The first weekend in July held a special event: my friend Jackie and I ran Run or Dye SF, a 5k color fun run. For a gal who is on a mission to run 103 races, some have asked why I am choosing to count races such as this one, or why this race was even a big deal for “just a color run.”
Remember how mama used to tell you to think before you speak?
My reasoning for counting every paid race I do as part of my run103 mission is that racing, like life, has different facets. Longer distance races are a grind: lots of hard work, possibly blood, most definitely sweat and a few tears, put in for a long haul, a push to the brink and a big, gratifying return in the end. Sometimes that includes a bonk, a trip and fall, a gastro issue along the way – but we push on. Fun runs like this are more of a celebration: a party where everyone gets a piece of cake that they like, a time to socialize, a time and place to let go, let loose and let laughter flow freely.
The Tinker Bell Half Marathon was a grind for me – a time for me to push myself, to dig deep, let myself explore the ugly, dark places and finish in a burst of life and light. This race, for me, wasn’t about time, PRs or any of that: it was the experience and reminding myself to run for the love of running, for the love of moving, to share it with someone. Run or Dye SF was, in short, a big, loud, colorful, messy celebratory party. And did I dress for a party.
My friend Jackie, while ever enthusiastic and of course game to dress in bright colors, is not someone who would identify herself as a runner. Last Fall we ran Color Me Rad San Jose together for fun. While there was a lot of huffing and puffing involved and some walking, the joy that washed over her face when she saw the arches of the finish will never leave me. She should be incredibly proud of herself, and not just because she has recently removed over 30 pounds on her own via proper nutrition and fitness. A quiet truth, over a year ago, Jackie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS, and refuses to let it stop her. While others could use the disease as a scapegoat, Jackie has taken her diagnosis to turn this notion on it’s head: she picked up running, because she wants to run while she still can.
And can I just say, girl ran much more of the course, easier and faster (chit-chattin’ the whole time nonetheless!) than she did last year? We had an incredible time and watching her face light up when we hit the finish still got me right in the feels.
Congratulations Jackie on running your third race and likely fastest 5k to date. I am proud and honored to be your running partner, and cannot wait till September when we tackle Color Me Rad San Jose yet again as Team Unicornholio!