Plan B

Plan B can be a beautiful thing. I signed up for races on three successive weekends in September this year. I knew what I was doing, so I’m not complaining. Questioning my critical thinking skills a bit, but not complaining. Trail of Tears sprint triathlon followed by City of Roses Half Marathon then finish with the Illinois Senior Games. I look forward to each of these for different reasons, but that is for another post.

The weather forecast for the weekend of the triathlon was disastrous; three days of storms, strong winds and inches of rain. Race organizers were sensitive to the situation and planned to make a decision about the race on Friday. Wanting to be fresh for the race, I had planned a workout of stretching and a short run for Friday morning. Waking up to light winds and no rain, I quickly went to plan B and loaded up my bike to ride with my buddies.

25 Mile Bike Ride

It was a nice 25 mile ride with a little tempo work in the middle. No records were broken, but it was a great way to start the day. Later that day the call was made to postpone the triathlon for three weeks. The timing of the rescheduled event was going to work well for me. Saturday’s weather was windy, wet and cool, confirming the organizers’ good decision.

Apples & Zinnias

Sikeston Farmers Market

My plan B for Saturday included a trip to the local farmers’ market. I was able to score some apples and ‘last chance’ peaches from Kinnaman Orchards. Both fruit choices ended up being surprisingly good. Pat and Asa Kinnaman are the growers as well as the merchants. They intimately know the fruits, vegetables and flowers they offer for sale. At their orchard, the Kinnaman’s specialize in variety rather than quantity. At the market, Pat and Asa are friendly and knowledgeable, sharing characteristics of the fruit as easily as they recall stories and preferences with returning customers.

parengo colby

Caffeinated Athlete

The farmers’ market is located downtown in Legion Park. Just steps away is Parengo Coffee, my favorite Sikeston coffee shop. I stopped in to enjoy a nice pour-over. It had been a while since I had been to his shop, so it was good to chat with owner Colby Williams. That too will be the subject of another post. The point is that shifting gears and joyfully accepting the change of plans led to enjoyable results.


A Morning Run

By Sunday morning the weather had passed and I felt that a run before church was in order. There was time for a six miler in the neighborhood, so I set out with that in mind. Before getting to my planned destination, I felt tired with an elevated heart rate. When my Garmin hit five miles, I was ready to quit. So I did. I had felt good at the start of the run and my pace wasn’t too fast. But at this point I really felt that continuing to run would have been a bad decision, so I started walking. Looking around I noticed sassafras trees putting on some fall color. By the time I finished taking a couple pics I felt ready to continue running. So I eased back into running to finish the six miles.

Monday was my day to swim. The weekend storm had dropped the air temperature as well as a couple inches of rain. This resulted in the water at Central Pool being wetsuit legal. Refreshing is the most positive spin I can put on the water temp. Nobody overheated during the workout and it was a stark reminder that the season for swimming outside was coming to an end.

Tuesday’s bike ride produced another Plan B moment. There were no cars at the sports complex that serves as our informal meeting place and my buddy John hadn’t answered my text. So I took the opportunity to do some solo speed work. There are a few Strava segments in the area that helped me redefine my morning plans. Returning to the complex, I noticed a glorious sunrise that I was able to capture with my phone. Stopping for pictures during our normal group ride is not too cool. Again, changing circumstances yielded beautiful results.

Complex sunrise

It is so easy to get caught up in plans and expectations for our workouts that changes can disappoint us and put us into a funk. Our workouts are less effective, or we scrap them completely. Pushing through the adversity or shifting gears can still result in positive results. There can be great joy finding the beauty in your plan B moments.

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