Saturday, September 29, 2012

Color Me Rad (My first 5K!!)

I spent 31 years of my life saying, “I don’t understand people who run for fun.”

Before about 6 months ago, I had never run a mile. Not in high school, not in junior high, not in elementary school.


So, when my friend Lauren called me and told me she was signing up to run a 5K and asked me if I wanted to run with her…naturally, I laughed. She was adamant about it, however, and insisted I go to the website and check out the run before I made my final decision.

The opening lines of the Color Me Rad 5K website state:

“When Zoloft and balloon animals can't seem to raise your spirits, the best way to brighten your life is to run Color Me Rad5K. 

Historically, running has only been acceptable when trying to escape the law, personal responsibility, the truth, and grizzly bears. 

Instead of running FROM something, get ready to run FOR something at this year’s Color Me Rad. 

Run for the Hell of it.”

I watched the videos, read the website and made a decision in about 3 and ½ minutes. 

I, Krysten Lewis Nunn, was signing up to run my first 5K. 

 My official 'pack'. I knew it was legit when I saw the number and the tshirt!

How could I not? It just looked like so much fun and, no matter if I actually ran the entire thing or not, it looked like the kind of thing I needed in my life. 

I downloaded the Couch to 5K program, put on my running shoes, and hit the treadmill.

When I told my best friend Megan about the run, she laughed, too. She knows better than anyone how I feel about running. She also decided, after the initial giggles, that if all of her friends were running this so called 5K, she was running it, too.

Especially because no one thought she would want to. 

I will admit that I didn’t train very hard after the first few weeks. I didn’t get myself in tip top condition. I didn’t drink enough water. I didn’t quit smoking. I also had a pretty strong gut feeling that when it came time to actually run the thing, and people were throwing color bombs at me, none of that was going to matter much.

I was right.

It turned out to be way more about the excitement of the day, the bright colors and funny costumes, the friends and sorority sisters in from all over, than about the actual running. No one was keeping time. No one was keeping score. No one cared how fast you were or how many times you slowed down to walk.

We did finish it. I ran a lot of it. Lauren ran a lot of it.

 Lauren and I before the color explosion 

Megan and I before

Megan, my best friend and also my new hero, ran the ENTIRE THING.

It was nice because she’s a tad bit shorter than I am and her stride is a tad bit smaller than mine so, even when I had to walk, she kept running and our pace was perfect.

We listened to music, ran through the color bombs, laughed a little and breathed a lot.

When we crossed the finish line, Megan and I just looked at each other for a minute.

After. We're so proud!

“We did it!” I said.

Her reply?

“Yes. We. Did.”

I was so proud of myself. I was so proud of Lauren.

I was beyond proud of Megan. She never stopped running. Not once.

Lauren, Megan and I after. Aren't we fabulous??!!

We’ll all be washing colored cornstarch out of our hair and off our skin for days, I’m sure.
And it was worth every minute.

Jeremy came along for support and ended up volunteering with the Bomb Squad. He also broke the zip ties off of the port a potties and became a hero to about 25 women at once. He gave me a giant hug when he met me at the finish line and the pride in his eyes felt kind of like a gold medal.

Me and my proud husband. Also, as you can see...the bandana did nothing to protect my hair! 

See you next year, Color Me Rad. Thanks for giving me a reason to run for fun. I’m in for life. Next time, I might even run the whole thing.

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