178 Miles May Make or Break Your Weekend

Greetings from Reno, Nevada!

209 teams composed of 12 athletes covering 178 miles…sounds like quite the adventure. Or maybe it’s just the Reno Tahoe Odyssey! This weekend is the 7th annual adventure race hosted in the Reno area. Teams work together to take one giant lap around the area, starting at Idlewild Park, heading into California, blasting through Tahoe, and finally working their way back to Idlewild through Carson and Virginia City. “Race” would be kind of an understatement for this endeavor… it’s more like… an epic quest!

As the noobie in the group, I’m pretty excited to get my feet wet this weekend (this may be literal as we’re expecting nasty, nasty weather) but am especially looking forward to the social aspect as well. It’s not everyday that you spend a day and a half cramped in a bus with 11 other athletes doing a combination of eating, sleeping, and socializing while waiting to run each of their three sections of the race. Hot off of a marathon, I’m pretty excited to shift gears as I prepare for my upcoming triathlon races, and eagerly await the adventure that Tahoe holds for my team.

Going into the weekend, here are three things I’m looking to take out of this experience…

  1. Focus on Teamwork – in any situation, business or athletic, you must rely on your teammates. The interesting thing about teams is the dynamic that they bring to any situation, and especially the synergy. Perhaps you think you’re the best in some area, but then you get into a team and realize you have no idea what you’re talking about. The beauty of teams is that it allows you to combine all of your strengths, while at the same time compensating for each others weaknesses. Don’t underestimate the power of working together!
  2. Enjoy the Adventure – I am always one to appreciate adventures, despite being resistant to change. This year has already been one of many firsts… first marathon, first Reno Tahoe Odyssey, and soon to be first half Ironman. Life is much more enjoyable when you are constantly trying new things instead of remaining a stagnant pile of sludge. Looking towards the end of the year, I am excited to be able to say “wow, look at all the awesome stuff I did this year!” Life’s too short to not enjoy the ride.
  3. Adapting to Changing Environments – Any grand adventure requires the appropriate amount of preparation (stocking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bringing cold weather clothing, and packing a sleeping bag) and it will be interesting to see how prepared (or not) I actually am. Adapting to change is part of the adventure too! Maybe you’re dead tired, can’t feel your calves, or just wanna hurl on the side of the road. How you adapt to those situations and adjust will become part of your character, and will either make you a better person or break you in the process.

To my teammates in the Dirty Stinkin’ Dozen, I’m looking forward to running with you! See you all bright and early.

What other tips do you have for handling adventure?

Photo credit.

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7 Comments

  1. 3 key infrastructure elements to teamwork and success are planning (which in your team’s case would be training and strategizing). Another is communication (can you wear lightweight wireless headsets ?). Plus you have to have a coach/leader. Although these elements are insufficient to guarantee success, they are necessary to allow for success. I’m sure you have elements of all 3, so you are on your way.

    Here’s wishing you and your team my best wishes in your quest. Work hard, stay focused, have fun.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts! Communication was interesting because the 12 of us really came together as a team to cheer each other on, pass out water, and just be good team players!

  2. 1. Teamwork: I have learned just recently that you don’t always have to be in control of a situation in order for everything to go well. If you have good, competent teammates, you’re able to share the burden of success.

    My problem was that I would always assume that everyone else on the team was terrible and I was the only one able to actually accomplish what needed to be done. So, I would place the burden on myself while delegating meaningless jobs to others. In hindsight, I may have underestimated the potential of my partners. I’ll never know since I always felt the need to be in control. Now, I have a new outlook. If my teammates, whoever they may be, prove that they can handle tasks efficiently and effectively, and I show the same to them, we can develop a mutual respect and understanding. In essence, we can share the burden. And, while the final product we assemble may not have been what I actually envisioned, it is indeed a worthy and positive (possibly better) end result. Working with people gets you places much faster than if you decide to work by yourself.

  3. Absolutely, I definitely agree. I also love being in control and don’t fully appreciate the value of delegation. Maybe next time I’ll make someone else run Kingsbury Grade :-)

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