Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ruck Review: GoRuck Challenge Class 1165

Hello again! Sorry for this late post, but you knew that I had post a review about my first GoRuck Challenge ever! On September 12 Jill and I embarked on our very first GoRuck Challenge in honor of the fallen heroes of 9/11. Although I had made many training promises right after our GoRuck Light in July sadly I didn't do any of it. :( I don't want to say that I went to this event "cold," but let's just say I heavily relied on my crossfit training to get me by.
I was a bundle of nerves when Justin dropped us off at the mall. But we had to take a selfie beforehand. The calm before the storm if you will ;)

At first we didn't see anyone, but as we walked closer to the Smithsonian castle. We saw them. Hundreds of people all anxiously awaiting the cadre and their instructions.

Of course with any GoRuck event we kicked off with the "welcome party." A series of PT drills to get the night started off right. As soon as we began the first exercise I knew that this was nothing like the two GoRuck Lights I've done in the past. We quickly found out the Challenge is definitely not double the duration and intensity of a Light. After a hearty round of PT which included the ever famous "tunnel of love" and centipede push-ups (I still can't get the hang of those!) we split off into groups and were assigned a cadre. Ours was Cadre Luke, a fellow University of Maryland alum. :)

During a GoRuck event, you have to get to certain locations within a time cap. And of course when you don't make it to the destination in the time allowed you get penalized with PT. Obviously our first mission to the White House ended in an epic fail since we were still figuring out how to work as team. 
Flutter kicks in near the White House gates? Why not?
Next we headed to the Lincoln Memorial where we did a series of partner sprints and of course more PT for those who weren't sprinting.

Serving up a boss...

We had to make our next destination so we did the last sprint up the Lincoln Memorial stairs as a team.
Now I'm not going to tell you about everything we did because each event is different and each cadre is different. And even if you get the same cadre twice, you'll still get a different experience because it all depends on what kind of mood he's in, LOL. But! I will tell you my favorite thing during our challenge was when we had to "veg" up Marine recon style ;)
And of course with every challenge, you gotta get wet!
Just flutter kicking in the Potomac River...nbd...

A shot of me dumping the water out of my ruck! It was the easist way to get all the water out without taking the backpack off.

Before I forget I must give a huge shout out to our shadow, Aaron Wyche. He followed our group from beginning to end and he was the perfect shadow! He took these amazing pictures and was always there to offer help when needed (i.e.: "Can you watch our stuff while I jump into the Potomac?"). Thanks again! :)
As the night turned to day we crossed into Virginia to visit the 9/11 Memorial by the Pentagon and then back to DC...

Carrying various team weights along the way...
Jill is always surprised how often she gets carried at these things!

We stopped by the World War II Memorial for an awesome group shot!
We were on the home stretch...

But we weren't done yet! When we got back to the starting point it was time guessed it..more PT. Here are the shortest girls doing log lifts (which of course includes my sister and I). By this time I had a permanent "poopy face" on (as Cadre Luke called it), but I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and I definitely wasn't going to quit now! 
Photo credit to Nick Schrein
When we finally got our patches, I was exhausted, yet happy! In my bleary-eyed sleep deprived state, I realized that this was the hardest thing that I have done in my life so far. It was difficult at times and I can't tell you how times I thought about quitting, but I'm glad I didn't. 
To conclude, my sister Jill said it best on her Facebook page: "I wouldn't have been able to endure the 19 miles over 12+ hours without my team to embrace the suck with me. We suffered in silence in honor our fallen heroes who would give anything to have the ability to even feel pain. Never thought I'd be grateful for pain until now; it means you're alive. I'm not gonna lie and say it was fun, but it was good livin'!"

PS...people have asked me when I'm going to do the next one and I must say I haven't signed up for another yet. But let me know if you want to do one, I may just join you for the action ;)

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