by Kurt Dallow, MD, 2 Doc Tri Coaching
I’m grieving. The race I had been training all summer for, Xterra Aspen Valley, was cancelled because of the horrendous fire and mudslides that have occurred in the Basalt area.
I scheduled time off from work and hoped to make a mini vacation with my wife, Cindy. I trained hard all summer and looked forward to this race. But like all triathlons, they are subject to Mother Nature and sometimes she doesn’t cooperate the way we want her to.
The first reaction most of us have when a race is cancelled is anger. After all, we put a lot of time and energy (and money) into this race. Our bodies are pumped and primed to race and when we can’t do what our bodies are yearning to do, it’s FRUSTRATING!
Some people get angry at the race director but this is futile. He or she has also put a lot of time and energy into planning the race and the last thing they want to do is cancel it. It’s not their fault. The reality is, it’s no one’s fault. It’s the risk we all take when we sign up for an outdoor event and we need to remember that from Day 1 of training.
The second reaction is sadness. No, this is not the grief you experience when you lose a loved one or for those people in Basalt, who lost their homes. But it is still grief and the sooner we recognize it as such, the sooner we can get on with life.
What can you do about it? Here are some options:
- Look for another race to do. For Xterra athletes consider another Xterra race such as the IronLake Xterra in Spearfish, South Dakota, August 24th, or Desert’s Edge in Fruita. Refocus and adjust your training plan so that the new race becomes your A race.
- Volunteer at a local triathlon or outdoor event to ease some of the pain.
- Look for something totally different and noncompetitive, but strenuous, like going for a hike or climbing one of Colorado’s mountains, to use up all that pent up energy!
Most importantly, just let it go. Move on. It’s not the end of the world. Watch five minutes of the news and you’ll quickly realize how unimportant a cancelled race is, in the big scheme of things. Remember how lucky you are to even be training for an endurance race!
For me, Aspen Valley was at the end of the season so I have chosen to throttle down the intensity of training and just maintain fitness. I’ll probably do a few local running races but will focus on planning out next year’s races. As my kids would say, it’s time to take a chill pill!
Kurt Dallow MD