Nom, nom, nom... That's the sound of me eating some humble pie and I'm full. Some of you may have followed my attempts at running the Bruce Trail fully packed, Professor Fail post, as well as the lead up Mini Expedition post. Running the 130km Iroquois section of the Bruce Trail began as an idea last fall. I have been training with a 25lbs pack since December and working on building up my distances. I failed on my first attempt as I celebrated my 40th birthday and last Friday I came up short again in a training run.
Against all advice from friends (yes, Tim and Nigel!), I set out with my multi-day 25lbs pack again. This time the goal was simple: stay on my feet and "power hike" 12 hours at approximately 6kph. Right from the get go it was not looking good. I brought trekking poles this time to help with the hills and to assist in preventing another rolled ankle incident. I was dropped of at Balls Falls in Vineland, ON, 72.5km from my home in Hamilton. The first hour was ridiculous. Steep hills and rocks had left me way behind pace and this was to be the theme of the day. Most of the first 40km was "unrunable" with a weighted pack and the hills were brutal. I was hydrating and fueling well, but the terrain and weight were sapping my energy stores. By hour 6 I had covered less than 30km and was so far behind schedule I knew this wasn't going to be a success. I just kept remembering the words of a newly found friend "Turbo" from the show "Boundless". He's a local endurance hero and knows how to get through some tough days. Just break it down and take it hour by hour, km by km, minute by minute. That's the concept. So I did. I wanted this day to hurt. I wanted to suffer. Wait, what? Why you ask? Why would anyone in their right mind want to suffer. Well, because for myself and other endurance challengers that's when you find your true self. You discover what you're made of when you push your boundaries. Apparently I'm still made of Jell-O inside. I broke around 7 hours and was reduced to a slow trudge, but I never stopped. At 10 hours I was on the East side of Hamilton and knew there was no point in pushing any further. It wasn't going to help make me stronger, I was already barely walking. I called for a pick-up from the Team Wife mobile and zombie walked another 5km to King's Forest Golf Course. I had made it just over 50km in 10.5 hours and I was destroyed.
That night I radiated heat like an oven and went through boxers and t-shirts in wave after wave of night sweats. I had found my limit. Around hour 8 that day I had come to the conclusion that no matter how bad you want something, sometimes it's just not within your reach. This had been another training run towards a second attempt at the Bruce Trail run this year. This was a wake up call for me. I'm just not strong enough yet. I would have to make 65km per day for 2 days with a pack and I couldn't even make it the first day. I will still keep this goal very much alive, but move it to the back burner for this season. Back to the old drawing board as they say. Besides there are lots of little daily goals to accomplish in the meantime. Until next year Bruce...
Bruce - 2 Ryan - 0