WITH CONCERNS MOUNTING REGARDING THE SPREAD OF VIRAL INFECTION, large gatherings may be cancelled or scaled back, including organized competitions. Even if held as scheduled, individual participants may decide for personal safety reasons not to attend long anticipated events, despite registration fees being mostly non-refundable.
Worse than losing money is the disappointment engendered by such moves, which are likely to result in the end of training without a physical test to assess performance .
However, there’s no need to surrender important goals. There’s no need to let a situation dictate your response or the ultimate outcome. 'Run' your own race; whether it's a run, run/walk, bike, swim, or combination effort. Determine a date and time, find a course or location, devise a support system for a longer distance race or assemble a team if required. Then compete. As the Nike corporate slogan encourages athletes, “Just Do It”.
Designing, competing in, and completing personal challenges has allowed me to continue to believe in myself as an athlete regardless of circumstance. It has prevented me from dropping out of training programs, saved me from discouragement, boosted my self-esteem as an over-60 competitor, and preserved important relationships.
Once I started using personal competitions as back-ups for potential event failures the need to choose between important social or work and fitness commitments rarely arose. Most situations were salvaged, fitness goals were met, and the disrupting issue was resolved.
Like the time my niece's out of town wedding was scheduled on the day of an important-to-me half marathon. I lost the registration fee and chance to join the herd, but competed a week earlier on the exact course by myself. Sure, there is disappointment when plans must be changed, but the opportunity to compete and use skills gained from training is preserved. There's no way I world have missed her big day that year; it was a win-win outcome.
I love to use Earned Runs bibs to formalize and record personal competitive goals and accomplishments. These small Tyvek rectangles may not inspire everyone. But for me, writing results and details of accomplished goals through 4 seasons on 4 bibs (plus colorful stickers) tells the story of my fitness efforts across an entire 12 months.
This year, 2020, I trained but waited to register for an organized April half marathon in Chicago until the latest possible time. Good move, I’m thinking now, and a wise strategy going forward until the infectious disease situation stabilizes. I'll run it there if I can, or at home the week after.
My sister sent me notice of a runner in China who ran 66km, a 41+mile ultra-marathon distance, inside his apartment in the midst of the coronavirus quarantine in the city of Hangzhou near Shanghai. Her comment that he could have used an Earned Runs bib inspired this post!
Coronavirus dangers, work, family, or other circumstances beyond your control might be managed so as not to become unsurmountable obstacles to fitness achievements. If healthy, consider arranging personal competitions as alternatives to official organized events. Save money, time, and frustration; ‘run’ your own race.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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