Running Post-Covid

by - Tuesday, January 17, 2023

It's been a little over a month since I first tested positive for Covid, and getting back to running has been kind of tough. 

I got pretty sick with Covid. I was in bed for two days straight, and then on day three and four, it felt like a real victory when I could venture downstairs to the sofa. I had a bad headache, horrible sinus congestion, a mild cough and major fatigue. 

I felt bad for a full week, and it took a solid two weeks for the fatigue to go away, and even then I got winded walking very short distances. 

After all the progress I'd been making in PT slowing building my running back up and getting my hip and hamstring to cooperate, it was so demoralizing to have all that wiped out by one really bad sickness. 


But alas, here we are. 

I attempted my first run about three weeks post-positive test. It was really painfully slow, and involved a lot of walking. Honestly, not really sure you could even call it a run. It was probably more of a walk with some running intervals mixed in. But it happened, and my hamstring was grouchy, but not as grouchy as my lungs. 

I gave myself some more time to recover before trying out a run again. 

The second time I went out was maybe four weeks post-positive test. It was a freakishly warm December day, and I was excited to be outside. But running was hard, and slow. But I did a bit more running than walking this time. It was a good baby step. 


As time has passed, I've tried to increase my number of runs from one per week to two per week. The first week I did that, the first run felt pretty good. But the second run a couple of days later was really hard. 

Just this past week, I ran three times and increased my distance to three miles on one of the runs. (I'd been sticking with a 2.5 mile loop for much of my PT recovery). My times are still really slow, between an 11 and 12 minute mile, and that is so humbling and really hard. When I first started running seriously back in college, I was clocking 12-minute miles. And after years of dedication and persistence, I'd settled in around a 9-9:30 minute mile. I'm no speed demon, but I always felt good about those times. 

To feel like I'm starting over again from the very beginning is just tough. I'm happy to be running, and I know with time my pace and endurance will come back. Right now, this feels like a crappy phase that I need to get through, and I know there's no way to rush it or else I'll just get another injury. 

So that's where things stand. Covid took a big toll on my running. I'm glad to be back to it, but it feels like I'm starting all over. 

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