Friday, November 09, 2012

The Color Run

Almost two years to the day that I started taking up running with the Couch to 5K program, I ran my second 5K. This one was The Color Run which took place at National Harbor and raised money for Children’s Hospital. Unlike most 5Ks, it wasn’t timed (more of a fun run than an actual race), and at every kilometer there were volunteers with a specific color of powdered dye that they would throw onto you. It made for a fun yet messy run.

 So young, so innocent. No idea what mess awaits them!

Unlike last year’s Thanksgiving 5K (which I ran solo) this one I had two friends with me, Zach and Lauren. I still did the actual running by myself though since Zach is a little speed demon and Lauren decided to walk it. Riddle me this Batman: why is it every 5K course must include a giant hill? I get that Virginia isn’t the flattest place in the world, but isn’t it possible to find SOMEWHRE that doesn’t include a hill that makes me want to lay down and die??

But that’s what training is for, and I pushed myself up that hill and managed to run the entire course—which is always my goal rather than a specific time. My mantra while running (or let’s be honest, slowly jogging) is to repeat “you are not a quitter.” Sometimes that’s the only thing that can get you through it. When you feel that your lungs are going to burst, when your calves are aching, and when your heart feels like it’s going to pound out your chest, the only thing you have is pure nerve and determination. I’ve never quit at anything in my life and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let something like 3 miles get the best of me. I think the training for a race is as much mental as it is physical. You not only have to get your body used to running for however long those 3 miles takes, but also your brain to stay focused and keep pushing those legs.

And of course, there’s always race day adrenaline. It’s exciting to take part in an event like this—which had over 5,000 runners! They started us off in large groups at 9:00 in the morning (thankfully we were in the first heat and didn’t have to wait hours to run) and were still releasing runners an hour later. There’s a sense of camaraderie that exists in things like this; especially when you’re all covered in red, yellow, blue, purple, and orange dye. People encourage and joke with one another, which isn’t easy when most of your are wheezing along. 

All in all, the second race was a success! I ran the whole thing (even the hill!) which is always my goal and we participated in an event that raised money for a great charity. I'm thinking a 5K every six months is a good goal.

Post-race messiness!

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