On Sunday, May 3rd I was supposed to be heading to Providence, Rhode Island to run the Providence Marathon.
I’ve heard the saying “Control the Controllables” before but when I heard it this week it sunk in even more. With the COVID-19 pandemic tossing the world upside down, there is so much anxiety, confusion, anger and unknown that focusing on “controlling the controllables” seems like really good advice to listen to.
At the end of March, I received notice that the Providence Marathon is being cancelled. Though it remains unclear at this time if the race is going to be rescheduled, it is clear that toeing the starting line for a marathon in May is not happening.
What made this news even tougher to take was the fact that my brother was going to run the half-marathon that day and I was raising funds for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition in honor of my dad who is currently battling the disease. I’ve spent several weeks training and have felt strong out on long runs since I kicked off the training. But, given the current health pandemic facing our nation, cancelling the race only makes sense. To be honest, I wouldn’t feel comfortable tackling a marathon with a group of runners by my side in May and the race organizers, like so many who have had to make a tough decision, made the right decision.
Instead of being upset or getting angry about the marathon being cancelled, I’m going to control the controllables. This morning I still made my way out for my 18 mile training run and felt strong out on the roads. Fresh air has an extra special effect these days and pounding the pavement is a great way to put all the worries of COVID-19 behind you.
I’ve made it this far on my training plan and I am not backing down. When the morning that the Providence Marathon was supposed to take place arrives, I am going to still run 26.2 miles that day and tackle a marathon on my own. It won’t be on the course and it won’t be an official marathon, but both in support of the fundraising I have done for The MSA Coalition and as a final nod to my training plan I am running a marathon that day one way or another! And if they do in fact reschedule the marathon for later this year, well, then I am running two marathons this year!
I hope all of my running friends and their families are healthy and well and know that together we will all get through this current craziness. Keep getting out on the roads or trails, take in that fresh air and remember to control the controllables!