Gin and Beer It Social Distancing Virtual Run/Walk

Gin and Beer It Social Distancing Virtual Run/Walk

Hi everyone!

Like everyone else, I’ve been feeling very lost given the current situation and have been trying to think of something that I can focus on that will also do even the tiniest bit of good. I’ve written and spoke on the podcast on numerous occasions about how for the past 8 years running has been my therapy. It clears my head in the darkest of times and gives me a sense of purpose. In other times of hardship, this would be the perfect time to get everyone together for a race. Unfortunately, we can’t do that – but fortunately we can get together in a way that actually includes everyone, regardless of where they are from or whether they want to run.

So.. with that… I now introduce…

The Gin and Beer It Social Distancing Virtual Run/Walk !!!!

Here is how it will work:

Between now and Sunday, April 5th, you will be able to enter the event here.

All you need to do to enter is to make a donation of any amount to any charity of your choice, and upload a photo as proof. Alternatively, you can do any coronavirus-related good deed, i.e. buying gift cards to a local business to help them during this time, or dropping off groceries for someone in isolation.

You will be able to enter as a runner, walker, or mover. I want everyone to be able to participate in this event, and I do not want to exclude those who are not runners or who are living in a place that has advised against running outdoors. Movers are anyone who is doing any form of exercise, whether that is dancing, indoor cycling, or weight training. Once you choose your participant type, you will have the option to enter into an array of challenges (i.e. Most Miles Logged, Most Hours Logged, Most Consecutive Days).

From Monday, March 30th to Sunday, April 12th, the event will begin! You will be emailed details on how to upload your workouts. Regular posts will be made every day tracking everyone’s progress and seeing if you are head-to-head with any other participants. There will be prizes, but these are TBD as we find a way to accommodate participants all over the world, as well as the ever-changing limitations of COVID-19.

So…. let’s get moving! Please enter using the form here, and please please please share wherever you can! The only way to get everyone involved is by word of mouth! Throughout the course of the event week, please share photos on your social media with #GinAndBeerItVirtualWorkout so that everyone can see how everyone is choosing to move. In a time where we all have to be away from each other, let’s get together virtually and move our bodies to prove we are stronger together.

What Running Has Taught Me About Life

What Running Has Taught Me About Life

“I think I get used to, even addicted to, the feelings associated with the end of a long training run. I love feeling empty, clean, worn out, starving, and sweat-purged. I love the good ache of muscles that have done me proud. I love the way a cold beer tastes later that afternoon. I love the way my body feels light and sinewy.” -Kristin Armstrong

When I finished my final training run of this year’s marathon season, I immediately burst into tears. My first attempt at the ‘Big 20 Miler’ was two weeks prior, and it had gone horrifically. The fact that I was training for my fifth marathon meant nothing to the Marathon Gods. I felt exhausted, achy, dehydrated, and unmotivated. When I finally managed to complete twenty disjointed and uninspired miles, I didn’t even have the energy to cry.

Two weeks later it seemed to all turn around. I kept looking down at my GPS watch and thinking, ‘There is absolutely no way that I can continue to hold this pace for 20 miles. It just won’t happen.’ Somehow, the miles kept slipping away. Eight miles turned into fifteen and every time I thought my pace was slipping, the wind seemed to pick up and the fog in my brain quickly cleared. When I looked down for the final time I had completed the run in under three hours… so I stopped running and started sobbing.

I cried because I didn’t think that I was capable of running like that anymore. I cried because I knew the next time I would run that distance would be in Berlin with my family. But mostly, I cried because, finally, I could remember why I run. I run because to me, running is life. Running is challenging and beautiful and painful and rewarding. Some days it’s an accomplishment to get out there at all, and some days I wish could move in slow motion. Every marathon, every 5k, every 6AM run around the park has taught me a different lesson that I have carried through every other aspect of my life.

For better or for worse, nothing lasts forever

The most beautiful lesson that running has ever taught me is that for better or for worse, nothing lasts forever. In the darkest days of my worst breakup, there were moments where I felt physically suffocated. It was a period of my life where one moment I would be fine, and the next I would feel like the wind had been knocked out of me. It felt like all the color had been drained from my world, and the rest of my life would be bleak shades of black and gray. These feelings were not dissimilar to the darkest period of my toughest marathon. When I hit The Wall, suddenly all of the oxygen had been sucked from Earth. The lights were on, but no one was home. Somehow, through the support of loved ones in the crowd and sheer determination, I kept putting one foot in front of the other, and I survived. I do not speak with hyperbole when I say that overcoming challenges as a runner has countlessly saved my life as a human being. Every time my heart is broken or my spirit seems lost, I remind myself that if I could break through The Wall, I will see the other side of this pain, and when I do I will be stronger.

As runners, we each make a deal with the Devil that in order for pain to be overcome, it must be felt. No runner is immune to pain, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. There are no gels or hydration packs that will stop your legs from feeling heavy in the last miles of a marathon, just like there are no quick fixes or miracle pills that will save you from a bad day at work or a fight with your best friend. For the most part, runners know that the only way to the other side of the tunnel is to run through it, so we lean into the pain. We sit back into it, breathe it in, let it wash over us. And then, just as quickly as it began to hurt, it seems to wash away. I try my best every day to remember this when life itself starts to hurt. I can’t choose when I feel pain, but I can choose to sit back and breathe it in. Just like my hardest races, it won’t last forever.

Of course, the most wonderful things in life and running don’t last forever either. Sunset runs on Lake Michigan, half marathons with my dad, the moment of victory when a heavy marathon medal is placed around my neck – all of these come to an end eventually. Friends move to a different city, favorite coffee shops close their doors – the world will always keep turning in its own wonderful, agonizing way. Because running is often so challenging, the moments of true Runners High serve as a reminder to savor the good moments as long as I possibly can. Just like the painful ones, they are only temporary. In running just as much as life, the good and the bad work together harmoniously and at the finish line I’m left with one feeling: gratitude. I am so grateful for the good runs, the tough runs, the runs where I have the entire path to myself, and the runs where I get to stop midway and hug my mom. I know with certainty that my toughest runs are still ahead of me, but as long as I keep lacing up my shoes, the best is yet to come.