It's been 13 weeks since Julie and I left for Houston, TX, and the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. The race result was a complete and utter disaster. From the gun, I felt off; tired, worn-out, flat. At mile 17ish I stepped on some kind of hole in the road and tweaked my achilles. That was the last straw, and I pulled the plug at 18. Not the way I wanted to have my day play out, but that is the hand I was dealt and I have to deal with it.
It's disappointing not being able to finish such a prestigious race, but I am ok with deciding to stop. Sometime it is just not meant to be your day. I want to thank my wife, family, teammates, and all those who supported the Trials attempt. I learned many valuable lessons from the build-up in regard to preparation. I will gladly share the wisdom with anyone who cares to listen. Maybe someone can heed the advice, apply it to their training, and crush a marathon. That would be my hope anyway.
Regardless, I was easily in the best shape of my life, but perhaps it (the prime fitness) happened a little too early. I had a fantastic race at the Manchester Road Race over Thanksgiving, did a hard 24 mile run the following Saturday, ran some really solid 2 mile repeats on the roads that following Monday finishing off the last couple in the 9:20 range, and then raced a half-marathon that Saturday or Sunday (I cannot remember which day exactly). I even went through 10 miles in a PR (48:10) before the wheels came off. So I was fit, but it might have just been a matter of timing it a little better. Who knows?
Aside from that, our little bundle of joy Doris Mae Gabrielson was born on Feb. 23. She is such a little peanut and I love her so much. Julie is a great mom and wife, and after a period of adjusting to the new lifestyle I am back to almost full training mode. Workouts are going well and I can feel the fitness being built. I have adjusted some of the ways I have approached training in the past and feel pretty good about things at the moment. We also have a BOB baby stroller so I look very, very forward to taking her on all my runs once June rolls around and she will be able to handle the jostling.
I plan on running the Get in Gear 10k in Minneapolis on April 28, and then a few other races before the US Half Marathon Championships hosted by Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in June. I love Duluth and cannot wait to spend another weekend up there. They host a fantastic event and it is definitely something special to be a part of it.
Finally, the fam will take a trip out to Rapid City in June to visit Julie's folks and the rest of her family. This happens to coincide with my good pal Kurt Decker's race at the Black Hills 100 miler. That's right, people actually race 100 miles. At one time. I am planning to crew for Kurt and get him through a couple 10 mile stretches or so. I am looking forward to it as I look to run more trail races myself in the near future a la good old Max King.