How’s Everyone Doing?

I haven’t written a post in quite a while. I figured everyone’s life has been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic. Things aren’t too bad for me.

Mid-March, my boss started discussing having people work from home. I’m a lawyer, working for a government agency, and I work for an elected official. We needed to get approval from other elected officials before we could radically change our working conditions. And because I’m a lawyer, we needed the courts – both local & our State supreme court – to issue decisions about how we were to do our jobs.

The first big change was that my boss asked that we not travel more than 50 miles from the Tri-Cities, and if we do we’re to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. That means I cannot go to Whidbey Island to work on my parents’ home. The Hubs went over a few times, but in response to the governor’s request we cease any non-essential travel, he’s staying home, too. (He’s also in a high-risk population, so I’d rather he err on the side of caution.)The silver lining of my not being able to travel is that I’ve been able to go back to training – mostly. State-owned land is closed to any recreational uses. That’s closed two local option for long hikes & runs with hill climbs. Local parks & natural areas are open, but they can be crowded and it appears some users aren’t taking precautions very seriously.

I missed about a week of training because I was sick – just a bad rhinovirus, though. I started up again, and I can tell I’m not in the physical condition I’d like to be in. (I’m putting on more weight thanks to a lack of discipline & some stress eating.) It’s felt good, mostly, and I’ve tried to be gentle & adjust my expectations back to something more realistic given my current weight & fitness. Last Sunday’s workout was supposed to be twelve miles, and I decided to make it a hilly run. I plotted out a run up & over Badger, then up Candy & back to Badger.

The trails were simply too crowded for me to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, my only other options for hills are the mountain bike trails out by the State Patrol office – rattlesnakes – and Jump Off Joe – boring, and just an out & back. If I’m going to run on Badger & Candy again while the pandemic precautions are in place, I’ll do it at night or early in the day to avoid the crowds.

That 12-mile workout was really a workout. I haven’t been that tired in quite some time. I’m writing this four days later, and my quads are still sore. I had an interval workout yesterday and I couldn’t get my heartrate up high enough. My legs are just beaten up. I’m kind of looking forward to this weekend’s long run, but I promise it won’t be on hills.

I had three races on my calendar in April & one in May. Two have been cancelled outright – the Walla Walla 6 Hour and the Twilight 12-hour – and the other two – Run with the Goats and the Horseshoe Lake 25K – have been moved to September 19th. (Yes, both have been moved to the same day. I have the option of rolling over this year’s entry to Horseshoe Lake to next year; I’ve asked them if I can transfer it to the Octoberfest Trail Run instead, but I haven’t heard back.) As of now, Rainshadow Running has not moved or cancelled the Millersylvania 10K/30K/50K, but they’ve cancelled everything before that. The race is at a state park, and whether or not we hold it will depend on whether the State re-opens its parks.

I’m proceeding as if I’m running a 50K on June 20th. That makes it easier for me to stay motivated to do my training. I don’t know if I’ll be physically able to run a 50K in eight hours – the cut-off – by then. I’d already intended to ask the RD how late I can move down to the 30K, or if I can start out as a 50K runner, drop at 30K, and still have that count as a finish. (I’m inclined to drop to the 30K ahead of time instead of getting another DNF.)

I’m also proceeding as if my hike of Section K will happen as planned. All recreation sites within the Okanagon-Wenatchee National Forest are closed until further notice; a few weeks ago, the US Forest Service closed the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest through September. The Forest Service will re-evaluate as needed, and may open things sooner. That’ll put a serious crimp in the economies of areas that rely on recreation tourists.

For now, I’m staying optimistic, and training as if all this will happen as scheduled. Worst case scenario, I get in pretty decent physical condition for no particular reason, and I do a lot of hiking in the fall.

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