Seems as if it has become somewhat customary to jot down a few pre-race thoughts with an upcoming OCR (obstacle course race). This is not a rah-rah, beat-my-chest, let’s-kick-some-ass type post. Just some random thoughts going into Sunday’s Spartan Super.
It has been two years since I last ran the Spartan Super (an 8+ mile, 25+ obstacle race over desert-like terrain.) I use that term lightly because due to a last-minute injury, I ran, perhaps, a total of 100-yards. Limped is much more accurate description.
I was in pain with just about every step. The gamut of emotions felt that day went from anger to elation; from feeling content to relief. Yet all of it culminated with a strong sense of accomplishment not felt in a very long time. I realized that whether I walked or ran, it did not matter. At the time, 8.4 miles was a personal OCR distance record and in some ways, that medal means more than any other – including the Big Bear Beast and Tough Mudder.
Sans the injury (knock on wood), this coming weekend is the long awaited rematch.
As an open-heat racer, there is no prize money nor rankings in play. Both finish time and overall placement is nothing more than talking points and social media fodder.
Personally, there will be no obsession with mile splits or even obstacle completion (I already know I will fail more than a couple of obstacles and am familiar with the burpee penalty that follows.) A hard-learned lesson over the years is that setting goals in these types of races is near impossible and can often times lead to disappointment and anger.
This race: the plan is to focus simply on gratitude.
So many people have their own reasons as to why they do these kinds of events, but perhaps at its core – at least for me, for this event – is because I can.
There might come a day when I cannot do a Spartan or a Tough Mudder or even a Terrain Race (if they are still around). Fortunately, that day isn’t Sunday. Sunday I will be on the starting line preparing for glory or battle or whatever macho adjective the announcer uses to motivate us.
All that being said, I still have that hyper-competitive male ego which tells me these races are more than just receiving a participation trophy. Despite the usual aches and pains of getting old (i.e. a sore back, added pounds, bad feet, etc.), putting out a solid effort and doing better than the previous race are always factors.
Help others, have fun, put out and finish strong. Aroo, bitches!