Now then. How are we all? Still alive, are we? We are all doing fine here in Grayshott. Now that I no longer work, my daily routine hasn’t been altered too drastically by Coronavirus. I am not too worried about catching anything for my own sake but I have to be a bit careful on account of my elderly father with whom I share a house. He will be celebrating his 90th birthday in September and we’d really like him to reach that milestone. In the meantime, I can catch up on my household chores, wander down to the village to collect supplies and get out each day for a gentle run. I am not alone in this. I can safely say that I have never seen as many people out running as in the last few weeks. I usually head out over Hindhead Common, huffing and puffing, trying to make a big detour around any other person out walking and silently cursing those families who walk line abreast along the path and make it difficult to get by!
Mind you, it has not been easy. I am 63 now and so I can’t claim to be middle-aged any more. I am just plain old! My body reminds me of this fact on a daily basis. I am still struggling a bit with my right arm, which I broke in January. The bone has healed again but it is taking its time to regain full mobility. It still aches intermittently and wakes me up at night if I roll over on to my right side. The doctors spoke of six to nine months for full recovery so, even in the best-case scenario, I’ve got another three months of this.
I was supposed to be running around the streets of London this morning along with 40,000 others in the London Marathon. Could I have completed the race if it had been held today? Well probably yes. Just about. It would have been very slow and would have required walking breaks but I think I could have got round. I am very thankful however that it has been postponed until October. Hopefully my arm will be fully healed and I will be a lot fitter and able to run a decent time. Having run in the first London Marathon in 1981, I was keen to make it to the fortieth edition. I also wanted to add a sixth decade to my career of marathon running. This afternoon they showed highlights of the first London Marathon on the BBC and you can still watch it on iplayer. If you want to see me in action, skip forward to 25:25. You’ll see Joyce Smith running down past Tower Bridge alongside a small group of male runners. A few yards behind this little group is me! https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hrf7/the-1981-london-marathon-an-historical-first
It’s not entirely certain that the race will take place, even in October. The organisers are currently planning for a normal race but acknowledge that they might have to scale it down, or reduce it to an elite only race or just leave it until 2021. Whatever happens, it will possibly be my last marathon, at least for a while. I did have a vague distant ambition to run in the fiftieth London Marathon in 2030, but I will be 73 then and I don’t know what state I will be in.
I have one more running ambition and that is to get my total of parkrun venues up to 250 (currently on 217) That should be perfectly achievable as all you have to do is turn up and trot round. I can still manage that at 63 with a wonky arm! I’m not sure when parkrun is going to resume though. They have cancelled up to the end of May and I’d be surprised if they started again in June. There are far greater priorities at the moment - people’s jobs and education. We shall see.
Well that’s me up to date. I shall report in again when there’s something to report … though it looks like that may take a while!
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