It’s been forever since I last wrote. The last post was made way back in February, when we were still hopeful that 2020 could be a fantastic year. I was 11 weeks out from my comeback to long distance running at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World. I was getting excited about going to Walt Disney World again. That was then, this is now. So much has changed since February.
COVID-19 took over in March and shut everything down really quickly. It’s crazy to think about how fast everything shut down here in the USA and around the world. This virus has completely changed life as we know it. It was a scary time for everyone. While we’ve been able to re-open parts of society, it’s still not the same. While we’re not as freaked out about this virus, it’s still here and there are no vaccines and no cure.
When everything shut down, I knew that my trip to Walt Disney World would not happen. My initial thoughts were that this virus would have us shut down until June or July. However, not only did I miss out on my Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, just about every other race shut down as well. By the time we got to the Fall races, organizers had the time to make many races virtual ones. So, if you got in to the Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, NYC Marathon, and others, you could run them virtually and still get a medal. Even runDisney has taken this measure starting with the 2020 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend. While the virtual races aren’t the same, it is a way to continue to earn race medals. As a person who has run the Chicago Marathon and NYC Marathon, I can say that the virtual option will never compare with the real thing. Same goes with the Virtual runDisney races. Nothing will compare with the joy you feel running down Main Street U.S.A. or through the castle. However, it does keep you running.
Once COVID-19 shut down everything, I have played it pretty conservatively. I live in California and our governor has made sure we don’t open up too much too quickly. So, even if I wanted to take my chances, there isn’t much open for me to take chances with. I have really missed being able to go to Disneyland. So, I created YouTube playlists to take me to the Disney theme parks virtually. This has helped a little. Disneyland is my happy place. So, I’ve resorted to videos like this one below to take me there.
Earlier in the year, my little family did a Virtual Disneyland day where we had Mickey Waffles for breakfast while watching a video from Goofy’s Kitchen, pizza at lunch while watching a few videos from Red Rocket Pizza Port, and barbeque ribs for dinner while watching videos from Vlo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land at DCA. We did some character meet and greets where my boy and myself took some selfies. We watched ride videos. We even got to watch 3 parades that have gone down Main Street U.S.A. over the years. We finished the night with Fantasmic, Paint the Night, and 3 Disneyland firework shows. One of my favorite parts was going through a video of the Jedi Knight Training Academy show from Tomorrowland and have my boy pretend he was one of the young padawans.
Sadly, my time as a Disney Employee came to an end on my birthday (of all days). When I left my office on March 17th, I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be coming back for work. I did get one last stop to the office on my birthday to clean everything out. I’ve got to admit, it was a sad visit. Not only was I cleaning out my office, but the Walt Disney Studio Lot was pretty much a ghost town. I think there might have been a few people cleaning in the building I worked in while I was cleaning out my office. It reminded me of those New Year’s Eve days when I was working there. Only, less people. I’m not ready to talk about why my employment came to an end just yet. However, my thoughts on that would likely cover a few posts. For now, I’ll just say that it’s a good thing that I got out of my department. However, I’ll miss being part of the Disney family and singing in the Disney Employee Choir.
Another hit I took with the COVID-19 shut down was running. At first, I didn’t know if it was safe to run without a mask. So, I didn’t risk it. Then, with the cancellation of the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, I didn’t feel a need to rush back. On top of that, it took a few months before I could even get a proper mask to run with. By then, it was summer and the warmer temperatures became an excuse to not run. On top of that, I was so unsure if I cold even run with a mask. By the end of July, my wife and I had been looking into moving.
That lead to moving from Pasadena to Arcadia in August. Hot temps, moving apartments, and losing my job took August and most of September. Then, the fires came at the end of September. By then, I was really missing my runs. Finally, a week ago, I got my first post-COVID run it. It was also my first run in a mask and in my new city!
As you can see, the time wasn’t great. I ran intervals of run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. My first mile went really well considering I hadn’t run since March. The second mile, I could feel the lack of conditioning kicking in. Every run interval was becoming a challenge. By mile 3, I just walked it out. I’m not depressed about how this run turned out. I’ve actually run slower 3 mile training runs before. So, all things considered, it worked out okay for me. Plus, it felt great to be out and running again!
I’m not training for anything at the moment. As you might imagine, there aren’t a whole lot of races that have opened up registrations with so much uncertainty about 2021. (Although, I do know that the Rock n Roll Marathon races have started opening race registrations up.) Right now, my focus is to merely get running again. If I find a job soon, I might consider signing up for the Virtual Star Wars Half Marathon again to give me a “race” to prepare for. Otherwise, the plan is to continue to run 3 miles 3 times a week for now to get myself into better running condition.
As a motivator to get back to running, I’m also going to have a goal to get my blog going again. My initial goal is to have 1 or 2 posts per week. I have not only missed running, but blogging as well. So, be looking out for this blog to get rolling again!
One last thing… this year, I’ve started creating designs that can be purchased for tee shirts, hoodies, tank tops, long sleeved shirts, masks, and coffee cups. I have a store open on Tee Spring which you can check out by clicking here. I’ve called the store Marathon Runner World of Tees. So far, I’ve got over 90 designs available for runners. So, if you’d like to help me make some side money, head over to the store and consider making a purchase (or two, or three, or four…). I’d really appreciate the support. Also, check out my Facebook group, here, to stay up to date with my designs and running adventures. I’d really like to create a stronger sense of community between myself and those of you who read the blog. If you have any suggestions about how we can create more of a community vibe, please let me know in the comments (either here on the blog or on my Facebook group).
For those of you who have been with me along this journey so far….THANK YOU! I’m really excited to return to running and blogging.