Do you have a Plan B? C? Z?

When I looked at my last blog entry in mid-July, I had to laugh.

“So, I’m going to employ that theory as I test out triggers for my blog. I do think weekly may work better than twice a month. Currently, my most available night is Thursday night, so I think I may try this: “After working out Thursday night, I write my blog.” I will still post on Tuesdays. I’m also going to set an alarm on my Outlook for Tuesday mornings to remind myself to post it if I haven’t. We’ll see how it goes this next week!  Stay tuned…”

 Here’s hoping nobody stayed tuned waiting for THAT to happen, considering it’s been SIX WEEKS!

It’s appropriate, then, that today’s topic is all about what to do when Plan A doesn’t happen and you need to go to Plan B…or Plan C…or Plan Z.

A Plan B Training Run

A good example would be my run yesterday morning, which had all the ingredients of a Plan A run (interval of 4 min run with 1 min walk, at a pace of 13.5 min/mile):

  • I ate a light dinner the night before
  • I got 8 hours sleep
  • I chose a flat route
  • The weather was cool with a slight breeze

About 1 mile into my 7-mile course, it became clear that Plan A wasn’t going to happen. I was out of breath, my legs hurt, and my traitorous thoughts were quick to offer justifications for drastically shortening my time.

Fortunately, I remembered John Bingham’s words of wisdom in his amazing race-preparation book “Marathoning for Mortals,” that no matter how prepared you are, sometimes the A game just doesn’t happen. At that moment, we can quit, or we can employ Plan B, and make sure Plan C is waiting in the wings.

For a marathon, this can look like:

  • Plan A: Finish the race with a Personal Record (best time)
  • Plan B: Finish the race ahead of the last person
  • Plan C: Finish the race same day you started
  • Plan Z: Finish the race….eventually

Yesterday morning, my Plan B was to switch my interval timer on my watch to 3 min run / 2 min walk, and slowed down to a 15 minute mile. I completed 7 miles, almost comfortably, and thought about how this same strategy could – and should – apply to other areas of my life.

My Daily Food

  • Plan A: Eat my planned food for all 3 meals
  • Plan B (asked out to lunch): Eat planned food for others meals, order salad for lunch
  • Plan C (asked out to lunch where the salads suck): Eat planned food for other meals, order a lean protein and diet soda
  • Plan Z (Restaurant is known for their battered fish and chips, and you know, when in Rome): Eat planned for other meals, and schedule extra time at the gym

8 hours of Sleep

  • Plan A: Go to bed 8 hour before I have to wake up
  • Plan B (favorite TV show is on): DVR show to watch next afternoon
  • Plan C (favorite TV show is Dancing with the Stars which EVERYONE will be talking about at work in the morning): Cancel plans the next day and go to bed earlier to make up for it
  • Plan Z (Results show is the next night – again late at night): Time to check accrued vacation hours!

My Blog

This of course, brings me full circle to this blog. My A Plan was to write an article two times a month. My first Plan B was to increase that frequency (clearly making a Plan B that’s more aggressive than Plan A is just silly). I’m now moving to Plan C. This is where I humbly try to write an article once a month and anything additional is just bonus. I’m feeling much more confident with this Plan – it may just be the one that sticks. If it doesn’t, that’s ok – I still have 23 more letter s of the alphabet to go through!!

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