of color in mud.

i finished my first 5k today. part 5k, part color festival reminiscent of india's holi-days, it quickly turned into a mud bath.

we woke up at 7 in order to get there in time, and it's a good thing we did because coming over the hill we hit a two lane traffic jam that lasted almost a mile.

austinites like their quirky festivals. 

it took awhile to get started, but eventually it was our turn. by the time we got to the first color station, there was only specks of color dust left in the buckets off to the side. i wasn't worried though, i could still see the clouds of color off in the distance - purple, pink, blue, green - i figured i wasn't walking away with a clean white shirt.

i ended up being more right than i anticipated.

as soon as we turned the corner, we found ourselves in a slip-n-slide of mud.

and here is where the race got difficult. 

our shoes started sticking in the puddles up to our shins and what was once a down hill skate turned into an uphill battle.

note: we didn't sign up for this 5k to run - we signed up to experience the festival-like after party. 30 minutes into the race, i realized i'd be expending a whole lot more energy than i imagined and i'd probably not be as much of a rainbow of color at the end as i hoped.

i stopped for a lot of breaks {my asthma wasn't expecting the workout either} but i made it up the hill ::slowly:: and ::mechanically:: - i never realized the significance of one foot in front of the other until this morning - sludging up the hill, slipping in puddles, feeling my shoes pull in the suction of the dirt and hoping i wouldn't lose my shoes like some of my fellow runners.

eventually, we crossed the finish line - feeling more accomplished than i expected going in to the race.

to be honest, there were a lot of moments i wanted to quit. we didn't get any color the entire race and my body felt spent halfway through the muddy slope. but i kept going and i couldn't help but think of how much i'd grown in a year.

last year, i wouldn't have signed up for this. this year, i signed up as soon as i heard of the race.

last year, i would have been afraid of the crowd. this year, i stuck close to my love and enjoyed the time we got to spend together.

last year, i would have stopped midway, cut my losses and gone home crying. this year, i put the negative feelings aside and kept going. kept pushing, kept walking, kept thinking of the finish line.

and you know what? we didn't get color during the race but the clouds of pink and blue and purple waiting for us when it was over made everything worth it....

especially my now pink hair.

{cause apparently the color dust is not washable.}



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Posted on February 4, 2012 .