I think it’s really important as you approach each race to set goals that you want to yourself accomplish. They can be the same or a different set of goals each time. The good thing about setting goals for yourself is that only you can determine how many you want to set. You also don’t have to share your goals with anyone else. I know I keep some of mine to myself, while others I share throughout the course with my teammates. I’ll share some of my goals with you now. Feel free to steal them from me—everything is up for grabs.
Goal #1: Sign up- Making it through registration without being intimidated by the website, reviews or obstacles can be half the battle. For me, the Tough Mudder was the most challenging one for me to register. I will admit I was nervous about signing up for this ten mile event featuring many challenging obstacles, including an ice bath and electrocution. I let my “I can” attitude prevail and signed up. Now I’m glad I did!
Goal #2: Show up- This one isn’t hard considering you’ve already paid $50.00-$100.00 to participate. However, I’m willing to bet there are people who let their registration go to waste. I couldn’t imagine not showing up. Not only would I let the team down, I’d let myself down too.
Goal #3: Don’t get hurt- Probably more of a given than a goal, but nevertheless it makes the list. I don’t do this for a career, so getting hurt wouldn’t mean a free doctor’s visit. We all have to get up the next day, and I prefer to do that with all my limbs and ligaments intact.
Goal #4: Finish the race- If you remember from the First Mile, my goal for “Run For Your Lives” was just to finish. This still holds true today. If I don’t do anything else during the race, all I want to do is cross the finish line. Remember, at the finish line you get the t-shirt and medal, plus a banana! Maybe that’s why some people do these races?
Goal #5: Attempt each obstacle- Unless I fear serious injury or death, I’m trying it. It’s one of my more difficult goals, but easily the most rewarding. Wouldn’t you rather try than never know your potential? Most likely, you are not going to be racing every weekend, so you can’t necessarily just put it off until the “next time.” You’ll have to live with not knowing until the opportunity comes around again.
Goal #6: Don’t forget about the team- Ask for help when needed, and give your help when requested. Stay with the team, and don’t let your ego take control. Some obstacles you might find easy others may find hard, and vice versa. Often, these events require teamwork at some point even if you’re not on a team. Having a “who can finish first?” contest with your team will only create issues later. Instead, cross the finish line together (you can refer to the GoPro later to see who’s foot crossed first). I learned this goal the hard way.
Goal #7: Don’t let yourself down- Have fun, challenge yourself, and of course, be proud of what you accomplished. It’s a long ride home, and feeling dejected won’t make it any easier. You want to cross the finish line feeling pumped, not like the mud stuck on your shoe.
Goal #8: Complete the rope climb- This is my own personal goal that I’m sad to report I have not yet overcome. I hate this obstacle! Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I have such a hard time conquering it. It will happen one day, it’s just a matter of when.
Goal #9: Sign up again- This is maybe more for the event organizers, but it’s also one for yourself. I don’t think you can accurately judge OCR based off of one event since each race is different. They are all similar to some degree, but each is unique in its own way. If you have a bad experience at one, don’t assume you will have another bad experience.
I could have rounded this post out to an even ten goals, but I’ll be adding more along the way. Creating goals is a fun way to keep the experience fresh and interesting. You can even set team goals, which is something our team hasn’t done yet. I hope you share some of your goals with me, your team and other readers. We can all build from each other to make the experience better.
In the next mile I’ll talk about race day gear. This is the fun stuff!