Recap: The OKC Dodgers CommUNITY Run

CHICKASAW BRICKTOWN BALLPARK -  A grey and windy morning greeted participations at the ballpark for the second ever running event of the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation.  Formerly in December, the annual event changed theme name (formerly The Dodger Dash) and calendar date to coincide with the team's, "Fan Fest".  For 2017,  the foundation teamed with the OKC Police Athletic League (PAL) as a result of Minor League Baseball's CommUNITY initiative. The initiative challenged fans to the thin of ways to be a positive influence on both their families and community. As a result, the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation and OKC Police Athletic League partnered together to create positive opportunities for youth in the Oklahoma City area through sports and education. This is why the running event is now known as, "The CommUNITY Run".  The specific running events included a kid's run, 1 mile fun run, and featured event, the 5,000 kilometer (5k).

The Race Experience

I'm going to start off saying, where has this mindset been? 🙂 It has been quite a while since I've been able to be care free in terms of performance.  With an overcast Saturday morning , it would have been SO EASY to simply sleep in. Fortunately, that didn't happen. There is simply something about the ballpark and running in the Bricktown section of downtown that is magnetic...or it could be I'm just weird. 🙂

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I arrived roughly about an hour prior to start time. When I know it is a largely attended event, I generally like to come in a couple of hours early. You do not need extra anxiety, as you may have that in general before the start of the race.

Like I mentioned earlier, I was rather chilled out for this one. It could be that there are some many things going on in terms of building the business that this was more of a cathartic exercise more than anything else. Though I have not been running as much as I should (if performance was the goal), I have been fully concentrated on how to train and repair runners (that is within my scope). 🙂

Starting Point - Mickey Mantle & Flaming Lips

 

Mickey Mantle Drive (Southbound)

So at the cross point of Mickey Mantle Drive and Flaming Lips Alley, the CommUNITY 5k began. I felt as if I was coaching myself throughout the run. I've been so focused on anatomy, physiology, and physics lately, it was kind of nice to be able to disengage from some traditional teaching and go with what I know,

- Don't push boundaries too far
- If you feel a twinge, do not ignore it.
- If it is painful, it is okay to stop and stop completely.
- There is no financial gain to this. Will your employment suffer from pushing too hard?
- Remember your training - (on a good week, maybe 9 miles logged)
- Gauge your performance pace based on training.  You "play" like you "practice"
- In the event it happens, you are responsible for the medical bills.
- THE GOAL TODAY is to challenge but not push to the limits.

With that said, I did "listen to my body". I haven't been doing a real cross training so there really wasn't anywhere in the trail I did a "kick".  The trail was nice. I enjoy going through the trendy, renovated old town segments of a city.  In this case it was through Bricktown, Deep Duce, and a quick visit on the outskirts of the OU Medical Center. Only one mild hill to be concerned with. The weather was windy and grey. Doesn't feel the best when you're starting. As you heat up though, it does begin to feel like an advantage. I did start to regret deciding to keep my pullover on at the 4k mark.

As I began to see the Hilton Garden Inn, the hotel across of the ballpark, I did get excited. However, no, there was no kick, nor a decision to push the status quo of my current pace. This was a recreational training run for me. I instead enjoyed the view, thanked every officer I saw along the way of the trail and made my way onto the outfield of the stadium. The outfield and dugout was the last segment of the trail. The finish line was next to home plate. I thought that was a nice touch. As I crossed the finish line, "Brix" the OKC Dodgers' Mascot gave me my medal.

My 5k time was 34:21. I like to be transparent about these things. Like I said in the beginning of the experience description, I was care free. My focus was that I was thankful to have the ability to do this, enjoyed the environment, and as a result, had one of my more enjoyable experiences I have had in a while. Exercise for most us is not training for a high paying competitive sport. Instead, it is (hopefully) an incremental physical challenge that helps improve your quality of life. For me, this was a great way to start the traditional first peak season of the running space.  The recreational route may be the way I go for a while.  I'm working toward opening up an office and help improve the performance of others. 🙂

CommUNITY Run: A Trend That Needs to Grow

This was the inaugural CommUNITY Run. Based on the message of the event, this needs to grow. The trail for the most part was flat. You will experience one hill twice on Joe Carter Avenue in Deep Duce. Otherwise, for the connoisseurs of PRs, you really want to mark this down on your calendar. Even in overcast, there is great scenery, a fantastic finish and "runs" right into the opening of baseball season festival, "Fan Fest".  This truly is a great message in conjunction with a great event. You cannot go wrong with this and I encourage every runner to become involved with this race and the CommUNITY message as well. 🙂 Well done OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation and OKC Police Athletic League!

 

  

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