It has taken me about two weeks since the news of the cancellation before I felt like writing about it. The Copenhagen marathon, just like all spring marathons, cannot take place in May. The organisation decided not to postpone, but to cancel altogether. My first marathon, four years of planning to run it in 2020 (I’m a noob for numbers, yes), has been canceled. I need to decide if I will wait another year, or if I will run in a different city in the fall.
It didn’t come as a surprise that the organisation did not feel comfortable to continue planning an event this big when the future was so uncertain. Some information sources said ‘it will all be over and normal in two to three weeks’, some information sources calculate that ‘it will take 800 days for the situation to be normal again’. The truth will be somewhere in the middle probably, and it was good to have clarity for everyone. It’s for the best.
Putting it in perspective, a canceled marathon is really peanuts and nothing to be sad about. The first people in my own social circle have been hit with the virus, some more severe than others. With people fighting for their lives in the hospital, it would be insane to be so selfish to feel down about your own plans, right?
As with anything, it’s very valuable to be able to put things in perspective. But I do also feel like it’s important to mention the following. It’s okay if your mind is with your own plans as well. If you were looking forward to a sports event, a vacation, work trip, event you were hosting or ‘just’ your birthday dinner, it’s okay to feel sad, annoyed and down about it. Before the marathon got canceled, I had to come to terms with the fact that 7 work trips and 6 vacations (ranging from a one-day visit to Paris for finally seeing my best friend, to my first time in New York, something we have been planning for ten years), were canceled.
Oh and don’t worry, that is not how I usually live my life, with all the travelling 🙂 . It just happened to all come together in the spring of 2020. 2020 would be the year of high after high after high, seeing many things I have dreamed about come true. So, I was not in the mood for people telling me that ‘it was to be expected’, ‘oh well, it’s just a vacation’, ‘how can you be sad that you are not allowed to travel, it could kill you’ and, also a good one: ‘there’s worse things in the world’. I was pissed that we only skied for one day instead of ten, and it didn’t help me that others had 0 days.
I was just pissed. I am not great with lack of control, and the restrictions on everything I wanted, were out of my control. It hurts, when you are looking forward to something after a period of life not going your way. It hurts when your go-to solution of being social, being active or focussing on training for a goal is not available anymore. And there are many people going through the same thing.
Another small inconvenience is that I am not allowed to go to the hospital for my treatments, which I used to get twice a week. The radiation therapy for my auto-immune disease is necessary to keep the disease in check. Unexpectedly stopping treatment for anything is always ill-advised, as the reaction in your body will be much more intense and the disease will come back way worse. As unpleasant as that might be, the nurses were needed for the corona-patients and that is way worse for everyone there than it is for me.
So, I just want to say: yes, listen to the news and take a deep breath for some perspective, but browse past people on social media preaching on how you should shut your mouth if your problems are smaller than dying people. If your biggest problem is facing cooking everyday, leaving the house because the restrictions and people scare you, or that your go-to sports club has closed down, that’s okay. Just think about me having trouble accepting that I am not allowed to run 42k in Copenhagen in May ;). Why would you want that anyway…
That said, I am feeling good and quite optimistic. After a few days of coming to terms with the new reality and the never ending emptiness of our calendar, I am just really grateful to be relatively healthy, with a solid job and a lovely home. We try to help out people around us when necessary, because now more than ever you see the struggles. That includes helping people starting with running. I am trying to find the fun in running again, as it turns out I am not too good with doing stuff without a goal!
Even though I sometimes struggle with the motivation, I am beyond grateful that we are still allowed to run and bike outside. Our government allowing us to make use of the fresh air, albeit with distance and concern for crowdedness, is the greatest gift I can get right now. And there are so many people who started running (again)! Even my boyfriend has finally given in and is on a beginners’ schedule to work his way to a 5k!
Maybe someday, he will get hooked on running as well and we can do marathons together and live like a happy runner couple and we could buy a house somewhere we can run very often and life and all will be amazing. Or, you know, he enjoys it for now 🙂