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Aaron's Crazy Race Diary - 2008
Day 26
Don't Do Weights Once a Month, You Moron...
Friday, May 14, 2008
11 Days Until Bolder Boulder

OK, with only 11 days to go before the Race, I decided it was time to get serious about training. I told this to Angela while we ran and she almost fell over laughing. It was another beautiful day with the temperature at about 30°F where we were running. I felt much better than when we ran on Monday. I also was surprised at how sore I wasn't. That is, I expected to be very sore from yesterday's weight workout but I was only mildly sore. That was a good sign.

And my running was much improved over the sense of imminent collapse which had enveloped me 48 hours ago. Today we ran about 5¼ miles in 70 minutes or so. We never stopped to walk. That was another good sign. I could tell I had lost a little weight and definitely noticed a difference. Every pound really counted when you were going 4 or 5 miles.

It was muddy and neither of us liked that but I knew muddy days would be far and few between. Colorado's semi-arid climate didn't offer too many muddy days so we slogged through it. We looked up at the mountains and saw the Front Range covered with fresh snow and the sunlight blasting against it. It was spectacular.

Later on the run, we came across five sandpiper-like birds. The mom and dad wanted us to go away because the little ones could not fly. Instead they ran in front of us. We could have picked them right up. We didn't, of course, and slowed down so they could escape the movement of what must have looked like giant, moving trees to them. It was quite an experience to be so close to these adorable little birds who were great runners but couldn't fly.

As we returned to my house, Angela suggested we start rotating our runs with other kinds of workouts such a bicycling, weight-lifting, et cetera. I told her I thought I would rather run hard for a week and then take a couple of days off before the race. I really wanted to use running to lose some weight and I knew weight-lifting wouldn't do that as quickly.

I even talked about running the White Rocks trail on both Saturday and Sunday. She couldn't run on Saturday because she and her husband, Brett, were taking their three year-old son, Jacob, to the hot-air balloon launch for the Erie Town Fair. I knew the little guy would love that event. When she heard I might run Sunday, she said she'd like to do that so I told her I would see how I felt after Saturday's run.

At home, it was my usual routine: I woke up Holly, got cleaned up, I made lunch for Holly, prepared breakfast for her, reviewed her homework assignments and daily schedule with her, lost the negotiation for her to attend Karate tonight, and took her to school. I then went to the main office to drop off a photo for her promotion (i.e., graduation) ceremony. These days, going from 8th Grade (Middle School) to 9th Grade (High School) was a big deal. That was OK with me. I think I was as apprehensive about her entering High School as she was but for different reasons.

I came home to have breakfast, cut out the comic pages for Holly from four newspapers, and then read the newspapers. I ate four McDonalds apple pies and two glasses of milk followed by three servings of the leftover tilapia which I had baked in butter and garlic. I also ate a small salad with Paul Newman's vinaigrette dressing along with more milk. I figured this gigantic meal would last me until dinnertime… right.

Today, when I weighed in, I was pleased to hit 199 pounds on the button. Even though I was 9 pounds off my target at this time and 15 pounds away from my goal of being 185 for the Race, being under 200 gave me a good feeling. If I worked hard, I could see being 195 sometime this weekend. I began to think that, although 185 would be an impossibility for the Race, 190 was still within reach. Hay, we all can dream, can't we?

I knew that I needed to be at 190 to finish under 70 minutes. Every pound I added would add one or two minutes to my finishing time. It was an easy conversion for me because the extra weight slowed me down, consumed more energy per step, and indicated I was out-of-shape to begin with so weight was a big deal for me when it came to running.

The rest of the day was taken by mundane tasks such as writing the credits for the next Iraq special we did, writing ID taglines for the Iraq show with blogger Michael Yon (MichaelYon-online.com), writing credits for the next U.S. Senate show, contacting Senate guests for the next taping, seeing if former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would join me once again later this month, asking Secretary Condoleeza Rice if she would, too, answering e-mail, and preparing an early dinner for Holly (I decided to bake chicken breasts with my own special mix of spices). It was easy to understand how the day went by so quickly.

Holly loved dinner and devoured the chicken dish as well as the corn I made. I did the same and still was hungry. I knew it was a mistake but I made a giant, Dagwood-like turkey sandwich with a slice of red onion so large and so "hot" I choked on it. So I started drinking milk and then developed a desire to have some Cheerios. Five bowlfuls later I knew my diet was in trouble.

Despite calls from the TV show's team members throughout the evening, I managed to call it a night by 10:30 pm. Maybe I could get a good night's sleep tonight…

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