The after-effects of Covid-19 linger far longer than the symptoms. I anticipated my HR to be elevated higher than normal this week and sure enough, it was. My aerobic fitness took what I only hope is a temporary hit. I ended up taking deliberate rest in the second half of the week, since it just seemed like I was not quite physically or mentally ready to run again.
I admittely was frustrated and discouraged at how much fitness I lost to Covid-19. Just about a month ago, I ran 16 miles at the end of a 45-mile week. This week, I struggled to run 3 miles.
Monday: Rest day
I took Isla on a short walk in the stroller. It was a beautiful sunny morning!
Tuesday: 3 mile run
This run was slow for me – a 10:05/mile average. My effort felt harder than that and my heart rate was noticeably higher (155 bpm). My breathing did not feel out of control; it was a disconnect between my lungs, heart, and muscles.
Wednesday: 3 mile run
This run went okay. It was super humid outside. Just like on Tuesday, I felt like I was running an 8:00 pace, not the 10:00/mile I was running.
Thursday: 3 mile walk
I had a ton of anxiety on Wednesday, which caused a poor night’s sleep. I worried a lot about whether running would ever feel normal again after Covid. This is not like recovering from the flu or a cold. News stories focused on the myocarditis risks of Covid and I became worried about having it despite not having any symptoms of heart inflammation. I felt an anxiety attack come on: acclerated heart rate, tightness in my throat, mild shortness of breath, a sense of overwhelm, irritability/anger about getting Covid, and fear of never being normal again.
My heart rate was elevated all day, so I opted to walk instead of run. I tried a short run interval and my heart rate shot up. So instead, I just walked.
Friday: 3K hike
I spoke with my doctor about my post-covid anxiety and how my runs were feeling. My blood pressure was through the roof, as I was still feeling the same sense of anxiety and panic from the day before. My doctor prescribed the same medication I took before having Isla, since the hormones that cause irregular cycles can sometimes also cause anxiety. She recommended scaling back on running and informed me that it may take up to eight weeks to feel normal again. She recommended yoga or pilates and meditation for coping with anxiety, as well as walks until I’m able to handle running better.
Ryan took the day off of work for my birthday. We enjoyed a leisurely 45-minute hike around a local park. This was such a lovely, relaxing hike – so relaxing that Isla fell asleep in the Osprey carrier!
Saturday: 20 min yoga & 2 mile hike
During naptime, I pulled up a short Yoga with Adriene flow video. I had not practiced yoga in years. This video felt physically rejuvenating and mentally relaxing.
We took another short hike in the evening. I carried Isla in the backpack. I was pleased with how my heart rate was lower on this hike – even with a 25-lb baby on my back – than it had been on recent flat walks. I interpret that as a sign of improvement with Covid recovery!
Sunday: 15 min yoga
I completed another short Yoga with Adriene video. We spent most of the prepping for Isla’s first birthday party: baking the cake (which will be frozen until the party), cleaning, and building cornhole boards.
How was your week in running?
Do you frequently practice yoga?