My long runs have been going down hills. Maybe it is a sign of old age or maybe I have really been super lazy. All along I thought my fitness level was still fairly decent and can run at a decent speed.
Then I did a long run in March from the office back home. Distance was about 23 km. It took me and the sidekick nearly 3 hours to complete. I was surprised that we took so long. I thought we ran at quite a hard effort and the pace felt more like 6.30 than the 7.25 that it turned out to be. I attributed it to running at night
As the sidekick has signed up for the full marathon for the Sundown, she had to train and I tagged along. The next long run above 20 km was a 25km run at the East Coast Park. We started at 11.30 pm and crossed into midnight. We were supposed to join the Punggol/Newton Runners but were late and ran at a furious pace to catch up. Or rather we thought it was a furious pace. It turned out to be 7.05 pace and I was struggling towards the last quarter. Previously for my longer road runs, I have still been able to at least manage a sub 7 mins pace and so I was really surprise that I was now doing above 7. Again I blame it on the night run.
To prove my theory right, I did a 16km run in the late afternoon and the pace was exactly 6.30. Yes it has to be the night running. So for the next long run of 25km, we started at 6am. And guess what, this time we took 3 hours 22 mins! There goes my night running theory!
So we switched back to night run and decided to start the next one at 4am. Target was 30km never mind the timing. I bombed at 15km! For I think the first time in my running life, I hit the wall at an premature 15km! It was so totally unexpected! I knew I didn't start off well. It was one of those run where you struggle to start and every little step seems to be such a bit effort. But I thought I could shrugged it off once I warm up. The warm up never came though. I ran out of steam and couldn't run at all. My whole body just felt like collapsing. The sidekick who was by then way in front ran back when she saw I was staggering. Lack of water? Couldn't be. I was carrying a hydration bag with 1 ltr of water and was drinking at about every 2km. Hyponatremia? Nah I didn't think I was drinking that much. My waterbag was still more than half full. In the end, I walked another 5km and took a bus home.
So the night theory didn't work. The truth is probably I am getting slower and slower. Sign of old age or whatever. But the next run at 11 pm I went below 7min pace. 6.50min to be precise. Distance 20km. Still got hope?