Dealing With Running and Quarantine In These Times

The 2019 1A  State Championship 1600m final was one to watch and gain experience

The day that almost all sporting events got canceled was the day I was preparing for the Batavia Distance Madness. Just before Friday, March 13, I finished up my pre-race workout when the season came to a halt. Fueled by irritation and resentment, I did a three-mile time trial and ran a five-second personal best. The initial happiness that comes with running fast times bestowed over me. Then, confusion came. That PB wasn't supposed to be at an empty track in Staunton.

In my mind, the only way I was going to miss a season in high school was if I got some terrible injury or sickness. Since I hadn't been plagued by either of these, it seemed like junior year was going to be a good one. I had big goals. Big meets were on my schedule. All of my training had been mapped out. Then, it all went away.  One of the weirdest parts of all of it was that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. I can´t look back through my training and pinpoint some time when I pushed too hard, or when maybe more stretching and pre-hab could have averted this. 

I went through the initial shock of having the season canceled. I wasn't sure what to do with the extra time on my hands, and it didn't feel right not preparing for a race. I spent way too much time watching Breaking Bad and scrolling through Instagram. Ironically, that the hours spent endlessly scrolling led me to my quote for quarantine.

Desiree Linden posted a picture with the caption, ¨Note to self: You know the ´loving the process´ you always preach about? Yeah, now is the time to practice what you preach. No spectators. No competitors. No results. Just the love of the process.¨ For me, the time away from competition has allowed me to go back to the basics of running. The reason I fell in love with the sport in the first place. Little me was not worried about hitting specific paces or what my Garmin says my VO2 max is. I just ran my 5-10 long weeks for the feeling of accomplishment.

Going back to the basics of running has allowed me to step back and realize what I love about running. Whether it be having a good conversation with my mom on a long run, pushing through one more 400, or actually finishing a time trial (haha sorry Coach Carson), I love the process. I love the day to day training grind. 

The season being canceled sucks. I don't know how else to word it. But there are many positives if you look closely. Competitive running will be back before we know it, but right now, there are no spectators, or competitors, or results. There is just the process.