Sunday, November 24, 2013

I am not a runner....(My first 5K with The Color Run and Cool Kids Campaign)

Our view at the start line
Photo by me!
Remember my first entry? I am not a blogger? Well, I am also not a runner, but I gave it a go last weekend. This time last Sunday, The Color Run came to Baltimore, so a group of my friends and I went into the city to participate and support a great cause, The Cool Kids Campaign.

"The Cool Kids Campaign is devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families by focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis." Before The Color Run, I did not know about this foundation, but I am glad to have been a part of the run that raised money to benefit these kids and their families, and I look forward to participating again in the future.

If you haven't heard yet, The Color Run is an un-timed 5K run where cornstarch colors are tossed on you (and linger for days!) The Color Run prides itself as being "The Happiest 5K on the Planet," promoting healthiness and happiness. This run trailed in and around M&T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards (Ravens' and Orioles' stadiums).

When I was training, I was told about the runner's high, and how once you get into it it's great. Yeah, I never felt any of that; I ended up with a stitch in my chest and giving up on several of my training days. There was always an excuse...It's too hot....I have a cold....I fell off of a horse...I'm's's too cold...or the standard - I just don't feel like it. But when it came to this race, the circumstances were different.

Me and my sister after finishing my first 5K!
Photo courtesy of C. Nichols
When we arrived, there was loud pumping music, an MC getting everyone excited, loud exciting count downs and sooooo many people! I shielded my white clothing as we waited amongst the thousands for our starting line. I planned on alternating a run/walk, but when our countdown happened and we took off, but when we hit our first yellow color zone, I knew I didn't want to stop. My group of fellow runners ARE runners (and I look up to them!) so this helped push me along. As we ran, other runners and supporters offered high fives as you passed them. This was super energizing and exciting - and then to top it off, you hit more of these zones where they throw color on you, and it was so. much. fun. 

When I first started, I got that pain in my chest again. I wasn't out of breath, just sore, but I committed to myself that once I was running, I wouldn't give up.Yes, it was a slow run ("slow and steady wins the race!"), and if I were being timed it would have been an atrocious outcome, but the point is, we kept that momentum up throughout the entire 5K. And guess what? I pushed through that pain and it eventually went away. At the end....I could have kept going! I was so proud, and I didn't want to make a big deal about it because it felt silly, there were 25,000 other people doing just the same thing. I'm glad I got to be a part of this.

Now, I thought this anecdote could relate to writing and those of you pushing through the tail end of NaNo (or writing a novel/story/anything in general). I have not been able to keep up with NaNoWriMo this month because I have been focusing on other things. But this run, and NaNo are similar endeavors. You have to "push through the pain," no matter how hard it might seem. Part of that pushing is just throwing yourself right into it and getting those words on paper, no matter how crappy they might be, get them down and revise later. If you're having trouble pushing through, as difficult as it may be, remember you can do it. Just remember you only have a week to go! 


Photo courtesy of Virginia Bach

Added after this original post
...just got this tweet!

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