“From chaos comes clarity.”
Recently, I was reminded about the importance to focus on the positive and not get caught up in the negativity of things I can’t control.
I imagine a lot of people are feeling this right now in some way, shape, or form.
For me, it all started with a little bug.
When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan
I got hit with a terrible cold bug last Friday. I was hopeful that extra rest in the afternoon and a good night’s sleep would be all I needed to feel up to my Saturday long run. That was silly.
I spent most of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in bed. The rest of the week was spent working from home in partial quarantine while I continued to have a sore throat, stuffy nose, and nasty cough that was not acceptable to bring into the workplace.
That’s the thing about colds. They stick around. They linger. It’s not like the flu where it’s a day or two that you’re down for the count, full-on misery, but then things feel better pretty quickly.
Because of the longevity of this particular bug, not only did I miss my weekend long run, I missed the entire following week. And, naturally, it was some of the nicest, springy-est weather we’ve had yet.
The Stages of Running FOMO Grief
My first instinct was to be super bummed and feel sorry for myself, then move on to wonder if my entire training was down the tubes, if I’d have to miss my next marathon, probably never run one again. Whew, good thing I didn’t overreact.
It is a tough place to be in, not knowing when things will pass, how the body will rebound to running again, and what the rest of the training season will bring. In short, some people think running sucks. I think it sucks when you can’t run.
So after I went through all those stages of running FOMO grief, I tried to remember my own advice I had given my friend, Jordan a few days earlier: missing one long run really doesn’t derail a training plan that much. Even missing subsequent shorter runs doesn’t mean you can’t pick it back up the following week and get back on track.
My good friend and fellow runner, Jenny also helped catapult me back to reality, reminding me that these were just the first of much nicer days to come. I’d get plenty of nice running days in the weeks and months ahead.
And, worst-case scenario, if I got to the point my training did get thrown off to the point I’d have to downgrade from the full marathon, at least I’d have good rest and be healthy to continue running.
When things happen that throw off normalcy and routine, whether training or everyday life, I think it’s important to try to maintain at least a shred of perspective. Yes, it’s okay to be uncomfortable with the unknown, to worry, and to play out all the ‘what if’ scenarios. But it’s also okay to remember that it will eventually pass and life will go back on. And being in the best, positive mental state possible can only help.
Is My Race Going to Be Canceled?
Even though I’m still not fully healthy yet, I did feel good enough to go for a long run yesterday – and, surprisingly yet not surprisingly, I pretty much picked up exactly where I left off.
With everything happening in the sports and racing world right now, another curve ball might be thrown my way – the marathon I’m training for, my beloved annual Fargo Marathon, could be canceled. Do I worry? Sure, maybe a little bit. But do I forge ahead with my training, knowing that I’m getting so much out of it, more than what I’d show on race day? Damn right.
In the event my race does get canceled, maybe I’ll run my own marathon on May 9. Maybe I’ll throw it out to my fellow runners that we all practice #socialdistancing while doing a virtual marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, or whatever distance, on our own but united in spirit and our love for running.
How do you react when life throws those big curveballs – worse, knuckleballs – into your routine? Runners, are you currently training for a race you’re worried will be canceled? How are you handling it?
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