The Color Run

Way back in March, Jason called me at work to tell me about a race called the Color Run. I looked it up, read the description and immediately became rabidly excited. About a race. Where I’d need to run. But this race, you guys. You start out wearing a clean white t-shirt and at every kilometer you get pelted with a different colored powder. So yeah, I was in.

A few hours later, I went back online to read more about the race and saw a new message in bright red that said, “REGISTRATION FOR THE TWIN CITIES COLOR RUN IS NOW CLOSED.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo. God, I finally get jazzed about running a race and then this happens. I called Jason back to whine and moan, and then immediately signed up for the email notification list in case they opened up some more spots.

A few months later, they did.

Here’s us before the race:


It was so hot. We didn’t bring any water to drink beforehand. Poor planning, selves.



Seriously, I cannot stress to you how hot and humid it was. The air was THICK. And I have asthma. So…this did not end well for me. Think, “Shauna couldn’t breathe or regulate her body temperature and had to walk most of the race and then came two dry heaves away from vomiting in the car on the way home before diverting disaster by blasting air conditioning on the back of her neck for 10 seconds.” True story.

I was dripping sweat before the race even started (mostly because I ran the ½ mile back to our car to grab our camera and then could not cool back down). I felt awful during the race. AWFUL. I ended up walking most of it (and I run 3 miles a couple of times a week). (At least I wasn’t the only one. At one point, we were in a group of maybe 75 people and every single person was walking. That’s how miserable it was.) Jason, of course, would’ve run the whole thing at the same pace without stopping, but he was nice enough to walk with me.

The post-race color toss:


Chalky! Also: Cannot see my hand in front of my face! Also, also: INSTANT ASTHMA ACTIVATOR!



The color got e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. We sat on garbage bags in the car and ended up tossing all of our clothing (except our shoes). It took 30 minutes of scrubbing our skin raw with a loofah to remove (most of) the color. In some places, the color looked like it was never going to disappear (between my toes, especially).

Three hours later I notified Jason, “Um…I just blew my nose and the Kleenex was purple. So…ah…you might want to keep that in mind.”

But I’d do it again next year. (As long as it’s not in July.)

Get Lucky

So, remember that race Jason bugged me to run on my birthday? And remember how I resisted, and bitched and moaned and basically made Jason’s life miserable?

Yeah, well, here’s my public apology: Jason, I’m sorry I complained so much. I ran the race, and it was a blast.

My main worry was that it was going to be cold. HAHAHAHHAHA. It was so warm that morning (like, 65 degrees at 9 a.m.) that I ran in just shorts and a t-shirt — and even then my face felt like it was going to explode and send melted pieces of my nose everywhere.

Nearly 8,800 green-clad people were running the race, so we were at the end of the pack at the starting line. We were running with about eight others that we knew, and they started singing a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to me. Pretty soon, hundreds of strangers also joined in. That was pretty embarrassing/awesome.

From the time the race officially started to the time I actually crossed the starting line and activated my chip, 20 minutes had passed. Jason took off at his much-faster pace while I turned on my iPod and just went with the (slow-moving) flow. I ran for about 17 minutes before I stopped to walk. Every single time I run, I’m fine until that first time I stop. After that, it’s like I’ve given my body the go-ahead to stop whenever it wants, despite trying to force myself to run for a certain amount of time before stopping again. Unfortunately, that strategy went out the window pretty quickly.

I was trying to keep myself on track by watching for the flags signifying I had completed another kilometer, when I noticed that it had been a loooooong time since I’d passed the 5k flag, and the 6k one was nowhere in sight. Consulting my stopwatch, I realized I was waaaaaay off my pace, and in fact, was probably going to take a good hour and six minutes to finish. I had no real goal for this race since I was planning on never running this distance again, but I ran it once inside on the treadmill in 53 minutes, and once outside the weekend before, where I did it in a very windblown 56 minutes.

Berating myself for walking too much, I slowly started jogging, feeling the burning anger of two blisters that decided to present themselves. Then, I turned a corner and only a few hundred yards ahead of me, saw these glorious words:


I sprinted to it like a rabid monkey on crack.

I finished in 55:50, well behind the 50 minutes I had hoped for, but better than the 1:06:00 I estimated. (Jason did it in 43:09.) How I ever missed seeing that 6k flag, I’ll never know, especially since I was inspecting every flag, sign, placard and banner in sight (one of our friends also missed seeing it).

All that matters is that I finished.


And that I’ve agreed to do it again next year.


Our treadmill is still broken and awaiting a new control panel/sensor/capacitor (I assume this is the part that likes to mess with me mentally by randomly slowing down so that 2-3 seconds go by without the distance changing), so we decided to run outside. Here’s how that worked out:

Shoes: Oh hey, our mesh exterior lets in ALL the cold air!

Face: Um, why are we running into the wind? You know it’s only 30 degrees out, right? And you saw how that giant American flag at the fire station was completely horizontal, yes?

Hands: We’re covered with gloves and yet we’re still freezing!

Lungs: Uh…you remembered to take your inhaler first, right?

Brain: CRAP.

Lungs: It’s cool. We’ll just repay you later with a 5-minute coughing fit. Nothing we love better than cold air crackling in our asthma-infected tissues!

Legs: No me gusta.

Shoes: HA! We became untied already — 3 minutes in. New record!

Eyes: How is Jason so far ahead of us so soon???

Jerkwad’s driveway/sidewalk: Hey, hope you enjoyed dodging the Ice Path of Death since I am apparently the only homeowner in the city who has not shoveled.

Stopwatch: Wow. You ran this mile in 10:21 despite running into the wind, stopping to tie your shoe and feeling as though you’re running in quicksand in a stop-motion film run at half speed.

Brain: How is that possible?

iPod: I like to think it’s because of you having Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding out for a hero” on your playlist…like all badasses do.

Legs: I know we’re numb from the cold and all, but we really need to walk right now.

Lungs: Hey, just saying — because I’m sure you’ve noticed — but we’re not really “breathing” right now. All the air you’re inhaling is immediately getting exhaled – it’s not even reaching us!

Nose: You know what’s great? Exertion and cold air! Now you’re not the only one running! HA HA!

Jerkwad’s driveway/sidewalk: Ooh, I bet that jerking motion you made as you started to slip on the ice pulled a back muscle!

iPod: Because you’re so cold, I decided to shuffle to Rob Zombie’s “Numb.” Clever, huh? You’re welcome!

Lungs: It’s amazing how well we do using only 8 percent of our capacity.

Legs: We’re feeling awesome right now! For real, we’re not messing with you — for once.

Entire body: Yeah, this isn’t that bad, especially since you haven’t run in ages. We might be able to do that 7K next weekend without dying. No promises, though!

Stopwatch: You ran 2 miles in 22:08. Believe me, I am as surprised about this as you are.

Conclusion: I run faster when I’m cold and miserable.


Our friend’s new girlfriend sent us a link to a race on St. Patty’s Day. I opened the link and immediately saw that this race included three of my pet peeves:

- Getting up early
- Running a distance I do not wish to run
- Drinking beer

So I quickly closed the email and thought nothing of it until Jason asked, “Hey, did you see that email from Shannen?”

And then, a Discussion Ensued.

Me: Yeah, I saw it.

Him: And?

Me: It’s on my birthday.

Him: Yeah, it’ll be fun.

Me: No. It won’t.

Him: Come on! There’s free beer afterwards.

Me: EXACTLY. I hate beer. And running.

Him: Why are you so negative?


Him: Why don’t you want to do it?

Me: Because I don’t want to spend my birthday getting up early, milling around outside in shorts – in March – waiting to run 4 miles – ON MY BIRTHDAY – and then fighting the crowd to get a free beer that I will not drink.

Him: But you get a free hoodie!

Me: That I essentially pay for. It costs $47 to register.

Him: Why don’t you like doing fun things?

Me: Because I don’t consider this a “fun thing.”

Him: Come on – please?

[Much later]

Me: Hey, you get a medal for finishing this race! OK, I’ll do it.

Him: That’s what made you change your mind?!?

[Much, much later]

Him: So are you going to run 4 miles this week to prepare?

Me: Hell, no! People don’t run full marathons when they’re training for a marathon, do they?

Him: But this is only 4 miles!

Me: Fine, I’ll run 4 miles a few times before the race. GOD.

Needless to say, I am going to put this out here publicly to all of my family members and friends: THIS IS THE FARTHEST I EVER WISH TO RUN. THERE WILL BE NO HALF-MARATHONS OR 10Ks OR GOD FORBID, MARATHONS TO TALK ME INTO. EVER. YOU WANT TO DO ANY OF THAT, YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN. I’ll be your driver and cheerleader. Period.

(Also, I negotiated for Buffalo Wild Wings and Mountain Dew for dinner. Because that I how I prefer to spend my birthdays.)

So if any of you local people would like to see me all gritchy and crabby on St. Patty’s Day, join us! We can meet up afterwards and I will give you my free beer.