Had to get up really early this morning to squeeze in a training run before a big meeting at work. I got up at 4AM and headed to Richard's house for a 4:45AM trail run. Richard and I had gotten together Tuesday night to go through our mandatory gear for our upcoming Desert RATS 140 mile stage race. We finally decided topack our race packs and do some training runs with them. We had an idea of what the weight would be. After packing all of the mandatory gear and equipment below into my Salomon XA 10+3 Pro backpack, I ended up with 12.5 lbs.:
1 Two liter hydration bladder (64 ounces)
2 Gatorade sports bottles (48 ounces)
1 Montane Lite-Speed H2O windbreaker
SCaps salt tablets
2 luminous signal sticks
1 reflective mirror
1 Petzl Tikka XP 2 headlamp
1 knife with folding blade (still missing)
1 disinfectant ointment or spray (still mising)
1 D cell emergency strobe light
Racers have to provide additional night supplies, including a sleeping bag, a sleepsing pad, warm clothing and eating utensils (plate, cup, fork, spoon, etc.).
Richard and I took off with our packs,heading up the mountain on Bankhead Parkway, entering Tollgate Trail and onto additional trails Cold Springs Trail and North Loop until we reached the burned down Ranger Station at Monte Sano State Park. This 10 miler really provided a tough workout today. Add the hottest day of the year with record temps and extreme levels of humidity to our 12 lbs packs and you have yourselves a workout. We decided on a slow and steady pace with some walk breaks on the climbs. Yet, after I finished off both Gatorade bottles and some water from the hydration bladder during the run plus another water bottle after the run, I was still down a pound. That adds up to at least 7 lbs of weight dropped during the run. Hydration will be key over the next week prior to as well as during the desert race. I am excited and scared at the same time.