Face of the Race 2.0

The time has finally come to announce the entry who will be featured as the Face of the Race and receive a FREE entry to the race of their choice. Congratulations to… OAKLEY!

As winner of our Face of the Race contest, Oakley will be featured on the blog as we check in on her progress leading up to the race, the day of the race, and after the event is over. Join us here and at the Race on the Base as we follow Oakley on her journey! Below, we have included a copy of the winning entry:

I recently posted a blog about my bucket list. (http://www.oakmonster.com/2012/10/02/looking-for-passion-in-a-bucket-list/)  If you take a look at it, you’ll see that running a 5K isn’t on that list. 

I’m running the 5K at Race on the Base to prove to myself that I am not a complete and utter failure than I think I am (most of the days).

Distance running has never been a passion.  Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, I was never much of an athlete to begin with.  20 years in the U.S. later, I’m still not much of one.  In the past few years, though, I would attempt to get into running every now and then.  First, there was the treadmill at the gym, but I got bored very quickly. Then I tried running through the neighborhood, but then it was too hot/cold/early/late or I was too sore/tired/stressed. 

For the past 10 years, I would get all pumped up to run and then quickly abandoned it.  Back then, I didn’t have the two things that drive me now:  time and self doubt.

I’ve been out of permanent work for the past 18 months.  Temporary freelance gigs have been keeping me afloat from August 2011 through May but now I am once again unemployed.  There is only so much job search one can do before she starts seeing herself as the most unqualified candidate in all of Orange County and therefore the most horrible person in the world and worst wife in the universe.

Getting on the 9-week Couch to 5K plan was just my plan to get distracted from all the negativity surrounding my situation.  My goal was to be able to run from my apartment on Los Alamitos and Farquhar to the Base’s entrance on Lexington and back—about 2.5 miles—without dying.  That’s it, and that’s all.  I wasn’t going to run any race. 

But then I thought, Race on the Base is right around the corner. Another half mile(ish) and I have 5K.  Why not just do it?  After all, I am really starting to enjoy running.

With all the time that I have now, and the self doubt that I try to keep at bay, signing up to run the 5K at the Base becomes an achievable goal I can work toward and a perfect excuse to get out of this perpetual pity party courtesy of my unemployment.

After the first few weeks of training, lapping around the Little Cottonwood Park, I realized that running—well, jogging right now—is more than just a perfect distraction.  Running gives me a sense of accomplishment and measurable success.  Last month, I could barely run down my own block.  Today, I jogged straight down Los Alamitos Boulevard from Farquhar to Rossmoor Way in one shot. 

Instead of moping around the house, with running, I am doing something.  I am going places…literally.  I feel strong even when I panted so hard I almost passed out in front of Katella Deli.  I have control of my life back again with how far I want to go or how hard I want to run, or if I want to get lost in Rossmoor or make Nevin’s Donuts my last stop before walking home.

I’m not just running away from my presence any more. I’m running toward a promising future.

— Oakley B.

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