2020 The year that needn’t have bothered… (Part 1)

Or should it?

I think we could all be excused for thinking 2020 was going to end up a whitewash when Coronavirus hit and life as we know it changed.

There are obviously lots of negatives about the impact of COVID-19 and it has been a terrible global event. One we would all prefer to not see repeated soon. To compound all the health implications we all saw many of our day-to-day activities/expectations get taken away. Just when having an escape mechanism to get yourself immersed in, many of them were taken away.

As Spring continued and as a runner many of the plans that had been made become blurred, changed, postponed or cancelled it was hard to see what running ambitions and goals would remain.

Maverick Buckinghamshire 21Km trail- Postponed twice

Reading Half – Postponed

Brighton Marathon – Postponed

Isle of Wight Ultra – Postponed – Now Cancelled

Oxfordshire Epic 10Km – Postponed

Race to the Tower Ultra- Cancelled

Temple Trail Ultra – Cancelled

Bournemouth Half – Still On ?

Great South Run – Still On?

When it comes to running I, like many, enjoy having the target of a race or event to focus the mind and provide motivation. Having everything cancelled or postponed for 2020 could have been an excuse to find the running shoes gathering dust in the cupboard, and seeing all the good from 2 1/2 years of running – in terms of weight, physical form and real escapism washed away and lost.

I started the pandemic optimistic. I usually see things as ‘glass half full’. So when things started going awry, I tried to remain optimistic that events that were just ‘shuffling around the calendar’ would still go ahead. I tried to keep an eye on marathon training. I tried to carry on as normal.

I’ve always been an early runner, getting up at 5:30am to run before then commuting to work etc. Working my running around family and work time. Initially I thought, yes! lie in. Get up later do the same and then all is well. But with young kids they then get ups before I can get out to run, and I feel a bit bad about getting up and going for a run when my wife is already up with the kids. So that wouldn’t work. So I had to still get up early. But not needing to commute meant I could consider running longer on a weekday morning. An interesting thought. Normally 6 miles on a weekday, was looking like I could push to maybe 10? Maybe more!!

So there started my first challenge. If I can run races I can see if I can break the monthly ceiling I had scraped but not reached, which was 200 miles. I got this landmark a little bit before Race to the Stones 2019.

March 2020 – 200.2 Miles

April 2020 – 250.9 Miles

So that was a pretty good feeling. A nice and kind of easy enough goal to reach given this new found morning time to run further.

Whilst my target was breaking 200 miles in a month, maybe for you it’s 200Km, maybe its 50Km. We all have a ‘most miles/Kms in a month’ value. Whatever that is, setting a new ‘best’ always has the possibility of putting a smile on your face.

But just distance for the sake of distance isn’t exactly a stimulating motivator, it’s also something that has it’s limits. Both physically for me, and also time wise. Yes I can do more morning miles, but I have to work, I have family time I don’t want to miss out on, and I need to make sure that my wife isn’t a running widower.

So that’s why I tried to beet some PBs too.

But that’s for another blog post …

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