Shoppers Drug Mart Run For Women race, for a couple of reasons.
First, it looked like an absolute blast of a race. So much fun and all the pretty details added to make it feel extra special!
Second, this running series sponsors women's mental heath initiatives across the country. This is a very important cause for me, as there is someone close to me who has struggled with mental health issues for most of her life.
To make this race even MORE fun, my best friend decided to sign up with me making this her FIRST 5K RACE EVER!!
If you're thinking about or preparing for your first race, I highly recommend you pick up Running Like a Girl to read about Alexandra's experience, keep yourself motivated, and for a few helpful tips.
The night before I race, I pack up my bag and lay out my clothes. I tend to over pack, in case I change my mind at the last minute or in case I have a friend who forgets something! In the above picture, you can see what I packed:
- Extra pair of dry, clean socks (I use compression socks) - I love compression socks because they're great for circulation and keep my legs from getting too tired too soon. I started wearing them when I started racing because I had the worst shin splints. I have zero proof that compression actually works to help with shin splints, but it seemed to do the trick for me! Plus, I'm prone to some swelling in my feet/ankles at times and these really help. They're great for recovery. I wear compression socks while running too, but I like a dry (non-smelly pair) for after the run.
- Running shoes - well, duh. I better have these. My Mizunos are amazing, I'm completely in love. I also use Superfeet insoles in my shoes since they seemed to help with pain as well.
- Heart rate monitor - completely unnecessary, but I like to use one to track my fitness. I always use a chest strap that connects to my phone.
- Sunscreen - it was a GORGEOUS day for a run, hot and sunny. So SPF is a must for me.
- Lip balm with SPF - Again, it was sunny. But I also hate having dry lips while running so I need something super moisturizing.
- Rub A535 & an ice pack - because these are miraculous for any aches and pains. Thankfully, I didn't need to use either but I always carry some in case.
- Hand sanitizer & wipes - these are nice post-run for the drive home so I feel less sticky and sweaty.
- Snacks - I always keep a few gels/bars in my bag in case I need something. A variety of options too, in case my stomach doesn't feel like it can handle a gel or a bar or a certain flavour.
|See these legs? They are ready to GO!|
|Pink hair is so. much. fun! They had this available at the run for free|
|Pre-run selfie excitement!|
|A great turnout for the race, and I loved that we had a neat little warm-up beforehand!|
|Amazing little tables to have our post-run snacks. They had a bunch of Balance|
|Our running shirt and finisher's bracelet - you can't see it here, but the bracelet says "RUN INSPIRED" which I love.|
I love that middle paragraph from Running Like a Girl. There are so many great thoughts in this book, and one thing I really love is that she talks about what happened AFTER she completed her race. I always find that to be the biggest struggle for me! I love running, but after a race it's so difficult to stay committed and stick with it right now.
The race itself was so much fun - if it's your first time ever racing and you're a bit nervous, I think it's a good idea to pick a FUN race as opposed to one that's more competitive. The atmosphere makes a big difference! There were spectators with signs to cheer us along the course, and all the other runners are so supportive of each other.
I'm going to continue blogging for at least a little while about my running experiences post-race.