Race 1: Color Me Rad 5K

Holy colorful cornstarch, Batman! Color Me Rad was totally radical, dude!

What better way to kick off Race Week 2012 than running through a giant pastel dust cloud with 1,000 of your closest friends?

If you haven’t done a color run, I highly recommend it if nothing else for the colorful snot. Seriously, it was epic: blue, purple, neon pink and green. Bonus points if you have a cold.

The first two texts I received directly after the race were in fact:

Dianne: Looking for Erv. My snot is pink! Awesome.

Michelle: Who knew snot could be five different colors?

Yup. Snot color was a universal topic of discussion after this race.

But let’s get back to the very beginning shall we?

It all started the night before when I laid out clothes that a) I didn’t mind destroying and b) provided maximum coverage so I wouldn’t be tie dyed for Sunday’s half marathon in Half Moon Bay. I selected an old oversized long sleeved team shirt that had seen better days (and would look amazing in multiple colors) and a one size too large pair of compression capris that notoriously slip down my arse after 4 miles but should suffice for 3.1 slow miles.

And then I spent the rest of my night staying up late and frantically putting together those last minute preparations for my half marathon before dozing fitfully the remainder of the night until the alarm went off at oh-dark-thirty.

Despite the fun and fancy free nature of a colorful untimed (GASP!) 5K, I helped myself to a traditional pre-race breakfast of choice: whole wheat mini bagel with peanut butter and Nutella served with a side of Espresso Love Gu for good measure. I posed for this absolutely fabulous photo of me (EEK! I look like a frumpy little train wreck here!) and then jetted out the door to meet up with Dianne and Michelle.

Finding the girls proved to be difficult. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo except Waldo is dressed all in white in a crowd of a thousand people also dressed all in white. Eventually, through the use of landmarking and cell phone technology we stumbled upon each other near the start line and set about taking a few before photos.

Dianne and I looking pretty awesome and clean.

Michelle and I also looking fabulous and clean.

We were so very original and creative in our poses, I know.

And then purely out of boredom, we decided to get the party started by breaking out our extra little Color Bombs-of which all three of us had acquired the same color: neon pink.

Oooh…look at us daredevils playing with color before the race starts. OMG, we are SUCH rebels.

The pre-race party was surprisingly festive with DJ revving up the crowd with good music and a t-shirt gun. We hung out in the color mob, trying to get different colors, dancing to music and generally sharing a terror of college co-ed running around with two frightenly ugly baby dolls tied to a PVC pole painted green and blue. Creepy, young lady. Very creepy. You might want to seek some counseling for that. The DJ deftly steered us into starting waves and before we knew the three of us were lined up in the chute and ready to rock and roll.

Now, as I said before the race is an untimed event and in the interest of protecting our precious GPS watches from tie dyed dust clouds, Dianne and I left our respective devices safely at home. This was Michelle’s first 5K and thus she really, really wanted to know her time so she had her Garmin handy. Oh Michelle, how Dianne and I both love you. We were both suffering GPS envy as we crossed the start line because we too really, really wanted to know our time. Your watch was our lifeline to sane running.

Note: Is there a Garmin Anonymous? If so, I think Dianne and I both might need to attend. Stat.

Anyway, the race started off with a thousand crazy people screaming and laughing clad all in white darting through the University of Nevada, Reno like crazy people. And it was fun! We came to the first color station where they threw loads of neon purple powder at us. We gasped. We coughed. We spit like the refined ladies we are then laughed like hyenas.

The next stations was yellow but instead of dry powder, they hit us with liquid dye-saving our eyes and lungs from more torture. Yeah! We danced and did pirouettes through the spray to ensure maximum coverage and headed out to the next station: neon green! More liquid. More pirouettes. Blue and neon pink were both powder and we reveled in both of them before coming into the finish area where every color known to humankind was thrust upon us. We had great fun in the dust cloud and made sure we were thoroughly colorful.

Michelle was looking pretty awesome and clearly enjoying her first 5K experience:

And when it was all said and done, Dianne and I immediately turned to Michelle and asked the inevitable: How did we do? The answer surprised me: 3.1 miles in 38:33, so a nice 12:24…even with the walking.

We celebrated our victorious finish by spitting out multicolored gobs of cornstarch and dancing in the color mob.

Eventually, we parted ways so that I could make a vain attempt to scrub the color from my skin and jump in the car to head off to Race 2 in Half Moon Bay.

Final conclusion on the race: The race was fantastic. It was well run, well organized and a freaking blast. It’s already on my list for next year…with a face mask because tie dyed snot is something you only need to experience once in your life.

Final conclusion on my performance:  I felt strong, confident and was surprisingly speedy without feeling like I was expending a huge amount of effort.  Oh yeah, baby.  All hail Race Week 2012!

Mileage to Date:  3.1 miles

Next up:  Half Moon Bay Half Marathon