Remember those times before 2020. No masks or enforced social distancing. It seems an awful long time ago. So much enforced change. A world which has shrunk for virtually all of us.

After my partner died the world did shrink for me. No more holidays, no long distance work journeys, less visits to family and friends. No climbing expeditions. Things like trips to the gym even stopped. One thing that kept going was running. Son would go to school and my new found work flexibility would allow a couple of long runs every week. I got to see and breathe the local countryside. Run through the hills, valleys and woods. Every so often a little longer trip to the coast. The delights of a beach run. These became such an important part of my coping strategy. A way to manage my mental health and stay fit.

These runs have now stopped. The last run was in early March. Still there but out of reach. Out of reach until September when the secondary schools potentially go back. Maybe Son will opt for homeschooling and the runs cease permanently. But life goes on. It has to. So the runs have had to be replaced with exercise bike sessions – I have developed a pathological hatred of the piece of rock called the bike seat. Replaced with extra weights exercise in the garden. More CrossFit workouts. And yes with garden runs. A small garden doesn’t lend itself to a great variety of routes. Basically I can keep going round in circles clockwise and anti-clockwise. Constantly going round in circles. I measured it out, the longest straight line run possible is a massive 15 paces. Round and round again.

“Dad school have set a running challenge this week. They want the class to run and cycle. Using the Strava running app they want us all to work together to get to ferry in Dover and head off into Europe. Parents are encouraged to join in. Come on Dad. Get your running kit on.”

It’s a bit like my blogs creaky world tour but recorded using Strava. So I downloaded the app and dragged my tired body outside. I had already done my morning weights exercise routine. And off I went. Round and round the garden. Clocking up km after km. Bored out of my mind. Son did a bit of running himself before he went inside to start his next online class.

Eventually the knees said that’s enough. They can only take so much constant turning. And I went inside to send school the running results. The thing about Strava (and other running apps) is that you get a route diagram. A map of your run. They should look something like this…..

Well mine was a masterpiece. It’s my finest work of art I have ever produced….

The final ironic element to the story. A couple of hours later…

Oh Dad. Just had an email from school. You had better sit down…. Apparently a few parents have complained about privacy and the schools online Strava Running Club. So they have had to delete the club and cancel the running challenge.

Oh well at least I got a work of art out of it.

74 thoughts on “Running wild

  1. I just don’t know what to say my friend. I do think you should get that framed and hang it for posterity. You are a brilliant dad is what is want to say. I hope and pray one day you can run wild again x

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I haven’t. I run anywhere between 3-5 miles Monday through Friday on my treadmill between 7ish-8. Then I take the 8AM gym class. My runs are slow and feel hard. I keep telling myself taking the time off and running less is good for my body to heal, but getting my training back is hard.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Dad, your “Running Map” is priceless! You lightened my heavy thoughts with hearty laughter 🙂 🙂 🙂

    After my right knee started crying out with pain, I stopped walking outdoors and bought DVD exercise programs for indoor workouts. I don’t know what’s available in the UK, but I enjoy Leslie Sansone’s walking workouts. Check it out online. There are lots of other programs available that may appeal to you more.

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  3. It’s as good a piece of artwork as some of the so-called modern masters’ art that I have seen in galleries. Maybe you should take a few minutes to see if you can see any particular shapes in it–like picking pictures out of the clouds–then you could name it. I can actually see a dog’s head with a long snout.

    I’m so glad we don’t have restrictions that severe. One fellow in our church runs many KM every day. I went to visit a friend yesterday and we sat under a huge tree in the park across from where she lives. It was a beautiful sunny day with quite a brisk breeze and we sat for about 2 1/2 hours just chatting and enjoying the weather. I hope this lock-down will end for you sooner than the date now set.

    I love your photo. I can imagine myself walking (definitely not running) down that road on a warm summer day. Just dreaming…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I hope you are able to get back to your distance runs soon. It’s good for the mental health. That run route reminds me me of what my thought patterns would look like these days! 🙄

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  5. Okay the route is indeed a game. Lol. I am proud of the dad that you are. And the fact that you are doing so much to stay sane. It’s not easy especially for someone who has lost a loved one. I also lost my dad and it really changed a whole lot about who I am. Today marks another year since he died. But I told myself enough of the sadness and pain. I am going to keep celebrating his life ever after death. I am sorry you had to go through all that you did. And I hope you don’t have to feel alone through it all. But the good thing is you have a good memory about the run, and that’s something to hold on to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How many times did you run around your garden!? 😮 Hehe. I hope you do get to go for your long runs again. Isolation is a hard one. It’s so hard on the mental health for sure. Prayers are most certainly going up for this matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend. I had a round go at working the garden Laps out and it was something like 300…. I guess with sons phobias at the moment, I really can’t see much happening before September. But there is always hope. Are you getting out for exercise.


      1. At the moment my exercise is light until I completely heal from my surgery, but I am getting out for walks. Today has been a tired day, but I will be up and moving around more in no time.

        Liked by 1 person

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