Black Ops: Project management

My interest in project management hasn’t been much of a secret. What else isn’t a secret? I’m a huge nerd. When thinking about the Black Ops race in June, I couldn’t really help myself from starting to apply project management methodologies to the whole endeavor, because clearly, it’s a project.

Why do I say this? Let’s take a look at the definition of a project from the PMI Institute:

A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.

And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.

Well, first, yes, there’s a defined beginning and end time (from time I registered to the end of the race). Temporary. It’s unique in that this isn’t something I do every day. I’m looking to accomplish a singular goal: Not die complete the race.

So. There you have it. I’m gonna have to manage this like a project. Because I’m a nerd.

Phase one is Initiating the project. I kicked off with my registration and announcing my intentions to the world for accountability.

Phase two is Planning. Lots of planning, which, will be my next topic…

Press Start

This week, I registered for the X Warrior Titan 12 Hour Black Ops event.

What I know about this event:

  • It is run on a loop at the Boneyard compound in Barrhead.
  • To get a medal, you have to cross the finish line after the 11th hour.
  • There’s no burpees if you fail an obstacle (penalty loops are in place instead).
  • You can earn patches if you exceed certain distance thresholds.
  • You can earn a patch if you take a loop carrying a heavy bag.
  • It is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever chosen to complete.

That certainly isn’t a lot of information. More will come out as we get closer to June, but I did a little digging on what this event was like last year.

First, the penalty loops. Last year, X Warrior experimented with eliminating burpees and adding the penalty loop concept. It appears participants were given 2 wristbands. One would be collected by obstacle marshals you failed the complete an obstacle. At points on the course, there were penalty loops – if you were missing your bands, you had to complete the loop for each band you were missing (then I assume you gained them back). The loops were carries/pulls/etc. So, instead of burpees, you had a new obstacle to complete.

So, in thinking about training, I have to try and predict what sort of obstacles to expect. As this is an X Warrior event, I can expect that there will be an axe throwing obstacle. Last year, there was a can-shoot with airsoft rifles, I think this will probably make a return too. So, that’s at least two obstacles that are going to be a little tougher to train for – ie, they’ll take specialized time outside of ‘gym time’.

I can expect that I will need to work on swinging-type obstacles, be it a rope to rope swing, or ring to ring, or ring to rope, etc. This will require grip and upper body strength work.

Rope climbs are probably worth training for too. This is going to be partly technique (learning the S and J hook) and grip/upper body strength.

Climbing walls. Climbing other things.

Pulling things. Pushing things. Carrying things.

Basically, I need to get my whole body stronger. That’s cool. But not only stronger, the endurance to keep moving for a very long time.

And on top of all that…more cardio. I know I can run for ~3 hours if I pace myself right. Probably more. But, that’s only a quarter of the race time. So, I need to keep building my endurance.

Really daunting challenge. But, I’m starting 9 months in advance. Hopefully that’s plenty of time.