Greetings from China!
I've used MFP since 2016 and have stayed moderately active since then. I mainly do strength trainings and group aerobic dance classes (Zumba and LesMills BodyJam) in my gym. I was never really a fan of running because I found it repetitive and was quite self conscious whenever I ran outdoors, until I found myself stranded at my parents' house during the COVID-19 outbreak here in China.
I was also going through a lot in my personal life. I was coping with a break-up, had just quit my job and was about to relocate. With the newly imposed restrictions on going outdoors, I found it hard to stay motivated in exercising and as a result, I started showing a series of signs of depression and anxiety.
I decided to give running another try on a whim. With the number of confirmed cases in my hometown dropping, the parks have been reopened and we are allowed a bit more personal freedom since late February. I knew an effective way to regain my mental wellbeing is exercise. I figured that the easiest way to stay active would be go out for a run, since all gyms were closed.
I started my C25K training on March 4. As I have been moderately active for a few years now, I was able to skip ahead quite a few sessions when I found them too easy. Today, March 24, marks the completion of my 1st 5K run. I went from barely able to run 5 minutes consistently, to running continuously for 35 minutes. I have accumulated well over 50 kilometers of mileage in my training so far. I have rediscovered running as a meditative experience as I focus on my breathing while cruising past familiar streets, buildings, hills, rivers, and parks in my hometown accompanied by podcasts and audiobooks. More importantly, I feel happier now.
I started my first few runs wearing surgical masks, when numbers of confirmed patients and deaths were steadily rising in other parts of my country. During my 20-day journey to my 1st 5K run, I witnessed the trajectory of those numbers change, as early spring flowers started blooming and green buds started developing on willow trees. I was able to remove my mask on my runs as the pandemic got under control and authorities permitted being outdoors without masks on. I'm grateful that I got a personal achievement through this gruesome outbreak.
I share my experience with you, my dearest fellow MFPers, as I know many of you are going through similar struggles that I had gone through in the past few weeks. It's okay to feel lost and disheartened in face of a crisis. But remember to listen to your body and your mind. Do your best to stay active, even if it means to try doing something new (or to dress head-to-toe in protective gear and gasping for air inside your surgical masks, as was in my case). This pandemic, like all horrible things that have happened in history, will eventually pass. We are all in this together. Stay strong.
ps. My first 5K run was finished in 32 minutes. There is definitely a lot of space for improvements. I will continue running to improve my 5k, and to slowly build my way towards a 10K. I will progress through my 10K training at a more comfortable pace. I will use this thread to record my running journey. Hopefully I will have more to share soon.
↓↓↓Me feeling rather happy after my first 5K↓↓↓