not really sure why, but i have really felt depressed this week. i'm thinking it is the frustrations of being essentially forced to take a job that i feel makes me highly underemployed. it's great to have a job of any sort, after being unable to find one for so long, but the realities are that my salary is about the same as what i was getting from unemployment insurance.. which means that many bills will still not get paid.. the transition continues to be on hold, and that is not good. even worse, my entire life remains on hold, as i am unable to move forward on so many other things that i need to get done, both transitionwise and otherwise. in addition to not having the money, i now don't have the time either, as this new job and new schedule is sapping what little energy i have. it is eating up about 60 hours a week, including working, traveling to work, etc.
i am also coming to terms with the fact that my days as a good quality runner are likely over, and i have been seriously thinking about retiring from the sport of amateur marathon running for good. it's going to take everything i have to complete Boston and Big Sur.
i realize that i have technically retired twice and made comebacks almost immediately afterwards twice, but this time, i am serious. i have been thinking about this every day for the past 3-4 months. this transition from male to female has brought so many challenges physically, that it has become impossible for me to keep up with the necessary training requirements to complete marathons. my strength, speed, and endurance levels have dropped significantly, and most importantly, my energy levels have dropped far below anything that i could have ever imagined. it's been an amazing 3 years of marathons, but the wear and tear on my knees have taken its toll as well. for months now, i can't even seem to get through a long run, or even a medium run, without knee pain. i had high hopes for Boston this year, and even set a goal of trying to requalify, but that is clearly off the table now. my only goal is to finish these last 2 races.
while i admire people who complete marathons in any time, i've always maintained that anything slower than 5 hours is not really a real run, it is a jog or a walk, and that is not who i am or what i am about. i've always said that the day i can no longer run a sub 5 hour marathon will be the day i quit the sport. this has never really been an issue up til now (except for the close call in Charlottesville last year when i had to slow down due to cramping), but now, i'm even worried that i won't even make the 6 hour cut off to finish Big Sur. i'm sure i will make it, but it won't be easy. i will be entering these last 2 marathons unprepared as i literally do not have what it takes to put in the required training.
also, training is not fun anymore. in fact, it's additional stress and pressure that i put on myself that i don't need or want anymore. i used to very much look forward to race day, but now, i am actually dreading the thought of having to complete these runs. don't get me wrong, i realize the accomplishment of qualifying for Boston, and i very much want to follow thru and complete the run that i have earned the right to run.. and i know it will be a great feeling to be able to say that i ran back to back Bostons.. but at the same time, i am also strongly feeling that i won't want to do it anymore. right now, and for the past 3 months, i have felt 99% certain that Big Sur will be my last marathon for a very very long time.. perhaps forever. only time will tell.