Oklahoma City, Okla. (Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark) - Saturday, December 19th was an unusually warm Saturday morning (for a Oklahoma standards in December). My main concern when registering for the inaugural OKC Dodger Dash 5k, was a vision of ice and snow everywhere you could possibly see. That vision never occurred. Instead, the morning provided sunshine and temperatures in the high 30's and rising.
I learned from my experience at the Route 66 Tulsa run. That lesson is to have layers of clothing for warmth on before the run and shed them prior to the start. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to do just that at the ballpark. Thank goodness for experience and planning.
The race began on the west side of the ballpark between Reno & Mickey Mantel Drive .... still trying get used to a famous Yankee being next to the home of the (OKC) Dodgers. 🙂 Anyway, the race...
My motivation for being a part of this, was mainly the charity for the OKCD Foundation. It was for a winter clothing drive. One could donate clothing and or money toward the foundation for the cause. This was also the inaugural event and thought it would be fun to be a part something new.
I wish I could tell you that I trained hard for this event but that would be incorrect. I've been giving my body a rest. This year was my most challenging year. In the near future, I'll be going into detail as to why rest is equally important as the physical work itself. However, this piece of information will come in handy later in this entry.
With the sound of the starting gun, I had gotten rid of layers and back to my SIF T-Shirt, gloves, & running pants. The run itself was a beautiful scenic tour of the entertainment district in downtown Oklahoma City known as, "Bricktown". The trail lead northeast into the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and looped back into Bricktown. Low wind, minor elevations, and an unusually bright and sunny December morning made this a gorgeous running day and experience.
Like I stated earlier, I've been giving my body time off. I felt great the first mile but started to feel some small signs of fatigue near the second. You can lose conditioning so fast it seems. My last organized run was on November 22 and I haven't done much since then. To me, giving the body time to heal is part of a HEALTHY lifestyle.
As I'm rounding the corner back to Mickey Mantle Drive, the site of the finish line, I see the running clock at 29 minutes, nearing the 30 minute mark. I provided a small kick to try to get it in under the 30 minute mark. By far, it was not my going to be my best time but I have a check list of priorities now when it comes to performance.
- This not a professional sport for me. It is a HEALTHY lifestyle tool.
- What is the risk/benefit in this situation?
- No one will pay my bills (medical or otherwise) if I get hurt.
I was content with utilizing the inaugural OKC Dodger Dash run as a morning workout to get back into the running swing of things. It truly is the experience for me these days. Being able to view Bricktown and the Health Sciences Center campus without interruption was reward enough. After I crossed the finish line, it was good time to network and meet various people from the Foundation. I was fortunate enough to make great connections and checked out the Winter Festival inside before they announced winners to the race.
Honestly, this is the part that surprised me. I had no expectation of "winning" anything. In the inaugural year, there were no participation medals. Medals only went to the top three in each age category. You can imagine my surprise when I heard my name for 3rd place in the 40-44 category. I indeed, "medaled". An unexpected surprise ... and it did have an effect on me.
Though it wasn't my best time (29:52 for this one), I didn't feel particularly in runner's shape, it taught me again, it simply pays to show up and be ready (I wasn't COMPLETELY deconditioned). 🙂 So if you, the reader, can have a wellness takeaway from this experience, here it is,
- Once you commit, plan and take action in your commitment.
- Be ready for the task (research, practice)
- Know you are capable of getting the task done (comes from practice & correction)
- Show up and perform to your best (without hurting yourself).
Take those steps in any task and you may end up surprising yourself (like I did).
To complete this entry, there are 2 more things I wanted to add about the OKC Dodger Dash. One of the new connections I made was the Snow S'more Food Truck. They have an amazing (mobile) treat stop! Once recovered, I had their traditional S'more with Mexican Hot Chocolate. Check them out if you have a chance. You can also find them on Twitter.
Finally I wanted to thank the organizers, the OKC Dodgers Foundation. They are new but have a great vision and organized. I remember how challenging it is to coordinate and manage a start-up event. This crew did a great job and I encourage every avid, recreational runner and health enthusiast to support them. In my opinion the inaugural OKC Dodger Dash was a smash success and I can only see their events getting bigger and better each year. Give it a try!