In February I ran my first Disney 5K with my children. After months of training along a quiet, rustic trail, I jumped into a crowd with thousands of runners and quiet was far from heard. Throughout my training my children earnestly tried to prepare me for the change in terrain and other environmental changes as they were learning to run my “slow speed” and how to manage my weaknesses. But, what I learned on race day is: running in an event with thousands of people is incredibly different than training as a trio. There is a plethora of emotions from anxiety to excitement as everyone awaits for their corral to be called to the starting line. Once the race begins runners turn on their defensive running skills as they make their way along the track. Some runners head straight to the finish line while others make their way from character to character. I must say stop for the characters! You have plenty of time to enjoy all photo opportunities. Disney invites many rare characters to cheer you. They are stationed every half mile or so and are a huge part of the fun.
I am not a professional runner by any means. I basically went from couch to 5K in less than 3 months of every now and again training. My children are the runners. And I will be honest we walked most of the 3.2 miles because I just couldn’t handle it. At mile marker 1 I was out of breath and my throat was on fire because I have not mastered breathing while running. My only accomplishment thus far was running for 5 minutes straight. As we crossed into Mexico I told my daughter I was done and would wait at the finish line for her and her brother. She grabbed my hand and dragged me through the rest of the winding track. I can proudly say that I crossed the finish line and I can’t wait to do it again.
I could not have survived my first 5K without a few runner essentials.
- KT TAPE: KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. This is a Godsend for anyone who suffers pain from running. I tend to get shin splints within the first 5 minutes of running. I easily taped my shin area and soles of my feet the night before with the help of a KT TAPE YouTube video. I was amazed at how easy it was to tape myself and even more amazed when I finished running without any shin pain. KT TAPE will last for days and withstands sweat and water. So if you are running a series of events over the weekend you will only need to tape yourself once. I still don’t understand the science behind KT TAPE, but it works like magic and I will never run again without it.
- Shoe Charms: Running on the Wall motivational shoe charms will inspire any runner to climb mountains. Just as my body was giving up I looked down at my shoes and read the words, “Keep Running- Hebrews 12:1” and “She Believed She Could and So She Did.” This was at the same moment my daughter grabbed me by the am and said, “Mom, your doing great you are almost there. You made it to Mexico.” I knew I couldn’t give up. Having that little push really helped me gain momentum and motivated me to “Keep Running.”
- Fruit DropsFruit Drops: Skratch Labs Fruit Drops are made with real fruit and will give you a quick boost of energy that will get you flying to the finish line. Fruit Drops are an easy and convenient source of carbohydrate to help maintain blood sugar and performance during prolonged exercise. A single pouch contains ten ‘drops’ comprising two 80 calorie servings. I found the Raspberry Fruit Drops by Skratch Labs a need to start kick my early morning. They are sweet and provide lasting energy. My children and I shared the raspberry fruit drops before the race and we were on a high for hours after the race. But be prepared to crash hard when the energy runs out.
As a new runner I am learning with every race I run. My body is still adjusting and I can’t run an entire race, but perhaps one day I can. I watch other runners and think to myself, “they make it look so easy.” For me, running is made easier with my top 3 runner essentials.
Do you have a product that you just can’t run without? Share below in the comments.