Unintentionally, I jumped on a trend. I miss a lot of those, but at least I can honestly say that this idea was an independent one since I didn’t even realize it was a thing. Between a hamstring injury in the spring, and contracting COVID-19 in the summer, I did a lot of walking. A LOT. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I decided I wanted to walk a marathon as my version of “epic” this year. I’ve never attempted a marathon outside of IRONMAN before, and still don’t have a desire to train to run a standalone. But to walk 26.2 miles of my own design was cathartic, cleansing, and proof to myself I was ok.
It was a beautiful October day. Sunny, windy, chilly in the morning and ending in the high 70’s. I plotted my route as an out-and-back past the homes of four friends, one of whom even put on a fabulous live driveway show for me. I had some close friends join me along the way–some for a couple miles, some for several, some from cars, and some bearing tequila. I finished with a good deal more difficulty than I actually expected (not because of the tequila; that didn’t create difficulty until the next day). I really underestimated the effort and even pain involved in speed-walking a marathon. After a 7 hour and 28 minute walk, I felt sore and accomplished. Perfect.
While there were no chest pains during my marathon walk, I was still having some flare ups in the following days. So I turned again to my coach. We looked at my diet. With such a reduced training load and increased body fat percentage, the temptation for me was to restrict my diet. That was a mistake. I wasn’t losing any fat, nor was I providing my body the nourishment it needed. Lose-lose. Turns out, the time during recovery from COVID-19 is not the time to try to lean out (duh, lady).
The prescription was more healthy calories and a lot more protein while not restricting good carbs. We’ll worry about the extra flab later. I also needed to add electrolytes. Game. Changer. The gallon of water I drink daily had to be balanced with heart-healthy minerals. My body was out of whack and I was whacking it up even more in an attempt to hydrate.
My supplement regimen is heavy but specific and based on all the research I could possibly do on such a new disease. Vitamin C, D, B-12, Zinc, Turmeric, Magnesium, CBD oil, and essential Amino Acids, all daily.
With one final Cardiology follow up, bloodwork better than ever, and a normal EKG, it is time to go to work. It was a 90-day recovery. While I don’t think I’m quite the same as pre-COVID, I can safely put in the effort to get my fitness and my sanity back. I’ve been lifting heavier, running more often, and having a blast playing on my new cross/gravel bike, Oscar. He’s green and I love him.
As 2020 goes, it’s not all good news. I lost a family member to COVID-19 earlier this week. He battled since early September and was not as lucky as I am. My heart hurts for his children and grandchildren.
Mask up, wash your damn hands, and stay safe.