After running about 6.5 in the morning with Enzo, I decided to go to the President's Cup 5k. It was a tough decision. I still feel a little weak and sluggish. I texted Sidney from the parking lot whining that I am not so sure I am happy paying $30 to do something poorly.
The weather was nice. The course was fast. The field was huge. If anything I would get a little speed work in. My best 5k of 2011 was 6:47 pace way back in February. Since I haven't come near that time since, I am starting to question whether that course was short. I did feel fast that day and I did push hard. I also raced a great 50k the following week and only a few weeks later I started taking the medication that damaged my liver, so maybe I have just been struggling from that? Or maybe the course was short? Whatever the reason, I have NOT put in the work for a fast 5k, so I didn't expect one.
Well, I promised myself a few weeks ago that I would push the pace for as long as I could in these short runs. Last 5k, I got to about 12 minutes before things got hard. This time I got to about 14 minutes, but that put me just barely past the 2 mile mark, so I was happy. Maybe next 5k, I can feel strong through 16?
In mile 3, I felt the fatigue setting in. My breathing was hard and this is where I saw Ross, a fellow asthma sufferer struggling. I was able to catch him. Ross is great because he responds so well to encouragement.... or maybe he will do whatever he can to not get beat by a girl... either way, whenever I see him hurting I feel his pain. I always make point to try to get him to just stay with me. He knows I have asthma to and I know he knows I understand. In fact, he met me at mile 3 of a 10k about 3 years ago as he passed me while I wheezing and he asked if I was ok. I huffed out "Asthma... " and from then on when he sees me in a race he will say "There's Asthma!"... Ross and I go back and forth in races, but for the most part he is a faster runner than me so I know something is wrong if I catch him.
The last two times this happened, Ross was able to let me pass him and then suddenly find the drive to get it together and blow past me. I was happy for him, although I must admit I do try to stay with him hoping to be able to pass him by the end. :) Last night that was not possible.
By the end of the race, I saw that clock was still reading 21... and knew if I kicked hard I could finish before it changed to 22... I finished in 21:58, 4th in AG, 40the female out of over 500 and 300th place of about 1345 runners. This is only 6 seconds faster than my last run. I am happy to see that 21, though even thought this is still about 1:30 slower than my best ever 5k.
I still have a lot of work to do.
The year is young. :)