Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oxnard Salsa Dash 10K race report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

I’m going to start this way: I’m a runner. Since I started running in late 2010 not a week has gone by that I haven’t gone for at least ONE run.

That is, until I went to Ireland.

I ran the Clontarf Half Marathon on July 7th and proceeded to not run AT ALL until the Salsa Dash 10K two weeks later.

My body is paying for it.

Oxnard, California throws a “Salsa Festival” each year. It’s the 4th weekend of July. To kick it off, they have the Salsa Dash which benefits the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society through Team in Training on the 3rd Saturday of July. (I wish they did it all the same weekend!)

Ditto wanted to do some sort of race each month, and since she wasn’t going to Ireland I said I’d do this one with her for July. (We both made the goal of doing 10 Half Marathons in 2012! Eight of those 10 we’ll do together.)

We woke up early on Saturday morning and headed to Oxnard. We arrived and parked and that’s when things got GREAT!

You see there is this man, Nick. He is AWESOME. Nick is in his mid-50’s and runs races EVERYWHERE! He loves the 5K length and is very recognizable because regardless of weather, he runs in only short shorts and his running shoes. He has ample body hair. Every year, he runs the 5K/10K that I organize for the Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund and it’s become a good omen to see him at other races. Someone in our group will PR if Nick is there!

So as we’re walking through the parking garage, Ditto says, “OMG, that’s ‘Hairy Man’!” I’m the only one who knows his name! I said , “Hey Nick! Good Luck!”

Now it’s gonna be a GREAT race!

We got to the starting line. Put on our gear:
Garmin: CHECK
Shoes and Socks: CHECK

Then we used the restroom and headed to bag check and the starting line.

This race was a 5K/10K, the 10K course was two loops, so you ran by the finish line once—not my favorite kind of race but this one was pretty nice. The 5K started 15 minutes after the 10K, so I knew to stay to the right so the fast 5K runners (and, let’s face it, the fast 10K runners) could pass me.

Oxnard is a beautiful little beach side community. We ran through the small shops of their Heritage Square district, into The Henry T. Oxnard Historic District full of craftsman-style bungalows and past the Sisters, Servants of Mary Convent. There were lots of neighbors out waving and cheering and taking pictures and even one of the nuns was out waving at us in full habit! It was kind of cool! This was a family oriented race, so it was fun to see the moms, dads and kids running together.

I kept a pretty good pace. I averaged 12:20 minute miles, which for me is about standard and despite feeling exhausted, I felt good most of the race and got my second best 10K time.

At about Mile 3.5, the TRIFECTA of songs came on the iPod. I know everyone is different, but seriously…this music got me through miles 3.5 to 4 and looking back at my Garmin, it was the fastest I was running.

May I recommend for your listening pleasure:
“Defying Gravity”-Wicked 
“Fireworks”-Katy Perry
“My Body”-Young the Giant

Seriously. In that order. It was perfect. I was singing and running and smiling. God I love races like that!

I’m really thankful I decided to run this race because it forced me to get back out there. I don’t have another race until September and I fear I would’ve been lacking in my training, but this run restarted my fire.

I’m more sore after this 10K than I have been after any of my half marathons. Weird! But I was back at it, doing speedwork at the gym last night.

Passions ebb and flow and the Salsa Dash, put some “spice” back into mine!

On Saturday July 21st I #run3rd for:

ME—I needed a run to restart my fire!
MY FAMILY—My extended family was in town and cousins I haven’t seen in over 2 years, it was great to recap to them and show them how far I’ve come
YOU—I ran for Aurora, for intolerance, for wives arguing their PhDs, for daughters in 5 inch heels, for farmer’s crops and for being a catalyst for change.

Quotes of the Day:
“OMG, Look…Hairy Man is here!” —Ditto Time: 1:02:12 PR
“This marker better wash off!” —Heather Time: 1:14:39

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