"The way I approach running, it's totally a joyous pursuit for me-which doesn't mean that every day is happy, but I do it because I love it and I feel good when I run, and the racing is just a fraction of it."
~ Katie Arnold
Well, it's official. For the first time since 1897, the Boston Marathon will not be happening due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the BAA moved the race from it's traditional start date in April to September 14th. And those of us who were set to run this spring reset our training plans and crossed our fingers and toes. But as the months have gone by it has become clear that hosting an event of this size, even in September, is simply too risky. In the words of Mayor Marty Walsh, "There’s no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity", which, as we all know, is exactly what we shouldn't be doing. Ok, so now what? This leaves thousands of us in run-limbo, if you will. With no races on the calendar to train for and no way to even guess when things will be "normal" enough for us to line up again it begs the question, what am I really running for? The guys over at the Six Minute Mile recently referred to a great piece by DyeStat in which they have us give some thought to the following questions:
~ What am I actually trying to get out of my life as a runner?
~ How do I measure myself in this sport without numbers on a clock?
~ Is there a way for me to better myself without an actual race?
~ What am I grateful for as a runner?
I won't lie and say I'm not sad or frustrated that Boston, or all major races for that matter, have been canceled. Marathon training is one of the things in my life that I truly love. But what I've realized over the past few months is that it's the simple act of running in general that I am most passionate about. And now, having not pinned on a bib since 2019 and or been training for anything in particular, I have learned that I don't need the race to find the joy in it. Personally, running has been the only constant for me over these past three months. It has kept me relatively sane and pretty grounded during a time when these feelings are often hard to come by. So, what am I grateful for as a runner? Today, it's just the simple fact that I can do it. I can't answer all of the questions above at this particular moment. So my goal is to take the next month or so to give it a shot. A little self exploration never hurts, right? I'm 45 years old. I've been running for a long time. For lots of different reasons. Over the past couple of years it was mainly to push my limits. Right now it's to cope. But life will change again and running will serve a different purpose; perhaps a new one. I guess it's time for me to figure out what I'd like that to be.
Listen to this:
The Optimist - Evie Irie