One of the lessons I learned from 2020 is being okay when something doesn’t work out as planned. The races I was looking forward to were canceled. The concerts I had tickets for were postponed or canceled. Some of the money we had saved for a new bathroom remodel went to pay for tree removal after a storm and to pay my husband’s medical bills. All of these were tough pills to swallow, and after a while it was almost as if I was constantly singing “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen.
When I drafted my running plans and goals for 2021, I pretty much inserted an asterisk knowing how unpredictable the year would be. I set some lofty goals and realized how difficult they would be, especially if we had another year like 2020. I’m glad I’ve learned to not have so much FOMO and to be okay with things not going as planned, but it’s almost as if I now expect it and am gun shy to even draft goals for myself.
So when I got a text from my friend that the marathon I was training for was postponed, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was almost relieved. Not because I didn’t want to put in the work or thought I couldn’t do it – I knew I could, and I felt really strong in my training. What I didn’t feel confident in was traveling to a race and running a race with thousands of others. Even with their plan in place to make it happen safely I wasn’t sure that I would feel safe. Or that I wanted my race experience to be what was planned.
That’s why (fortunately) I hadn’t signed up yet. I guess you could say I’ve become a lot more of a realist than an optimist since 2020. There are no in person races that I am yearning to sign up for – the only reason I signed up for Detroit was because of their transfer and deferral policies.
So now what? I considered following through on my plan to train for an at home “Dopey Challenge” or 50k. Then I thought of the hours of training, the hours away from my husband while he’s still recovering from surgery, the hours away from other things and people that are really important to me. I decided those lofty running goals aren’t for me. They aren’t my priority.
Instead, I’ve decided to keep a goal I didn’t expect to make – a 365 day streak of intentional movement. Since the news of the race being postponed, I’ve decided to accomplish this through running every other day, walking an average of one mile every day, and doing another type of workout (strength, dance, yoga, etc.) on the days I don’t run. How I do it may change over the course of the year based on whether I am training for races or doing other challenges along the way, what the weather is like, or just what mood I am in. But for now, this seems like the right thing to do for my body and mind.
Don’t worry – I still plan to share what I’ve learned from reading Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners. The information is helpful, whether I’m training for a marathon or not. Just because I’m no longer training for a marathon right now doesn’t mean I never will. I am signed up to run one on October 17th, after all!
Stay tuned for new challenges: since February is known for Valentine’s Day, my next challenge is going to be more about loving yourself – body, mind and spirit!