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Pack Run Pack Run

As Bunde is still on holiday it fell to me to motivate myself into running with the 35lb pack.  After last Fridays experience with 35lb in the pack for the 1st time, I wondered about dropping back 2 or 3 pounds but decided that if I wanted to get round the P Coy Challenge I was gonna have to grit my teeth and get on with it.  If you’d like to sponsor me for this worthy charity, please click here.
I set my sights on completing the route that I took on Sunday as this would give me a good indicator as to how much slower I make progress when laden down with the 35lb pack.
TABbing at my own pace I noticed that I covered the first mile in about 9 minutes which was much too quick, particularly for the first mile, so I made a concious effort to slow down.  I was wary of flattening myself going up the 2.5 mile climb which was coming up.
I wondered if I’d be able to make the route by myself as I’ve only really done pack running with Bunde who roars me on whenever I look like giving up.  I also wondered whether running the route with pack by myself was a good idea as Tracey was not within easy rescuing distance should my legs give up.  I’d took my mobile phone with me this on this run in case of emergency.
I’d watched a dvd showing the "real" Para selection the other day and noticed that the recruits all leant forward at almost 90 degrees from the waist particularly when heading up hill and I decided they must know what they’re on with and gave it a go.  Using this technique means that the back, shoulders and neck support the pack weight but it seems to lift some of the weight from my legs – the downside is that my back and neck have been a bit dodgy in the past and it’s a completely different technique to what I’ve been doing.  It seemed to feel easier more than it felt than awkward so I kept on with it.
As I approached and passed the point where I gave up on Friday (2 miles) I was heading up a fairly steep hill but it seemed much easier, and I kept on going, all the time I could hear the "Pack It In You Fool" voice telling me that there is no real need for me to keep going and to pack up and return but I ran on.
As I’d brought my iPhone for emergency I had access to a couple of classic (IMHO) DJ albums from the 90s and I listened to these and zoned out while continuing up hill).  At the half way point (the top of the climb) I was about 6 minutes slower than my unweighted run on Sunday and I was fairly pleased with that.  On the Sunday run I completed the return leg 2 minutes quicker than the climb and I was calculating a similair ratio on this run meaning a finish time of about 1:18 or so.  1:18 would do me fine I reckoned.
On the return leg I was expecting at any point to really start feeling the effort of this pack run but I just seemed to keep on going.  I let the down hill sections pull me down at the fastest pace I could manage and I still had some left to make the final mile or so back to my house in about 10 mins with a finish time of 1:16:43.  I’m well pleased with that.
I reckon if I’d not planned on returning to my starting point to compare like for like times I could have kept on going for another 2 miles and completed the 10 mile distance.
Did I enjoy this as much as Sundays unweighted run – not really, bent at the waist with your head facing down most of the time is not the best way to enjoy a run.  You can’t see the scenery, turning to check traffic as you cross roads etc. is a nightmare and I feel kinda uncomfortable running past people who must think I’m some kind of idiot training, but, having typed that, I’ve gotta admit that I like ths part of the run – the part where youu can sit back, watch tv, slurp a can of lager and think "I’m really chuffed with that".
As I type this, I’m watching England make a mess of a pointless friendly against Holland and I’m asssessing myself for any possible injury, adverse effects to tonights run but so far so good – tomorrow, or the day after, maybe a different story though. 
I’m beginning to think that I can do this P Coy Challenge if I stay injury free and get another couple of pack runs in.  I’m also thinking that I’m only gonna run in the boots for a maximum of 2 more runs and turn up with feet that are not in ribbons – I’ll just tough it out on the day I guess.

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