Things have come a long way since I’ve been back home. My health has gotten much better, Ranny is doing incredible things in Raja Ampat and Friendly Drifter is evolving once more.
When I returned home, my body was weak, and my mind was cloudy. Doing normal daily activities resulted in muscle soreness the very next day. I was very anemic; it would take time for my body to create new red blood cells. I took it relatively easy for the first 2 weeks, trying to rest as much as possible. At this point it was unclear if I could continue with my plan to run 2700 km in April. It would take time to see how quickly my body would recover. I certainly didn’t want to make promises I couldn’t keep. My first training run was mid-January. I didn’t have any goals, I just wanted to hit the pavement and get my legs moving, no matter how slow or short the run was. I managed to run 500 meters to the first hill and had to turn back. My chest was tight, my legs felt like jelly and my breathing was fast and shallow. Yes, my first outing was only 1km but I had to start somewhere. After a day of rest I doubled my distance, and so it began. I can comfortably say now that I am continuing with the run. I ran 55km last week and completed a 25km run on Wednesday. My strength still has a ways to go but my endurance is coming along nicely. Twenty pounds of muscle was lost during my struggle with malaria. When returning to the gym, I noticed decrease of 40% in muscle strength. The muscle was simply gone – in such a short period.
Some close family and friends questioned my eating habits. As some of you may know I am vegan. I have been vegetarian for 10 months and turned vegan 5 months ago. They questioned whether I was getting enough protein/iron in my diet, especially during my recovery. I have continued to stay vegan throughout this ordeal which is proof to me that my diet has enough nutrients to grow muscle and rebuild strength quickly.