The Happiest 5K on the Planet

As you know (because I can’t stop droning), today was The Color Run. I started training to run a 5K in August of last year, which is when I somehow screwed up my left ankle. I was released from physical therapy in January, so I started training again. That’s when I scored three stress fractures in my left leg. I was released from my big robot boot in May, which was when I started training again. (Every time I type the word Training, I feel a little silly. The Olympic athletes train. I ate Doritos throughout my “training.”)


This is a small sample of the (probably more than) 15,000 people who arrived in St. Louis this morning all ready to run and get colored. The people in this photo haven’t even crossed the starting line. When Jeff took the photo, my sister and I were nearly finished with the race, which shows just how many people were jazzed about this thing. (So many portable toilets. I haven’t used a portable toilet in years, and I hope to never use another. If this means I can never live out my dream to attend Burning Man, so be it.)

I have no idea what to do with my hands.

Here we have Jen and myself during the first stretch of the 5K. (One thing you need to know about me is that I never know what to do with my hands. The Weakerthans sum it up perfectly. “How I don’t know what I should do with my hands when I talk to you. How you don’t know where you should look, so you look at my hands.” Anyway, I tend to rely on peace signs entirely too much. Sometimes, when I’m especially frazzled and hand-conscious, I accidentally flip off the photographer, who is just trying to take a photo of her daughters running together. Right hand? Peace. Left hand? Sorry, Mom.)

The Bird

Question: Did you finish the race?

Answer: I did!

At the finish, getting all up in your bokeh.

Fun Fact: My dad took that shot. (Do you smell how he got all up in your bokeh?) My mom and dad came out for the race, as did Jeff, Meredith, and Harper. My family tends to be pretty amazing like that. (Also, peace.)

Another Fun Fact: My student number at Mizzou was 506354. (I graduated two decades ago, yet I still remember. Never Forget.) I love that my race number was a simple hiccup away.

Question: Did you run the entire way?

Answer: No. Don’t look at me.

Question: What?! WHAT?!

Answer: I know. I was so bummed. I’ve been running on the track and slowly increasing my run times and everything was going great until about a week ago when I couldn’t run for more than five minutes. I’ve gone running three times since then, and I categorized each of the three as Failure. I’m not quite sure what’s happening, other than the fact that I’ve had a cold, and that I switched from track (cushioned and soft!) to pavement (not so soft!). Please know that I’ve cursed more this week about running than I’ve EVER cursed (about running).

Statement: But you finished! You did it! That’s all that matters!

Retort: You keep living in your world. As much as I’d like to live there, too, I’m going to stay over here, where I’ll continue to beat myself up a bit (just a bit) for not crystallizing my dream. Then I’ll eat a big baked potato at Cracker Barrel with a side order of baby carrots.

BUT, you’re right. I finished.


We finished the race and then went looking for the family. We eventually saw them about 300 feet from the finish line on the other side of the street. They clearly missed us the first time around, because they were standing there with cameras ready, just waiting for us to run by. SO, we decided to sneak back into the race and give them the photo opportunities they were craving.

No time for losers.

(I’m glad we did. That was my favorite photo from the morning.)

Question: I thought the point of The Color Run was to walk away all colored. Did you get colored?

Answer: I did. And despite the fact that I’ve showered, I’m still finding color in my nooks. And my crannies. Enjoy your dinner.

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28 thoughts on “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”

  1. you look fabulous. I turn so red that people want to call someone (911, perhaps?) and I also sweat like nobody’s business. Again – congrats! (And quit giving yourself a hard time about a little walk break)

  2. Congratulations! Finishing is what it’s all about. I also suggest a recumbent bike. Not only can you peddle while you watch tv or read a book, but you can shovel a fully loaded baked potato into your mouth without spilling anything… plus it’s non-impact.

  3. Hooray for you! I went jogging once with my hubby and the group home kids and got shin splints and gave it up. Maybe I’ll try again. 15,000 people?! Not a chance!

  4. Awesome!

    Also, devil horns are a suitable option for hand usage. If so inclined, you can accompany said horns with shrieks of ‘DIO!’, ‘WHITESNAKE!’, or ‘PORK SODA!’ (arguably Primus’ finest album).

  5. Well done! Congratulations. I probably would have quit *training* after enduring the injuries you did this year. You should be very proud.

  6. Oh god, what a failure you are, with your Doritos and your non-constant running. I, on the other hand, am drinking wine in bed having not run anywhere for years. I win.

  7. You go girl!
    I just did that “race” here in Indy and I didn’t even try to run it…we just ran for 100 yards or so in three different occasions. I still had a good time! And I never did get all the color out of my running bra.

  8. You did it! And it doesn’t really matter if you ran, walked, crawled or whatever. Plus, I love that you finished twice!

  9. You did it! Me? Haven’t left the bedroom today, so you’ve got me beat by miles! Congratulations on walking or running or stopping for a beer. You rock.

  10. TMI about your “crannies” :)

    what you have done is something I doubt I will ever be able to do and in celebration of your big milestone and in celebration of the fact you will be avoiding port-a-potties from now on, I shall make a celebration pie–do you prefer pear with streusel or peach? (please note, I am also making a pie because i don’t know what to do with myself–my kids–yes all 3–are visiting my parents for the week and I am 35 weeks pregnant and very emotional–I miss them and they’ve been gone just over 12 hours now. I should be doing something big and noticeable around the house in preparation for the baby but that will come *after* the pie!)

    To reiterate my point: Huzzah!

  11. * Congratulations!
    * I LOVE running skirts. Better than any other options when running in warm weather.
    * I have found in my 20 months or so of running that I go through weird stretches where I “just can’t.” Maybe I have been jogging a three mile loop just fine on my lunch hour for four weeks. Then suddenly – I just can’t. I wheeze and cramp and take four walk breaks and get grumpy with myself about it.

    But then! Like magic I can do it again! I don’t know what that’s about. Nutrition? Sleep deprivation? Weather patterns? I have just come to accept it. Some days your body is more open to a great run than others.

  12. You are a rock star!

    (Funny, I can’t seem to remember my Mizzou student ID number now…but for some reason I managed to remember it for years and years…50 does that to a person)

  13. You rock! And you’re much too hard on yourself. But, I get that. I do it, too. Congratulations on finishing!

  14. From someone who hates running with the fire of a thousand suns, I bow before you!! (I like “working out,” but running, is a whole other animal.) Seriously, that is something to be proud of. I’ve been following your struggles (getting derailed, getting back on track, etc), and I just wanted to say Congrats to you! That’s awesome.

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