Personally, this is my first year taking part as my usual running calendar comprises of a goal marathon in the April and the thought of running 3 figure mileage in May isn’t normally too far up the priority list, but this year is different.
Covid-19 has stripped us of all our competitive races for the short and possibly medium term , we are relying on our own running clubs or our social media network to keep us engaged due to the uncertainty of when life will return to something that will resemble normality.
I would say I’m not someone that has suffered with mental health issues, but I am an adult and have had to deal with and dealt with many things over my life that have given me ups and down throughout my life.
Miles for mind represents for me a community coming together and supporting a challenge, whether that be 25 miles or up to 200 miles, whilst also raising awareness and supporting the charity Mind. It is ensuring I stick to getting out the door regularly and lacing up and keeping me accountable to the miles and the medal, its keeping me feeling productive and that I’m progressing weekly and that I’m apart of a collective doing something good, and that by signing up the profits from the sale go straight to the charity and onto the front line to those who need the support most.
Getting out the door is not always the easiest and, in these times where in most cases we are often left wondering why and what’s the point? I think the Miles for mind challenge gives me certainly a sense of purpose. I have running goals that will carry on into the rest of the year and beyond but focusing on the here and now is what will enable me to hit those goals later in the future.
Whilst we have no races penned in and the plans for the future seem to be changing on a daily basis and what we read from our latest friends social media updates blurring our prospective even further I think for me you can only control what you can control, for me that’s eating, drinking, resting well and ensuring I get regular fresh air in accordance with the latest guidelines and work towards hitting my Miles for Mind May target of 150 miles.
There are around 6500 entrants but many more people around us who use exercise as a form of release, a chance to clear the mind and forget about the day, or gain clarity upon a situation, I often have my most productive (or down right weird) thoughts whilst out running, would I change it? Absolutely not!
Running has given me a great deal and every chance I get to give something back, put my hand back to help someone along. Offering a few kind words can change the outlook on, a run, a day, a week, a month, a year, a life!
Time to go for that run……