Lessons Learned

I had my second mud/obstacle race this past weekend (full report pending).  I had a lot of fun, more so than the first one, but I think a lot of it had to do with my awesome team.  While it wasn’t perfect, I did some things better this time and learned even more for next.

What I Did Well

Instead of using my sports glasses, which distorted my vision last time and made it difficult for me to track quick movements, I used  a Croakies retainer on my regular workout glasses.  My glasses didn’t budge once and I didn’t have any problems on the multi-level terrain.

I relaxed and had fun, even when I blew the first obstacle and tore up my hands (which made some of the wall obstacles impossible).  I didn’t beat myself up too much – okay, I did cry for a minute after it happened but I moved on and didn’t let it ruin the race.

I pushed as hard as I could.  There was one obstacle called the Spider Wall which was a multi-level climbing wall over a pit of water (unknown depth).  I was able to complete it even though it hurt like crazy and, apparently, I’m a touch afraid of heights.  I had to really push myself to move my hands down from the higher hand holds so I could move my feet to descend on the other side of the water hazard.  It was a mental and physical challenge for me and I’m proud to say I did it.

Spider Wall - I had to cross towards the camera and the last handhold almost did me in
Spider Wall – I had to cross towards the camera and the last handhold almost did me in

What I Need to Improve

Core, balance, arm strength.  Man, even though I’ve been working on these areas, it is very clear that I have a LONG way to go.  Our team wants to do the Spartan Trifecta next year so I really need to step up my game!

Hydration.  I drank at the aid stations on the course but I didn’t have my water bottle with me at the finish and there was no water to be found.  I did have a (large) beer but I was definitely a bit dehydrated.  I downed a large glass of apple juice as soon as I could but it was too little, too late.  I should never assume that there will be water at the finish.  I should also keep a throw-away bottle with me at the start.  It’s not a good thing to feel thirsty at the start.

Post-race nutrition.  I attended a birthday party with Little Runner and then a neighborhood movie party that afternoon and evening and I ate items that were very much off my plan (plus, had another drink and a jell-o shot).  I paid DEARLY for it the next day.  Between my hands, my head, and my stomach, my long run for Sunday did not happen.  I now need to play catch-up on my miles.

This was my last organized obstacle event for this year and that’s probably a good thing.  I would like to continue my training on the local course since it’s great cross-training but I don’t want to tempt the fate of a broken something or other this close to GO time.  46 days…

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