I have to admit, I didn't show up very prepared. It was early, and the last thing I was thinking about was breakfast or grabbing a bottle of water to bring with me. I ran 5K on an empty stomach, no hydration and the track was up muddy hills, down muddy hills, and along topsy-turvy not-so-much-there trails. It was challenging, but I did it! (I'm pretty proud of myself for not dying halfway through.)
Things I learned from this experience:
- The dye doesn't come off your skin without soap, makeup remover, exfoliation and a lot of elbow grease. My skin is still not completely clear of the dye, and I spent an hour and a half post-race in the shower scrubbing my skin off. I used body wash; I used hand soap; I used face wash... in the end, makeup removing wipes actually worked the best. Still, be prepared to feel like an oompa loompa (or just a plain ole'regular human being with a skin colouration problem) for (what I hope will only be) a few days/showers.
- The colour gets everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. It will find places you never even knew it had a chance to get to and stay there. Your underwear will be ruined, so I wouldn't suggest wearing that Victoria's Secret sports bra you spent $60 on. Your shoes will be covered (and I have yet to find out how that will end with my own).
- Hydration is key. Marathons and running is hard enough, don't make it harder on yourself by not having water. Don't be stupid like I was -- bring your own water bottle and make sure you're hydrated before and after the run as well. Gosh, I totally spaced on this today. Don't hold that against me!
- If you sweat or get sprayed with water, the colour turns an ugly dark shade that's not exactly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. You will not look like the promotional photos, but that's okay. If your skin gets the powder on it and then gets hit with water, it will not be as easy to get the colour off your skin.
- Before getting back in your car to get back home, shake it off. Some stops will have a station post-race where someone will literally take a leaf-blower (esque) and just blow all the powder off of you. Remember your hair as well -- shake, shake, shake! It will get everywhere. I also suggest covering yourself in a garbage bag or putting down old towels on your seats.
- Sunscreen! I am one of those people that always carries sunscreen on them. I wear it on a daily basis (Hello - ginger here!), but since I've moved to Halifax I've been lacking several of my usual daily things. Today that came to bite me in the butt. There's a ring all around my hairline that's been burnt, as well as the back of my neck. You know what's worse than scrubbing your skin for hours? Scrubbing it when there's a burn there as well.
- It is one hell of an experience. Despite waking up at an unGodly hour, feeling tired as heck and just wanting to sleep some more, it was worth it. Don't think about the shower after when you're getting pegged with colour, just jump around and have some fun. The goal is to be covered so get yourself covered and deal with the consequences later!