Sunday Runday, and for my #RunClub approaching spring is usually a time of ramping up our training, distances, and intensities for all those summer races.
By mid-March of 2020 we were swimming in a kind of moving goalpost of uncertainty. Races were being cancelled without much warning. There was always a sense of… well, we’ll see how things look in a month or so.
As mid-March of 2021 approaches, nearly a year into the local reaction to the global pandemic, our uncertainty is a lingering aftershock of the past twelve months… mixed with hopeful optimism… sprinkled with a dash of we’re all kinda used to this now, right?
Last summer our “coffee club with a running problem” moved our weekly meetings to the parking lot of the recreation center (closed to general access) where we had been meeting to run for nearly a decade.
A club that was usually twenty to thirty members strong, accustomed to weekly Sunday morning takeovers of the local café, found itself instead quietly gathering in lawn chairs over asphalt drinking take-out coffees near the bumpers of our vehicles while we observed social distancing rules.
Then winter hit.
….and the deep, dark, cold lockdown happened.
Me out there running solo was a thing for at least three months. Coffees were virtual, hugging a mug at home and staring into the familiar glow of my iPad for a visit via screen. It’s only been in the last couple weeks that the weather has cracked through the zero degree barrier and made resuming the coffee club meetings in the local parking lot a real possibility.
Which is the noteworthy thing about today, I guess.
This Sunday last year was normal: races being planned, training being sorted, coffees being shared in close company.
Next Sunday last year was when all that normal-ness shattered.
We sat in our lawn chairs in the parking lot this morning after a ten klick run, wrapped in blankets and huddled in hoodies, sipping take-out coffees. It felt normal… which is the strangest part, because it still is so not normal.
A new season of not normal.
And I don’t know how to plan for that.