Last year was an interesting one wasn’t it. With all the restrictions due to the dreaded coronavirus, I spent most of last year doing not a lot. Certainly no backpacking trips and we barely made it outside the county.
Nevertheless, there was one major change.
Back in the day, I used to run competitively, running for London Irish Athletic Club (for about 15 years) taking part in cross-country, track, road and the occasional fell race. However, my focus was on one event, the 5,000m on the track . All other running decisions and races revolved around running 12.5 laps of the track as fast as possible.
With a 5k focus, when I did run longer races they never exceeded half-marathon and I found it hard to comprehend running further until 1997 when I made the decision to “have a look” at running a marathon.
The short story is that I ran the London marathon on April 13th, 1997 finishing in an official time of 2:58 with an unofficial time of 2:56.
Yes, I went sub-3 hours, but for me the race was a bit of a disaster. I had expected to run under 2:45 and half-way I had been bang on target.
But the hot weather, my complete lack of experience over the distance, coupled with complete failure to understand that the real half-way point in a marathon happens at 20 miles, meant I crashed and burned.
So, what has this all to do with 2020 you might ask? The answer – it been my come back year.
By my mid-30s I had stopped running seriously and by my 40s I was a former tuner who went out for a run occasionally. I always enjoy going out running, always thought I should do more but never did.
Then came 2020. With a combination of nationwide lockdowns and cabin fever I started going out with a casual run. Almost immediately, I got injured and the frustration of not being able to go out for a few miles round the block returned.
So now I am back running. And I realise how much I have missed it.