There’s a lot of unfortunate things that can happen over the course of one’s life. Having your big race of the Season moved is not one of those events. But it is disruptive and a real challenge.
Not addressing this challenge would be a mistake. You have invested too much time and energy to simply walk away. instead, there is an opportunity to eke out some positives every direct your momentum in a new way.
Done properly, you can actually capitalize on this change of plans, turning it into an opportunity for you. Here’s how we recommend you deal.
Pause and Breathe
It is super tempting to act right away. But speed is not your friend in this situation. Instead, it’s much more important for you to slow things down and catch your breath.
The period of time around these decisions is always chaotic. There are rumors floating around and you aren’t even sure of the things that you need to address.
As tempting as it may be to act quickly, and rip the Band-Aid off, those types of impulses are often not the most effective.
First, confirm with other sources that what you’ve learned is true. It’s always better to have confirmation.
Second, reach out to your community and connect with them. Ask questions and learn from what they are experiencing. Listen and learn from how they are processing this challenge. It could be super informative.
Third, sleep on it. Give your brain time to process this new news. Trying to solve it all right away will lead to you missing some important steps of things you need to consider.
Fourth, begin with a list of all the things that you need to take care of. There’s likely several logistical items related to travel, works, and family that you need to address.
But the first and most important step is simply to take a breath.
Review Your Status
Now that you are resigned to the truth, we can start the process of assessing where you are at.
We start with an internal focus simply because you have been training for this event. This is an opportunity for us to take a rare snapshot of this moment and determine what does and does not work.
Sometimes a 12-week block is too much time for us to be able to zoom in on your particular Fitness. Pausing here during the build-up is an opportunity to do just that figure out what is and is not working.
Next, take a moment to review your mental and emotional state. How are you processing this change? Are you still angry about it? Are you resigned to the change? Is there anything that you’re missing? Not being in control of the situation is extremely difficult for type A personalities. But it’s often the path that has been chosen for us which is the hardest to follow. This is an opportunity for you to learn humility and to practice patience and discipline.
Finally, what are the financial repercussions of this change? There are many races out there for which the price tag there’s a hefty cost. If there are elements of the race, lodging, travel, Etc, but you need to account for now is the time. Let it all out on a piece of paper and you can cross it off as you go. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, just get it out on paper so you can start attacking it.
Redirect the Energy
Depending on what your status is, there might be an opportunity for you to redirect your energy to another event. Even if your main event is off the table, that doesn’t mean that all events are. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t roll your own.
If it’s important enough for you or your coach to have a milestone event at the end of your season, that will take some planning.
You can always go online and look up different race opportunities in your area. But it’s not all about racing. There could be other events out there that have been on your bucket list. Now you have permission! The Rim to Rim to Rim run comes to mind, for example. A massive undertaking that requires lots of training and good luck on the day.
In the process of this build-up, many of you will have already hit that threshold simply by following your training plan. In this case, there’s nothing stopping you from joining a different event instead.
If you were training for an ironman, for example, you could easily pivot to a marathon. Or a trail marathon. Or a century ride. Or your own DIY event. That level of fitness gives you plenty of options presuming you’re healthy enough to do them and you don’t mind being a fish out of water.
Chart a New Course
Last but not least, it’s time to think about the future. Not just the event that you’re pivoting too, from the prior event. Rather, thinking more about the bigger picture.
The opportunity window works better for us the longer it is. But it’s tough to keep that window open for that long simply because of life. Look at challenges like this one!
This doesn’t mean that we should squander the opportunity, however. This is the perfect time to test out new strategies for building since the staining Fitness. For improving body composition. For tackling new challenges.
Now that you are original race is gone from the calendar, how does that affect your short and long-term future?
It’s possible that you had deferred or ignored other opportunities because of your focus on the race. Whether these are personal or professional, it’s worth making sure there’s nothing you’re leaving on the table. It’s too tempting to enjoy the blank calendar, but there’s likely opportunity there if you can be strategic enough.
On the long-term side, this race was going to be an opportunity to build and test your Fitness. Without it, you will be moving on words lacking the skill and experience that we were training for. This is important to note in case finding another race is critical for your success. Are you willing to accept the loss of experience? Or the loss of your training investment? If you pick a different race, how will that change your Calculus towards the future?
It’s Not All About You
As hard as it might be to believe, events like this that impact you personally are not directed at you specifically. Honestly, if this is your big problem, it’s important to ask yourself: “do I really have a problem?”
Every change like this is an opportunity to revisit how you train a race for better opportunities.
If you follow the framework listed above, you will quickly regain control of your narrative and begin the process of picking up your journey again in the right way.
Best of luck!