It’s been a strange time hasn’t it!
Races cancelled or delayed, goals shifting, social distancing, no ParkRun, exercise limitations and the list goes on and that’s even before we start talking about pay cuts, furloughs and so on. If you add to that a new baby in the house, which, don’t get me wrong, is wonderful, but oh my, it’s difficult to keep running with the combination of being demotivated, working harder for less while getting slowly more and more tired every day from broken sleep.
Now though, now, it is time to start picking things back up, stop, well, let’s say reduce the alcohol and focus on improving my health. Now, I’m not a fast runner and never have been, never will be, I’m a big bloke, not built for speed! But, I am determined when I decide to do something, this particular something being to run an ultra, specifically, The Race to the Stones which has been delayed to next year. I won’t complete it fast, but I will complete it, so in order to do that I now need to start upping my weekly mileage which has recently been less than 20 miles a week every week.
My running over the last few weeks has been a challenge, I used to get up early, follow my plan and get it done but the passed few weeks, I wake up tired and demotivated then go back to sleep more often than I should, sometimes I get out but because I overslept I only have time for a short run. This past week, I have made the decision to start making time for my running again, if I get up early, I will run in the morning, if not, I will use my lunch break to run, even if for a shorter time, either way, I will run, I will increase my resilience. So this week, I have run every day, even when I did not feel like it, even when my legs were hurting, even when I wasn’t feeling it, so this week is the first time since lockdown that I have run over 20 miles.
That makes me proud.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it, just getting out there freeing your mind for some time every day, this is where I’m really starting to find the value. Now I love running, have done for a few years now, but the difference I am finding since lockdown, is that it is definitely helping my state of mind. Here we are, coming out (slowly) from lockdown, we have a young baby (our beautiful little girl, bless her) and I have just been promoted at work while I can’t even go there to make an impact and with previously reduced running hours, all things add up to higher than normal stress. I found my reactions to situations have been off balance sometimes, when I reflect on this, I feel worse, but what is interesting is that as I have run more this week, my reactions level back out. This is cause and effect and I love it, it’s simple, relax and exercise, get fresh air, life gets easier.
For anyone who may be struggling, put on a pair of trainers and get out there.