Monday, February 25, 2013

Day 18 - Firecracker Run, Hills of Dodger Stadium and Doubt

February 24, 2013     243.2 lbs

Got up at 4:00am to head to the race. Feel much better even without a lot of sleep. It's a weird thing about doing these races, I used to really hate getting up early. Probably residue from being in the army and then later working in the film industry. But in the last two years or so, I have embraced waking at sunup. It's nice to be outside as the sun rises to embrace the coming day. The only thing is, I'm naturally a night person. I'm working on it.
Got dressed and had my morning smoothie, (mango, date, banana and some vegan protein powder), checked the weather then headed out.

I arrived so early that the volunteers were still setting up, so I milled around close to the porta johns. The flu bug I got literally had me peeing three times an hour.
Another, very strange symptom of this bug is I seem to have no patience. Like taking off my jacket and getting caught in the sleeve, I'm suddenly furious. What the heck? The last few days has been an exercise in controlling my temper and being plagued with self doubt.
What the heck am I doing? Ironman when I'm 45 years old? Prone to injury and a lifetime of being a quitter. This time I'm going to finish it. I guess I'm just kind of tired of being mediocre.

Sometimes the people that support you the most can also be your biggest detractors. Lately, comments made as part of the normal, smack talking banter among friends, has felt a little more personal and seems to sting a little more. I have to remind myself not to take things personally. The thing about words is, you cant take them back. Once said, depending how deeply the cut, it will be remembered. One thing I have found starting with my first 5k's was that if a person cant imagine themselves doing something, they usually cant imagine you doing it either. You can't let other peoples lack of faith determine what you accomplish.
So as I stand in the chill air of pre-dawn Chinatown, I'm reminding myself why I'm there, (to support my friend Kevin Tran's daughter Mimi in her first 5k) and to enjoy the experience.

Note the short hair on Mimi. Every twenty four months or so, Mimi, her sisters and their mother cut their hair and donate it to Lock of Love. A charity that provides hairpieces for disadvantaged children cancer patients. She's eleven and I can already see the same glint of competition in her eye as her father. While waiting for the start she keeps insisting she's going to walk the 5k (in between attempts to step on my foot for some reason.)
Finally, the national anthem is played and some lion dancers perform for a bit. This year is the 35th anniversary of the L.A. Firecracker Run. A thousand firecrackers are set off then it's time to go and we're off.
I'm not supposed to be doing anything this weekend so I walk it. Slowly. After spending an hour telling me how she was going to walk the course, Mimi and Kevin take off running. I do the course so slow that I get passed my all kinds of people. The way, I feel, I barely care.

 The course takes us from Chinatown into the hills of Elysian Park where Dodger Stadium is. I'd like to run this course with a good time one day. The hills make it a nice challenge. I make a conscious effort to not raise my heart rate and slow more. Finally I'm about two minutes away from the finish when Kevin calls me. "Were are you Foo(l)?"

Here is the finish line. Final time 58:45

It is a very nice little medal and Mimi had fun.


  1. A lot of people look up to you, Mike. Doing a 5k with with the flu is no small feat. You should be proud!

    Sometimes, if a person can imagine himself doing something... you can too!