For the past few years I’ve written this roundup post looking back over my running in that year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Even as I write this introduction I feel like this year’s post will be a little different (what isn’t in 2020, right?) but there has been a huge shift in my running this past year so I still wanted to create a post to reflect on that. Here we go…!
Best Race Experience
Well that’s an awkward one to start with! I had very few race plans as the year began (and those I did have were cancelled) so there are pretty slim pickings. Loads of events went virtual (and I took part in a few) but I think I’m going to choose an actual race experience – yes, those did happen in 2020, so long as you got in early! 1st January 2020 as part of our usual NYD adventure (three runs in one day), I ran in the Blairgowrie Ne’er Day Fun Run and put in one of my best performances in that event to date. It’s a very low key and simple event with no T-shirts or medals (the post-run soup and sweets are always very welcome though). It’s so strange to think now of all those people together in a hall before and after the event: no social distancing, New Year handshakes and lots of sweaty hugs. Unthinkable now! I’m sad that for the first time in its 30+ year history that this won’t happen in 2021, but fingers crossed it can return for 2022.
By some miracle, I actually got to go on my planned long weekend trip to Disneyland Paris with my sister in August. Although I ran each morning, my favourite run was on the last day when I ran to the Disney gates and back on a warm and sunny morning. Hopefully this is something I’ll be able to repeat in the future as it was such fun to see familiar landmarks such as the Tower of Terror, Disney Hotels and Disney Village as part of my route.
Best New Running Gear
When you accidentally start a run streak, having plenty of running gear is a must. I’m certainly not short of kit, but a crucial cog in the wheel when you run every day is shoes. I always rotate my shoes and was in need of a couple of new pairs anyway, but I think my favourites from this year are these Adidas Solar Boosts with space-inspired soles. I wear them for my long runs and they feel great!
Best Running Advice You’ve Received This Year
Do you know, I can’t think of anything in particular, but when I first floated the idea of running every day as the UK lockdown began back in March, Steve told me to go for it. To be honest, whenever I come up with an idea for a challenge I would like to undertake, he supports me all the way and sometimes being told to go for it is just the advice you need.
Most Inspirational Runner
Ok, I know he’s my husband and I’m biased, but I’m going to pick Steve. As his 50th birthday approached at the end of this year, I made the (slightly mad) suggestion that he should mark the occasion by running 50 miles in one day. Not only did he do it, but he picked a day when the weather wasn’t all that great and STILL did it. I don’t think I’ll be replicating this feat when my big birthday rolls around, but it’s still an inspiring achievement.
Favourite Picture From A Run Or Race This Year
When the inaugural Disneyland Paris Princess Run Weekend was cancelled, the admins of a Facebook group I’m in created a fun at-home version. We created our own costumes, medals and photo ops and shared our pictures in the group. I had plenty of time for some arts and crafts in advance to prepare and had a great time on my run (for which I resurrected my Anna running costume from the 2019 Magic Run Weekend 10k). While it wasn’t quite the same as being at DLP, it certainly created a sense of community and fun to keep us all going and I love this picture I took of my “meet” with Mickey Mouse:
Race Experience You Would Repeat In A Heartbeat
Um, a little short on race experiences so I’ll choose a virtual one instead. Although completely unofficial, when my second planned Run Disney experience of the year (Magic Run Weekend in September) was cancelled, the same Facebook group that created an at-home version in May did the same thing again…but bigger! It was still a free event where we created out own costumes/race bibs/medals etc, but I went all in for this one by mirroring the 36km challenge: 5k on Friday evening, 10k on Saturday morning and a half marathon on Sunday morning. Based on the group themes I created all-new costumes for each and basically spent my weekend running around wearing crazy costumes (which nobody seemed to bat an eye at!). While I would MUCH prefer to be back running in DLP again soon, this was a great experience and I loved checking in with the group all weekend to see what others had come up with for their own Run Disney at home experience.
If You Could Sum Up Your Year In A Couple Of Words, What Would They Be?
Run Streak. If you had asked me this time last year, there is NO WAY I would have predicted this would happen. I never intended to start a run streak, it just sort of…happened. When we went into lockdown in March we were told one of the reasons we were allowed to leave our homes was for exercise each day. I knew that if I could get some fresh air then I would cope ok with being at home all the time and originally planned for this to be a walk on days which weren’t “running days” (I was running 4x per week at that point). The first official day of lockdown was a running day and when I got home, I floated the idea of seeing what would happen if I ran the next day, and the next, and the next… I genuinely thought it wouldn’t suit me, that I would struggle or get injured, but it was fascinating to observe how my body adapted to daily running and now I think I would feel strange it I DIDN’T head out each morning. Over 280 days later and I’m still enjoying my daily runs. It feels like part of me now.
How was your year of running in 2020? I’d love to hear all about it…