This morning I ran my 138th and final run of the year, signing off with a Parkrun, an appropriately life-affirming way to finish up alongside several hundred others in the damp December cold of South Birmingham.
Along canal paths and pavements, through parks and suburban streets, I’ve run 544mi this year, over twice my previous best. In a weird year, it’s been a constant positive; as much mental as physical health-giving. I’ve stayed free of injury, learned a bit more about what my body can do and what my mind needs.
One of the things I’ve come to treasure with running is its accessibility. That what counts as ‘running’ to me can be completely different to what counts as ‘running’ to you, and equally valid. Short/long, fast/slow, uphill/flat, social/solitary. It all counts. Running isn’t bound by rules in the same way as other sports. It’s just what you need it to be.
I’ve spent all year composing and deleting tweets, feeling ever less confident contributing to social media. Strava is the exception. For all its faults, it’s the least performative, most supportive network I have. And I’ve loved charting my own progress but even more quietly cheering on the efforts of others. (If we know each other in real life, this is me on Strava)
For now, it’s time for a few days rest, and to figure out how to run 2020.