How I Prepared For My First 5K Race

I made a decision about a couple of months ago to run my first 5K on Mother’s Day, and guess what? I DID IT!!!

After continuing to increase my endurance and stamina at Orange Theory Fitness over the past few months I felt it was time. I was ready.

I was also being compelled by a few factors:

  • I love to challenge myself and see how I overcome those challenges
  • I fully support the Run for Women and the support they provide to local mental health organizations and initiatives
  • My mom. Her death invoked so much in me emotionally and physically as well. I want to be as healthy and for as long as I can be for my own children. I couldn’t imagine them having to feel what I feel every day.

The weeks leading up to the race were all about getting into the right mindset, eating well and pushing myself physically to maintain my endurance.

Mindset was huge for me – I had many thoughts about running in my first official road race:

  • How I would run? at what pace?
    • Running on a treadmill is quite different from running outside! I took an average of my fastest pace over the past month and used that as my baseline.
  • Would let myself walk if I really had to?
    • This was the hardest part. A lot of self-talk occurred during that last 1.5km, i had two pauses – once at a crosswalk and once at a stoplight –  with a 15 second walk to get back up to pace
  • What would happen if it was really windy or cold?
    • This particular race was on a bit of a gloomy, cool and slightly windy day but no crazy gusts that made it difficult.
  • Would I be able to keep up with my 19 yr old daughter?
    • Considering she went out the night before, I was curious if she was gonna let mom fall behind, but she actually encouraged me to go harder, faster and I actually left her behind!

  • Did I have the proper gear?

  • I already had a nice waist belt to store my phone (picked it up at Sears Canada). I also grabbed a super lightweight hand held water bottle (made by FuelBelt)

  • You guys already know I’m an app fiend, so I used two great apps to capture my run and also keep me motivated. I wore a headphone only in one ear so I could be aware of my  surroundings as I ran.
    • MapMyRun – not only does this app have GPS capability, it tracks elevation, mileage, time splits and so much more. It was awesome to finish the race and get so much detailed data about my first run!

  • For Music…
    • Rock My Run – this is the app/music that is used at my group fitness sessions at Orange Theory Fitness. Having familiar music from my training was extremely helpful in making my run comfortable. You can choose a mix depending on the activity (i.e. 5K, 10K, group training, walking, elliptical, etc). I also listen to the various mixes in my car, there are some really good 80’s and 90’s mixes that I can’t get enough of!

It’s crazy how our thoughts can literally take over our lives right? Had I let those thoughts get a hold of me, I may not have run the race at all.

I hadn’t run outside since last year never mind in a race, so I gave myself a goal that I wanted to run under 45 minutes from start to finish. The only pause/walk would be for quick sips of water.

Check out my results!

33  minutes and 49 seconds! Not too shabby I’d say, and guess who has already signed up for her next 5K?

Yep, me!

I plan on running in the Commit To Get Fit 5K in early June 2017. This run supports active living and helping to treat and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

Someone had told me that after running my first 5K, I would become obsessed and want to run in many more, maybe even the Manitoba Marathon!

As great as that sounds, I’m also being realistic. I want to get a few more 5K’s under my belt, and I’ll see where that takes me first.

Are you an avid runner? Have you ever run a 5K? Describe your first experience! What do you do to prepare?

One Comment

  1. Janice Cournoyer says:

    Lots of inspiration here, and I am going to give a go for next year. I already run, but mu=y stamina needs improvement.

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