5K fever

I had never been much of a runner until this summer. This was mostly due to the fact that I was self-concious of how I look while running. Some people have that perfect runners stance and I’ve always feared I look silly jogging through a park on my own. But the popularity of the 5K (a 3.1-mile race) inspired me to throw my cares to the wind and train. My husband has joined in too and we planned to participate in two 5K events this season.

The event that first caught my interest and sparked my desire to run was The Color Run. The Color Run is a 5K that involves volunteers throwing powdered paint on you as you run through the course. Once you cross the finish line you then join a giant paint throwing party with the other participants. You leave the event doused in color from head to toe. This does not appeal to everyone, but it looked like a lot of fun to me, and it was! We successfully ran it at the beginning of June in Youngstown. The months of training paid off and we were able to run almost the entire time in under 40 minutes, which I thought was pretty good for our first event. It was a nice 5K to start with since the focus was on enjoying yourself with no pressure of competition.

We are now currently training for the Warrior Dash, my husband’s choice. It will be held Aug. 9 in Lawrence, Ohio.

When comparing it to the Color Run it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Warrior Dash is lined with 13 obstacles, including mud pits, rope walls and a mound of fire, which will require a little more training and endurance. I’m looking forward to it, but I know it will be a test. I’ll be really pleased if I can cross the finish line in one piece.

I’ve read about past events that experienced issues with runners getting sick. The close proximity of the people along with the water and mud getting everywhere makes it very easy for viruses to spread. If people don’t take care to wash off properly after the race, they may ingest a bug that someone has brought. But I’ll stay positive and hope that we won’t have to deal with anything like that.

It seems 5Ks are increasing in popularity and are even associated with most large events now, such as fairs or holiday gatherings. A few weeks ago, Wellsville held its first Zombie Run 5K, in which the proceeds went to The Wounded Warriors. It was a great success and was definitely a creative event for the community to host.

One of the things I’ve learned about 5Ks is that a large amount of the proceeds will go to a charity. This makes them all the more worthwhile to participate in. Plus you usually get a shirt and souvenirs, which is always a bonus in my book.

Running has not only drastically improved my exercise routine but is now a special hobby that my husband and I share. It’s the first activity that neither of us had really done before and decided to start together. Also, we hold each other accountable when one of us lacks the motivation to get up and move.

Running clears your mind and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. When I start my day with a run I have a ton of energy.

I do have to admit that I still haven’t worked my way up to running outside alone though. We have a treadmill, which I’ve found is much easier on my feet and legs, so that’s my excuse. Maybe someday I’ll be one of the cool runners who jogs along St. Clair Avenue with ease. We’ll see.

(Laura Reed is a desk editor for The Review. Reach her at lreed@reviewonline.com)