The coronavirus pandemic delayed our plan to move across the country for me to start graduate school in Chicago. Instead, I’m taking my first semester of CRNA school online remotely from Colorado.
Around the same time we made the decision to stay here, I saw an advertisement for a virtual race that the organizer for the Chicago Half Marathon was offering in its stead. It was called “Run the L” and involved running the distance of Chicago’s elevated train lines—a different colored line each week—over the course of eight weeks.
I thought it would be a great fit for me as far as virtual challenges go. If I couldn’t be in Chicago, I might as well run around it, figuratively, from a distance.
When Run the L started in August, it pushed me to get into a steady routine of running and logging my miles daily. With the change of leaving my job as a nurse and starting school full-time, it was super valuable to have running be a point of consistency. I came to relish my time on the mountainous trails of Colorado Springs, which made me miss Chicago a little less.
The goal was to run 131 miles in 8 weeks. I ended up logging more than double that—283 miles—and finishing 28th overall in distance out of the 1333 participants. On top of that, I connected with some runners in the Windy City, where we’ll be moving soon, and helped raise money for Chicago charities delivering school lunches to kids in need.
For 2020, I’d call that a win.