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This year versus last year...
TriZou is this weekend, formerly known as Race for Sight. Last year I was the 5th overall age grouper, it was probably my best performance of 2008. By this time last year I had won four races, run 2 half marathons in just over 1:25, and run a 3:08 marathon, qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Comparing that to this year, I've also run two half marathons this year, both of them 8 minutes slower than my two last year!
So what's the difference? My first inclination is to think I've gotten older and I'm slowing down. Or maybe there's something wrong with me and I'm only going to get slower and slower.
I went out last night and did a track workout. Half a mile warm up to the track, followed by four quarter mile repeats with three minutes rest during which I do a recovery quarter mile jog. I did each quarter mile in 1:15, or five minute pace! I then did two times a half mile with the same recovery and did one in 2:45 and the other in 2:48, so both around 5:30 pace. Then this morning I swam an easy swim workout, but also mixed in two hard hundreds, one in 1:24 and the other in 1:21.
So what's the difference? I haven't gotten any slower, I just don't have the endurance. Last year at this time I had been running 60 to 80 miles a week for several months. I had also participated in a weight loss contest and was down to a svelte one hundred fifty pounds as opposed to the one hundred sixty-three I currently find myself at. Thirteen extra pounds over a couple of miles isn't too terible, but combine a little distance, weight, and my lack of endurance and you end up with things like eight extra minutes on a half marathon. Considering that over a competition lasting an hour and a half, I'm about eight minutes slower than I was last year, and considering the duathlon this past weekend took me over two hours... Hmm, taking twelve minutes off my time would have put me in the top ten in my age group and qualified me for Duathlon Worlds! As they say, you can't cry over spilled milk, but hopefully I'll remember this next off season when it's so easy to put on those extra pounds...
Better get those nice overall places in before I come back to the area. Good to have you posting again and best of luck at the race. I have a stupid 500, 5 MILE, 5K tri to compare coming up..