Let’s all agree on this: 2020 was a dumpster fire.
Bushfires raged in Australia, killing wildlife and wreaking environmental havoc.
Two-inch-long wasps known as Murder Hornets first appeared in the U.S.
My father-in-law died. So did Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Alex Trebek, Kobe Bryant, and my dog.
Let’s see…anything else? Oh yes. A worldwide pandemic has killed over a million people, cost many their jobs, and closed thousands of businesses, some of them permanently.
But there had to be some good stuff happening, right?
In an effort to focus on the positive, I am listing my three running highlights of 2020. At the end of this post, I will invite you to share your highlights, running or otherwise.
Hands down, my favorite race of each year, PHUNT 2020 did not disappoint.
Held on Presidents’ Day Weekend, PHUNT preceded pandemic restrictions by about two months.
After 10 months of social distancing, looking back to the crowded pre-and post-race social hall, the raucous aid stations serving up open cups of Jello shots, and racers crowded into the packed starting line seem bizarre.
Oh, how I miss the January stream crossings, the sketchy weather (last year runners were treated to both snow and sleet), the singletrack strewn with rocks and roots.
The 2021 version of the race has been postponed until late April. Unfortunately, my husband and I cannot run that weekend, so I will have to wait until January 2022 for my next PHUNT fix.
In May, suffering from pandemic-imposed cabin fever and an uncharacteristic running funk, Bill and I completed the 4x4x48 challenge.
Beginning at 2:00 on a Friday afternoon, we ran four miles every four hours for 48 hours.
We varied our routes to prevent boredom and set an alarm, so we would not sleep through our scheduled running times. We braved running in darkness and rain. We pushed through stomach issues and tired legs.
From Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, we ran, ate, and slept. Period.
After our final run, we celebrated with hot showers, guacamole, and beer. In that order.
I got my running mojo back
This highlight is a little bit more difficult to write about. First, it didn’t happen in one day or one weekend, like PHUNT or The 4x4x48 Challenge.
It happened slowly, over a period of weeks, or maybe even months.
The timeline is difficult to pin down, but when I analyze how I feel when I run now and compare it to how I felt six months ago, there is a world of difference.
The cause of this lack of self-confidence is a mystery. It could have been brought about by my struggle to recover from a year-long injury. It may have been caused by anxiety due to the pandemic. It might have been engendered by a diminished race schedule.
I only know that my confidence in my running ability was shattered.
A new mantra I adopted helped to dispel feelings of self-doubt and stress that overtook my mind when I ran, but that mantra was the final step, not the first.
I am very, very glad, however, to take that last step back to normalcy.
And now it’s your turn.
If you have some running, walking, or yoga highlights, please share them in the comment section below. Write a comment or post a link to a blog post of your highlights.
If fitness isn’t your thing, but you have other highlights from this trainwreck of a year, please share them too.
Let’s share some positive news to encourage each other.
You can find the places I link up here.