As you guys know, running has been a bit of a chore for me lately. Two weeks ago, I talked about this big wall I am trying to run through and though I ran 5x last week, my long run capped at 14 rather than the 20 I attempted. The humidity was 90% and my body was just drained of energy.
This week, life got in the way of running. Buying/selling a house + work + a short work week meant I got 3 miles in on Monday and nothing after that. So yesterday, as some of the girls were going to run Friday morning instead of Saturday, I decided I was going to do 20. No excuses. I just had to get the full 20 miles in.
So I did. I started at 5:15am and ran 4 with Jen and Meg. Then we met Karen, Lori and Ashley for the next 10. Ashley, Karen, Lori and I ran the next 2 together and Karen kept with me for the last 4. I felt REALLY good between miles 9-15. The last four, however, were SLOW. But I did it and was so happy to get over the mental block of doing 20 miles.
Last spring I felt like I was doing 20 every other weekend – no big deal. But this training season, it’s become this behemoth that has stressed me out. With 4-20 milers under my belt I have one more before I start tapering for the Chicago Marathon. And at least now I know I can do it. My shoes were soaked from all the sweat and humidity. And my body just hurt. I have self-diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis and I can feel my achilles tightening again. My hip (piriformis) hurts. My calf is tight. This body is no wonderland. But the positive of all this is that I am seeing a sports massage therapist today at 1:45! He promises to work out my calves and hammys and for a full hour! I will be sure to report on it’s success but I need something. I can’t risk achilles tendinitis again.
Fast forward to this morning….the Color Me Rad 5k! I had quite a few free passes I was able to give out (thanks, Gretchen!) and so Dana, Christi, Adam and Stacy met at the Fairgrounds to take on this rainbow adventure. The idea is to wear all white, pick up as much color as possible while running and end up colored rad.
Christi and Dana ran 9 miles beforehand and Adam planned on 16 after. But Stacy and I were plenty happy with just 3.1 today. In fact, this was her FIRST 5k! You can read all about her fitness adventures on her blog. She wanted to run today’s race in 38 minutes and typically runs by running a minute, walking a minute. Not today…..today she rocked it!
Before the race began, some of the participants had purchased extra bags of color so were already getting messy. We stayed pretty clean until the first half mile when we reached the purple station. As we approached, I put on my sunglasses so I wouldn’t get the food colored corn starch in my eyes. I wanted to get blasted and blasted I got! As we ran through, a volunteer threw a huge handful at my face. It was awesome.
We all stayed together throughout the entire race and hadn’t walked once at this point. Stacy was incredible! She ran much better than I think even she thought she could! Plus her bubbly personality just made everyone around her happy. I’m guessing that’s pretty common in her world. The next station was a green blast of water which was cold and yet awesome. Although at this point I realized I needed to protect my phone just a little better from the blasts!
From there, we hit the pink cloud of color and were just covered. Christi looked like a pink serpent.
We took a few brief walking breaks but overall kept a steady pace. And all of us just reveled in the fact that this was such a fun way to run. There were good runners and walkers. Kids. People of all ages and shapes and sizes. I didn’t see a single person NOT smiling. It was exactly what I needed to remind of why running can be fun.
As we neared the end, we were handed our own packet of color so at the finish, there was just a dense fog of dust. We shook color all over ourselves and others and crossed the finish line strong and laughing. Stacy’s boyfriend, Greg, was right there cheering us on. Even he had picked up some blue dust! We washed the color out of our teeth and then surveyed the damage. We looked absolutely ridiculous and yet awesome. This is exactly what we wanted.
It was immediately decided that we needed to cap off this awesome morning with a Bagel Deli breakfast so we took our blue bodies north. We definitely got some stares as we entered the restaurant but thank gosh we had strength in numbers.
I couldn’t be happier about this weekend’s running. Though the 20 miler wasn’t easy, breezy beautiful, I got through it. And this morning’s 5K gave me such a renewed sense for my love of running. Being able to share with people who had just as much fun as I did made it a perfect morning.