Sunday, October 7, 2007

A tough day but a good one

In Feb of 2001 Meghan and I ran our first marathon together. The metal was big and heavy and because it was the first it means a lot. Until today that race was Meghan's marathon PR. Today she ran the Twin Cities marathon and got a 15 min PR, finishing a few minutes short of Boston Qualification.

This is a huge deal and we Garels are VERY PROUD of Meghan. When she started her intense training for Twin Cities her goal was to break 4 hours again. This summer she's put in a lot of miles and it has really paid off. The temps were in the mid 70's for the entire marathon today. Even with all the training in the hot Texas summer, mid 70's is not ideal. But Meghan did great and pushed herself to a great time.

For now it's time for her to get a few weeks of well deserved rest. I'm crossing my fingers that she'll get in some good recovery and decide to head to Dallas with us in December.

Meghan's marathon wasn't the only race of the day. Back home in Austin we had the inaugural Lonestar half Ironman, the first half iron distance race in Austin. It was the last race of the TX tri series and I decided I needed to do it, since I've done all the other races. The only trouble was my lack of swimming and riding since CDA. I've done some shorter races but hadn't ridden over 1.5hrs all summer.

A few weeks ago I decided it would be a good idea to ride the course to see how doable this idea really was. I was hoping to convince Michelle L. to do the race too so she and I made plans to ride the course. We got through it and decided the 1/2 would be fine to do, just wing it for fun.

We both finished the race but it was mighty tough. The swim seemed okay and I was cruising past people for the first 20 miles of the bike but by mile 30 my power was going down and my quads were starting to cramp. This was not good. I got in all the salt and electrolytes I could but I'd be fighting some severe cramping the rest of the day. I was hoping to have a great run but instead I was doomed to my slowest half run to date. Quads, hamstrings, calfs; everything was cramping and it felt horrid.

But, for some crazy reason I told myself I couldn't quit, and I trudged my way through that thing. Along the way I saw lots of friends cheering me on while they volunteered at water stops, spectated, or ran there own race. It's so nice to have so many people cheer for me, even when I'm struggling too much to give them much acknowledgement.

The best part of the day was seeing Michelle L. out there, being such a good sport even though she was getting sick on the run. She struggled a ton and finished the race with a huge smile on her face. As a reward to ourselves we went to EZ's to get burger and milkshakes :)