Updated: Sep 25, 2020
It has been a challenge getting my groove back following the Covid-19 lock-down. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get back to where I was just one year ago.
Last August I ran my fastest half-marathon in over a decade at Arugambay. And then in October, I narrowly missed a sub-four hour marathon in Bangalore, India (I ran 42.2 km in 3:59; however, I was still 400 meters short of the finish line … and a “marathon” is start to finish, doesn’t matter that I didn’t find the shortest path).
And then, early December, I pulled a calf muscle while training for the Chennai Marathon four weeks later in early January. I was able to recover enough to “run” the marathon and get the medal, but there was no “racing” that day, just finish ….
Eight weeks later, by the end of February, the calf was recovered and strong enough to start working on speed again … and then mid-March, the global Covid-19 pandemic reached Sri Lanka and the country went into “curfew” and/or lock-down for the next three months. Two of those months, I only managed to log a bit more than 40 km for the entire month! Yes, fitness suffered, and at 60 years of age, fitness suffered A LOT.
Coming out of lock-down was like starting over in many respects. 5 km runs felt like 10K’s; 10 km runs felt like a half-marathon; anything further just “hurt”.
My previous post discussed the CCR/CNR virtual 10K and Half-marathon race at the end of July … and that got me through the 10 km “barrier”; however, I still continued to struggle with anything beyond seven or eight km. Prior to the lock-down, an easy 10 km run was just that … EASY! My legs did not complain and I never gave the distance a second thought. But after the lock-down those 10 km runs were challenging. My legs would tire around the seven km point and the remainder of the run was not “fun”; the struggle was real.
I took some comfort in the fact that I was not the only one feeling this way; I had several conversations with other CNR folks who mentioned the same challenges in getting back into the runs. So, I had faith in my training and pushed on, knowing that with each completed run, my fitness had to be improving (although the Garmin algorithms often labeled my efforts as “Unproductive” …).
Today, for the first time since pre-Covid lock-down, I actually enjoyed a long run (15 km). Today, my legs did not complain after seven km; in fact, I had a noticeable spring in my step well past 12 km. I am hoping that I have finally broken through that rough patch, getting back into running, finding my groove. Today I was "there" ... my pace is still off, but that will come next.