Today was the day of my first 5k. I signed up to do the Color Run in Clearwater, FL. Some would say that this wasn’t a “real” 5k because it was more of a fun run, but I treated it like it was an actual timed race.
I woke up today at 6:45 this morning for a light breakfast and drank a bottle of water to start waking up my system. The house was completely dark still, and I reveled in the quiet moments, reflecting on my hard work over the past 6 weeks and anticipating the fun I was about to have running. I was really excited! I stayed with a friend who lives close to Coachman Park (where they held the run), and it was all I could do to not wake her up when I got up! We had both gone to the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa the day before, and I decided to let her sleep in a bit, as she had drank a lot more than I had the previous day.
I got dressed and ready to run the race. I wore a white shirt, white shorts that said Color This on the backside, and a pair of colorful blue polka dot knee high socks. I couldn’t pass up the socks! Finally at about 7:30 she woke up too, and got ready. We left her house around 8am, to arrive to Coachman Park about 8:30. The race start time was 9am, and I was meeting several friends at the start who were also running with us. When we got over to the park, I was actually lucky to find parking right outside the start area in the library parking lot. Not sure how I managed to pull that one off! Some of our friends were already there, so we met up with them at the check in tent. It was getting closer to the start time but we did manage to get in one picture with the group!
Then it was off to the start line! They were counting down waves of runners and letting them go in large groups. Music was playing at the start line and they were throwing down rubber wrist bands and hats to random people in the crowd. The energy at the start line was pretty awesome! Everyone was so psyched up to be there. I saw lots of people with the color run tutus on- I told the girls I was with that we were definitely wearing tutus next year 🙂 Finally at about 9:10 it was our turn to get going! They counted us down from 10 and we were off!
Because of the amount of people in the crowd, it was a little difficult to get jogging right away. We did manage to jog at a rather slow pace to the first color zone, which was purple. I was jogging along side my friends Lindsey and Krystal. As we went through the first color zone, we slowed our pace to a walk so we could get as much color on us as possible! As we were leaving the color zone, they had a sign that said “You’re a Purple People Eater!” After that first color zone, I picked up the pace a bit. Lindsey and Krystal opted to stay behind, as Lindsey still wasn’t feeling too good, and Krystal wanted to stay with her. I jogged at a moderate pace to the second color zone, yellow, which stated that “Yellow is your happy color!” at the front. The next two color zones were pink and blue respectively, and I was most excited about the blue! Man, did they get me good with that color! I looked like a smurf when I was done with that zone! One guy high fived me with a handful of color powder…I still haven’t managed to get all of it out of my hand!
I ended up finishing in 43 minutes- under my 45 minute self-imposed time limit! It was about an average of 14:00 minutes a mile. I’m pretty happy with that- it’s not bad for a first time runner! All in all, I thought this was a great first 5k experience. With all that adrenaline rushing through me, I was about ready to run another one right after finishing the first! We hung around for the after party for about an hour and a half after the race, where they had picture ops, free yogurt giveaways and free juice, and sponsored tents with several different fitness store/gyms there. They didn’t have the shirt I wanted for sale there though- a shirt that says Run Happy. I guess I’ll just have to get it from the online store! The best part though was the large scale color throws they were doing- each runner got a color packet at the end of the race, and then they had a MC up on stage that was counting down to when we could throw the colors. We opened the packets and shook them in the air- it was a rainbow of colored powder! I ended up getting even more blue and pink on me- the blue really liked me!
I had a great time doing this run, and I’m really happy that I started running. At this point, I’m getting excited for my next run, the Best Damn Race in Orlando on March 1. I honestly can’t understand why I ever didn’t like running at one point. Now I think it’s awesome!!