You Can Color Me Rad Anytime You Want

Do y'all remember back in March when I made a grand proclamation about running a 5k? I was excited, I was motivated, and I had a plan. 

I didn't stick to my plan at all, however. I trained a grand total of 8 times between March 20th, 2013 and July 6th, 2013, and the week leading up the race I was nervous as hell. I went so far as carb-loading the night before, until it was kindly pointed out to me that its entirely unnecessary for one person to consume that much pasta for a 5K. In reflection, it really did give me a ton of energy for my 8:40am start time--although that could have been a combination of nerves and the Red Bulls they were giving me too. 

I'm about as competitive as it gets, which sounds like a good thing. Problem is, I'm competitive with myself more than anyone else. There is always this little voice in my head that's telling me that I can't do something, that it's too hard, that I should just quit. But then this bigger voice takes over, and it shouts at me in an angry voice that I have to keep going. I have to finish. I can't give up. 

I thought that voice was going to kill me. Every time I would stop to walk, that voice would berate me over and over again. I would walk just long enough to stop the lung-crushing pain in my chest, and then I'd be off again. By the finish line, I was more trotting than running. 

I finished my first 5K in just under 40 minutes--almost 6 minutes longer than some of my pals that actually run. But it was exhilarating to know that I finished, that I ran my heart out, and that I had a ton of fun doing something that I used to loathe. 

Before I left the starting line, the crazy guy with the megaphone told all of us first time runners that the Color Me Rad is a gateway drug, and that we'd be hooked. 


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"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." -John Bingham

I have tried using the Couch to 5k plan a couple of times before, and I always failed miserably, so you might be surprised to find out that just over two weeks ago a few of my friends and I signed up to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Edmonton in July {on my birthday!}. 

I have never run a 5k. I have never been able to run for longer than a few minutes without feeling as if my lungs were going to explode. Also? I have always hated running. Based on this information, it would seem that my decision was rash and not entirely well thought-out. That reaction is probably about 75% true, so I'm not offended if you thought it. 

I have a plan, however, and it mostly revolves around the concepts of "trying hard", "not giving up", and "publishing my progress so that the shame of telling the world that I failed propels me to succeed". I'm using MyFitnessPal to track my daily activity as well as what I am eating, and I'm planning on blogging about my progress too--sorry in advance if you do not find this remotely interesting!  

So far, I am running in 2 minute increments with only 1 minute of walking and I can get almost all of the way through the P90X YogaX workout. I started off my running a little bit too ambitious, so I had to take the weekend off to recover--conveniently, this is when I was introduced to MFP, so don't judge me if you look at my log and don't find any running on there--but my calves are back to normal and I'm planning on starting again tonight. 

So far, I feel like I am succeeding. July 6th is coming up awfully fast, though. 

Have you ever trained for a race? Do you have any tips for a newbie? 

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Practice Safe Sun

1. Replace your daily body lotion with a hydrating sunblock. I really enjoy the smell and formula of Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration lotion--I choose the broad-spectrum SPF 30 formula, and I apply it once I'm out of the shower and dry. I don't normally spend hours on end in the sun, so one application is enough for me; if you are spending all day outside, or planning on swimming, don't forget to reapply every few hours!

2. Don't forget your face. My face is very sensitive, so instead of using regular sunblock on my face (or skipping it all together!) I opt for a lotion that is formulated specifically for my face with a minimum of SPF 15 mixed in. In case you didn't get the memo, I'm a little bit obsessed with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion with SPF 15.

3. Skip the tanning beds. Nobody wants to be called an Oompa Loompa (ahem, Snooki), nor do they want to battle skin cancer. Do yourself a favour, and skip the tanning beds. A healthy glow is sexier than tangerine skin anyways--seriously, ask your significant other. I like to use Dove Summer Glow body lotion every three days to gradually darken my skin; if I try to use it more frequently then I look like I had an unfortunate accident with self-tanner. Pro tip: exfoliate your body well before using any self tanner (even gradual ones!) the color will appear more even after application.

4. Protect your beautiful tresses. Although no one has developed a true sunblock for hair, there are quite a few companies that have formulated products that will help protect your hair from damaging UV rays. My hair (even when colored) tends to lighten quite quickly in the sun, and my favourite UV protector so far is Bumble + Bumble's Color Minded UV Protective Styling Balm. It doesn't weigh my hair down or make it greasy, and it doesn't take a lot of product to cover my long but fine hair. My color will still fade with washes, but won't dramatically lighten from a day in the sun.

5. Make sure you cover & hydrate. Cover your head with your favourite hat to reduce your chance of sunstroke and replenish the fluids your body loses in the heat by drinking lots of water; eating frozen fruits and veggies (my favourite are frozen grapes and frozen peas) and popsicles will also hydrate you while cooling your core body temperature.

water bottle pictured is by nalgene; hat is by forever21

What are your go-to sun products?