Phase 2: Planning

Last week, I discussed how I was approaching my latest personal challenge as a project. So, pulling out the various project management tools out and whatnot – I’m firmly in the planning stage.

A part of planning is to define the project objectives. In my last post, I said the objective was to not die finish the race. That’s a pretty generic and frankly, a pretty weak objective. We need to refine it. Thankfully, refining the objectives is a part of planning! When I consider what needs to be done,  I come up with a few categories.

  • Training – how I get my body ready to participate
  • Equipment – what tools I need to be successful
  • Nutrition – fuel for my body
  • Other – a catch all for things not yet explored

Obviously, there’s overlap/dependencies between these groups. That’s expected. For example, I need shoes (equipment) to run (train) in. I need to eat to be able to move my body. Etc. That’s expected and normal.

So, thinking about training. What sort of things do I (think I) need to be able to do? I know that the race is on for 12 hours. I have to complete as many laps as possible, and one of those laps needs to be completed in the time between the 11th and 12th hour. I’ll have to complete the obstacles each lap. So, where in a normal race, I might just accept the inability to do a particular task and take the penalty – it behooves me to train for those to avoid as many penalties as possible. What do I need to be able to do?

  • Run for X distance (or time?)
  • Pull up my body weight
  • Climb a rope
  • Climb a cargo net
  • Monkey bars
  • Ring swing
  • Carry a heavy bucket/bag
  • Drag an object
  • Throw an axe
  • Shoot a rifle

That’s a good list to start with. What does it tell me?

  • Grip strength is going to be something I need
  • Functional training is going to be key
  • There are a number of specialized activities to consider
  • Endurance, endurance, endurance, endurance

Now, I’m going to think a little about objectives for my running. To date, my longest run has been a half marathon (21.1 km). I can complete this distance in roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes. This doesn’t mean a whole lot when compared to an obstacle/trail race though. So, consider the Spartan Sprint I ran (~6km) which took me about 1 hour 45 minutes. My most recent long trail race was 13km in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

There’s a big disparity in those times! What do I know about them? The Spartan was done roughly halfway through my training for my first half marathon. I had failed a lot of obstacles and had to do a lot of burpees. Also, trail running, which I hadn’t really been training on. So, my time wasn’t great for a lot of reasons. The trail race is closer to my half time for 8km less. Again, big difference in trail running and road – also, I wasn’t training hills and was gassed by the really large hill portions.

This gives a lot of information – one, I need to change focus to run more trails. Two, I need to add significant hill training. These changes will do wonders for my preparation.

Using my Sprint time as a guide, rounding it to 2 hours, then extrapolating a distance, that puts me to an estimate of 36 km. Using my trail race, I can extrapolate a distance of 70 km. This range is still pretty huge target range and the high end does not consider obstacles. What to do?

My initial gut feeling on where I can realistically end up is somewhere between 25km and 50km. This isn’t set in stone yet – I still need to consult with some experts to get their input on what would be realistic given the time I have to train. But, I have a starting point.

Next time, I’ll look a little more into the planning I have to do regarding equipment.

2017: A review

2017 is coming to a close. It started poorly, ended poorly, but you know…

It might have had some good things too.

The Bad

Let’s rip that band-aid right off and start with the stuff that sucked.

  • Started the year doing EMDR therapy, which frankly, was a really rough experience. It helped a lot, but it required the re-visitation of a lot of memories that I had repressed for decades. But, it made things better.
  • Found a mass on my left kidney. Still waiting on more tests (an MRI, to be specific) to determine if the surgeon is going to remove it or not, but, it’s not exactly the news you’d like to receive. Especially when I received it.
  • My daughter, Nora, was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in November. The same cancer I had when I was a child. I’m going to make the assumption that the EMDR therapy at the beginning of the year prevented me from spiraling out of control.
  • Panic attack – I had my first for sure panic attack this year. I’m gonna go ahead and not recommend that to anyone.
  • Leaving the Warmachine/Hordes community – some events took place that lead me to no longer feel welcome/safe in the community based on my personal needs and frankly, basic human decency. It still hurts that I no longer have that outlet and I haven’t sufficiently replaced it, but I don’t feel like I made the wrong choice for leaving.

I had plans of writing some ‘mediocre’ things but you know what? You don’t give a shit and I can’t think of any that are actually interesting/important, so on to the juicy good stuff.

The Good

  • I ran a Spartan Sprint with my best friend, Britt. We didn’t die. We want to do it again.
  • I ran a Half Marathon on my own in 2 hours 20 minutes. I trained for it in 6 weeks (not recommended). I mean, Zita was supposed to join me, but I think she was just trying to trick me into doing it with out her anyway.
  • I ran multiple sub 30 minute 5ks.
  • I started commission painting. (Dead Planet Creations)
  • I read 29 books this year (goal was 30, but one was Lord of the Rings and I only counted it as one book, plus I didn’t count any of the comics I read) plus, I could theoretically finish the last book tonight, but looks unlikely based on what I want to do (I want to do accounting tonight, yikes, I’m super exciting).
  • Enjoyed several PWA events with Brandon and took in a WWE show with Brandon and Danielle.
  • Several adventures with Emily.
  • Went to therapy at least once a month.
  • Did more volunteer work.

2018 is going to create some challenges for my family, but we’re ready. Maybe the goals I had thought for the year won’t be achievable, but, I’ll find something new.