Betty Says: When the Plan Falls Apart

Leave the clouds behind. Tomorrow is a new day.

Sometimes, the best-laid plans fall apart.

Dear Betty,

I’ve carefully plotted out a training calendar that will get me ready for my upcoming 10k. I meticulously wrote each day’s workout on my calendar. And now, 16 days into the plan, I’ve only followed the calendar twice (unless you count my rest days; I’ve done both of those). I thought that making a plan would make me more committed, but instead it just makes me feel worse.

– Slacking in St. Louis

I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Kidding! Oh, how I’m kidding! See, I’d done something similar back at the start of February, and my track record has been almost as good as yours.

There’s nothing like a feverish kid to stop all workouts for a couple of days, and it seems like my life schedule and my workout schedule just haven’t been syncing. One week, I had to miss my Monday run because I couldn’t move my legs after my circuit training. I tried to push it to Tuesday, before Zumba, but it was pouring rain. Another day I volunteered in the kid’s classroom. Suddenly I heard a whooshing sound and realized that it was the sound of February passing me by. I looked back at my training log and instead of triple-digit mileage, I had only managed the low double digits.

And that’s when I started feeling really bad about things. About my commitment to my training. About my commitment to myself.

And then I thought, f*** it. What’s done is done. I can’t go back and make up those miles no matter how much I beat myself up about them. And really, what would I have done differently?

Would I have ditched the classroom volunteering? No.

Would I have sent the kid to school, even though he was sick? No.

Would I have run in the pouring rain? Not in 40-degree temps, no.

Would I have skipped Pilates to run? Never. Without Pilates I can’t run.

So why was I beating myself up about it? Why are you?

Looking back isn’t going to make those workouts magically materialize. Hindsight won’t make you stronger or faster. So look ahead, clear your calendar and just go for it, guilt-free. I’ll do the same.

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