And so the lockdown continues. As we are entering June 2020 I have days when I’m struggling to remind myself of what normal life was like prior to this global event that has affected virtually the whole planet.
It has been a strange couple of months (putting it in such an understated way). I’ve not seen many members of my family and friends since we went into lockdown and that has been tough. I’ve been working really hard on putting things into perspective and really appreciating what I have got in that time. I’m using the resources that I have at hand and have had to change many things so that I am not going into moods that are low and a potential downwards spiral.
Exercise is really important to me and I’m continuing to challenge myself by seeing how fit I can get at the moment. After completing ‘Dry January’ at the start of the year I’ve also completed ‘Dry May’ (if that is a ‘thing’) and had also abstained from alcohol for the majority of April as well – I think I had 3 cans of lager in the early part of the month. I think that has really helped with my fitness, motivation, and outlook on things.
The exercise and having a goal (completing the Appalachian Trail Virtual Challenge) has really helped out as well – rather than just exercising for the sake of it I’m working towards a target that means I have to push myself as well.
The training is going well and the mileage has certainly increased over the last couple of weeks. I completed my longest run for a few years over the weekend – 10 miles. I’m really lucky that I have some really nice places where I can train and get out for a run. I spoke to a friend recently that said they would love to be able to run by the sea. I must admit it is something I have taken for granted but as some photos show it is a nice place to be able to run (or cycle or walk for that matter).
I also did a 4-hour session on the bike trainer as well – they are not the most interesting of sessions believe me (no scenery, no change in terrain, uncomfortable, and pretty hot as well). I’ve now completed 827.4 miles (ca. 1,332 km) of the challenge and have a mere 1,140.9 miles (ca. 1,836 km) to the ‘virtual finish’ line. I’m starting to have a serious think about what this means when life goes back to ‘normal’. Considering the time and effort I have put into the training – I’d basically start from scratch again – I don’t really want to let all the hard work and effort go to the wayside.
When I started this blog a while back I had a target of finishing an ultra-marathon and that still remains a key goal. At the moment (and especially within the current climate) I have no specific event in mind (though I have a few ideas). I’ve also looked at some Ironman-Distance triathlons, and I am having a serious think whether to challenge myself again to race that distance.
The lockdown has taught me a few things actually. Along with finding inspiration and motivation within adversity and challenging times I have also learnt that I’m able to fully function without certain things I would normally take for granted. I’ve usually been pretty good at adapting to changing situations or a changing environment and again have proved to myself that by adapting the abnormal becomes normal and familiar relatively quickly.
On the whole I’ve remained really positive and that is good.
This lockdown has thrown up multiple challenges and I know that sometimes it can be really, really tough (especially with no end in real sight). If you are struggling please be kind to yourself, accept that some days are going to be difficult, give yourself small targets to achieve, and most importantly stay safe and keep well.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.