Three Black Friday Runfessions

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.

This was the year Bill and I did CJ’s when the race temperature was zero degrees.
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.

You can find the places I link up here.


  1. I will NOT be doing any in-person black Friday shopping either. And, like you, not necessarily because of CoVID. I just hate the crazy crowds. I don’t need a deal that badly. LOL I hope you two races don’t get cancelled. That is a great Marathon streak. Be proud of it and, like you said, perhaps start another in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am almost finished with Christmas shopping. The earliest I have EVER finished shopping! I couldn’t take the stress of shopping hanging over my head this year. I hope the races don’t get canceled, but I think they will.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll never believe that any race since March 2020 will happen until I have physically shown up at the race site, used a porta potty, and put my toes on the start line..but fingers crossed that PHUNT will happen. I feel all of your feels…there are exactly 3 races in my area that I will register for and participate in no matter what even if they stay virtual for a decade. I think it’s also more than reasonable to reboot your marathon streak next year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have the same belief. I think most of the races I am looking forward to won’t really happen. Not sure if I want to reboot the streak. I might have to give marathons a rest for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, if you really kill CJs maybe you’ll get your marathon a couple days late. You won’t be seeing me at any of these races this year. My biggest run this fall was 8 and most have been 4 – 6. I think I’ll call this my regrouping year. Here’s to hoping that by spring, the race scene is getting back to normal.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Laurie, your posts always make me smile. And I continue to be amazed at your dedication to running. If only I was as dedicated to certain areas of my life . . . πŸ˜‰

    I’ll look forward to reading on and seeing if you do, indeed, run a marathon in 2021.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I wouldn’t run a marathon if I hadn’t trained for it. That is really too hard for the body. Just keep going out and running and walking that you enjoy. Stay safe too so you can run in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, Carolyn. Today (Black Friday) is my husband’s birthday. We had a low-key day and are going to order sushi for a birthday treat!


  6. This is the first year I have not run any race. I usually do a half or 10K every year, but the one I signed up for canceled, and then my gym closed. I, of course, could still run outdoors, but I’ve done very little of it, and now it’s winter. Winter where I live often means either icy trails or poor air quality. If all of these sound like excuses…I guess they are. That is my runfession. I fear I may have let the pandemic end my running “career.” I am still working out, but for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to run…at least for now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did Black Friday shopping one time, Christmas 1983, but never again. It was at a tri-level mall and a throng of people that moved together and you had to extricate yourself by pushing away from them long before the store you wanted to shop, to work your way out. I got the item I wanted and got out of Dodge. Never again. I can’t imagine doing a marathon – lots of running. I was running to catch up with someone to chat for a minute today and was all breathless … lots of walking, but not enough stamina for running, even that short spurt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did Black Friday shopping years ago, when my kids were little. we used to go in the afternoon. By that time, crowds had thinned out considerably and online shopping was not a thing.

      Running is something you must ease yourself into gradually. When I first began running, I could only run a block or so before I had to walk. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense – the crowd at the mall on that day, on all floors, was not something I’d want to tangle with again. We have had issues on Black Friday in the very early a.m. at KMart or Best Buy when they opened and people were hurt as they were maniacal to get inside before anyone else. When I started walking, I only did a block at a time to get used to it. One beautiful October day, I walked too far and got shin splints. I learned my lesson that day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I read about issues here too on Black Friday. It’s crazy! Part of the reason I avoid stores that day. Ooohhh…shin splints are really painful. I used to get them when I was a kid on the track team at school.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, a good reason – I stayed home and decorated on Black Friday every year after that … no more going to the store. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away on a gorgeous day and keep walking/running and that’s the price you pay!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I should have been decorating on Black Friday. The weather was gorgeous all weekend. Unfortunately, I was lazy and did not get my decorating done. Now it’s rainy so no decorating will get done today either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am hopeful ours is gone soon, but I had three yard waste bags (our last week to put it out) and they were in the driveway and are frozen to the cement. They are behind in picking up yard waste (my garbage day is Monday) due to the holiday. The snow was pretty and falling fast and furiously but then we had freezing rain overnight. Ugh – I wish it was April 1st!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m signed up for a live trail race in January. Will it actually happen? With our case count currently skyrocketing and guaranteed to increase after the holidays, I’m not counting on it. Sigh. I want this to end!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I want this to end too. Even though PHUNT is not canceled (yet), it’s in a state we are not allowed to travel to, even though it’s less than an hour away. Ugh!


  9. To be honest, I can’t think of a single thing I even want to buy today and I for sure will not be braving the crowds (if any, who knows) in stores. Sorry about the breaking of the marathon streak. I’d say the circumstances were beyond your control but still. Thanks for linking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t say for sure I would have run a marathon even if they wouldn’t have all been canceled. I may be giving the longer races a break. Thanks for hosting.


  10. I remember reading about the PHUNT last year! I hope it stays on the schedule! There were no marathons in 2020 for me either…not even any live halfs (though there were a handful of virtuals)! I was really bummed when I deferred the Air Force Marathon to 2021 (no way I was attempting to run that event virtual LOL), but when the stress fracture hit, any and all FOMO quickly dissipated. I guess it was my golden ticket to scale back, and the timing was on-point with all the COvid crap happening around me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PHUNT is not canceled (as of now) but I am not allowed to travel to MD, which is the state it is held in. Ugh! Yes…if there is a “good” time to be injured, you definitely had it.


    • YES!!! That’s exactly what I felt – so much has been taken away from us this year. Unfortunately, the race is in a state we are not allowed to travel to right now, even though it’s less than an hour away from my house.


  11. Although I enjoy shopping, I have never been an in person Black Friday shopper. Online? That’s a different story. Although there wasn’t much time today as I went to visit my mom (since I didn’t go on the actual Thanksgiving, but my sister & her family did).

    Breaking a streak is always sad, whatever the reason. I suspect there will be more marathons in your future. I also hope you are able to run some of your fav races in person. For me 2020 meant no races. At all. There were races I could’ve done, but it just didn’t appeal to me — which isn’t to say there weren’t races I missed this year. Of course it was warm-ish on Thanksgiving this year when I didn’t run a Turkey Trot (although I did run).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    I don’t do Black Friday shopping in a good year, so it wasn’t going to happen this year for sure! Let me make a correction, I usually stop by the ABC store on Black Friday for their 20% off everything sale, but couldn’t this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I did a tiny bit of on-line shopping today, but didn’t see too many deals. Last year Williams-Sonoma had a sale and free shipping on its Peppermint Bark, and this year there’s only a discount on large quantities and free shipping on $79, so that’s not enticing. I love that stuff, but do I love it $29.95 + shipping??? Not today β€” ask me closer to Christmas. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t find any online deals either. Hubby and I almost waited for Black Friday to buy a Play Station for our grandsons, but when they began disappearing, we quickly snapped one up.


    • Sorry your race was canceled! I think mine will be too. We are no longer allowed to travel to the state where the race takes place, even though it is only about 45 minutes away.


  14. PHUNT sounds equal parts awful and terrible! I’m so glad it’s a go (so far!)

    I think it doesn’t count as breaking a streak if it happens in 2020. It’s just not reasonable to include this disaster of a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Girl, you are a MACHINE!! With a beautiful heart and brain. Cannot imagine running in well-below freezing temps. Or in a marathon, or for 17+ miles!! I am just hoping to get back to running a mile a day. Might get 17 miles in a month…a good month.

    Hope you will be able to participate in at least one of these events. Our Turkey Trot was virtual this year but even more expensive, which I did not understand. We were invited to register, then run on our own. So we didn’t participate. Tried to run…jog…walk fast…this past week but really struggled. Turns out I am having some kind of funky wheezing in my lungs. On meds and hope to be back at it this week.

    You amaze me, Laurie. Always so in awe of your running.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha! Below freezing temperatures are probably rare where you live. If I want to run in the winter, I have to get used to it. Thank you! Our case numbers keep going up and up. I have very little hope of running either race. I hope you are feeling better soon. Funky wheezing is not good!

      Liked by 1 person

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