Runners, please continue to mask up!

Some updated perspective for athletes as we start to move outdoors again—what do we know now that we didn’t know last summer and fall, and how far apart do we need to be? This is important for people who may come in contact with runners and bikers as they venture outdoors as well.

First headline: it’s now well established that COVID is transmitted via aerosol transmission. This article explains how that works in detail, and transmission is not limited to large droplets in close proximity, but also occurs iva aerosols at much larger distances.

Second headline: six feet is not near enough, especially when considering well-established slip-stream airflow dynamics for runners and bikers. You should never run or bike or walk directly behind someone else, and even with offset the distances you need to leave are 15-20 feet for runners, 30 feet for slow bikers, and 60 feet for fast bikers. That’s if you’re moving in the same direction; if you’re coming at each other, best to step off the path completely. Updated article about aerodynamics:

Third headline: just because you’re vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t contract or spread the virus. Vaccines do not give you sterilizing immunity, only some measure of effective immunity which is also impacted by the vaccine rates of the people around you. Even after completion of a vaccine protocol, you can still be part of a chain of disease, spreading virus even if you are asymptomatic. It remains critical to continue to wear masks in public–this especially means us, runners and bikers. Helpful information:

Please continue the efforts to keep everyone safe. There is no one single solution or safety method–we all need to do everything we can, every single time, to slow or prevent the spread of the virus.

An elegy in advance for our shorelines

Just finished Elizabeth Rush’s amazing book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. A climate change book but not laden with scientific explanations—it’s more of an elegy for places we’ve lost and places we’re about to lose in this next Meltwater Pulse.

We’re already far down that road in Louisiana, in Florida, in the New York City area, in the San Francisco Bay area, and the human cost of the inevitable organized retreat the the will be not only inimpact the loss of property and the relocation of infrastructure, but in the mourning of those places we know and love and will not be able to take care of: beaches and wetlands, towns and cities, and for tens of millions of Americans, home.

We tend to think in human periods of the five generations we know (grandparents, parents, us, children, grandchildren) or in financial terms (30 years mortgages) or political cycles (4 year presidential terms, 6 years Senate terms); the earth has a different ebb and flow, and we’re about to be flooded out not with gradual rise over centuries as we’ve been telling ourselves, but in a short pulse of melting ice. The world has been here before and scientists know exactly what’s coming, and coming quickly. While we’re in the phase of desperately trying to buy some time, this book is well worth reading so we can start to make peace with the future we have cast for ourselves and our children. Highly recommended.

Flashback: 2016 Semi de Paris

5 years ago today I landed in Paris on Friday to run this race on Sunday. Still have raw GoPro footage somewhere that I never got around to editing, but this recap video from the race organizers captured the spirit of the day beautifully. I feel like I was one of the portraits in the opening sequence, and in the final moments.

Every runner will tell you that if you run long enough, you will have a moment when you stop running away from something, when you lift whatever it is that you’re carrying on your shoulders and set it down gently on the side of the road, and then start running towards something new. Sometimes we only get one of those moments in our lives, sometimes we get a few. This race was definitely one of the most important of those moments for me.

On Monday I flew to Rome to visit my daughter who was studying abroad there, back to Chicago on Wednesday…one of the most peaceful and most transformational weeks of my life.