As we say goodbye to the first month of 2021 (which in my opinion has felt like an eternity!) I thought I would check in to the virtual world. It has not been the brightest start to the year in many respects, but the Covid-19 vaccination programme is giving us glimmers of hope that we might get back to some form of normality during 2021.
Normally I kick start the year with a marathon training programme looking ahead to a Spring race. This year it is very different, I have no idea when my next race will be, and one of the events I had transferred from May 2020 to May 2021 has already been cancelled. 2020 taught me that running matters just as much to me without races though, and thus running is still proving to be very important to my life (will it ever not be?)
I am completely ‘done’ with the work from home life now and getting out for miles each day gives me a break from my laptop screen, my house and my own head. Running practically remains my only concrete plan each week and meeting a friend for a run is a grand occasion! The only negative is it can be hard to rein in the running a little – I have found myself running six days a week recently (normally its five) and still doing strength and conditioning on rest days just to keep myself sane. Its something to be mindful of, but also slightly hard to keep track of, as I often have no concept of the days and weeks, it all just feels slightly repetitive at the moment!
The January Lockdown Challenge my Run Club has been running for our members has proved to be a fantastic way to keep us connected and focused through this difficult time though, and has meant I have enjoyed miles with lots of friends. It has also seen me scanning the hedgerows of Lincoln to try capture a photo of a Robin, learning about local defib locations, and completing a leg burning four minute wall sit. The challenge has furthermore motivated me to add a bit more variety into my running again, reintroducing some interval runs, hill sessions and longer miles. My weekly mileage has now crept back up to the 35-40 mile region.
Running aside, I am missing ‘normal’ life a lot at the moment. My opinions of home working are clear, it’s been nearly six months since I have been able to see my family, friends have had babies I am yet to meet, I miss the endorphin hit of lifting weights in the gym… I am sure we could all write a long list of things we are longing to get back to. I even found myself watching a programme on TV where two friends staggered into their house after a night out, high heels in hand, laughing and joking about the night’s antics – it’s quite rare I do this anymore Covid or not, but I actually felt jealous of these fictional people!
This weekend I did enjoy a Zoom call with some friends which went on until 3am just talking and laughing about random things. Getting up at 6am the following morning for a 10 mile run with a friend then felt so thrilling, and made me miss the often hectic nature of normality. I also met a friend and her son for a walk and we just were carefree for an hour or so, splashing in puddles, stomping through mud, and attempting to ride a child's bike which was much too small for me – things that I wish could just be a bit easier/normal without the knowledge of Covid rules hanging over us.
So, the plan for next month – much of the same! Enjoy running, keep up with some longer runs so I can take on the virtual Ashby 20 in April, and hopefully enjoy some improved running weather (I hate the snow and ice!) and the lighter longer days. The even better news however is that February is only 28 days long...!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...