♪♫♪ Boom clap – the sound of my heart, the beat goes on and on and on and on~
Since I started running about two years ago, I’ve done a whole lot of races, from 5Ks to 8Ks to the Chicago half marathon. While I enjoy the challenge and adrenaline that come from these runs, it’s always been on my running bucket list to do a color run. For those who aren’t familiar, a color run is basically a 5K that features a ton of color dye being thrown at all the runners…might sound a little crazy but it’s a whole lot of fun! It’s not only great because it’s just a big, messy fun day, but it’s also nice because it’s a kind of run where no one has to worry about finish times or who is faster than who. People just run, get colorful, and have a fantastic time. I spent some time scoping out all of the color runs happening in Chicago, and it turns out that there’s a whole lot – the Color Run, Run or Dye, Color Me Rad, Fun Run in Color…the list goes on and on. Then, a few months ago, I chatted about it with my best friend Armita, who lives in Berkeley, California. Armita and I have known each other since first grade, and I’m always sad I don’t get to see her as much now because she goes to school at UC Berkeley. It was awesome to find out that she got a paid research position in Chicago this summer because now we can finally hang out! Well, we searched for a long time, and finally we found a great deal for the Color in Motion 5K, which would work for both of our schedules. Back in April, the race had a special April Fool’s Day discount, so we were also able to register our friends Nava and Brandon for the race for free! Before long, we were all registered months early, and just last week the Color in Motion 5K turned out to be on of the first things we did together in Chicago!
I was super excited that I would be able to run with a group of friends for the very first time. I don’t really have many friends who run, so usually when I line up for a race, I’m by myself and stretch alone. I always see a lot of people getting pumped and ready with their groups of friends, and sometimes I get kind of lonely and wish that I could just sneak into a group of friends and run along with them…that’s not weird, right? Haha, well I was really happy that I had a group to run with because it made it so much more fun.
We arrived pretty early, but it was still quite a challenge to find parking. After we had finally parked and walked to the run site, we spent some time just taking lots of photos while we were still looking clean in our spotless white shirts. But of course the temptation of our four bags of color dye was too much, and it wasn’t long before we opened them up and started dousing each other in shades of blue, red, green, and yellow! I thought we were already decently messy by then, but I had no idea what was to come…
With the crowd’s thunderous cheers and the sound of KISS FM’s radio music, the race started at 9:00 AM as people poured onto the race path. Nearly all of the volunteer groups there were supplied with countless color packets of every color, so immediately there were shades of purple, orange, pink, etc. flying everywhere! After that, the 3.1 mile run course consisted of intervals of running in between color dye stations where volunteers would blow colors at all of the runners. Many times I thought it felt like running straight through a rainbow, and even though I knew it was probably bad to breathe in the chemicals of the dye, I would always charge straight through the color stations. By the time we finished, we all had green, purple, blue, pink, and red on us from
head to toe! Afterwards, KISS FM held a color party at the finish site where more people were throwing out color packets to spray on everyone. There seemed to be hundreds of people just cheering and trying to get as messy as they possibly could!
By the time we were ready to head home, I felt sure that I would be spending the rest of the day in the shower. Luckily, Armita and Nava had brought extra towels for everyone and we were able to spare Brandon’s car from looking like a rainbow on the inside. Later that day, Armita, Nava and I also ate some greasy burgers from Jim’s and some delicious Coldstone ice cream…it was quite the day of indulgence. And to my very pleasant surprise, the color dye came off quite easily! I felt much better after just one shower, and even my shoes were clean after going through the washer just once. I had heard from friends who have done color runs before that the dye is most annoying to get out of shoes and clothes, so I was really relieved to find out otherwise. After all, I only have one pair of good running shoes (nice ones with good padding can be quite expensive, and it’s a good investment to prevent knee/shin injuries), and I’m counting on them to not fall apart…at least not for a couple more months.
Speaking of which, I started my training for the Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago, and it’s just the first weeks of a loooong 16-week process. I actually started kind of late because I slacked off while living at home, so now I’m paying the price by trying to hurry and get ready! Typical full marathon training is at least a 20-week commitment, so I’m kind of running (pun intended, ha) on a tight schedule. Mainly I’m finding that I have to listen to my body instead of strictly following the schedule. Those few weeks of not running much at home are hitting me hard, so I’m trying to build back my endurance as quickly as I can so I can get ready. As per the schedule, I do one big “long run” each week, and I’m hitting just about 10 miles for that right now when it should be 12…hopefully I can catch up the schedule soon! But the last thing I want to do is to injure myself, so I’m still trying to know when to take it easy and take a rest day, especially if I’m exhausted from classes or spending hours in the lab.
Despite the crazy training schedule, I’m delighted that I was able to just relax for the color run with my friends and forget about counting miles or times. I’ll definitely have to sign up for more fun runs like this in the future because even though I love running and how it makes me feel, it’s even better when I can share the experience with others.
Boom clap – you make me feel good, come on to me, come on to me now! ♪♫♪
(Boom Clap - Charli XCX)