Cosmic Run DC 2013

I am not athletic. (Although I once was.)
I am not a hardcore EDM fan.

But this past weekend, I completed my very first 5K (ish) due to the allure of a light show and the promise of EDM.

Who was I to say no?

My first time wearing numbers pinned to my shirt?
My first time wearing numbers pinned to my shirt?

Cosmic Run DC took place yesterday, 12 October. I have a few things to say about the organization prior to race day:

  • Packet pickup was on Thursday and Friday, aka work days. Out in Falls Church, Virginia. They said “for your convenience”, they were having it on 2 days, but it was still pretty inconvenient to have to go on a work day to pick them up. At a location that was FAR AWAY from the actual race site.
  • We weren’t told the race site until this past week, and it was not in DC. This was to be expected, but Waldorf, Maryland is NOT NEAR DC.
  • I didn’t know what charity this race was benefiting until this past week, also. I would have liked to know, uh… WHEN I PAID but you know, better late than never, I guess. As long as the money benefits a charity. I don’t mind if the money doesn’t, but don’t say that you partner with a charity every year and then not tell us until the week of the race, please.

JUST TRYING TO DO THIS RACE was an adventure and a struggle. It has been very rainy in the DC metro area this week, after one full week of 80+ degree weather this October. So strange. Driving down to pick up our packets was a little bit tricky, but we made it.

Jen & I are ready!
Jen & I are ready!

Race Day

Well, we made it to race day. (It’s not really a “race”, but whatever. “Run day”?)  After a pre-race/run meal of Red Lobster (hahaha this may have been a huge mistake), we set off for Waldorf, which is an hour away from my friend’s apartment, even with a little bit of rainy-day-slowness-induced traffic.

Or so we thought.

There was an accident about 15 miles away from the arena, causing a complete standstill in traffic, as I think all lanes were closed. We started seeing cars driving in the shoulder (naughty) and then we saw cars going in reverse down the shoulder (super naughty). We’re getting pretty freaked out because several of the cars were reversing quite fast.

AND THEN almost all of the cars in front of us turned to go on the off ramp.
Yes. You read that correctly.
They made a crazy turn into this on ramp, and we really were left with few options but to follow, as we were surrounded by these turning cars.

At some point while we’re getting on this off ramp, we hear a cop car. Maybe it’s because of the accident… we hoped. Obviously not. It was there to make sure no other idiots tried to follow us morons down the off ramp, but we were pretty safe, I think. We found a local road that runs parallel to the highway and made it to the run about 20 minutes late.

We were not told that there would be staggered starts, but luckily for us, there were. We were able to join a group at the start line, where we didn’t get to catch any of the glow sticks that were being thrown down to us plebes.

FUN FACT: In an effort to hydrate but also to fight off food coma and give us a kick, we drank quite a lot of water and caffeine prior to running. We did go to the bathroom beforehand, but after almost 2 hours of driving, we needed a revisit that we wouldn’t see until after completing the 5K (ish). Sigh. That was pretty painful XD

Although there wasn’t music all throughout the course as I thought there would be, it was nice to have the checkpoints where we’d hear some EDM pounding, get blacklight-visible colored powder thrown on us, and see some admittedly cool lights and lasers. Some of these powder people were a little bit off though. One definitely just threw a fistful at my pants, which meant I just had a bunch of pink on my crotch, and another threw a handful at my face, which meant I was tasting cornstarch for a few hours and wiping blue out of my eyes an awful lot. (Oy. Rude.)

I also lost my friend right at the beginning. Considering I didn’t have my glasses or my phone, and everyone was wearing black clothing for the blacklight colors to show up, I was pretty frantic. But we found each other! And all was well.

Then the race was over. I wasn’t very tired, which means that it wasn’t 5K. I am almost positive that wasn’t the full 5K because I’m usually quite tired running 3 miles, and I have only done so about twice, so I doubt that I just got better at it. The course ended sooner than I thought, and I finished quite fast considering I did walk about 25% of it.


Image courtesy of Instagram user hannahhmo, as I didn’t want to risk bringing my phone/camera out on the run.

So the best part of the Cosmic Run is the afterparty. DJs blasting EDM while they throw color and glowsticks to a crowd of sweaty people covered with cornstarch+rain paste. It was kind of super amazing just to be losing it and going crazy and jumping around. (But again, I shouldn’t have had the energy to rave as hard as I did XD)

All in all, this was kind of a struggle, but I definitely had loads of fun. Not sure if I’ll do it again next year, but I will think about it.

After the madness!
After the madness!

Also not sure if I’m ever gonna pay money to run again, but we’ll see. 😛

Bed to 5K

I used to be a very active girl, honestly, I was.

But somewhere between moving away from my taekwondo classes, recreational basketball team, Chinese school ballet, and… now, that changed. I went from being the fastest and splitty-est person in my class (there are photos of me doing all kinds of splits) to the 10+++ minute mile runner.

That’s disappointing for me. Not only to be out of shape, but to have become very out of shape after having been very in shape.

Over the past few years, I keep telling myself I’ll get in shape, I’ll take up running and all these good things. But the habit never lasts very long.

This time, I am trying to enforce it. I’ve signed up for my very first 5K ever. I will be participating in the Cosmic Run in DC this October, and I am starting as an absolute novice.

Click to register with me!

I really liked the premise of this run. It’s not a very hardcore or competitive race – you’re not timed during the run. You don’t even have to run. Some people just dance and rave through the entire thing. (Very tempting option, believe you me.) I have been getting into EDM lately, especially for when I do get off my bum to exercise, so the idea of an entire event set to an EDM soundtrack, complete with fluorescent colors and LED lights, and rounded off with a great big EDM party sounded totally amazing and fun. Who knows, maybe I’ll even wear a fun costume to run in. (Neon tutus have always appealed to me…)

So far, I had been running on a pretty regular basis, until I got back on campus to start packing up my apartment for moving out. I am better about my schedule when I’m at home, since I feel safer running in my neighborhood than I do around my campus in the evenings.

I’ve been trying out the Beginner’s 5K training plan on RunKeeper. It’s been pretty good to me, so far, as far as starting to get used to running more. I hope I can stick to it and be able to run the 5K continuously.

I’ll keep this blog updated with my progress here, so long as I… keep running between now and October!

I’m a little bit scared that I’ll do terribly. Part of the reason that I’m so out of shape is that once I started getting out of shape, I was too embarrassed to take part in the sports and other activities I loved so much. With any luck, that won’t be an issue this time around.

Do you have any tips for someone running her first ever 5K after several years of not… moving… much…? Have you participated in Cosmic Run before?