Remember that one time, when I was going to run a half marathon before I turned 50?
Yeah, me too.
A funny thing happened on the way to that half, we all wound up embroiled in a global pandemic. Needless to say, it put a little hitch in my giddy-up and the half marathon of my goals was pushed back to the fall.
I mean, I’m far from the only person impacted by this; thousands of people show up to this race every year, and this year is special because it’s the 20th anniversary of the race that memorializes the Oklahoma City bombing and highlights the resiliency of a community. Of our country.
So kind of fitting? Our resiliency is being tested again.
I’ve spent the last year-ish running and trying to run farther and faster. I’ve binged movies and books and podcasts and websites and magazines in an effort to glean knowledge and inspiration to help me meet my goal. I’ve created playlists and researched gear and bought running fuel and a strap on water bottle and a fanny pack and a visor. I signed up for a bunch of races to keep me accountable along the way, starting with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 5K last year.
I kicked off 2020 with a fire in my belly and regulated breathing exercises and callouses on my feet. I ran a virtual 10K on January 1 and came to peace with the fact that I.AM. NOT.A.FAST.RUNNER. and that sometimes I walk because that’s what works for me. I picked up a running buddy (my husband) along the way and he helped motivate me to slay the hills that hold me back, to see that my limits are well beyond where I assume them to be.
And after we both signed up for that half marathon, we signed up for a 5K and a 10K leading up to it because we discovered that running together is something we love doing and we were excited about the buildup to the half marathon. And then they all got cancelled.
After we picked up our packets for the 5K, we donned our shirts and ran a virtual race at the gym on a rainy Saturday, capping it off by taking a selfie with our medals, just like any other race. The 10K packets will be available for pickup and we can run that one virtually as well. The half has been postponed until the fall, and I hope that it will be held (though some of the ‘rona rumblings make me question whether the fall will bring with it more quarantines).
I’ll be running that half when I’m a half a hundred, and that’s okay.
We mapped out a 13.7 mile course locally where, if we so desire, we can make that half marathon happen. I’ve had friends reach out to offer to help make this happen while also practicing our safe social distancing.
But, we’ve learned from this that even the best laid plans don’t always come to fruition; right now, it all just remains to be seen. My running buddy hurt his knee, so he’s out of the races (pun intended) for the time being. I want to keep running and hit that 10K and half as we planned because I’ve come so far … but it’s been an intense allergy season and that’s been bad for my get up and go. Not to mention the sheltering in place which makes me want to do all the bingeing (food and TV). And I had just gotten used to intermittent treadmill training when the gym closed down and the rains came.
So now I’ll just have to suck it up and hit my ever-so-hilly neighborhood streets in crappy weather and be happy that I can at least do that. I will take motivation from my silver lining storm cloud necklace and my KEEP FUCKING GOING bracelet and running podcasts and the progress that I’ve made already and knowing that people believe in my ability to do this and I’m not just a crazy person for trying…
… and music.
I’ve got an epic playlist on my phone with 125 songs on it that I only listen to when I’m running (and it’s some of my favorite songs, so that motivates me). I put it a curated 66 song version on Spotify for your listening pleasure (do I have to tell you that it contains explicit lyrics? Because it does), should you care to check it out.