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Making New Plans

New Year resolutions are a funny tradition; I wonder how many people actually stick to the new rituals and personalities they optimistically prescribe themselves? These days I enjoy thinking about that period. About how across the globe millions of people were planning and scheming for the year ahead. About how in the end the events of 2020 are totally beyond our control. And about how millions of those resolutions have been broken through unprecedented circumstances.


I was no different, at the turn of the year I was so excited for a 'fresh start'. I planned adventures and races, I reorganised my life to allow for more travel, I reassessed my priorities and started to spend my time differently. As late as 13th March I announced my intended race schedule on Instagram.


2020 was also to be my first year running for Merrell!

Of course, all of those plans have been dropped. This is week 9 of 'lockdown' in Scotland. In this new world of travel bans and restrictions reassessment of our priorities and how we spend our time has continued. As much as there are New Year resolutions that have been abandoned there are also those that will have been kept because of it: we are able to spend more time with our families, reconnect with old friends, learn new skills, exercise regularly and experiment with our food. Sometimes, less is more.


So what have I been doing since 23rd March?


  • Reading - books that I've been meaning to read for ages, books others have suggested, books I might teach one day, books I wouldn't normally choose..



  • Talking - talking to, playing games with and sending books to my friends and family in London.

  • Foraging - I've been walking, noticing plants and cooking a lot more. Success stories: dandelion syrup, nettle soup, spruce and rhubarb jam.



  • Cooking - I must be in the minority in that I haven't attempted anything sourdough yet, but I have been fine-tuning my baking skills and delivering goodies around the village.



  • Exploring new routes - spending long sunny days running and cycling to random points in the surrounding hills, or simply heading out the door without a plan and seeing where I end up.

  • Strength work - there's no excuse not to do all the boring bits I would normally ignore now. I still don't enjoy it but I am getting better at it!


  • Getting injured - predictably with all this increased activity and good weather I have overdone it and injured myself (grade 1 calf tear). I'm just over a week in and kicking myself for letting it happen. I want to run again! However, I am trying to use the experience as a lesson in how I need to adapt my training in the future and what tweaks I need to make to my running style.


I've also been organising old photos and files. Back in 2016 I started a blog about running, but due to my technological incompetence this was deleted somewhere along the way. Dredging through the depths of an old laptop, however, I found rough drafts for some of the posts. These included race reports, holiday descriptions and an account of why I love running at home. The latter seemed particularly appropriate at the moment, so I've polished the writing, added new pictures and uploaded it here. See 'There's no place like home' for my 2016 musings.

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