to simply pass the rucks towards the front of the line at a steady rate regardless of when Jason was calling out “Go”. Peter was behind me and we generally kept a good rhythm, but there were a few instances where I simply neglected to turn and accept the ruck. This happened quite often. The rucks tended to bunch up, and it seemed like this happened for an especially long time when I was running while cradling The Bítch in my arms. Lovely. It helped that by this point Jason felt good enough about our group to be singing the refrain of an LL Cool J song at us. This chant of “Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well” became something of a credo by morning’s end.

 

In my opinion we did really well with this exercise, and before we knew it we were on the banks of the Charles for a group photo. There was a short break on the steps of a Boston University Rowing Gym which we invaded for water and bathrooms much to the dismay of the hoity-toities inside. We were eventually locked out so we resorted to shamelessly pissing on their building. One guy was sent home by Jason. He had apparently injured himself and was not allowed to continue.

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We continued the handoffs until we reached the John Weeks Bridge. Jason announced, much to our relief, that we were done with that portion. We stood in our two-by-two formation and he asked us how much we liked the shoulder straps on our Gorucks, to which we enthusiastically shouted our approval.

Jason floated alongside the group in long strides as we shuffled beside the Charles. He turned to us and said, “Hey why don’t we try something different?” We perked up because his tone sounded so positive and hopeful. He paused briefly to be sure that he had everyone’s attention. “How about Indian Runs? Go go go!”

 

He teased us some more about being done with the whole challenge, and quickly hit us with another exercise.

 

Shítty Silhouettes – Hahvahd Yahd

We stopped briefly and Jason asked for four of our biggest guys to step forward. It was eventually decided and Jason had them lie on the ground. He had one of our cadre members explain what we were meant to do. Essentially we had to drag the body of this large individual across the ground on Jason’s command. It did not work very well for us and the extent of our “large individual” (Brian)’s discomfort quickly became clear. After seeing the relative failure of this exercise, and judging the ground to be “shítty”, i.e. rife with sharp rocks, we left to continue our run.

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We ran down John F. Kennedy Street towards Harvard, now in our standard two-by-two formation which actually felt like a relief. We made our way onto the campus itself while snide comments about the students being stuck-up nerds rung out contemptuously. We snaked through some small footpaths on the quadrangle before stopping on the steps of what I believe was their library. Jason pointed out a serpentine path along the steps and we ran up and down them. We stopped at the bottom and he allowed us a minute to rehydrate and refuel with our “lickies and chewies”, while warning us ominously about the danger of stopping at this point as it relates to muscle cramps. We left Harvard and made our way back onto the streets, crossing onto Massachusetts Ave. We stayed on this street for a long time, continuing our Indian Runs up the sidewalks while deftly avoiding parked bikes, benches and pedestrians. We stopped at a McDonalds to refill out hydration bladders. Another member was added to the “watch list”; his stride was shot. Both he and Rod now looked like they were wrestling an octopus on a conveyor belt but their determination inspired us. The break at McDonalds was too long and I felt bad for the first time during the challenge. Before too long we were off again, and our group pace leveled itself out.

 

We were 8.5 hours into the Challenge when Jason explained that “this isn’t the Harvard tour, is it? It’s the Boston tour, and we haven’t even seen the city. Let’s go do that.” And so we did.

 

Bawstin’s Brains, Bridges and Bottlenecks – Downtown Cadences and Faneuil “High-Knees” Hall

As we passed MIT the group’s snide comments about nerds were significantly more pronounced. We passed their edgy architecture and made our way out to the streets off-campus. We took the Longfellow Bridge back across the Charles and made our way towards the Commons again. This lead us into the heart of the city where our raucous cries of “TWO!”, “SEVEN!” and “GO!”, “RUCK!” were followed by supremely enjoyable echoes against the steel monoliths that surrounded our cadre. At one point we were running out of things to shout without feeling redundant and Pete broke into his own cadence – one with which I was familiar from our training run around Fresh Pond.

 

“My Grandmamma was Ninety-One! She did Goruck just for fun! My Grandmamma was Ninety-Two! She did Goruck better than you! Ninety-Three – better than me. Ninety-Four – out the door. Five – to stay alive. Six – just for kicks. Seven – up to heaven. Eight – at the pearly gates. Nine – doin’ Goruck, doin’ fine.”

 

Glorious. The cadre loved it, and it had a wonderful rallying effect on us all.

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We stopped briefly at Faneuil Hall and some people needed to use the bathrooms. Jason decided that this was a good reason to make us do high-knees which hurt like hell. I remember wondering how long it could possibly take to use the damn bathroom, but I’m sure the pain in my Sartorius over exaggerated the amount of time that we were actually standing there jumping up and down. Some people were reduced to standing in place and slowly lifting one knee, then putting their foot down, and then slowly lifting the other. Some didn’t do it at all. We were definitely hurting by then. I took a moment to remove my shoes and clear the little rocks out of my socks which were doing a number on my feet. It felt so much better to have my shoes clear of the rocks, and the people who were using the bathroom did eventually come back out.

 

The Freedom Trail – That Green Piece of Shít

We converged on the Freedom Trail and followed it all the way out to Paul Revere’s House – another false end-point of the Challenge.

The path led out from the North End to some smaller streets which eventually became cobblestones. We did a decent amount of buddy carries on these smaller streets, and the ratio was increasing with each iteration. We were punished on more than one occasion for not securing more carriers by increasing the ratio.

 

Jason stopped us at the bottom of the hill which leads up to Paul Revere’s house and berated us on our organization into the buddy carries. We were forced to remain in the push-up position while he reprimanded us, and we organized ourselves into more groups. I decided that I wanted to carry someone for this portion – someone significantly larger than me. I told a guy near me, who is probably 30 pounds heavier than me, that I wanted to carry him up the hill. He seemed incredulous at first because he was one of the largest guys in our group and he had been shouldering a lot of the burdens throughout the Challenge. I explained that this was precisely why I wanted to carry him and he complied. We finally got our group ratio right, and I led the group with the guy piggybacking me. Jason walked along beside us and I looked up the hill and asked, “We’re going up to that green piece of shít, right?”

He laughed and said “It could be the most beautiful house in the world, but right now…”

“Yup, it’s just a piece of shít.” I replied.

 

I was moving fast and my buddy’s words of caution about the cobblestones filled my ears, but I heard nothing until he told me that I had passed the house. I had my sights set on the top of the small cobblestone hill, but it turned out that Paul Revere’s House was a small grey house on the right hand side and I had indeed passed it by about ten feet. I let the guy get off my back and I looked down at the rest of the group as they made their way up the hill. We regrouped on the sidewalk and Jason continued to tease us.

 

“We’re all done, right? That’s the end, right?”

 

I caught myself thinking, “Shít, I hope not.”

 

Finish Strong – Bunker Hill and The Navy Yard

We continued to follow the Freedom Trial as it led us across the Charlestown Bridge towards Bunker Hill. The Indian Runs continued.

It became clear to me that as we weakened as individuals, the team became stronger. This is the basis for the cadre’s evolution.

Sarah continued to root us on though her voice was strained and fading. Our two weakest members set the pace for the group by running in front. Most of us were out of water.

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We made it to the other side of the Charles and snaked our way to Winthrop Street which leads up a small incline to Bunker Hill. We were rallied, and our pace quickened almost imperceptibly. We regrouped again at the base of the hill and made our way up together.

 

Together.

 

We stopped at the top of the hill for a group picture and some preemptive celebrations.

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We were not quite done. After some milling around we shouldered our rucks once again and headed downhill towards the Naval Yard.

It soon became clear to the entire class that our end point would be the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned vessel in the Navy, having been named by George Washington.

 

The cadre emerged onto the Yard at just before noon. Jason explained that in order to complete the Challenge we had to “finish strong”. This meant a full 50/50 ratio, everyone is either being carried or carrying someone. During past buddy carries we were able to hand our rucks off to others to reduce the weight. Now we were contending with multiple coupons, the full weight of all of our rucks, and a buddy carry. We picked up our buddies and some strange noise disseminated from the Yard. The din grew louder and I lifted my head to see that the tourists were all cheering for us. I looked at the cadre and we all shared the same desperate goofy smile. There is no eloquent way to describe the simple pride we experienced as one.

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Our group seemed ready and we made our move for the finish – the vessel as she sat in the harbor. Just as I found a rhythm Jason cried out for us to stop. I turned to see one of our injured lying on the ground with Sarah kneeling at his side. We regrouped and he insisted on carrying her to the end. We let him, but stayed close. I readjusted my two rucks, re-shouldered my buddy, and we were off again. One-by-one we reached the gate in front of the USS Constitution and the finishers before me let the carried buddy back down to Earth. I soon followed suit and was finally allowed to revel in the culmination of our evolution.

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I estimate our total time to be 11 hours over a distance of approximately 18 miles (distance calculated by the GPS trackers and filling in the gaps with a path marker tool).

 

Initial Reaction

My pride for the group’s performance is still burgeoning and it serves as a consistent reminder of our accomplishment. The lessons of unity and trust are undeniably salient and serve as the fundaments for the Challenge’s very philosophy.

 

I’ll take a moment to briefly describe my impression of the Challenge as I realize – with pride – that my language to this point has been very collectivistic.

I felt strong throughout the event and didn’t realize just how focused I was until I allowed myself to relax. My concentration was set at a firm 100% from the moment we stepped into the Commons to the moment I put my buddy down in the Yard. I experienced one mental lapse after the event (briefly forgetting Brian’s name), but only for a moment. Admittedly it only deteriorated from there until I was truly able to rest, but I find this development remarkable.

 

My voice was absolutely destroyed from all the yelling we did. I didn’t realize how much I had been yelling until the event was over. Three days later I still sounded like some contemptible septuagenarian harridan who has been chain-smoking since her teens.

 

My shoulders were severely sore for two days after the challenge. I attribute this mostly to shouldering the logs and simply the prolonged support of the ruck itself. Two days after the Challenge my right bicep and forearm were sore from the handoffs.

 

Otherwise I experienced no issues. My ankle held up with no concerns. Even my left knee, which would sometimes be tender after a longer run, showed no signs of fatigue. I found that I was very well prepared for the Challenge as a whole – mentally and physically.

 

Jason made it clear that he is very consistent in “underpromising” and “overdelivering”. We received far more as a group than I could have imagined, and it has instilled in me the thirst for more. I will be signing up for future Challenges. It is humbling to realize just to what extent this achievement is collective, as compared to something distinctly individual like a mind-numbing road race or competitive mud run.

 

I have attributed my athletic endeavors over the past months to a desire to find my limits. This experience has helped me to realize how much more might be accomplished as a team. I was deeply honored to be a part of this shared evolution.

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**Photos courtesy of my friends Whitney and Gopi; and Jason's shots of the Challenge.

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Mock Goruck Run

Posted by Superfiend Apr 20, 2011

Christian and I finally got together for some training, and it was glorious. We had wanted to organize what I called a "Mock Goruck run" which endeavors to approximate the conditions of the challenge - this based solely on deduction from the videos, pictures and blogs I've seen.

 

We agreed to meet at 8pm and to run from Union Square (42.358716,-71.146485) and run out to Castle Island (42.338213,-71.012793). Google Maps estimates it to be a bit less than 8 miles walking distance. We made it 12.

 

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Christian.

 

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Note the Tough Mudder headband.

 

 

I was toting my four recently-acquired bricks, a hydration bladder full of delicious nuun-enhanced water, my camera, and an assortment of endurance foods. I'd put the weight at around 30lbs.

 

Here are the resultant data from the jaunt. I elected to display Speed instead of Pace, because it shows the impact of our sporadic sprints more distinctly:

4-15-11 mock goruck chart.png

The spike in my heart rate at the beginning was caused by an unplanned throwdown with an errant Pterodactyl.

 

The first dip is me waiting for Christian to show up, and the following generally represent stops for PT, jumping in the Charles and, finally, the brief break we took to soak in the glory of Castle Island on the water. Our average pace was about 12 minutes/mile, an estimate from averaging the paces from each individual run portion (1.53mi, 2.73mi, 2.02mi...).

 

Here is an overhead view of the run courtesy of Google Earth:

example.jpg

 

The overall distance of the run is impressive considering the fact that my previous unweighted distance record is just over 13 miles. I generally train alone, and the addition of a supportive buddy (who is just as - if not crazier - than me) was extremely helpful. The run was really enjoyable overall.

 

We stopped along the way to get our shoes soaked in the water of the Charles to make ourselves uncomfortable.

IMG_7641.JPG

I am actually looking forward to being completely soaked before the run.

 

Our PT consisted of decline pushups, Spiderman pushups (declined as well), lunges, bear crawls through parks, flutter kicks, glute lifts, pullups on girders, handstands, cartwheels and juggling bowling pins in our teeth.

IMG_7645.JPG

Exhibit A: Antics.

 

We made it out to the water and took a break of just under ten minutes to savor the achievement and snarf down some Clif Shot Bloks.

 

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We were both feeling it in our knees, and had a similar tenderness in the right Sartorius, so we eased back into a shuffle for the run back into town.

 

The way back was dark and lovely. I experienced unadulterated hatred for one particular street which I hope never to see again. We made it through with few walking breaks until we were within bus range. Christian mentioned the possibility of taking a bus to one of the T stops. Silence. We shuffled past a bus stop, and then another. There was a beautiful, tacit agreement that we were not going to take a damn bus.

 

We made our way finally back to Park Street, our "finish line". We let out brutal war cries and loaded our spent bodies onto the trains home.

 

The ordeal was extremely motivating for me. I was strong, light, and had a great time punishing my lower body. Christian and I agreed that towards the end of the run we weren't winded, but our muscles were simply spent. My glutes were torched and my ankle began to gripe under the strain. I had no desire to stop, but I had to listen to my body to make sure I didn't get myself hurt.

 

I took away a great sense of accomplishment from this run; I feel ready. I felt the effect of having a buddy, and I can only venture a guess that this support is proportionately multiplied in a group. I am honored to have the opportunity to participate in the Challenge, and I am mentally prepared to give it my all.

 

I am still running almost every day, shorter runs (2-3 miles) with my Vibram TrekSports, longer runs (6-8 miles) with the New Balance 890s. My training will taper down soon, and I'll be stuffing myself with carbs as I did for Tough Mudder. Pete will be coming down to train on the 28th (high-intensity hill sprints), we'll be rucking off on Friday night at Cheers, and then it's on to the Challenge itself.

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Bigfoot e i suoi amici

Posted by Superfiend Apr 6, 2011

5-mile weighted run today with a friend. I put the 25lb vest in my backpack, so I thought I was running with 25lbs. I just weighed the backpack with the vest in it, and it came to about 32lbs. This is great news, and makes me feel a lot more confident about my joint and muscle strength under stress. I'm looking forward to seeing how the run feels with bricks instead of the vest.

 

My friend's usual pace (~11 minute mile) is a lot slower than mine (unweighted ~7:45-8, weighted ~9-10), so it was good to have her to keep me consistent. Here are the data:

4-6-11 chart.png

The distance was fine. I actually pushed her a bit, but it ended up being a great run. I kept my head in it, and felt strong. My left ankle only briefly felt weak, but loosened up after running it for another mile. We did some small hills, and I would occasionally throw in a faster pace, but nothing too serious. I'm tapering my runs down a bit since Tough Mudder approaches.

 

Confidence is high.

 

Countdown:

Tough Mudder PA - 4 days

Goruck Challenge  - 23 days

Tough Mudder VT - 30 days

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??

Posted by Superfiend Mar 18, 2011

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I've been taking cues from Ben O'Grady and incorporating a lot more running into my weekly routine. My strength training is almost nonexistent at this point, but it's entirely justified considering my current running ability and the intensity of the event for which I am preparing.

 

I have a bunch of data to share, and I'm pretty proud of my progress.

 

I've been going out for longer un-weighted runs simply to get a feel for the distance and I think it's paying off. Here is my run from this past Monday:

3-14-11 chart.png

These data represent a run from my apartment to Jamaica Pond. I scouted the run on Google Maps before heading down there, and just made my way out. I didn't take exactly the route I planned in arriving to the Pond, but did eventually make it there. I felt light and strong for most of the run, and was just enjoying the exploration aspect of a new path. The Pond itself is about 2.6 miles from my apartment, and then about 1.5 miles around. I ran around the Pond, then made my way back up to my starting point with no walking breaks. I maintained a reasonably consistent pace with the exception of a few hiccups. 6.48 miles was also a distance record for me at the time, and I was quite happy about that.

 

Wednesday I went out and forged a new path north of my apartment, crossing the Charles. Here are the data from that run:

3-16-11 chart.png

New distance record again! Almost seven miles now. This particular run felt more like an adventure than a workout. Rain was coming down hard that morning, and I was running muddy cracked-gravel paths along the banks of the Charles. I got a little turned around after finally finding a place to turn back towards my apartment, but my Forerunner has a Navigation feature that showed me an overhead view of my position relative to my starting point which helped me orient myself. From there it was simple to get home. No walking breaks this time, either. I do so enjoy running in the rain. My heart rate was significantly more controlled during this run, which is curious because I didn't feel particularly stable throughout. I ended feeling wiped out, but very accomplished.

 

And, finally, the data from this morning's run. Following Ben's advice I forewent my weight vest in favor of running with the weight in a backpack as we'll actually be doing in the challenge. Seems logical. I couldn't have known just how radically different it is.

 

Firstly, I was carrying more weight than the vest alone; the backpack itself containing the 20lb vest in addition to my hydration bladder in its own pack. I'd say I was carrying around 25 lbs.

 

As Ben mentioned, the weight sits completely differently on your body. Running with a vest - as it's evenly distributed weight over your torso and allows you to activate your spine in keeping a turning rhythm - feels easy compared to this. The backpack is not only heavy on the shoulders and compressing your back, but severely restricts movement of your torso when running. In addition to the restriction of movement the weight is concentrated behind you, rendering heelstriking a significantly more detrimental practice.

 

My backpack isn't built for this kind of use, either, so I was consistently adjusting straps and fiddling with zippers and the hydration tube while running. Not fun. My freaking iPod headphone cord was unruly, too, and wouldn't stay attached to my hip so I had to feel it tugging on my ears with every step. This latter concern, however, was easy enough to ignore considering the circumstances.

 

Here are the data from this morning's weighted pack run:

3-18-11 chart.png

It was a spirit-crusher, but I survived. The mental game was intense and likely responsible for the majority of my inconsistency and the relatively short distance of the run. I'll be doing much more of this in the future.

 

I felt what I consider to be legitimate and unadulterated doubt in my ability to succeed at Goruck as a result of this run; hence "spirit-crusher". I need more of this, if only to prove to myself that I can get stronger and dismantle that ego barrier. Something that stands out is my outrageously high heart rate, especially during the middle portion of the run. My Forerunner was going crazy, warning me to chill out, and at the time I was not entirely resistant to the idea of slowing my pace. I did some walking during this run, but I never stopped. The peak around 23', and again at 35' represent walking or waiting at a traffic light. The huge plateau in my pace at the end is a period of time after I had finished running and was talking to a friend on the sidewalk as I was going back to my apartment.

 

I'm going to do A LOT more of this. Maybe 2 or 3 times a week, saving a long distance un-weighted run for the weekend. I think flipping the current setup would be the best way for me to get used to this style of running in a short time. I believe it's also worth noting that this was a solo run; I feel like had I been running with Pete or someone else who was also wearing a weighted pack it would have been much easier to persevere. Hopefully I'll get some of that in the next week or so.

 

I'm cautiously optimistic, but still very motivated.

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Odiorne Point State Park

Posted by Superfiend Mar 2, 2011

Peter and I had an interesting romp through this park on Saturday. I went weighted with the vest at 20lbs and Peter ran with his belt, although I'm not sure how much weight he used. Pete suggested we meet at a place called the Odiorne Point State Park. I arrived after fiddling with a recalcitrant GPS, we saddled up, and went out into the unknown "trails" of the park. Here's a satellite image of the path courtesy of my Forerunner's data and Google Earth.

2-19-11 map.png

There weren't really trails out there, but we did a lot of running on the beach, jumping from rocks, and in the deep snow. We would randomly stop and pick up heavy driftwood or rocks and carry them for a while. At two different points we carried heavy logs switching shoulders and holding it up above our heads. We picked paths somewhat at random which led to some turning around but also allowed us to discover some cool opportunities to do PT in the woods.

 

It was a great run for me overall. I felt strong and solid. Pete was having trouble with the constant stress on the ankles from the sand, rock and snow running.

 

Here's the basic data from the run. It was not feasible to keep a steady pace during the run, but we did very little walking.

 

2-19-11 simple chart.png

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Fresh Pond

Posted by Superfiend Feb 13, 2011

I went for a run with my friend Peter around Fresh Pond today and it was wonderful. The pond is almost 2.5 miles around. I ran it with my weight vest at 20lbs.

 

Here are the data from my Forerunner. Breakdown after the jump:

2-13-11.png

 

Lap 1 was the first run around the pond. We maintained a good pace and my heart rate stayed under control.

 

Lap 2 was our break for pushups, flutter kicks and leg raises in the parking lot. I was still feeling fresh and strong when we finished this part.

 

Lap 3 was our second time around the pond. This one got to me. As we were running along, about a half mile into the run, I stopped and grabbed a thick branch from a snow bank and shouldered it. It could have only weighed five pounds at the most but it made a surprising difference; probably mostly a mental difference. I carried it for about a quarter of a mile or so and handed it off to Peter and we took turns. By the time I reached the mile mark I started to really feel it and actually said: "I'm running out of steam". Peter was relentless and encouaged me. I pushed through it and let him carry the log a bit longer than I should have to catch my breath. My heart rate peaked at around 190bpm with a shockingly high average of 181bpm. I'm going to have to work on this. To my credit, I didn't stop. I took the log back at 1.2 miles then we started cadence chanting around 1.4 miles in which helped me take my mind off the run. I gave the log back at around 1.5 miles and let Pete carry it to the end. I ran all the way to the end of the trail where we recovered and walked out to our cars to enjoy the sweetest pear I've ever had.

 

Lap 4 is just the walk to our cars.

 

 

I feel good despite my apprehension about my stinging shin muscle on my right leg. I thought it might be a precursor to the old familiar shin splints, but it seems fine for now. I'm glad I went out, and it made it far easier to run with a partner. I'm really looking forward to making a routine of this run and I know that it's great training for the upcoming events.

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This morning's run followed the same path as my last weighted run.

 

The data from the Forerunner are a bit botched since for some reason it took forever to find a GPS signal. I still have the heart rate information, though, which is somewhat more stable than last time. This is with the 20lb weight vest:

 

2-5-11.png

 

Unfortunately my pace wasn't tracked until about 11 minutes into my run since it took so long to find a satellite signal, which threw off the averages.

 

The spikes in my pace around 14, 15 and 16 minutes are when I was forced to wait at intersections or behind someone walking slowly on the sidewalk.

 

My heart rate was more consistent this time, as was my pace overall. I ran the whole path (3.5 miles) with no walking rests. I felt loose and strong throughout the whole run. It was a good mental day so I was in the zone. I felt tight and sore when I stopped for my cool-down walk to my apartment but it went away with some stretching.

 

The runs are going really well so I'll likely change the routine soon, maybe within the next two weeks. Instead of adding weight, which I thought I would do originally, I think I'll just increase the distance and focus on keeping a consistent pace.

 

In other news: I've officially registered for Goruck Boston! It's really exciting, and gives me great motivation for my workouts. I'll eventually register for Tough Mudder Vermont, likely this coming week. I'll still be running Tough Mudder PA on April 10th with my friend.

 

Overall my training is going really well and I feel great.

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Lluvia de meteoros

Posted by Superfiend Feb 2, 2011

My run this morning was phenomenal. I tracked it with my Forerunner 305 and the data came out reasonably well.

 

To summarize I ran 3.5 miles in 36 minutes while wearing the weight vest loaded with 20lbs. It is worth mentioning that I ran in icy rain, there are a few feet of snow on the ground, and puddles at the crosswalks that are well into shin-height depth. Glorious.

 

Something I noticed from the chart is that my heart rate spikes up into Zone 5 and stays there for almost the entirety of my run. This is obviously not preferrable. It must be directly related to my pace, so there's something to work at which I never would have known otherwise. My pace stays very consistent at around a 10-minute mile.

 

I divided the sections of my run by Laps on the Forerunner.

 

2-2-11.png

 

Lap 1 was a straight run from the apartment.

 

Lap 2 was a brief walking break.

 

Lap 3 was a section of pushups in the snow. 4 sets of 5.

 

Lap 4 was a short walk before I decided to run again.

 

Lap 5 was a brutal stretch of running where I was verbally chanting to pull myself through the last leg. It was horrendous and I loved it.

 

Lap 6 was a short cool-down walk from the nearby fire station to my apartment. I stepped in a giant puddle of icy water and it totally filled my shoes. Until that point my feet were kept relatively dry by my inov8s. I love those shoes.

 

Overall I consider the run a great success. It blows away my previous performances, even in terms of Shawnee and Ruckus. I estimate both events to be around three miles in length. I ran Shawnee in 30:10 and Ruckus in 29:34. Today I ran farther, with weight, and in horrible weather and despite it all, faster in terms of my pace. It's also worth mentioning that this morning's run was completed in absence of any competition. Very reinforcing.

327 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, weight, snow, water, endurance, rain, heart, rate, gps, ice, garmin, heart_rate, forerunner, goruck, weighted, weight_vest

This new workout feels awesome. Here's my updated Strength routine:

The entire routine is completed while wearing my weight vest currently set to 20lbs and two 20lb kettlebells when appropriate.

 

Warmup (2x):

10 standard pushups.

20 standard lunges.

5 full extension wide handhold pullups.

Shadow boxing (dynamic stretching)

 

Workout:

Each exercise, as previously stated, is performed nonstop for 60 seconds. 15 second rest between exercises. I've been using a little stopwatch for which I've developed a love/hate sentiment.

 

1. Kettlebell Pushups + Raise

    Dip down between kettlebell handles, push back up. Bring one bell up above your shoulders to form a vertical line with both arms, hold for a second, then bring back down. Next repetition is for the other bell/arm.

 

2. Kettlebell Swings:

    Standard kettlebell exercise. Feet a bit more than shoulder-width apart, swing kettlebell between legs up to chin level, then back down.

 

3. Forward Lunges.

 

4. Kettlebell Rows:

    Shoulder-width stance. Bend forward at the waist holding both kettlebells close to the floor. Bring both bells up to the chest, then lower without touching the ground.

 

5. Side Lunges:

    Can be done while holding kettlebells, but I don't feel like it's as beneficial for me at this point.

 

6. Kettlebell Pushups + Rows:

    Same as previous kettlebell pushup, except at the top of the push you bring one bell up to your chest, hold, then lower the bell back to the floor.

 

7. Forward Lunges with upper body twist:

    Just as it sounds. I twist to both sides during each lunge.

 

8. Decline Pushups:

    Prop your feet up on a chair, couch seat or other relatively low surface. I recommend doing sets of low reps (4 or 5) and taking a few breaths before the next set. I usually tap out of this portion around 40 seconds.

 

9. Mountain Climbers:

    Pushup position, bring one leg up to chest then back to starting position and alternate quickly. I can't yet do 60 seconds of this nonstop after the other exercises. I'm improving, though.

 

10. Pullups:

       The Tough Mudder site recommends chinups but I change the type of pullup each time I do this routine. I usually break it into mini-sets of 5-6 pulls and then allow a rest while still hanging. This is awful with the vest after having done the other arm-intensive exercises.

 

11. Plank:

      The familiar old plank hold. Grin and bear it. This is cake for me without a vest, and without having done all the other exercises prior, but doing it with those things in place is quite a feat. I  finally held out for a full minute today for the first time.

 

12. Oblique Plank:

       Then they hit you with this. You're supposed to hold each side for a full minute. I'm up to 45 seconds on each allowing a 15-second rest between the sides.

 

13. Squats:

       Just standard bodyweight (or weighted) squats. I'm planning on substituting this for one leg squats once I'm strong enough.

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Li Tchant des Walons

Posted by Superfiend Jan 23, 2011

Quick update:

 

I originally planned for today to be a rest day but I'm too motivated. It's a funny sort of reversal on procrastination; I keep putting off my rest days. It's benefitting my in my training but I realize the necessity of rest. I'll get to it...eventually.

 

I donned the weight vest (weighted to 20lbs) and literally ran my errands. I stopped at a Walgreens, picked up some things (shampoo, body wash, etc - relatively heavy things) and put them in my drawstring bag. I got some breakfast from Peace O' Pie nearby and ran most of the way back to my apartment making the round trip about 3 miles.

 

The run back was awkward because of the boxes I was carrying but I did little walking. It felt good, but the weight vest does bounce around as I run. I found myself pressing my hands against my chest to stabilize it. This was a necessity besides since it was cold and I only wore my fingerless gloves. I'm going to find a way to make the vest more secure and be sure to wear more appropriate gloves next time.

 

Refueled with the Vega mix when I got back.

 

Maybe tomorrow will be my rest day.

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Audunar þáttr vestfirzka

Posted by Superfiend Jan 22, 2011

I've become more ambitious in my training, and have set my sights on an event that surpasses Tough Mudder in basically every way: the Goruck Challenge.

 

Here's a video outlining the madness of the task.

 

I am still registered for Tough Mudder PA on April 10th. As of right now I have only one other team member; all the others I had hoped to recruit were too apprehensive or otherwise constrained to register in time (the event recently sold out). I expect Tough Mudder to now be more of a fun romp than a serious competition, but I know I'm going to love it anyway - and perhaps even more so.

 

I have a few new toys, thanks to the holiday.

 

My favorite: my Vibram TrekSport shoes. I've been wearing these shoes almost non-stop since I got them. All the rave reviews I had heard (especially at events like Shawnee and Ruckus) are well-founded, and I find myself now an enthusiastic proponent of the brand. My feet are considerably stronger and I've even developed a considerable level of prehensility with my toes, although moving them independently is physiologically impossible. The Vibram shoes improve posture and practically force proper running form. I've used them for travel (almost exclusively during a recent family vacation) and I'm working my way up to running in them.

 

Next on the list is the weight vest. After some deliberation I settled on one from Dick's Sporting Goods called the Fitness Gear Weighted Vest. I've been wearing it for daily use here and there, but its most profound impact has been on my workouts. I wore it during normal workouts at home (of which I did very little, I'm sorry to say, while I was on break) and it made a huge difference. Though I'm scaffolding the added weight, and only currently using 20lbs (of the possible 40), the impact on my endurance and strength in a routine, which was previously quite manageable, was considerable. I would do a set with the vest and the second set without. More recently, since coming back to Boston, I've been using it with a newer workout routine: it's essentially listed on the Tough Mudder site. I admit I didn't finish the full 60 seconds of some of the exercises at the end, but I think I did really well, especially considering I was wearing the weight vest at 20lbs the whole time and using two 20lb kettlebells for their respective sections. I'm going to use this workout instead of my old one because I want to change it up for my body and work some previously untrained aspects of my strength. Since it makes you switch between exercises so quickly with so little rest it also includes a considerably cardiovascular strain.

 

Finally, I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of my Garmin Forerunner 305 (GPS Heart Rate Monitor doodad). I'm pretty excited about having this gadget. I'm a techno-geek to begin with, and adding the tech to my fitness aspirations is just wonderful. Check out the specs and the user-submitted pictures on Amazon to see some of the capabilities. I expect to wear this during every workout to optimize my gains and keep track of my progress in a more objective way. I’ll likely upload some if not all of this information to my blog for some added cohesion (especially from big events like Tough Mudder and Goruck).

 

I'm proud to say that I'm holding strong to the vegan diet, and it's working out quite well. It's considerably easier now and I feel great about it. I'm going to be making an active effort to learn more recipes this semester and do more cooking for myself. I also got a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer Express, which I use often. I love the convenience of it. I admit to not noticing a significant difference in my performance since switching to a plant-based diet, but I was basically in top shape beforehand.

 

As far as the supplements are concerned, it's all vegan or nothing. I’ve been supporting a product called Vega, and I use the Whole Food Health Optimizer as my post-workout recovery drink. It’s pretty ridiculous as a dietary supplement; it’s got 100% or more of basically everything you need daily. The taste is acceptable, even good sometimes (reminds me of Carnation Instant Breakfast), and it mixes rather well. I know that without this supplement I would be extremely sore after my intense workouts, so it seems to be doing its job. It’s expensive even when it’s on sale, but I feel that it’s worth the extra money, especially since I know I wouldn’t be properly nourished without it considering my relatively poor culinary ability.

 

Besides the gadgets my sights are set on bigger and more challenging events. The Goruck Challenge, as outlined here on the Tough Mudder site, is intimidating to say the least. I’m considering running the Tough Mudder PA with my weight vest on, effectively using the event itself as training for the Goruck Challenge. One of my friends, whom I met at Shawnee and with whom I competed at Ruckus, said he would be interested in doing the Goruck Challenge. We are going to get together and punish ourselves regularly (wearing weighted equipment and running in snow, randomly doing pushups in the mud/slush/highway, etc.) in preparation for Goruck. The distance concerns me (~17 miles I believe), but their pace seems far slower than my natural pace which I imagine might help.

 

I went running in the snow a few days ago and it was awful. Granted it was my first run since coming back to Boston, the snow was deep, it was a dry, bitter cold and I felt like I might die, but it’s a path I’ve run many times before so I felt like it would be manageable. I walked the last half of the run shamefully after having willed myself that far. I made it to the gym complex and proceeded to punish myself for my weakness in the elements. I did interval running (which is fantastic and will comprise a greater portion of my aerobic workouts henceforth), weighted jump rope sets (each handle weighted at 1lb – it’s a lot harder than it sounds), 30 minutes on the elliptical with medium-high resistance while randomly sprinting, more jump rope and finish with some isometric stretching. It was a great session but I’m worried about my poor performance outside. The Goruck and Tough Mudder runs will be significantly different just for the fact that it will be a different (more forgiving) season, but I expect more out of myself. Soon I will start doing my runs with the weighted vest.

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