Face of the Race 6.0: “Rise of the Machine: My Treadmill Experiment”

It’s 75F out there today, you guys! You have no idea how excited I am that the weather is coming back to the normal Californian winter after the “Big Freeze” we had this past week.  This means I can get back outside to run again. 

While I saw many runners hitting the road through the cold snap, I retreated indoors to the gym.  It’s not the cold that was the problem for me. I’m well equipped to run in the chilly 50s.  But it’s the dry conditions that mess with my sinuses.

The last time I went on a run outdoors was just over two weeks ago, after the rain cleared and the weather was getting crisp.  I hadn’t realized how windy and dry it was until my sinuses started to burn about two-thirds of the way in.  Every breath felt like I was filling my face with shards of glass.  I walked for a while before the pain subsided.  And of course, a bout of sinus infection followed.

If that is not enough incentive for me to pay for a day-pass to a gym, I don’t know what is.

And I have to tell you, running on the treadmill has spoiled me rotten.  You see, I was able to complete the 5K Lap program in 45 minutes.  I felt like a champion when I stepped off the machine!  I even bragged about it all over Facebook when I did it the second time.oakley_fb_status

A weather weenie that I am, I haven’t been able to run that distance or in that time since the temperature dipped below 60.  It was quite a feat to have done it on the treadmill. I was super gung ho when I went out the door this morning.

Alas, after a week of being pampered on a cushiony and propelling treadmill, a mile felt like a million.  Every step was sluggish.  My breathing became ragged after only 10 minutes.  Keeping my mind focused on running took extra effort.  (Read about my mental struggle with running from my past post here: http://www.oakmonster.com/2012/12/21/bored-on-the-run/)   I gave up at 2 miles because my chest started to tighten. It appeared that my lungs had grown accustomed to perfect temperatures and the humidity of an air conditioned room. 

I’m absolutely deflated. How bad am I at this running business? I can’t even get the mileage in! What a wuss. 

But in the middle of hurling insults at myself, I realized a few good things I can be proud of from these past weeks.

First of all, I did not stop training when the conditions were not optimum (to my taste).  This surprised my husband quite a bit as well.  He had expected to find me bundled up on the couch on a cloudy and cold day, but instead I went to the gym to get my run in.

And finally, because my training is still on schedule, my performance has not suffered too much.  I felt like I could’ve done better, but 2 miles isn’t too bad the first day back on the road.

Sure, treadmill running softens your edges a little.  It could also be boring despite the television right in front of you. (There is only so much CNN or sitcom reruns you can watch!)  But judging by recommendations from my long-time runner friends and some online research, the treadmill is actually a good place to build your stamina.  You can run faster and harder on the treadmill than you can on the street.  You can rev up the speed or slow down to whatever interval you’d like to do.  Running speed intervals on the treadmill will help me break that 10-15 minute threshold, some friends insist.   

I will definitely have to give the gym another try.  Meanwhile, they have enough of my money for the month. 

See you around on the road!


Some helpful resources:



To Theme or Not to Theme?

To Theme or Not to Theme?

We had already planned to bring this topic up, but the last entry by our Face of the Race winner provided the perfect transition into this discussion…

With the obvious trend in themed runs popping up everywhere (Zombies, Color, and Spartans oh my!), it is natural to consider jumping on this popular bandwagon. Themes can add an appeal and carefree atmosphere that may not be present without them. The competition expands from being more based on physical prowess to acknowledging, and fostering pride in, creativity and uniqueness.

To help you better visualize, check out these links which highlight of some of the most intense and interesting themed runs (which apparently includes a WINE run, a krispy kreme donut challenge, and running up the steps of therudy Empire State Building!): (http://greatist.com/fitness/best-themed-running-races/ and http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Theme_events_put_a_new_spin_on_running_races) I don’t want to burst any bubbles prematurely, but I did share the link just for fun… you can guarantee about 90% of the madness included on that list will never fit with our race! Don’t expect chocolate, undie runs, twinkies , or a string of celebrity houses any time soon, folks! The Spartan and Warrior runs on the other hand… have definitely caught my attention. What about you?rudy

We may not have a celebrity site-seeing tour, but we have had celebrity appearances! Here, Sean Astin, the one and only RUDY, graced us (on his birthday, no less!) to run our 10K. (thanks to http://www.myepevents.com/ for the photo!)

Our Face of the Race described a costume-based theme, though there are themes that inspire the design and format of the race itself as well. Where our race is held screams of possibilities for perfectly themed events… Camo 5K? Military Mud Run? Officers Obstacle Course? Military Miles (different military honored at each mile mark)? The possibilities are seemingly endless. Without even touching upon the feasibility of this, we’d like for your input on this trend. Do you feel like including such elements would add to the appeal of our event? Do they negatively affect the competitive nature of the event or do they just add a little more fun and flair?



New Year’s Resolutions

Over the years, I have created an overly specific list of unrealistic resolutions each New Year fully knowing I will probably not maintain any of them. It’s almost like I enjoy setting myself up for failure. I wake up each January 1st determined and full of resolve. This will be the year that I successfully complete all of my resolutions… or at least one of them. I am going to travel more. I am going to exercise. I am going to eat better…

New Year’s Resolutions are always created with the best of intentions. They are a guideline of your own expectations of what you think will make you more successful, happier, better, and so on. I’ve always found that I can start off my list of resolutions based solely upon my own self-motivation and then falter as those around me fall back into their own bad habits. It makes it easier to excuse and avoid your own when the people around you are falling victim to their vices.

This year I challenge you. Don’t be afraid to set New Year’s Resolutions, but set smaller, more attainable goals. Set yourself up for success. Be proud of each step you take. And if your resolution is to get in better shape, what better way to set yourself up for success than having a goal to reach, a milestone to accomplish, a finish line to cross? If you always find yourself giving up on a goal because those around you struggle to stay motivated, you can be comforted by the fact that you have a whole team of people rooting for you. Come join us. We will be waiting to cheer you on!

New Year’s Resolution:

I, ______________________ (insert name), WILL compete in my first (or 2nd or 10th…) _________________ (fill in the blank with… 5K, 10K, Reverse Triathlon) on February 23, 2013.

Make us a part of your resolutions this year… Pledge now!

Face of the Race 5.0: My Little Pony Inspiration

This entry was written by, Oakley, our Face of the Race contest winner.

Race on the Base will be my first race, ever. For most people, they would focus on getting the right running gear and building endurance to complete the race. For me, the big question was if I would want to run in costume.

That’s right. Costume.

I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of people dressing up for the Disneyland Half Marathon, or other themed fun runs around the country.  I’ve seen people run in capes, tutus, silly hats, and even with wings. It seems that dressing up for a run is becoming so popular now that there’s even a website where you can buy skirts and wings specifically for it.

“But, Oakley, this is the Race on the Base!  It is not a theme run.  Why are you wearing a costume?”

Have you heard of cosplaying? Cosplay, short for “costume play”, is the practice of wearing costumes to portray fictional characters.  Have you seen those folks dressed up as super heroes and TV characters at San Diego Comic Con or other science-fiction and comic book conventions?  As of last year, I’ve become one of them. 

I never thought about combining cosplay with running and I absolutely didn’t intend to run in costume at the Race on the Base at all!   But then, over the Thanksgiving holiday, something changed my mind.  To get to that, we’re going to have to start from Halloween.

I was trying to come up with a costume for a Halloween party that would involve a pink wig since I already bought one for another cosplay.  That was when I found Fluttershy.


Fluttershy is a kind and timid pony from the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  My Little Pony cosplay is actually quite common, but I didn’t think to do that for Halloween.  During Thanksgiving, when we told my husband’s nieces who I was for Halloween, the 10-year-old sat me down to watch a few episodes with her–naturally.  One of those was “Hurricane Fluttershy”.  (You can watch it here: http://youtu.be/YK7vf0OkmRQ

In this story, the self-conscious Fluttershy was afraid to fly with other Pegasus ponies because she believed she was not good enough.  Even after she trained, she still did not have the confidence.  In the end, when her friends needed her, Fluttershy jumped in, flew her very best, and saved the day.

The niece turned to me and said, “And you’re training to run a race too, right? So you REALLY are Fluttershy!”

If you believe in signs—and I do—well, there you go.

As Fluttershy said at the end of that episode, “If you just keep your head high, do your best, and believe in yourself… anything can happen.”

So, spot me come race day in a yellow top, pink wig, and a pair of yellow wings.  I’m pretty sure I will be hard to miss.