Running, From a Pandemic

Where it started

Back in 2019, a group of co-workers and I decided to start an unofficial run club at work. We met once a week after work, ran a few miles locally, and just encouraged each other to keep running on our own. I have dabbled with running when I was younger, and loved it. However, my body was in the middle of a huge growth spurt and it HURT to run. I gave it up, tried a few times over many years, but it never stuck.

Flash forward to the beginning of 2020, and we were regularly together decent miles multiple times a week on our own or after work. COVID-19 comes around full swing, and our typical running routine went straight to solo runs. I knew it was going to suck without the guys, but I knew it was for the better. Since we could not be together, we started a running club in Strava, which would help us keep each other accountable and encourage one another to run. Some of the group fell off the wayside, no harm no foul. Thankfully, I had two co-workers stick to it and we certainly made it a competition throughout the year to keep running.

Running on a country road

I am super grateful that I started running because it came in as a clutch stress reliever during times we have all experienced. This year alone, I learned how to overcome various running injuries, found my recovery pace, discovered how hard it was to not run, and understood WHY everyone recommends not to go all out on the first mile on your first race. In my first race ever (COVID-Style), I blew my energy on my first mile of a 5k and regretted EVERY second of it in my second and third mile. While I ran my fastest mile ever in my life that day (6:07min), I ended up aggravating an injury I experienced earlier that year (Plantar Fasciitis) which set me back a week or so.

The last and final part of this journey actually started with a community I wish I would have jumped into at the first leg of my 2020 running year. One of the co-workers in the run group introduced me to Kofuzi and The Ginger Runner, two YouTubers from the YouTube running community. I originally watched their videos for the reviews on the many shoes, apparel, and accessories for running to see what was worth buying. One after another, I watched their videos and became integrated into the community. They are part of my inspiration, and motivation, to keep on taking it one step at a time. Both are heavily involved in their community and really care about their followers. It is really refreshing, especially now, to see how much they give back to their community and engage their followers in their efforts. Absolutely fantastic!

So where this long winded post is coming to is my recap of the year of running but ALSO my 2021 running “themes”.

My 2020 Stats from Strava!

2021 Running Themes

Half Marathon Attitude with Marathon Dreams Focus on increasing weekly mileage to train my body to complete half marathons

COMFORTABLY– Find my target pace and get comfortable with it-Avoid injury by constantly working on recovery

Run Healthier– Buy the proper apparel -Rotate shoes more often, pending I have pairs to rotate in-Diversify my running workouts

Trail-Hunter– Get out on a trail and run-Rotate trail running into the work schedule-Don’t get ticks

500 Mile Club– This is to hit a minimum of 500 miles. I know I can hit this based off 2020’s stats, but I think increasing to 500 is a healthy, and safe goal. However, I know if I increase my weekly mileage from the 17 miles I am currently doing now to 30 miles , stay healthy, and stay motivated I will make that goal.

So, if you are interested, follow me on Strava- and join me in tackling the next run.

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