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2023 in running: a miserable and magical year

9 December 2022

It’s been a funny old year. But haven’t they all been, lately? A journalist asked for some stats at work the other day and I had to write an email justifying why no two years are really comparable and then I stopped and thought: why am I doing this? Of course you can’t compare 2020 to 2021 to 2022. We’re living through a series of crises.

It has not been a vintage running year for me. I picked up a calf injury by pushing too hard in a 30k race in February, deferred my Brighton marathon place, trained fitfully over a hot summer, ran the Rutland marathon and did not enjoy it, then finally got Covid and missed the beginning of the cross-country season. My annual mileage is set to be my lowest for many years.

But, surprise! I still love running. When I have managed to get out for a run – even (especially?) the ones where I walked – I’ve loved it more than ever. The injury and Covid were rotten, but they made me appreciate running more. I missed being outside, covering ten miles with ease, and getting out of my head as well as the house.

I went part-time (if 4 days a week with some work on fridays really counts as part-time, which I would argue it does not) in March, with the intention of doing some creative writing on my day off. I’ve found it hard. Not working quite so much has been great, but it turns out that creativity is not a tap I can just turn on when I have a spare few hours. Also, there are a whole heap of other things I want to do with six hours to myself, and running is high on the list.

My best runs this year have been Friday morning runs. Some of them with Lazy Girl Laura, but most of them alone. Does running count as being creative? Maybe not, but it definitely does count as beautiful. I’ve shared some of my favourite running photos from the year in this blog. You can’t see me in any of the pictures, but I was there.

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