QT: Running (and Life) Lessons Learned During Covid-19

So Covid-19, eh?

Clearly, this thing has been quite the pain in the arse, am I right?

Sadly, I’m right.

And while this whole “thing” is likely still far from over, I feel like there are some lessons that we can (should?) be learning from the first few months of the pandemic.

Let’s dive into them, shall we?

Running Lessons Learned During a Pandemic

To be clear, I’m not saying/insinuating that the whole Covid-19 situation is anything short of a calamity.

It simply is, whether we like it or not.

If we can learn a few things to make us better people/runners going forward, maybe that will at least take a little sting out of the virus?

At least that’s the hope.

Here are a few lessons learned during Covid-19 (or lessons that have been reinforced).

Life Happens

I know I talk about life happening somewhat regularly, but this takes it to a whole different level.

Pre-Covid-19, my reference for life happening was a kid getting sick, some terrible weather, oversleeping, or some other marginally inconvenient event that caused a missed run.

Worldwide pandemic?

Yeah, that definitely rates a bit higher on the whole “life happening” scale.

But the lesson here is still the same: life is going to happen.

Sometimes, (most times?) life happens on the small scale.

You miss a run or few, life settles down, and you get back on track.

But every so often, life happens in a big way.

And when it does, it takes a little longer for things to settle down and you’re able to get back on track again.

Gotta Be Willing to Adjust

This is another lesson I’ve had reinforced thanks to Covid-19, and it goes hand and hand with life happening.

When life happens, no matter the scale, you have to assess the situation and then do your best to adjust.

Sometimes the adjustments you need to make are pretty small.

Shuffling the days of the week you trains. Running in the morning or the evening, depending on the schedule at work. Taking an unplanned rest day when you’re sick.

Those kind of adjustments are ones that, usually, kind of take care of themselves in a lot of cases.

But when there’s a pandemic? When your work life and family life and social life and running life are all impacted at a moments notice?

That’s a tough situation to be in, as many of us found out over the past few months.

Adjusting multiple areas of your life, simultaneously, isn’t exactly easy.

Just take things one at a time, make an adjustment, and keep moving forward.

Value of Goal Diversity

By now, you’re probably pretty well aware that I like me some big goals.

For many runners, our goals tend to focus on race day scenarios.

New PRs. New distances raced.

For runners with goals focused almost exclusively on participating in races, Covid-19 dealt a pretty devastating blow.

To be clear, I don’t have any issues with race-centric goals.

I have race-centric goals, and they absolutely drive me to keep up with my training and continue improving as a runner.

But I also have goals that aren’t race-focused, such as my goal of running 2,020 miles this year.

Whether or not I have a race again this year, my 2,020 miles goal was never in question as Covid-19 became a reality.

So having a mileage goal or a strength training target or a goal for foam rolling (or whatever!) can really help you stay on track if (when?) some of your other goals go by the wayside over the course of any given year.

We Really are Pretty Fortunate

At the end of the day, for many us the worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic has been having races cancelled and figuring out how to work from home while simultaneously home schooling our kids.

If that is you, and it absolutely is me, we have to recognize that are a pretty darn lucky.

Because some of us have been impacted much more severely by this virus.

Now, I’m not saying that this thing has been easy on anyone, because it hasn’t been.

But a bit of perspective is almost always a good thing.

And from where I sit, I fully recognize that I’ve been pretty fortunate in terms of how Covid-19 has impacted me and my family.

Learning is Growing

Again, this whole situation just sucks.

That Sucks

But, at this point, we can’t undo the pandemic.

As such, our options are to bury our proverbial heads in the sand or try to glean a few lessons from Covid-19 that can help us be better runners, and people, as we move forward.

Only you can make the choice that is right for you.

But from where I sit, I can’t see much value in burying your head in the sand.

Because if you learn a few lessons, even if they are tough lessons, you can grow.

And growth is a good thing, even when it stems from something that is far less than good.

What Have You Learned, So Far, During the Covid-19 Pandemic (Running or Otherwise)?

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