Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marathon training and the emotional toll

The post right below this one talks about the emotional toll this marathon training is having. I guess everyone knows that long distance running is mental as well as physical. I have played this game for a long time. Everyone knows that running is also a good stress reliever.  I had been able to use it to figuratively run away from my problems and my transgender issues. You can guess how well that worked.
That's where the emotional toll has been paid most recently. With the changes in my body with the loss of muscle mass, the emotional impact has been heavy. To know that something that has come easy is now so very hard. Different too, I remember runs before hormone therapy that I could seemingly run all day; slowly, but all day. I wouldn't start to get tired until 7 or more miles. Whatever. Now it seems that I am having to adjust pace near the 1.5 mile mark or less depending.
This is like being hit with a sledgehammer. Like I said before, running is mental as well. So runners analyze their performance constantly. I mean constantly. This is the one of the few sports that is purely solitary. I've got no one else to lean on but me. So when I'm breathing harder, running slower, running faster (don't run to fast, don't want to burn out) whatever, it is analyzed and dissected and usually adjusted mid-run.
Anyway, here I am, my performance really totally shot. I mean, I'm down to a walk/run on some of the longer runs that previously wouldn't have been a problem.
So obviously this has taken a physical toll, but an emotional one as well and this has been the hardest toll to pay. As somebody who is active, I had thought that being in good physical shape could make up for the affect hormone therapy would have. Not. I can't even will myself to go further or faster. Even some of the old mental tricks/tools that I used to use in the old days don't work now.
Now another part of this is that the marathon training group that I'm in, doesn't understand why I'm so slow. I put in the same miles, I'm not elderly, I should be up there with the rest of the guys. Instead I'm in the very back. The very back. Waaaay back. Like last.
By the time this marathon is over with, I think that the toll will be paid.

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