Marriage and fatherhood are life altering events. For me they also happened to be body altering as I have been hovering around 200 lbs. since about the time Harper was born. I knew my lifestyle was demanding a change. I had little energy, was sluggish in the mornings, snacked a lot and generally was just not very fit. In short, I was an average American dad.
Then, last November (or so) a friend of mine challenged me to change the way I ate and start exercising. I was getting pretty tired of seeing my gut every time I got of the shower. Plus I had all these great t-shirts I couldn't wear anymore because I was too heavy.
Since that time I've been eating much better by cutting out most of my fast food intake, cutting back most of my soda intake, and getting much more regular exercise. I'm down about 15 lbs. and have been running around my neighborhood. However, I wanted to see if I can run around my neighborhood faster than other people. But since that was too difficult to organize, I decided I would participate in organized events.
So in January I ran in my first race, the Miracle Mile 5K. Unfortunately, because most things I do are poorly planned the first time (no offense, Harper), we forgot the camera. Not that it would have mattered anyway. Since I had never run a race before, I had no idea how long it would take me so I conservatively estimated for McCall that I would be about 45 minutes. Which is why she and Harper were eating breakfast in a nearby diner when I crossed the finish line at 29:31.
Yesterday, I ran in the 30th Annual Firecracker Run, part of the festivities in Chinatown celebrating Chinese new year. This year, 4706, is the year of the rat. The race earns it name because before the start of the 5K they set off 100,000 fire crackers at the starting line! Then we all stood around ready to go while they swept up the debris.
And this time we brought the camera and McCall and Harper waited patiently for me run from Chinatown up to Dodger Stadium and back. I completed the course in 27:52 and McCall got some great shots (see below).
Getting limber, i.e. Trying not to pull a muscle!
Before the race, I found a little beggar girl. Better luck next time, sweetheart.
Harper was crushed to find out that she could not be a Chinese beauty queen because she's too short.
Harper and Daddy before the race.
Racers and spectators look on as 100,000 firecrackers add to LA's air pollution.
The final stretch. That's me on the right but somehow my arms got transplanted onto the guy on the left!
This Sunday I attempt my first 10K (pray for me!!!), and I'll be competing in events at least once a month through June. So keep checking back to see if I can get under the elusive 25 minute mark.