Just don’t quit

Just don’t quit. That’s all you have left, your own ability to not quit.

This workout is not going well. I’m trying to run 3 miles easy, 2 at 7:30, 1 easy, 1 at 7:30, 2 easy. The 7:30 is theoretically my tempo pace, but today I am not even breaking 8 minutes a mile. Yes, it’s hot, humid, and hilly but it’s been like that for weeks. I’m running alone, having failed to convince my friends and training partners to take on this nonsense with me today. I’m training for a race that may or may not happen and right now it feels very much like the pandemic is winning.

Just don’t quit. We’ll be back to normal by the summer, by the fall, by Christmas, by never. The finish line keeps moving. What kind of race is this? I want to escape, but that would mean leaving the planet and I don’t have that one figured out yet.

Control the controllables. Excellent advice for running and for life. I can control my effort, my attitude, my response to a world spun out of control. I can run hard, uphill, on a hot, humid morning and not stop trying. I am a lot slower than I would like to be, but I am still moving forward and that is something.

Later in the day, I am snippy with Rose as she melts down on the way to a much-anticipated concert. She is exhausted from a day at summer camp. I am exhausted from too many problems I can’t solve.

Thank goodness, I catch myself: All I can control is my own response. I do not want to ruin this evening. I stop talking and listen to music until my anger dissipates. We arrive at the venue with minutes to spare (minutes!) and we are treated to live music under the summer sky on a beautiful night. We spot some shooting stars and make our wishes. The pandemic has not won after all. Not today at least. Just. Don’t. Quit.

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