After almost three years of avoiding the plague, it finally reached our house this week. My mom arrived on the first of the month, feeling a bit under the weather, but chalking it up to jet lag. But when Kin woke up on Tuesday with a sore throat and headache, I had everyone take a COVID test. The two of them were positive. Kin has been incredibly sick, and I must say, everyone who says their cases are mild must be pretty accustomed to feeling like utter shit, because COVID, even in fully vaccinated and (triple-) boosted people, is quite terrible. We are on Day 8 of quarantine; we'll test again before rejoining the world, but regardless of the outcome, I think I'm going to be masked anytime I'm in an indoor setting from here on out. COVID is no joke. I don't want to catch it again; I don't want to be responsible for spreading it.

Needless to say, COVID has thrown a curve-ball at my half-marathon training. I skipped my gym workouts and my group runs last week. I'll skip the former this week too and test before participating in the latter. I did run this past week, but at a very low intensity. I don't typically pay attention to the heart rate data gathered by my watch — I am accustomed instead to using RPE (rate of perceived exertion) to make sure I'm running "easy" — but I set my watch to warn me if my heart rate went above Zone 2. It didn't which is surprising since my heart rate (now I'm sort of obsessed with checking it, dammit) is thru the roof.

As I've noted before, the LMJS Half Marathon training program doesn't officially kick off until New Year's Eve, but I'd been trying to maintain my activity level at about 20 miles per week so that my body is accustomed to the mileage and ready to add on once those long runs start getting progressively longer. That said, there's no point in running while sick or injured — doing so does nothing to help me attain my goals. "Junk miles," some coaches call them — miles that don't really have any physiological benefit. And yet… and yet… running has become such a key part of my physical and mental well-being; it's been tough to be still. I've been so angry about COVID too that I've just wanted to run and run and run and run.

I've turned my attention this week — despite the fog and fever of COVID — to my studies. I completed my CPR certification; I've started work on my personal fitness trainer certification too. I'm making flash cards, which honestly I think are just the "junk miles" of schooling — you go through the motions, because you tell yourself that's what studying looks like, but it's not necessarily a practice that's going to help you run the distance.

Audrey Watters


Audrey Watters


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