Being pushed to the edge of your ability and beyond is empowering.
It’s a scary ledge.
This weekend I re-learned a lesson in mind over matter. I completed the Resolution Adventure Race, an 8 hour adventure/orienteering race with my cousin, Steven. It was my first time, his 6th. Luckily he was patient with me!
We start the day at 6am (remember I’m a not a morning person). Each team receives an orienteering map that utilize the contours and elevation changes of the course. On the map is a series of 37 mandatory Check Points (CPs). These are the locations we must find over the course of 8 hours with the help of our map and a vague clue (ex: large palmetto in the middle of a field). Each CP has a patterned stamp you use to mark your card to prove you were there. You don’t have to get them all, but each one is worth 1 point. At the end of the race, the team with the most points wins.
The points are separated into 3 categories: trekking, biking, and canoeing. They give you a punch card per leg so you can’t cheat and grab a biking CP when you’re on a trekking portion, for instance.
The first two portions were trekking and biking. We jogged through the first leg pretty easily and grabbed every point in about 30 mins. The biking was a little more challenging. Most of the paths were on sugar sand! I am NOT a strong cyclist (read: I don’t ride at all), so I slowed us down. We took about an hour to gain those points.
Then came the canoeing. The check points were along a lake, and our clues were distances and degrees. For example, on clue might say: 977 meters @ 160 degrees. You must then use a compass to find that point. I was the “engine” paddling the boat while my cousin orienteered. This portion took about 2 hours. Weight lifting pays off – my arms were still feeling strong at the end!
From there we had a choice to trek or bike. We were almost half way through our 8 hours, and opted to trek first since
I suck at biking that was our strong point. We spent about 2 hours and 15 mins trekking and only left 2 CPs behind. What shocked me is that I was able to jog a lot of it! The goal is not to run the whole thing – there is hiking and climbing involved. You have to slow down when you get near a CP to follow your “clue” to the point.
This was my favorite. We jogged through orange groves, swamp land, forests, and sugar sand. We did some bushwhacking, got some scratches, and emerged covered in cockleburs. It was a BLAST.
The last section was biking. It was hour 6 and I was questioning my ability to continue after we hit a grassy, sandy, uphill trail. I did what I could, walked when I had to, and got a little edgy when my cousin got too far ahead of me. Being exhausted and limited by your lack of ability is frustrating!
We didn’t make it to half of the biking CPs before our 8 hours ended. You must be back at the check-in in exactly 8 hours or they start deducting points, so you don’t want to try to over-achieve if it’s going to make you late. We made it in 7:44.
Last week I posted my concerns about staying fueled throughout the race. Having just recovered from the stomach flu, I was especially nervous!
I started the day with my Morning Cocktail, Starbucks oatmeal, a banana, and coffee. And lots of water. Throughout the race we tried to eat and take an electrolyte pill every hour. I aimed for 100 calories per snack.
What I Consumed: homemade fuel bars (recipe coming soon – these were a win), 1 Espresso GU, 1 Hammer Gel, 1 peanut butter cracker, 1/2 a Stinger Waffle (I didn’t like this – too sweet), and 3 pieces of gum.
I also drank about 40 oz of water… this is not a lot over 8 hours, but I had a lot the day before and morning of knowing that I can’t take in a lot during races due to sloshing and cramping.
Once we turned in our punch cards, we were award with subs. I don’t like mayo-soaked chicken salad… but I ate this sub like a cave person. Food. Any food. Nom. With Cheet-os. Bonus.
We drive 6 hours back to Atlanta that night. No shower, just a baby wipe cleaning and a quick change of clothing. I’m sure the people at Waffle House appreciated our
good looks patronage.
That’s right. After burning 3000+ calories, Waffle House was my race day treat food of choice. I love gourmet food, but there is something about a chocolate chip waffle… with a Strange But Good spin, of course:
I asked that mine be topped with a runny egg. The server thought this was so weird she took a picture with her phone to post on Instagram. The movement is growing!!! Bwhahaha!
Any guesses about what the red stuff is in the last pic? I finished my last couple of bites with some hot sauce.
We weren’t sure how we placed in the race. There were several very competitive teams that compete for national rankings, so competition was fierce. It turns out we finished 9th overall!
We received credit for 27 our of 37 points. Not a single team “cleared the course” (earned all 37 CPs).
Thank you to the Pangea crew that organized the race. It was a well-organized, fair race… a fantastic first experience!
Have you ever done a race like this? Would you want to?
Have you ever been pushed beyond the edge of (what you thought was) your ability?