Thank you, Chicago Color Run 2012, for reminding me that running can actually be enjoyable.

Earlier this month, six of my friends and I made the trek up to one of the coolest cities around and participated in the Color Run. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the event, it’s a 5K walk/run that blasts you with “paint” (colored mineral powder) as you make your way through the course. That may not sound very thrilling to you, but it sounded like a blast to the 8,000 folks who joined me at the Chicago race. (You can check if the Color Run is coming to your city by visiting its website.)

I was really excited for the race…

…and this is what I looked like in the aftermath.

The weather that morning was absolutely perfect: mid 60s and not a cloud in the sky. We all completed the course and laughed about how completely ridiculous we looked. It took me three days to get all of the green paint out of my ear, and my dear friend Bethany definitely looked like the Incredible Hulk!

Now that I’ve completed my first two 5Ks and met my goal,  I’m trying to decide what physical feat I should tackle next. A 10K seems like the next logical step, but I’m not sure if I love running enough to commit to the training.

For those of you who’ve participated in a 5K: Did your first race fuel your love for running? Were you able to stick with it and continue setting running goals, or did you try another sport/fitness tool?