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The running diaries: Reflecting on the year 2020

Well, what a crazy, unpredictable year 2020 has been for us all. Whilst it can be easy to sit and dwell on all of the negatives of 2020, I think it’s more important than ever to make sure we take note of and appreciate all of the positives of the year gone by. Undoubtedly it has been an indescribably tragic year for so many, but I believe many of us also learnt a lot about ourselves and how to appreciate the little things we perhaps often take for granted.

Life in 2020

For me, this year held some of the biggest, proudest and noteworthy moments of my life. In February, I was offered an amazing graduate position in the exact field I was striving for. In July I received my final degree results, finding out I was graduating University after four years with a First Class Honours. Come September I moved a considerable way from home, relocating to the South West, to begin my next, exciting chapter. Finally, December saw me sign for my very first flat that I have just moved into this week.

Additionally, I ticked Snowdon off of my bucket list during a lovely, short break to Snowdonia. This trip also saw me conquering fears to take on the fastest zip line in the world - and loving every minute! And I visited a new, beautiful part of the country, The Cotswolds.

Due to the unprecedented circumstances I moved home from University much earlier than expected, missing out on saying farewell to close friends and all of the celebrations that should have concluded my final year. However, this meant I got to spend more time this year at my family home than I have in a long while. While the pandemic brought uncertainty and feelings of fear of the unknown, I felt eternally grateful to be tucked away with my family in the small, remote, country village that I’ve called home since the day I was born.

This period of time really provided us with the opportunity to realise how important it is to cherish the small moments of life. Every walk we took through the local fields. Every jigsaw we excitedly completed. Every run I went on exploring new country lanes. Every BBQ we had sat around the garden table. All of it made this year much more bearable and showed us all that when life is really slowed down, all that matters is the people around us and the little moments of feeling completely content.

I understand I was in a much more privileged position than some, and am grateful every day for the health of those closest me. As I said, this year has been undeniably tragic for so, so many people. But be sure to find those positive moments, the small glimmers that showed us how strong we can be in a year of such sorrow, because those are the real wins of 2020 and the moments we will remember for years to come.

Running in 2020

Although I touched on this topic in a previous post, I thought it was only right to include a short round up to finish off the year.

My running journey had a strong start to the year. January through to March saw me training harder than ever for my first half marathon race. Sacrifices were made and distances were covered I never thought possible, however it all came crashing down when my race was understandably cancelled due to Covid-19. April through to June running was my happy place, a way of getting away from everything going on whilst embracing the glorious summer sunshine we were blessed with. Not only did I acquire the best tan I’ve had in years, but I continued to cover good distances and kept up the momentum that the training plan had given me.

But, all good training blocks come to an end. As more things began to open back up, running took a slightly less prominent place in my schedule. While still keeping up with three sessions a week, the distance began to trail off, as did my motivation. Once September hit and I became swept up in the new life of full time employment, the mileage really declined.

Since moving to my new area, I have joined a great new running club that has endlessly helped with my motivation. I’ve also managed to explore quite a few different, local routes and take part in a Virtual 10km event which resulted in a new, ‘unofficial’ 10k PB.

Although my running training finished the year in quite a unstructured, infrequent manner, I hope to turn this around within early 2021. My aim, now I am finally moved into my new flat, is to begin a structured training plan to get me back feeling motivated and into prime fitness.

Here’s to hoping 2021 brings a much more positive, adventurous year that allows us to squeeze our loved ones a little tighter than ever before. Here’s to getting to travel more, and finally getting to run that half marathon I’ve been dreaming of.

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