Article by Ben Kaplan, Growth Op
I haven’t been running as much as I used to. There’s just something about the impending end of the world that’s holding me back.
When my training partner asked me on Saturday morning what my plan was, I was waiting in line at Nova, my local cannabis store. My plan was — since my wife had the kids and was taking them hiking — to take an edible and vacuum the house.
I’ve been running intensely for a decade: with a running group, alone, and with my training partner, also named Ben. Everything in our training pivots around races. Twice a year we run marathons, and the rest of the time we prepare for the big day.
Now, though, I’m tired: Physically and emotionally. I’m also a little hungover. I can’t tell if I’m being kind to myself at night with my buzz, enjoying the mixture of edibles, Guinness, vaping and family board games, or if I’m numbing myself and my fears. We’re only a week into the pandemic, so I guess we’re all still figuring out our rhythms.
The kids, though, are happy. They’re sort of on a prolonged spring break, and my wife and I (all things considered), are happy, too. It’s fun taking turns picking movies, FaceTiming with people all over and listening to music by candlelight.
The problem is that I’m not sure if my diet of alcohol and weed is sustainable, good for my immune system or the right approach to these strange times with no end in sight.
With that in mind and plenty of guilt, I told Ben I’d run with him on Sunday morning. We went out for 32 km in the cold and the wind. The first 18 km were relatively simple, but it became a real effort to make it home, and truly nightmarish when I topped 27 km. I’d like to say that I tapped into the runner’s high or leaned into the metaphor of hard work and overcoming obstacles, but really I just wanted to collapse. And when I came home, that’s what I did.
The pandemic survival guide that I’d imagined sticking to — train as hard as you can during the day so you can party as hard as you want at night — won’t last. Moderation, just shy of satisfying, is probably the key. And so Sunday night I didn’t smoke, vape or eat any weed. I drank one beer.