As someone who emigrated to this country as a child, there’s a special place in my heart for refugees seeking the American dream. Although I’ve traveled the world and found the “American Dream” elsewhere, the U.S. has been a golden destination for individuals seeking a new start from economic/social strife and warfare. I heard about Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRISCT) on WNPR one day, and listened to the stories of refugees who settled in CT over the past year. But it wasn’t until I was driving home from work one day that I saw a billboard for the 5K supporting IRISCT and decided to participate. I felt it was time for me to stop listening and start acting.
So what moves you to act? Are you interested in supporting a local organization or cause close to your heart. Whether your interested in running for breast cancer or childhood hunger, I’ve put together a list of successful tips that will help you to achieve your goal.
7 East Steps to Success:
1. Knowing your Motivation
Why will you run/walk?
I’m running for IRIS supporting refugees in CT http://www.irisct.org/
For more information: http://www.runforrefugees.org/
2. Being Prepared
It’s important to not only be physically prepared but mentally prepared as well. Eat well and drink lots of water. Make sure your’re heading to the gym or walking at least 4 times per week. Staying stress-free is also essential, so treat yourself to a relaxing pedicure.
3. Getting Sponsorship (if necessary)
I paid $32 to register for my event, which includes my T-Shirt. Some 5K’s require pariticpants to raise money used as a donation toward the cause. Other organizations ask for donations toward other participants, such as IRISCT donations to sponsor a refugee running/walking. https://www.crowdrise.com/refugee-runners-and-walkers
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Sponsors
4. Having a Supportive Circle
You need people in your life who are going to encourage and support you as you participate in this experience. If this is your first 5K as it is mine, prepping can be daunting. You want to make sure you’ve done all the necessary registrations as well as maintained a healthy diet and exercise routine for at least a month. It’s hard to go from a sedentary lifestyle to running/walking a 5K in a week. Make sure you’re ready. The people in your life are essential to this!
5. Dressing Appropriately
The 5K I’ll participate in will provide everyone with T-Shirts. Your gear is up to you. But be mindful of the weather, you want to be dressed comfortably for optimal performance. Even if it’s cold you don’t want to wear too many layers, remember the movement will heat your body up. I’ve chosen to wear Nike Free Running RN Shoes like the ones pictured below. I find that I run better in these than my old New Balance Active Walking sneakers.
6. Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is so important before, during and after your run/walk. You want to be able to have access to water throughout your run. If possible purchase a Hydration Belt from https://www.amazon.com/which gives you non-stop access to your liquids during your preparations and at the actual 5K itself.
7. Sharing your Experience
Nothing feels better than completing something you’ve worked so hard to accomplish. Be sure to share your experience with others and encourage them to get involved.