When Plans Fall Apart…

Last week I drove out to run another base 5k.  It was my day off from work and there happened to be a race.  The stars actually aligned for once. It might seem strange but base 5ks are generally on a weekday during the lunch hour.  The entire race is done within the hour which allows someone to run the race, pick up an award and shower then be back to work on time.

When Plans Fall Apart

To preface: I live about 40 minutes away from the base and the race was much later than my workouts.  I normally run around 6:30 and the race was at 11:30.

After relaxing all morning and doing nothing productive, I drove over to base.  I met my husband and we went to where the previous race started. When there was no one at the start we began to worry.  We went inside, only to find out the race was at the other base half an hour away.  The gyms have the exact same name and I had just ASSumed because it was the same name and where the race was previously, it was the same location.

Immediately after finding out we weren’t going to be able to race, I felt lost and confused.  We didn’t have enough time to make it to the other base.  I was disappointed and irritated with myself.  It was my fault for not doing more research.

Should I just give up and go home?

First, my legs weren’t feeling great because of a hard workout week.

Second, my workout week was based upon this race.  My hard run was Thursday instead of Wednesday and the rest of the week was shifted as well.

Third, I had already wasted half my day. It was 11:30, I had yet to run and I had yet to do anything productive.  Outside of running, I also had a few things to catch up on.

To be honest, before recently, I probably would have just gone home or run easy on base.  I had so many excuses! My legs were tired…My day was wasted…my routine and schedule altered…blah blah blah.

Instead I motivated myself to do a shorter track workout.  I don’t have the opportunity to run on a track often right now. Due to the military physical fitness requirements, there is a neat track in base.  It’s 3/4ths of a mile and not a giant circle but more of an irregular blob that crosses the street too.  Since I have limited access to anything resembling a track, I did 4×1 mile repeats on it.  It’s obviously not a true 400 meter track but it was a nice change of surface to run on.

The workout was tough but I managed a 6:27 overall pace.  After a high mileage week and the possibility of not doing any speed, I have no complaints.  I’m proud of myself for staying flexible and making the best of the situation.  I’ve said a dozen times but fitness is a collection of workouts, not an individual one.  There are days that life doesn’t go according to plan and that is okay.

I still finished with a smile on my face
I still finished with a smile on my face…maybe that is because it was 60+ in December…

Often times a plan or schedule doesn’t come together as anticipated. Ultimately I was able to motivate myself through a harder effort workout which is something that would not have happened a few months ago. My fitness has come a long way in the last 7 months but my mental focus towards running has too.

Questions for you:

Have you ever missed a race before?

How do you stay motivated when a plan falls apart?


  1. Hi there sorry that you missed your races, but I’m glad you stayed positive and manage to get some type of work out, and take advantage of nice weather.
    I don’t think I’ve missed a race,just I had to choose from races that were on Same day.that tough to do.
    If I feel very tired or lazy about running I try to motivate myself. If weather great I’ll get up of my butt and run, or I’ll think to my self that other runners are out there running , so if I want to be up with the elite runners I’ll get positive feeling and do my work out..

  2. That’s frustrating. Sorry to hear it. You made the best of a rough situation and honestly I think I would have been so annoyed that I probably would have just called it a day. I’ve never missed a whole race but I have missed race starts before. I wanted to race the Seattle Half and I got stuck in the bathroom line (there was NO way I could skip the bathroom) so I started 15 minutes after the gun went off, ha. Live and learn.

  3. Good for you for getting in a tough workout! I probably would have just gone home to be honest. Mile repeats are so hard, so great job getting them done! I have never gone to the wrong place for a race before (I’m super neurotic about getting to places so I obsess over it and where I’ll park and how I’ll drive the entire week before a race) but I would have freaked out!

  4. You’re made of stronger stuff than I am! I have missed quite a lot of races through injury and through panicking at the start to the point where I haven’t been able to move, let alone run. A huge storm hit our region last week and multiple roads were flooded, so I didn’t want to risk the drive to the race I was doing. I didn’t react with the same resilience as you…I spent the whole day moping around and beating myself up, and I didn’t run at all on the day I should have done the race.

    I’m really pleased that you were able to turn things around and make the best out of a potentially bad situation 🙂

  5. What a bummer! I would have been irritated had that happened, but that’s good that you were able to move on and still do something productive!

  6. Ah frustrating but nice job with the workout. I didn’t miss the race per se, but I was literally the LAST person to start the NJ Marathon in 2011 (my first marathon). I was late to get on the buses and then I had to run almost 2 miles to the start!! The half marathon started 30 min after the full then and they were on my heels and it stressed me the fuck out so bad. I had the worst race of my life. #dramaqueen

  7. This JUST happened to me over the weekend but it was because my friends cancelled on me and I didn’t want to go alone. At first I was super mad and cranky because, like you, I had based my week around it and I was also REALLY excited to run my first 5K since Oct. But, I sucked it up and did a 30 mile bike ride which ended up being amazing and fun and more of what I needed.
    Glad you sucked it up too and did a hard and fast track workout.
    We are so mature 🙂 LOLZ

  8. It’s tough to adapt and stay focused when training plans don’t go as expected. I’m getting better at being flexible too–it doesn’t happen overnight!

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