As the weeks go by, I can’t help but lose motivation. More and more races, some planned for October, are being cancelled. The future of big events seems very uncertain. In the running community, it is being discussed whether we will see races take place before next year.
For now, the organisers of the Ring of Steall Skyrace still plan to go ahead with the event. Whether that will actually happen is quite unsure. After all, the Berlin marathon, originally set to take place a week later, has been cancelled. For the London Marathon, set to take place 2 weeks later, it is being discussed that only elite athletes may run. While other countries have published dates until which mass events including sporting events are being cancelled, the UK has not done that, further adding to the uncertainty.
With that in mind, it currently feels like I’m training for something that may not take place after all. That is a frustrating situation. I am struggling to find the motivation to do a hard intervall session or hill sprints that make my quads burn. Mostly, I run leisurely along the coastal path around Boarhills. I still appreciate having this beautiful piece of nature closer to my front door than a paved road, but I also long to go into the mountains. I’ve seen that feeling being called “hill-sick”. Quite accurate, I’d say. I feel hill-sick.
While I’m still staying off the hills, I’m planning for after the lockdown. I have taken out my maps and started to make plans for one or two day running trips. Once the lockdown is in the past, I will definitely go to the Lomond Hills regional Park again. And I will go to the Cairngorms. I’ve mapped out two routes around Lochnagar.
One is a 30k single-day trip including an easy scramble up the Stuic Buttress. The other one is a 60k route over two days, with a night in a bothy. Bothies are empty, simple shelters dotted throughout the Scottish highlands, unlocked and available at no charge. When staying in a bothy, you should just follow the Bothy Code. The bottom line of that is: Respect others, the bothy, the surrounding, restrictions on number and so on.
For now, this keeps my happy enough. With the suggested “traffic light system” to ease out of lockdown, I might be able to travel again in June. While I certainly hope for it, it is impossible to say whether that will actually happen or whether we’ll see a massive increase in new Covid-19 cases and a new lockdown. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment by expecting day trips and weekends away to recommence soon. Until then, I’ll just keeping running the same paths and planning adventures for the future. Maybe I’ll actually find t he motivation to push myself a bit more when and end of lockdown is in sight.