In Lockdown With Bella is a new series of blogs from members of Bellahouston Harriers aimed at providing an insight into running life during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this first blog entry, Katy Smith describes how some nearby trails are serving as substitute for some of her more cherished running routes, vice-president Katherine Hylands gives an update on her home workout challenge, and Laura Ritchie provides her assessment of the newest event on Glasgow's parkrun circuit...
By Katy Smith
We might be denied the chance to lose ourselves in the splendour of Scotland’s mountains however, Covid 19 has taught me one thing; to appreciate what is on your doorstep. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and circumstances have involved us all seeking trails, closer to home than we are usually to be found. I wouldn’t have thought that the east end of Glasgow could afford me a couple of hours on the trails with virtually no concrete but I stand corrected. Less than a mile from my house (right opposite the Vue cinema at the Fort), there’s a path that leads you into some trails and open fields. There is no discernible path at times and the fun is in negotiating your own route.
I ran from Easterhouse, out to Drumpelier park and onto Gartcosh Village (the old Gartloch hospital) with almost no road. You don’t have the hilly, technical terrain of the West Highland Way but I’ve found something near to home for which I’m very grateful.
By Katherine Hylands
The following comes with a disclaimer that I have no running or coaching qualifications, and make no claims that this is sound advice!
When I knew that "lockdown" was bearing down upon us, I feared we were heading the way of Spain where we wouldn't even be allowed outside for our daily exercise, and I began to think of what I would be able to do at home. Aside from a couple of resistance bands and some tins of beans, my gym equipment was non-existent, so body-weight exercises it would have to be. I felt it would be a good time to dedicate some attention to that strength and conditioning which, despite my best efforts, probably doesn't get as much of my time as it should.
And so my idea of a press-up challenge began. For years I couldn't do a single press-up, but after a running injury forced me into the gym - and with the help of a reliable gym buddy - I managed to crack it. For months, though, I couldn't do more than 10 in a row.
My challenge was this - start on day 1 with the number of consecutive press-ups you can comfortably do, and add one per day for every day of isolation. Now that we're 4 weeks in, some might say I hadn't quite thought this through.
Anyway, I started with 10, and like all good challenges, roped in some friends to keep me company. I'm so impressed with how everyone has persevered, even if it is sometimes quite late in the day when we get them done - often after dinner and maybe even a few refreshments! We message our group chat daily with the number we have done, which serves as a useful motivator and reminder. Of course there's some chat in there too. We also talk strategies... the latest is about how you count it. I've reached 40 - is it easier to count 20-10-5-5, or 10-10-10-10? With the Government's latest but not unexpected announcement, I'm a little concerned about what lies ahead, but even if we are not adding to our consecutive number, everyone has committed to doing their daily press-ups one way or another!
It's never too late to start....
By Laura Ritchie
Mansionhouse parkrun event #2 review (I obviously didn't want to publicise the inaugural)
Volunteers: the turn marshal was excellent, unwavering if a little wooden. I was impressed to see the new pink marshal vests. The Run Director on the other hand refused to wear his vest, didn't give a run brief, wandered all over the course and was really more interested in posing...
Course: very flat, approx 1/3 grass, 1/3 tarmac, 1/3 stones. I don't mind a lapped course but I did find 90 laps a little boring - and you have to count your own! It measures pretty short but I have been assured it has been accurately measured. Its elevation provides a lovely view, apparently on a good day you can see Ben Lomond.
Would I recommend? I can't underestimate the convinence factor...