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A Season suspended

The last few weeks (and the upcoming ones I'm sure...) have been crazy. It seemed each hour brought new cancellations to the racing world and new restrictions on everyday life. It's hard to see the effects that the widespread cancellations, closures and such will have on people and businesses. We do know that things are changing and changing rapidly. Some things will survive, others will not. It's our job to help the people, businesses and series so that when we emerge on the other side, they are marked on the survivor side.

There's plenty of information out there on the importance of social distancing to slow the infection. That doesn't need to be repeated. Social distancing doesn't mean time to go out and plan an awesome vacation because you are "working from home." It means minimizing unneeded travel, decreased close up and in-person interactions. Yes, camping off the grid decreases social interaction, but that overlooks the unneeded travel part of the equation. In fact, many of the small towns are asking people to stay away, if not even closing down the lodgings to prevent overloading the hospital system. It's not just about keeping asymptomatic people from spreading the disease - it's also about the risks of getting injured and not having the support required.

If your race has been canceled or postponed you have a few options. First off, it's okay to be upset and depressed about the loss of a goal race. You are allowed to be frustrated that the season has been suspended due to factors outside your control. But do not take that frustration out on the race directors. They have no choice in the matter to cancel or postpone when the guidelines are saying no more then 10 people gathered at once. Race directors want us to run just as much as we want to race. They aren't canceling just for the fun of it. Don't belittle the race directors, demand refunds or credits. The money is spent. You want the races to happen next year? Then be aware of what the race directors are dealing with right now. The grief and frustration you feel for not being able to run? That is compounded for the race directors. Be kind, be compassionate.

Once you have worked through the frustration and the grief, decide what you want to do. If  the race has been canceled outright, find out if there's a virtual option. A lot of race directors are doing virtual races and making it a social event on the various platforms. If the race has been postponed, then consider the calendar and if you can make the new date work. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. Anticipate that there's going to be no formal mass gathering races before the end of May, so consider the training aspect. Stress is stress - and if you are dealing with a lot of stress either from work or from the onslaught of social media - then now might not be the best time for high intensity or high volume workouts. Some areas are also dealing with the added stress of managing "Stay at Home" orders and the strict social distancing. If there's a few months between now and the next target race then rework your training to go for the next race. That might mean dropping back down to base training, taking a few weeks easy, then starting the process of ramping up again. If you are following a training plan, start the count back from your new target event and work backwards. Adjust any weeks not covered and the beginning of the training plan to reflect current fitness. Now is the perfect time for a consultation with a coach to help with that transition!

Still up for a hard race or time trial even though your plans have changed? Consider one of the many virtual options! It's a great way to support your local race directors, challenge yourself and have a memento of this crazy time (if you need one.)

Check out these options and feel free to add more in the comments!