The Mayhem on Memorial Day

“Babe, is it hot in here? I think I’m starting to sweat.” I said on our way to the wedding.

“Stop thinking about the race, You’ve been looking at that map and getting yourself all worked up.” My girlfriend replied from the driver's seat.

Days before the race I started feeling the tight stomach and the itchy heart. It’s been a long offseason and today was the beginning. It certainly didn’t disappoint. 

We pulled up to the Jewish Community Center in Columbus, Ohio where Memorial Day Mayhem is located. This is the first of five amazing races in the Ohio OCR Grand Slam. The course is fast and technical. In its 3.1 miles, it hosts 40 obstacles set up in groups. There is a more explosive section with burpees, short monkey bars. and tire flips. A trail run section. Water run, balance section and strength section with undercarriage, log carry, tire pull and rope climb, just to name a few.

As far as spectating goes, there is a great place inside to get out of the sun if need be, a kids course and splash pad. So there is plenty to do for the whole family. 

This is an amazing race and I encourage anyone to come out. All the people I talked to had all good things to say about their experience. 

The Race

The buzzer goes off and I explode off the line. Immediately I start to run off course. Jason Duly kindly points me in the right direction. OCRM (OCR Sports broadcasting) said to get out front on this race so even on the two-lane walls I find a way to make three. Out in front on a skinny trail I idle down and set a slower pace.

I managed to hold the front spot in the beginning. I battled with Brandon Ours and Jeff Warnock most of the way. Jeff passed me when he could open up on the way to the 2nd water crossing. Brandon passed me in the tubes in the second crossing. I made some quick passes back on the trails where my shorter and explosive legs can run intervals on the windy roads of mud. When we broke out of the final water crossing I managed to try and swim a bit. Bad idea. Instead, I had a nice drink of Alum Creek water. Yuk. That’s when Brandon made his pass. I never passed him again. 

To the tyrillion traverse and undercarraige. These got me breathing really heavy. Then it was followed by a log carry. That’s when Jeff passed me. My pace sank to 10:30ish. They pulled away and I didn’t see them until after the race. When I got to the tire drag I rested longer than I think I should have. 

You know what is different here? I usually can recall my thought process during these moments. None. Nope, I can’t remember any internal struggle. Which has me a bit worried. Had I gone on autopilot? Have I created an automatic response to a certain level of pain? I thought I was experiencing a lot of output in my effort. RPE. That stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion.  At the moment I’d say it was up there. 9 or 10. Here is the kicker though. After the race, I started looking at my heart rate during them. The log carry had me 150 at the start of it, 127 in the middle and finished at 144. At the Tire Drag, it dropped to a 125! The whole beginning of the race I stayed between 160-80. The last leg I finished before the kick was a solid 150. 


Now, my question is why is my RPE so high when my heart rate is so low? The only thing I can think of is my mind got soft for a moment. It was that quick! It cost me 3 minutes! It set a lower pain threshold habit and left me with 36:10 out the gate. I would have never noticed without my watch and TomTom sports app. 

For Us 
The difference in this data has raised some questions for internal reflection. Obviously, there can be a disconnect in what we think we are feeling to what we really are feeling. There can be some level willful acceptance of self-deception. Even scarier, if we miss the data we might actually believe the little demon called deception. Never knowing all the while we are capable of so much more. 

Let us be honest and ask ourselves: How much pain do we allow ourselves to feel? When do we say, “This is enough.”? Can we at times be so blind to think we are trying our best when honestly, we decided not to try any harder? 

These can all be hard pills to swallow. Yet, how liberating it is to know that it is our power to decide.

The BA2L is real,

Be Addicted To Life,

Eric (Airek)


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