Race Recap: The Color Run

(ignore the massive amount of clean clothes I have sitting on my kitchen counter. no judgment here, unless you’re my husband.)

Despite the knee and blister issues I’ve got going on right now, I decided to participate in The Color Run.

The easiest way to sum this race up:

(If you love Arrested Development then I automatically love you.)

Kristen and I signed up for this race back in April. After hearing about its popularity and how fun it is, we were pretty psyched to participate. A race that makes you look like a rainbow? Count us in.

Except… it wasn’t that great.

The Color Run website said the location was Washington, D.C. However, the race was at the National Harbor in Maryland. And it really isn’t that close to DC. This shouldn’t be a big deal or really even something to fret about, but I was a little irked. I think the backdrop of DC with the monuments could’ve made for better photo opportunities and an easier to access race. The National Harbor has approximately one route in and one route out by car. Parking is limited to a few small garages and a dirt lot. Also, National Harbor is like a more sophisticated town corner — a few boutiques, interesting restaurants, and thats about it.

Chris drove Kristen and I to the race. We sat on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge for an hour waiting to merge into the one lane of traffic to access the garages. Once we arrived in National Harbor the cops directed us through the entire area before allowing us to park into a garage we had passed twenty minutes prior. This shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was.

The Color Run is NOT a timed race. This information originally didn’t bother me. But, once I crossed the start line I was bothered at how slowly people were moving. There was also very little space to move within the route due to the amount of participants. I don’t have any issues with people walking because we all know I’ve been there but with such a narrow course there was difficulty weaving around slower people.

I felt old during the race. The average age of the participants in my wave had to have been eighteen. And most had clearly never run before, ever.

So many babies and so not enough room for everyone.

The start line was fun though. The organizers had fun music playing and I danced a little to get warm. They engaged with the crowd and tossed out freebies like more color packets and bandanas.

The course wasn’t interesting. We ran past a few shops and then ended up running around the perimeter of the National Harbor. Some small hills, large gravel paths, and not too much scenery.

Running along the water for the .15 miles at the end was definitely the most interesting part.

I did run eagerly through each of the color stations. I didn’t want to see an ounce of white on any part of my shirt. Someone said color stations were at each kilometer, but I don’t know how accurate that was. I ran through red, orange, yellow and blue.

We kind of went a little crazy with the purple we received in our race packets.

Would I do this race again? No, once was enough. I don’t think I’d participate in any race at the National Harbor.

Would I recommend this race to a friend? Sure! Depending on what your goals are. I think this is a GREAT first 5K race. No elite runners, no time clock, knowing you have as much time as you need to finish? Who doesn’t like that confidence boost!

Following the race, Chris and I went to grab brunch. I feel like this is becoming some sort of a tradition with my racing career.

A woman waiting behind me at the restaurant was not pleased that I showed up to the restaurant resembling an art project. I listened to her speak to her husband/friend about how inappropriate I looked. Funny, considering I must’ve had a handful of people congratulating me on doing the run and how jealous they were they weren’t able to do so either.

One woman stopped me while I was walking in the restaurant this morning asking me how far I went. I responded “Oh, just three miles.” And she was like “JUST three miles!? That is something you should be proud of, I wish I could do that!” It made me smile.

Knee update:

I ran as much as I was able to. When it hurt, I walked. When it stopped, I ran. Unfortunately I don’t have any time or distance to reference, but I’d guesstimate I went through half of the race running. It hurt so bad after such a short amount of time. I think I’m pushing my luck with this injury. Luckily, I start strictly cross-training tomorrow and working on getting better at stretching. Ugh.

Penny wishes she could’ve participated in the color run too!

Have you ever done the Color Run or a race like it? How did you feel about it? If you haven’t, what’s the most interesting race you’ve participated in? 

Does your cat/dog/baby like to sit on your shoulder? Penny seems to never want to leave. 


Race: Let Freedom Run 5K

Yesterday I ran my FIRST race!

Honestly, I never imagined myself being able to accomplish this goal. I’ve discussed how I am not a runner before, but from doing this one race I am starting to think that maybe I could be.

If I try.

And trying is what I am doing. From Fartleks to long runs and changing my eating habits, I really think that I am on my way to making this a thing for me. Like a hobby. And I kind of think I am beginning to enjoy training because I look forward to it most days. Weird, I know.

To prepare for Wednesday morning, I spent Tuesday evening relaxing. I did absolutely nothing and it was wonderful. The only thing I did was switch up my training schedule for the week to accommodate the race. I didn’t feel any pre-race jitters or have any issues sleeping. I actually had trouble getting myself out of bed in the morning because I can sleep forever. So once I finally woke up, I ate some cheerios and walked over to the race area.

Kristen ran the race with me. There was cloud cover and a slight breeze until fifteen minutes before the start at 9am. The sun came out, the clouds cleared, and the temperature rose significantly. We were sweating at the starting line. My goal for this race was to be under 39 minutes. I figured, first time up plus the heat that this was a do-able. Luckily, I knew the course pretty well and anticipated each of the hills. In order to not tire out, we opted to power walk the uphills. I think this was the best decision we made the entire race. We sprinted like our lives depended on it toward the finish line and clocked in at 38:35. WE DID IT! I had reached my time-based goal for my first race!!

Some photos:

Capitol Running Company put on a great event. This is a relatively new race (I think this was its second) and it had over a thousand participants. Each runner was given a free popsicle upon completion as well as a patriotic shirt. The course was clearly marked and the volunteers were encouraging as we slowly ran by them.

Running across that finish line with the crowd cheering in addition to the support of Kristen, my in-laws, and Chris was so exhilarating. I left the race with what I can only assume is a runner’s high. And I totally can’t wait to do my next one!

Seriously important to note: With the atmosphere of the race, I didn’t even put my headphones in. I ran without music. Ridiculous. I don’t even know who I am right now.

Check out this sweet shirt — pretty happy its my first!

Have you ever done a 5k? If so, how was your first race? What has been your favorite race you’ve ever participated in? Any tips for running the heat? Let’s discuss!