Tag Archives: Wisconsin

5k Review: The Color Run

The last weekend in May, I crossed off a race on my Bucket List of Races: the Color Run!

First, I must talk about the SWAG.

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I have never participated in a race with this level of swag. Included with the race price, you get a t-shirt and a sweatband, but when you pick up your race packet, there are TONS of additional items to purchase. There are tons of different shirts (which are super cute, by the way), and socks, sunglasses, shorts, sweatshirts, tutus, etc! It’s all rather reasonably priced, too. I purchased a pair of sunglasses (I chose PINK because I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador) and I also purchased a pair of plain white knee-high socks. They had two other pairs to choose from– a cute striped pattern and polka-dots, but I thought I’d stick with the plain white canvas. {I snuck in some #sweatpink with my sunglasses and shoelaces, though.}

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Thankfully, this race was held right in the town that I live in (well, technically, adjacent-to) so even though it was a morning race, which I hate, I didn’t have to drive far or get up way too early.

I always have anxiety the night before a race. The anxiety isn’t about anything other than the fact that I have to wake up early the next morning. I’m not nervous about the race, I’m not nervous about pace, I’m simply dreading the early wake up call. This is why I prefer to run in the afternoon/evenings.

This wasn’t too bad, though. My body woke me up at about 6am, and I decided that I could allow myself a small cup of coffee. I wasn’t racing for over two hours, so as long as I drank a bunch of water as well, I figured I was alright. I also drank one of my Bolthouse breakfast smoothies.

{Quick side note: I should probably buy stock in Bolthouse. I tend to clean out the grocery store’s supply of Chocolate and Breakfast Smoothie every few weeks.}

It was really nice to not wake up to an alarm that morning, and to have some time to myself to relax. I left about 40 minutes before it was line-up time. My friends live about two blocks away from the race start, but I didn’t show up early enough to park in front of their house, apparently. I ended up parking about six blocks away from the race start.

I realized I had to use the bathroom the minute I got out of my car. That’s another thing about racing in the mornings– I have to pee like ten times. Especially before a race. I have a nervous bladder, I guess. So I stopped at my friends’ house anyway to use their bathroom, then I headed off to meet my bff Katie. I knew quite a few other people running the race, but I didn’t think we’d be able to locate any of them. There were a LOT of people there! I was used to races with lots of people, but this was in my small town in Wisconsin! Plus, the fact that everyone was wearing crisp white clothing from head to toes made the mass of people look even bigger.

Surprisingly, I was able to locate two friends almost immediately! We jumped in line with Kelly & Ryne and waited. The race was released in a series of waves, and even though we were in the middle, but towards the front of the pack, we were in wave eight or nine! The event officially started at 8, but we didn’t start until closer to 8:40!

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Once we started, I understood why they only allowed so few people through at a time. The race took us through downtown Racine, and portions of the track were pretty narrow. It was an all-ages run, so there were tons of kids and lots of different people running who had either never run a race before or just didn’t care very much about protocols or anything. I say that because even though it had been said multiple times across multiple mediums, people just stopped in the middle of the street to walk. The majority of people in this race were walking– which is fine, of course– but the runners had to bob and weave through the masses of people walking because the walkers didn’t move to the sides of the street like you’re supposed to.

Given my bladder, I had to pee not even ½ a mile into the race. So that first mile or so was pretty painful. Katie was running the race drugged– she was on antibiotics for a sinus infection– so whenever she wanted to walk, we walked. We got through two color zones before we saw port-a-potties at the halfway point. I had to stop! There was a line. In a normal race, this would’ve been ridiculous, but given the nature of this race- it wasn’t a big deal.

Which brings me to this point: this isn’t a race. It’s just a fun way to travel 5 kilometers. You could walk the whole thing and still have a stellar time. It’s not timed, so you don’t feel pressured to finish within a certain time frame. You travel between color zones and get colored chalk powder thrown at you along the way. It’s a lot of fun!

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{I must’ve been having a great time, because my smile is obnoxiously cheesy in every picture we took.}

You don’t get very colorful during the race part itself. The real colorful part comes at the end. After you cross the finish line you head over to where they have a stage set up, where they’re playing music, people are dancing, they throw out a bunch more color packets, and periodically, they have one big moment where everyone throws color packets in the air. THIS is where you get drenched in color.

Pre-Harlem Shake

Pre-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

For our “big moment” we released our color packets during the Harlem Shake. It was pretty silly, but lots of fun. In that moment, you can’t see anything as you’re engulfed in the rainbow fog.

The only real negative was the temperature that day. It has been in the high 70’s for most of the week leading up to the race, but of course, race morning it was much chillier and cloudy. The wind coming off the lake was brutal, too. I definitely would’ve preferred a warmer race day! That’s really my only complaint, though. Even the walkers didn’t bother me THAT much. We walked quite a bit, too, so they didn’t really slow me down. It’s just the impoliteness of it that bothered me. Midwesterners should know better.

Customary Shaka Photo

Customary Shaka Photo

So is it the happiest 5k on the planet? I haven’t run all of the races on the planet, but I’d guess that the answer is probably yes! I’ll definitely do it again next year.

Up Next: Dirty Girl Mud Run on June 29th!


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Progress Update: April

Jet-lag is a cruel, cruel joke. It’s hard enough to leave Hawaii to come home to flat, boring Wisconsin. It’s another thing to feel incapacitated for three days trying to readjust to losing five hours. I recently read that for every time zone you cross, it takes one day to recover. I flew across five time zones to get back home, so… I suppose I shouldn’t be “adjusted” until Saturday. Which feels about right. My brain is like mush and all I want to do is lay around. I’m forcing myself to do otherwise, though, in the hopes that tomorrow I’ll feel somewhat “normal.”


In an attempt to distract myself from wanting to take a nap, I’ve decided to post an update on my progress for my 365 Goal.


As I’ve mentioned in my last two posts, the beginning of April was stellar. I wasn’t making up for lost miles, but I was at least keeping up with the “one mile a day” strategy. I wasn’t literally running a mile a day, but I was averaging the 7 miles per week by running three days a week.


Then the dreaded “still winter” season killed my outdoor running plans, I worked a lot, and all motivation was lost. I was really looking forward to going to Hawaii. I have a special love for running in Hawaii. Perhaps it is because that is where I first learned to run. Perhaps it is because it is paradise and any “normal” thing you do in paradise is just automatically twice as sweet. Any way, while I wasn’t motivated to run here, I was certainly motivated to get some miles in during my time in Hawaii– thinking that I still had some time to add to my mileage for April.


Well, we flew out on April 29th, and we didn’t run on the 30th, so all of my Hawaii runs count for May.


April’s totals are, therefore, disappointing. I ran just 16.5 miles. Boo.

That’s less than March, and I was really counting on having my totals go up from March through the summer. So it’s a tad discouraging.


{Are you sick of my failures yet? I sure am!}


I got pretty far ahead in May already, so I was able to have these few days to recover without needing to worry about making up for miles. Starting this weekend, though, I’m going to need to start working hard to keep up and hopefully get ahead again for the month.


The Color Run is at the end of this month, and I finally signed up for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in June. There’s a MRTT virtual 5k happening in July, and in August I’m planning on doing the Electric Run. Keeping the races coming in a steady stream gives me no excuse to not keep at it– which is kind of the point.


Even if I don’t make my mileage for the year (the year isn’t half over yet, and even though I’m incredibly behind, I’m choosing to not be pessimistic) I’m still proud of all that I’ll accomplish. I’ll have quite a few races under my belt, and I’ve already run quite a bit more than last year. “Slow and steady” doesn’t win timed races, but it wins a different kind of race: the one against your lazy self. So I’m not taking a nap today. I might even run.


Stay tuned!


2013 Miles Goal: 365

Miles Run So Far: 60.75

Miles to Go: 260

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Weather Setbacks

Well, we had a few nice days at the end of March and beginning of April. I was running outside! I was on track for miles for the month! It was glorious!


Then… THIS happened.


{TMJ4 Storm Team iContribute Photo Gallery}


I know, I know. “April showers bring May flowers.” Screw that, though. It’s not just rainy. It’s rainy, windy, and COLD. Spring in Wisconsin isn’t that beautiful, unless you’re talking the last few days/weeks of May and first few weeks of June. But barely a month of spring-type weather qualifies as Spring. They like to joke that the four seasons in Wisconsin are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.


We’re in “still winter.” As such, I lost the great start I had at the beginning of the month. If I weren’t such a baby, I’d run in the cold rain. I’m not that hardcore. I’d like to be, one day, but for now: I made a little bit of time to go run on the treadmill this week. It’s the much less convenient alternative, because I have to do it over Skip’s nap and I worked almost every day this week. So I was only able to run the one day I had off.


I’m behind for the month. I’m behind for the year, really, but I’m just focusing on months at a time.

{It’s a little less motivation-killing to do it that way.}


This just further solidifies the fact that we need to live somewhere that I can run outside year-round. This treadmill business is getting old, fast. It was fine for the beginning of the C25K program, because it varied and kept me interested, but just running for 25 minutes on the treadmill? Yeah, that sucks. Even if you are watching TV. The bouncing doesn’t help.


In any case, I’m still optimistic that the summer will yield better mileage for me. I find myself in the same kind of anticipation for summer that I experienced as a kid. Maybe it’s because I’m subbing, so I’m in the same environment I was as a kid, but I’ve HAD. IT. with this rain and cold. I’ve checked out of the present. I’m nostalgically longing for warmth, sunshine, and the ability to open my windows.


As I’m typing this, I glanced up and there are snow flurries fluttering around outside. Why do I live here?!


I just want to run.


Also:I would feel it remiss to not mention how much the city of Boston and the runners, spectators, and citizens there are in my heart and on my mind. I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said, nor do I feel that I have any sort of adequate words to utter in response. I found Patton Oswalt’s and Stephen Colbert’s to be two of the more succinct and resonating responses. As someone who is slowly working her way up to running longer distances, I know that the chance of ever qualifying to run the Boston Marathon is far off and perhaps unreachable for me. It hasn’t stopped me from putting it on my Bucket List of Runs. My heart aches for those there for the first time. For those there for the last time. For those there to cheer on their loved ones. For those there that took years to qualify. Just to have their moment of accomplishment taken from them. It’s awful.


I texted my husband on Monday when I heard the news and asked, “What kind of world do we live in?!” That statement was one of disgust at the ugly and hate that exists, but in the aftermath, I know that the ugly and hateful are small in number, though their actions may have monumental consequences. The beautiful and kind and supportive are larger in number, as we’ve seen over the past week, and I’m grateful to live in a country that will be at odds with each other over an elected official but will come together when it matters.

Every step I run towards my goal this year will be a prayer for Boston and for the future, moving forward.


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