When I heard about the Loopville COVID-19 Virtual Race series, I thought it was a great idea. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t so enthusiastic about it. The weather looked kinda crummy (temps in the high 30s and some rain) and my poor choice of pre-race carbo loading the night before (Chinese food) lead me to believe it wasn’t going to be a wonderful run. But when you pay your registration fee, ... um ... well, when you’ve mentally committed to doing a race, you do it.
I decided to run on a nice rail trail about 10 minutes from my house. It’s about 30 miles of paved trail and I’ve run almost all of it at different times over the last 7 years we’ve been here, some areas of it I’ve run dozens of time. It’s pretty flat with some long gradual inclines & declines. Normally it’s well used. But because of COVID and/or the poor weather, it was pretty deserted this morning.
Here’s me at the start of my run.
Did I mention I didn’t feel like running? LOL
As I started, it was just misting. No big deal. I had checked the radar and it seemed like there was a gap of about hour between two big waves of rain. So it was fine for a while.
As noted, not a whole lot of foot traffic on the trail. I saw I think 3 couples out walking their dogs. And one high school or college aged guy wearing a hoodie, sweat pants and sandals, listening to music and generally seeming to have a great time by himself. I passed him on my way out and on my way back. Both times he gave me a big smile and a head nod as if we were on a sunny Southern California beach where the temp was 50 degrees warmer.
I also accidentally spooked a big bird that was sitting on the fence along the side of the trail in one spot, which caused him to jump off the fence and glide away from me along the trail at about 3-4 above the ground for maybe 75 feet of distance. It was cool to watch him fly. I thought he veered off into the trees along the trail, but I suddenly came up to him again. This time I moved to the far side of the trail and we just watched each other as I passed by. I think it was a red tail hawk. Kinda neat.
As I continued on, the mist turned into drizzle, then rain, and for the last 10 minutes, it was a downpour. The last person I saw near the end of my run was an older gentlemen who was just as wet as I was. He was walking the opposite direction and as I neared, he gave me a big thumbs up and said “You look terrific!” Well, that’s a pretty good way to finish up a run, right? I picked up the pace after passing my new #1 fan and ended in a mostly empty parking lot, soaked but content. Social distancing completed.
I’m glad I got the 6.21 miles done. Overall time and pace are below. Not a great pace, but I’ll take it. Way better than the 0:00 pace I would’ve had sitting on my couch at home.
So thanks Dave and others for putting this virtual race together. It gave me motivation. I look forward to virtually racing with you Loopsters next month. 👍