21 May 2008

Becoming an Endurance Athlete

In September 2005, I completed my first marathon. After the race, I was pretty dehydrated and was actually pretty sick. My dad had to work that day and wasn't able to see me race, but when he got home and saw how sick I was, he said, "Why in the world would you do that to yourself?"

One year later, I was running that same marathon and my mom had signed up for the Walt Disney World 1/2 marathon, so she decided to run the last half of the marathon with me to see if she could do it. My dad was at the race and met us at a variety of places to take pictures. Around mile 17 or 18, we ran into him and he said, "I just saw a woman run by who had crapped herself. Why would you do this to yourself?" My dad was completely and totally baffled and was apparently really doing some thinking about why people compete in endurance types of events.

A few months later, my family went to Orlando, Florida for Marathon weekend. I was doing my first Goofy Challenge and my mom was running her first 1/2 marathon. My dad met us at the finish line and was very proud of my mom. He thought it was pretty cool that she would train for an event and then complete it. He also realized that she was hooked. That spring, she signed up for the Goofy Challenge. In June 2007, she completed her first marathon and my dad (with some prodding from me) made a big deal about it. He bought my mom flowers, put a big sign up on the garage, and made her some strawberries and whipped cream.

Somewhere in all of this, he decided to start riding his mountain bike for exercise. My dad has several friends at work who race road bikes and he started talking with them about some of the issues surrounding cycling. He also signed up for a group ride/event and rode 50 miles. He really enjoyed it, except that he was on a mountain bike and couldn't really keep up with the other riders. In fact, the cyclists were not very friendly when he stopped for lunch and joined them at a table. He also mentioned that there were a couple of girls on the ride and one of them had a flat tire. Apparently, several cyclists blew by and didn't stop to offer any assistance to the girls. My dad, being the great guy that he is, stopped and changed the tire.

In January 2008, my family headed to Orlando again for marathon weekend. Both my mom and I were doing the Goofy Challenge and my dad was volunteering at a water station for both the half and full marathon. It was truly a family event. Here's the funny thing...when he got back to Utah after the trip, he signed up for the Walt Disney World half marathon in January 2009. He signed up before my mom even knew what he was doing. My dad then went on to purchase a road bike and signed up for two century rides.

On Saturday, May 17, my dad completed the Salt Lake City Century ride. My mom and I were running the Ogden 1/2 Marathon, so my dad dropped us off in Ogden and continued on to Salt Lake. The race started at the State Fair Grounds and headed north to Antelope Island and then back. My dad made a few mistakes...eating only a blueberry muffin for breakfast...eating all of his snacks before mile 30...riding in a peloton with a bunch of guys going 27 mph...not drinking enough water...doing a 40 mile ride for his longest training ride...etc. However, he had a blast. Het got home and was so excited to talk about the event. He was all fired up to talk with a friend from church about what he could do before his next race. Did I mention that he's doing another century ride on June 14, the same day I'm doing my first Olympic triathlon?

So, apparently, the Hansens have become an endurance race family.