They said it would happen. I knew intellectually it would happen to me, but I didn't expect it so soon. Not in the first year. Not when I'm was so fully of energy and zip and excited about every single run. Not when training was the highlight of my day.
If I look back in my training log, I can see it building up... my love of training slowly dissolving as I got more and more tired.
I showed my trainer some running stats from my log last week. They demonstrate a consistent decrease in performance over the past month. I feel like I have no resilience and I'm tired all the time. And I am... sleeping 10 hours a night if I can get away with it.
He said something to the effect that there's no physiological reason for the decrease in performance... that it must be mental... that mental toughness was very important.
I was crushed. Choked back tears. Went away and wept... internal resources too low to fight... feeling angry at the irony of it all, thinking that a tough person wouldn't cry.
I want to run. I want to run just about as much as I want to finish my PhD successfully. And that's a lot.
I'm not particularly smart, reasonably intelligent, yes, but not brilliant by any means. And I'm not particularly athletic, in reasonably good shape now, yes, but definitely not in Olympic form. What I have are discipline and determination. And that's all. But no matter how I feel, I rarely miss training. If I do miss training, there's got to be a good reason.
I understand that plateaus are normal. But this... this decline in performance, coupled with exhaustion and a growing disdain for something I know I love, this is not normal. It leaves me asking what the heck is wrong with me?