Thursday, November 26, 2020

2020 Fall Update

 Current Mileage: 1596 (as of 11/26/2020)

Running Update

Well another summer season has come and gone.  Can I just say that this past summer was the "Summer of Suck"?  Between the oppressive heat, Covid-19, racial tensions, election drama -- it was just a miserable summer, especially for running.  It also hurt that there were very few races.  Fortunately, Utah -- the state where I reside, allowed some races to occur.

This summer had a few positives though.  I stayed healthy -- both physically and mentally and was able to get a full summer of training under my belt. Once the cooler temperatures hit I was able to boost up my long run and my weekly miles:  from the low 30's per week to low 40's.

In addition, with me working from home and very reluctant to eat at restaurants, I've managed to go from just shy of 190 pounds to 172 - 174 pounds.  This has made the biggest difference in my day to day runs.  I just try to eat smart, snack less on junk, and get a walk in after lunch to recharge for the afternoon.

Also, as I write this, I am running about 6 to 7 days a week with a weekly mileage of just over 40 miles per week.

Virtual Races

My last race of the year was (or will be) the Trick or Treat Trot 5K.  I had visions of doing the Bountiful Turkey Trot (which I signed up for) and making a road trip down to Laughlin to do the Laughlin Half Marathon.  

But with Covid numbers increasing rapidly, I haven't felt comfortable going out and doing much of anything.  So as a matter of safety for myself, others, and those I care about I have been resorting to "virtual races" 

Generally speaking, I am not going to pay for a virtual race.  I've got enough t-shirts and medals throughout the years, so that doesn't inspire me.  What does, however, is when they post / rank the results.  

But when an organized sets up a "real" virtual event, make me sign up for it, and then hold me accountable for my time?  You bet, I'll do the hard work and race.

I have found that the Competitor Group's / Rock 'n Roll Group's virtual races work for me:  They have posted workouts and virtual races -- and they are free.  Naturally, they encourage you to buy stuff to celebrate your experience but they do post the results.  And, during their Black Friday event, I did wind up purchasing their Las Vegas bundle, mostly because I have all their other t-shirts from my legacy streak of running the Las Vegas Marathon.

Granted, I am at a distinct disadvantage being that I run at 4300+ feet of elevation versus someone living in Florida or California.  But it is all for bragging rights and I do try to improve my times.  So hopefully forcing myself to run hard, I can come out stronger / faster in spring of 2021.

Recently, I've run a 52:45 10K, 25:15 5K (windy) and blasted through a 1:58:55 half marathon (windy conditions).  I was shocked at the half marathon on account it was windy and to be honest, I didn't set out to run fast.  It just sort of happened.  

These are legit distances using my Garmin, so the courses aren't long or short.  And best of all, they are safe, I get to set the distance, time when I run -- and best of all, they are free.

Mental Challenges from 2020

Another aspect that I haven't written much about is the mental challenges associated with living in 2020, the year of Covid-19.

Since March 16th, I've been working from home.  I've gotten used to it and I don't miss my 15 minute commute, but I do miss seeing my coworkers.  It is one thing to chat via Slack or Zoom but it is quite another to drop by their desk or having face-to-face meetings.

There is also the constant stress of wondering at every sneeze, clearing of the throat or sniffle that I am coming down with something.  Also, the avoidance of everyone at all costs and giving everyone 6 feet of clearance.  When and if this passes, people's attitudes towards illness and being close to people will change.

The other side effect that I am dealing with is that I don't go anywhere -- and if I do -- I am constantly on guard.  How can I minimize contact with people, am I taking too much of a risk?  So since about March, I haven't really done much of any road trips or destination races.

Also there is a lot of nostalgia.  Facebook (and just having a decent memory) makes me recall places I had been a year ago.  For instance, on Thanksgiving weekends in the past, I ran the Bountiful Turkey Trot and then ran off to Wendover and then to Elko Nevada.  This year, I *could* do that but it comes at a high risk; one that I am not comfortable taking.

So right now, my only really fun outlet is the occasional hike and my daily run.  It makes for some monotonous days.

Upcoming Races

Not much upcoming for races.  The race directors, however, are starting to send out specials.  I'll see how many I decide to take advantage of and what the plan is for 2021.

03/27: 2021 Havasu Half Marathon - Havasu, AZ (Confirmed)
04/03: 2021 Eggs Legs Race 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/XX: 2021 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
05/15: 2021 Ogden Half Marathon - Ogden, UT (Confirmed)
11/XX: 2021 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Canceled)

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