Any time I tried to set a training schedule or increase my mileage, I felt resistant to my own plans and goals. My heart just wasn't in it, and I couldn't figure out why.
I nearly found that motivation in January 2020, but then the flu killed it. I barely got around to training for Gasparilla, and while I enjoyed that race and the accomplishment I felt after each long run, I didn't really enjoy the training itself.
I told Nicole on her podcast that I was in a weird spot with my running. I intended to grapple with this feeling and figure out what I wanted this spring.
And then COVID-19 made its way stateside and everything went pear-shaped.
Suddenly, I was working from home. Suddenly, I was dealing with the mental exhaustion of worrying about my friends and family constantly. Suddenly, the only time I could get out of the house was for a run.
Faced with isolation, anxiety, fear, constant other-thinking, and an uncertain future, I finally found peace in my running. I have literally no desire to build distance and stamina, no desire to work on speed. And I finally feel like that's acceptable.
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Running is something familiar and stable for me during a time when everything feels chaotic and uncertain. It is the only time of day I can let my brain rest while my legs do the work. The pumping of my heart and the breath in my lungs are reassuring, quantifiable evidence that I am still healthy. . I have never been more grateful for this hobby. . . . #floridarunner #ilovetorun #runnersofinstagram #running #runnersofig #runnersofinsta #runner #run #florida #teacherrunner #teacherswhorun #socialdistancing
As long as I can run, I know I'm healthy. I know I'm making it through another day.
Right now, running is a solace. That's all it is. It's a wonderful, freeing thing, to run without purpose, to run for such a basic reason and such pure need. It feels so simple.
When I see others out there, we give each other a wide berth and wave. There is a feeling of camaraderie in the space between us.
Today, Governor DeSantis finally called for a stay-home order for Floridians. It begins Thursday at midnight. Schools are closed until at least April 30, probably longer. I know this is far from over.
I have never felt so grateful for running in my life; it is life-affirming and absolutely keeping me functional. Stripped down to its most basic self, running is exactly what I need, and I finally feel like I can just enjoy it for the sake of enjoying it.