As we start out the new year, I am staring at a calendar. Specifically, I’m staring at April 28th and 29th. Those are the dates when the Canyons 100 will be held. My plan is to show up on those dates and race. Reaching the finish line of my first 100 mile race, in nearly 3 years, is the goal. I have a plan but I need to be flexible with it because I got sick to start the year.
On December 31st, I sat on my couch and could feel the exhaustion coming over me. No, it wasn’t because I had been partying while waiting for the ball to drop. That would have been a great story. Instead, I could feel myself coming down with a fever. I was getting sick and I didn’t like it.
Have A Plan But Be Flexible
I don’t do well with illness and thankfully it doesn’t happen very often. As we got 2023 started, my plan for a 16 week training cycle was already in jeopardy. Being sick was the first obstacle I will face. For the first couple of days, I didn’t panic. It was on January 3rd that I started to panic. I was angry that I was sick and not able to shake it.
That same day I saw a post from Isabella Campos-Janovick on Instagram that made me realize that this was just part of the path I would be on until race day. In her post, Izzy referenced that she was unable to train for 6 weeks due to an infected toe. This issue caused her to not be ‘100%’ prepared for the Chevron Houston Marathon but she wasn’t upset. That post put my illness into perspective.
I have a plan but I need to be flexible. My first goal was to get healthy, which has finally happened. 10 days into the new year and I feel good enough to have started some movement. I will be able to do core, balance and stretching work. When it feels right I will add a couple of runs up to 1 hour. That’s a good start.
I’ll Define What Hard Is
Being flexible with my plan from the start will allow me to get to the starting line prepared and healthy. Knowing that I could make things worse while I was sick is what kept me from jumping the gun. Getting 1 run in and then being sidelined for another week didn’t make sense to me. I see people talking about being ‘hard’ and grinding and it doesn’t make sense to me.
If I want to get the most out of my body then I need to take care of it. The same goes for my mind. I need to take care of them in a way that is not half-assed but intentional. By not going to the gym or getting this ‘short’ run in, I can be fully recovered. By starting the process when I was ready means that I can take full advantage of my body being 100%.
In addition to that, I will know that when I’m at the starting line I did something hard. I sat on the couch, ate soup, and drank tea while time passed. That was hard. Not doing anything was hard and I overcame it. I was able to control myself and not set myself back.
I Can Do Hard Things
When the going gets tough and it will, I can look back at that time on the couch. I will remember that time and think: You can do this, you’ve already done hard things. It will allow me to enjoy the moment rather than let it consume me and beat me down.
Controlling your emotions and yourself is hard. I’ve done that and now I’m ready to roll. I’ll build my endurance and achieve the goal I set out from the start. When the situation arises, I will know that having a plan is important. I will also know that being flexible with it is just as important.