Happy New Year 2009 to everyone! What a year for the Paul's, highlighted by the birth of our daughter Payton on June 1. She's trying to crawl but from the looks of it she'll make a great swimmer!
Week 9 was another good one for me with a small bump in the middle of the week. For training time I hit just under 22 hours. As designed this week was almost a mirror in totals of last week. 50 miles running, 105 biking, and 16,100 yards of swimming which was my most swim yards in 8 years for a week total. I also lifted weights, did speed drills, and strides three times, lunges and plyometrics twice, and core work six times. I had a good track workout Wednesday thanks to some help from a couple guys I used to coach. I was glad they could do the workout with me to help me push the pace. Unfortunately, I had lifted too much weight the day prior to the workout and afterwards my calf muscles were slightly strained and I had to skp my run on Thursday. I had the best swim workout I can remember ever having on Friday. In the main set I swam 7x 200's holding a 2:36 average with only about a 30 second rest. To put that in perspective we did 5x 200's all out with 5 minutes of rest a month ago and I had the same average time. I was excited to swim the same times with nothing near the same rest. The set wasn't over...We then did 7x 100's (4 on 1:35, 3 on 1:30). I averaged 1:17 for those. This set made me realize for the second straight week that my swimming is coming around fast. The gap between swimming (my weakness) and my cycling and running is closing. I'm excited to race! At the end of the week I looked back at last year's workouts and yes...just 9 weeks into training I surpassed my swim total for the entire year by 200 yards. I had another workout I was really excited about. I ran a 4 mile progressive tempo run Saturday night on the treadmill after a mile warm-up. I was hoping to average 6:10 pace. My mile splits were 6:13, 6:02, 5:50, and 5:30 to close it off. 23:35 total. It was faster than expected and until the last mile it felt very easy. This week I'll back the training volume down a bit with school resuming. I'm planning on racing 2000 meters at Augustana on the indoor track Friday to test my running fitness. I hope to be just under 5:00 for the mile and then close it out well.
Resolution: I have been asked by a number of people about the reality of this dream...becoming a professional triathlete. I have been asked if it's something I was close to last year. My response: "No, actually I am not close at all." The reality is that my 2:05 time in Chicago was ab0ut 7 minutes slower than the time needed from the Elite Age division to obtain the pro license. How can I drop 7 minutes? That's longer than it will take to write this blog entry...I've been asked if I really think I can become a professional triathlete. My response to that question is my resolution for this year..."I intend to find out." What this means is that I will continue this great journey by doing everything I think it will take to become a professional triathlete. The little things are important. To me the little things are spending time in the weight room becoming stronger. By the weight I'm lifting my legs are already stronger than they were at the end of last summer. Little things are strides and speed drills. Those will improve my running efficiency and help me to develop speed which will allow the 5:35 10k pace I hope to run off the bike to feel more comfortable. The plyometrics and lunges I do twice a week would be easy to leave out but they are helping to give my legs the power I will need to average 26.1 miles per hour on a bike course like Chicago. Losing weight will allow me to race 15 lbs. lighter than I did last year. Doing swim drills until I'm bored out of my mind will allow me to become more efficient in the water. I intend to find out how good I can be. The journey in that is worth more than the professional license. Most people would look at the workouts and think I'm crazy but the journey so far has been more fun than I could have imagined. It has allowed me to dream every day. It has given me more confidence and as I grow fitter I believe so much is possible. I had the privilage of coaching so many kids at Pleasant Valley who became so much more than anyone would have ever believed. Watching so many of them achieve more than even I (as their coach) imagine they could have forces me to believe in great stories of success. 7 minutes...that's only 8 seconds faster per 100 yards swimming than last year (my workout times are already that much faster)...that's only 1.4 miles per hour faster on the bike than last year...and only 20 seconds per mile running. Here's a quote I attached to a mirror in my bedroom for me to see every day.
The road less traveled...
This journey may be more important than any medal, title or rank...this journey is the road to greatness. So don't look back, don't look around, just look ahead...the time is NOW. Take the risk to be great. If this were easy, everyone would do it. It's the ones who take the risk of failure that ever experience the thrill of living life to it's full extent in the pursuit of their dreams. Go for it and remember... THE TIME IS NOW. -E.O.
If you're still reading you must be a great supporter. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!