Raced On the Base

OakMonster ran a race!

This is my final original article as the Face of the Race for the Los Alamitos Race on the Base. It’s been fun writing for them!  Please give the Race’s blog some traffic and click here to see the original post.  Also, I was interviewed pre-race with both the Race on the Base blog AND the Orange County Register. Check them out!

After all this time of having shared with you about my journey and struggle with running, I almost didn’t make it to the Race this past Saturday.

Tuesday night before the Race, I was clutching the toilet bowl for dear life as the room seemed to be spinning around my head and the floor tilting underneath me.  Hello again, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

That’s right. Y’all know about this one from last year.  For those who don’t, BPPV develops when a small piece of calcium breaks free and floats within the tube of the inner ear. This sends the brain confusing messages about your body’s position and therefore causes you to feel like the world is spinning.

The difference between this bout and the last one is that I now know what it is and how to get out of it.  And got out of it I did, after 3 days of mostly sitting still.

By Friday, I was back to normal. Well, at least my head was. I went to bed at 9 p.m. in preparation for the super early wake up call.  At midnight, my stomach had a different idea.

When I went back to bed at 2 a.m., I really wasn’t sure I would be able to run the Race at all. All the resources I have looked up advised against running when the symptoms are below the neck. All I could do was pray.

My alarm went off a couple of hours later. My friend and running inspiration Amy was behind schedule, hailing in from Hollywood. One thing led to another and we were 45 minutes behind our expected departure time.  Adding to the lateness, we decided to “save our legs” and drove instead of just walking a mile or so. And that was not a wise choice, being as late as we were.

By the time I met up with my other friend and fellow 5K newbie Tamara at the starting line, we had just enough time to hug, take a picture, and we were off!

OakMonster.com - Oakley and Amy OakMonster.com - Oakley and Tamara

A friend teased that the running gods were out to test my resolve with all of these obstacles leading up to my very first 5K race. Where am I, in a Greek epic poem?  Sheesh. Then again, I was going to run as a Pegasus…

But despite the health issues and lateness, I did it. I ran my first long distance race of my life.

I did it in 41:35.3 minutes at a 13:25 minute-mile pace.  Some could walk faster than that. But to me, this is the fastest pace I’ve ever run.  In that, there was a 25-minute stretch of run which was the longest I have ever accomplished on the road.

I did it with my best friends by my side.  (Well, kind of.  Tamara was never too far behind and Amy was just a few miles ahead on the 10K track!)

I did it with the love of the most understanding and supportive husband in the world in my heart. I mean, the man lets his wife out to run her first 5K dressed as a cartoon character from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic! That’s LOVE!

The wings on my back may have been made out of wire hanger and soft foam, but when I crossed the finish line, I really did feel like I could fly.

Thank you, Race on the Base, for providing me with a goal I can set out to accomplish.  If I hadn’t signed up to run, I might have abandoned running a long time ago and spiraled right back down the pit of self pity.

Oh, and by the way, I’m hooked.

I will be running the 5K at Run Seal Beach in April.  Then, Tamara and I, now race buddies, will be doing the 5K at the OC Marathon, where Amy is running a half-marathon. And, as the members of the imaginary rock band Kittens of Fury, we will be joined by the likes of Resa and Annette, and don our rockin’ kitten gears at the Long Beach Marathon 5K later in October.  I’m hoping that I can get into a 12 minute-mile pace by then.

Who knows, you might see me running the 10K at 2014 Race on the Base!

Until then, happy running, everybody!

OakMonster ran a race!

See more pictures here.

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