When it comes to running, the years of the COVID-19 pandemic were actually pretty good for me. Not that I enjoyed the lockdowns, and I don’t want to downplay the suffering of so many people and the consequences. But when it comes to the flexibility of work and the rise of remote work, I have to say, all of that had a positive impact on my training. I could run more regularly, be more flexible, and, as a result, more consistent. H owever, what followed in 2023 can only be described as a hangover. Waking up from the era of COVID was painful. I had set some goals for myself — a half marathon to start, a trail marathon, a couple of smaller runs, and aiming to beat my personal best time in Frankfurt. But I didn’t manage to complete a single one of these races. COVID itself, my Achilles tendon, and a fall that strained the tendon in my left arm all put a damper on my plans. While I can slowly start running …
I don’t want to run like this anymore. It’s not doing me any good. More than that: it’s jeopardizing my health. I’m jeopardizing my health. And my joy of running is at risk too. I owe this realization to a gadget, not my own insight. But let’s start from the beginning.
Today, while running, a peculiar thought crossed my mind. Although, at first, it wasn’t really a thought but more of a feeling. The thought came a little later, but it hit me like a ton of bricks: my body no longer feels like an athlete’s body.
It’s been a strange irony that I, lying in my bed, should stumble upon a book that deals so intimately with the very thing that had brought me low. Covid had robbed me of my strength and left me short of breath, and yet it was in the midst of this struggle that I found distraction and, yes, a tune up.
As I step out into the chilly air, I can feel the weight of the past year bearing down on my shoulders. My Achilles tendon still aches, a constant reminder of the injury that has slowed me down for so long. And yet, despite the pain and the setbacks, I lace up my shoes and begin to run. It’s the first day of a new year, and I am determined to make it a successful one.