This Morning’s Virtual Run

The Stonington 600 is a running and walking event put on the by Island Community Center to promote health and wellness among residents of Deer Isle.  Yesterday we passed a sign announcing that, with COVID-19 and the interest in promoting social distancing, the event will be a “virtual run/walk.”  When I saw the sign, I thought:  “A virtual run?  Finally, a running event I’d be willing to participate in!”

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that, if you are participating in the Stonington 600 by running, the “virtual” nature of the event means that you are still supposed to actually run!  You’re just supposed to do your distance by yourself, running whatever course you wish during a three-day period, rather than being part of a group that runs the same course at the same time.

This approach doesn’t seem to fully embrace the “virtual” part of the concept.  So, this morning I am taking a virtual run around town.  In fact, I’m doing it right now.  I’ve left our house, trotted down the gravel path, and turned left to head down the hill.  I’m starting to feel loosened up as I turn left, so I pick up the pace on the short stretch of road and then head onto the main road, where I’ve got to keep an eye out for the over-sized pickups roaring past on their way to the lobster co-op.  By the time and turn right and head down the hill into town, I’m moving with a fluid, elegant pace.  I check my watch and realize that I’m making pretty good time this morning, which makes me feel good. 

I dash past the town hall and the Harbor Cafe and the hotels, then turn right to sprint down the hill toward the mail boat dock, turn left, then turn left again onto heartbreak hill.  I hate this part of the run!  I’m huffing and puffing as I head straight up the 30 degree incline.  Why don’t I run down this stupid hill, rather than up?  When I finally reach the Catholic Church, I’m laboring.  Feel the burn!  Then it’s back to the main road and down the hill to trot back through town again.  I’m back on pace and grateful that it’s a nice cool, clear morning, so I’m not getting overheated.  I check my virtual watch and take a swig of virtual water, and I’m on the home stretch.  I dodge some more trucks, turn left onto the road to the lobster co-op, and then charge up the final hill, with my legs feeling a little rubbery.  When I finally reach our place I towel off and revel in that runner’s afterglow.

Hey, that virtual run was pretty good!  Later today, I’m going to do some virtual power-lifting.