I think it is safe to say over the past weeks we have all come to appreciate things in our life a lot more than we did before, or we have started to appreciate them in new ways. This week has emphasised to me just how important becoming part of a running club has been in my life. I have written about it before; but I was so apprehensive about belonging to any form of club for reasons I cannot really put my finger on, it just did not seem for me. However, being a member of Lincs S&C Run Club has added so much to both my running and life in recent months, and this week, despite not being at the stage yet where we are physically meeting as a club, I have really felt that sense of community and belonging.
One of our members - Tom - was undertaking a challenge to run seven half marathons in seven days to raise funds for the NHS, and throughout the week various members of the club were able to join him for socially distanced running. We also tracked his progress each day virtually on social media. His challenge really brought people together, gave us something to look forward to each day and to feel good about, and as someone else put, they had not seen so many happy smiling faces in so long. It is certainly something I will remember as a highlight when I think back to lockdown in years to come.
MONDAY: online exercise classes – I did these first thing in the morning today before my living room had a chance to warm up. That was the plan anyway – although it was still boiling. Is it too much to install home air conditioning during lockdown…!?
TUESDAY: today continued to be very warm still and I got out running a bit earlier to try beat the heat. I logged a steady 10k in the low 8 min/mile region, but what really struck me about running slightly earlier was the traffic on the roads! A few weeks back I had been weaving through an almost ghost town and now cars were whizzing past me almost disturbing my running zone. Again, perhaps I have taken for granted the peace lockdown has offered.
WEDNESDAY: with the knowledge I was joining Tom for a half marathon tomorrow as part of his challenge, today was supposed to ‘just’ be an easy 5 miles. I hit a quick rhythm from the start though and just never seemed to slow down. I was unable to join Tom until Thursday due to work commitments, but I did manage to get out and cheer him after my run as he ran past the top of my street. Stood at the top of my road scanning the horizon, waiting for a running figure to appear in the distance it almost felt like I was stood on the side-lines of a race again. I enjoyed my brief moment of overzealous cheering as he passed me and then headed back to the reality of a Zoom call!
THURSDAY: after a hot start to the week I was really pleased today’s weather was pretty much perfect for our half marathon – a cooler air, but still mild, and no wind. I am honestly not sure where the 13.1 miles we ran went to though; we were joined by another club member on their bike and later another runner for the final miles, and it all just passed so quickly. I also had no idea what pace we were running as it just felt really comfortable and chatty, and as long as Tom was running ok (which he was, despite this being his fifth half marathon!) that’s all that seemed to matter. As I jogged home afterwards I felt really energised and positive; it felt like a good thing to be part of and had given me a buzz that we all have probably not felt for a while. Tom went on to smash the remainder of his challenge and has raised over £1,500 in the process.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: this week’s ‘not Lincoln parkrun’ was practically a 5k swim. I stepped out the door in fairly heavy rain, which then proceeded to quickly become torrential for pretty much the entire 5k – I could barely even see coming down one road as the rain lashed into my face! Despite it sounding pretty horrendous, it was actually quite invigorating in a weird way. I opted for my hilly 5k loop and shaved another couple of seconds off my course PB – so maybe the rain encouraged me to get home a bit quicker at least!
SUNDAY: having already logged a longer run for the week, I planned today’s Sunday run to round off my mileage. I set a target of 38 miles for the week, which left me a precise 10.6 miles to run. I pushed the pace a little more than a long, slow run as it was cool and drizzly, and for some reason ten miles also seemed short in my mind! It felt good just to turn the legs over a bit quicker though and I ventured onto some paths I had not ran on for a while, knowing the rain would make them less busy.
Amongst the positive running this week, personally we also had to announce the news that the Lincoln City Half Marathon was being postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19. I have been involved with bringing this event to Lincoln heavily through my work, who are one of the joint organisers, and it has involved a lot of time, energy and passion from myself and my colleagues. However, we know this is the right decision for the safety of all and to ensure a positive event can take place, so I do not feel too disappointed. Perhaps I even feel relief that I now know we do not have to worry about how to make sure we keep thousands of runners safe, that's if mass participation events are even allowed to take place by September.
2021 will be special in many ways, but let’s also keep embracing the positive moments and good in what we have now too.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...