I never dreamed I’d be writing this blog post in these peculiar circumstances. Even now, with my sister self isolating because my three year old niece has a fever and a cough… it still all seems unreal; like something that happens in one of those budget, straight to TV movies, not in real life.
If you’re anything like me you’re probably sick of hearing the C-word. So you’ll be relieved to learn that this isn’t a piece about Coronavirus. But before I start I will just say this. A few days ago someone whose opinion and knowledge I respect said to me “this will be the defining event of our generation” and that really made me sit up and take notice. With that in mind, do we really want to be remembered as a generation of panic buying, toilet roll hoarders? Be kind. Take only what you need and help wherever you can.
Be Brave, Run Happy… and don’t you dare stop.
Your running in 2020 is probably going to look very different to how you expected it to look. It’s completely natural to grieve for cancelled races; particularly if you’ve devoted hours and hours to marathon training. Hours spent running in the dark, running through storms and in gale force winds in pursuit of your goal. I know if Manchester had been cancelled last year I would have been devastated and I really feel for everyone affected.
Let it hurt, but then, look for the positives. If anyone asks you “why do you run?” I’d hazard a guess that your main motivation isn’t the medals… nor the race t-shirts. Even for those of you that are competitive, I don’t believe podiums are what makes you run 100 mile weeks, nor what makes you consistently set your alarm for those runs before dawn. I suspect the thought of another trophy on your shelf isn’t what drives you to push yourself to your limits and beyond in your sessions.
We run because we love it and we train because we know there is nothing that beats that feeling of having given our absolute best. Of course we don’t all have pace or stamina in common. But, whether you’re on week one of couch to 5K or you’re training for a 2:15 marathon – that feeling of knowing you’ve done your best is universal… and nothing beats it.
Every session you smashed in training made you feel elated… and the ones that weren’t so great, well they made you appreciate the good ones even more. Nothing has been wasted.
An empty race calendar is a strange concept for some of us to be faced with but, with the right mindset, we can all see this as an opportunity. The obvious positive for those who have had a difficult training block is that now you have plenty of time to prepare for a fabulous Autumn of racing. If your training has gone well and you were feeling ready, I know that it’s a harder pill to swallow. But, be brave and take some pressure off yourself. Let running be your sanctuary and a source of joy in these difficult times.
The most important thing right now is that you don’t stop. Please remember that running doesn’t care if you stop for a breather, if you walk the hills or if you pause your watch.
Running only cares that you keep trying, that you keep showing up… and that you don’t give up on it.
Stay safe everyone. Help others where you can and try and keep positive. Lots of love xxx