Reflections on social distancing

My lovely UK-based running friend Katha, who has contributed so many guest posts to this blog, has written us another post.

This one is truly from the heart, a lovely bittersweet reflection on what social distancing means.

But before I share Katha’s thoughts, I also wanted to recount something of my own.

By & large, the 3 week lockdown here in India hasn’t really “got” to me.

We are safe, we are healthy, we have a roof over our head and food to eat, and as I have told you before here in this blog, I even have place to exercise.

But 2 days ago, I woke up very, very early, long before sunrise and my immediate , instinctive still-half-asleep-thought was “Ooh, brilliant, I’m going to head off to the Biodiversity Park and run, before it gets too hot”.

The next moment, reality struck.

We are under lockdown, so no running outdoors for me, just up and down our driveway – and for that space, I am truly grateful. Don’t get me wrong.

But for a split second, I felt so sad that I couldn’t go outside.

So Katha’s post resonates.

It’s not about running this time, but cycling (this gal is a triathlete folks!) but the sentiments of missing friends remains.

Over to Katha:

“It was a gorgeous spring day—yet again.

And I decided to cycle along the coast—yet again, only this time, longer.

Up to Blackpool Tower and back.

I wanted to take a photo of the comedy carpet for Christine’s blog of course, thinking of ‘laughter is the best medicine’ kind of story/caption.

But the ride was far from enjoyable. There was no reason for it not to be.

The weather was perfect (sunny and warm), traffic was sparse, the route is scenic and it wasn’t a hardcore training ride.

But I wasn’t beaming.

I realised what was amiss was company.

There was so much beauty all around, but simply no one to share it with.

I missed my cycling buddies immensely.

I’m part of a ‘ladies social cycling group’ comprising mostly of members of our Ribby Hall Tri Club, though guests are welcome. The group meets every Thursday for long bike rides, with an even longer cafe stop!

We cycle for hours, then natter endlessly.

We joke, we laugh, we share our worries and celebrate happy occasions. (Christine, just like our Couch-to-6k group.)

If it wasn’t for their support, I would have never even contemplated doing the coast-to-coast ride last year, leave aside completing it.

Naturally, all those memories of cycling with them on this route—stopping at Wetherspoons for a coffee (and banter) on a bitterly cold winter morning, enjoying a lazy summer brunch sat outside at a beach cafe, riding in pairs (more natter) when possible, taking turns to draft, looking out for each other, cheering aloud at St Anne’s Triathlon (which is part of the route)… came rushing back and made me painfully nostalgic.

Social distancing is probably starting to affect me.

The fact that I may not see my friends (and family) in the foreseeable future is probably starting to sink in.

I will not let it get better of me though.

Because there’s so much to look forward to.

Like someone on the group pointed out, ‘we’ll be giddy on that first group ride, we’ll need a full day’. We will indeed. Can’t wait for it!

Be safe, stay well, and keep in touch with everyone that matters.”

The Comedy carpet is an urban artwork on Blackpool Promenade

Katha, I’m sending you long distance hugs from locked-down India.

Enjoy your outings, your runs and your rides outdoors in the beautiful spring weather.

Lockdown gives you cabin fever 🙁 so for those of us in lockdown, glimpses of the beautiful outdoors are precious.


PS: the Couch to 6k group Katha refers to, is where it all started.

A super group of women, all of us novices, and we went from zero to running a 6km race in 10 weeks, and they still remain my core cheerleaders 🙂


  1. Dedicated to BLADES: Julie Gaukrodger, Jennifer Stanners, Bernadette Mooney, Lisa Minns, Louise Shaw, Clare Batson, Ali Barratt, Jeannie Alice Eason Gillanders, Fiona Frise, Annie Ward, Miranda Smith, Michelle Cole, Rosie Posie Burnett Julie Hall, julie collins, Ruth Mason, Dawn Bloor
    Missing cycling with you guys xx


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