Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Couch to 5K Run #2

The Color Run - Chicago - getting ready.
Back in February when Pinterest was just a blip on my radar and not something that I go to everyday to see what's new, I came across pictures of people running covered in chalky, colorful stuff and it intrigued me. I clicked on the image and ended up at TheColorRun.com and read all about the most fun run a person can have with friends.

The Color Run has literally swept the nation and offers runs in almost every state this year. 2013 locations are already being booked as well. The run/walk is a 5K and for each kilometer completed, you are doused in colored cornstarch. By the end of the run, you look like something that Willy Wonka created. Then the post-run party is where you really get doused because everyone gets a bag of color to throw around. I found that the closest run to Wisconsin (back in February) was in Chicago. I told a few friends about it and they were very interested in doing it with me. We waited very patiently for registration to open and signed up as a team right away.

The race filled up really fast and unfortunately only 3 of our 4 person team were able to sign up. But we decided to make the best of it and trudge forward with plans. We decided that with the race starting at 8 am, we would stay overnight in a hotel just outside of Chicago.

My parents came along as my cheering squad and drove me down on Friday night. We were able to get down to Chicago early enough that I could pick up the race packets for my team. I didn't realize just how large this race was going to be until I got in line for the packets and saw all the people in line and how many bags weren't picked up yet. I mentally noted that I needed to get up earlier than planned so as to make sure we would get to the race on time, find parking and run in an earlier wave.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, which was recommended by the race. We talked to the conceirge about the best routes to get to the city for the race and they recommended picking up the "L" a few minutes away and taking that in. The transit even offers an all-day ride pass that can be bought at local stores. Besides the conceirge leading us to Walgreens to get a pass, which clearly they did not (nor have someone that even knew what we were asking for), we used our iPhone technology and scooped up passes at the local Jewel-Osco.

The Color Run Swag Bag + bumper sticker and bandana!
When we returned to the hotel, I laid everything out that I would need for the race and got myself mentally prepared by painting my finger nails a rainbow before going to bed. (I had to show my Color Run spirit.) I did a double check and called it a night because morning was coming early. Although the hotel stay didn't go as planned with a large disturbance in the middle of the night (that has stayed unacknowledged by the hotel staff to this day), I was rested ok and ready to run the next morning. We got on the "L" with a ton of other Color Runners and headed off to the race.

Lined Up for The Color Run
We go to the site around 7:15 and had time to stretch and make last minute preparations before getting in line. We joined the line of white shirts and started to get hyped up with all the other happy and smiling people. The music was rocking out at the start and we inched our way to the front. It finally made it to our wave and got ready to go. The run isn't timed but I wanted to beat my last race time. I set my Active.com Couch 2 5K app on my phone and took off.

I again had a hard time getting my breathing regulated in the beginning and walkers and runners took off together. It was hard getting through the crowds at first and finding my pace. I eventually got it together right before the first color - GREEN. I put my bandana up and pushed my glasses tighter to my eyes and went through. (Both of those suggestions are from runners that did the run in another location.) I started smiling and laughing and was excited for the next colors to come.
Shauna got "greened" good!

Pink Color in the distance
I went through Blue and Pink and then got to run on the beach for a bit. The day was beautiful and people were stopping for pictures and fun in that area. I trudged on and just headed to the end. My mom and dad were right before the Yellow and my mom had me stop for a picture quick. I stopped for maybe 3 seconds and tore off again in awe of the yellow cloud up ahead. It was a complete "yellow out." I grabbed the girl's shoulders in front of me and she grabbed the person in front of hers so we wouldn't hit anyone because it was bad like a foggy day. The yellow crew used garbage cans and scooped out the corn starch and threw it at us instead of water bottles, so that is why it was such a cloud.

Approaching the "Yellow Out"
Yellow Zone - cough cough
After yellow, all that was left was the finish line and some water to rinse out my mouth. The bandana worked out rather well, but after yellow I inhaled a ton in my mouth that had gotten stuck on a fold in the cloth. No choking thank goodness.

I happily crossed the finish line and looked at my phone. USER ERROR! I hadn't set it for the right program so I didn't get my official time. I figure that I was around 40 minutes because there were a lot of obstacles to get around and people really slowed down going through the color zones.
Finish Line shot

They had plenty of water, granola bars, Muscle Milk, 5 Hour Energy bottles for us to grab at the finish area. I even got an extra bag of color to throw at the party. I finally found my friends and my parents and we grabbed our packets of color and headed into the party for the throw. My parents stayed in the back and took some shots but I took my phone in and attempted a few shots. The DJ counted down 5..4..3..2..1 and then we all shook our bags of color into the air and made a beautiful rainbow all over all of us.
After The Color Run Party!
My nails fit in now!
The Color Run throwing color zone.

We only stayed in for 1 round because we got really coated. We then went over and got some merchandise and called it a day from the run. I had brought some wet towels along to try to wipe off the color but it didn't seem to work. When we got back to the car, Clorox wipes seemed to work the best and baby wipes (with that touch of oil). We did then head back downtown and enjoyed Chicago because the weather was so beautiful.
Chicago Bean

This race was a blast and we instantly signed up for the Milwaukee one. We have ideas for costumes for our team and are training up for that one. I do have a few runs in between now and then that you will read about. But I highly recommend bringing the whole family out for this run!

Next post for me is #100 - still taking suggestions but I think I have a good idea and it will focus on my city that I love so much - WAUKESHA.

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