Another Whirlwind Weekend: Last Pre-Tink Long Run & The Color Run!

Welcome to yet another whirlwind weekend in my life.  I swear, I leave work on Friday, blink, and suddenly it’s Sunday evening again!  There is never enough time to get everything done.  Let’s start from the beginning.

Saturday

I got a pretty decent night’s sleep on Friday (which I definitely needed – I was a little bit delirious when I wrote my last blog post to please excuse any resulting incoherence) but knew I had a couple early wakeup calls ahead of me this weekend.  Since I knew The Color Run was on the horizon for Sunday, Saturday had to be the day for my last long run before the Tinker Bell Half.  While I hate missing my one sleep-in day for the week, I definitely wanted to stay on top of my weekly mileage and get that one last bit of pre-race preparation in.

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After consulting the hourly forecast, I decided the temperature would be ok as long as I got out by 9 am.  Boy was I wrong.  While the air temperature may not have been bad, the sun was on FIRE.  While I kept a great pace for the first mile, I knew this was not going to be a fast run.  I stopped worrying about pace from then on and just wanted to get through it and make it as enjoyable as I could given the circumstances.

My pace wasn’t terrible and was pretty good for an “off day” but definitely does not match with my Tink Half aspirations.  I think every run teaches you a little lesson.  It could be a lesson about yourself, your capabilities, running in general, what to wear, what not to wear, or, in this case, what a different the sun/temperature makes!  I think the real purpose of this run was to make me appreciate the very cold weather I am anticipating for Tink.  How can I complain about even 40 degree temps when I  just witnessed how horrible a hot day is?

The rest of the day and evening was filled with finalizing our Color Run costumes before the race.  We decided we were going to pick up our packets, make tutus, cut white cotton tee’s into cute tanks, and finalize the plan for the day.  We started with a delicious lunch at Pei Wei (which I felt less guilty about since I did successfully get my run in) and then we headed to pick up our packets at a local Sports Authority.  We quickly followed up with an impromptu trip to the Nike Outlet (which yielded not one but two new pairs of Nike LunarEclipse+ 2’s – my shoe of choice).  I will do a separate post about all of the new gear I have gotten recently since I have some choice new items.

The signage outside Sports Authority set the stage for the event well!

The signage outside Sports Authority set the stage for the event well!

Once we finished shopping, it was off to my friend Nan’s house to begin construction of our garments.  Luckily, she had an old tee-shirt that we were able to use to test out our Pinterest-inspired design before actually cutting into our shirts.  This allowed us to figure out the design and do a little troubleshooting that helped us to make our final shirts a success.

Once the shirt project was done, it was onto the tutus which turned out to be the more involved part of the evening.  Here are the basic instructions:

  • Buy a total of 4 yards of tulle – in this case, we bought 1 yard of the stiff, white tulle and 3 yards of a pretty sparkle white tulle.
  • Fold the pieces of fabric right down the middle so you can begin cutting it into 1 inch-wide strips that are the height of the bolt of fabric.  You can fold a few more times to achieve some efficiencies in the cutting process.
  • Buy elastic and sew it into an appropriately sized belt.
  • Stretch the elastic over some sort of plastic bin.  We used storage bins and recycling bins so something like that should work.  This allows you to keep the elastic stretched while you connect the tulle.
  • I kept a ratio of between 2 and 4 pieces of glitter tool for every one of the stiff white tulle.  I essentially knotted each piece over the elastic waist band by putting a “looped” section at the top under the elastic from the top and pulling the ends through the loop (if that makes any sense).  The pieces will probably be too long and should either be cut before looped or tied on and then cut at the bottom (where a loop is formed).
  • It took quite a lot of time to complete but looked quite good in the end.  By the time I filled the elastic with tulle, I had used all of the fabric I bought.  Here’s a look at the finished product:

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We finished around 9 pm (and forgot to even eat dinner!) so I ate my Pei Wei leftovers as soon as I got home and got to bed.  We decided it was necessary to meet at 7:30 am to carpool and be on time for the race so I needed all the sleep I could get at this point!

Sunday

6 am came early this morning!  When my alarm went off, I actually couldn’t remember what day it was, what I needed to do but knew I needed to get up!  It’s like that panic moment when you wake up on a weekend unsure if it’s a work day or not (this happens to me on occasion anyway).  I put on some makeup (although I am not quite sure why since I was either in sunglasses or a face full of paint for pretty much the entire day – I almost always run in make up if I’m running with other people.  Am I alone on this one?  Maybe), grabbed some breakfast, and threw on my outfit.

We consolidated into one car and planned our “parking strategy” as the pre-race documents suggested.  Well, actually, we didn’t get quite that far.  We spotted another car full of “Color Runners” – identified by their official Color Run headbands – and decided they probably knew where to go better than we did and took the same exit on I-4.  We pretty quickly found a good parking lot, parked, put on our sparkly tutus and headed to the pre and post race celebration area.  There were lots of cool banners, signs, etc. and it definitely got us in the mood for the “Happiest 5k on the Planet.”  We took lots of pictures.

Here is my finished outfit complete with a bow on the back of the tank (although you can’t really tell in the photo) – I always have to make things just a little bit more girly:

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I also had quite a debate about my hair.  The pre-race instructions said that the color can stain blonde hair for several days at the least so I had to come up with a plan to protect my newly highlighted locks.  Braids pinned up in the back with a bandana and sweatband to cover the hair seemed like a good solution.  I did not want to have to deal with green hair on an indefinite basis!

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Five of us registered for the race as team Color Me Badd and decided to coordinate our outfits.  Colored tights, white tutus, white tanks, and colorful sports bras.

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Everything looks so clean and white at the start.  The “Runicorn” which is a unicorn with a rainbow main joined in the fun:

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Just another snapshot of our cool shoulder temporary tattoos and the race began!

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Thankfully, my dear friend Nan had an old camera with a broken LCD screen that she was willing to “sacrifice” for the race.  Thus, we were able to get some really cool race photos without worrying about the dust ruining the electronics.  Every 1k of the race represented a different color.  We started off and, to be honest, it was a little anticlimactic will we got the first color zone.  No music, just lots of people running, walking, dancing, or something in between.

Then, we arrived in the pink zone:

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Although I would have most liked to be doused in pink, this was the worst zone of all!  I am not sure why but it was really difficult to get hit with any color here.  I think I basically left the area pure white.  I was determined not to let this happen again.

Off we went, heading towards the next zone.  The run is in a somewhat rough area of town so it was actually interesting to go by foot where I might not normally find myself.  Before long, we arrived at the yellow zone.  The color started to get serious here:

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Next was blue.  This was by far the most intense section of the race.  It was almost impossible to breathe and definitely impossible to see.  This photo pretty much sums it up:

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They got us pretty good.  The blue also seemed to be one of the most lasting colors.

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The final color zone was orange.

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We crossed the finish line and then things got really crazy.  By this point, the memory card was full so we couldn’t get any more pictures in the color dust but there was a large stage that all the finishers crowded around.  This was probably the most fun part of the whole event: the after party.  There was awesome, high energy music, enthusiastic staff members dancing and throwing prizes from the stage, and synchronized color throws.  Everyone was given a packed of color at registration that was to be saved for the party at the end of the race.  Imagine huge clouds of multi-colored dust consuming a crowd of a few hundred people at a time.  Insanity.  We probably got dirtier from this than we did in the race itself.  Here was the aftermath:

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We cleaned up a little bit (not nearly enough) and grabbed lunch at Hamburger Mary’s downtown.  I could not wait to get home and shower.  Color got everywhere.  Here’s a look at the what I was left with when I got home.

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Here are my thoughts overall:

  • PROS: Lots of fun, party atmosphere, no-stress run fest, sometimes it’s great to just get dirty without a care in the world, time with some of my best friends, and experiment that I will never forget.
  • CONS: From a race perspective, it was really poorly organized.  We ended up climbing over a barrier to get to the start on time since the flow of people was so constricted.  Not good, not safe.  The color was really hard to get off my skin so I’m glad I covered my hair.  The color also made it really hard to breathe so that was unpleasant at times especially when some jerk in the crowd started spraying water on everyone at the after party.  This seemed to make the color set, not rinse off.  Gross.

Overall, this was a fun event but should not be taken seriously as a race.  Granted, it is not really intended to be and is not timed, but it was difficult to even really run it at a relaxed pace.  They even stopped runners at one point in the course to let traffic through.  Weird.  If you just want a fun day that happens to include a little bit of running, it’s great.  We could have jumped around and danced to music for forever at the finish.  The spirit and feel of the event is awesome.  It’s just about being happy – pure and simple which is something that people don’t do as much as they should.  Am I glad I did it?  Definitely.  Would I do it again next year?  We’ll see.  After the stress of getting the dye off my skin subsides, I can probably give a more fair answer 🙂

Have you ever done the Color Run?  What did you think?  What about a mud run or other specialty race?

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