Heavy class 114…that sucked. The end bitches.
Kidding…and not. It was a tough event. Not my hardest event ever (I always obsess over this during and post-event) but two things: it was relentless and such a beat down yet no time hack or objective ever seemed out of reach. It was really hard but not overly difficult. It sucked and there were almost no fun times but I still enjoyed it all. Fucking life, man!
This Memorial Day Heavy was in DC and brought to you by our cadre were Rob, Jason, Danny boy, Brian Squared and the letter ‘H’ as in HeroWOD. I’d never met any of the cadre but I’ve heard stories about all of them and I was mostly worried about Brian because I heard he likes to “walk” and do stairs which are among two of my many, many weaknesses.
After leaving Kevin’s apartment we mosey on up to the Holiday Inn off of C street and eventually meet the rest of the hotel team we are all sharing rooms with. There are 3 rooms and 12 people and not a lot of stuff to do for the day so we all try to grab a nap. I manage about 10 minutes of sleep and then we all start gearing up. It’s one of my favorite parts of doing GORUCK. Remember game day for whatever sport you were playing? You get into a routine and start setting up your gear. In my case, it’s getting my ruck ready, taping my feet and lubing up my thighs. This done, we hop in cars and proceed to the start point.
The start point is at the Marine Corps War Memorial. The start is always a nervous point for me as I am terrible with names (but not faces/asses/boots/rucks/stories) and I’m always having to ask people their name and it’s awkward when we’ve met or done a few events together. Whoops. You also get to meet all these FB people you’ve been friends with for a while and that’s always fun. I think I’m more excited to meet others than they are to meet me. We eventually line up in formation and my friend Lisa (whose boob I grabbed on my FB cover photo) comes to terms with her feelings about GORUCK (burnout) and decides to not do it. I was so jealous. I’m still in denial about my burnout.
At the beginning is ruck inspection time and this is where cadre make sure you have a water bladder, bricks, tape, ID and quit money. People missing this or that end up costing us 105 extra reps of good livin’ to be redeemed later on. Our nice cadre take all of our food and put it in all these food bags that weighed a ton (wouldn’t know I was busy being lazy and didn’t carry it until closer to the end when a lot of us had crushed all of that food) and I received someone’s yellow dry bag with like 5 lbs of food and I immediately start cursing this stranger with all the food.
We form up and begin the PT Test in which I got crushed by holding that team weight and trying to keep homeboy’s legs down were not easy and then we rucked over to the canal (Capital Crescent Trail) to begin the twelve mile ruck march. This is an individual exercise and I immediately fall to the back of the pack. 12 miles if you’re slow and out of shape is a long time to think about your current situation, life choices and their effects leading up to this long walk on this dark ass trail.
It’s a pretty cool trail when the light is out but at night all you can think about is “damn, it’s dark” but I don’t want to turn on my lamp because then you see things out there. Other thoughts that pass through are: man, this sucks; what if there is a serial killer out there; I could slip and fall in the canal and nobody will know my end; damn, that’s a sweet ass bench I wish I could sit down on it; this damned food bag I hate you; I can turn around and quit now and be happy; I wish I’d roll and break an ankle and not have to continue on; maybe I’ll get lucky and a snake will bite me and I’ll have to have a different ending (stole this one from Jeff!). None of that happens and I ended up ruck running 20 steps on/20 steps off for a few miles on the first six miles. Eventually I hit my cardio wall and I couldn’t go faster if I wanted. I tried to run for a bit and I’d be like AHHHHHHHH I’m going to win and then my body is like “lol nope.” It’s a constant back and forth, I love that shit. Eventually I go black on water and my hamstring starts tightening up so I have to stop a lot and stretch it out. This doesn’t help my time.
Sidenote: rucking a long, dark trail is a lot like meditation. Thoughts come in, thoughts go out, keep walking. Think about what you’re feeling and how you’re feeling. It’s great. Except it’s not.
Nobody will be surprised to learn that I lost this event – 3:38 on flat trail?? GTFOH with that weakness. I actually passed someone with a knee injury but ultimately it didn’t matter. We had an issue with one participant who needed a ride to the hospital for hydration issues. After that gets sorted out Danny says to us “you have failed the twelve mile ruck march. Do you wish to continue?”