Keeping running a part of your life during quarantine

You might even find yourself with (a lot) more time and energy to run

That’s a photo of my son and our dog Twix I took on the first day we were all at home — working at home, and going to school at home, as much as we can.

As Monday started, my wife and I were navigating entirely new terrain for ourselves. Among the things we’re figuring out: how are we supposed to teach our son while also taking work calls, after all? Our 15-year-old is one thing; she can take classes online and participate just like you or I could. But a 6-year-old?

Add to that the pressures that workplaces (well, my workplace anyway) applied for everything to be “business as usual” even though we’re all working from home with a thousand distractions right in front of our eyes and tugging at our heels.

Watching the news of the steadily rising virus cases and seeing the free-falling stock market ticker on the corner of the television, while listening in on a conference call for one of the teams I’m on at work — I have to be honest, it all felt pretty surreal.

In the midst of that, however, I must admit something: I’ve actually enjoyed (for the most part) having my family around me all day, every day.

It’s not something I’ve experienced in all the years we’ve lived together. The busyness of my and my wife’s work lives, plus the increasing busyness of our kids’ lives (yes, even 6-year-olds have busy lives, I’m learning!) can leave us all with a little bit of constant whiplash.

But this past week, and I’d expect the next few weeks to come, are putting all of that on hold. We’re taking the time to talk more with each other, to just be together. My stepdaughter and I have been watching “LOST” — her for the first time, me for the second, but the first time in ages that I’ve seen it.

And, I’m running. A lot. Or at least a lot more than I had in the past two to three weeks prior, when I stumbled with my training and then learned that the New York City Half had been cancelled. I ran five days this past week, and it’s been a while since I’ve done that.

The pressures to be somewhere early in the morning — as necessary as they are, of course — I gotta say, it’s nice to have that lifted for a while. I hate the reason this is happening, but there are some good things to be experienced and learned.

Lots and lots of people are getting back to running, or taking it up for the first time. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as many runners out on the road where I live as I have over the past week; where have all these people been? Will they stick with it? I hope so, for their sake and mine — anything to get more runners out on the road.

People seem kinder, friendlier and more ready to smile. I don’t know why this is, but I feel like most of the runners and walkers I’m seeing as I get out are waving, smiling, giving me a head nod, or otherwise acknowledging me as we pass each other. (From a safe distance of at least six feet, of course.) Have you experienced the same?

There’s a feeling in the air of, let’s take advantage of this while we can. In some European countries that have been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus, free movement outdoors is being strongly discouraged, unless absolutely necessary. There’s no reason to think that will happen in the U.S. (yet), but I think all of us are taking the simple pleasures of walking or running outside a little less for granted now.

As yesterday ended, I realized I had gotten in five days of running this week, competing just over 16 miles. It’s been a while since I’ve been this consistent; yesterday also marked the third in a three-day 5K running streak. I’m considering seeing how long I can keep up a “5K a day” streak — can I get 15 days? 30 days?

All of a sudden, I have the time and the energy to find out if I can. I felt better, and stronger, as a runner yesterday than I have in a long while. And I’m loving that feeling.

What are you experiencing? Is your running changing — and, by extension, is your life changing as a result of all we’re going through?

Let me know, either in the comments or simply by replying back — I really would love to know.

Your friend,

— Terrell

How Runners Are Getting Creative During the Pandemic. It’s been a surreal time for sure these past couple of weeks. The weeks of buildup to spring goal races like the New York City Half Marathon (and many others) have left runners across the country wondering what to do so they don’t lose their hard-won fitness. Some are turning to setting and achieving new time goals on their own, while others are setting their sights on getting ready for the raft of spring races that have been postponed until the fall (for now).

“I went out running at noon today and the streets were just empty. I was running in the middle of the road on a street that normally would have cars.”

Running From Coronavirus: A Back-to-Basics Exercise Boom. A photo essay that probably mirrors your experience lately, especially if you live in a big city: now that everyone’s home with nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, more and more people are turning to running as the one sport they can participate in — some getting back to it, many taking it up for the first time. Whatever the reason, I love that they’re doing it, and I’m seeing many more people out on the roads on the runs I’ve been taking this week too.

“It’s the perfect sport for a pandemic. All you need is a pair of shoes and a six-foot buffer from the next person.”

With the Boston Marathon Postponed, Des Linden Hits the Couch. Really interesting perspective of what running is like right now for the best of the best, as told by Des Linden, the winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon. Like all of us, she had goals and plans and dreams for this year, all of which have been interrupted by the coronavirus; she might get a chance to go for them in the fall, and she might not. It all depends on what happens in the next few weeks — for Des, and for all of us.

“I have a pile of books and a cord of wood,” she told the New York Times. “I’m hunkering down.”

What You Need to Know About Spitting During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Like to let a snot rocket fly, or hock a big one as you clear your sinuses when you’re on the run? The etiquette of that might be changing a little now that we’re living in a time of social distancing, as spitting on the sidewalk or the trail may put others at risk. So what was okay even just a couple of weeks ago may not be okay today (and perhaps for quite a while to come).

“The situation is in flux... So what we think is appropriate this week may not be appropriate next week.”

🎧 Listen: Running After Heart Surgery. In one of the best episodes of the “Another Mother Runner” podcast I’ve ever listened to, the hosts hear two remarkable stories from a pair of women, each of whom experienced serious heart issues at relatively young ages. Recovering physically was one thing, but the mental and emotional toll their heart surgeries took was an even greater challenge. Nonetheless, each of the women interviewed has gone on to do amazing things as runners, including running the Rim to Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon. (approx. 40 minutes)

A song to run to today

Hurt Somebody” from the album Hurt Somebody by Noah Kahan and Julia Michaels.

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