Corona Diaries Day 7 — My Dark Moments, My Better Moments

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 20, 2020

No school today, the teachers were taking a minute to regroup, so we were largely on our own.

Honestly, it was easier. I’ve noticed  that  the most stressful part is getting the kids to focus / deal with the tech issues of getting them through the day. Without those, it was actually easiert.

Got in a very short run (1 mile). It still feels like there are too many people out there. One of the joys of NYC is that  it is an uncontrollable mess, but in times like these it becomes clear that it is really fundamentally is nothing more then an uncontrollable mess.

In my dark moments  I think there’s no way out but through — we are going to loose lots and lots of people and what I need to do is keep my kids safe. Nothing more is possiible.

In my better moments  I think we’re learning many lessons from other places (Italy, Spain) and we’ll actually come out better.

I don’t know which is correct. I do know we need to keep it small, whether it is for our healthy or all of society, we need to continue like this, however hard it is, to remain physically distant while close socially.

Not an easy task.

Corona Diaries Day 6 — 2 Kids, 2 Careers

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 19, 2020

Tough one to get through today. Spent basically all day alone with the kids, the mornings aren’t  bad, it’s basically managing logistics, but the afternoons are tough. Just too much free time in a (suddenly very small) apartment. Its easy to loose your temper on your kids in this environment and I did today. Not proud of it, but here we are.

Meditation helps. And I’ve found time for that the last two days. Need to do it much much more. Tune out the crazy, get more in touch with what I can control.

It’s a crazy moment in world history to live through, massive events are happening, everyday, and yet it is also all so completely mundane for people like me. Long, long hours stuck inside with your kids while the world falls apart outside.

I may be completely wrong, but I think we’ll on the other side of this in about 18 months  to two years. That’s a long time, for sure, but not the end of the world.

The next bit will be the hardest — we will see awful things — but I feel pretty confident that not only will my family survive, we will thrive. We’re reasonably anti-fragile, but need to become more so. More debt free, better able to relocate quickly, better prepared.


Corona Diaries Day 5 — What We Can, and Cannot, Control

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 18, 2020

Yes, home schooling is stressful and yes, it is hard to focus and get work done when your kids are constantly demanding snacks and tech support, but still and all, today was a good day.

The kids have been basically great. Even though I barely leave the house, I am moving my body more than I have in a long long time. I meditated for the first time in more than a week and I’m keeping to my whole food plant based diet.

Yes, Western Society collapsing, but on the items I can control, I am doing great.

Here’s what I commit to doing, everyday:

  1. Run
  2. Body Weigh Work / flexibility
  3. Journal
  4. Meditate
  5. Read

    Right now, I need to focus on what I can control — my concentration, my fitness, my health. Do what you can today, and leave the things you cannot control where they are.

Corona Diaries Day 4 — Home with the Kids

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 17, 2020

St. Pats day, but it really doesn’t feel like it.

My first day home all day with the kids. Challenging, but also often joyful. I feel lucky that I have good, kind, kids. Yes they sometimes drive me crazy, but all in all, they’re a joy, and are getting along remarkable well.

I’ll admit that if I didn’t have the kids, this would be borderline relaxing. But then what would it all be for?

I’m trying to stay positive, trying to focus on what I can get done. Back into the meditation groove, somehow. Back into a running groove — that’s underway. Back into strength and flexibility — that’s just starting.

I’m hoping I come back from being away a better, fitter, person. That’s one thing in all this I can control.

Corona Diaries Day 3 — Last Day in the Office

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 16, 2020

This is a crazy, crazy, crazy anxiety producing time.

We’re in lockdown mode here at home. I had to go into the office today, but that was the last time in a long, long time, most likely. Rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge, normally crowded with tourists, but today empty except for a smattering of bike comuters. The souvenir guys were out, but with no one to sell to. I feel for them.

Went to work today thinking we had most everything solved. That night our staff were no longer going to be in the courts and there would no new supervised release intakes. Soon after, we learned that SR would be moving to a phone based check ins.

But then everything went sideways.

In the span of an hour we learned that one of our clients had been admitted to the hospital with a likely case of Covid19, and the cousin of another coworker had died  of the virus.

Boom. Everything changes.

We close the supervised release office  and send everyone home. We tell the landlord, even though we might loose our lease.

This is life during a pandemic,

But we think we have it under control, there’s an almost jocular atmosphere around the line staff — soon they too are all going to be going home.

But then, at 4pm, we learn our staff need to stay in the courts would have to stay until the end of the day Tuesday.

So we scramble again and our incredible staff step up, again, and miraculously, we cover it.

Meanwhile, E is at home with the kids. They have been angels, she says, and I believe her. We have a new sitter here who is wonderful, and great with the kids, but towards the end of the day, everyone, kids and adults, are getting ratty.

Then we get word from the school that two families with kids in the school have someone who has been diagnosed. Unclear if it’s grandparents or someone else — it isn’t kids — but that’s another vector. We’re going to get it, the question is when, and how bad.

We decide that after a single day, we’re not having the sitter back. Too risky to expose someone else to us, and us to someone else. It will be just the four of us starting tomorrow.

From here on out, I’m going to be juggling kids distance learning and work. In my downtime, such as it is, I plan to meditate, journal, read and exercise. I plan to not spend too much time on twitter or following the news with the kind of minute by minute focus I usually do. The big things will come to me naturally, perhaps I don’t need to know the rest.


Corona Diaries Day 2 Changing Routines

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus / Covid19 outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 15, 2020

Already you can feel a different vibe in the city. While yesterday the park was packed, tody it was just busy. I ran, as I will do everyday until they tell me I can’t and it was busy, but nothing like what I saw yesterday.

The family stayed close to home. No play dates, but still lots of fun. After my run, I did some grocery shopping — surely not enough — and bought a case of wine. I’m worried about the folks at Vanderbilt Wine Merchants and Bierwax and want to support them. Hope I can do something. Its gonna be a tough road.

Tomorrow I go to the office for what will likely be the last time in a long, long time. I’ll bike in, avoid crowds as much as I can and make the best of it.

Really no clue what is to come.

Corona Diaries Day 1 – New York on a Early Spring Day

This is part of a series of posts chronicling the Coronavirus outbreak in New York City as seen by me, a father husband and lawyer living in Brooklyn. See them all on the main Corona Diaries page.

March 14, 2020

Going to try to do a daily recap of what I am seeing in Brooklyn as the Coronavirus / Covid19 crisis deepens. Things have been building for awhile, but now they’re really happening and today was shocking.

Schools are starting to close. My kids school announced  they were closing indefinitely and starting distance learning on Monday. But today, the stores resturants and bars were jamed  and Prospect Park was blanket to blanket. We’re clearly not yet in the place where we’re taking this seriously.

I went to grocery store  where the shelves were packed full except for cleaning products. Farmers market also just packed with people.

In the afternoon, L and I went for a walk with the Greenfields and saw no less than half a dozen people I knew. Then, late in the day, I took Levi for ice cream. A huge  line, but only one person working. Clearly, others had called in sick.

I got the creeps standing in this giant line for ice cream in a pandemic and we left. Levi cried all the way home telling me I’d broken a promise but there was no way we were just going to stand there with all those  people.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire –Mike R

Name: Mike R

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 38.6

Height (at the time of first BQ):  69″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 137

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Flying Pig

Tell us a little about the race. My BQ race was my second marathon and second Flying Pig. I had to drop 20 minutes to qualify but my training leading up to the race was sound and my 5K times had dropped by a few minutes.

On race day I remember going out too fast as usual and it taking several miles to settle in to a pace I thought I could hold the rest of the race. By mile 23 I was on pace to finish about 5 minutes below the BQ time for my age group (3:15:59 at the time).

Miles 24-26.2 were very difficult. The race conditions for early May were on the colder side. It was 43-45 degrees for the entire race with a light rain for the first 10 miles. There was also a 12-15 mph headwind. The wind and the cold/damp conditions combined with the typical fatigue late in the race had my pace fall from mid 7s to mid 8s late in the race. My last mile was my slowest at 8:47.

I think I realized as I was approaching the finish line that I would qualify but was too fatigued to celebrate. I believe I had a mild case of hypothermia at that point.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? About 2.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? About 1,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 745 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 5 races

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Yes, Hal Higdon Novice Plan

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? No

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The Higdon novice program barely got me to a BQ but given my level of experience, the lower mileage is what I needed. It was the same plan I used in my first marathon the year before. I have since had much more success with Higdon’s intermediate program and the Pfitz 18/55 plan mainly due to the prescribed speedwork and more experience. Try to hit the track and run the tempos when your plan calls for them.

As always, if you don’t stay healthy, you can’t run the miles and then you feel like you need to play catch-up. That doesn’t always work. As I have gotten older, I’ve found that mixing in softer surfaces helps to avoid injury. My mileage now consists of about 50% trails.

Don’t let the weather keep you from running. I did 109 of my 437 training miles on a treadmill the year I first qualified. Spring marathons mean training through some nasty winter weather sometimes.

If you can, try to run the same course in training. Get to know the course and know when you need to slow down or are able to pick up the pace. The Flying Pig is hilly but the big hills are in the first 8 miles.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

Your Occasional Stoic — Freely Choose The Best, And Keep To It

If in the life of man you find anything better than justice, truth, sobriety, manliness; and, in sum, anything better than the satisfaction of your soul with itself and with fate in that which is determined beyond your control; if, I say, you find anything better than this, then turn to it with all your heart, and enjoy it as the best that is to be found.

But if nothing seems to you better than the divinity seated within you, which has conquered all your impulses, which sifts all your thoughts, which, as Socrates said, has detached itself from the promptings of sense, and devoted itself to God and to the love of mankind; if you find every other thing small and worthless compared with this, see that you give place to no other which might turn, divert, or distract you from holding in highest esteem the good which is especially and properly your own.

For it is not permitted to us to substitute for that which is good in reason or in fact anything not agreeable thereto, such as the praise of the many, power, riches, or the pursuit of pleasure. All these things may seem admissible for a moment; but presently they get the upper hand, and lead us astray. But do you, I say, frankly and freely choose the best, and keep to it. The best is what is for your advantage. If now you choose what is for your spiritual advantage, hold it fast; if what is for your bodily advantage, admit that it is so chosen, and keep your choice with all modesty. Only see that you make a sure discrimination.

Mediations 3:6



If you can find something better truth, justice and sobriety, fine, go after it. But you’ll almost surely be wrong. For life doesn’t really produce more important values. Don’t be tricked by the side paths of life that take you away from these core values. Stay the course, and you’ll find the way.

Your Occasional Stoic –Let The God Within Direct You

In action be neither grudging, nor selfish, nor ill-advised, nor constrained. Do not let your thought be adorned with overwrought nicety. Don’t be a babbler or a busybody. Let the God within direct you as a manly being, as an elder, a statesman, a Roman, and a ruler, standing prepared like one who awaits the recall from life, in marching order; requiring neither an oath nor the testimony of any man. And with everything, be cheerful, and independent of the assistance and the peace that comes from others; for, it is a man’s duty to stand upright, self-supporting, not supported.

 Meditations 3:5



One of the classic knocks on stoicism is that it is cold, detached, unemotional. The first part of this meditation seems to reinforce that – don’t be a busy body, act like a statesman. But let’s not forget the second part – with everything be cheerful. To take duty and life seriously does not mean one has to be some Cato like grump. Live this life with intention and purpose, but also with joy. As always with Marcus, an easy thing to write, a hard thing to live.