Well, where do I really start with this week?! It is hard to even comprehend how things are right now. There are moments when life almost feels normal, and for me, these have stemmed from when I have been able to get out and run and that feeling of escapism across the miles. Then I return home and the reality hits that things are definitely not normal!
It has been a week of adaption for me personally, as my work switched to being home based from Monday. Working from home and the impacts this has on my day-today job function I think was also the main trigger for me to realise how serious this situation is becoming. Since Monday I have only been going outside to run or go to the shop for food – it is not easy trust me, but it has to be done.
Monday was a tough start; I didn’t leave the house all day and spoke to no one – I felt like I was self-isolated! How was I going to cope with this? I have though, and as the days have progressed, I have found ways to cope more effectively. In a work capacity we have got better at having work video calls, and it has been good to share a few words with colleagues and check in with them. I also made the conscious decision (prior to the government making it compulsory) to stop going to the gym – it did not feel right to gather in a large group in that way, and have therefore begun to open my mind to home exercise options.
Running wise more cancellations inevitably came this week; races are virtually non-existent now until June (can we even guarantee this?!), England Athletics called a halt to all running groups which meant my Run Club had to stop, and then parkrun was cancelled. It may appear difficult to find some positivity amongst this, especially as these aspects form such a large part of my life. However, I do not feel too bad; yes I have moments when I lie in bed and think what the hell is happening and what does the future look like! But I think if we are honest, we all feel like this at times right now. However, across this week I have truly realised what a wonderful life I do have in Lincoln, the friendship networks I have, the communities I belong to, particularly in a running sense, and how much I genuinely love my job. My positivity comes from the joy I have about eventually being able to get back to all this and how much more I know I am going to appreciate my life.
Amongst the madness and uncertainty, I have managed to log 46 miles of running this week – which is almost akin to what I would have been doing as part of my marathon training! It was not intentional, but I have just relished any opportunity to be outside, and its all mounted up. I have not pushed myself though, I had already decided at the start of the week this would just be a finding my feet week, and I had no plan or structure to follow. I want to say a huge thank you to my friends from Lincs S&C Run Club who have joined me for some runs this week – some people may disapprove of me buddying up with people to run, and I admit it’s probably not perfect – however on all occasions we have kept well distanced and stuck to non-busy, mainly rural routes. I also think I would have lost my mind if I had gone without any form of personal contact these last few days, especially as I have been adapting to this new way of life. Guidance may change soon, people’s circumstances may change, and I may be required to run solo or not run at all, so I appreciate the time we have shared.
All my days appear to blur into one at the moment, so I am pleased I can recall my running at least!
MONDAY: a bit of a rest day and slight try at setting up a home exercise area – which basically meant dusting off my gym mat and playing around with some resistance bands I have!
TUESDAY: after nearly two days of being indoors and on my own, tonight was a much needed run with a couple of Run Club friends; I logged 7.5 miles in total but to be honest could have kept running all night as it just felt freeing.
WEDNESDAY: I went out running early today, not my usual pre work 5:30am early, but I logged my miles before settling down for a day in the home office (aka my kitchen table). It was a good head clearing session; 6 miles with a few hills, just to set me up for the day.
THURSDAY: 6 more miles sharing a few with Run Club friends.
FRIDAY: Friday is usually my rest day, but I was not going to turn down the offer a run with another friend from Run Club. We headed out mid-afternoon in some lovely sunshine; it was great to get out of the house in daylight and is one perk of home working! We initially planned 10k but when my friend suggested we could go further I was more than happy to stay out longer. I logged 11.5 miles in total, a bonus long run, and all whilst keeping well spaced along the cycle path.
SATURDAY: today became a double run day; I woke up first thing and headed out for my own solo version of parkrun with my Lincoln parkrun vest proudly adorned. This was the only time I really tried to push the pace this week, it was tough with some headwind and also without the parkrun support, and I was way off usual 5k time, but it still felt good to stretch my legs out a bit. Sat at home, another Run Club friend messaged me asking if I wanted a run (I truly am thankful for all these offers) I admitted I had already ran, but again was keen not to turn down the chance of chat and fresh air. We ran a 10k together, and although fearful I would be a little weary, I could have kept running all day again.
SUNDAY: my legs were tired today, I think the week and my mileage hit me, so I was never going to run long despite it being traditionally Sunday long run day. I headed out for another 6 miles, out and back along the river, literally just enjoying being out and not pushing my legs. I could feel I was tired and the last thing anyone needs to do now is open themselves up to any form of illness.
I have no idea what the next 7 days will hold – does anyone? But again I really want to thank people within my network for their support this week, whether its been sharing some socially distanced running or messaging me, its all helped. We are in this together – its cheesy but we are – and I too have tried to reach out to as many people as possible across the past few days. If I can help anyone I will try.
Keep safe, keep positive, keep running.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...