Coronavirus Goalz

Hello. It’s been a while. A long while back, I planned on writing up a blog about the training camp that Adelaide, Justin, Chris, and myself partook in back in March, but the coronavirus abruptly cut our camp short. Chris and Justin left early on a cold, drizzly Monday morning (okay it wasn’t cold or drizzly, it’s Tucson. But I’m trying to paint a metaphorical picture), leaving Adelaide, Maybellene, and I questioning what to do next. Our car was currently in the mechanic shop awaiting a new engine—it broke down 160 miles east of Tucson on our way there, resulting in the longest and most expensive tow truck trip of our lives—so we were stuck in Tucson until our beloved Prius was fixed. Also, we were closing on a house in Tucson later that week. Bad timing? Maybe. Perfect timing if you take into account the fact that our car wouldn’t be driveable until our Airbnb was long expired.

Back to that Monday morning five or six weeks ago: I rode my bike to the airport to pick up a rental car for the week, then we went to the pool for what would be our last swim in…months? Hopefully not the rest of the year, but we’ll see. On Tuesday, Adelaide, Marilyn, and I did a four hour ride on Mount Lemmon. I didn’t have much motivation myself so I sat on Adelaide’s and Marilyn’s wheel as they did intervals. By Wednesday I had a bit of motivation back, and somehow did a hard 10 mile track workout solo. I got another 10 miles of running the next day, followed by an interval bike session following that. On Saturday, we did a 3:15 hour 17 mile trail run, but by Sunday my motivation was gone again and I cut my planned 5 our ride short to 2 hours. I’d been writing a blog on “The Importance of Training Through an Apocalypse” but hadn’t finished it because I was having doubts about the actual importance of training at this point.

The following two weeks were rough, training-wise. Without races to train for, I didn’t have any goals or anything to look forward to. Adelaide was struggling to get out the door herself, and it just seemed like we were in limbo. Of course everyone was at that point—and still are—but we were in even more in limbo than average. After our Airbnb reservation ended, we moved into the house we’d successfully (barely) closed on. We furnished it with a table, two chairs, and a $66 single-occupant sofa chair, as well as cooking ware from Good Will. During those two weeks, we constructed a metal shed from a kit in the backyard, took Maybellene on walks, and continued working our online gigs. But our only real goal was to find a renter ASAP so we could get someone in to cover the mortgage and head back to Boulder. I was riding or running every day, but nothing very hard, long, or focused—the sort of training that actually makes me less inspired to train, depending on my mood. The sun was certainly nice, as were our many long evenings and late nights playing Ticket to Ride, but life felt very unfulfilling. I think I would have been more okay with this unfulfilling feeling had I not been living that same, pointless, time-biding life since I broke my neck in October. I had finally gotten back to full on training and my days once again had purpose by early March, only to have it taken away from me again a few short weeks later.

Back in Boulder, we struggled for two or three days to get into a healthy routine of sleep, work, and training. I think we’re both still getting there actually, though our states of mind have drastically improved this past week despite the off and on again shit weather. Training is also becoming more interesting again after starting to work on my two short term goals of replicating the bike training I did in the fall winter of 2012/2013 (which will be next to impossible), and working towards the FKT (Fastest Known Time) of the Longs Peak Duathlon (very possible). More on both of those goals in a later blog.

While some aspects of our lives have remained the same after the coronavirus shut down the world, because we work from home and are still free to run and ride, much has changed. I’ll just stick to training/racing for the intent of this post.

My training has always been driven by competition. Not having that competition—that event that could change it all to look forward to and scream out loud about during intervals out in the middle of nowhere—has had a big impact on my will to push and punish myself. I need hard daily exercise to feel happy, though. That much is certain. If I don’t do at least one bout of real exercise a day, I get depressed immediately. Despite knowing this, it’s still hard to really want to get out the door some days. I guess I will always need some sort of goal for my training/exercise, even when I’m done racing. Fortunately, there are always goals to meet and others to beat. Well, right now there’s no one to beat because we’re both strictly adhering to social distancing, but Anton’s FKT on Longs Peak and the 2012 version of Kennett are going down! Ha. As if I stand a chance against 2012/2013 Kennett right now. 2020 Kennett is a soft biotch.

I’m going to attempt to stay more up do date with my blogging, despite both of my grandmothers, who were my most avid readers, passing away in the last 12 months. Adelaide and I decided to let our Instagram die for the time being, so this will be my main social media training/racing presence for the remainder of the year.

Photo: Brad Kaminski