I was so fired up after streaming the women’s marathon this morning that I went for a ten mile run. I turned around after five and completed seven before walking in the final three miles. Had I known the air quality index was over 150, I would have worked out in my basement on the elliptical. That was my Monday and Tuesday routine this week.

The Front Range is truly among the most polluted places on the planet at the moment. Most days, I can barely see the foothills. Today, I couldn’t see beyond 100 yards. I knew better. My throat is trashed. I queried Alexa before venturing outside but she was experiencing some technical difficulties and couldn’t give me a readout. I should have just trusted my eyes. Shoot, I could taste the smoke. This is not a good time to be training for a marathon.

But I am training. I’m on a ten week plan. They say you can train for a marathon in as little as twelve weeks. I’m banking on my extensive running experience and muscle memory. It’ll come down to weight loss. If I can lose fifteen pounds, I’ll show up to the starting line. It’s unlikely I’ll make it but I’m all about stretch goals.

Assuming I can do what I need to do, something still will have to change with the air quality. This is barely livable yet alone runnable. First Covid, then the fires, most of which happened last summer but left this haze as a base for this summer’s fires to build on.

We drove home last weekend from the Never Summer Ultra through Poudre Canyon on Hwy 14 and saw the burnout from the Cameron Pass fire. Forty non-stop miles of charred forest along the highway. We saw a house washed into the river, likely from the previous week’s rains. I feel like I’m living in a dystopian novel.

No doubt, when the unvaxxed kids return to maskless classes in a couple of weeks, the juvenile deaths will feel like Hunger Games. Death imitating art. Hard to feel good about things right now when I can’t see the sky, but this too shall pass.