The Week After COVID


22 Feb – Monday

Today is my first day released back into the wild. And by “into the wild” I mean, I can get my own groceries and go into a restaurant to get my own pick up instead of requesting “no contact delivery.” That is my extent of going anywhere for now. And can I say, coincidence that today is National Margarita Day??

I celebrated by kicking my own ass before work with a workout that my friend Angie sent me over the past weekend. I’m glad I didn’t attempt it earlier than today, though. Because of my drained energy levels, I wouldn’t have gotten near the workout I did today which would have led to frustration that I couldn’t keep up with anything. I already cried during yoga last week when I couldn’t do down dog because of my sinus congestion which lead to a throbbing headache if my head was lower than my heart. I didn’t need to add to any frustrations by trying some workout I wasn’t ready for. So thank goodness for waiting. And lemme tell ya what… that was NOT easy! Squats, lunges, and burpees galore. The set up of the video was refreshing because you’re not getting talked at. At all. There’s music and a video inset in the corner of what’s coming next. If you’d like a new cardio workout to try, I highly recommend trying Growingannanas “30 MIN CALORIE KILLER HIIT Workout – Full body Cardio, No Equipment, No Repeat.” While doing 30 mins of squats and lunges was difficult, the cardio part of it was a little harder than usual.

I felt winded while doing this workout, but this was a tough workout. I should make note that my HR spiked to 152 multiple times during the workout. This is well within the normal range for me so I wasn’t all that worried, but still something I plan to keep track of. I need to go back and look at the other HIIT workouts to see where I was getting during those so I have some sort of reference.

I am curious to see how sore my legs will be tomorrow! But the real question now is how tired I will be later. I have noticed that I didn’t really feel all that affected during my workouts, but it’s later that I’m just completely wiped. I’m having trouble concentrating for longer periods on time at work, and I’m getting way more tired than I usually am. And for reference, I am notorious for standing at my desk for 6 hours before I realize what time it is, and I had zero trouble concentrating. I never really felt like I needed a break. But now, it’s like 2 hours, and I need to walk away. It’s frustrating not being able to just snap back to where I was and doing all the thing I’m used to doing.

23 Feb – tuesday

Ian and I stayed up late playing Risk last night, so now I feel like today won’t be a good judge of my tiredness. Especially because yesterday was National Margarita Day, so we definitely partook in that… more than once. And alcohol always disrupts my sleep. But today is the last day on the booze train, and I am back to my no drinking streak. I went almost 3 months without drinking and ended it around Christmas, so it’s time to stop drinking again.

My legs didn’t really feel too sore. I mean, I could tell that I worked out, but it wasn’t a “I need to use the sink to stand up from the toilet” kind of sore. I am not going to lie, it is always disappointing not getting sore after a workout, but then I know it is a good indication to switch up what I’m doing and/or add some weight to it.

Today was also my first run back post-COVID! I couldn’t resist waiting to run until over lunch, though instead of the morning. 40 degrees! In Wisconsin! In February? Say what what?! It was sunny and I was feelin great. My plan was to do somewhere between 2-3 miles without a pace in mind and no real goal in mind other than to just see how I felt and go for it. And that I did! I didn’t even really notice my pace until I was at 2.8 miles when I felt a little heavy in the lungs and my HR was elevated to 189. Oops. I went back to check previous runs at that pace. I was keeping somewhere between 140-150 average for the run with a spike or two up to 160. So to see 189 I knew it was a bit high. Now that could be because of COVID. It could be because I took some time off running. It could be because of who knows what else. While I’m not going to worry about it yet, it’s just all things I need to actually document out otherwise I will forget. Thank god for Strava/Garmin right? So easy to just go back and look. Speaking of looking back at data, I did also go back and find some HIIT workouts that I was doing and my HR was right on par. Yesterday it was 152, and previously it’s been between 150-156, so that made me feel better, but, again, not to sound redundant, still something I’m keeping track of… hence the entire reason for this blog this week. 🙂

As the day went on, I could feel my glutes and hips feel a little sore. Finally! Yay! My quads though didn’t really feel much, but I have been so used to using weights, so I’m not surprised that they weren’t sore by only using body weight. I need to look into heavier weights, but, thanks quarantine, everything is out or WAY too expensive. So I can use my measly two 5 lb and two 10 lb weights, and then I can get creative with whatever heavy items we have in the house. Maybe I’ll just go borrow a toddler.

24 FEB – WedneSDAY

I woke up wanting more sleep. As per usual lately. We even went to bed early, and I kept to my word of no booze. I wanted to get up and do my usual Wed workout. Well as usual as I can with a modified running schedule, so I shouldn’t say *usual.* But I planned to do abs/arms this morning, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get up and do it. I laid in bed not wanting to get up, but I knew I needed to get going and log into work. I decided to do a 15-min yoga session. It was the perfect length to get my body moving and wake my muscles up without much effort put into it.

The brain fog seems a bit significant. It’s frustrating to feel out of focus. It’s not something I’m used to feeling. I can typically sit down and do a task because I’m supposed to and it doesn’t feel like a chore. But lately I’ve felt like I had to force myself to get things done. I don’t normally have to read things multiple times to grasp a simple concept.

Because of this brain fog, I planned to try and take strategic breaks at work. I know I know, we are allowed breaks during the day. This isn’t me trying to justify why I’m taking a break, it’s just more so noting this because I never took them. I never needed them. But today, I knew I had a conference call (for 2 hours eep) so I took the walk just before that. I walked to the grocery store since we needed a few things, and then walked home. Ended up with 1.75 miles. It felt good to get up and stretch my legs, which are no longer sore. Ha. Short-lived soreness, but I do like how quickly I can recover.

The one thing I think that has really helped me while not able to run is continuing to do yoga and low-intensity weight workouts at home. I’m definitely grateful that I didn’t have to be hospitalized. I wasn’t completely knocked out with a fever and flu-like symptoms. I didn’t have Tom Hanks level of tiredness. I had COVID days through work that I could have taken, but I didn’t. I work from home. I was up and about and would have been antsy throughout the day if I took those days. So I choose to work. I didn’t put in any OT like I usually do, but that’s not a requirement of my job. I do it because I enjoy my job and have a workaholic personality, which is an entirely different blog post topic I could talk about. But I digress.

I did a half hour of yoga after work. I was looking for a balancing series to start practicing working on my balance more for a bit of a challenge. The session I found with “Yoga With Adriene” was a great flow, but not quite what I was looking for. There was really only one balancing pose. It is a good reminder though that I still have the energy to even think about doing a yoga session and have the strength to get through all the vinyasas. Slow and steady back into a routine. Something is better than nothing, right?

25 FEB – thurSDAY

Oh hello Thursday. Friday Jr you. Well today was tough. I planned to meet up with my friend Sherri to run before work. 0630 start time. Should be great right? WRONG. I woke up with a near migraine and felt like I wanted to throw up. Unfortunately, headaches are a pretty common thing for me, but not as many as I had this week. I felt so guilty needing to cancel. I should have known better that my energy levels in the morning are just lacking. It’s such a struggle to get going. After Ian went to work, I ended up going back to sleep for an hour and not logging into work until 0830 again. It’s a weird feeling being as tired as I am all day. I don’t want to make plans to run with people in the morning now. At least not for a little bit. I hate cancelling. But I also know I don’t need to try and push it.

I chatted with three of my friends who had COVID and are also runners. They said it took upwards of 4-6 weeks to really feel back to normal. I won’t name drop since I respect privacy and I didn’t ask them if I could mention names. I am not happy that they have had to deal with COVID, but I am happy that I have people to discuss these things with. I’m well aware that anecdotal stories are not evidence of anything, but just hearing stories from my trusted friends make me feel less stressed about the tiredness. It makes me less worried about what is happening with my body, and it gives me hope that this will fade eventually. It may be a long month or so, but it should get better before I know it.

Advise I got:

Friend 1: “For two months, I was upset all the time. Luckily I could bike. But I love running and everyone was progressing around me. And I just felt bad physically and mentally. It gets better! Be patient. Don’t push yourself too hard. And don’t be mad at yourself.”

Friend 2: “I completely understand. It did eventually come around for me. The tiredness lasted about a month and then I had to build my endurance back up. It took 1.5-2 months to feel like myself again. Get the rest you need so that you get back to the usual!”

Friend 3: “The tiredness was just ridiculous. We did not have the energy to do squat… The problem now is building back up. My lungs took a beating. I still have to use an inhaler because of COVID.”

I mustered up some energy to go for a run over lunch. It wasn’t as sunny as Tuesday, but the fresh air felt nice. My legs felt a little heavy, but my lungs felt great. The one thing I feel is a little different than my friends is that I’m able to run the same pace for my 5Ks that I did before. I know at least two of them came back at slower paces before they were able to work back up. And who knows, maybe my longer runs will be that way, but I’ve only done two runs since and both were 5Ks. My 5K today, I dialed the pace back a tad from Tues to watch my HR, and surprisingly enough, my HR was just fine. It stayed at an average of 155 for a 9:47 pace. I was honestly surprised. I really expected to see a spike like I did on Tuesday, but I didn’t. I don’t have energy in the morning, but by afternoon I do. I suppose time will tell. But for now, I am going to continue to run unless my lungs feel off. Then it will be an immediate pause.

I was feeling great tiredness wise until after work. I had an ASL class to go to at 1830, but I ended up falling asleep on the couch after work for an hour and a half, so I missed class. Oops.

26 FEB – friDAY

Happy Friday! Even though I took an 1.5 hour nap yesterday, I still ended up going to bed at 2100. I get up at 0530 with Ian when he goes to work, but I ended up laying in bed trying to fall back asleep for an hour. I’ve never slept so much in my life, but I am not fighting it. It know I need it. I probably sound like a broken record this week with all the “i’m tired” and “i’m tired of being tired” thoughts. And if you’ve read this far into the long all blog post, I’m sure you are tired of hearing it too. Ha.

The work day felt normal at least. Brain fog still a little there, but it’s also Friday. I feel like that’s normal. I decided that I wasn’t going to make a set time for running tomorrow. Whenever I got up and felt like going, I would. Less expectation of myself and that way I wouldn’t be disappointed. So I had no real bed time to make since I didn’t need to set an alarm to get up.

I have been working more on getting a strong core. It has helped so much with back pain and just feeling stronger. So I put on a 30 min yoga for core and booty that I found through Yoga With Adriene. And then I wanted to try another “balancing” series, so I did another 58 minutes after that. I do really need to start scrolling through videos before I do them. I have been disappointed with the ones that are labeled as “balancing” yoga lately. The one I did was great if you wanted to do a lot of vinyasa, but not so great if you were looking for balancing poses. There were a few, but not many. But in any case, I got in just about an hour and a half of yoga and didn’t really feel winded or anything afterwards. So that was a plus!

27 FEB – saturDAY

It felt really great to just sleep in and not wake up to an alarm clock. It’s been a rough week mentally and being able to just chill was the mental break I think I needed. Ian and I had a slow morning, made breakfast, then he read while I did some writing (catching up on this blog post actually). And then we decided around noon to go out for a run.

It was the run I needed. It was such a beautiful day out. 42 degrees. Barely windy. Ian was smart and had on a long sleeve and shorts. I had on leggings and a long sleeve shirt, which ended up coming off at mile 2. The sun on my skin gave me such energy. Ian was such a good sport and followed the crazy CityStrides path that I had created. We were talking during our run about how neither one of us have ever had a partner that we could run with and it was really nice to be able to do that together. I enjoyed having him on my run.

I do miss my running buddies though. I didn’t want to make any set plans with anyone because cancelling is something that just eats away at me and makes me feel super guilty. They knew I wasn’t making plans with them for this reason, and while I’m sure they would have understood, I just didn’t want to bare that guilt. But we will see what next week brings.

28 FEB – sunDAY

Sunday was a great recovery day. We spent the day in Oak Creek for Baylee’s birthday (which was yesterday, as she reminded us. Ha!) We made strawberry cupcakes from scratch, with a dairy-free buttercream strawberry frosting. Making dairy-free frosting was hard! But my sister cannot have dairy so I always try and find good recipes. We made a bit of a mess in the kitchen, but the girls had fun. (Here is the recipe we followed. We did not make it gluten free, so we used regular flour, but we did make it dairy free.) We picked up lunch from Kopps and brought it back to their house to hang out some more. It was good to see the kiddos since we weren’t able to because of COVID quarantines. But we were there nearly all day.

We got home close to 5, and I wanted to get some yoga in, so I found a core strengthening one I hadn’t tried yet. 40 mins and I swear it was ALL ABS. Highly recommend. (If curious, it’s another Yoga With Adriene session. Here.)

I have to say, that I’m really seeing the benefits of yoga. It’s helping flexibility. It’s aiding in my recovery. It’s helping grow some baby abs. There in there! And it’s something that I’ve really started to look forward to doing. I started doing yoga twice a week, then moved to doing two longer yoga sessions (at least 30 mins) twice a week plus doing short sessions (10-15 mins) after each run. And now I’m doing yoga just about every day. There are so many different kinds of yoga that are all free on YouTube, so there’s no real reason not to. I can get a slow relaxing restorative yoga, a workout vinyasa type yoga, a short “wake up” 10 min yoga before work, a meditative yoga… literally anything. There are some videos I keep coming back to, but I try and find new ones each week. I’m slowly seeing progress in flexibility, and definitely seeing progress in stamina during vinyasa.

There are a few things that I am working towards this year for yoga: I want to get in crow and be able to do a headstand. I’m a little afraid of being upside down, but it’s something I’m working on.


XOXO, Megs

If you’ve read through this whole thing, well high-five to you! I wanted to document everything I was feeling for the first week back and didn’t realize how much I would have to say or want to even document, but I’m glad I did. Something to look back on.

And here’s to hoping that next week doesn’t bring on as much tiredness!