The Stages 2020

A lot of goals and big plans for 2020.

Suddenly chucked out the window – as the country goes into survival mode.
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My initial response was fear. Feeling lonely. Denial. Wondering if I can handle this mentally. Wondering if I want to do this.

In a world where everything felt so strong – no one could see a pandemic to bring us to our knees. But it proves that one should never be comfortable. Never be selfish.
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The first few weeks was depression. — I couldn’t help but cry at work. Wondering how many days or weeks orders would last. Missing my team, wondering if we would ever work together again.
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Everything that was once normal – isn’t allowed.
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Depression followed by fear.

Growing up, I used to be scared of everything. People. Disasters. Planes. Elevators. Death. I would overthink everything. Then eventually I stopped thinking and stopped caring. Started living. If I died being awesome – That’d be ok.

Now I’m feeling fear that I haven’t felt in so many years. Should I be scared of these things that made me feel alive? Should I be scared of people? Can I still go to the mountains? Can I go anywhere? Is this the end of the world?

The answer to all this – I don’t know. But I’m telling myself no.

The answer is no. Not be scared of these things yet. And also NO – You can’t go anywhere… yet.
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The new normal. — The next few weeks we settle in. Work is still chugging along. Friends and family are still healthy. This is ok.

Selfishly – the low job volume at work has been nice for my stress levels. What was once a fast paced ever changing environment. Has slowed down and is manageable with 4 or less people. It’s given us time to do various other projects to make our work process easier and better. In hopes for a return to normalcy some day.

Coming from the late shift – and working 40-60+ hour weeks. Now working a normal 9-5 and no need for overtime. So this is what normal life feels like?
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I find comfort knowing we are in this together. Seeing posts from all over the country – feeling the same emotions and fears. It’s everyone. This is the new normal. And it’ll suck for a while. But this test will only make people stronger, and better.

I keep saying 2020 is over before it started. But that’s sad. There is still hope. There is still potential.
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5 weeks in – Good things! — I’ve never saved money before. And this year I told myself I would. (but I hadn’t) – but this has forced me to. And wow! The things you can live without, and not even miss. This has taught me how to save.

Not traveling every weekend is a big help too. However much I miss the mountains.

I think about how lucky I am to be part of a company that will do everything possible to keep every worker. Even though originally had to lay off 75%. — But our company was first in line, and received the small business loan to bring everyone back!

In the coming weeks we will be alternating crews, giving each team some time at home. After 5 weeks of being the Covid skeleton crew, it’s time for some time off. What a relief.
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Things I miss. — I miss having options.

Not having to think about driving somewhere. I could probably go to the ADKs if I really wanted to. But that would involve getting gas – figuring out where to sleep, I’d have to pack all my food cause I don’t want to shop anywhere, etc.

I haven’t been inside any building other than my work, and my home. In 5+ weeks. Crazy. But I’m ok with it.

I miss the climbing gym. It was always a good excuse to meet up with the besties. I miss Strat and the Mertsocks.

I miss having the option to see people. Being an introvert – I don’t actively seek hang out time. But I do miss interacting. You can’t live as fully without sharing your life with others.

The virtual world has been nice to follow and keep in touch with people. And being able to support the local and east coast communities from home.
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The end is near.
— It feels like it is. Or I keep telling myself that.

It feels like the worst is over. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Only a short amount of time for things to open back up again.

Life will be different. But not so isolated.
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So what’s left for 2020?


There will be mountains. There will be adventures.

Another attempt at CUT112 will happen, and can happen anytime.

Strat and I have some business with the White Mountains this year.

Italy trip #2 is probably out for July – but not canceled yet.

But yeah – That’s it. Just pushing on – piecing together the rest of the year. No one knows what it will look like – because no one in our lifetime has been through this yet.

Welcome to the history books.

The end.
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P.S. April 27-May3rd — If you need motivation for some miles, and want to support one our favorite East coast running stores — Owned by Ian Golden (Red Newt Racing), who puts together some amazing Ultras, and technical trail races like Cayuga Trails 50, Breakneck Marathons, and Whiteface Sky Races. Join us in a Virtual Race Next weekend!
https://ultrasignup.com/entrants_event.aspx?did=76921



Something else.

I keep finding myself in situations where I’m not sure I belong. Am I still a runner? Can I even call myself an ultra runner? Is it like “once an ultra runner – always an ultra runner?”
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I’ve got CUT112 coming up in just a few weeks. And I can’t remember the last time running felt “easy”.

My knees and feet are craving a break. I’m not running a ton – but they just aren’t recovering. I could probably try harder to help them.
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Anyway. I used to love racing.

I found myself at Breakneck Point Trail Marathon almost a month ago. I was hoping once I got going I would get into it. And I did – I had fun. But I didn’t feel like being out there with the pressure of a “finish time.” I wanted to be out there on my own. I didn’t want this to end. But race pressure is for it to end fast.

I started with the marathoners. Hoping I’d suck it up and be one too. But shortly after – the half marathoners were already passing by. It could of been demoralizing. but all I thought about was why I was there.

Why was I there?

I didn’t belong as a racer. But I belonged as someone who took seconds to look around. I was someone who just wanted to be outside, and take in the long lost heat of a 75 degree day. I was craving the sweat drenched clothing, and technical downhill bombs. And as always the 955 foot crawl up the infamous Breakneck Point.

I got what I came for in the Half Marathon. Came into the finish after a solid 2 mile push at the end. I was content. I didn’t need excuses for not going back out for the full. I just didn’t want to.

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I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m doing something.

But maybe I’ve moved on to adventuring. Ultra adventuring.

More miles come when your not thinking about miles. Miles add up when you spend more time outside. The quickest way to get back to where you want to be – is making more time for it.

The end.

66 hour East Coast adventure