Running During the Pandemic

As you know New York City was hit very hard with Covid and had almost 600 dead and 6000 cases per day in April and May. When my fellow New Yorkers lost their lives- may their memories be blessings- or went into lockdown, my husband, dogs, and I packed everything up and went to live with my sister in law for a few months. We both work from home and can work from anywhere. We’re extremely fortunate and so blessed to have a gorgeous place in the country where we could be outdoors. Another reason was to help family members who are older than us and do all the shopping for them so they didn’t have to expose themselves more than necessary.

AND we could bike and run without a mask, at least on the roads.

Roads are all like this, empty and perfect for running or biking. No mask needed here.

I hadn’t understood how lucky I was until we came back to NYC in June and I started to run my regular route again while wearing a mask. It’s HARD. So hard. More or less impossible without stopping, pulling your mask down and gulping for air every so often.

This was before the worst of the humidity came, still I was soaked with sweat.

I googled and asked my running community about what to do and everyone said that it’s a little easier to run with a buff or a bandana. I don’t like anything with knots that can tie into my hair, so I invested in a buff. Much easier than a mask. It’s definitely the way to go for runners in my opinion. It’s thinner and if you put it high up on your head in the back to form kind of like a tube, then it sits comfortably and tightly over your face which makes it a little easier to breathe.  But the best part is that you can pull it up and down easily.

Don’t let this picture fool you, this is post run, post shower. I still look more or less like in the other photo when I run, but it IS a easier.

The virus load in NYC is very low right now, and most runners I see run without them if the path is empty and pull it up once you’re in a crowded spot, passing someone ahead of you, or if someone comes at you running in the opposite direction. It happens a lot, there are a lot of us here, even early in the morning. The nice part about it is that you get this warm New Yorker feeling when you approach someone who is running toward you from the other direction, then at a certain point before we get too close to each other, we pull our masks up and eyes meet in acknowledgment. We’re in this together. Love New Yorkers!
Then come the famous NYC humidity, hovering between 80-90 percent. It was 87 this morning when I ran.
It was hard in June, but now it’s even worse. Hot and humid with a mask or a buff is extremely difficult. There isn’t much that can be done about it. We have to just wait this out. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my runs will be shorter and will include walking. And that’s ok. I focus more on strengthening and if it’s too hot I don’t run at all. It will be a little easier in the fall when the crisp air comes, but even then I realize that for as long as we need face coverings, I’ll be running shorter and slower. We’re in this together and are doing it to protect each other. We can do it, we’re New York Strong.

Stopped to gulp some air here, looking at the boats at Chelsea Piers and across Hudson River toward Newark, notice the sticky air in the photo below.

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