It’s just the reality of the moment. For many of us, our A-races, the ones we have been visualizing and training for, are sending us the message we all dread, “Your race is cancelled.”
What do we do now?
It’s a bit of an endurance athlete existential crisis.
But it doesn’t have to be!
Join me for a bit of tough love today. Since your race is cancelled, let’s dive in and examine our “Why.” We know that in life our reasons need to be stronger than our excuses. If the race itself is the reason, we owe ourselves better!
Then, once we have established some common reasons why we endurance athletes challenge ourselves in this way, it’s time for us to identify excuses that might present themselves and ways to overcome them.
Today, I’m all about making sure that you are still moving your body even after this disappointment. Sure, your race is cancelled. That doesn’t mean all of your future races will have the same fate. Do you want to show up to your next starting line the kind of woman who took months off nursing her sadness or a resilient, well-trained athlete that never lets anything get in her way?
I thought so.
Maybe you will decide that this is the perfect time to make the jump to multi-sport. If that’s the case, then you will definitely need my list of what you do (and DON’T) need to try a triathlon this year.
Mentioned on the show:
Rev3 Quarantri – the virtual triathlon at the end of April. DO THIS! Let’s support our local race directors.
Peloton app – currently giving a 90-day free trial
Yoga with Adrienne
If you have found a cool way to keep moving, share it with me so I can share it with others! We all need to be a little creative right now.
Please let me know how you are doing! Connect with me by:
That’s all for now. Until next time, carry on Women of Valor.
Hey, friends, welcome back to Finding Finish Lines. I’m Sally Bulavko. I’m just your average mom, middle-of-the-pack age group triathlete, and an encourager to women all around.
And if this is your first time here, I wanna welcome you especially!
This is an encouraging place just trying to share the message that there is freedom to be found out there in the world of endurance sports. And if it seems scary, it’s not. Just jump right in and give it a try.
How’s everybody holding up? I think things were going all right over here. We’ve kind of adjusted a little bit to this new crisis school time. I’m not calling it home school because I didn’t sign up for that. So I refuse to, you know, hold myself to that standard. This is crisis schooling, and we’re doing it a little bit like wild child kind of way.
We’re getting some reading in, some math practice, and were fudging it on all the other things, and just getting through.
Is that how it is going for you? I would love to hear. I would love to check in, let me know how it is going out there or if there’s anything that I can do to help support you as we move through this crazy time together as a community of strong, empowered, women athletes. Yeah.
So today I want to talk to you a little bit about what we do when we learn that…
Your race is cancelled.
I know that that is on the radar for so many of us right now that we’ve been training through the nasty snow. We’ve been getting up and going swimming before the sun comes out when it’s freezing outside, knowing that it’s gonna be miserable when you get out. And we’ve been doing anyway because, well, one were kind of crazy. And two, this is our sport. This is what we live to do.
So it’s really disappointing when we are looking around and we think, “Oh my gosh, my coping mechanism, my relationship out on the road, my relationship to my body, my relationship to the sport. Everything is shifting. Everything everywhere is shifting. And how do I hold on? How do I keep doing these things that I’m then doing when my world looks so different?”
And I just wanna say to you first of all, I see you, I am part of that. I’m certainly not immune to Cancellation Disappointment.
We’ve got anything from Run Disney, Star Wars Rival Run weekend coming up – I know a lot of you were training and we’re ready for that. My own kids were running the kid’s race there, and I hadn’t made a decision yet about any of those distances for me based on whatever was going to be happening with my foot.
Of course, we have spring triathlons. We have the local races.
This is just the time where we’re all getting ready to start that next phase, to see what that winter work has done for us and where we’re going to go as we move into the summer season.
And that stinks. I mean, let’s just be honest. Let’s acknowledge that it happened. Let’s acknowledge that we’re really grieving that those experiences have been stolen from us. I don’t see any reason to pretend that it’s not a big deal because it definitely is. And then let’s talk about how we get past it, because while there’s value for sure and recognizing, I can’t say that I see a ton of value in wallowing in it, right?
And isn’t that the whole reason that we do this… isn’t the whole reason that many of us are even engaged in this kind of activity… is because it trains us not to wallow. We have to just take what is and move on.
So how do we keep our focus when our race is cancelled?
I think it goes back to what is your “Why.”
And I know that people say this in every area. It’s in business. It’s in family. You know, whatever we’re doing, it always helps to establish the reason that you’re doing it now for some of us.
Sometimes it’s just like well, because one day I put on my shoes and I went for a run and I liked it and that’s great. That’s fantastic.
But it also helps to have a reason underneath why, and I bet you even if you just threw those shoes on, you’ve got one. You just have never really thought about it.
I think this applies equally both to people who are just joining us in the sport and two people who’ve been around for years. I think it’s exactly the same, because if you don’t know why you’re doing it, it’s hard to convince yourself to keep going right when you’ve had such a big setback.
You’re why always has to be bigger than your excuse.
If you’re race being canceled is an excuse that’s big enough to get you to stop training, your Why is not strong enough, my friends.
If your Why had anything to do with the Social Media Post or the medal or the T shirt? Mmm. Those things are good, but what happens when your closets full and you don’t need another race shirt? What happens when your medal rack it’s full and it stops being all that exciting? What happens when you’ve already established yourself online as the person who does these crazy events and everyone knows that you do it so another post is not reinforcing.
Eventually, those superficial excuses stop holding the weight.
I’m not knocking those reasons to do it. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t accept a shirt or post on social media. I’m just telling you that can’t be the end of it. There has to be something deeper.
So let’s explore some of the reasons that people tell me they got involved or stay involved in endurance sports. And just to be clear when I say endurance sports, I really do mean everything from starting at a local 5K all the way through Ironman, adventure races, ultramarathon… you name it, anything that gets you moving.
Let’s talk about some of the most common reasons that people get involved in endurance sports, and I just want to start right out with the first one, the obvious one:
It’s a challenge.
Friends, when you declare that you’re going to run 3.1 miles, that is intimidating. And when you consider that most of us spend a big portion of our lives behind a computer or having access to all the food we could possibly need, we have shelter. You know, even a tough life in America in 2020 is a pretty cushy life when you really think about it, and so we don’t have many reasons to challenge ourselves. We don’t have many ways that we can push and see.
“How much do we really have inside?” Endurance sports give us that outlet. They let us test our grit. They let us see what are we made of. What can we really do?! What is the push?
We do it to clear our brains.
You know, when we are constantly bombarded with messages everything from an advertising message to news, to the emotions all around us. You know how we’ve talked about the hook? Everything trying to grab your attention. It’s hard. We’re taxing our brains with this constant sorting between what exists around us and what requires our attention.
And when you put on your shoes and head outside into the fresh air and you just push while your lungs burn and your legs burn and you get to feel the rhythm of your body moving. Or if you’re in the pool and you get to just feel that water glide past you. Or even on the bike as you move through the entire pedal stroke. It’s a way to clear all of that from our minds.
Now, often when you’re staring center line of the pool, all you have are your thoughts. So you can kind of evaluate, “What is it that I’m noticing? What is it that I’m feeling when I see that?”
These are just ways for us to sort what comes into our brain, pause, evaluate what needs our attention and move on.
So that kind of place to clear your brain is important, and our sport gives us that.
And in that sorting, often we discover that there are things that we just need to release.
You know, Have you ever been running and realized that all of a sudden you’re feeling very emotional? You can’t really figure it out. It definitely has nothing to do with the moment. You’re not tied to it right then. Then where these feelings coming from?
Sometimes as we’re doing the sorting, things come up that we don’t have time to notice during the day.
This is our own method of meditation. So while I do think it’s valuable to find a comfy seat and go through meditation like we did a few weeks ago, a guided meditation, I don’t think it always has to look that way for endurance athletes. A lot of times, just being out on the road or the pool or on the trail or wherever it is that you do what you do, that’s a form of meditation.
I believe it has value.
We do it for our health.
Right now, as health is the only thing anyone can think about, isn’t it a little bit reassuring to know that we stretch ourselves regularly? That we are valuing this body. That we have this way that we are wrapped in flesh and sinew and bone that we honor and respect that by pushing it? We honor and respect it by training it.
I know I feel comforted in those brief moments where I allow myself to look at the statistics and update what’s going on. I know that my heart and my lungs are healthy, and I have put myself in a place where I can let go of some of that fear for myself and for my family.
We do it to set an example for our kids.
Almost everybody that I talk to about this, at some point in the story, where they’ve moved from a more sedentary lifestyle to an active one, they share with me that there was a point where that shift happened for their entire family. Maybe their husband has picked up whatever the sport is or they see their kids moving more. Everybody’s getting off the couch.
So we know that as mom’s move, families move.
This doesn’t stop because of race is cancelled.
This is your opportunity to really show yourself as an example. That you’re facing a setback, and it doesn’t mean game over. It means it’s a setback. It means that you have an opportunity to adapt and overcome the situation.
So if you’re an example on a regular day when it’s easy… when you have the time set right into your schedule and just like clockwork, you’re able to head into your room and get changed for your run and you go out with all of your gear in the perfect weather… now is the time to show that sometimes, none of that is going to show up on actual race day and a lot of times not in a training run.
This is your time to show that it doesn’t have to be perfect under perfect circumstances. Because what endurance athletes know is it’s only perfect sometimes.
And for us, this is where we shine. Bring on the messy because I’m showing my family that I can handle messy and I can move on.
Some of us participate for the competition.
You know, sometimes, especially if you are a stay at home mom, like I’ve been lucky enough to be, sometimes we’re just dyin’ for some competition, right?
Not in the mommy-wars kind, but like in a really, “Well way I can do this. You can do that. How does that work?”
And if that’s the case, then race cancellation is definitely tough.
But hold on, because I have a way that we can overcome that!
All right, so if these were some of our reasons why we do what we do, how do we keep moving when our race has been canceled?
How can we shift that these are our reasons, these are our circumstances, and this is where we end up.
Well, I think we’re actually in a pretty good spot!
Because if we do these things to clear our head, to be fit, to be a good example for our family, to have a challenge…well we have more time to do all those things!
Right now we have more reasons to need to clear our head. Am I right?
Right now, the volume for all the messages that exist in normal life has been turned up to 1000.
So it seems clear to me that right now is the perfect time to figure out the best way for you to get moving.
We have the time. Now it’s just a matter of, “Are we making it a priority?”
At the same time, if we do this race because we like a challenge, if we want to see what we’re worth and if we want to see if we have the discipline it takes to go the rest of the way, now is definitely a time that’s challenging our discipline, right?
I mean, there’s a reason that there are so many memes on the internet right now about all of us packing on the weight, or about what time of day is the right time to transition from your daytime pajamas to your nighttime pajamas.
Friends we can stop that cycle.
If you take off the nighttime pajamas, you put on your workout clothes, you sweat like a crazy pig, and and then you take a shower, and then put on your nighttime jammies… Look at that! We’ve totally upset the cycle! We are disruptors, my friends, just by choosing to make ourselves a priority.
Lately, I’ve been trying to consider that this time isn’t like some, “run-and-hide, oh my gosh, the world is coming to get us” time, but instead that we’ve been given an opportunity… forced into an opportunity… to pause. And that in doing so, we have the opportunity to see things around us that we don’t normally see. Again with that attention hook.
So because we’re seeing this as a time of empowerment, which okay is a big stretch, I’ve recognized that’s a stretch, but we can at least tell ourselves that’s what we’re doing? And we have all this time, and we’re really getting back to the basics with our family, why not incorporate your family, right?
Remember how we were talking about how most people tell me that at some point their family dynamics shift and they go from a sedentary family to an active family simply because Mom made some changes?
Well, Mom’s if that shift hasn’t happened in your house yet, now is the time. Or if your kids are normally pretty active, but this time they have found their way to five times the normal screen time, I get it… mine too. Well, we don’t have to harbour all the guilt about the screen time as long as we know that we’re also getting them moving.
Let’s get that blood pumping.
Let’s let them release some of the stress, too. Let’s not be selfish enough to think that we’re the only ones that have experienced a loss of our normal daily routine. We know that our kids have. They aren’t seeing their friends. They aren’t going to their normal practices. They aren’t in school. The routine has been messed up.
If we know that endurance sports are a gift to us that help us keep our life on track, why wouldn’t we give that gift to our children? And now is the time.
So if you weren’t quite sure how to get your kids to throw on their shoes and run around the block, well, this is what you do:
You tell them to throw on their shoes and you go around the block.
And it’s very possible that this is going to incite one of 500 arguments that you’re going to get into with your Tweens or teens in the next couple of weeks. But, hey, if we’re picking our arguments, I think this one’s worth it.
If you were one of those people that was in it for the competition, who says you can’t compete against your husband or your kids or your friends who live in the same neighborhood who might be taking the same trail?
Now is the time where apps like Strava in the limelight. Because if you need to compete, you don’t have to compete at the same time.
You go for that workout and find out later that you were the Queen of Mountain.
Alright? So if it’s a competition that light you up, you have not lost it. It just looks different.
If we’re doing this for our health, then let’s be a little bit honest about all the ways that we’re not treating our ourselves with incredible respect right now.
Whether we want to or not, we’re probably not eating the way that we normally do with the grocery stores running low on some of our favorites.
I think a lot of us have moved towards more shelf stable, sometimes processed foods. I know my family’s eating a ton of rice. We’re eating a boatload of pasta. We’ve seen more cans banging around my house lately than we normally do. Frozen things.
I mean, lots of ways that we’ve been trying to cut back on how often we have to go to the grocery store means that our food is becoming less healthy.
This is the reason those memes were funny, right? We don’t want to go into quarantine or social isolation looking like Hot Thor and coming out like Chubby Thor.
But for some of us, it might be a reality if we eat all of those processed, shelf-stable items, and we don’t find a way to keep up our regular routine? Knowing that we have the combination of more time and less nutritious food, there’s never been a better time to get yourself moving.
If you told me that, you’re why was to reduce stress? Well, girl, I am assuming that you have some stress right now, and if you know how to release it, then why are you sitting on the couch? Get up. Get up. Pull out your bike trainer. Grab the Peloton. Go for a bike ride outside. Strap on your shoes and go for a run. Check out a hike. Whatever it is, just get moving. Do some HIIT exercises in your living room. Maybe do a yoga with Adrian Video from YouTube. Pick something and move.
If you know that’s how you release stress. Why aren’t you doing it?
Let me tell you something. Races are not gonna be cancelled forever. Yeah, sure. We don’t know exactly when they’re coming back online, but we know it’s not forever. So who do you want to be when races come back? Do you want to be somebody who put her head down and got toe work and didn’t waste the entire spring? Or do you want to be the person who finds out when you’re postponed race is going to be, and you think, “Oh, Oh, my gosh. I can’t do it. Like I was stressing out all this time about the fact that I was missing out on my race. And then I blew it, because now here it comes and I’m not ready.”
Let’s not be that person. Okay? Let’s give ourselves the gift of doing the work. Okay?
But we got some excuses, right? So let’s talk about how we’re gonna overcome those excuses.
The first one is obvious.
Um, my gym has closed. The pool is closed. They’re even closing the trails by my house. The parking lot by the park where I normally go is is shut down.
Okay, that’s tough. It’s time for us to pivot right now.
The Peloton is free for 90 days, so that doesn’t even require any financial investment. If you’re listening to this show through a mobile device that allows you to use apps, there you go. I think you can even access it through your desktop. You don’t have to have a Pelotoon bike to use the app. You can use it on any bike. You can use it on your treadmill. You can use it going on roads out on the street. They have yoga workouts, they’ve got hit workouts, they’ve got everything and it’s available to you for free.
So I feel like just with that we’ve eliminated all of your excuses!
Just in case you’re still able to come up with some, let’s talk about it.
Do you have access to a jump rope? That’s a great workout. Go for it.
Do you have a space in your house where you can push furniture aside and give yourself, like, eight feet by eight feet to do a workout? Maybe from YouTube? There are a ton of opportunities on YouTube. There are gyms doing classes through Zoom. There are just so many ways that you can still keep up with a workout that doesn’t look like what yours normally does.
Do you have cans in your house or bottled water? Those look like perfect weights to me.
OK, do you Do you have a preschooler in your house? Can she sit on your back while you do push ups?
like there are just so many different ways that you can keep up with your fitness that just don’t look like what you normally do.
Get your heart rate pumping! Get yourself breathing hard and do something for yourself!
That fitness is going to count even when you get to go back to what you’re normally used to.
I actually have some friends, down the street, where those women all meet at the end of their own driveway. So very responsibly, socially distanced. And they put on a work out from the Peloton app and they all do it together.
So they’re each in their own driveway, all working out together. They’re getting their social time, responsibly. They’re still working out, and you better believe they’re laughing.
I think it’s brilliant! I think that is a brilliant way that Mom’s saw the problem and overcame it. Bravo!
Yeah, the average income for triathlete in America is $126,000. So if many of you have a bike in your garage, or your living room if your bike is also used for decoration like mine, um, and your bike costs more than many cars in this country, I don’t want to hear that you can’t buy an app. I really just don’t want to hear it.
So if you’re gonna tell me, “Oh, I don’t like the Peloton app”, I’m sure there’s one available to you that you can throw out a couple of bucks a month just to get you through this, Okay, that is some tough love.
If the stress for you is 24/7 parent duty, I get that.
Can you put the babies in a stroller and take them for a walk?
Can you put your kiddos on scooters and bikes and helmet-up and get outside and go for a little ride around?
Do you not have sidewalks? Do you need to do something else? Maybe you guys can all do jumping jacks in your driveway. Maybe you can turn it into a game where you’re running circles around your house.
I used to have a neighbor who, when her kids drove her nuts, she used to make them run laps around the house. And I think that’s brilliant. So maybe that’s what you gotta do. Hey, maybe your kids are driving you nuts, and that’s what you now make the punishment. Or maybe that sounds incredibly appealing to you. And when they’re driving you nuts, YOU run laps around here house.
Listen, whatever we gotta do to get through this, we can do it.
Now is the time to test your mental toughness.
You are an endurance athlete! I know you wear that with pride. And the reason that we do it is because we’re tough. We know how to dig deep. We know how to run through a blister. We know how to run when it’s super hot outside. We know how to podcast when our dog is barking in the other room and we’re just gonna let it go because, you know, it doesn’t always have to be perfect, and we can do it.
And now is the time that we prove it to ourselves.
Okay, there are a couple opportunities I definitely want to tell you about as we’re trying to figure out what to do coming up.
The first one is from Rev3 Triathlon.
So that’s the company that puts on, um, the big half ironman in Williamsburg that was taken over by Ironman and is now back to Rev3. They also used to do Rev3 Maine, I know was called Maine and I don’t know if it was Scarborough specifically or Maine. But they’ve got a bunch of great half Ironman distance races. They also have a pretty cool local circuit here in northern Virginia.
Well, right now they’re doing something I think is pretty awesome. They’re calling it the Quarantri. The reason I’m sharing it with us because it could be done from anywhere!
So it’s a distance triathlon. FROM a distance instead of OVER the incredible distance like we’re used to.
You can register! I’ll put a link in the show notes, but the Quarantri.
They give you, I believe it’s a week, to complete your event. You can do it all on one day, or you can split the three parts into multiple days over the course of the week, so it’s really doable. In it, you’re going to cycle, you’re going to run and you’re gonna pick a third activity for a minimum of five minutes, and it can be anything.
They want you to get creative here, since we know that we don’t have access to a lot of pools or open water right now.
So you get to pick a third event.
You submit proof that you completed these events and then you take a picture or a video or some sort of like proof and you put it on their social channels and then there’s gonna be a voting that goes on. The person who receives the most votes for their proof of racing, or the most likes, I guess that’s the person who wins the triathlon!
So if you’re like me, average to front-of-the-back of the pack Mom slash Athlete, this is our time to shine, ladies! This is the time where we can put that medal around our neck.
So the Quarantri, I think, sounds awesome. It also has a pretty cool shirt and it does have a medal. I believe it cost $30. And so, if your race is cancelled (Boo) and you are saying, “Okay, I heard all those things that you said and I still really like to have a race to focus on.” Here you go! End of April. The Quarantri by Rev3.
Those are good guys. And I’m excited to support them. Um, because I’m not sure that race companies are gonna be getting in on this stimulus in the same way that other, you know, an airline is going to. So let’s support our local race directors.
In case you didn’t catch it earlier, I definitely encourage you to download that Peloton app, 90 days for free. I’ll put a link in the show notes for that, too. I just think it’s an excellent resource.
If you need something a little bit more zen, I love yoga with Adrian on YouTube. She’s fantastic. I’ve even brought my kids into the living room to do it, because it’s just a nice, quiet time. So yoga with Adrian is also a great option on YouTube.
Have you found an excellent way to keep up your training during this weird time? Is it something that we could all benefit from?
I would love it if you would share that with me! You can email me at Sally@findingfinishlines.com. You can send it to me on Facebook or Instagram. I’m at both @findingfinishlines.
Just let me know, and I’ll make sure to share it with everybody because any way that we can spread the good news that we can keep moving even when our race is cancelled, I think is worth sharing.
Also, really, guys, I mean it when I tell you I want to know how you’re doing, please.
I don’t want to be the only one here sharing our stories so hit me up in those same ways. Let me know how it’s going. Let me know what you’re learning about yourselves.
Um, over on Instagram I’m still doing the #ForcedPause thing. So if you’re noticing something beautiful in the day that you just don’t normally notice, I’d love to see it share it on Instagram. Used the #ForcedPause then I’ll be able to take a look.
That will be exciting for me!
Alright, guys, if you have friends that are super bummed about their race is cancelled, share this episode with them! Let’s get them moving. We can’t wallow around in our sadness over our missed opportunities. Okay? Because doing that is just going to take any future opportunities right out of our grasp.
And who wants to compound one loss with two? Not me.
I hope you guys are all finding ways to thrive in this weird, crazy, strange time. And if there’s anything that I can do to help you, please let me know. Alright?
I think that’s all for this time.
Until next time. Carry on Women of Valor!