A few months ago, while Covid cases were lower and few new cases were arising, I signed up for the Frost 2 Flowers spring race. It had been scheduled for the actual spring, but then was rescheduled and pushed back for July 18th. I was pretty excited to sign up for a real-live race with other humans and all that. But, alas, Idaho opened everything back up and large spikes in the virus started on the daily. The race directors had to do the responsible thing and make it a virtual race. While slightly disappointed, it wasn’t unexpected and if we have learned anything from Covid, we have learned that whatever plans you may have made are not guaranteed and you personally have little control over what your community, country, or world choose to do that may impact your plans.
There are perks to running a half marathon virtually. You can choose whatever day you want to run it. You can sleep in. You can drink your coffee and finish said coffee whenever you feel like it. You can run a familiar course. You can get it done early, you can get it done late. That’s another thing Covid has taught us; we DO have control over our schedules. That’s a bit liberating.
There are also a few downsides to running your own half marathon. I will never set a personal record if I’m not immersed in a crowd of competition. In fact, I may have run my own personal worst, excluding that time I ran a half marathon 9 months pregnant.
About that sleeping in and drinking coffee until you feel like putting on your Altras. That did mean that I got a late start today. Actually, it was start that I wasn’t even sure I was going to do today. I was really unsure if I felt like doing the half today, or maybe tomorrow. I hadn’t really decided, but I half-heartedly made the decision to run 21 kilometers today. With all that hemming and hawing, coffee drinking, a few chores around the house, and extra sleep, it was about 10:00 am by the time I got myself out the door. That means the sun was beating down like a bloody torch that was out to destroy me. Within the first 8 kilometers I knew I was going to have a hard time. I started mapping out park bathrooms that would have running water. There weren’t many. Plus, Covid. Ugh.
I knew I was going to do a turn around, so at 10.5 km, that is what I did. Around that time, I found a park that had running water. I doused myself in lukewarm water, took a couple drinks, and got on with it. By kilometer 15, I was wilting. I was running way slower than I’m used to as the sun drained my energy levels. The temps were reaching over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but I swear it felt hotter on black pavement.
I stopped by the Boise River to cool down.
I stopped again at drinking fountain.
I kept running.
I found as much shade as possible on the greenbelt.
And, I made it home. I truly almost bonked and without a doubt had some heatstroke. Will I never learn that to do these virtual races, I need to wear my hydration pack? I promise I will on the next one. Which, will likely be tomorrow if I can finish my coffee early enough.
I did have to take an hour rest in a heavily air conditioned house. I drank my body weight in ice water. Took a few extra electrolyte tablets and called it good. See below, I was feeling somewhat better.
Back to real life. While my husband goes live with his YouTube channel, I chased down vaccination records, registered my son for his new school, and visited the campus so he could start to feel comfortable with the idea that this will be our world that we will be exploring for the next year. It’s highly likely that he will also be going to virtual schooling. I have to admit, it’s pretty cool to see how we manage in this new world.
Tomorrow I will pick up my race shirt and medal via a drive through race packet pick-up.
Happy virtual running, my friends. Stay safe and healthy out there.