As mentioned in my last post, I did the NE Spartan Beast this past weekend. Eight miles and 30 obstacles later, I am humbled. I didn't run a burpee-free race, so that will continue to be a goal. Overall the race was humbling and fantastic but inspiring as well. Here are my takeaways from Saturday:
You need to believe in yourself: I got a little intimidated at the first monkey bar obstacle and fell off before I got past the first bar. This was frustrating and I can't help but wonder if I'd just tried for the next bar if that would have boosted my confidence and allowed me to finish an obstacle that I have trained for and can do.
Sometimes you just need to try an obstacle: I don't think I'd ever encounted the Olympus Wall and the Tire Flip. The Tire Flip was much easier than I was expecting it to be. The Olympus Wall, not so much. I knew the technique, but it just wasn't clicking. I think this is something that will take a few more tries but I don't see this as an insurmountable obstacle.
Conquering an obstacle is WAY better than 30 burpees: Thankfully, even though I missed the first monkey bar obstacle, I was able to conquer other monkey-bar "like" obstacles, like the Beater and the Twister. I even did really well on part of the Multi-rig, but I couldn't transition to a pole from the ring. I've completed similar obstacles in other races, so I know I can do it, but it was at the end and I was tired, which gets me to the next point...
Training is critical: It's not the beginning of the race that's tough, it's the end. Even though the weather was perfect, eight miles and all of those obstacles add up. By the time I got to the Multi-rig I was pretty worn out. By the time I got to the final obstacle, the Rope Climb, I was 100% gassed. I had zero leg strength left to try and shimmy my way up. I was disappointed but it demonstrated a critical training technique--it's good to combine hard runs with obstacle practice so you can test your grit on obstacles when the gas tank is low.
What are the obstacles that you find the toughest?