Every group has their superstitions. Their quirks. Their thing. Running is no different. Now each individual runner obviously is different and different runners and groups think about things differently as well.
Some groups this it is bad juju to wear a race shirt on race day or before event.
Based on number of race day shirts worn during events that is not true for all.
Some people do not want a race shirt, bling, or goodies from an event that was cancelled.
Some people will accept it but they must “earn it” by doing a virtual race.
Running usually is not a participant trophy kind of event. If you do not finish an event, you get a DNF instead of your bling. I get that. I respect that. Stolen valor is stolen valor that is why runners can’t stand people who cheat at events.
That is kind of where I was. As mentioned, I was training hard and I believe ready for my birthday half marathon (Unite Rutgers Half & 8K) in April. I was good to go. It was going to be fun. When the race was cancelled some of us envisioned donning our tutus and heading out to do a group virtual run. We realized quickly that was not a good idea which wasn’t obvious at beginning. I then thought I would run the virtual half by myself. It is not like I haven’t run miles and miles by myself before. Most of my marathon training was solo, so running a half alone would be fine.
Then I thought about it and realized that I had no desire to do it. The reason that I signed up for that event was because it was on my actual birthday. I thought it would be fun to do a race on my birthday especially when I had friends sign up to join me. It wasn’t so much about running a half (because I can do that), it was about doing a half with friends. So I lost my mojo.
Then the bling came in the mail with the race shirt. Then the guilt came that I didn’t “earn it.” I started thinking about running a virtual half, but my heart wasn’t in it. I can run. I know I can run. I am still running. I’m in a group challenge to run 2020 for 2020 as a group, so I’m not stopping. I just hit 500 miles for the year. I’m good. I know many runners who will and have run virtual races for events that have been cancelled. I know some who are restarting their training to run this race virtually, but I really have no desire to do it right now.
For my going out and dedicating my 5 miles today for the 8K was enough. This race was never about the miles. Maybe down the road, I will run 13 and dedicate it to this event. If I do, great. If I don’t, no big deal.
One thing that I keep thinking of during these times is that most of the time what is important is not the destination but the journey. This race for me was always about the journey. Of rebooting my training. Of virtually training with a friend. Of training in person with friends that are closer. Most of all it was about coming together race day and just having a blast.
This separation is temporary and this medal will always be a reminder to me of this time. For me….. this is enough.
To quote a line from my mother’s book.
I am enough.