It happened. I don’t know how, but I’ve become THAT person — the one who pays money to run long distances. And yes, I know, a 5k which is barely 3.2 miles is not necessarily long distance when you compare it to the friends of mine who regularly run 8 miles, 16 miles, 27 miles… but to a gal like me who’d rather run reports than laps, it’s pretty unique that I’ve spent ACTUAL money to run for pleasure!
This Friday night, I ran the Neon Run 5k with my husband and my pals Jason and Amy. I was really nervous about running with the three of them because they’re all regular long-distance runners, and Amy is actually a seasoned marathon pro (Jason just signed up for the LA Marathon! Can we get a “Heck yeah!” going for him?). I warned all of them that they should feel free to run ahead, as I knew my pace would be slooooow and sometimes include walking. We ended up losing Jason and Matt in the crowd but my marathoner Amy stayed by my side and encouraged me to keep going when I just wanted to walk. I originally (aka, months ago) had grand plans of running the whole 5k, but as health stuff got in the way, those plans were put on the back burner and I went with a revised goal of just improving the time and experience of my last 5k.
The run began at 8 pm, and despite its disorganization (no clearly marked signs, confusion about start and exit), we had a great time. We decked ourselves out in glow paint and glow sticks and while I couldn’t run the whole 5k, I think I ran about half of it. I know I did better than the color run as our time for walking the color run was one hour and 15 minutes, and the time for this run was 48 minutes. Also, I burned 731 calories during the Color Run — and 530 calories this time. What that means is my body is getting more in shape, meaning the same amount of exertion causes less exhaustion. All very good signs!
The most fun part was running through the blacklight tents. You were sprayed with glowing paint and then once you passed a blacklight, you glowed like a firefly. I wasn’t thrilled about the blacklight color spray they used, because it smelled like wet dog and was sticky, but you know, all in the name of fun. They had some bass-heavy techno music playing through out which kept everyone pepped up and ready to roll. After our run we headed off to iHop, where we had a very late celebratory dinner. I definitely had an awesome time, but if I had to rank this run compared to the Color Run, I’d give it a 5 out of 10. It was fun, but didn’t feel as well put together as The Color Run (not as many water stations, not enough signage indicting start, exit, halfway, etc). However, I love the idea of the fun runs, and hope to squeeze in a couple more before the year ends. I’d really like to be able to run a 5k in its entirety sometime soon, so maybe I can target one for Thanksgiving or the end of the year.
Do you have any suggestions for “Fun Runs” I have to do? I’ve heard about the Frozen Hot Chocolate 5k, and the Spartan Race, but what else is out there that’s a “must do”? Also, would you pay to do a fun run?