Monday, May 7, 2012

Color Me Rad 5k

Today's post is brought to you by guest blogger Heidi from Love Each Step. She has a great blog about being present and living life fully in the moment.

She graciously agreed to write a recap for Color Me Rad. She also wrote another recap for her own blog here. If you have any interest in running Color Me Rad you should check these reviews out.

Where can you get covered head to toe in colorful corn starch, get to act like a kid, and get a a great workout? At the Color Me Rad series that made its stop in Virginia Beach today! Proceeds benefitted the local YMCA.
From her blog...."This is my journey of practicing presence, of letting go, so I can live more fully with each step I take."
I love the premise to this series- just fun! No timing chips, no corrals, no pressure! It helped me remember that running isn't always about PR's- it should be fun. There should be times when you aren't competing, when you aren't hoping to overcome just one more runner on the horizon.
A part of the day that I was really looking forward to was meeting many of the moms from the MRTT group! It was exciting to meet people in person, and we had a chance to get a group picture.
The race was staged at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, and even though traffic around the area was thick and slow moving, the Color Me Rad organizers were allowing people to start well after their assigned wave times. I was in the first wave, and it was packed-- white shirts as far as I could see ahead of me! For the first quarter mile, walking was the only option. Luckily, I wasn't too concerned with how much or how fast I ran, but I did sympathize with another runner who said she had trained for this, her first official run, and had been hoping to put up a good time. I'm sure she relaxed and enjoyed the fun because the first color stop was early in the race. Volunteers were ready and waiting to throw colored corn starch at all of the runners, and it created a huge, multicolored cloud that we could see as we approached. The course weaved its way through fields and grassy areas surrounding the sportsplex. At times the path was a bit narrow, and even though I was trying to remember that this was all for fun, I couldn't help but step into the long grass along the side of the path and gain a little ground!  Four color stops later, and we reached the finish line. The race ended with all of the runners pummeling each other with colored corn starch one last time. It was a blast and such a different experience for a "race."
It didn't feel like a 5k, but I decided not to wear my Garmin for fear that it would be ruined. Another MRTTer used her GPS and clocked a 2.83 course. Color Me Rad's entire premise is all about not worrying with many rules or guidelines. It almost seems fitting that the course should be a 5k, but it just misses the mark! That is a challenge to those of us who are a bit Type A, a bit too comfortable with structure. For me, the day was all about pushing my adult, grown-up self aside and simply enjoying the experience- something we should try to do more often.
Overall, it was a great run, and I'd definitely do it again, but I think the next time, I will bring my boys to enjoy the messy fun, too. They were there to watch, and I could practically see them drooling to get down and dirty!

There are only a few things that I wish had been different about the way the event was organized. The trash cans were few and far between, so as we were walking out, there were water bottles and plastic bags everywhere! This definitely wasn't a "green" race, and I hope that the parking lots and other areas were cleared by the end of the day. The other issue that I saw was that the fruit and water was directly at the finish line, so it was coated with the colored corn starch. Maybe it's just me being picky, but I'd prefer clean fruit and water... Or maybe that was another moment to learn to relax and just eat the blue apple? I passed on that opportunity. Maybe next year!

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