How I'm Navigating 2021 Racing
If you're anything like me then you either have already signed up for a race or itching to have an actual race to train for. I'm longing to run a race for a race T-shirt, a medal and a banana at the finish line. I want to wait in a Port-A-Potty line and nervously jump up and down at the start line contemplating if I should pee just oneeeee more time.
But most of all I'm longing to experience the community live, in person and share in the pure joy that is racing. To be around other people excited, nervous and pushing themselves for the pure joy of getting even 2 secs. faster.
But I am also hyper aware and sensitive to the ongoing COVID pandemic and am far from actually being ready or willing to attend a gathering of any kind. For reference other than my runs, I only go to the grocery store, beach and open fields---Been that way since March of last year and plan on not attending gathering, seeing friends in person or basically any "Normal Social Activities" until either things calm down or the vaccines start making the numbers go down. (This is not political or anything towards people who don't choose to do the same---This is my comfort zone and everyone has to choose what is best for them)
If you read my post HERE you do know though that I have committed myself to running a Marathon in December. This may seem very confusing given my above statement but in my mind it actually makes perfect sense.
I have all in all pulled back from "normal" life and activities---BUT running has been my constant and the one thing I couldn't even consider not going outdoors to do. With pulling back from everything else though it has left a "lack of moving forward" feeling.
I made a deal with myself for 2021 that I wanted to take back little bits of normal however I could feel comfortable. Running a new distance was one of my intentions for the year and after putting that intention out there I figured it was the perfect opportunity to manifest it into realty (Don't worry I'm not breaking out big psychological-ness). So I started weighing the pros and cons like a lot of runners out there.
The most common ones I'm seeing on social media right now are:
Is Boston/NY/CIM, etc. going to happen?
Are live races going to happen?
What if I sign up for a race and it gets cancelled/moved to virtual?
What's the point?
All of these questions are on my mind and the hard part is there is really no right answer or clear answer to any of them. So basically all I can do is share my thoughts
Is Boston/NY/CIM, etc. going to happen? I had deferred my TCS NYC Marathon after it got cancelled last year--I know that for me even if the race goes on it won't be a reality for me this year soooo scratch that.
Are live races going to happen? They are happening in different parts of the country with various protocols in place so it's not ruled out that there will be live races around me. The REAL question here is am I going to feel comfortable participating in a live race IF it's an option?
What if I sign up for a race and it gets cancelled/moved to virtual? Well, I still get to run it and it gives me a firm reason to train because it's kind of a game of cat and mouse---Is it live? Virtual? will COVID be less? THE SUSPENSE IS TERRIBLE....I hope it doesn't last.....
(Easy there Willy Wonka, this is COVID, not candy.)
What's the point? The point is as nauseated as some may be to hear it...RUNNING ISN'T CANCELLED. Am I going to be more upset that I can't do a live race or that I'm letting more time pass by waiting for "better days". Do I want to run a marathon virtually? Not particularly, but do I also want to let 2021 go by without attempting the distance? BIG FRIGGEN NO.
This is my long winded way of saying we all have a choice on how we navigate the 2021 racing season---No right or wrong answer here. It's been almost a full year since COVID really became news and the talk of basically everywhere. The running world is adapting, changing and trying its best to set parameters to keep moving one foot in front of the other.
Because that's what runners do. We wake up, run, strength train, stretch and do whatever we can to get even an ounce better. We try our best to find a way to get our run in regardless if it's before the sun comes up, after the kids go to bed, or having to sneak on the treadmill for whatever time we can.
We tackle distances, routes, and pain that normal people shy away from. We talk about poop, peeing in random places, snot rockets and other TMI moments that others would think was "weird". We are RUNNERS, no matter our sixe, our speed, our distance, or our restrictions. We are runners and are going to run 2021 because we are lucky enough to still be able to.