It’s been over two months since my last blog post – that was all about running a garden marathon but to be honest – it feels like bloody years ago! It’s taken a trip to the vets for Frenzal (my dog who is convalescing from a minor op, he’s drowsy AF and I wanna keep an eye on him) for me to sit down and start typing some word sperm for you all soak up through your eyes.
This time has given me time to reflect on the whole lockdown period we’ve been going through. As I type, we’re currently at Defcon 3 and the U.K (well England at least) feels like it’s moving away from the stricter lockdown we’ve experienced over the last few months. No idea if that’s the right idea, I am not a scientist – just another internet turd with an opinion. Although, I feel this blog is more about feelings than opinions. Someone once told me, “opinions are like arseholes, everyone’s got one” and the same can be said about feelings – but sometimes it’s easier to share your opinions out of your arsehole rather than your feelings out of your mouth. I think they call the former – Twitter. That wasn’t an opinion, it was a joke.
LOCKDOWN EH! Feelings wise, looking back on it – fuck me, did my head feel like I was in a tiny little brain bubble. Before I write this, I realise I am EXTREMELY privileged – I live in a lovely cottage with a garden and my family were all safe and shielded from the cruel impact of COVID. That doesn’t mean to say that it’s wrong to still feel a bit shite sometimes. I’ve worked hard the last few years about pushing myself to leave my brain-bubble and try and genuinely connect with people a bit better. Obvs COVID brought this to an end, with the only way to connect to people was by waving a nipple at them on Zoom. I definitely value freedom, and even though we could still run (thank fuck), looking back – the world went from feeling unlimited to existing in the palm of my hand. Not a wanking joke.
I was also extremely privileged to be able to WFH, do my college course online, live with Row and Frenzal and have enough money for lockdown bagel-orgies as well as my health. It’s really interesting to look back even a couple of months and think how I felt, and how I feel now. I feel much better – how about you? I hope that by the next blog I write things in the world in terms of COVID will be in a better place, again I am just being positive, I am not a scientist. I think we have to *try* and be positive going forward (while respecting others’ feelings) and get out of our lockdown brain-bubbles (I’ve been calling it bomb-shelter culture) but again I appreciate this isn’t for everyone – especially people who have had the virus, had a loved one die, or who are worried about getting it. I understand your worries and I genuinely hope that one day soon you’ll be able to live in a world free of fear.
This is the fifth paragraph and I haven’t even really talked about my running yet. It’s almost like there’s been more important things happening. I have to say again, we have been so lucky that we could run all through our lockdown. Running through lockdown has been a fucking godsend. Looking back again, my training has been:
Pre-lockdown – Training hard for HM races
Into lockdown – Fuck it, I will run a garden marathon
Phase 1 – Explore, explore, explore – trails and Strava Routes galore.
Phase 2 – Fed up of exploring and following a line on my watch, challenge me!
Phase 2.5 – Centurion Community – 100 mile week / 5k TTs
Phase 3 – I CAN RUN WITH MY FRIENDIES AGAIN
Phase 3.5 – Speedwork with mates is so much more fun than on my own
Phase 4- Finally bought some Aftershokz headphones and have been LOVIN’ running to punk rock. Never ran with music before and it’s a whole new world of motivation.
Phase 5 – Who knows what is next but prob more TTs until we can race again! Who cares, I am having fun.
I am sure most of the running community went through similar feelings. The Centurion Community event to run 100 miles in a week – was a great challenge! It was my first attempt at running a 100 mile week, and without a lockdown – I would never have even attempted it. Kudos to Centurion Running for organising a brilliant event that came along as the perfect time.
Again, without lockdown – I wouldn’t have spent hours boring Row to death about a new route I worked out on Strava. She knew when I’d found one because she’d hear the dull thud of my skinstick poking my laptop. I’ve also done a couple of 5k TTs recently – did a 17:35 and a 17:52. Happy with those considering they were on my own and I buzz from running with people. Hopefully someone can drag me along to a sub 17 at some point this year – I will keep going with the speedwork until this happens! I wasn’t sure whether doing speedwork / TT without an actual race would be fun BUT I still get the same positive feeling from running my best / as fast as I can.
Mileage wise I did 230 miles in March, 228 in April, then 296 in May (biggest ever but there was no way I was going to run 4 more miles to hit 300, haha) and we’re now cruising through June. My plan this year was to be consistent (100 mile week challenges aside) and not compare myself to others. I am happy to report back, both are being successfully kept to. What’s next for running? And the answer is – who fucking knows. I sure don’t. I am going to keep running, keep my consistency, keep smashing my speedwork with my mates (big up the Longmoor Training Squad) and keep strengthening my body. Maybe we will see some races / parkrun before the end of the year? Maybe not. I am taking each day and each small win as they come. Now my win is to be able to train with my mates and show them my balls through my tiny shorts.
That’s running done! Obvs there’s lots more going on in the world… and straight out of semi-lockdown we had the despicable murder of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests. This whole thing made me realise more about my white privilege and how lucky I am to be a white man in this world. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery while running also highlighted this – imagine going for a run and not coming back home just because of your skin colour? And also – what is it with people beeping at females when they run? I keep seeing it on Strava and this regularly happens to Row. I am lucky and I’ll never know how it feels to be treated unfairly because of my skin colour or gender. Everyone has their opinions and you’re prob fed up of people telling you what to do on social media. Ultimately there is only one opinion – racism is wrong and we need to fuck it off forever. I am educating myself so I can be a better person and to help others who haven’t had the joys of being surrounded in a social echo-chamber of beautiful, non-racist, liberal people to educate them. Read more here.
Last but not least – massive shout out to HOKA for all my running shoes. Currently still loving and rotating the Clifton 6, the Elevon 2, the Rincon, Carbon X (all road) and Speedgoat 4 and Torrent for trails. I’d also like to encourage you all to follow Running Punks on Instagram – it’s a great community for like-minded positive-vibed runners / music fans. Go check it out.
I think at the beginning of this blog, I said something about not sharing opinions. And I haven’t. All of the above is stone-cold fact-gold. Feel free to leave a comment (I’d love that) and hit me up on the links below.
Lots of vegan love,