The Color Run Racine, Part 2

The colorful shirt we got

The colorful shirt we got

I was hoping to keep this post a little shorter than Part 1 of my report on the Color Run last Saturday. I can tell by how much I have to say that this really meant a lot to me and was a major step in my progress. So please bear with me, I apologize.

The 5k

We were instructed at the start line that walkers should stay to the right and runners to the left. I didn’t really know what I should label myself in that regard, but I didn’t worry about it too much. I was just going to do my thing and either move to the right or left as needed to do my thing. We began running and my friend learned quickly that it would be slow for me. She stayed by my side the entire distance, but my family disappeared right away.

Not even a quarter mile in, we hit a hill and already I was down to walking! I knew the hill was there from looking ahead at the course, so I was expecting it and tried not to get bummed. My friend’s approach was to let me know that was ok and to pick a point where we would start running again (top of the hill).

There were so many people there and lots of groups of friends, family, small children. The groups of walkers didn’t stay to the right so much as they were enjoying each others’ company and in the narrower sections of the course the run involved lots of weaving in and out. We were fortunate to have been near the front of the six thousand and it was much less crowded for us. It was fun to see the experienced runners whiz by dodging us all, not a care in the world. And even more fun, was that I was passing people. (One of my anxious visions was that I would be passed by everyone and come across the finish dead last. A bit ridiculous considering this was a fun run.)

Here’s how my friend encouraged me:

  • Don’t think about how thirsty you are, forget that. The important thing is you’re here doing this. (In other words, don’t think about the negative, focus on the positive.)
  • Check your watch, what’s your pace? Try to monitor your pace as you run and be consistent.
  • There’ll be water at the half-way point, you’re almost there.
  • You can’t stop running until you hit a mile! (The only time she pushed me, I made it)
  • When you need to walk, pick and name a point and get to it before you stop. (One point I picked was a group of walking people, a moving target! Not smart.)
  • Once you catch your breath start running again.
  • Watch out for cracks and uneven sidewalk.
  • Check your watch, how far have we gone? (Sometimes this was not a good thing if it was not as far as I was hoping!)
  • She didn’t push, just encouraged. She let me go at my own pace and decide when to walk and run. This was great the first time, but I can see how I could use a little pushing. I learned that I can push myself.
  • She talked to me a lot, the whole way. This was so nice, but oh, my, I had a hard time answering her since I was so out of breath. (This is the part I hate about my running and why I have to walk and don’t know why it’s such a struggle for me)

The course was very nice. It was in a city I don’t visit much, especially in the last few years. It started and ended in a park along the shore of sun sparkling Lake Michigan, below the technical college where I received one of my degrees. It then wandered over to a small marina and up into town along the main street where I had several memories to think about as I ran. There were two hills, the second one was just before half way and the point where I said (out loud) “Three miles is a long way!” (Really? No, it’s not!) The course finished with a big downhill back to the lake, a road I drove often to the parking lot for the two years I was at that college. I have to say, this is the fun part of running for me, to run along roads where my view is usually from driving. You get such a different perspective. And the weather couldn’t have been nicer. About 65F/18C and bright sunshine.

The color stations were crazy! A huge cloud of colored cornstarch in the air. No escaping it really, unless you found a way to go around. The coloring was a bit slow of course. This is not an excuse for my slow time, I used these stations as a needed walk time by making sure I ran all the way up to them. There were two lines of squirters on either side of the road and you lined up with one or the other to get squirted as you walked through. You had to spin around to make sure you got your coloring balanced.

When I crossed the finish line, I stopped my watch and took a peek. I was hoping for anything under 48 minutes, because I slacked off so much the last month or so. But wouldn’t it be nice to get under 45? My watch time was 44:41. Yay! Looking at this in a positive light, there’s lots of room for improvement!

Pretty fancy finish!

Pretty fancy finish!

After

Crossing the finish line, we were handed a color packet, a bottle of water and a Kind bar. Nice! All my anxiety vanished and I thought to myself that it was just like a really fun workout! I know my next 5k will be a real one and then the anxiety will help me, but in this case, I wish I would have just relaxed and let myself have more fun. Next year!

It was a huge party. There was a stage and a band playing and a big cloud of color over the crowd as people sprayed their packets to get the final two colors of orange and green. We did not end up participating in that part. We were trying to find everyone, none of us had phones to connect with or cameras to take pictures!

We ended up going to the local diner and having breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes. I looked at the menu and thought I should order something really yummy like eggs benedict. But I was feeling so high and so healthy, I didn’t really want anything like that. A little bacon and fried potatoes would be treat enough.

What’s Next?

I plan to sign up for some official, timed 5k’s this summer and fall. I haven’t done it yet, but I want to.

1) I plan to get back to daily exercise with lots of variety. One thing I will focus on is anything aerobic that will help me to not get out of breath while running. I’m thinking: hill sprints, jumping jacks, jumping anything, stairs. My main fitness goal is still to run an entire 5k without stopping to walk.

2) Lose some weight and end this plateau. I still have at least 25 pounds to lose. Any weight loss will help me run better.