Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill admits she has to be realistic when it comes to initial results from her competitive return next month.
The 29-year-old took time away from the sport for the birth of her son Reggie and has not competed since July 2013.
She made her return to training last November but her first big test will be the forthcoming Great City Games in Manchester on May 9.
A series of minor Achilles injuries have disrupted her progress in the last few months though and Ennis-Hill admits she has to be patient when it comes to working her way back to top form.
"Probably a lot of people are expecting me to step on the track and be exactly the same as I was in 2012," she said.
"That's something I have to come to terms with, be realistic and know it's going to take time to build back.
"As an athlete you do face lots of challenges, whether that's coming back from injury or having setbacks, but this is definitely one of the hardest challenges I have faced.
"Having been at the top of my sport and stepped away, experienced a huge change to my life in having my son, mentally I've changed, physically I've changed. Building your body back to where it once was is incredibly hard."
Despite her absence, British female multi-eventing has continued to grow with compatriot Katarina Johnson-Thompson breaking Ennis-Hill's indoor pentathlon record when she became European indoor champion earlier this year.
"Heptathlon has moved on and it's going to be of a high standard when I step back into it, but it's great to see the event progressing. The high jump and long jump have progressed a lot,” added Ennis-Hill, who is targeting qualification for Rio 2016.
"I'm not sure what level I'm at. They've not been solid months of training. It's going to take a few months, but I've just got to get the belief that I can get back to where I need to be."
© Sportsbeat 2015