Locked down

After a grim old 2020, I’ve spent most of this year trying to be generally quite optimistic about things. I’ve kept telling myself (and others) that better times hopefully on the way, and so it appeared to be. But then, right at the peak of my optimism as I received my first pint of Pfizer last week, a reminder that actually we still have a way to go.

An enforced week of isolation, and unlike the national lockdowns we’ve all lived through on and off since last March, an extra kick in the nuts as my own personal quarantine meant I was unable to even do one of the few things which helped me cope with all the shit last year: go for a run.

A loveletter to the Mizuno Catalyst: a shoe review after 2323.5 miles

Every year since early 2017 I’ve had a pair of Mizuno Catalysts in my rotation as my daily trainer. I’ve bought four pairs over the years, carrying me – to date – 2323.5 miles.

As is often the way with the running shoes I grow to love, they’ve been discontinued now so this is my paen to the most dependable shoe I’ve ever owned. They don’t make them like this anymore.

9 mile

There’s been no races so far in 2021, virtual or otherwise. One little challenge that did materialise though was one of those that came about more by chance than anything, and then as is often my way subsequently became something to obsess over for a bit.

That was until I eventually achieved it.

Virtual October

Anyone who’s read more than a couple of my blogs will know that I have a pretty familiar autumn routine, hitting one or two of the same races almost every year going as far back as 2008. This year things were a bit different but I’m still delighted with what I managed to achieve, including my first ever solo marathon two and a half years after the immortal “no more marathons”.

The year of the run

2020 has been the year of a few things. There’s the little matter of a global pandemic and everything surrounding it. It’s been a year of tragic, barely-imaginable loss and heartbreak. The year of lockdown, of not being able to visit any of our loved ones, our friends and family. The year of oh-so-many video calls, of virtual pub quizzes, of substituting sitting in the pub with your mates with sitting on your sofa and getting slowly inebriated while talking all over each other and trying to factor in a delay into the conversation. The year of working from home, of days of meetings over Zoom and Teams, feeling knackered at 5pm just by virtue of speaking into a camera for an entire day.

All of that, but also: it’s been The Year of the Run.

Shoe Review: Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2

Apart from this little recap back in 2013, I rarely write about the shoes I actually use to run my runs in, which I guess is kinda odd since I’ve acquired quite a collection over the years.

All that’s changed now after around 150 miles in my New Favourite Shoes: the Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2.0.

We’re all in this together

One of the things that I’ve been super impressed by is how the running community has sprung into action with various challenges to keep us all motivated with all of the actual races currently on hiatus.

Back in April I decided to take part in my first ever virtual races, and very rewarding they were too. Both runs were totally solo efforts though, and with some of my favourite ever races being the ones I’ve done with my wife and various friends and family over the years it was time to try and do something as a group, a team challenge in these socially-distanced times.

Virtually a marathon

With the official announcement postponing the 2020 Manchester Marathon coming relatively close to the intended event date I was just going over the very top of the peak of my training plan and so I began to moot ideas to try and still mark the occasion in some way and not let it all go to waste.

The result of all this was the findarace.com Plan B Virtual Half Marathon; a chance to stretch my legs at race pace, earn a cool little medal and raise a bit of money.

Revised ambitions

After posting my “I’ve signed up for a marathon” blog back in February, it’s safe to say there has been a somewhat significant turn of global events which far, far overshadow whatever little nonsense I was planning on doing this year.

With this coming Sunday’s Marathon For The Christie long since postponed, I’ve gone and signed up for a virtual half to mark the occasion, and by officially registering through Find A Race I still get a cool little medal and all the race proceeds going to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Stay safe everyone. x

A marathon for The Christie

Those of you who caught my last blog will be aware that another marathon was all coming, but what I didn’t mention was that my return to action will be fundraising one, aiming to (hopefully) raise a nice big total for The Christie.

And this is why.