Good morning runners! I'm going through a slump and could really
use some advice. I haven't posted on this forum in a while, for those not familiar here's my Profile
: 55 YO. Running since 1973. Began running higher mileage [2000-2700] in the mid-2000's after tearing my torn post-tib tendon [in 1996], and only in the last three years run high mileage [3500 mpy avg.]. In the last twelve years I've improved my race times every year; set Master PB @ 5k and half marathon in 2011.
After my 1:36 half last October I began cutting mileage from 70 to 55 mpw and increasing the percentage of steady state runs in the effort to boost my aerobic threshold. That pattern remained the same for the next four  months; mileage 40-55 mpw but 20-50% @ SS effort. Everything was going along great, peaking 1st week of January with 8 mile tempo run @ 7:21 pace [w/7 miles @ 7:15]. What I averaged for my half marathon less than 3 months ago.
Beginning in March I reduced my SS miles and blended in more workouts in the 10k-half marathon range. All this time I did very little Vo2Max workouts which I'd previously emphasized. Ever since I've been on a steady decline. Not completing my long half marathon workouts and or the pace being slower than my January workout. I didn't think too much of this at the time. Then about a month ago my workouts took a nose-dive and during two weeks ran my two worst races in the last ten  years. Three minutes slower for a 5k [on hilly XC course] and 13 minutes slower for half marathon!
Obviously, something is terribly wrong. I feel otherwise fine but in my workouts I'm lacking endurance and stamina [my strong suit]. Immediately after the half I took ten  days off completely. This was my longest non-running break in maybe four  years. My lowest mileage for the past two years has been 38 mpw. Since cutting mileage last August I would have thought I'd become stronger not weaker but felt the simplest solution was maybe I was just run down.
My 1st two runs [8 and 10 miler] this week I backed off the pace [8:41 / 9:03 pace] and felt ok but about where I left off before the mini-break. I know it's only been two runs and I need to let this play out but I'm left wondering what else could be going on? How did I go from running my best [training] times to my worst race times in ten years in four short months?!?
- Do I need more time off?
- Increase mileage but lower training pace?
- I should expect a drop off due to my age?
- Ran myself into the ground bumping up my easy run / steady state pace?
- See my doctor?
I don't know if this makes a difference but I retired at the end of March and ever since my running has gone to hell.
I appreciate any insight you might have on what could be going on! TIA.