So here we are with just days of February remaining – because of my solid January start it doesn’t matter as far as the overall picture goes that my February runs have been fewer and further between. Spring is almost upon us and when the mornings get lighter it usually puts a… spring in my step. Yes, I really went there.
I know I’m not the only one who occasionally sees how far others are ahead and feels like I need to pull my socks up but that’s the beauty of virtual running. It’s your race – if you feel inspired to try and climb the leaderboard you can. If you want to take a week off and then try to build up again it doesn’t matter. If anyone is completely honest, apart from those few who genuinely love running in bad weather, it’s far nicer to run in some gentle sunshine on a spring evening than it is to trudge round the streets in the freezing rain on a dark winter night. When spring arrives each evening will be a little bit lighter, each run will see more colours added to the spring palette of flowers and butterflies, swallows in the sky, lambs in the fields. With all of that to enjoy an extra mile or two won’t seem like a chore.
When evening comes you can check your place on the map. End to End have absolutely smashed it with this element – the geek I was in school has returned with the force of 101 dalmatians! I love checking out where I am, noticing amusing place names I never have before, or perhaps a few I’ve seen on road signs when driving down towards Cornwall. I’m currently in Somerset and soon will be heading up towards Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol. The sun should be out when I get there and that long struggle up the M5 and M6 will seem like a battle that will just take time to win. Will I get to Scotland before the summer? Will I be finished completely by the end of June?
All of this lies ahead, and when I’m done there are a number of other challenges to choose from. Another of my favourite things about the Facebook group is seeing other’s progress along Route 66, The South West Coast Path or the Wales Coast Path and thinking ahead to future challenges. No matter how far we progress back towards normal these virtual challenges will be no less appealing. It adds a massively fun element to your existing running endevaours whether you’re running with the challenge in mind, training for a race or just running when you feel like it. What’s more, you get a medal and t-shirt at the end. You can never own too many t-shirts when you ruin so many through all this exercise and the medal will bring back memories of runs you enjoyed along the way. Hopefully everyone else is finding the whole process as enjoyable as me.