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10 Miles With 35lb Pack – Done!

I’m running the P Coy Challenge to raise funds for "Help For Heroes".  If you’d like to help me reach my target please pledge your cash here (it doesn’t matter how much, pledge any amount), anyway, that’s the commercial bit out of the way, on with the story….
On Friday night, Tracey and her mates were off to see The Human League, ABC, Belinda Carlisle and other 80s bands at Clumber Park and as I didn’t fancy donning a frilly shirt or white t-shirt with "Frankie Says Relax" or "Choose Life" I decided to pop out for a couple of lagers with mates.
As the P Coy Challenge is only 3 weeks away (Sunday, 13th September) I’d decided to keep off the booze until after the race but Hey! the sun was shining, England were in a good posiiton to regain the Ashes, there was no one at home, a sparrow had just landed in the back garden, etc. etc so I thought "What harm can it do?".  A short taxi ride had us in the cultural centre of Derbyshire – Ripley and off we went…..Ripley was unsually quiet for a Friday night and the people that were out  and about were of the older variety i.e. my age range :-).
After a couple of hours I’d had 3 pints of fizzy lager and decided that that was enough as I’d got a 06:45 10 mile pack run to get through in the morning.  I jumped in a taxi (the driver was the most talkative person in the world and I just let him rattle on as he drove me home).  At home for about 10:30 I realised that I was starving not having had anything to east since about 14:00 so I made a couple of sandwiches and opened a bottle of red to help wash them down.  3 glasses of wine later I headed to bed and set the alarm for 06:00.
At 06:00 the sun was shining but the air was (thankfully) cool.  With the 35lb pack on my back I walked to the start point of the Co-op and met up with Bunde.  The route we took was a 5 mile out, turn round and return type with the real hard work to be done on the outward half as the route features a climb of about 350metres.  We paced ourselves really well and we ran the entire route.  About a mile from the end (which was further than I’d ran with the pack) I was feeling tired and I wondered how I’d be feeling at the same point on the Para 10 route with a steep 100 metre climb to get through – I soon stopped those thoughts as they were more like nightmares and anyway, I’ll know soon enough…..We completed the route in 1:37:00 and it was all done and I was back home by 08:20 – before anyone at home was out of bed.
A quick shower, onto Twitter to Tweet the results and then Windows Live Writer to write the details up…..
As I type this I’m feeling really tired (yesterdays trip to Manchester airport kept me out of bed ’til 05:00 on Friday morning didn’t help) so I’m gonna take it easy for the rest of the day (and probaby weekend) watching the Ashes 2009 (Come on England – Don’t throw it away) at home and then at a friends BBQ this afternoon (and on into the early hours of the morning I don’t doubt).
Tomorrow is recovery day with only the grass to cut and a bit of SharePoint dev to do.
We’re finally nearing the end of the training regime for the P Coy Challenge and at the moment I think we only have a couple more pack runs to do – a 6 miler sometime midweek followed by another 10 miler at the weekend.  After that, we’re dropping the pack and sticking to unweighted runs until the day.
To be honest, I’ll be glad when this race is done as it’s been a fairly gruelling training regime and I take my hat off to those young blokes who pass this for real and join the Parachutge Regiment.  If anyone says that running 10 miles with a 35lb pack on your back is easy I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree as it’s bloody well not.
I’m running the P Coy Challenge to raise funds for "Help For Heroes".  If you’d like to help me reach my target please pledge your cash here (it doesn’t matter how much, pledge any amount).
[30th August Update]
I ran the same route with the same 35lb pack on the morning of Sunday the 30th August – 2 weeks to go.  I ran it in boots and found it a lot harder than the previous week in trainers – don’t know if this is because of the boots, tiredness or a bad day at the office but I guess I’ll find out.  Also, I think I’ve been over reading the altitude from Google Maps- I think they’ve been shoping them in ft and I’ve been reading them as metres :-(.  Makes me more than a little nervous as I’m sure the actual route has 4 100 metre climbs on it.

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