Tuesday, February 2, 2021


"And we'll all float on, alright
Already, we'll all float on, alright
Don't worry, even if things end up a bit
Too heavy, we'll all float on, alright"
~ Modest Mouse, 'Float On'

In a normal year, winter training is tough.  Getting out in the morning and battling the cold and dark are not my favorite. But when there is a spring race on the horizon, there is that tiny light at the end of the tunnel which is usually just enough to keep me somewhat motivated.  Then there's winter training during a pandemic.  Equally as dark and cold but with no tiny light.  And that about sums it up.  Last year, as a way to stay focused and challenged, I set a few new and different goals that I knew I could safely pursue given the Covid situation including a 50K, a 50 miler and an eight hour run challenge, all virtual, of course.  

w/ Anoush

It was next level crazy as far as training went and given the lack of in-person races available I welcomed the opportunity to test out the world of ultra running.  I would even venture to say I had fun with it.  Most of the time.  I did learn that my 45 year old body can handle some seriously high mileage which I was pretty surprised and excited about.  Could be good.  Could be very bad.  Depends what day you ask me.  Having completed my last big ultra in mid-December, I rolled into the holiday season feeling, at least as far as running goes, physically and mentally fulfilled and ready for a much needed break.  At the same time, I couldn't help but wonder what the hell I was going to focus on come 2021 as I knew things would not be changing much during the first half of the year and that I still had no races on the calendar for the foreseeable future.  I wasn't panicking, mind you.  But, I know myself.  I thrive on routine.  I like to have something to work towards.  The more difficult the better.  And I don't really do "down time". 

w/ McKenna

So, I dug around and found a few new run challenges that I could sink my teeth into come January hoping that they would keep me relatively eager to train through the darkest days of winter.  If you have done any digging yourself, you know that there is no shortage of virtual running and/or general movement challenges out there right now.  Some are pretty basic.  Like the BITR Winter Grit Challenge and the Picky Bars 30 for 30 team challenge which were specifically designed to help those of us who need something "exciting" to get through the month of January.  I signed up for both.  In the former, I dove in head first and chose the UNHINGED option (run over 300 miles for the month), and in the latter I just agreed to move physically in some way for thirty minutes every single day of Jan.  I also went ahead and signed up for the Cannonball Run Challenge which is a bit more involved.  I have one year (September 2020 through August 2021) to run from Manhattan to California which is 2,966 miles.  Pro-runner Mike Wardian dreamed this one up as way to promote mental and physical health during Covid and to raise awareness and funds for the Run With Rivs campaign, an effort that I have been following and trying to support regularly through my training.  So, this was kind of a no brainer for me.  In case you're curious, I am currently 1,428.83 miles into my virtual trek which puts me in Nebraska.  

w/ Grace

I won't lie and tell you I haven't gotten a little burnt out now and then.  I have.  I mentioned this to my coach last week.  In so many words I told him I was feeling mentally and physically taxed.  And for what?  I've been putting in max effort from a mileage standpoint, filling the proverbial well, if you will.  But when it was all said and done, there would be no reason to tap it.  Which kind of bummed me out.  Then I gave it a little more thought - this whole virtual challenge thing and why I'm doing it.  I have zero social life right now.  Not that I was an every day rager pre-Covid.  But still.  I have very little going on beyond the boundaries of my house.  Except for running.  And here's the thing.  I have a lot of friends who run.  And most of them are up for joining me for any number of miles on any given day.  I love my husband and kids but a lack of social interaction outside of the family, at least for me, can be tough.  I'm an extrovert.  I need that additional connection.  Thankfully, I can still connect with some friends safely while also doing what I love.  And that has been awesome.  Like "worth going for a second run in the afternoon because I get to meet up with a friend and have an adult conversation" awesome.  Long runs, short runs, good runs and bad ones.  These are my people and they are always there for me.  And maybe, subconsciously, when I signed up for all of these challenges, I did it for this more than anything else.

w/ Pauline

The bottom line is this.  I love to run and I need it now more than ever to get through my day to day life.  What I miss most about racing is being with the running community, supporting my peers and more often than not, working together to reach big goals.  I still have those goals.  I just don't have the races.  As my coach recently put it, when you're out at sea, just because you can't see land doesn't mean it isn't there.  So, yes, I'm a bit adrift. We all are in our own way.  But, at least I'm floating along with some really cool people who love to do what I do.  I'll happily take that for now.  

w/ the Lex Run Club

Listen to this:
Things Changed - The Sunshine State