My goal was to get my 5k time under 33 minutes, but my original goal, and I hadn't set a date for this and had NOT planned to get there right now, was to eventually run a 5k in 33 minutes. That's not that fast, but a big improvement from any time I've ever had.
When I'm running in a race, I pay a lot more attention to things that I struggle with, but even MORE to what struggles other people have. I'm just trying to gauge myself against others because it's the only chance I get to do that, but also see what happens to them that I could work on myself.
In every race, for the life of me, I have never been able to figure out why some people struggle so much with hills. From behind them, it is clear they are totally not doing well making it up a steep hill, many will fall back and I'll pass them, and a few will simply get so tired they will walk for a bit.
Yes, there were some very steep hills on this run, but that's not abnormal, I think they do that on purpose actually because the steepest hills always seems to be right before the finish? So it occurred to me suddenly! No, steep hills are not my favorite either, but I run a few steep hills every time I run so I know it's just a matter of "shifting gears", so to speak, and challenging yourself not to change your pace.
BUT! If I only ran on a treadmill, didn't run with an incline or just a small one, yes, those would be next to impossible to do. Those muscles would not be strengthened to run hills, I can feel completely different muscles being used when I am running up a hill. So, in my mind, mystery solved, but also, an agenda added! Eventually (not NOW!) I need to add steep incline training on my treadmill.
So it was this steep hill - I was running up it, knowing the end was near, and then I saw the finish line counter: 32 minutes just about to roll over to 33. I could hear the voice in my head yelling in slow motion "Noooooooooo!" I finished around 33:08 with about a 10:45 minute pace? I'm unsure how to do the calculation and they didn't have it for me, but under 11 minutes.
I was upset at myself, failing by 8 seconds. But on the positive side, my first 5k in September 2011 time was 43 minutes, and sadly, that was all running, no walking. Mark reminded me my pace was around 13 minutes for the 8k Shamrock Shuffle just last April, so big improvement there as well. AND, of course I just had a hysterectomy not that long ago and have only been running again since July, so...I decided to count this as a victory.
Another interesting observation! Now that I'm at a faster speed, the people that are running around me "look" like they are at a much better fitness level than the people that were around me in the past. It was like before, people were just learning to run to lose weight, you know? Which is AWESOME by the way, it's the whole reason I started running. But now it appears that I'm competing with more athletic people in comparison, if you want to say I'm "competing" with them, I'm really not. I have a time in my head I'm trying to beat, not them.
Mark, as usual, was his awesome self. He ran the 10k with a 7:02 pace, I just can't even imagine running that fast! Sadly, that didn't even get him a medal. He came in 4th in his age group. So close yet so far! He is so, so hard on himself. No matter how well he does, he is never satisfied. He sulks forever after a race. Maybe we both do and then we are both each other's cheerleaders, sulking about our own time yet able to see how well the other did.
So...I'm undecided. Another 5k in September or October before what I am ACTUALLY training for in November - a 10k under 60 minutes? I don't know. It's good practice running on unfamiliar territory, a different time of the day, getting used to running with other people, trying to get around them or get out of their way.
As far as being tired, we came home, showered, went to lunch, then I came home and slept until it was time for dinner. I felt the familiar "exhaustion" feeling sweep over me.
I have no idea what is wrong with me. No, my blood test isn't until Wednesday, two days away, but maybe nothing is. I didn't even go to the doctor for being tired because my therapist told me not to, it was a medication issue. That still makes me pretty mad though - my asking her if I should see a doctor and her saying no. WHAT would it have hurt for me to go a family doctor? Why would you ever tell anyone no, you don't need to see your doctor? She never knew to ask me all of the other symptoms I didn't even realize I had that my family doctor asked me, so how could she know? If something is wrong with me, I'm not going back to her. I'm pretty angry about that. If I have something that needs to be treated and could have gone to see my doctor so much sooner instead of waiting to go because I pee'd my shorts when I ran, I will be so much more mad than I am now.
But...I'm kind of back to explaining away to myself all of my symptoms to what I was explaining them away to before. Yes, I'll go get the blood test, but my hopes aren't high that I have anything that can be treated. I feel like I just need to suck it up, not to be a baby, and get on with my life already. Why in the world I am unable to do that, I don't know, but I've got to FORCE myself, whatever the cost.