So months ago, before my gallbladder went tits up, I signed up to be on a team to do the Color Run with some friends. I haven’t gotten the chance to do a Color Run before. I was signed up last year and I was unable to do it for several reasons, and was smart enough to sell my registration to the race before that closed out.
When my little trip to the ER happened this year, my heart sank. I was resigning myself to so many things that I wouldn’t be doing in the way that I had planned. No fun Zumba fest at Fitbloggin, no jumpsport trampoline fun… and as today approached and I am still not back into wearing pants because my incision is so tender… no 5k color run.
Thoughts of how I have had to change so many things since surgery ran through my mind for the last few weeks, and I looked through the options I had. I really wanted to participate, but I am so far backwards from where I was pre-surgery that I don’t want to hold others back. … A statement all about me. If people don’t want to be held back they don’t have to be! It is an excuse… an excuse not to be happy, not to be living the way I want. So… what was I supposed to wear?
If you haven’t seen or heard of the Color Run you might be living under a rock. It is a 5k where they toss cornstarch based pigment on you, that I am guessing was inspired by Holi (the Hindu festival of color) The big thing about the color run is the Color! So you wear white, so the color shows… … … and never comes out of whatever you wear. So what was I to do? I have all these dresses that I wear for work now, but I don’t want them to get stained! TjMaxx to the rescue! I found a $15.00 frock, that actually was kinda cute.. but was very plain. It would do the trick.
I hadn’t really put much thought into how much I really didn’t want to wear a dress until I had the dress. I decided the only thing to do when you don’t like something is to make it better, and that meant only one thing. TUTU!!! Literally at 4:50 yesterday afternoon I was in line at the craft store buying tulle and ribbon, and at 10:00 last night it looked like Ke$ha and I had a throw down with some strippers at a unicorn farm in my apartment because there was (is) glitter EVERYWHERE!!!! Note to tutu makers out there… don’t buy the tulle with the glitter…. and if you do… make the tutu outside… do NOT let it in your house. I was leaving a trail of magical positive energy everywhere I went today.
So today actually WAS the color run. Today marks 12 weeks since my trip to the ER, but not quite 12 weeks post op. I am still on surgical-restrictions. I have NOT been to a gym since I started having gallbladder issues maybe a month before the ER visit. I have NOT been doing much of anything because recovery has been tough. Denver was tough… blisters suck on their own.. when they form under callouses they are even more sucky. Yesterday late in the day I got a text from the National Weather Service… “Heat Advisory” Yep that’s July in Minnesota. Thank god we’re wearing white right?
I also received another text yesterday, from our team captain asking if we were meeting up at the race, and then even more specifically if I was going to carpool to the run. I gave my obligatory, “I will be slow” warning. Afterall, I’m not running… I’m walking, and I don’t want anyone to have expectations of a 30 minute finish.
I love that I have such a great support system, because these ladies said, its fine lets all ride together. So we did… but only after I left some Ke$ha love at Samiens house. Not to mention II was stoked to FINALLY meet Kris after all these years of us living so close to each other and never actually doing anything about it.
We headed to the start line, and boy there were a LOT of people. Most of the races I do are NOT this large. There were obviously the standard fare of events to pump up the crowd but we went right for the chutes, because it was already time to get going! We moved forward a little at a time, then we were off. Everyone had their own pace and mine was turtle. The girls waited for me at first and then once we had a meeting place established for the end everyone was free to go at their own pace.
I did what I do, and talked to strangers, made friends with random older folks who had done this a few times before, and talked to a girl being pushed in a wheel chair due to a broken ankle who was just too determined that she was NOT missing out on this! As I walked along I took a few deep breaths, and felt the swell of emotions as I could feel the awareness level in my body rising. I hadn’t even reached Yellow yet (the first station) and I knew I was in trouble.
I moved to the far right, as far as I could get, and kept pressing on. I repeated to myself, you’ve gone farther than you did last year. Then I asked myself are you having fun? Because if you aren’t then lets just call it right now. I wasn’t not having fun… but I wasn’t fully enjoying myself yet. I got to yellow and the music was pumping. Signs read follow the yellow brick road, and people were skipping through the color.
I raised my arms and twirled trough the sea of bottles of yellow paint being squirted around. As I exited the color station, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders and with it the corners of my lips lift and a smile come to life. I’ve made it through one, let’s see what else I can do! I continued along, bypassing the slip and slide, since we weren’t allowed on it as kids, and it just seems SO dangerous… for someone NO recovering… and preformed a similar dance in the “Orange is the new Everything” area. I did have several people ask where I got my tutu from because it was so bright and colorful. I liked the attention for sure!
At this point I was thinking two things. I really wanted a bag of Cheetos, because my hands were covered in orange and yellow but I really didn’t think it would taste too good, and that I was feeling like the dude in the Doritos commercial where he opened the bag and was covered in a flavor explosion. During this time I also noticed that my hands, well my fingers were starting to swell… a lot. I was also starting to get a little woozy. Luckily there was a water stop ahead. I made it to the water stop and sat for a minute after chugging some water.
Once I was on my way again Samien popped up from around the corner, she had been waiting for me at Pink! We headed toward pink and I mentioned that I wasn’t doing so well. At this time the water I drank decided it was going to cause my insides to cramp up. I encouraged everyone to push forward and I was going to cut the race short. A small part of me got VERY sad. Seriously who DNF’s a 5k? *thumps chest* this girl and ya know what THAT’S OK! Because I got out there and tried. We were heading towards the Shine station, where straight is the “cut” and right takes you to blue. We were past the 2 mile mark. I encouraged them to go finish their race… and nope.. they cut. DNF’s for all of us…
Except this is a fun run. It’s why I don’t get competitive over these things. I am not the fastest, I never will be. I know that I could have sat a while and headed toward blue, it wasn’t that far. I had hours left to finish the race but why do that to my body? What was it going to prove? We headed toward Shine… The BEST part of the race! Shine is what makes this year different at the color run… it’s why I HAD to do it.
SHINE!! Shine bright like a fancy diamond, made sparkly by the sun. Doused in silvery glitter covered in sweat. This is why I needed to come. Through shine is the end of the race. You walk under the arches to the finish line… and collect your medal. There is no timing chip there is no lecture that I ducked a corner on the course. #ALLTHEGLITTER
So yes, I had my first DNF, and ya know what I’ll take my DNF over the DNS I’ve had several times because I knew I would DNF the course.
The camaraderie that I found in these amazing ladies was AWESOME!!!! I was so sad about missing out on the blue station that they found a blue packet of color for me to get doused with when we were at the after party. I totally loved every minute of it! It is fun to get messy and laugh!
Life is not predictable. I certainly didn’t think that I was going to be as slow as I was today. I was hopeful to go out and be able to finish the race, but it wasn’t in the cards. That is totally okay! I got out there and had a great time. I think with the walk to and from the car, plus the chute, and the other walking I did I know I did just fine, but I am not even stressing over it!
Afterall… Why blend in when I am born to stand out? Afterall I am a unicorn!