Normal is no Longer the Norm: Covid-19

It’s been 4 months since my last race – and subsequently my last post.

The world has changed. The Covid-19 outbreak has been a global pandemic which has threatened our health and lifestyle choices; causing so much fear, stress and anxiety to many.

The norm is no longer normal and daily routines are non existent. The economic impacts have been catastrophic. Unemployment levels are at an all time high, schools have closed their doors and self-isolation and social distancing have resulted in many not seeing their loved ones in months.

I’ve been fortunate. I recognise that.

I’m still in a job and have the love and support of my family around me.

Within our ‘family bubble’ we’ve tried to focus on the positives. We’ve been home-schooling for the past 4 months and although it’s seen its fair share of challenges, overall it’s been an amazing experience. We’ve enjoyed plenty of family time, play-time, home-baking and have explored the local trails on our family walks. We’ve kept in regular contact with family members further afield via Zoom and with restrictions now easing, have started to meet up within the guidelines.

I’m also so proud of the boys.

They’ve adapted to this new world with new rules thrust upon them in such a positive way. They’ve embraced it and have taken it in their strides. Of course, they’ve missed school, (kind of), their friends and family gatherings but they have each other. Being of similar ages, (8, 5 and 3) they’ve spent more time together and the bonds between them have grown. We’re also very fortunate to have access to a large garden so they’ve managed to be outdoors as much as possible throughout this pandemic.

Running has taken a back step, of course it has. I run for many reasons; the health benefits – both physical and mental but mainly because its a lifestyle choice. It’s more than a hobby. Its an escapism – or at least I thought it was. In all honesty I’ve not really missed it. Maybe that’s because I knew (prayed) it would be short term, that normality would resume and I treated it as a break. I was preoccupied with family time and didn’t give it too much thought, within our ‘bubble’ I was in a happy place. I still ran a little, mainly local trails where you could social distance but I didn’t have any adventures further afield. My annual mileage year-to-date is roughly half of what it normally is but I’m fine with that. As restrictions have eased, then I’m finding myself back on the trails more frequently, the miles have increased and I’m starting to enjoy the adventures once again.

My race calendar has been depleted with all my races postponed till next year, with the exception of Lakes in a Day, which is scheduled for October. I’ve started a training plan and like I say, the miles have been increasing over the past couple of weeks. Am I confident it will still go ahead? No – but that’s not in any way a reflection of the event organiser who I believe will do everything in their power to make it happen but more an assumption of where we are in terms of lockdown and restrictions. Guaranteeing the safety of everyone involved, from runners, organisers, volunteers and supporters is paramount and I think we’re some way off ensuring this happens anytime soon.

No-one can predict the future. There’s the potential risk of a 2nd wave and with job security in these uncertain times hanging over us, we must remain positive. Life goes on…just not in the normal sense for now.

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