Revised ambitions

OK, it’s safe to say 2020 isn’t quite turning out how any of us thought it would.

After posting my “I’ve signed up for a marathon” blog back in February, there has been a somewhat significant turn of global events which far, far overshadow whatever little nonsense I was planning on doing this year. I won’t go into it in any great detail as I’m sure you’re all as worried and anxious as I am about the current state of play out there in that big bad world, but just in light of all the sponsorship I’ve already received I just wanted to update on how this ever-shifting landscape has led to one or two somewhat significant alterations to those original plans.

I’ve started to write a follow-up blog about six times since the last one but such is the pace of this thing, every time I sit down and shit a few words out about how it’s all been going from a personal point of view, by the time I come round to finishing it and posting it up, the entire outlook has taken another horrible lurch downhill and it all needs rewriting again, from wondering if the old virus would make it over the UK or not, to joking (without having an inkling of the seriousness at the time) about whether the race would go ahead or not if it did get over here, to a slow realisation that this virus was actually Serious Fucking Business, to the very real risk of the race being cancelled, to that eventual inevitable cancellation (well, postponement), and finally to the point we are at now where even going outside for a solo run is severely limited, and for very good reasons of course as we all try and do our bit to battle this thing.

I’ve tried to stay positive as best I can throughout and thankfully (for now) being able to get out for a run has really helped to focus my mind and shift some of the anxiety that builds up worrying about my family and friends, especially when I’m cooped up in the flat for 98% of the rest of the week. That, combined with the original ambition to try and get the old marathon time down a bit has kind of led to probably the best block of training I’ve put in for anything since 2016, and even when the news came through that the marathon had officially been postponed I kind of tried to maintain my training on the off chance I might be able to still salvage something from the three or four months of hard work.

This Sunday is the time to do that. The date of the original marathon, I’ve decided to head out anyway, although not by running the full distance as I had half thought of doing initially. In theory I’m essentially ready for a marathon now but I just don’t think it’s right in the current climate to head outdoors for over three hours, risking an injury miles from home if I suddenly needed medical attention, or putting myself or others in any danger, either by being out for longer than I should and spreading something, or knackering my own immune system up from caning a marathon and risking infection myself. It’s just not worth it. These things can wait.

So instead, I’ve signed up for a virtual half to mark the occasion. I should be able to manage this OK as three of my long runs in recent weeks have already topped that distance, and by officially signing up through Find A Race I still get a cool little medal (pictured) and all the race proceeds going to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Win / win if you ask me.

I’ll head out in my charity vest on Sunday as well as it’s all part of the bigger picture, marking the day I should have been running A Marathon For The Christie (after swearing only two years ago “no more marathons” of course), and as such my fundraising page is still open here with that in mind as I now work towards that October date and a second block of marathon training in the same year for the first time in my life.

All that seems some way off as we speak though and to be honest, it all seems ridiculously insignificant at this point in time. But you’ve gotta do whatever helps you to cope with it all, and for me right now that seems to mostly consist of running quite a bit while I still can. I’ll try and get a race report out next week or so on how it all goes on Sunday, but for now just make sure you all stay safe out there and look out for each other. There’s more to life than marathons after all.

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