I’ve always felt guilty that I’m not a social runner – but at least going solo is perfect for escaping Covid-19
FUCK SELF-ISOLATION: that was the unspoken message in the air around London’s open spaces yesterday.
I ran through three parks as I knocked out my Sunday 10-miler, and it looked like everyone in the city was outside with me, despite the Coronavirus.
Given some half decent weather for once, Londoners were seizing the chance to stretch their legs, and for some space and fresh air.
Kids, Mums, Dads, old folks, lovers and dogs – they were all out – along with runners. Dozens and dozens of runners.
It even felt a bit Blitz-Spirit-y, being out there mingling in the face of Covid-19.
‘Bring it on!’ said the dog walker, bending to bag a turd”
Bring it on! Said the business-as-usual body language of the dog walker bending to bag a freshly minted turd. London Can Take It! said every Dad standing his ground quietly against a toddler baying for ice cream.
But in the midst of all these heroes was a coward – and that coward was me.
Because, as I dodged and weaved through the throng – woolly gloves on despite the sunshine and maintaining a safe two metres at all times – I wasn’t being brave.
I’ve been drinking again, and had no option but to send myself on a punishment run
THE TONY ADAMS Memorial Eight Mile Race is not like other running events.
For a start, the Arsenal and England footballer it’s named after isn’t dead.
Also unlike other races, ‘The Adams’ doesn’t take place at a fixed time every year – but erupts across the athletic calendar on several random days, often in clusters, like zits on a sixteen-year-old’s chin.
And there is only ever one participant: me.
That’s because The Tony Adams Memorial Eight Miler takes place whenever I fall off the wagon and feel the need to punish myself.
It’s cold and dark, but if you can get outside and run… get outside and run!
Life’s not all that easy at the moment, here in the frozen North.
It’s not cold, cold. In fact, it’s not even frozen. But there was a thick frost on the roofs of the cars outside when we struggled up this morning.
It was still dark, and I was so tired that one massive yawn threatened to dislocate my jaw as I switched on the kettle for the day’s first invigorating cuppa.
I looked out onto the blackness of the garden, lamplight picking out the frost, and thought my first uncomfortable thoughts of the day – nothing too serious, just the sort of mental scabs I often pick at.
And then I thought: I don’t want a sad day today. I want a run.