I've been training for a marathon. How's it been going, you ask? Not well, actually. I mean I'm training with a group and all, but my performance is simply awful. Dreadful. I've read that the performance decrease before and after transition can be as much as 20%. For me it feels much greater than that.
With the help of my handy dandy Garmin Forerunner GPS. I've been able to log every run since 2007. Some of the performance decrease I am sure is due to age.
However, I am talking a lot of decrease. I started noticing it shortly in my transition process. I am taking a combination of hormones and T-blockers.
I guess the T-blocker really works, that and the muscle mass decrease due to hormones.
Let me illustrate:
Two years ago, I was running a 58 minute 10K, I've always been a slow runner or a speedy jogger, but this past weekend I ran 10K in 1:08. The problem is that I am trying to beat my time for my first marathon that I ran in February 2009 of 5 hours flat. I thought that even though I am on hormone therapy, with good training, I could beat beat 5 hours, maybe even <gasp> 4.5 hours.
Nice thought. I have been training with a group out of a local running store. The trainer is a master this and master that, a level III this and level IV that. Not only does he run after we run, but he swims and bikes before. Crap.
So, anyway, I've been receiving some good training and support in a group setting while running. It's clearly not working. I know the trainer is dumbfounded of my performance. I AM the slowest runner in our group. There are men and women, young and not so young. I am still the slowest.
In addition, the emotional toll has been tremendous. Don't get me wrong, with the slooooow down comes the realization that my transition is still in motion, maybe not my feet, but still. There have been times that our trainer has run along side and asked about my health and status and how I feel. I can tell he is puzzled. I run behind the girls/women. I can keep up for about 4 miles, but then my pace gets slower and slower. I can start out at about a 10 minute and 30 second mile pace. Not bad, but then it slows all the way down to about a 12 minute a mile pace. The problem is that I don't see how I can A: beat my old time of 5 hours or B: if I can't beat 5 hours, can I run for almost 5.5 or 6? That is a long time of running. Doesn't seem possible.
With my performance this weekend on our group's long run of three hours, my goal of beating 5 hours is just about shot. I was only able to run 15 miles in 3 hours. And we are starting to taper which means that our training mileage will start to decrease to allow our bodies to recover and be healthy before the race. The race in on February 13th. My long run weekend before last was "only 19 miles in 4 hours. I don't think I'm going to make it.
Who knows, though. Always the optimist.
There are other issues with transitioning and being a runner. I'll cover those next. I'm sure you'll laugh and laugh. ;)