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Aaron's Crazy Race Diary - 2008 Day 32

It’s Getting Very Late in the Game…
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
5 Days Until Bolder Boulder

It had been surprisingly hot all night long and none of us slept well. The dogs got me up at 1:34 am and needed to go out so I took them for a quick walk. It wasn’t easy getting to sleep but it was far too early to get up so I rested until I fell asleep again – about half an hour later. I knew I needed the rest.

Two hours after that, at about 4:15 am, I got up and got ready to run. I was tired and sore. If I could have come up with a good excuse to not run (sorry, “tired and sore” aren’t good enough excuses), I would have. I worked a while and then met Angela outside.

Starting the run was tough today but I kept going. After 1½ miles, I needed a break and walked for a minute or two. Then we resumed running and decided to go the next 1½-mile segment. My butt was dragging.

I made it down to County Line Road for the second time but was winded. This was not a good sign. I wanted to say I had over-trained but all that would have done was generate guffaws from both of us.

Today’s main topic of conversation was about one’s purpose in life, what it should be, and how does one find and/or determine it. It always is a great topic because it allows you to discuss what your life should be focused on at a particular point in time. I explained how I tried to make a difference with my work and personal life but knew I could do more. Angela wondered how her job fit into a greater plan and what else she might do.

We argued about the degree of self-determination one has and the role personal belief systems and religion played in these important life decisions. It was a fun conversation and kept my mind off my pitiful performance today.

While running, a neighbor leaned over his fence. It was John Peterson, whose wife worked at Holly’s school – Peak to Peak. The school had just been named yesterday as the 40th best school in the nation by Newsweek magazine so I assumed he was going to say something.

Instead, he wanted to know if he and his son could have permission to ride their dirt bikes on the farm. I gently told him that would not work due to liability concerns and insurance considerations. He took the answer well. I explained that, eventually, there would be trails on the property and I hoped people such as himself would be able to use them for a wide variety of recreation.

Our talk took several minutes and I recuperated during that time. We continued our run, passing a few barking dogs behind fences, and came to a final decision point. We were at the dirt road leading back to the gas well we always passed and then on to my house. Usually, we would keep heading west and run that quarter-mile along with the half-mile around the Thomas Lake Reservoir. With the return adding the quarter of a mile again, this route totaled over one mile.

If we went home now, the entire run would be about 4½ miles. If we took the longer route, it would easily be 5½ miles. Angela prodded me on to do the longer route and somehow I managed to keep one foot in front of the other. I definitely was going slowly. In fact, at one point, I had started power-walking while she ran at a jogging pace.

We made it around the little lake, said “Hello” to a few people walking their dogs or running around the lake themselves, and headed back for the 1½ mile trek home.

We started talking about the Race and I told Angela I wanted her to run as fast a time as she could. She wanted to run with me but I knew that meant she would run a much slower pace than she otherwise could. I told her I appreciated her desire to stay together as a team because, indeed, we were running partners, but that it would be great to see her go all out and see what she could do.

She wasn’t convinced and so we debated the merits of my request. Of course, my expectation was my request should be honored simply because I had made it! Angela, being quite independent, wanted to make her own decision.

She said she could bring her iPod with her but I could tell she didn’t like the idea of running the Race for time. I mentioned I wasn’t good company during the Race because I was so focused on completing it but she didn’t buy that either. She figured I was far too loquacious to be quiet during any run. I guess I would have to surprise her.

She said she would think about my request. We finally finished the run when we arrived at my house about 80 minutes after starting. That was pathetic. I knew I was worn out and suggested we go our separate ways tomorrow and do weight or other workouts. She agreed that made sense. It was consistent with her prior suggestions that we mix up our exercise routines.

At home, after the run, I weighed in at a disappointing 200 and knew 190 wasn’t going to happen for the Race. It was late in the game and I was in big trouble. Today’s run had proven that was true.

For breakfast I ate a salmon fillet which needed to be consumed, due to its age in the refrigerator. I added some extra barbecue sauce to make sure it would taste fine (i.e., all I would taste is barbecue sauce). I was drinking lots of Minute Maid Orangeade again and had a few glasses of milk, too.

I had snacked on Muenster cheese and apple while I had made Holly breakfast and lunch and should have stopped but, while I read the newspaper, I also ate a Spicy McChicken sandwich with extra mayonnaise. Then I had more milk and topped my beverage consumption off with a few glasses of lemon-lime seltzer water. My consumption, by caloric total and physical volume, had been immense.

After working a while, later in the morning, I ate a quarter pound of sliced Monterey Jack cheese, a few glasses of milk, and a few glasses of the Minute Maid concoction. I knew having more dairy products probably was a bad idea, especially given what it did to a person, but I didn’t see any chocolate hanging around the house.

Today was filled with television production planning issues. We had a problem with too many guests agreeing to be on one program and I also was looking at the shows we were supposed to do on the Democratic National Convention. Former television producer Norman Lear (“All In The Family,” “Maude,” “Good Times,” “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” and “The Jeffersons,” among others) was being kind enough to suggest some guests for the shows and also agreed to be on the program.

Throughout the day, I continued to deal with farm-related issues as well as parenting and pet challenges. They were a constant every day.

For lunch I ate a double-cheeseburger with a giant pickle. I also munched on a few other goodies – one of the two-edged swords of having an office at home. It was convenient and too convenient to eat whenever the urge occurred.

As the afternoon passed, I left the house early to go to the Post Office and do some shopping. I stopped at Inta Juice and got a raspberry “tsunami” (their largest size) for me. It probably had 1,000 calories. I got the regular size for Holly. Then it was on to the Albertsons in Lafayette to do some grocery shopping. It seemed I was always working, shopping, vacuuming, doing laundry, or cleaning up after a pet. That was all OK, especially given the lives so many other people lived.

At home, Holly and I reviewed her homework and focused on her English honors project. She was way behind. I worked while she worked. Eventually, she fell asleep. I let her sleep because I knew she was tired. I worked some more and then had her get ready for bed. I was still tired from my morning run – that’s not a good sign – and wanted to call it a day by 9:00 pm.

I thought I ended my eating day with another double-cheeseburger and a giant pickle, nicely washed down with two glasses of milk. OK, I did precede that with an ice cream bar but no one else was looking. And, later that evening, I had two more ice cream bars. I had rediscovered my weakness… one of many.

Instead of ending my work day, I continued by watching some footage of the guests Norman Lear had suggested and also watched a video of a speech he gave. I was amazed at his vigor at the age of 85. If I could be like him at 85, it would be a wonderful blessing. I began to wonder if running would help me get to 85 or would truncate that goal.