You have probably heard by now that Run Disney officials have cancelled the 2020 runDisney Star Wars Rival Race Weekend set for April 16 – 19. The news is disappointing to many, but this is truly necessary for the safety and health of runners, spectators, cast members, sponsors and volunteers. Additionally, this will free up medical personnel resources at a time when it is crucial to be fully staffed and stocked in hospitals across America. Now, your travel can be cancelled. Your spending can be refunded. But your achievements in training cannot be taken from you! You should still feel proud of all you have accomplished in your training regimen thus far. Here’s what to focus on as you move on from these unforeseen circumstances.
- Focus on the silver lining.
Now you have MORE time to train and work towards your goals for future races. For those who have been pushing through injuries or recovery, you now have more time to rest and rehabilitate. And for many of us, we are now offered some time to mentally recharge. Running is large part mental, especially for competition. This forced break is a good time to find the fun and joy in the sport again. As a Dietitian, I also want to mention that now is a chance to spend a little more time planning your pre- and post- run nutrition and allow yourself to find what fuel works best for you.
- Stay fit!
Running, in and of itself, has not been cancelled- finally, some good news! You may need to practice some friendly social distancing on the roads and trails, and perhaps reacquaint yourself with the treadmill. But ultimately, you can continue running. Whether your next race is 8 months away at Wine and Dine, or you’re looking to crush the runDisney Virtual Series this summer, you’ll want to preserve your strength and endurance level so that when you return to structured training you won’t be starting from square one.
- Have fun!
It’s time to take your eyes off your interval watch, stop measuring elevation, and forget about the extra loop to make your finish on an even mileage number. Get back to just going out for a run- free of stress and specifics. Appreciate the outdoor scene around you. Wave to fellow runners on the road (from a 6-10 feet distance of course) and blast some of your favorite tunes or your favorite podcast for entertainment.
- Try something new!
When I’m training for a race, I’m focused on mileage, time and strength training specific to running. When I’m done with a training plan, I love trying new ways to be active- dance, swim, barre, Pilates, spinning and more weight training. What’s pretty cool right now is you’ll find a lot of local gyms and subscription work out services offering free trials and live streams to reach current and prospective customers in their homes and to support the social distancing movement. Now is the time experiment with new forms of physical activity to keep your mind and body fresh!
- Rest and practice self-care.
Let things slow down. Focus on fitting in stretching, yoga and meditation. Even a few minutes a day can help tremendously in reducing stress and anxiousness. Runners and people everywhere are struggling with the uncertainty of this time, but this too shall pass. And when it does, you’ll be refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to set new goals! It’s OK to take time to mourn the loss of your cancelled race, but also remember to be grateful for your health and the chance to run again on those magical courses in Walt Disney World! When you’re feeling up to it, set your sights on what’s next for you.
- Find the next runDisney race that’s right for you.
In the advisory from runDisney (see here), fans were told that on-sale dates for future runDisney races will be adjusted and that more information will be shared soon. This is exciting news! Now is the time to chat with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner so that you have all the most up-to-date information on future races and the help you need adding a new run-cation to your calendar. It’s never been clearer just how useful travel agents are than it is right now. Allow someone else to handle your travel, touring, race registration, and all the unexpected unknowns that can pop up (like the runDisney Star Wars Rival Race Weekend cancellation) – it will relieve stress and worry in the most priceless way!
As we go into the unknown, we must believe that there is magic on the horizon for runDisney! I know in my heart we’ll all be back pounding pavement in the happiest place on earth when it is safe for everyone to cuddle up in those electrifying corrals together! And if history is any indicator of what can come from a change in runDisney plans, you just may find yourself crossing the finish line of something completely beyond your wildest dreams!