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Keeping perspective with COVID-19

COVID-19 has paralyzed our society in many ways. But thankfully, one of the few things that has remained is our ability to run. Below, some of our runners provided how the pandemic has changed their running and mindset the past few weeks, plus what may lie ahead.


1. In what world do public outdoor tracks get closed to the public? ~Danika Simonson

2. Enjoying the extra time and privilege to train ~Tessa Stoltenburg

3. A canceled return to Boston won't disappoint ~ Amy Fiet

4. Escaping the trenches of turbulence with a running buddy ~Mary Wirtz

5. Flexibility is key ~Jordan Ediger


In what world do public outdoor tracks get closed to the public?

I guess tracks existing in the age of COVID-19. Luckily for me (and folks who prefer running outside), the impact Coronavirus has had on my daily training routine has been minimal. As an eternal optimist, I’ve even discovered some positive impacts the pandemic has had on my training. Below, I’ve outlined the impact that COVID-19 has had on my training.

Pros:

  • Working from home – Like most folks working in a corporate environment, my company has its employees working from home now. The great thing about this change is that I can spend less time getting ready and more time recovering from runs properly.

  • Sleep – I could lump this under the ‘working from home’ bullet, but sleep is so important that it deserved its own bullet. Since I am WFH, I do not have to do every run early in the morning – I can sneak out mid-day or during an afternoon lull to snag a few miles. Because of this, I am sleeping in later in the morning.

  • YouTube Workout Videos – There is a substantial increase in the number of strength training videos out there now. It’s been great to see what other people are doing and mix up my standard strength routine.

Cons:

  • Tracks are closed – Having run the 800m and mile in college, I love a good track workout. Unfortunately, I’ve had to keep my feet on the street and rely on my Garmin for distances.

  • Running Solo – The best option to protect myself and others, although I prefer running with people. ~ Danika Simonson


Enjoying the extra time and privilege to train

COVID-19 has turned a lot of worlds upside down, but I truly think there is a lot of good to be found in this process. My schooling has moved to online training, which is much different and honestly more difficult but it does allow me more flexibility in my schedule. I spend a lot of time in a 700 square foot apartment, so getting outside to run is what I look forward to most. Although this situation can be scary, running can bring a lot of peace so I am channeling into that. I am thankful that the marathon Olympic trials happened prior to all of this, yet there are a lot of changes on everyone’s racing schedule due to cancellations. I am hopeful for a race in June, but all we can do right now is keep working hard and keep enjoying the process. Racing will be back soon. For right now, the training is what we have the privilege to do. ~ Tessa Stotlenburg


A canceled return to Boston won't disappoint


As I ponder how COVID-19 has affected my running, I cannot help but to think of how it has mostly had a positive effect. Have races been postponed and canceled? Yes. Are there upsides to these disappointing changes – definitely!


If you would’ve told me a month ago that the Boston Marathon being postponed would be anything other than a huge disappointment, I would’ve disagreed. At the end of February, I was looking forward to the last six weeks of hard training leading up to Boston. It was going to be my first time to be back to the race since 2013 and was really looking forward to having a “normal” Boston experience along with family and friends. As you all already know, I am not going to get that normal Boston experience. However, in the midst of this disappointment, I am still training with a tremendous amount of excitement and purpose.


In the last few weeks, my training has continued to be mostly business as usual. The only exception is that there were a couple of days that I took off that I wouldn’t have normally taken off. The great part with the Boston postponement is I now feel I now have the leeway in my training to give my body and mind a break when it most certainly needed it. When my work life had gotten quite busy and very stressful and my body and mind need a breather, I had no hesitation taking those couple of days off. In doing so I realized how this positively affected my running and I think it will allow for me to be more kind to myself during similar stressful times during future training blocks.

Another upside to COVID-19 is that as I am getting situated into the new normal, life has slowed down in a big way. I am now working from home full time and no longer am spending 80-90 minutes a day commuting. With school activities canceled for kids, I am no longer hopping from one thing to the next in the evenings and on the weekends. All of this has made for more time to be dedicated to spending time with my family, running and all the running related items I’ve always wanted to be doing. This is something I have not ever experienced in my training and I am enjoying every minute of it!


Having more time has allowed for many things. First, I am able to sleep in a little. This means starting my runs around 6 a.m. and it also means it is starting to see light on the horizon at the end of my runs. Extra sleep and a little sunlight definitely cannot hurt my training! It is also easier do everything from yoga, strength work, a second run, meditation, self-massage and stretching over my lunch. Again, all good things for my running!


Additionally, it has also opened up other racing opportunities I might not have had normally. I recently shared with the DDP team that I get the opportunity to race my daughter in an 800m race! To say I am excited is an understatement! Ha! My daughter, Regan, is part of a two-time state champion 4x800 meter relay team. With her junior track season on hold she is continuing to train so that she is ready when (or if) the spring sports seasons continue. She recently asked me if I would help her with a race simulation by racing her in an 800m. Without hesitation, I agreed. While the 800m distance is way out of my wheelhouse, Regan is also not yet in peak form, so that is the only reason why I think I have a chance against her . It is no doubt going to be an epic battle and one I think we are both looking forward to having! It is also going to be something we remember forever. Possibly even more epic than the Amy vs Regan 800m race will be watching her dad race her in the 300m hurdles (no hurdles for dad though ).

Aside from the epic Feit Family track meet, I do have other big nontraditional racing goals in mind for the near future. So for now, it is business as usual when it comes to running and I am just as excited and thankful for running as I have ever been. So, while I am not going to get that normal Boston experience I had originally looked forward to, there are so many upsides to this that I cannot say I am disappointed! ~AMY FEIT


Escaping the trenches of turbulence with a running buddy


In a world of uncertainty, germs, and bad attitudes, I am choosing to run.  Most days, in fact, as  unarguably the best form of mental health therapy is running anyways.  Though my day-to-day schedule and tasks looks a lot different than it did 10 days ago (and really continues to change by the hour), the good though about running is that its minimalist, convenient, and accessible from most any location.   My lackluster social life (which previously consisted mostly of group lunchtime running) now consists of running with one other individual at least 6 feet apart. I was scheduled to race Boston Marathon, which has now been postponed and other races to likely echo postponing as well.  No longer able to lift weights at the gym, I have been relentlessly utilizing therabands, adjustable dumbbells, and free fitness apps from my pop up basement gym.  But it’s okay.  It will be okay.  Peter Bromka eloquently states, “training reveals both our strength and our frailty.  There will be bumps, there will be turbulence.”  Clearly we are in the trenches of turbulence and though these times are challenging, frustrating, and a true test of spirit, today I will choose to #runfree.  Tomorrow too.  Don’t tell Coach, because I was “supposed to” have a scheduled off day J ~ Mary Wirtz


Flexibility is key


Ever since my fall marathon I haven’t had any clarity on what race to go after next. I asked coach EP 10 weeks ago if I could just ease into a flexible training schedule and he delivered. My motto for running is that running revolves around my life not my life around running. So I am staying on my same flexible training plan and loving it!

I work for an alcohol wholesaler in Kentucky and our business is essential in the state’s eyes so I now work from home, saving me just shy of 2 hours of commute time per day. That part has been amazing! It has resulted in more time for lunch runs, yoga or strength workouts. My husband is a chiropractor and the state shut them all down so that leaves us on one income. That can seem scary and stressful but overall, I have it pretty darn good. My husband and I have been enjoying some at home strength workouts since the gym isn’t an option. I sometimes run less and sometimes more during stressful times. I take that day-by-day and offer myself more grace to whatever my mind and body need. No one I know has caught the virus, but thinking of those who have. This too shall pass! ~Jordan Ediger

A special thanks to our team for taking a few minutes out of their day to reflect on this challenging time. As Mary said, now more than ever is a time to #runfree


Best,

Team DDP

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