Friday, August 2, 2013

Oxnard 10K Salsa Dash


When I was an itty bitty Oxnard High School Yellowjacket back in 1996 or so, I decided to join the Track & Field team for a semester (WOW…that's almost 20 years ago).

Anyway, I had not been involved with any sports…ever…in my life. My athletic prowess was limited to tetherball and ping pong. Wait, are those even sports? 
So I knew I needed to get into a sort of ‘forced’ workout setting somehow, otherwise, I wouldn’t have the will power to exercise on my own and would eventually go to college looking huge (which I did anyway). 
Well, I started running everyday with the Track team during 6th period and even though I pretty much sucked (I was the last one to finish and had the worst, loudest breathing tendencies), I realized I loved running. After that junior year semester though, I don’t know what happened but I never returned to track and field, ever again.
Now we fast forward time to 2013. 

One of my Crossfit buddies before the 7 mile race
I am 32 years old and just got back into running. Paul has finished several marathons in his life and has always encouraged me to run but I never listened. Then I had Benny.
I decided I would get back into running slowly and start giving myself short-term goals because Paul always promised that running was the best way to shed pounds.
My first post-baby race was an uphill, 7-mile run through the city of Monrovia into Monrovia Canyon Park (Fountain to the Falls Race). Paul ran it with me.

Kissy kiss before the race began
Given my short-lived running background, I thought I did well for my first race; I finished in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Then about a month and a half later, I got the running itch and ran a 15K in North Hollywood with a co-worker (tons of fun!).
A few weeks ago, I decided to register for a 10K to be held on a cool July morning in the same city where I first set foot on a paved ground to run long distances back in 1996— Oxnard.

It was the Oxnard Salsa Festival’s 10K Salsa Dash.
I kind of annoyed my family by making my mom and dad and sister and son get up early in the morning to watch me, take pictures of me and cheer for me at the finish line (Hey, it’s good to have a fan club every now and then).  I couldn’t have my husband there because as you will learn, he works on Saturdays.

Before this race, I bought some really cutesy hot pink and neon yellow Nike Free 5.0’s which were extremely comfortable and should hopefully last me through my half-marathon in October. I mention this because I really think the shoes made my experience a pleasant one. Looking down at them, especially as I reached mile 5, made me think of Electric Pink Lemonade (with a splash of vodka)!!
When I got close to the finish line, I envisioned my little boy Benny with his eyes glued to his mother, smiling and screaming in his own little way, as I approached the finish line. I ran slower during the last 300 feet of the race so that the boy would watch me blow him a big, loud kiss and I had given my sister instructions to capture it all on camera…but...drum roll, please...My Benny is a distracted little kid! Even as I got closer, he simply was too busy looking down at the grass, turning over to watch the lady next to him, swinging his head back to play with his grandma’s glasses, moving up to look at the sky, turning his head to watch the dog below him, etc. And his eyes simply didn't coincide with the view of his running mother...LOL!

I ran to the finish line and completed the 10K Oxnard Salsa Dash in about an hour and two minutes. Then I reached over to hold my baby boy in my sweaty arms.

My goal is to raise a family that is active and happy; whose weekend activities include healthy eating and physical fitness.  Of course, Benny is too young to understand that so he spent the entire time in my arms playing with mommy’s medal instead of thanking my efforts to make him health-conscious. Maybe he’ll actually look up to see me during the Baldwin Park Pride of the Valley 5K (fingers crossed)!

1 comment:

Irene Marquez said...

It was so awesome to see you cross that finish line, sister. You're inspiring me to take up running again! xo