It’s the day after Imagine In Color/Imagine Run that I was at yesterday – and I’ll be honest I’m having some difficulty processing through it today. I was expecting to be tired physically – I put in a hard effort and logged a personal best. What I wasn’t expecting was the mild case of “blues” I’m experiencing today. Yes, part of it is due to the physical tiredness. It’s been a busy week at the store, I’m processing through some health stuff, and I was trying to be at my best for the run. Some level of physical tiredness is expected, however the emotional side of it was rather unexpected
As I’ve thought about it, it’s a mixture of emotions. I’m a little sad, because this is their last run event, and I won’t have one to look forward to next year. There’s also a bit of a melancholy emptiness. I woke up this morning, and I noticed a vague emotional “heaviness” or emptiness. I’d experienced it before a few times but it took me a while to figure out what I was feeling and why.
It’s completely normal, but again while I was anticipating a lazy, tired day today the emotional response was a bit of a blindside. It’s simply the release of the anticipation. In a way, emptiness is a good word for it, because I’ve been thinking and working toward this for months – and now it’s over. The event is over, the goal was met, and instead of an event to look forward to, and a goal to reach – the space that they occupied in my life is now vacant – and in a strange way it almost feels like mourning. It’s a loss, and yes I was emotionally very invested into it. I wanted to prove it to myself, I wanted to prove to others I could, I wanted to show support for individuals and families there who had lost loved ones to suicide. And now, that spot that’s been occupied over the last 4 months or so is void. Vacant. Empty. I’m not afraid to admit it feels a little weird.
Hindsight, I should have considered the “aftereffects” and been more prepared mentally. As I stated earlier, I’ve experienced these emotions before. I used to play bass guitar at a local church, and would often get called to play for special services, some of which required weeks of practice. Without fail, the larger the time/emotional investment, the harder “the blues” would hit. I experienced similar response waaaaaay back in high school, where I was the lead tech for our drama team (which wasn’t saying a whole lot because it was a small school) but after the annual drama competition, I’d experience the same emptiness. Not that I knew what it was in high school – I didn’t have the self-awareness to even consider it – but as I look back at those sorts of events, I can recognize it.
ANYWAY, enough about that. How was the event itself? In a word, it was incredible. At first I had planned on attending with some close friends who would be my “support team” – you know, cheer me on as I ran, chuckle with/at me if I tripped, and then transport whatever pieces were left back home afterward. They had to decline for personal reasons (which I totally backed them on doing – I would have done the same if I were in their shoes), so I wound up attending alone. Again, in hindsight it was so good that I did. If I had people I knew there, I would have stayed close to them – using them as my “comfort zone” – and in doing so I would have missed out on interacting with some really great people. Because I was there alone I did have to be more outgoing and social, and again I’m so glad I was “flying solo”. I had some conversations and I think I made some good connections too. I have a feeling something good may come of those down the road – but I’m taking a wait and see approach. I definitely would have missed out if I was playing it safe and either reverting to shy/introvert – which I did for parts of it, but far less so if I’d have people there as direct support
The run itself was interesting in a good way. Normally I’ve been doing somewhat of a “loop” when I’ve been doing my training runs – one route I take is almost a straight “there and back” but I have to add a bit of a loop at either end to extend the distance a bit. I’ve also been running almost exclusively on asphalt (with some concrete sidewalks if it’s not safe to run on the side of the street).
The route for the event was a straight run from the start/finish line to the turnaround point 2.5km away . It was also run on a gravel road. I was curious how running on gravel would be, and I think it quite well. A couple of things really helped: 1) it had rained recently so there was minimal dust and loose grit and 2) it was well-travelled and compacted, which means there were very few patches of truly loose gravel, and those where easy to avoid. There were also “color stations” at various spots along the way. A few volunteers at each station would throw colored powder at the participants – hence the name color run. Although I’ve been describing it as a “run”, it’s actually a walk or run event. 5km walk, 5km run, or 10km run. The 5km distance was from the starting area out the the turnaround, and back again – Start to the turnaround was 2.5km, and then that same 2,5km back to the start/finish. OF course, those who chose to run the 10km had to turn around and do that same route again for a 2nd time.
After the all the participants had completed the course, there was a BBQ supper, and afterwards there were “paint wars” , and then later in the evening there was a pyro performance (I’m assuming a fire juggler, maybe a fire whip too – but I didn’t stay that long) and fireworks as well.
Now, Andrew, now was your run? You’ve been working up to this for a while, and have only actually run a full 5km distance a couple of times before this. How did it go?
Well, I’ve got a 2nd post for that – just keep your eyes peeled for it !. Click right here to view the few pictures I did take. It will link you to a folder in my Google Drive.