Hello to all of you #teamEGRC boys and girls.
Well what a weird year 2020 has been! Our club year began with yet another wonderful Doynton Hard Half Marathon (where a race entry was handed to me minutes before the start) and we were all planning our race calendars for the year ahead. We squeezed in a Rodway 10k and then we got locked down. Various running challenges got us through a couple of months before club sessions were resurrected, without our beloved Changing Room 4 and then we got locked down again. Although we would have been able to host club sessions post lockdown 2.0, we are currently "paused" in the run up and through Christmas. To my knowledge, although several members have reported contracting COVID-19, their health has only temporarily been affected. I hope the same can be said for your families and friends. What can we expect from 2021? Who knows but there are two strong certainties, our club races won't happen (at least not at the usual time of year) but our club sessions will return. We'll come back to you in when this might be early in the New Year.
I went for a run today (Sunday) but it wasn't easy. I needed to chip a few miles off my reduced target of 800 miles for the year (37 to go as of first thing this morning). I felt flat yesterday. Nothing especially wrong, just a bit fed up of the COVID-19, lockdowns, Tiers, work pressures etc. I set the alarm for today for 6.20am, the same as for a work day but when it went off, I didn't want to move from my warm bed, too tired to get up, too awake to go back to sleep. Last year, age 47, I ran my marathon PB and completed a 24 race and here I am in bed and I cant be arsed to run. I browsed Facebook and spotted a quote along the lines of "give yourself a hug". Not for me i thought, I don't do the self-help stuff and I'm not one for motivational quotes......
But something deep down got lit up. I got up and slowly put on the running gear I had prepared last night. Come on Neil, go for it, you'll feel better when its done. I stepped out the door and began to trot, slowly, more of a trudge than a run, but I was moving - just run a few miles then, I thought. Within three miles, my mental fog had lifted and I was starting to enjoy myself. This wasn't the happy, singing me that ran a lovely cross country route just four days ago, this was a contented me, safe now in the knowledge that even if I headed for home, I'd have checked off more than a handful of miles. I trotted on and began to feel lighter, less tired, more energised. In the final miles I was grinning, loving the fresh air, the freedom. I wasn't fast, but that's not the point. My family have a happy daddy this afternoon and I am ten miles closer to my target. Just a marathon-ish to go.....
Do your best to avoid making excuses. We all have off days, even long-time runners like me, particularly now when society is suffering due to the virus. Do yourself a favour, give yourself a hug then get out for a run, you'll be glad you did.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope that you and your families stay well."