Well, I've been licking my scratches and feeling sorry for myself a little bit since this weekend, when I ran a 5k on Saturday and did - what I felt at the time to be true, anyway - incredibly poorly.
Fact is that I did *not* do incredibly poorly and I have to keep reminding myself of that. I did under 30 minutes and that's just fine. I feel like an out-of-shape schlub because at my last 5K I did just about 28:00, and at the 8K I did a couple of weeks ago I ran in 47 minutes, including two stops. This one - this puny little 3.1 miler - I finished in 28:45 (or 28:36, according to the results on the website - whatever, nine seconds I DO NOT DISPUTE) and had to walk for a significant section of it around mile 1.5 and 2.5. I took this very hard mostly because I have been having that happen a lot lately - I've had stamina trouble this past couple of weeks and it bothers me quite a bit. Not being able to finish 5 miles without stopping I can understand. Not managing three? Sadness. ;_;
Well, I've thought long and hard and I think here are some reasons, some of which are under my control and some of which are not:
1) I was pacing myself after a coworker who was also running the race and as a result I ran the first mile WAY too fast. Seriously, I did it in 8:15, which would be dandy if I were running a one-mile race. it's much too fast for the first third of a race though.
2) The course had a buttload of hills and I haven't been keeping up in training with hills - I've been sticking mainly with the treadmill the past couple of weeks. I ran the apartment perimeter again yesterday, almost but not quite three times around, then did a hill course on the treadmill. From here on out Sundays are hill days, the end.
3) I've been dieting and this is the first time, I believe, that I've gone into a race with a deliberate week-long caloric deficiency. I guess I can't expect to perform my best when I've been watching calories as harshly as I have. Not that I've been doing 1,000 calorie days or anything like that, but it's just probably best not to try to train for *real* running while trying to lose weight: you either run to lose weight, or you run to race, and the two are different.
So, even the ones I can't really control (like the course) I can at least try to work up on next time. Le sigh. I checked my coworker's time and she only finished a minute ahead of me, after all; and she said she had to stop too and the course was really tough, and that she was running with her son (his first race) and she had to let him go ahead, and he finished a minute ahead of HER. I felt a little better after that but I can't shake this feeling of being disappointed in myself, even though I know I shouldn't. My next 5K will be better. We're all allowed less-than-stellar performances sometimes.
Oh, in unrelated news, I have finally - for the first time! - finished week 2 of the 100 push-ups challenge! My exhaustion test was 26, which is a nice bit up from 19 (where I was two weeks ago). I started week three today but it's HARD; I could only do half of the "max" number listed for the final set (20! YOW!). I think I'm probably going to do the week and then repeat it before going on to week 4. Still though! Progress :)