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I Ran Every Day in May

Covid-19

Sometimes the best goal is to just get going

When COVID-19 restrictions came in my weekly routine disappeared quickly. I started working from home, then my children began completing school at home. Sports were cancelled, gyms and pools shut, and finally the beaches we frequented closed.

People found themselves with extra time or simply needing new activities to keep them stimulated. Many baked. Some painted. I noticed around my suburb gardens flourished, garages underwent KonMari organisation, and I noticed the sounds of home improvement whenever I logged into Zoom.

I ran.

I didn’t start running for the first time. I have run on and off for years, completing my first marathon in 2018. But, when April was coming to a close I realised instead of finding a ‘COVID-19 hobby’ I wanted to set a simple running goal.

Initially, my work from home routine fitted into the children’s school routine. When they announced it was ‘break 1’ or ‘break 2’ I would leave my desk and this often prompted a walk, run or bike ride. But when school holidays started and this routine ended my step count diminished.

Usually, I attend a local Parkrun, a free and timed 5 km every Saturday morning. I run when my children are at swimming training and sports practice. And I had been training for the Australian Gold Coast marathon in July. With all these events cancelled, I felt a bit lost. It was difficult to know when, where, and why I should run.

I decided I just had to get outside and run every day.

After about a week, I posted a photo from my run on Instagram and tagged it #runstreak. I was stunned when I explored the tag to find my few days of running barely registered. One runner I follow has completed at least 5 km per day since 2018. Another recently posted they were up to day 4160!

Four days in, I almost broke my streak. But, as I lay in bed I felt regret and eventually got up and jogged around the house for 20–30 min up until midnight.

This was the only day I didn’t record my distance using GPS. That night I learnt running every day was something I really wanted to do, and it ensured I got my run completed before dark on subsequent days.

Some interesting highlights:

  • My longest run was 18 km.
  • My shortest run was when I ran 20 minutes around the house late at night.
  • Yes, I ran in the pouring rain.
  • I ran on trails, on roads, and barefoot on the beach.
  • One run incorporated 840 stairs.
  • In total, I ran 216 km.
Deciding to simply get out and run motivated me to move and when I did, I enjoyed seeing more of my neighbourhood, being outdoors, and having my mind process the events of my day. Running helped me to feeling more normal during the unusual events we are experiencing. And I loved the freedom of running just to run — not to achieve a particular distance, time or speed.

 

This article was originally published by Rebecca LeBard, Medium.com

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