Existing in Real Life

My 5k last Sunday was cancelled.  I was really irritated at first but then quickly realized it wasn’t a big deal.  I had found out the night before, it was icy and it was not the safest road conditions .  Though I had spent essentally the later half of Saturday resting and relaxing (ie: I literally layed on the sofa for a solid 7 hours watching TV) it wasn’t as if I had been training for any remote amount of time for it.  It was a 5 dollar Winter series 5k.   It would have been a nice and slightly dangerous speed workout but it wasn’t the end of the world.  Oh well we saved ten dollars and a diner meal (let’s be honest) by it being cancelled. 

I do realize bigger races have been cancelled, NYCM in 2012, several Texas and Southern marathons last year due to ice but we as runners must realize that there is a life outside of running.  It stinks when a road race is cancelled or the weather conditions are not optimal.  It also makes you realize that you should be able to have other aspects of life to fall back on.  I’ve always been an avid believer that you cannot put all your marbles into one category.  Whether that is running, your job, a hobby, BLOGGING, you must have other things to fall back on.

First, I cannot fathom training for a marathon only to have it be cancelled.  For that matter I couldn’t fathom training for a half marathon only for it be cancelled.  I am now lucky that there is a 5k almost every weekend somewhere around me so I have multiple options if one or more is cancelled.  I haven’t had that option except for living at home with my parents and honestly it is a great option to have.  For someone who thrives on racing most weekends, I love the opportunity to race multiple times a month (when the wallet allows).

Am I disappointed this particular race was cancelled?

Yes of course but I didn’t let it ruin my day.

This goes along with bad races.  I’ve had my fair share of bad races.  A year ago I ran the distance series and also a 5k that were point blank terrible.  I was pretty heart broken in both cases.  I had put some good training in for both races and either blew up or just had a poor race.  At the time I questioned myself as a runner.  I was upset, devastated and felt terrible for myself.  I threw myself a short lasted pity party post race.  Then I got over it and realized I am a collection of different things.

Now I look back in the last year and see how far I’ve come.  I think it’s important for us as athletes and human beings to realize: yes running is great but it shouldn’t control your every move and emotion.  I know I’ve consistently said that but it something I truly believe.  I believe everyone should have an “outside life” of running and multiple interests.

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a race cancelled?

What are you interested in outside of working out or blogging?

Some interesting things I enjoy doing: painting and sketching, tutoring and looking at high fashion or upcoming styles.  I also like to critique NJ diners but that is another story…

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  1. I actually had a race (half iron triathlon) that wasn’t cancelled but should have been after crazy flooding in the area. They re-routed the bike but with swimming being my weakest event, I didn’t feel safe doing a swim in stronger currents and flood waters so I made the decision to ditch even after all that training, which was painful but probably smart.

    I’m really into fashion and cooking outside of my running bubble. And presumably reading but it’s more of my job and less or a fun hobby at this point 😉

  2. Thank you for this. Sometimes I feel that runners really need to get over themselves.
    Critiquing NJ diners sounds fun, actually. I knit, cook, hike, and tease my cat.

  3. bad races used to knock me off my feet. I have luckily let them go and it actually just helps the overall mentality of going into another one.

  4. I totally agree with everything you said. It’s a bummer when races get cancelled, but you can’t let it ruin you. Running is just something we are supposed to do for fun; it shouldn’t consume our lives. I am lucky enough that I have never had a race get cancelled, but I can imagine it’s horrible. Some things I like to do outside of blogging and working out is reading, spending time with my husband, family, and friends, board games, and any type of sport! Thanks for the reminder to not let the little things consume our lives!

  5. Hollie, you make a lot of great points and I always enjoy reading your posts.
    Last spring I had a half-marathon that I was training for months. I was so excited to run it because it was going to be my first half. 3 weeks before the race I really pulled my hamstring. I was so devastated because I couldn’t run the race or in general. Since then I’ve grown to appreciate running and I try not to let it be my only consumption in life.
    I am also an artist, I work with ceramics, hiking, biking and being outside are also things I like to do when I’m not running. My art is something that can take a lot if my time, so I can stay pretty busy.

    1. I’m really glad you enjoy them.

      That stinks about pulling a hamstring. People who work in the art field always amaze me. Do you just do ceramics or others too?

  6. Such a good post about keeping things in perspective! I think we often put so much into an end goal that we forget to enjoy the process. There’s so much good that comes from training from a race even if it is cancelled. Some of my other interests include travel, photography and cooking. I would still love them even if I didn’t blog about them.

  7. You have the right idea lady–running/working out is just something else that we do. We may have the identity as a ‘runner’ (or any other athletic profile) but in the end it’s a characteristic of our personality. There will always be races!

    I need to find more hobbies outside the gym/work. I do love to cook and recently have taken up crocheting. Coolest 23 year old you’ll ever meet….

  8. I’ve never had a race cancelled, I have had to cancel races though bc of my knee last year and that was a big ole stinker.

    Things I like outside of working out and blogging… I like reading, I like hiking, I like doing dog things with Sasha, I LOVE cooking, could drink wine until the cows came home, have a soft spot for some pretty horrible TV shows, and I like traveling! But who doesn’t like to travel??

  9. I haven’t had a race cancelled, but most of my races are short like 5Ks and 10Ks so if one was, I’d be a little bummed but just find another race the next weekend.

    I do agree about having other life. If it were a marathon, I would be crushed- but there are actually training plans out there for people who have to pick an alternate marathon due to cancellation (I think it’s a Higdon plan).

    Outside of blogging and running, I like painting. Yoga. Drinking coffee. Exploring Charleston :). Those are pretty much my favorite things.

  10. I’ve never had a race cancelled but I had to drop out of a half that I’d been training for heavily due to being hit by a car while riding my bike. I felt heart broken and devastated. I should had been thankful I was still able to walk at that point, but I could do was cry and be upset about the race!

    Aside from social media I enjoy cooking (a lot) watching movies, reading, and spending time with my family 🙂

  11. I don’t think I’ve ever had a race cancelled, but there have been times where I planned to run one months in advance and when the date rolled around I had a scheduling conflict. What can you do, that’s life I guess.

    I love to read, ride my bike and do other outdoorsy things in a non-polar vortex situation. I also love DIY projects and house projects.

  12. I would be very disappointed if a race I trained for (and not running it just for “fun”) was canceled. You had a great attitude about it though, and I shall remember your positive attitude when/if it ever happens to me! None of the races I planed on doing were canceled, but I did have to pull out of several one year when I was injured. That was very disappointing. Besides running and blogging, I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my hubby and kitty cats.

  13. An outside life rather than running? EEEKKKK! Just kidding. 🙂

    I agree with you completely. I have never had to deal with a race being cancelled. There was a 5K that may or may not go on due and some buddies and I discussed meeting up no matter what and going for a jog. In the end, it was not cancelled.

    Outside of Running and Blogging: Does that mean outside of health and fitness as well? 🙂 I love home remodeling, landscaping, photography and DIY projects.

      1. I do a little bit of everything—minus electrical work b/c I am not about to become liable for burning down my house or anyone elses! My wife and I have a house and before moving in, we remodeled the entire upstairs. Not completely! Replaced subfloor; added hardwood flooring, tiled foyer, kitchen and bathrooms; drywalled basement; painted the entire house, urgh. We are now finally getting a washer and dryer and I have to run dryer venting outside b/c the house did not have any venting. List goes on…her family calls me a handyman. I learned 90% of what I know from my dad.

  14. I have never had a race cancelled, but I had my first two dns(s) last year, which sucked for different reasons. Having a life outside of running is something that has definitely become more important recently as I take some time off to heal. I love to read, journal, watch movies, bake, and spend entirely too much time on hautelook. I want to learn to knit or crochet this year, too, thus officially achieving grandma status

  15. I was signed up for the 2012 NYCM and was PISSED when they cancelled. After the announcement was pretty much when all the photos from Staten Island and the devastation starting being published, so it was clearly the right decision. I dealt with the disappointment by running 26.2 in Central Park that day – one of the most inspiring days I’ve had running. Runners from all over the world came out and ran. It was like we took matters into our own hands.

  16. I really like what you said here. I think it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket so that when sh*t hits the fan in one area of your life (as it inevitably will), you still have something to fall back on. My interests range from gaming, to car performance, to snowboarding, to colouring with wax crayons 😆 Never a dull moment.

  17. I’ve never had a race canceled before and I can imagine the frustration that would come from it, but like you said, there are always other races around and running isn’t everything.

    I have lots of other things I love, but nothing does it for me like running does. Snowboarding, photography, food, trying to be an activist, they all help fill my time, but they can’t do for me what running does.

  18. I really hate it when things I’m looking forward to get cancelled. I’ve never run a race before. I hope to someday, there just aren’t any nearby that I could get to while working and being a college student.

  19. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any potential races cancelled. And I really like your point about not putting all your eggs into one basket. Whenever I have a tough practice, I remind myself of other things I do well or others things going on in my life. I’ve been doing this since high school basketball, and it helps shake it off and get over it–and remember what’s really important.

  20. I totally agree, I can’t imagine training for a goal marathon, only to have it get cancelled! Especially after the taper! I’d be livid! Luckily, I haven’t had that happen to me yet (knock on wood).

  21. I never had a race cancelled but I nearly missed my first half marathon (strip at night in Vegas) because I was snowed in! Luckily thanks to the help of no less than 3 families I was able to make it out of the mountains and down to Vegas to race. It made it that much better though because I appreciated the opportunity even more! I would’ve been super bummed if I had to miss it, after training for so long and the entry was a birthday present from my dad.

  22. I’ve had a 10K cancelled once, and there was a half marathon last March that I couldn’t get to because the roads to the event from where I live were too dangerous. People could still get to the race from other places though, so it went ahead without me 🙁 That said, it’s irresponsible to hold a race when the roads are icy. I know it would be devestating to have, say, a marathon cancelled, but to me that’s still preferable to slipping over (think of the carnage at the start…) and breaking something, then possibly never being able to run again at all.

    Interests outside of running…hmm, I guess I have a few. I love drawing and painting too, and I also like reading anything by Stephen King, watching horror movies, and I have a thing for retro video games (late 80s/early 90s so 8 and 16-bit. Old school!) Basically I’m a bit of a nerd in the true sense of the word 😉


    1. I was going to comment yesterday that you and my dad have the same reading taste. I’m pretty sure he has read about 99.9% of all Stephan King books.

  23. You probably remember when I got the stomach flu less than 48 hours before my first marathon, and had to skip it. That sucked. So bad!! It definitely taught me a lesson… there are other races, and it just wasn’t meant to be!

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