On more than one occasion, I have had to stop running. This was always due to either illness or injury. At least since I completed the couch-to-5k program during lockdown in Warsaw. After arriving in Scotland, I suddenly found myself with an unexplained, sprained ankle. I still don't know how or when it actually happened. It wasn't while out on a run.
When it came time to start running again, I always had this fear:
'How much fitness have I lost? How much of a setback is this? Do I need to start my training over from the start?'
It's frustrating. To have done so much work only to be forced to come to a complete stop. All momentum gone, entropy taking over to ensure that getting moving again will feel as tough as possible.
When I tested positive for Covid, I was halfway through my marathon training (a marathon which has since been cancelled...). I had just run a half-marathon as part of said training. There was a lot of momentum built up. Only to have it come to a complete standstill. No running. Trouble breathing. Muscle soreness and weakness. It was a burden just to sit at my desk and do work there.
With something like Covid, there's an additional fear. How long will it take for me to get back to where I was before? Will that ever happen?
I'm so grateful that I was only out of commission for two weeks. I went for a run this week and was able to sustain it, despite the crazy winds, for a full 30 minutes. By the end, it was really tough. I'm not anywhere close to being ready to handle my long runs again.
But at least I know that as I get back to things, I'm not starting from scratch.