It has been a strange week – I feel like a lot has happened and changed, but at the same time things are still the same… if that makes any sense! I am sure everyone has their opinion on Boris’ address to the nation on Sunday night regarding the ‘road map’ for exiting the lockdown in the UK; personally I found it unclear and worrying at the same time – so open to interpretation with a reliance on common sense, which I am not sure some people do actually have these days! I was sat cringing at my TV as he waffled on, whilst also trying to make sense of what this meant for my life.
It was however a relief to hear I could now ‘exercise unlimitedly,’ which does not mean I will now be running multiple times a day, but does mean I can at least run in the morning before work and then go for a walk in the evening again to escape my house a little more. It was only on Monday when slightly more clearer guidelines were published by the Government that I realised you could now actually meet one other person for exercise providing you social distanced – it almost felt too good to be true; I could actually run with someone!
I have spent a lot of this week getting my head around the new guidelines. Strangely I have realised I have almost become used to the lockdown way of life and to being by myself; I have formed habits and ways to cope over the past two months that have started to become quite engrained. I also do still have in my mind that whilst I want more freedom and I want to do things I used to be able to do, Covid is still very much apparent, we have to still respect this, and the last thing anyone needs is a second wave.
Anyway, enough virus talk! I have run well this week, logging just over 35 miles. My legs do sometimes feel a little tight at the moment, and I really am missing my sports massage, but know I probably need to try and spend a bit more time on the foam roller – I literally have no excuses at the moment!
MONDAY: online exercise classes at home. These have been great over the past weeks, but I will admit I am starting to miss the gym a bit now – I know in particular my upper body strength is declining and I lack both the equipment and motivation to try address this at home!
TUESDAY: lately I have been running a lot of new routes, so this week I reverted to one of my old 10k loops which I had not ran for a while. I ran just to feel, finding I sped up naturally as the run progressed to log some sub 8 min/miles, which felt comfortable.
WEDNESDAY: after enjoying revisiting some hill work last week, I have told myself to incorporate a few more hills into my running; I live near plenty so hardly have an excuse! This morning I ran a 6 mile loop with four different ascents in it; two longer, drawn out hills, and two a bit shorter and sharper. It was a great test and I find hills always motivate me to work harder when maybe I do not feel like trying to do this through running quicker on flatter terrains.
THURSDAY: I joined forces with my sister today for some speed work – and by joined forces I do not mean we physically ran together sadly as she lives in York! However, we planned a session we could both try involving a pyramid of 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m reps with a mile warm up and cool down either side. It was motivating to know someone else was out there doing the same thing and it was also reassuring when I got home and messaged her to say ‘that was flipping tough!’ that she felt the same! The final 800m was a real push on the legs, but that moment when the session is completed still feels so good.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after 8 weeks of solo pavement pounding, today I met a friend for a run. I woke up looking forward to the day ahead and could feel almost a level of excitement about the prospect of running with someone – I have missed it a lot. We met in the afternoon at Boultham Park where Lincoln parkrun is based, although I planned an 8 mile route which meant we did not got through the park, as I want to save this moment for the first parkrun back. Although I planned the route I barely even noticed what streets we were running on, I just got lost in the rhythm of running and the conversation. It did not feel like 8 miles at all, and to be honest it was not hard to keep the 2 metre social distance required; even when we met other people on the same footpaths we simple moved to the road or single file (staying alert!) The run ended up being just over 8 miles and most of our splits were under 8 min/mile pace, although none of that really mattered today – it just felt so good to be doing something which resembled normality! Sat after my run at home I felt both a longing for my old life to return quickly, but also an appreciation and renewed hope that things will return slowly but surely.
SUNDAY: I woke this morning feeling a little less excited by the day – understandably! My legs also felt quite tired so I decided not to push my usual Sunday half marathon distance, which would also have seen me edge close to 40 miles for the week, but to run a 10 miler instead. It was a wise decision as it was warm out and my legs were not sharp, which was to be expected after some good runs all week. I knew I needed an easy run and just enjoyed some no pressure running.
Hopefully next week holds some more socially distanced running opportunities, as well as the chance for me to continue with running and walking during the day – it certainly helps as I am rather sick of working from home now and the sight of my kitchen table!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...