I like to think of myself as a person who will try most things once, but that doesn’t stop me from being absolutely petrified of a great number of things.
One of these is roller coasters. I have been on a grand total of, say, 4 coasters in my life and have basically hated every one. I went on the Giant Dipper soon after moving to Santa Cruz because I felt like it was a right of passage, and I screamed my head off. I went on the Hurricane earlier this week because one of my besties was in town, we were at dollar night at the Boardwalk and the ride’s in its last days in Santa Cruz. Yep, still hate coasters.
Another one of my huge fears is running in public, specifically running in public in some sort of organized fashion. Well kids, this weekend I conquered that fear, overcoming the fact that running usually reminds me of all the worst parts of high school.
A co-worker invited a bunch of us to participate in the Color Me Rad run when it came to San Jose. Essentially, Color Me Rad is a low-key, non-timed 5k in which you get pelted with color. Given this description, I decided it sounded like a good spot for me to sort of dip my toes in the water by running in an event that’s all about fun where the idea of competition is pretty much nonexistent.
BK, my little marathoner in training, decided he was down for it too, along with our friends Nathan and Michelle. Since BK is training for a marathon, running 5k is nothing to him, so he decided he’d ham it up and run wearing a wedding dress. Yes, a wedding dress. And this is why I love this dude.
Okay, but you’re wondering, what does this have to do with being gluten-free? Well, it wasn’t until after I signed up that I saw this little tidbit on the website:
Color Me Rad: gluten-free running since 2012 (all previous years were full of gluten).
Yes folks, this race was happily gluten-free with the “colors” made of cornstarch. I can only assume that perhaps previously it was made with flour? Anyways, I hadn’t even thought about the potential gluten content when I initially signed up, and after experiencing how much of the color gets splashed at you all over, I’m very happy they’ve switched to a non-gluten material….because you get absolutely covered.
It took me two long showers, a crapload of Q-tips and a vast amount of shampooing to finally get all of the color of my skin, out of my ears and off my scalp….and don’t even start me on the amount that was actually in my hair. My fingernails, however, are still slightly green-tinged, though a far cry from what my hands were immediately after the race:
This was not at all a competitive run, and no one cared about a PB or anything like that. In fact, a bulk of people just walked. The event left something to be desired when it came to organization — parking was a disaster, they ran out of color packets and the terrain was crazy uneven — but ultimately, I’m glad I did it. I ran the whole thing without walking, and I was barely tired afterward, though I certainly was hungry. We were all happy to chow down on some Five Guys afterwards.
It seems like such a silly thing but I really feel proud of myself for having done this. Like I said, running in an event has always been a big fear of mine and now that I’ve tried it, I don’t feel so scared anymore. I don’t necessarily want to run in a marathon any time soon, but I know I could at least do a “real” 5K and that makes me feel a lot more confident about myself.
Also, it was pretty damn hilarious seeing how people reacted to BK running in a wedding/quincenera dress. A number of people called out “runaway bride” after him as he ran, and it was unbelievable how many people came up to him afterward to ask him to pose with them for a photog. He was seriously the belle of the ball. We thought more people would dress up a little silly for it, but there really wasn’t too much of that. I wore a tutu and saw several other people who did the same, but overall, it was pretty bland.
Would I do this run again? Perhaps if it was better organized, yes. But like I said, I’m supremely glad that I gave something like this a shot.