Let’s be honest: sometimes bad things happen in life over which you have no control. How can you juggle adversity and chaos without being overwhelmed by them? Expect the unexpected and try to be prepared for (almost) anything-that will get you through many scenarios.
First scenario: Surprise! Your Garmin/and/or GPS device/phone dies. How well do you know this course? Pay attention to landmarks, try to backtrack as best you can if necessary. Do you know anyone who lives in this area you can call or visit for directions? (How many songs can you sing to yourself in your head without your ipod?) Hot tip: If you’re running with your phone, put it in airplane mode to save power, conserve that battery. Otherwise, iPhone batteries can die at 16 miles on average. That’s my experience.
Second one: Dehydration while running. Always try to carry at least a tiny amount of cash concealed to buy an emergency drink. I try to carry an water bottle with me (or bottles around my waist in summer) and refill it if I can find any drinking fountains.
Third: Medical emergency-I have issues with allergies/asthma attacks (make sure you bring your Road ID and phone with you always)! Try to keep track of the nearest place you could safely seek help on any run.
Fourth: Distracted running. UNPLUG! Why I am I double-tracking every run with Garmin & Runkeeper? I know I can transfer it to Runkeeper later with a more accurate calorie count from my HRM. Why do I have to listen to music or podcasts during every run? From now on, I am forcing myself to run unplugged at least once a week. Besides, Adele seems to drive all the dogs crazy in the neighborhood!
Fifth: You get lost while unplugged and unwatched on a run. (Do you have your phone you brought in case of emergencies? Does it have GPS? If so, you’re fine.) If not, seek help at the closest safe location. Ask for directions from someone who appears to be trustworthy.
Sixth: Darkness/fog/wind/rain/snow/ice/heat/humidity/adverse (winter/summer, etc.) weather. Wear a headlamp, make sure it is fully charged the night before. Be smart about how far you can safely go in the weather you face. Wear Yaktrax if necessary on snowy/icy roads but exercise caution. Wear a reflective Nathan vest. Wear blinking or reflective wristbands. Stay adequately hydrated.
Seventh: No time to run/workout due to work/family/crazy schedule. Can you workout for 10 minutes? Can you run 1 mile?
Eighth: Chronic fatigue from overexertion with exercise. Take a nap or naps/rest. Take a rest day. Coffee (or tea) up!
Ninth: Dogs–run the opposite direction from whence you came. Don’t get excited or make the dog excited.
Tenth: With injuries, not much choice here, just rest/recover/recuperate/return.
Finally: Returning to normalcy. Hopefully, the combination of these tips can help you better deal with adversity and chaotic situations on the run or in your life. How do you handle adversity and chaos when it happens?