Monday, July 28, 2014

Wonder Woman is my spirit guide

Earlier this year, I found a new keychain in the form of Lego Wonder Woman. What's not to love about that? She's seen me through all my recent adventures (and misadventures), and she rides in my pocket keeping my keys company when I run through the streets. How can you not be happy when Wonder Woman is running with you, right?

I find it very inspirational to keep a superhero in my pocket. And not just a superhero, an Amazonian badass female superhero. It's easy to face challenges when she's got your back. It's easy to borrow a little of that invincibility when you need a boost.

So, this past week I (sort of) ran a 5K. I say sort of because it wasn't a timed race, it was more of a fun run, so I didn't feel compelled to go out and break any records—I just wanted to have fun doing something active. It wasn't just any run, it was the Run or Dye 5K, something I've considered doing before but to be honest? The dye powder always kind of scared me.  But this is a race I was asked to promote, so I was going to do it—fear or no fear.

Prior to the race, I set out to find some white clothes that would best show off the dye... and I found some great socks and a shirt, but when I happened upon this little Wonder Woman kit in the pajama department? Well, I knew it would be my running gear. First, I gotta say—running in pajamas? Best idea ever.

Anyway, fast forward to race day. Even driving out to the race site was part of the fun, as we quickly found ourselves on the highway along with a bunch of other cars headed that way. Then we arrived and I'm all done up in my WW gear and feeling a little self-conscious... but how can you be self-conscious when you're Wonder Woman? Perfect armor for this introvert. We (myself, two friends) hung around doing the pre-race thing (pacing nervously, hitting the porta potty, taking pictures, doing some preemptive strikes with the dye packs), before all the participants started herding like brightly colored cattle up to the start line.

We are ready to go!

The Start line for a race, whether it's a chipped & timed event or a fun run event like this one, is always an adrenaline-filled party. And this color run was no exception! There were tons of color run first timers plus a few veterans. We were all excited, happily throwing dye on one another as we waited. And did I mention the tutus? There were lots of them, on men and women alike. There were old runners and young runners, men, women, boys and girls of all abilities. It was great to see so many people out to share in this experience.

At the starting line, waiting our turn to go.

As we were getting ready to take off, a woman came up and tapped me on the shoulder, asking me where I'd gotten my awesome Wonder Woman outfit. We struck up a conversation and she told me that she was in her 70s and made a goal to run a race in every state—something she'd just started working on this year. This was her Oklahoma race.

Wonder Woman was kind of her thing, and she collected all things printed with the super hero logo. She was an inspiration, starting running so late in life. I myself didn't start running until I was in my mid-30s, and I often question the wisdom (or lack thereof) of that decision. But this was an awesome sign that yes, this is totally doable. When we finally got to the start line? I was bummed to realize I hadn't even gotten her name.

We were sent out in waves, I think we were in the 7th or 8th. We set off through the hills and grass and trees and quickly learned that yeah, walking? Not so bad. Thankfully, there was a breeze because holy crap it was hot out. Just before we hit the first dye stop, there was an obstacle. Nor sure if it was meant to be part of this race or something that is usually featured at a Mud Run, but what kind of Wonder Woman would I be if I didn't climb it? So I did. And remembered as I was trying to go over the top and down the other side, I remembered that I was scared of heights and started to question my choices. But I took the challenge, and I did it.

An obstacle at a color run? Okay!

We went through a purple-haze-filled forest that looked straight out of Alice in Wonderland, thanks to the purple dye stop...

Purple haze

We hydrated at the water stops, got handfuls of dye thrown at us at the color stops. We, like most of the people on the course, walked much of the trail. At about the halfway point, though, my feet got itchy to run, so I did. Up and down the hills, through the woods, stopping for water and color breaks. It was a great day to be a superhero!

At the finish line, I found cold water (yay!) and waited for my friends to cross. As I stood there on the sidelines, a woman came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. She said "where did you get that Wonder Woman outfit!? Because my mom would totally love that." Yes, her mom, the inspirational Grany Janie (I had a name now) who was running a race in every state. I was happy to tell her daughter how much of an inspiration her mom was to me—and to let her know where to find her own Wonder Woman pajamas.

We took our post run pics!

Post run pics at the finish line

And then we hung around at the stage for the dance party and waited for the big dye throw. We missed the first one—we were far back in the crowd and didn't get a good picture of it—but we rushed the stage and made sure we were *right there* for the second one. And that was the moment that my fears of breathing in all that colored powder were realized. And it was spectacular.

Just after the second big dye throw.

Two days later, I'm still scrubbing dye off my skin in a few places and my shoes put out little clouds of pink powder when I started out on my run this morning. But I've decided that this won't be my last color run—or the last run where I'm all done up like Wonder Woman.

Disclaimer: I was asked to participate in the promotion of the Run or Dye OKC 5K in exchange for race admission. At no time was I told what to write. All opinions discussed in this post are my own because my opinions are not for sale.


  1. LOVE this, Mari! That 70-year-old woman IS inspiring; I wanna be like her! ;-)

    1. That's the beauty of it! You can be like her! We all can. She totally kicked my inner optimist in the butt!

  2. I'm luv'n the Wonder Woman pj's! You totally ROCK in my book.

    1. Thanks! The PJs are from my local neighborhood WalMart, and I encourage ladies of all ages to get some!

  3. I so wanted to go to this thing and take pictures, but have had a lot going on. It looks like you had a great time. When are you going to get your invisible plane!? =)

    1. You didn't see the plane, Jen? It was totally in the photo w/me. I guess because it's invisible? lol ;)
      It was definitely a riot, would have loved to see your face!