Coming back from a layoff is painfully slow. On the plus side, this is not an injury layoff, so there are no phantom pains and the ever present fear of re-injury that comes with those. My hip - was that a twinge in my hip? Did my hamstring just pull again? I could keep this list going for a while.
Happily, nope. None of that. Just slow, plodding, one foot in front of the other re-building the old leg and heart and lung muscles so I can call myself a runner again. So I can leave the thoughts of how to turn in my IRUN26.2 vanity license plate since I can't run marathons anymore. Double digits seem like a long ways out from where I sit today.
And where do I sit today? At the dining room table, which is my office since the middle of March. My latest puzzle, a 2,000 piece of Van Gogh's Starry Night lays on the other side of my TV screen/computer monitor. I'll leave it there for a couple of days as a tribute to the 49 hours I spent putting it together over the last two weeks.
Officially started running again two weeks ago, on the 12th of June. That was a 2-1/4 mile, 9 and a half minute pace struggle. But better than the run before that, when I was still a walking covid-19 case. (2 miles at 10 and a half). Nice to breathe normally for the first time in a couple of months. Since then, I've kept it to 2 miles except for last Saturday and Monday, when I did 3. Have to remember how long it takes to get back everything I've lost. I'm encouraged by how the paces are improving, getting back into the neighborhood where 9 minutes is an easy run. Monday's 3 featured two good splits - 8:40 and 8:30.
I've done a few morning runs, thanks to the short mileage and my old man's inability to sleep much past 5:00 am, in addition to my daily work commute being the 12 feet from the kitchen to the dining room. More than enough time to do a couple of miles, cool off and shower before heading to the office.
The advice to new runners is always to expect 6-8 weeks before you feel the benefits of running and things start to feel good. Same with runners who are just out of shape. I've done this many, many times and will likely do so again.
I'm also fortunate that I hadn't signed up or even planned on any races this year, except the one marathon in May. The way things look around the country, fall will probably be a zero in the race calendar and next spring isn't a sure bet, either. I expect that virtual racing will be the norm for some time to come. What will that do for my 50-state quest?
If all races become virtual, do I register for one in each of my states and run from home? I think I need to actually run IN the state for it to count. So then do I register, travel to anywhere in that state and count it? For example, would I sign up for Chicago and run a virtual marathon in Joliet?
I imagine someone (several someone's) will find a way to survive and thrive in the marathon making business even with the realities of the post-covid world.
Stay healthy, my friends.