After some super official research (google, duh), I've determined that I am pushing myself too hard. Trying to get less then 10:00 minute miles, keeping up with Sean, gasping to breathe at the end of each run isn't doing me any favors.
Sean's cousin ran with us last month and mentioned how my breathing got really bad towards the end of the 3 miles, which probably means my heart rate is out of control. I should probably work on that.
So! I'm going to run slower. Take it down a notch, try to enjoy the activity without being so competitive. This is going to involve running by myself, before the sun rises, a few days a week. I'm super stoked about the waking up early part...not. I'll pair this with crossfit WODs in the evening and maybe use it to have some "me" time...or just try to get it done before my body wakes up and figures out wtf I'm doing to it!
I plan to (eventually) increase my distance, as well as slowing down my pace. I REALLY want to do a Tough Mudder next year, so it would be helpful if I was able to, you know, run the whole 10+ miles.
Hopefully some road time to myself will help me focus on my breathing, perfect my form, and start enjoying myself, instead of counting down the minutes til it's over.
I'm going to try eating 1-2 scrambled eggs (fat + protein) before I go out, then have either a protein shake or some pumpkin protein pancakes (protein + carbs) afterwards. I'm going to have to come up with a recipe for that one, so I'll make sure to post it once it's been perfected ;)
Wish me luck! (and motivation to get out of bed when my alarm goes off!)
All those mocha lattes...