Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to Black Friday Runfessions. Are any of you going to brave the mall or shops today? I would rather crawl across broken glass with an anvil on my back. I am not a good shopper during the best of times. Just the thought of stress-shopping in the midst of a pandemic gives me hives.
In my monthly Runfessions post, I confess my running sins (mostly venial). Let’s step into the runfessional and get this party started.
From the Good News/Bad News Department
For my first runfession, I must tell you about an email I received about a month ago giving runners the bad news: my favorite race of the year, PHUNT, a 25K trail race, was not canceled. Yet.
That meant anyone who had allowed their training slack off due to the lack of races on their schedule (as I did) would have to ramp up their mileage in a hurry. PHUNT is roughly 17-ish miles, depending on how the race director feels on the day he marks the course – merely sadistic or downright evil.
The email went on to describe all the changes that would have to be made to comply with pandemic restrictions in place in Maryland, but I couldn’t read them. I was crying happy tears.
We have had so much taken away from us this year. When I found out that my favorite race was actually happening, my joy knew no bounds.
Of course, that was before cases spiked in the last few weeks. Even though runners would be running alone according to the mitigation plan the race director put in place (unless you run with someone else from your own household, as I do), I won’t really believe it is happening until the Saturday of Presidents’ Day weekend, when I arrive at Fair Hill Nature Center and lace up my trail shoes.
One More Time
I must runfess I also found out that another favorite race, CJ’s Resolution Challenge is happening in-person (as of now) on January 2.
In CJ’s race, there is no specific distance. You run for (up to) three hours to see how many 1.5-mile loops you can complete. The racecourse is half single-track trail, half gravel road.
Last year, I completed 11 loops for a total of 16.5 miles. I thought at the time it would be a good warm-up and time predictor for PHUNT, but I didn’t take into account the devious nature of PHUNT’s race director. It took me over half an hour longer to run approximately the same number of miles when I ran the 25K.
An End of An Era
My final runfession is this: I realized this month that 2020 is the first year since 2005 when I will not have run a marathon.
I am a little bit disappointed to break this streak, but I can’t say for sure the pandemic was the reason. My last marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2019. I ran this marathon to try to help a friend complete his 31st MCM, and I was woefully under-trained.
I vowed at the time to retire from marathon running, but I have made that vow after almost every marathon.
Friends of mine are going to run a marathon in Mississippi in December. I toyed with the idea of going along, but I am not trained for that distance. Walking is always an acceptable option as far as I am concerned, however. I decided against it when Covid cases began spiking, and travel restrictions were put in place.
Who knows, maybe I will begin a new marathon streak in 2021?
Thank you for reading my Runfessions this month. I am cleaner, lighter, and grateful for the chance to shed my burden of running sins. See you again in December for my next Runfession.
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