a peek inside the fishbowl

15 Aug, 2017

About that 5K (the Color Run!) and a fitness switcheroo

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Ottawa

You may or may not recall that I spent a bit of time and effort earlier this year preparing for a 5K race. I diligently followed a training plan that had me running intervals that increased in duration each week, both on the treadmill and on an outdoor route. (Frankly, I am still amazed that interval training works. I suffered, but hey, I GOT BETTER.)

I actually completed two 5Ks this summer: one was the Run for Women (which I wrote about here) and the other was the Ottawa Color Run, which took place the day before we left on our annual camping trip earlier this summer. I enlisted my eldest to do it with me. Promises of cool t-shirts and unicorn medals, and of course, the opportunity to get doused with coloured powders, was exactly the thing I needed to convince her. Here’s me, in my tee, before the race began. (Note how clean the shirt is.)

Me in my tee, at the Ottawa Color Run

As it happened, our run took place on a cool and cloudy morning, which was fine by me. These were perfect conditions as far as I’m concerned.

As someone new to organized races, I can honestly say that my favourite parts are the beginning and end. The excitement as everyone gets ready, is palpable. There is energy in the air, fed by music, and laughter, and it’s completely addictive and powerful. It sizzles through you like fire.

Waiting to get started, at the Ottawa Color Run

The race began, and we were off. I’m surprised there weren’t sparks flying out of my shoes, that’s how good it felt to get out of the starting gate.

I should mention that this year’s Color Run took place at the Rideau Carleton Raceway. It started on the actual race track, which was kind of neat, went over a field, and up (and back and down) a narrow road through the woods. My energy was sapped by sidestepping puddles, but I was happy to be distracted by the scenery and colour-bombing action.

I wish I could have taken more photos because the “colour” part of the Color Run is really is a sight to behold, but I was worried about my iPhone getting clogged with powder. Here was the first colour “gate” we passed through:

The Ottawa Color Run

There are volunteers at each station, throwing coloured powder on people as they run by. I learned early on to keep my mouth closed! I was happy to be wearing old sunglasses too.

Another fun little diversion – and this came later on – the bubble zone:

Bubble zone, at the Ottawa Color Run

It felt like a long 5K, I couldn’t actually RUN 100% of the time, but we did it. Here’s my obligatory “I am a sweaty mess but lived to tell this tale” photo:

Me, a big mess, post-run, the Color Run

As I mentioned, as amusing as it was to get colour bombed, the best part of this run was the beginning and the end. After the race, a DJ was spinning tunes, and for those who didn’t get enough colour, it was an opportunity to REALLY go to town. It was a joyous sight indeed:

Ottawa Color Run

As you can see by this video, people were so excited; they couldn’t wait for the DJ to give the go ahead:

(Here’s a direct link to the Color Run video for mobile readers.)

Thankfully we had towels to sit on for the drive home. We were covered in colourful dust, which, amazingly, all came off in the wash.

But here’s the question I’ve been mulling over these past few weeks: will I continue to train for other organized races? Answer: I don’t think so. I have been faithful to my treadmill and am doing a 30-minute speedwalk almost every day, but if I’m honest with myself I have to admit that I don’t enjoy running. I don’t run and think: “YAY! I AM RUNNING!” I’m just too busy trying to get to the next post or the next tree without collapsing in a big heap. I suppose there is a small sense of accomplishment (e.g. YAY! I didn’t die!) but I sure don’t feel a lot of joy while I am trying to get to the finish line. What I do enjoy, is cycling. (Remember this EPIC and cool bike ride?) I love the wind in my hair, the scenery zipping by, the distance I can go. Maybe I need to switch gears and take this cycling thing up a notch for real now.

1 Response to "About that 5K (the Color Run!) and a fitness switcheroo"

1 | Sherrilynne

August 20th, 2017 at 9:07 am


This looks a really fun run. Don’t give up on running altogether. Give yourself a break and try something else for a while. You can always run again, when the mood takes you.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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