2021 started just as most of 2020 had ended – with a lot of uncertainty! With Covid cases still rising, would we be able to get back to races this year? Would parkrun come back?
I started training for Newport marathon on 4th January, ready for the race on 18th April, but I knew it would be a miracle if it went ahead. It was postponed two weeks later.
I was also booked in for the Tewkesbury half marathon and Cheltenham Challenge half marathon, both in May, the Cheltenham half marathon in September and the Stroud half marathon in October. The Tewkesbury half marathon was cancelled again and Cheltenham Challenge went virtual. I was rather underwhelmed by the idea of a virtual half marathon, but decided to do it because it’s for charity. Stroud half marathon was the same day as Newport marathon, so I ended up missing that one too.
It was announced in March that parkrun would return on 5th June. Then it was announced on 21st May that it was delayed again, until 26th June, as not enough landowners had given permission for it to return. The landowners gave permission for 26th, but then the government’s lifting of the final Covid restrictions was delayed, so it got pushed back again – to 24th July.
I realise that the reason I was able to run so far in 2020 was because there was nothing else to do! While running is always a priority for me, as life began to get back to something approaching normal in May 2021, I realised I couldn’t always run five times a week and I couldn’t always run 10 miles on a Sunday. Usually I ended up dropping a midweek run and moving the Sunday run to a Saturday, but I was definitely running slightly less.
In July, my husband and I started training for Newport marathon again. We hoped that this time it really would happen. In the end, it only happened for me, as my husband got Covid literally the day before.
So how far did I run in 2021?
- In January I ran 22 times and covered 120 miles
- In February I ran 19 times and covered 99 miles
- In March I ran 21 times and covered 114 miles
- In April I ran 21 times and covered 107 miles
- In May I ran 18 times and covered 108 miles (including Cheltenham Challenge virtual half marathon)
- In June I ran 19 times and covered 104 miles
- In July I ran 18 times and covered 93 miles (including Gloucester 10k)
- In August I ran 22 times and covered 150 miles (the second furthest I’ve ever run in a month, beaten only by March 2019)
- In September I ran 18 times and covered 136 miles (including Cheltenham half marathon)
- In October I ran 19 times and covered 140 miles (including Newport marathon)
- In November I ran 20 times and covered 104 miles
- In December I ran 18 times and covered 104 miles
So that’s a total of 235 runs and 1379 miles. I ran 65 miles further than I did in 2020, although I did four less runs.
2021 was by far my greatest running distance in a year. When I first started tracking my mileage in 2016, I did 705 miles in a year. My distance gradually increased in 2017 and 2018, before increasing dramatically in 2019, when I did my first marathon.
My plans for 2021 are to run Manchester marathon, hopefully run all of my favourite half marathons (Cheltenham, Stroud and Tewkesbury) and to finally make it to my 250th parkrun!