Saturday, June 27, 2020

Covid-19 Quarantine Day 106: Where Has All the Time Gone?

It's been 64 days since my last post. Where have I been these last two months? I've been so caught up inside this little universe I've created since we've gone on lockdown that I can't comprehend that it's already the end of June. Time feels like a concept more than anything these days. And if I'm being honest, I'll admit, I started writing this blog post at 100 days....adding a day, then another, then... well, here we are!

One-Hundred! Six! Days! Of social isolation!

Where has all the time gone?

Back in March, it was easy to tell myself that it was okay to take a break from marathon training for a little bit. After all, we're living in a pandemic! Back then, I thought I'd be back at work within two weeks, four weeks tops. Now, I'm wondering if I'll go back into the office at all before 2021. Mike and I haven't been total sloths since our social quarantine. We've gone hiking on various mountains and we've run around our neighborhood, but we haven't been consistent. Some days, it feels too mentally exhausting to gear up to run after working a long day on the computer. Logically, I KNOW that's even more reason to get out there and run! Being stationary all day is not healthy! I'm more grateful than ever for buying my standing desk; sitting all day, every day was killing my lower back!

Finding zen in the middle of the mountain
Even though I haven't physically fallen off the face of the planet, I feel like I've disappeared virtually. I've been terrible at posting my activities on social media. I've found myself thinking, I'll post this later tonight. Then later tonight turns into a week, and we're already out on our next hiking adventure!

It's been difficult to find technological balance when we're on the computer all-day-every-day for work—emails, phone calls, Zoom meetings—all in addition to my actual work. Without my morning and evening commute, I don't get that downtime from my computer screen; that little break to reset. So I find myself ignoring phone calls and texts from friends, and sometimes I forget that I even have a social media community. Oh! There's all my friends! HiHiHiHiHi

I need to get out of this rut, and find a NEW routine that works during this social distancing lifestyle.

Where has all the time gone? I don't even know anymore.
My motto used to be: "Write a five a.m.; run at five p.m!" That motto motivated me finish a novel revision and train for my first marathon! What helped me stay accountable was an online group of writers who also wrote early mornings. Knowing I wasn't the only one cuckoo enough to wake up at the crack of dawn to write before work really kept me motivated. To keep me accountable for marathon training, I found a group of newbie runners also training for their first marathon. Again, knowing I wasn't the only one spending all my free time running, running, running when many of my friends were busy doing literally anything other than running for hours on end kept me going.

But it's been a long while since I maintained that level of productivity.

Since all of my races this year have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, I've been finding it difficult to hold myself accountable to get into marathon shape. The less active I am, the worse I feel. And the worse I feel, the less motivated I am to get out there and move! But enough is enough, already. This pandemic may not be the new normal, but social distancing is not going away anytime soon. I need to stop making excuses and jump back into training. Races canceled or not, I feel my best self when I am marathon ready!

But how do I get out of this rut-ine?

I've started plotting out my novel's emotional arcs
to show character growth as the plot unfolds
A couple weekends ago, I participated in a virtual writing retreat. The "retreat" was two full days of writing. To hold us accountable and motivated, the organizers set up check-ins via Zoom in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of each day. I could only participate in one of the days, but it was the most productive writing day I've had in a long while! It was so great to connect with my writing friends who I've seen every year at in-person writing retreats for the last ten years, except this year due to COVID-19 shutdowns. It made me realize how motivated and supported my writing community makes me feel. My writing routine is back on track (though, admittedly, not at 5:00 a.m anymore, though in my defense, working remotely allows me to sleep in a tad bit more).

I knew if I could get myself out of my writing rut, I could get my physical self back on track too.

My friends at IllumiNITE have been so great at checking in on Mike and me to see how we're doing. Mike and I were supposed to go on a spring fashion photoshoot in May, but clearly, that had to be postponed until it's safe to gather. In the meantime, the IllumiNITE team has been busy making masks for essential workers the past few months. I'll be sharing more on that in a future post!

IllumiNITE is giving away beautiful wraps (like my
floral one) w every $50 purchase while supplies last)
IllumiNITE just started back up on clothing design and production, and we just had the most fabulous phone meeting! Chatting with the designers about upcoming styles truly inspired me to get out there and run again! We discussed some of the adventures Mike and I want to go on this summer and we brainstormed what would keep us dry, cool, and comfortable in this hot, summer heat—as well as what would keep us warm on New England mountain tops where the weather can be anything from windy to rainy to icy and bitter cold—yes, even in the summer.

Lucky for Mike, IllumiNITE just came out with new tank tops, among other clothing items and accessories for men! We just received our latest shipment from IllumiNITE, and I'm so excited to incorporate these new pieces into our running and hiking activities! I'll share our product reveal video soon! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at what we got!

So now, Mike and I have the clothing and accessories and support from our IllumiNITE team to help us get out of this rut! But what will help us maintain accountability?

The "U" in Community

Our latest IllumiNITE shipment.
Could there be something inside for YOU?
I'm turning to YOU—my online community—to help us stay motivated, inspired, and accountable for getting back in shape! Hopefully, we can motivate and inspire you, too!

Stay tuned for a series of blog posts and social media posts on Instagram for our new workout schedule, running and hiking tips, and a few IllumiNITE GIVEAWAYS!

Let's wrangle time back into a tangible tool to get us all back on track to become our most healthy, most active, most illumiNITEd selves we can be. Until next time, run brightly, my friends!

What are you doing to keep yourself motivated? What would help you stay motivated? Are you interested in an accountability group? Post your comments below!

Weather You Run This Summer

The first time I signed up for the Mike cooling down near the end of our 13-mile run. IllumiNITE's Endeavor Tank and Long Running Shorts...