Distance running is a unique sport. You don’t need to master many skills, nor is there much strategy. Yet, many still consider it a difficult sport because of the mental and physical endurance a runner needs. Although the pandemic has impacted my high school running career, it has also allowed me to reflect on why I run.
A year ago, there were few Covid cases in my county and things were still normal. Our team received news that a dual meet that had been scheduled was cancelled because of the coronavirus, so we ran against ourselves instead.
Although I set a personal record in the 1600m, the most memorable experience was running the 4×400 relay, a race best suited for sprinters instead of long distance runners.
At first, I didn’t give much thought to how the pandemic would affect me as an athlete. I had clear goals for the track season and I was just beginning to notice improvements from training. I planned to train as usual until competitions resumed. For the three months following the shelter-in-place order, I ran by myself. Running alone was difficult because I didn’t have my teammates to encourage and help push me. I lost my motivation and started training less frequently.
During the pandemic, I reflected on why I ran. Before, my answer would always be, “Because I want to run faster”. However, after being isolated, I realized how much my team supported me. After almost a full year since our last track meet, competitions have resumed. Despite the setbacks, I look because I believe I will able to push through with a little help from my friends.
Submitted by Justin Y., Santa Clara County – Cupertino.