November has been a huge month of Jost Running races for me. The theme is "Run Your Mass Off". I have run half marathon and 5K races this month with a 10K race coming up. I am without a doubt up for the challenge!
I went into my 5K race with a simple plan. To run at a fast pace for the entire race without stopping. My goal was to finish under 30 minutes. My last Jost Running 5K race was completed in 31:59. In past races I would use the 10 and 1 strategy (run 10 min and walk 1 min), but on this day I wanted to challenge myself to run fast with no stopping. I choose a local 5K route that I knew well. I wanted to run on a familiar route to make things a bit more easier on my concentration. I was poised and ready to get this done in under 30 minutes.
I headed up to the starting point, hit the timer on my watch and simply started running fast and hard. I knew there was a bit of an incline in the beginning but the strategy was get up that incline as quickly as possible. Once I got past the incline I really turned on the heat. I was flying! Really running fast. I made it a point not to look at my watch until I finished the race. I didn't want to be concerned with the time. My only concern at this point was if I would be able to keep up this blistering pace. Now bear in mind - I say blistering pace but my blistering pace would probably be considered a slow pace by most. :)
I knew to be successful at keeping this pace up was to get my breathing under control. If I was huffing, puffing and gasping for breath I would be doomed. While running, I kept taking big, deep belly breaths through my nose and exhaled through my mouth. With this method (thank you Scott Jurek) I was able to control my breathing.
I got to the halfway point running the same, fast pace. I felt the strain of this fast pace but I didn't want to stop. I just closed my eyes and told myself to 'keep up the pace", which I did. It seemed like I was running with blinders, all I could see what was in front of me as I had the finish line etched in my mind. I wasn't looking at the time, but I felt I had a great chance to finish under 30 minutes.
As i was nearing the finish line, I was really feeling fatigued. My pace did slow down a bit but I continued to run as fast as I was able too. I got up a small incline near the finish line. Once I got up the incline, my body told me to stop. And much to my disappointment, I obliged. I still had a bit to go but I stopped for about 30 seconds after I got up that incline. I knew I had to press on if I wanted to reach my goal. I continued running again at the fastest pace I was able to. I saw the finish line and really turned on the heat. It was funny, as I turned on the heat, an elderly lady laughed and asked if that was as fast as I can run. I responded with a hearty "Jost Running baby!"
When I crossed the finish line I was exhausted. I crouched down and took a few very deep breaths. I thought I had a great run and was proud that I kept up this pace even though I did have to stop 1 time. I wondered if I had finished under 30 minutes. The moment of truth had come. I looked at my watch and saw 25:41. I thought it might have been a mistake but it was no mistake. I had run this 5K with my best ever time of 25:41. I suddenly became a very proud runner.
With that best ever time, I was able to accomplish something I thought I would never be able to accomplish. I finished 1st in the Jost Running 5k race for November!! I won my first race! This really made me a proud runner. Its great to see the results and my name is at the top of the list. That is awesome!
In addition to the 5K, I also ran the Jost Running half marathon. I decided to run this race through a local trail and to make a leisurely 13.1 mile run. I enjoyed this run, taking in the sites without trying to break any records or anything. I finished this race in 2:31:43. My second half marathon in two months.
I am very proud of my running these days and I don't intend to stop.