Ok lads, as requested by a few I've had a bash at writing a diary for the recent PRMC(R) I undertook at CTC two weeks ago. I'll preface this by saying this is how I remember things as being, and that future PRMC(R)'s might not adhere to this format so train to be flexible and go with the flow! …. Oh, and this is probably going to be long! So a bit of background. I have now undertaken three PRMC's. The first in Jan 2007 aged 20, which I attempted a week after having tonsillitis and failed big style. The second I undertook 3 months later and passed without too many dramas, but left training after being Huntered in week 11. Then most recently, after a good 7 year break I found myself back on the train station at CTC ready for PRMC number three, this time for the RMR. The Friday night detail was to arrive at CTC from 20:45. Because I had a feeling I wouldn’t want to be driving home on the Sunday I opted to take the train down. Unfortunately the only train that would get me in close to 20:45 arrived at CTC for 19:55…. Oh well, better to be early! Because I was so early the guard at the gate was a bit confused as to why I was there and what to do with me, so a couple of trained ranks who’d arrived back on the same train offered to escort me up to the main guardhouse. On the walk up they were quizzing me on why I was there etc and it transpires one of them was ex RMR who had managed to go Reg off the back of Herrick 9. It was interesting to chat with them and they gave me some sound advice: Don’t second guess anything over the next couple of days. Don’t psych yourself out. Only focus on the event you’re about to do, don’t look any further ahead. Dig out blind. Don’t quit. It was a nice little pep talk, and really struck me how encouraging they both were. They dropped me at the guardhouse and left after wishing me the very best of luck. The rest of Friday night was fairly uneventful. We waited for all the lads to arrive, issued kit, had a quick lecture, and then got our heads down for the night around 23:30. Straight away the mood amongst the lads was good, the thing with RMR is the lads you do PRMC with are highly likely to be the the lads you start training with so its important to bond quickly and get to know one another. As the RMR PMRC is essentially a Reg PRMC crammed into almost half the time I knew the timetable for the weekend was going to be tight, and I wasn’t disappointed. The plan for physical activities was as follows: Morning 07:30 BFT 09:00 Bottom Field/Assault Course 11:00 Interviews Afternoon 13:30 RMFA 15:00 Swimming Assessment 18:30 Night in Field Morning 07:30 Endurance Course Interspersed with this would be lots of other bits of admin, meals, etc. The thing I noted straight away was that bottom field and the assault course were to be in the morning, straight after the run, and before the RMFA. I knew then that my scores in the gym would suffer, but quickly pushed the thoughts out of my mind. That was future CrashMonkey’s problem. I’d been up since 06:00 on the Friday and was looking forward to having a decent nights sleep, and certainly felt like I needed it. Sadly however this was not to be. The combined noise of every 17 lads rolling around on rickety old metal framed bunk beds and someones snoring, which a number of us compared to a dying cat, kept me awake pretty much all night. At best I got and hour and a half’s sleep that night and therein lies the first important piece of advice I have to pass on…. learn to train and perform tired. I certainly was at 05:30 on Saturday morning! DAY 1 After a rushed sh*t, a cold shower, and a brisk shave, we headed down to the galley for one of the things I remember best about my time as a Reg Nod… Scran. I love food, and I love big portions of food even better, so knowing what lay ahead for Day 1 I loaded up on a cooked breakfast followed by porridge, fruit, coffee, juice, and water. Then it was back to the accommodation to get changed into PT rig ready to begin the BFT at 07:30. BFT For some reason, this is the test that I had been worrying about the most before heading to CTC. Technically I knew I could run the time without issue, and had done so on the many BFT practises I’d completed on my work lunch breaks. However due to a poor last training session on the Tuesday before PRMC which I ran it in 9:48 with considerable difficulty, I was a tad nervous about failing the first event and catching an early train home. As we marched up to the top field all my feelings of nerves were replaced by one thought, ‘*text deleted* me its cold!’. I don’t know what the temperature was that morning, but it was chilly enough that the Training Team sent us off jogging laps of a football pitch to keep warm while awaiting the arrival of the PTI’s. I think we ran about 4 or 5 laps in total. The pace was easy, but it was all energy I’d never expended before training sessions…. I started getting nervous again. When the PTI’s arrived I found I needn’t have been nervous about running just a few laps of the pitch, because next we’d be doing a thorough warm up, which included sprints, followed by Pull Up and Sit Up tests. I definitely hadn’t trained for that! The only advice I’m going to give here lads is before you do your BFT mocks, go and complete one or two rounds of a Fintan Circuit and then take a 5 min rest. This should get you to a level of fatigue close to PRMC warmup conditions. The pull up and sit up tests were conducted after the warm up. We were all to perform 5 controlled pull ups to the PTI’s command, followed by 5 sets of 10 sit ups, each set being started by the PTI once the last person had finished. I chose to put out here and blast through each set in order to get as much rest as possible while waiting for the others to finish. Then, finally, it was onto the road for the BFT. We all know what the PRMC BFT involves so I won’t go into the finer details of the first run. Basically, ran as a troop to the PTI’s command, explaining the route that we would be running back along. Easy. 1 minutes rest….. AND GO! Now, I am a realist. I am not a strong runner, and I know that I will never compete with 17 year old lads that run a BFT return in sub 8 mins. So, as we set off from the start line for the return run I knew my race would be with myself (and the newly Commando trained Padre who was going to run it with us, that I was determined to beat), and settled in at last place. I’m not going to lie lads, running back up that first lane of the return I was seriously considering quitting after about 300m. People were disappearing into the distance and I was feeling shattered already from the warm up and faster than normal pace that I was trying to keep. Then a couple of guys started slowing, unable to keep the quick pace, and I focussed on the back of the first man. As I went past him I saw the end of the lane and knew I’d run half a mile, only a mile to go… I told myself to man up and catch the next man, which I did. This is basically what I did for the rest of the run, catch a guy, pass him, find the next one and catch him. Gradually I worked my way past a few lads and spotted the Padre and the OC of my RMR Det up the road, they were next and I was determined to catch them. As I ran passed them both, blowing out of my backside and groaning like a porn star, I heard the Padre shout “good effort lad, go get ‘em!”. I had to crack a smile at this as I’m nearly 29, and certainly not a lad anymore! Then I saw it, “Its only pain, 500m to go”. I dropped the hammer and gave it all I could, passing one more lad and finishing in a time of 9:13. Happy with that, a PB on the road without music. Hats off to the lads that finished in the low 8 minute range! And that was it, BFT complete. It was now straight back to the accommodation for a wash, and quick change into boots, combat jackets, and trousers ready to move down to bottom field within 15 mins. By now I was so chuffed with my performance on the run that I didn’t care what was coming next. I was in the zone and knew the hard training had paid off.