The first race that got cancelled for me was the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Run. I was excited to be doing it. I had run two races with my son, but this was going to be one for just me. It’s a great race too through Midtown Reno and an actual Leprechaun chases you down during the event. It’s a lot of fun. But it got canceled and then we saw race after race fall as we came to grips with an isolating existence in the face of the pandemic. It wasn’t just the races that went away. Group runs were canceled and even the occasional buddy run became a thing of the past. But I was, like I think a lot of you, hoping for the annual turkey trot to signal a turn in our efforts to beat Covid 19.
But, last month it was announced the Wobble Before You Gobble would be virtual this year. It sucks. That’s a great course. It goes by my favorite coffee shop, The Hub and is a nice flat course by the river in downtown Reno.
My wife, has asked me a few times now why all this — the isolating, the inability to go to our favorite restaurants and so many other things — doesn’t bother me and I never had a really good answer for her. But I think I know now.
It’s because I’m a runner and also a writer.
Both are solitary activities for the most part — though certainly running, with its races and group runs and even buddy runs is more social — still, they both require the discipline of being solo for a bit. But that doesn’t mean I want to be alone. You see the real reason I like running is because I’m usually running to something. I’m running for a finish line or running to get back home, running to improve my health, both mental and physical.
And it takes time and discipline and you have to be dedicated to make improvements. And despite it’s solitary nature, you do depend on other people. You depend on your local shoe store to be able to provide access to some good shoes and accessories, your family to give you time and support to do it and for your community to maintain the roads and sidewalks and trails you hit. It takes us all together, but only you can put in the miles.
You see, we can make changes to our routines to meet our goals. The Wobble is virtual this year and we will likely be doing a virtual Thanksgiving as an extended family, instead of doing a big get together.
We will make adjustments on both fronts. We’ll run our miles by ourselves, maybe post them on our social media pages or share them in texts with friends. We will wear our masks, visit virtually with each other and get through this winter. And who knows, if we all do our part, in the spring, maybe we’ll be racing Leprechauns again.