So, the week I was waiting for arrived – the week London Marathon would be announcing their plans for the 2020 event. The Great North Run was postponed early in the week, and logic seemed to suggest a similar announcement would be arriving from the London Marathon organising team. However, for some reason all week I felt anxious about the announcement. I had a feeling deep down that it was not going to be what I wanted to hear – and if I am brutally honest what I wanted to hear was that they were postponing this year’s event and rolling all entries to 2021. My fears were unfortunately met, and on Friday morning I received a rather waffling email from the London Marathon about there ‘still being hope’ and how they were planning ‘creative ways to social distance’ and that ‘the world will be a different place in October’ – basically the London Marathon were again making no decision on the event and would update us further in late July.
If you know me and/or have been reading my blog you know I love the London Marathon, it holds a special place in my heart and has given memories and experiences that I will treasure for life. However, I no longer feel it is right to hold the event this year, we do not know what the world will look like in October, but I am pretty sure it will not be ready for gatherings of tens of thousands of people. As for creative ways to socially distance the event – I am also not sure how this will help keep the ethos and feel of the London Marathon, which we love for its spectator lined streets and the general mass participation craziness of it all.
Perhaps my biggest frustration at the announcement was the seeming lack of consideration for the impact that marathon training has on people’s lives – we are now effectively faced with needing to start training for an event which still may not even happen. I am relatively lucky in the sense that I do not have too many other external factors to consider in my training, but I feel for people with families to juggle, work schedules which are currently nothing like normal, and even those who may currently not even be able to run outside – having to think about training amidst the current uncertainties we are all facing is tough.
I also have seen a few people commenting that if we love running, we should be pleased the London Marathon is trying to make the event happen. There is a difference between running and training for a marathon though, which probably only those who have trained for one will know what I mean. It becomes your life for 16 or so weeks and is much more than just doing a daily run.
So with five weeks until the next announcement I have today sat and looked at a training plan – it feels strange, that excitement is not there, I almost do not feel ready to commit, and being able to imagine race day seems a hard imagine to conjure up in my mind. Following my plan will also see me reach nearly 20 miles for a long run by the time of the next announcement – which could all be for nothing. I am too nervous just to say ‘sod it’ and sit back and wait for them to cancel; I do not really trust their decisions anymore if I am honest! I know I will train, but I also know my heart will not fully be in it.
That’s my rambled rant about the future – who would have thought I could be so frustrated by a marathon still taking place! I think it shows the perspective that Covid-19 and lockdown has given me on life.
My head has been a bit all over this week, anxiety about the marathon, a sudden surge in work meaning my work/life balance was next to nothing for two days, and for the first time in ages I felt ready for a weekend to try switch off! Is it bad I cannot even remember where I ran on Tuesday or Wednesday? My watch tells me I ran two 6 milers, but I would not be able to confidently tell you my routes! Thursday I did enjoy a much needed run with a friend, an evening 8 mile loop which took my mind off lots and just felt fun and freeing. Saturday I also knocked 44 seconds off my hilly 'not Lincoln parkrun' course record; I ran with a real drive and could tell I was powering up the hills. My Sunday long run was a 13.1 mile muggy meander through Lincoln, contemplating the longer runs ahead of me and how I really must start getting out earlier to beat the heat!
So next week marathon training beings – in a week which is also predicted to be a heatwave. You just could not write it..!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...