The directive was set for 24-hours, a shake-out run of the ZoMBiE RUCK course so as to troubleshoot/ give REAL feedback/ see if this shit is as tough as I think it’s gonna be…
Oh, but She’s a beautiful, sweaty BEAST. And I Love Her.
I dropped at 12 hours— 8 hours of actual rucking, the remainder split up between food and rest. The backside of the suffering I was already experiencing would have resulted in injury and that wasn’t the point. So I stopped. Still have some kinks to work through, but I have tons of feedback and Dude, if we’re not working through those limitations, they will always hold us back. So, pain is a super teacher. 🙂 Besides, at six months post-facial reconstruction, I’m just happy to be here. Legit.
I logged just over 25 miles. There are things I will do differently for the next round. There are things I felt very-well prepared for; I’ll share both. But before the hints and tips, let me preface by saying this was a core memory experience— I don’t know how many of those we get in a lifetime, but I don’t think it’s that many. 10/10 WILL RODEO-UP AGAIN.
Because a 24-hour clock appears big and scary to a lot of capable folks, the Ruck will now ALSO offer a 12-Hour Challenge… we hope this adjustment allows for inclusivity to all our go-hard pals.
6pm-6am is very doable. With planned rest, planned nutrition and a planned plan, distance and time move quickly.
The loops are just over 900m. The familiarity of the Home Turf course is a definite advantage— we had a bonfire and jams— it felt very hangoutty and comfortable. The superb vantage point of uninterrupted skyline painted a melty sorbet sunset and slowly bled into a purple evening sky… the fireflies went wild, the night stayed warm and very peaceful. I caught myself full of gratitude more than I didn’t.
DO think about footwear. I’ve been a barefoot advocate for over half-a-decade. I run on pavement barefoot, tromp through the woods barefoot, generally Sasquatching around for YEARS barefoot… in this case, the prolonged pavement usage proved more powerful than my feet. Apply some thought and bring some footwear options. To adjust the experience of future participants, the hill portion of the ruck will have a grass path, both up and down.
DO hydrate often. The shorter loop is ideal for refueling. I used frequency of pee breaks (and pee itself) as a hydration guide, rotated in electrolytes and I didn’t let myself get thirsty. It was a VERY sweaty time, but I never felt poor.
Do EAT! 12 hours is a long time to move. Feed. Your. Face. Oftentimes we can curb the yucks just by being well-fed.
Do HAVE FUN! As I said, core memories were had. The sunset, the communal time with moon and stars, the washing everything anew sunrise… the silence, the brain space, the methodical push forward. It was such a pleasant shift from the routine.
DON’T make it a bitch fest… sign-up and buck-up. You were made for hard things and we’re aiming to prove it!
DON’T worry about how far you’re gonna go, just GO. And STOP when you need to and eat when you need to and be done when you’re done. The concept is to challenge yourself, but not break yourself. I broke my mileage up into mini 5ks, just six laps, but I did them on repeat.
DON’T show up unprepared. It’ll hurt you. A bunch. Eat/ drink well before… like a week before. Check that mobility. What isn’t behaving will make itself known. Frequent breaks to squat and forward fold and cossack lunge felt groovy.
You’re a fricken animal CrossFitter. Your vest/ rucksack won’t feel like a sack of bricks! BUT, it may feel shitty on the shoulders, rub under the arms or chaff your sides. Plan ahead. Water-wicking clothing is really ideal. You are soup now. Bring changes of clothes and socks.
A back-up battery pack kept my phone and AirPods charged, but tbh, once night fell, I really preferred the quiet. Our route is well-lit, but I did pack a headlamp and it could be helpful if you’re not a fan of low light.
Even though it was warm out, I got a little sweaty chilly late late at night. We had a bonfire and just a few minutes near the dancing flames was a big boost of happy.
BE IN THE MOMENT!! How often do you get the opportunity to endeavor a task such as this? Try to push passed the discomfort and keep climbing. Impress yourself!
Upcoming… what to pack.