This coming Sunday, I’m doing a color run. For the record, I hate exercising. I do it, because I don’t want to be a sloppy blob, but I am eternally in search of the exercise that doesn’t bore me to pieces. And so, about two or three times a year, I sign up for some radical form of exercise that I tell myself is going to finally be the thing that makes me understand what everyone else is talking about when they say they love to exercise. I hate to run, but call it a “mud run” or a “zombie run,” and my hope springs eternal.
Part of the appeal of signing up for some event that’s far in the future is the fantasy that this is the one I’ll really train for. Be in top shape for. And so it was in that spirit that some time back I signed for a “color run” this coming Sunday not far from my house.
I’ve been wanting to do a color run for a while now. A color run is basically a glorified 5K in which the organizers and other participants throw paint and powder and gel at you until you’re saturated with the stuff as you run. I am all about the photo op, so I love the idea of getting a picture of my daughter (my co-conspirator) and me covered in bright hues, looking all 5K-ish.
But, of course, there’s also the running. Did I mention I’m not a big fan? I have been pretty good about walking 6,000 steps a day for some time now (roughly three miles), so I’m not worried about making it the full five kilometers (when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, I averaged 16,000 steps a day. Seattle was in that range too). But I’ve been traveling like mad this summer, so all the endurance and speed training I planned to do has gone out the window. I can walk it, but I can’t run a full three plus miles straight. Also, I melt like cheap frosting in heat and if next Sunday is anything like yesterday, I am going to one miserable, paint-covered person. Blessedly, as of today the forecast calls for rain, so that’s got to be better than 95-degree heat. (Bonus: I love being outside in the rain).
Here’s the other problem with my penchant for signing up for events and then not preparing for them at all or checking my calendar to see if it works: this event is falling on a really inconvenient day. Thursday is my son’s birthday. Friday I have to fly to Atlanta. Saturday morning I have to fly home from Atlanta and pray that there are no flight delays so that I can pull off my son’s birthday party at the movie theater, then host a bunch of rowdy boys at my house for video games and pizza. Then I have to get up on Sunday first thing, rally the troops, and head over to the color run. Not my brightest scheduling move yet.
Why do I do it? At my core, I’m an optimist. I always believe I can make things work, that this will be the time the stars will align. If I succeed, I will post a silly picture of me covered in paint next week. If I don’t… you’ll know why you don’t hear from me for a while: heat exhaustion and paint inhalation.