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Aaron's Crazy Race Diary - 2008
Day 34
Training is Almost Over...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
3 Days Until Bolder Boulder

Yes, after today there were only 3 more days to go before it was Race Day. That was hard to believe. I wanted another month or two to really train but knew that wasn't happening. My jaw was sore from yesterday's numbness and resulting unintentional grinding of my teeth but I knew it would wear off as the day passed.

Angela and I ran our 5½ mile course but I did it very slowly. I was tired and just couldn't get going. We talked a lot about the concept of equivocation and how so many of us were reluctant to say things directly or definitively out of a fear we would hurt someone's feelings. The problem was, that by being equivocal, the person who needed to hear the hard truth often missed the point entirely because we would be so gentle in our criticism and even counter it in the same breath.

We were using her instructor at the University of Denver as an example so I thought it would be interesting to see if she decided to give him a tough evaluation and actually say he had been totally incompetent. That was difficult for more people to do but if they were mealy-mouthed about the issue, people such as this guy were likely to not hear exactly what was being said. It was an interesting dilemma because it was compounded by her desire to remain in good stead with everyone involved in her academic program.

We also talked a fair bit about religion - one of my favorite subjects - and what instruction we could get from our own religions. That was a topic one could discuss ad infinitum.

After the run, I weighed in at 199 and got ready for the morning. After taking care of my daughter and driving her to school, I had several bowls of a cereal called "Curves" mixed in with one of my absolute favorite cereals, Special K. I had several bowls and tried the two cereals mixed together. The combination was good because the Curves was too sweet and the sugar level of the Special K tasted much lower (and better).

I spent a good part of the morning helping friend who had suffered a terrible family tragedy. He and his wife needed a good attorney to help them through a very difficult time so I spent time calling various attorneys I knew who either could help or who would know which attorneys in the Denver metro area were best-suited for the case.

Calls came pouring in all day so I ended up on the phone for a majority of the time. I snuck upstairs to munch on e a few ice cream bars and then headed out to Holly's school - Peak to Peak - to attend an awards assembly. She was scheduled to het an award and, despite her claims to the contrary, I knew she would want me there.

This was the day a tornado warning was out so it made the afternoon more exciting than usual. Before I left, it started hailing around the house. I took the dogs for a walk and they each reacted differently to being pelted. Two of the dogs were quite bothered by the hail and wanted to go back inside right away (Velma and Wonka). The other two (Bandit and Wally) didn't seem to mind. I brought them all in anyway. I didn't want them to get hurt and I had noticed the hail was increasing in size.

Driving to the school, the hail intensified. The sound of it hitting the car was distinctive and reminded me of the few times I had been caught in a hailstorm. When I got to the school, only a few minutes later, the hail had stopped.

The school's gymnasium was being used for the awards assembly and already was filling up with parents. The students came in next but, before the assembly could even start, the school's Executive Principal, Tony Fontana (who was an extraordinary leader and a great guy), announced there was a tornado warning in the area and everyone needed to go to a safer location.

The parents and students were split up into different groups and filed out. I ended up with a small cadre which was directed to the school's kitchen. I liked that idea, especially when I found out the kitchen team had been grilling hamburgers outdoors as a special treat for the kids. The staff, however, wasn't interested in feeding me despite my hunger pangs.

After the threat of a tornado subsided, everyone returned to the North Gym building for the assembly. Hundreds of kids received awards. It was wonderful to see. Holly got hers in Theater and was pleased but I could tell she was disappointed to not get one for her English class, where she did excel.

At the end of the afternoon Wally's veterinarian called to tell me he was very ill. He had severe liver disease and, as I had been told yesterday, was in decline in a major way. That made me sad. His vet was Michelle deHaan, who always did a wonderful job with all my dogs and my cat.

Michelle went through the details of severe hepatic disease and explained the antibiotic I had picked up yesterday (amoxicillin, a low-level antibiotic) was to knock out any bacterial infection he might have. The Denamarin was to improve his liver function, even if only temporarily. I already had begun giving Wally three pills a day. He was unenthusiastic about it but I was hoping it would help. In the meantime, the best animal oncologist in the world, Dr. Steven Withrow, had been returning my call but missing me. Steve was at the Colorado State University Veterinary & Teaching Hospital. He simply was the best. People would fly in with their pets just to see him. He had treated two of my dogs who had gotten cancer and did a great job with them.

Later, after working some more, I picked up Holly and her school chum, Kirsten. The girls had been at their school's cheerleading tryouts and had finished at 5:00 pm. They were hungry and wanted to skip the hour of hip-hop instruction at their cheerleading gym. I had to agree with them that it was a waste of time but also told them they weren't "running the show."

They both were hungry so we debated whether or not they should eat before Cheer. Holly actually had homework to do, so I was considering whether or not she should even attend the evening's session. They convinced me they should have something to eat so then we debated where to go. We finally settled on having Chinese food at the Fortune Cookie Café in Lafayette.

The Fortune Cookie was a dive but food was good and the service was excellent. I liked the family who owned the business. They always had been nice to Holly, ever since she was adopted from China. We had a fun meal with the girls ordering their favorite foods. Kirsten ordered lemon chicken and Holly ordered sweet and sour chicken as well as a mixed vegetable dish. We got steamed white rice as well as fried rice (except the fried rice here really was just steamed white rice with soy sauce). I started with a large bowl of hot and sour soup. Then I "assisted" the girls with the three meals they ordered. We all were stuffed by the time we were done.

The day ended with more work, some homework assistance for Holly, and a number of dog-related tasks. What else was new?

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