Friday, February 9, 2018

Keep Calm and Stay Optimistic When Your Race Plans Go Awry

I wasn't even planning a post for today. My plans for the weekend were a quick trip out of town to Birmingham to meet up with Holly and run the Mercedes Half Marathon. I figured that I wouldn't have time to respond to comments and read other blogs for a Friday post.

As I often say, God laughs at those of us who make plans, and he's having a good laugh right now. As you read this, we in the Chicago area are getting a big snow storm. Predicted totals are 8-14 inches, and they keep upping the amount. Already on Wednesday, I received a text from United that there's a good chance my flight will be canceled.

I'm kind of a wreck about it. I know, first world problems and all but I was really looking forward to this race and spending the weekend with my pal Holly. The good news is that nothing has been canceled as of this morning. I continue to remain optimistic that I will be leaving on that jet plane tomorrow morning.

Staying calm? That's another story...



What do you do to stay calm when things are out of your control? Because that's exactly what is going on here. I like to think I'm not a control freak but I am a planner. I try to anticipate the unexpected and if anything was going to keep me from traveling for this race, I thought I might contract the flu. I mean, come on, I'm a pediatric nurse practitioner and it's like playing illness roulette anytime I go to work these days. I take all the precautions I can, like washing my hands 500 times a day. But a flight canceled because of a snowstorm? The thought hadn't even occurred to me. Until this week, we barely had any snow. And it's February--winter should be winding down, right?

It's not easy being high strung, guys. It's also not easy dealing with disappointment. I've had my share of disappointments the past year (a DNF and 2 DNS). While I could roll with it then, blaming RA, now I'm feeling good and I'm ready for this race and I want to go, dammit! I swear, I'm like a little kid sometimes.

In my efforts to stay calm while I wait out the storm, I'm employing 5 strategies that have worked for me in the past.

Keep on Truckin'
Which means carry on and pack my 'very small must fit under the seat in front of you' bag. I'm doing what I'd normally do when traveling for a race. Plan my race day outfit. Finish my playlist. Review my race plan. Charge my Garmin. Write Sunday's Weekly Wrap post and schedule it for Sunday. Dream of bling.

Dreaming of bling.
Run
After a restless night of worrying after receiving that message from United, not only did I run on Thursday morning, I started my morning with CrossFit. Sammy Jo had a kickass workout planned for me and I was all in. Between the run and the strength training, I felt sufficiently drained of some of my nervous energy and much calmer. Calm enough, in fact, to come home and work on this post. If I don't get to go, you know I'll get some miles in this weekend. Outside. Tears don't freeze, do they?

Thursday morning. The calm before the storm.
Stalk the Weather
Is this going to keep me calm? Probably not. After all, you can't control the weather. But at least I'll feel like I know what's going on. I can curse Old Man Winter in the meantime. Oh, and I can stalk the weather in Birmingham too. Their forecast looks a little more tolerable than Chicago's.



Look for Alternatives
The good news is if my flight is canceled, I'll be able to rebook it. In the meantime, I've also been looking at other airports in the area. Milwaukee isn't supposed to get as much snow as us. Not that I'd be able to get there in the snowstorm. If nothing else, hopefully, I can plan a new trip. Holly and I can find another half marathon to do together. Making plans is always helpful. Signing up for more races always makes me feel better...



Breathe and remind myself that spring is coming...
Really? Just breathe? How about just drink wine?


Thanks for letting me vent. What do you do to manage your stress when your plans fall apart? How do you deal with disappointment? Are you being affected by the weather right now?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday 5.0




58 comments :

  1. I feel for you! I’m a total control freak and I would be going through all these same emotions. My fingers and toes are crossed for you that you make it but, if not, definitely breathe while drinking wine!!!!

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    1. If I don't get to go, I'll try not to let my tears dilute my wine!

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  2. UGH. I agree...this is February, winter SHOULD be winding down instead of picking up speed (seriously, where was all this snow a month ago?).Fingers crossed Momma N shows a little mercy...

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    1. I just can't believe all the snow we've gotten this week. And the cold we've had...what a winter!

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  3. I go into everything expecting the worst! And then when problems arise I focus on solutions or positives instead of complain. And deep breaths😁

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    1. Exactly.

      PS couldn't comment on your blog again.

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  4. I am so sorry, I would be super disappointed too, I think we can all be like kids sometimes. I hope your flight doesn't get cancelled.

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    1. The snow is less than predicted, so I'm cautiously optimistic....

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  5. This weather has been really screwing things up this year for everyone. Hopefully everything will work out for you...fingers crossed!

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  6. Hope you are able to make it down for your race! We are not currently being affected by the weather, but we have had a lot of crazy weather so far this school year (hurricane, ice days), so I'm just thankful for our current calm (btw: here in GA, we tend to have a crazy weather pattern (snow and/or ice) at the end of February or beginning of March, so I don't think we are out of the woods just yet!

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    1. I'm more optimistic now than I was when I wrote the post. We didn't get as much snow as predicted and it stopped much earlier. Hopefully the runways will be plowed and ready for takeoff tomorrow.

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  7. I hope that you are able to get away & that things go smoothly. Air travel is problematic even when the weather is good!

    And yeah, just breathing really does help. :)

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  8. Oh bummer! I know you were really looking forward to this race weekend. I hope you make it out. Keep us posted!

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  9. I try to hope for the best and make a plan B for the worst, but travel disruptions can ruin a lot of plans! I hope you are on you way.
    P.S. that bling is pretty dreamy!

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    1. It's looking much better than it was yesterday! Now it's become a quest for the bling...

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  10. Sounds vaguely familiar to my week leading up to my marathon ...well, minus the snowstorm. Constant weather stalking and lots of wine is how I passed the time! Lol Hope you get out of Chicago ...fingers crossed!!

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  11. Ugh this weather is ridiculous! I really hope that you are able to get a flight out of Chicago, or a neighboring city.

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    1. My flight is still on and that's making me feel better!

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  12. Boo to the possible flight cancellation! Fingers crossed that it turns out ok. I try to remind myself of things that are out of my control and not being able to do anything but that doesn't necessarily make it feel better.

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  13. I don't really get concerned about race day conditions unless it is supposed to be cold wet rain. Otherwise? I'm pretty chill about it!

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    1. I don't care much about the race conditions, I just want to be there!

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  14. Oh I sure hope things work out to your benefit Wendy!! I totally understand your planning tendencies, because I'm the same way with everything! Fingers crossed the snow storm won't be near as bad as they think and you'll be good to go!

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  15. I hope you are able to fly out and enjoy a fun weekend. It's never nice when weather plays on emotions.

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    1. This winter has really tweaked all our nerves.

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  16. UGH. I actually thought of you yesterday when I was watching the weather reports. My son and daughter-in-law flew out yesterday at about 5:00 p.m. I thought they were today, so I'm glad I was wrong. Keeping my fingers crossed you will still get out...hopefully with minimal delays.

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    1. I'm glad my flight wasn't today--I think I have a better chance of getting out tomorrow.

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  17. Breathing....wine...same thing. :)

    I am also a planner but have learned to take it all in stride. We've had hurricanes ruin camping trips, flash floods force us to move in the middle of the night while out camping, etc. Sometimes, you just have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. I really hope you're still able to fly out and enjoy your weekend but .... if not, there's always another time and you're right, you can always find an alternative. :) <3

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    1. I usually am pretty good about rolling with changes but travel is a whole other animal! We arrange our lives around these trips and get excited about them. It's such a huge disappointment when things don't go as planned.

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  18. I hate having weather anxiety on top of race anxiety - ugh! And this winter, what is UP with it? Even in south Texas, we've been unusually cold for months now! Fingers crossed you get to go to your race.

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    1. I have my theories--I'm thinking that a certain resident of the White House calling climate change "fake news" really rankled Mother Nature...

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  19. Weather! GAH! I hope it's ok and that you can make it!

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    1. I bet you don't miss this weather at all!

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  20. That stinks! The year I was signed up for Disney we had a massive snow storm and our flight was delayed but we lucked out and got out of Richmond. I hope you get to run your race. Take care!

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  21. It seems like big city airports have more trouble with snowstorms than small mountain airports that get bigger storms. Maybe it's because they have to manage so many more flights and a bigger runway area? Whatever the case, I hope it works out so you're on your flight tomorrow!

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    1. I'm pretty sure that's it--all the logistics have to be a nightmare. Plus Chicago is such a big hub for travel, there's just so much traffic going in and out.

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  22. oh wow!! that sounds terribly stressful!! Sending you all the positive vibes.

    That medal is very cool!!

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    1. I'm taking all and any positive vibes! Thanks!

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  23. I'm sorry that you still don't know whats going on! I cant totally relate to being a planner and the need for control. I hope it all works out for you!!

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  24. I hope you get to go!! Fingers crossed the snow isn't as bad as they're predicting.

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    1. We are lucky that it ended earlier than predicted!

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  25. This is right up my alley. I’ve missed two races due to flight cancellations.

    Now my March Race in Fl has been cancelled.

    Nothing you can do but go with the flow.

    Hoping you make it and race.

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    1. I can't believe your 2d race was cancelled. What is up with that?

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  26. Ugh. I totally get it. Weather canceling things down here is a factor during Hurricane season. It's incredibly hard - we missed out on an epic trip during Irma this year because mother nature had other plans.

    I'm incredibly Type A, uptight and high-strung, and like you, I have about 18 backup and contingency plans. I'm aware that I am a control freak and have an awful time rolling with the punches, but I'm learning to be better about it. Fingers crossed for you!

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    1. It was a tense couple of days but fortunately it all worked out! Whew!

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  27. Oh no! That would be so disappointing. But being the planner you are, I would still like to get that text message from United. At least they are trying to be helpful and better to start coming to grips with the possibility of a cancelled flight a few days ahead of it rather than once you're already at the airport. At least that's my opinion. :)

    Have a great weekend! Hope you, in fact, you did make it to Alabama!

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    1. I agree with you 100%--it was good to know that cancellation was a possibility. I'm just glad it didn't happen!

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  28. Ugh, I do NOT miss that about living in the north! I am a planner for sure and sometimes work hard to make a plan B, C, or D! But then sometimes I just have to let it go.
    Hope it all works out!!

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    1. I'm glad I didn't have to let it go! We had a fun weekend.

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  29. I think you and I are very much alike when it comes to planning and enjoying being in control. It is so tough when things are out of our control! I'm very sorry that your plans are hanging in limbo. I guess one way I deal with disappointed is trying to put it in perspective. I think about all the other areas of my life in which I am fortunate. It doesn't mean I don't get to be disappointed (those feelings are valid) but it just reminds me that there is so much good and I have the strength to deal with the bad.

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    1. I do all that but I even that doesn't help me feel better. What can I say?

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