Fun At The Color Run (And Ran My Best Time)!

Before the colors fly! So happy a few minutes before The Color Race starts.

Before the colors fly! So happy a few minutes before The Color Race starts.

Yesterday I did my first Color Run 5K in Baltimore. If you’re thinking about doing a Color Run, do it! It’s known as the “happiest 5K on the planet,” and it is. Everyone is happy — the volunteers, the 25,000 runners (dang!), the staff. Even the cops providing security on a Sunday afternoon were having a blast.

After we arrived, I could tell my husband started feeling a bit envious that I was in the race and he wasn’t. Although he perked up when he spotted the La Cakeie cakemobile. He quickly ordered and devoured the (aptly named) Ribbon Cake.

He did promise to run with me next year.

The Color Run, weight loss, 5Ks

Covered in color! I wiped my face a couple of times during the run and I ended up looking like a hot mess! But it was worth it.

How Did I Do?
The Color Run is not a traditional 5K — it is not timed. It’s all about having a good time while exercising and raising money for local charities. I did this race for the experience and not with the idea of setting records.

I still made a point of looking at my phone for my start time — 1:46.

This was my first race without any inclines. The whole route stayed around the Camden Yards ballpark — home of the Baltimore Orioles. An easy route, my pace started faster than normal, usually meaning I won’t finish strong. But I had such a great time during the race, I ended up with my best race time yet.

When I crossed the finish line, the time on my phone read 2:34. Holy cow…48 minutes!

My last 5K, The Goblin Gallop, I ran/walked in 55 minutes. Wow!

Why was this one quicker?  For the Goblin Gallop, my interval training lasted only 1 mile. During The Color Run, my interval training spanned the entire race.  I’m not sure if it was the sensory overload or the sheer amount of fun, but I never felt tired.

In fact, I can’t believe to cross the finish line when I did. It didn’t feel like I just ran/walked 3.1 miles.

Of course, I paid for that great time when I got home. My right knee and left ankle started swelling.  This morning I woke up to very sore legs.

Thankfully today’s muscle workout helped to relieve the stiffness. I plan on an easy walk this afternoon to help with the soreness.

Some Color Run Advice
If you want to do a Color Run, here are some tips for you:

  • This is not the race for designer tracksuits! The color is just powdered cornstarch and does come off…mostly.
  • Keep your phone in a plastic bag. Trust me, the color gets everywhere!
  • Ladies, before the race, use leave on hair conditioner or spray coconut oil in your hair…you’ll thank me later (especially if you’re a blonde)!
  • No makeup! Just makes it easier for the color to come off in the shower. Plus, why would you exercise wearing makeup anyway?
  • Regardless of time of year, always wear white. It’s the best way to proudly display your colors.
  • Arrive early! The crowds are huge — 25,000+.  Runners are released in waves. I was in the second wave. The last wave of runners started as I crossed the finish line.
  • Prepare for the color zones. Along the 5K route, I ran through five color zones – yellow, orange, purple, green and blue.  When you hit one of these zones volunteers squirt you with the colored cornstarch.  I wish I had my sunglasses on to protect my eyes from the powder. Some people wore bandanas over their nose and mouth.  But that means no multicolored tongue!
  • If you want a lot of color on you, run on outer edges of the color zones. The volunteers will nail you! Less color? Run straight down the middle of the zone.
  • Stay for the after party! The Color Run is one big party with a 5K in the middle. It has a DJ, Zumba class, food vendors, and lots of color!

Peddling The Fat Off — My Next Fitness Challenge

weight loss cycling

Headed to my first spin class today. I expect it to kick my butt and turn my legs into jelly.

I’m a little late in picking my next 30-day fitness challenge. I’ve racked my brains trying to pick a good lower body workout. Walking around my gym, I stumbled upon the new challenge – cycling.

For the next month, I’m hitting the road…actually my local spinning class. I plan on attending a 60-minute cycling class twice a week.

Today is my first cycling class.  My goal isn’t to keep up with the class — I won’t. I just want to finish the class, as I’m expecting it to completely kick me in the butt.

Why Cycling?
I have a few reasons:

1. While I’ve lost weight everywhere, my legs are the slowest to give up the fat. I know you can’t target where the fat comes off, but I can give my calf, hamstring and glutes a great workout without a lot of stress on my joints.

2. I needed a new challenge. I love lifting weights, yoga in the mornings and interval training for the 5K, but that can get old. Sometimes you need to add in a new exercise to shake things up.

3. The last time I rode a bike ride around my neighborhood was 30 years ago. That’s too long. In 2010 my husband and I purchased bikes.  I rode it for 2 minutes. I felt unsteady and uncomfortable. I weighed over 300 lbs. and had no confidence in myself. It was easy to think, “I’m too fat to ride a bike.” So into the shed it went.

That bike’s coming out of the shed.  I’m going to relearn how to ride and take my bike for a spin in my neighborhood before year’s end. The spinning class is a way for me to regain my confidence.

Hey, How Come You’re Not Cycling Everyday?
Yes, the 30-day fitness challenge is a daily challenge. Since I’m interval training to run a 5K, I don’t want to tire out my legs. I’m taking the spinning classes on my days off from training. Trust me. Two spinning classes a week is a challenge.

I do plan to ride a real bike before the end of the year. But that is a separate challenge all on its own.

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I Want To Run A Marathon… Where Do I Start?

The training starts now!

The training starts now! Image Courtesy of: Sura Nualpradid and

Run Walk, Fat Girl, Run Walk!

I hope by next spring I can run in my first 5K (I’m walking in them now). So yes, a marathon is truly a long-term goal.

Right now I power walk 5 days week, alternating between 4 and 2.5 miles, with the former focused on distance and the latter on increasing speed.  The other 2 days, I walk at a normal pace.

Interval Training Out. Walking Plan In.

I tried interval training a few months ago and it didn’t go well. The training itself was fine. My knees afterward were not. My doc advised that more weight – 60 lbs  – needed to come off before I try running again.

As I tooled around the Weight Watchers site this weekend, I came across a walking guide complete with a suggested training schedule.   With plans for beginner, intermediate and advanced walkers, I could easily tailor the advance walking training to fit my needs.

So What’s The Plan?

My power walking goes from 5 to 4 days a week. Why? Because I’m adding in cardio – aerobics, biking or hiking. Toning is too important to ignore, so I’m keeping my 2 day muscle workouts. I built in 2 rest days and will adjust as I go, but for now the schedule doesn’t seem overly taxing. By mid September, I’m aiming for a consistent pace of 15 min/mile and hitting the 6 mile mark.

The WW suggested plans are in 8-week increments. I decided to build the plan out for the next 4 months. That takes me to January to hopefully start interval training. But for now, I can use the walking plan to build up my endurance, strength and speed.


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My First 5K

Crossing the finish line at my first 5K. Next year I'll be running, not walking.

Crossing the finish line at my first 5K. Next year I’ll be running, not walking.

Today was my first 5K and I loved it. I’ve never moved faster. I’ve been averaging 16:38/mile during my 3-mile walks. Not this morning. Say hello to 15:44/mile.

I’m always fastest during my first mile. I just go too fast and start to run out of gas. Well something changed during the 5K. I became progressively faster each mile. By the end of my second mile, I had shaved 10 seconds off of my first mile pace. By the time mile 3 came and went, I was 8 seconds faster than mile 2.

I didn’t feel winded. I didn’t run out of gas. So what gives?

During the 5K, my competitive juices kicked in. I officially wasn’t racing. I didn’t have a timer since I was a walker. But as the 5K progressed, I picked out people who I needed to catch up with and pass. I have no idea why, but that became my motivation. Perhaps its simply because when I do my daily walks I’m alone. It’s just me against my timer. Not today!

Pack of teenage girls engaged in the world’s most insipid, shallow conversation…had to blow past them so my head wouldn’t explode.

The gaggle of old lady power walkers who had an incredibly fast pace at the beginning…became the hares to my tortoise.

But hats off to one woman who I designated my archenemy. She walked a very steady pace. Throughout the race, she was the one I had to catch. No matter how close I got, I couldn’t pass her. It was infuriating. How did I get so close only have her pull further away? It wasn’t until the middle of mile 2 that I learned her secret. She would walk for 5 minutes then breakout into a jog for 30 seconds. She was interval training during the 5K. As soon as I caught up to her or even passed her, she would just breakout into a jog and blow right past me. It only made me want to go faster – but since I haven’t started interval training, running is my kryptonite. She used her ninja powers to finish about 6 seconds ahead of me. Thanks to that “defeat,” my interval training will start soon.

Next year I plan to kick her ass.