Until last week, I still had a slight hope that maybe the Twin Cities Marathon could happen this October. I imagined scenarios of how they could distance runners and make it somewhat “safe” in the spirit of the tradition of the marathon. Of course that was all wishful thinking, and the race was moved to a virtual event last week.
A virtual event means that you still run the race on your own and can submit your time afterwards. You still get a medal and finisher shirt, you just don’t have the same day-of experience.
For me, the day of experience of the marathon is the highlight of the fall. You work so hard to train, and then its a 26 mile celebration with lots of people cheering and tons of excitement to carry you when it gets hard. You also push yourself because of the runners around you, and I always think of my parents waiting at the end and how proud they will be when I see them. The thought of going out to run 26 miles on my own and try to run them fast seems honestly awful.
So why do I want to do it?
The thought of the virtual marathon day still makes me cringe, and I am still mourning the idea that the real Twin Cities Marathon won’t happen. But, I love running. I love training, especially for marathons. And, I love a challenge.
Instead of focusing on what I can’t control this year, I’m trying to focus on what I can. I can still train for and run a marathon. I can still try to make it a celebration and involve friends, family, and other runners on social media.
I had an amazing marathon last fall, and I don’t want to lose a year of momentum. I know training this year will be a little harder not getting to envision the traditional race day. I also know that the race will be so much harder on my own, especially those last few miles. But I imagine how much mentally and physically stronger I will be in 2021 if I challenge myself this year. In person marathons will only seem that much more fun once you’ve run one alone– right?
A few goals I have for my training are:
- Continue to stay positive instead of dwelling on on all that has been cancelled this year
- Push myself just as hard as I would for an in-person race
- Find ways to make training fun (like trips to starbucks after my long runs!)
- Find ways to make race day special (like involving friends and family and lots of post-race snacks!)
I’m only about 2 weeks into training, so hopefully I remain this optimistic as time passes. I will keep y’all updated with how its going! You can always find me on instagram at @themissjenn for the latest updates.