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Aaron's Crazy Race Diary - 2009
Day 2
Sunday, May 24th
1 Day Until Bolder Boulder

Well, having made the decision to run less than 24 hours ago and with less than 22 hours before the start of the 31st Bolder Boulder race, I decided it was a tad late to start training.

The decision reminded me of the first time I ran the Bolder Boulder. Some friends convinced me to do it years ago. I had never run more than a mile in my life so I "trained" by running two miles the day before the race. Big mistake. I was tired and sore before I had even started.

It also reminded me of the time I had run with a friend who was a superb runner. Michelle had arrived at my house late and we ended up parking near Folsom Stadium and having to run 2½ miles to the Start Line. I was exhausted before I even began the race!

Today my biggest problem was running shoes. I had one terribly worn, ratty-looking pair which even had tears across the top. The shoes should have been thrown out a year ago but they were like old friends. They fit comfortably and seemed to give me good support. There simply no longer was any "spring" or even cushioning left.

My other pair was newer and they looked great. Unfortunately, they gave me no support on the sides of my big feet so I ended up sloshing to the left or right when I ran. That wasn’t good because it consumed extra energy and potentially could result in an injury such as a sprain.

So I decided to run in my old, torn shoes. Next time I would get a good pair but I didn’t have the time to do that today. So much for being fashionable…

I had hoped to run the race at a weight of 180 or so but it looked like I would be lucky to stay at 200. With a giant feast at Lui’s Restaurant in Erie the night before (to watch the Nuggets lose to the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals - the food was great but the basketball was horrendous) followed by a huge breakfast today at Dot’s Diner in Boulder, I knew I would be flirting with a 25-pound handicap. And I also knew each pound would cost me at least a minute over the course of the race.

Getting some rest was important, too. I had gotten only one hour of sleep Friday night after taking my daughter and nephew to a late showing of "Night At The Museum: Battle At The Smithsonian" (I recommend it to all) and then having to take care of sick family pets through the rest of the night so I was desperately trying to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep Sunday night. Some day I’ll splurge and get 7 hours of sleep.

I also needed to figure out what to eat and/or drink, if anything, before the race. I knew I needed liquids and fuel but I also felt uncomfortable eating before exercising. It was a dilemma because, in recent years, I would tire more quickly if I didn’t have any nourishment. At the same time, whenever I tried to drink anything during a race, I would choke on the liquid so that wasn’t good either. Perhaps someone had invented an intravenous solution which could be used while running?

Bill Jones suggested I eat oatmeal or something similar prior to the Race. He also thought I should be better hydrated. I was afraid I would need to use a Port-A-Potty in the middle of the Race if I drank too much. That would kill my time.

It was unfortunate I had not trained for the race. Today’s reality was I had to set realistic goals given all the conditions I faced. My first goal was to finish the race and not croak. My second goal was to do it in under 80 minutes. I really wanted to beat last year’s time of 76 minutes but I knew, if I started to have trouble breathing, it would be unlikely. I decided those would be my only goals.

Maybe I could finish in under 80 minutes and then shoot for finishing in under 70 minutes next year? Gee, perhaps I even could start training a few months before the 2010 race rather than waiting until it was less than 48 hours before the race to decide to enter.

Bill also suggested I run the first mile at a slightly slower pace than last year. He ran with me and thought I had exhausted myself by the end of Mile 1 and, as a result, I was tired for the entire duration of the Race. I didn’t think it was such a big deal but I was willing to listen and consider the recommendation.

Getting a good night’s sleep also was key to a successful run for me. Unfortunately, my eldest dog, "Wally," had been braving liver cancer for over a year and a half. He was getting me up at all hours to go outside and the last several nights had been no exception. The result was I often would be awakened between 1:00 am and 2:00 am to help him go outdoors and I would end up not getting back to sleep. So one of my biggest challenges was sleep deprivation.

Although I was confident Wally would be sensitive to my need for rest before the big race, I ended up getting to bed later than I wanted. That was OK because I still had a shot at six hours of sleep - the equivalent of an eon for me. That would make me refreshed for the race. Now, if I could only get to sleep I would be ready in the morning. Wish me luck!

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