The Masked Runner

Day twenty seven of my self-isolation. And 27 days without running for me as I have some health things I'm sorting out and taking a short break from running to deal with that. Advice is aplenty these days, and this blog is the LAST place you should be seeking medical advise with respect to COVID-19; but nevertheless, I have my opinions and observations.
Runners in Denver's Wash Park running without masks and without shirts

The Federal vs. State guidelines have literally been all over the map with some governors as soon as last week announced to the public (and I'm paraphrasing here,) "Gee, I didn't know you could get this from someone that didn't look sick." (see: Governor Brian Kemp, aka: maximus idioso or better yet, his David Letterman sign language doppleganger.)

Locally, Governor Jared Polis came out and said, if you're outside, wear a mask, period. "A 1998 Guacamole champion (t-shirt), get it out of your drawer, and make it into a mask," said Polis in the Denver Post. This is all aside from the 6' rule we've heard about.

Runner's World recommends going solo AND wearing a mask. My online run world concurs;

Hollie from FueledByLOLZ, "if "running alone" or "being bored" is your biggest complaint, grow the F up and have some perspective."

Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, "Exercising outside is a privilege right now. One some of us have and I hope we don’t lose. So if you’re still meeting up in groups please shut it down. No city is immune from having this taken away. I’m not trying to shame you, just asking please, think outside yourself" (Footnote to Steph below)

Dorothy Beal from Mile Posts: I Run This Body, "unpopular opinion: if you are a race or a brand that continues to post social distancing running selfies (of people that don’t live together) on your social media platforms you are part of the problem."

Given that it's highly contagious (and deadly,) a runner that huff and puffs, and (if you're me, being a heavy sweater; sweat not the clothing item,) a runner seems more prone to unknowingly spreading the disease. 

With a rare trip outside (for me anyways) to the Dr's office this week, I decided to drive home by Denver's urban run mecca, Washington Park; known locally as Wash Park. I am a few miles from the park and when I was at my training peak, I'd spend many a early Saturday morning training for Boston and even trained with my daughter there last year for her first half.

Buff and Pro Compression Hat
I was surprised to see how busy the park was with virtually almost nobody wearing a mask. The most egregious violators were two young men running shoulder-to-shoulder, without masks, and without shirts. I have to stop right there and point out that even in my "buffer" days I don't run topless and I'm not a fan of dudes running shirtless. My wife takes it a step further and reminds me that dudes that take their shirts off at sporting events (with or without body paint) have some sort of a neanderthal gene. 

Most consistently, online my runner friends and elites I follow are suggesting; run solo, find a place that isn't busy (Wash Park is NOT,) and wear a mask. As the temps are rising it's not comfortable, but think of it as a "drag suit" in the pool; imagine the lungs you'll have when we return to some level of normalcy if you're training in a mask.

In other words, "flatten the curve," be safe (stay alive,) don't ruin it for others (as the government can put in even more harsh restrictions on running,) wear a Buff, and don't be that (excuse the inappropriate term, but it's appropriate) douchebag that runs in the park with no shirt on.

Would like to know how you're managing running with what's going on. Comment here or more frequently on my twitter and Instagram. Namaste.

Footnote: Thanks to Picky Bars and the Amazing Steph Bruce for sending my Dad a box of Picky Bars. He turns 84 this week and in poor health living in self isolation with my stepmother. Steph inserted a business card, and my dad wondering where this surprise had come from called her. She graciously answered the call and posted on twitter, "I left my business card in the package and this gentleman called me and said “I just got this oatmeal from you and I’m wondering why?” I said “thought you could use a pick me up.” It was the cutest most random phone call. Pay it forward my friends."

No, thank YOU Steph! (and Picky Bars)
My Dad and his Picky Bars.

Footnote Part II: I've tapped into my left brain being self-isolated, and painted my front windows and working on a Wacom tablet photoshop digital painting. Make the most of this time!. 

Front window of the "world headquarters" of SeekingBostonMarathon; ignore the messy desk. 

Digital Painting I'm working on of my grandparents.


Popular Posts