I question lockdown as this week has been almost as unpredictable for me as the weather this Bank Holiday weekend (one day 24 degrees and feels like summer - the next day 21mph winds and lashing with rain...!) Some days have passed quickly in my now near normal life routine, and I can almost forget that I am acting under restrictions about what I can do. Other days have drained me a little energy wise, despite spending far more time sedentary than before! I know its that constant mental requirement to keep almost pushing yourself to keep going - and the now seeming endless work zoom calls! I also question lockdown as other people's behaviour has started to bother me. I can honestly say I have adhered to the guidelines fully and despite spending nearly two months working from my kitchen table and barely seeing or speaking to anyone, I know its what I must do. It frustrates me when others are not.
Deep down I do feel positive though, my new appreciation for the things and the people who really matter to me means I am looking forward to the future. Daily doses of positivity as I like to call them (like baking delivered to my door by friends - see picture) also makes me feel the warmth and care from the communities and people I have around me. I also know I will come out of this stronger than ever - maybe not physically, as two months without the gym is going to hit me hard! - but mentally. Looking back at certain points in my life I would not have coped with lockdown, and whilst it still tests me, I am coping now.
MONDAY: online exercise classes with Run Your Marks - who deserves another mention for delivering these free classes each week for the past months for anyone to access.
TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY: both these runs followed the same kind of pattern; I headed out the door and did not really know what I was aiming to do - run fast? run easy? run steady? - I literally just ran. Both times I logged 10ks and each run was about the same average pace (8.13 and 8.11 min/mile respectively). I could not find any extra drive within me to make anything more focused from these runs, and I think I just wanted to embrace the freedom and time outside instead.
THURSDAY: despite having a planned Run Club session I could try today, again I struggled to find the desire to push myself. I wanted to run, but I didn't have the mental energy needed to make a 'session' worthwhile. I found myself instead running to the local Common not far from my house and doing a large 5 mile loop around here. The uneven ground and trail like conditions tested me, but it was a break from the streets which I enjoyed the most.
FRIDAY: today should have been a Rest Day, but faced with a long three day weekend ahead of me (weekends are not my favourite at the moment!) I knew I wanted to get out and run in the morning as it would mentally set me better for the day. It was a beautiful day too and this motivated me to revisit the Run Club session I skipped yesterday, which was hills. I ran to a hill we have often used as a club and tested my self with 10 x continuous sprints, followed by a cool down loop home. I actually quite like hill sessions, and although at first it did feel a little odd running up and down on my own without club mates to motivate me, I was pleased I did it.
SATURDAY: after enjoying yesterday's hill session I decided to mix up my 'not Lincoln parkrun' this week and planned a hilly 5k circuit. I ran as hard as I could on the hills still trying to push the pace as much as possible. It was tough but I enjoyed the burn in my quads - why I like hills so much I really do not know! I would take hills over running in the wind any day!
SUNDAY: speaking of wind - today was a dramatic change in weather with the aforementioned rain and a strong gusty wind. I held off going out for my run until at least the rain had eased and hoped it would not be too miserable out. It was gusty, and certain roads with a strong headwind did make me wryly laugh at times, but I ran well and it was one of those runs where my legs hit a rhythm which was so natural I barely had to think. This enabled me to take in some of the wonderful VE displays still adorning houses and just appreciate the cooling fresh air. I logged another half marathon distance with a 8.23 min/mile average pace.
I am writing this blog pre the Boris 7pm address to the nation - so what lockdown looks like going forward may now be clearer (or not!) depending on when you are reading this. The current lockdown rule which has enabled me to continue to run has been an incredible bonus these past weeks, and this week I have managed just over 37 miles. Whatever Boris has to say, I hope we should all be able to continue to run going forward - keep our running strong and our heads stronger.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...