It is exactly a year since Shingles wiped out my 2019 race season, when I was forced to transfer all events to 2020 only for COVID-19 to cancel 2020.
From my last post I was just getting back on track and into the Groove of training for ironman Copenhagen until COVID-19 made its entrance into the world and stopped life as we knew it.
My ironman Copenhagen September to August wall planner is littered with X’s for cancelled events due to C-19, a few event organisers have optimistically set new autumn dates while others have abandoned 2020 altogether and plan to run the events in 2021. Deleted all training plans from Training Peaks as my falling fitness score was a depressing reminder of another vanishing race season. After a couple of weeks of lost mojo I came around to adjusting to the new conditions and rules of C-19. By not having a training plan or races ahead there was an immediate lack of pressure, and I actually saw a reversal in fitness and activities – I did activities because I wanted to. Using my daily exercise to combine running with walking the dog.
While national dialogue has been replaced with “unprecedented times, pandemic, furloughed, corona virus, vaccines, Stay at Home, NHS hero’s, keyworkers, daily death rates, messages from the Queen, Downing Street briefings, Work from home”, we all need to listen, apply and above all stay safe.
I’m 7 weeks in to self isolation (high risk group due to asthma) and have worked from home for 8 weeks already. For me working from home and being safe at home has been an easy transition. I work in the digital marketing world and have always said I could do my job anywhere as long as I have internet and coffee. I have a ‘home’ office set up and hubbie that does the weekly food shopping. I haven’t left the house since March 16th.
Yes life has changed – daily video huddle Team calls at work allow us to connect more than ever. Facebook ‘live’ exercise classes with our favourite teachers. Gym has given us LesMills On-demand access for home workouts and Joe Wicks is doing his bit for the nation on YouTube. Video chats with friends and family keep us up to date on daily life.
Structure and boundaries are the key for me, separating work and home life when you are working from home is a must, otherwise you end up working all hours with no down time especially as my colleagues cover a 12 hour time zone.
As I say I have a home office set up – separate room in the house, desk, 2 screens, laptop, docking station, internet connection and countryside views. My only hiccup has been a couple of power cuts when we had really bad weather, but only lasted for a hour each time – joys of rural life.
Working days are more intense as the demand for digital marketing increases to communicate with our customers – webinars, newsletters, emails, social media all ramped up – done more in 4 months that whole of 2019. So its important to shut off the laptop & phone at weekends and holidays to recharge and stop burn out.
It is the home part of life that adds the structure and answer to “What day is it again?” that I hear my hubbie asking ! Whilst gym access and classes are not possible ‘live’ BodyPump, turbo and runs can be planned on set days.
I’ve completed a few weekend virtual triathlons (duathlons- run|bike |run) and virtual runs, not for the medals, t-shirts but for the personal satisfaction and sense of purpose to the limited training that is still available.
Group chats, quizzes, and 1:2:1 keep us connected with friends, family and new online groups. TikToc has become my new lockdown vice for entertainment !
Missing swimming the most, by now I should have ventured to the lakes, complained my wetsuit has shrunk again over winter and splashed about in the clear waters of the Cotswold lakes. The first of the season open water triathlon was planned for next weekend.
Home fitness is good and I am lucky to have farm, footpaths, fields and hills for running all within 2 mile radius. A basic ancient turbo for my road bike that I set up on the patio for a quite realistic ride as very wobbly. A random selection of weights, barbell and dumbbells which cover most requirements. Unlimited LesMills and BodyCoach YouTube online workouts. Plus daily dog walks with Jango are highlights of both our days.
So whilst the endurance long runs and rides and swimming are not part of my new ‘none training plan’ there is a chance to focus on high intensity – hill reps & RPM and strength training with BodyPump and I’m following Joe Wicks #28 Days of Sweat in May.
This new Home Office & Home Fitness set up is likely to be my new norm for the foreseeable. I don’t need to travel to an office to work although I am missing the Nespresso coffee machine, and I can keep fit at home as long as I limit the Jaffa cakes and ‘snacks’ and remind myself I am not fuelling for 15-20 hour training weeks !
I am thankful for technology and the digital age as Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Live, ZOOM, TEAMS are all great way of staying connected and fit for our lifeline at the moment. OK not the same as face to face and hugs, but will it ever be again? but if crews in the International Space Station can stay in orbit for a year at a time, then us on earth can do too for a few months, plus we have access to fresh air and fresh food.
So many things on hold that I wont take for granted in the future from freedom of movement, meeting friends and family, paddle boarding, swimming, holiday travel, coffee and cake & bike rides, races & events. But we can adapt and enjoy what we are able to do at home and keep safe.
Stay Safe – Stay Home – Stay Connected for as long as it takes.