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I've been running for about 8 years, and in the last two years have run three marathons, getting progressively fitter and faster. The last one was Amsterdam in October, where I ran 4h6m (I do have sub 4 in my locker, I do!)
I was going to do Paris in April, but then a combo of a tough time at work and a six week chest infection mean that I've had nearly four months off running.
I've been lucky enough to get a ballot place in Chicago in October, and so am now getting back in the saddle. I'm starting off gently, but have been really shocked at how dramatically my fitness has reduced. I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm struggling on two mile runs, and while I know I need to keep plugging away and my fitness will come back, I'm really discouraged.
Is this normal? Can I get back to where I was in five months? Help!