Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Chirstmas! Stomache Flu Week 8 Summary

What a week! I started the week with high goals of increasing my volume since I don't have to work this week. I was hoping to hit 50 miles running, 100 biking, and 15,000 yards swimming. I began the week well but on Christmas Eve I was given an early present with a stomache flu. After many trips to the bathroom on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I finally felt it was subsiding. It forced me to cancel workouts on Wednesday night and take my first full day off training on Thursday. It wasn't the Christmas present I was hoping to give myself in a week I planned to train a lot...
I was able to rebound and put in a lot of hours on Friday and Saturday. I finished off Sunday with my long run of 70 minutes and a 25 mile trainer ride to reach my weekly goals. I ended with 50 miles running, 100 biking, and 15,100 yards swimming. In addition I lifted weights three times, did running drills and strides 3 times, lunges and plyometrics twice each and core work 5 times. My total training time this week was 22 hours. I also lost more weight and was 164 lbs. this morning. That put me -18 in my 8 weeks of training. The weight has come off much faster than I anticipated. This is the lightest I've been since April of 06'.

My favorite workout this week was a swim workout I completed with my summer training partner Stephen Marsh, who is home for break from law school. It wasn't a huge workout but the hard set was 3x (2x100's on 1:40 with a 200 pull recovery). I pushed them hard and my 100 times were 1:12, 1:13, 1:12, 1:13, 1:11, 1:10. This was much faster than I ever could have swam in the past and it left me knowing that my swimming is getting much better than it has ever been. That was one of my big goals for the year. I know if I want to place among the top amateurs to earn a professional license I have to get better in the swim and this workout made me realize it is happening. After this week I will have swam more yards than I did all of last year. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We did at the Paul household. Payton was spoiled by grandparents of course...Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Iowaman Triathlon

On Saturday, September 6th I decided to race in the Iowaman Triathlon which was held at Scott County Park. I love to support local triathlons. This was the first year for Iowaman. I knew I would have to leave right away since my cross country team at Pleasant Valley was racing at 9:30.

My plan for this race was to push the bike really hard. Since Chicago two weeks ago I've only ridden twice and haven't swam at all. I've mostly just been running with our cross country team. I was the first one to enter the 400 meter pool swim. I could tell that I hadn't swam in awhile as I was tired only 100 meters in. I was passed by 3 guys. One of them finished 2nd to me at the Crossroads Triathlon and I knew he was very good. I had a good transition to the bike and left the transition area in 2nd. I took the lead early on in the bike and then decided to pedal in tougher gears than I was used to. The weather conditions were perfect. It was really cool and not windy at all. Once we were out of the park I pushed very hard on the bike. Through the 1/2 way point I was averaging 26.5 mph. The second half was a little tougher ride and I finished at a 25 mph average. I had a good transition and was 2 minutes into the run before the next biker coming in. As it turned out I had the fastest bike split by nearly 4 minutes. I knew I would not have to run real fast to win. My legs were pretty tired since I haven't done a brick workout in 3 weeks and I had used more energy on the bike than I typically do. I got into a good rhythm and finished the run in 6:05 pace to win in 1:03:20, which was 3:10 ahead of 2nd place finisher Chris Scott. I was pleased with this because last time I race him I was only 2 minutes ahead of him at the Crossroads Triathlon. My plan is to run from now until November 1st when our cross country season ends. I hope this training will help me keep my fitness up while keeping my weight down before I beign full time triathlon training on November 3rd in hopes of earning my professional license next summer. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chicago Triathlon

On Sunday, August 24th I was up at 3:45 a.m. for a small breakfast and to head to transition area. My good buddy Zeb Gilliam was nice enough to let us stay with him in downtown Chicago so I got a good night's sleep. The transition in Chicago closes before the sun comes up at 5:45 a.m. My wave was scheduled to enter the water at 7:41. When I registered for this race last May I weighed nearly 200 lbs. and was completely out of shape so I registered for the amateur division despite placing 27th in the Elite Amateur division last year. 2 weeks before this race I tried to get them to switch me into the Elite Amateur division but was told they were already full. No problem...just more people to pass on the run.

After a good warm-up I put on the wet suit and and waited for the start of the race. The swim start was very crowded. It was the roughest start I can remember ever having. I was kicked in the goggles and had my feel pulled on numerous times. I tried to swim hard the first couple hundred yards until it spread out a bit. I pushed hard on the swim for what felt like 30 minutes but when I exited the water in 22:40 I was excited since last year I exited in 25 minutes. I had a great transition to the bike and felt good on the first of 2 loops along Lake Shore Drive but was frustrated because my bike computer wasn't working for the second straight race. I decided to ignore this problem and rode hard through the first loop. I hit the half way point in 30:30 and was hoping to be around an hour so I lifted the tempo a bit. My second loop was better and I got off the bike feeling great with the split of 1 hour, 8 seconds.

My second transition was another great one. The transition area in Chicago is huge...about 300 meters long. I found my shoes quickly and headed out for the run hoping to hit 5:50 pace. My legs felt great starting the run as they always do after being worked on by Dr. Robert Kaminski from Kaminski Pain and Performance Care. I always have him give me a tune-up two days before I race. I was feeling a bit tired at the first mile and was 5:54. My second mile slipped to 6:00. I knew it wasn't going to be a 5:50 pace day. The sun was very bright and I was wearing down. I began to pass more of the Elite Amateurs on the run despite the 15 minutes they started before me. I knew it was going to be a PR and I tried to stay in a good rhythm but slipped in a 6:20 on mile number 5. I came back a bit over the final mile and finished in 37:40 (6:05 pace) for a new PR of 2:05:18. Although I didn't get passed by anyone after exiting the swim 6th in my wave I finished 4th in the amateur race out of over 4,000 competitors. I felt good about the race but know by training year round instead of coaching I can go under 2 hours next summer. DREAM BIG!

Dream Big!

I have made the plunge! It has been a difficult decision but I have decided to resign my coaching positions at Pleasant Valley High School as a track and cross country coach so that I will have more time to chase the dream of becoming a professional triathlete. I know this will take a tremendous amount of committment considering how much this sport is growing. It is a challenge I am looking forward to with great enthusiasm and optimism. DREAM BIG!