Lockdown life

The lockdown has been pretty great for me if I’m honest because it finally gave me the time to sort out my plants. I am actually getting towards the end of my plant todo list, which is amazing, really. Were it not for the lockdown, I’d be spending my weekend afternoons wandering around parks and sitting in coffee shops and not doing anything at home. It’s been a nice change of pace.

I haven’t sacrificed my running at all though. When I was in good shape last year, I’d do Parkrun on a Saturday and intervals on a Wednesday. I’d be running every other day too, but those two days would be speed work. Without having done any speed work for months and months, I’ve been feeling slow lately. So last week I started back with interval Wednesdays. Intervals are a fun way to experience the joy of starting running all over again, in as much as by the end of the 5th interval you just try to avoid collapsing on the ground while thinking “oh my god, why am I doing this to myself?” as psople walk past you with a mild expression of concern on their face. No it’s alright, I’m doing this on purpose, you see. It’s hard to pace intervals.

This week I also added some 1km intervals onto the end of my Saturday long run. When Parkrun starts up again I want to be in PB shape. We’ll see. I have some pretty sensitive shin splints this evening though but they usually settle down as quickly as they appear, so hopefully they will do that again this time.

I was supposed to be doing a half marathon next Sunday, which obviously isn’t happening now, but I’m planning to run the distance just because. I won’t do it fast because for me the recovery from a race pace half is significant (unlike a 10k), but I just want to say I did it.

I’ve also been trying to get back into some strength work for running which at the moment just involves a few sets of squats. I think squats are an efficient way to hit your legs and hips and abs at once and hopefully even out any imbalances. Last week I fit them in before starting work (thanks to working from home and not having to commute). That’s another way the lockdown is a positive thing for me.

Actually I’m finding the lockdown quite relaxing. I see a lot of attention now in the media towards paying attention to one’s mental health in these stressful times, but for me at least, it’s been quite nice.


I was out running at lunch time in my almost deserted local park. In front of me there was a girl in her early 20s who was probably in the (surprisingly large) contingent of people who have just taken up running in the last couple of weeks.

She was on the right edge of the path, and coming the opposite way were an older couple (70s) who were on the left. This is a wide path, there’s ample room for people to pass in single file while maintaining ‘social distance’. So, did the couple move over onto the left? The (presumably) wife did, but the man had other ideas. He veered over to the right towards the running girl and said something aggressively to her which I didn’t quite catch, but the end of it sounded like “get over, bloody fiend”, while making a kind of swatting gesture in her face by swinging his arm as if to push her away. I presumed the context in his head was that he felt she was violating his “social distance”, though she really wasn’t.

By this time I was probably 10 metres behind her. She completely ignored him and just kept going (good choice). I was expecting something similar and as I was full of adrenaline I would have told him exactly what I thought. But then he probably guessed that from looking at me, and didn’t try anything with me. Which makes him a bully, only picking on people he doesn’t expect to retaliate.

A few seconds later the path forked, she went left and I went right and that was that. These things just happen so quickly, you don’t really process it at the time. I probably should have asked if she was OK but she might not have appreciated it.

I hope she’s not put off running again.