Aaron's Crazy Race


OK, I admit that making a decision to run in a 10K only two weeks before the actual race doesn't exactly give one a lot of time to prepare but my 10 year-old daughter insisted we go to the big Memorial Day event ("It's a tradition," she claimed after having gone three times) so I agreed.

The problem is I was scheduled to be on the East Coast at the time of the race but I managed to find a flight from New York to Las Vegas and then to Denver (yes, that's a fairly circumlocutious routing) at 2:30 am on Monday, May 30th -- the day of the race. I figured I'd be home by 4:00 am, sleep for two hours, and then head into Boulder for the City's biggest annual event.

Of course, knowing I'd be dead-tired at the starting line, I decided to "train" for the race. I actually was thinking more about who I could convince to run with me and carry a defibrillator. The Bolder Boulder attracts 45,000 runners and at least that many spectators, family members, members of the Press, and the sadists who smoke ad drink beer while hooting at those of us foolish enough to pound the pavement. And I figured there had to be someone who would be willing to accompany me who was CPR-certified.

My first day of training occurred while my daughter took her karate class at the local YMCA. The track is small and requires 13 laps to a mile. Dizziness was a real threat on this track. If you wanted to run a 10K -- 6.2 miles -- you had to run 81 laps. I knew that wasn't going to happen. A friend (and local CPA), Bill Jones, in a moment of sheer pity, joined me. Then he decided to time our run. "Oh great," I thought. "Now I'll be humiliated down to the decimal point."

I weighed in and knew I was in trouble. My "running weight" -- in the Olden Days -- was 185 and I now weighed 207. "Gee," I opined, "Could I lose 22 pounds in two weeks?" Bill cautioned against such sudden weight loss but that didn't stop me from dreaming.  We started our run and I made it to Lap 10 before needing a break. 81 laps seemed impossible. I had to walk a lap. Bill was kind enough to not sneer and walked alongside, offering encouraging words such as "Well, you've already worked up a good sweat."

I decided I would try to run 10 laps at a time and then walk a lap or two. It worked out well, although I noticed I was walking one lap, then two laps, and finally three laps between 10-lap sets. The good news is we did not have to call for paramedics and we completed 75 laps in about 80 minutes. Mr. Calculator said our average time was 10 minutes and 19 seconds per mile -- including the time we took to walk. I knew it wasn't a good omen, given that indoor running is about 75% the effort of outdoor running. If that were true, I would do the Bolder Boulder in one hour and twenty minutes -- not much better than a brisk walking pace! As we left to get our kids, I wondered, how could I return to my glory days?

Note: To enter in the Bolder Boulder and run with Aaron, go to www.BolderBoulder.com.

NEXT: Day 2 -- Aaron Gets Better...Maybe

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