I think it is apparent that my running blog is going to turn more into COVID-19 survival blog over the foreseeable weeks (months?) - it is hard to focus on much else right now! The past seven days have seen the UK enter a period of 'lockdown' which has further impacted by life and running. It had to be done, and despite the challenges I now face, I am pleased the Government is taking these measures to essentially save people's lives and protect the NHS - I have friends who work at the local hospital, and they are always in my thoughts.
Lockdown rules thankfully permit daily exercise, which as I watched the Prime Minister address the nation, I have to say I was immensely relieved about. It might sound selfish to essentially be pleased to be able to run still, but it certainly helps safeguard my own mental well being in this all. The rules did outline however that exercise can only be completed with members of your household - when you live by yourself that is not a massive difference! So sadly runs with friends have now stopped, and I do miss them. The extension on my Run Club sessions being cancelled, as well as parkun bring cancelled was also announced this week - I miss these too - and my next race currently looks like it may happen in June (although I think this is still optimistic). But I can still run, and that morning escape out the house is something I am very grateful of right now.
Personally, this week has been a bit tougher - there is the obvious lack of social contact (living by yourself in all this really is rubbish!) and then there have been concerns around my work. Socially, I again have to be so extremely grateful for the network of friends I have who do keep checking in on me; it is not as fulfilling as seeing people in person, but it certainly is comforting. My work situation did for the first time in all this bring me to tears this week though. I was faced with discussion around being 'furloughed' for three months, and the notion of losing my job even temporarily felt gutting, let alone the financial implications despite the Government support on offer. Thankfully as I write this, I still have my job, although some of my colleagues have been furloughed. I worry for them, I still worry about my own small workplace, but I am going to do all I can to try and help us survive this.
Running remains key to my own personal 'survival' and I have managed a good week of 36 miles and moreover, can say I enjoyed every step.
MONDAY: shifting some furniture around in my living room I made space to complete my first home gym session following a couple of Faecbook live exercise classes from my friend 'Run Your Marks' I liked tuning in with others, it gave a small sense of being part of a group still and I also felt less ridiculous for jumping around in my living room!
TUESDAY: I had DOMs already from my home exercise classes, so opted for a steady run. The first mile I was stiff, but once I warmed up I found I was hitting low 8 min/mile paces really naturally and enjoyed a lovely 10k run.
WEDNESDAY: again I surprised myself today, heading out once more for a planned steady run, I logged 7 miles with an 8:15 min/mile average pace. I probably have some marathon training benefits in my legs still, but it is also funny what you can achieve when you do not obsess over pace all the time!
THURSDAY: as if to tease us, this week has seen some warmer Spring like weather - so in order to maximise this, I headed out a little later for my run today, enjoying the sun along the local river bank. I intended to push myself and took on the weekly planned session from my Run Club, which was a 50 minute 'out and back' run aiming to get back to the same start point, or further. I made it exactly back to the bottom of my street and was really pleased with my splits and pacing, mostly in the 7.20 min/mile region and achieving 6.6 miles in distance. I do not want to push myself too much at the moment, but a bit of hard effort still felt good.
FRIDAY: to make sure I do not over do things, I want to try keep one rest day a week still. This is tough as I also want to not feel too trapped in my house. A daily walk is permitted though - although I have to say it does not quite bring the same mental benefit to me as running!
SATURDAY: another 'fake Lincoln parkrun' mixing up the course to try and avoid the strong winds! The wind was unavoidable and where I live in Lincoln it is also hard to avoid a hill unless I just run up and down one road - and we are not at that point yet! - so whilst I found it hard to find much pace, I was pleased to spot a few other parkrun faces out (from a distance!)
SUNDAY: back to Sunday long run days and I set myself the goal of running a half marathon today - just for some purpose really! The weather was so mixed, I started in sunshine and although I had actually hid away my watch, I realised after I was running quite quickly. Then came the hail/snow, and then the wind really picked up for the latter part! I embraced it all though, just winding through the streets, which I have to say were eerily empty. I felt much more tired after my longer run than I expected - so good job I had to stay at home!
I hope the week ahead allows me to keep running, if further restrictions come into place I respect it will be for good reason, and I shall embrace my miles whist I can.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...