Last Thursday I ran for the first time in two and a half weeks and I didn’t fully realise why until I started to run.
I put it down to a myriad of things at the time; blisters from my 112km walk as part of the Virtual Race to the Stones, going back into the office for work and a busy personal life. It wasn’t until I started my run and allowed my mind to wander did the real reason bubble to the surface:
Last week I should have started my 20 marathons in 20 days challenge.
For those of you that are new to reading my blog or have stumbled here by complete accident and have no idea what I am going on about this year I set myself the massive task of running 20 marathons all around the UK in 20 days in aid of the mental health charity Mind. The aim was to get as many people together in the towns and cities I would running the marathons in and create our own mini events through these amazing places around the UK. But then Covid swarmed in and, just like so many other parts of our lives now, my 20 in 20 challenge was cancelled. It wasn’t a hard decision to make at the time, of course I couldn’t travel to all these places and run with all these amazing people now but I never dealt with the loss of it. This incredible challenge, that I had spent well over a year working on, went overnight and I completely ignored dealing with it.
It’s why I subconsciously made excuse after excuse not to go out and do the thing I love, through fear of confronting it. But as I finally ran on that warm summer evening on Thursday I thought about where I should be running a marathon that day in a parallel world without Covid. I should have been running in Snowdonia, recreating the race I love so much which had also been cancelled recently. And just like the dam burst and the sadness and frustration of it all flooded my mind. Running has always forced me to face emotions, it’s one of the reasons I love it so much and why it has benefitted my mental health so much. That run was the perfect example of just that as I finally came to terms with what I had avoided for weeks.
It feels selfish and egotistical to mourn something of my own making in a world full of loss and yet as I came to a grinding halt during the run I did just that. Sweat and tears interwoven, many miles from home and many more from normality.
I know some day and in some way I will do this challenge but just for now I’ll look back and mourn the what if.