Sunday, January 31, 2010

Try Melon Tri Race Report...Week 11 summary

On Sunday Jen and I made the scenic 45 minute drive up highway 61 from LeClaire to Muscatine, Iowa where I would be competing in the 16th annual Try Melon Tri. The race is a 900 yard pool swim followed by a deathly 7 mile bike on the Schwinn Airdyne, finishing up with a 2.5 mile run featuring 40 laps around the 100 meter banked turn track at the Muscatine YMCA. Last year I tied for the win setting an event record in the process with a time of 43:56. I was in the 1st wave which was scheduled to start at noon sharp so I arrived at 10:30 to find the doors of the YMCA locked. I guess I'm safe to say I was the first athlete to show up and most people don't warm up for an hour and a half for an event that lasts 45 minutes. I decided to make the use of my time to get some running in so I went for a 2 mile run outside and found the doors unlocked when I finished.
SWIM: I got a good swim warm-up in before our heat started. I was in the first wave along with Chris Mann, an outstanding triathlete from Muscatine who is part of the Iowa State Triathlon Club. Chris broke the old record last year and wasn't far behind me. He is a very good swimmer and I knew beating him would be tough because he would put a lot of time on me in the swim. Last year's co-champion Chris Scott was in the 3rd wave for reasons I'm unaware of since he is a much faster swimmer than I am. Coming into this event my swimming in workouts has been great...much better than last year and I thought I could cut 30 seconds off my time of 12:30 from a year ago. When the whistle sounded I took off swimming with a plan of breathing every 3 strokes as long as I could. I know I'm faster when I breath every 3 because I feel my stroke is much smoother in the water. I only held that for the first 8 lengths or 200 yards...leaving me with 700 yards to splash around and lose time to all the good swimmers. I went through my 500 at 6:36 which was 14 seconds faster than last year but I must have slowed down quite a bit because I only finished 10 seconds ahead of last year's time when I exited the water in 12:20. My volunteer timer informed me after the race that I trailed Chris Mann by a minute and a half after the swim. He informed me I needed to work on my swimming...if he only knew...that's the story of my triathlon life!
BIKE: The Devil!!! The Schwinn Airdyne is absolutely 100% Satan! I hate this bike! I never want to ride it again. Each year it is one of the most painful things I do throughout the entire year. I'd rather run my 7x 1 mile repeat workout than spend 16 minutes on the Schwinn Airdyne! It flat out sucks! Okay...I've made my point. When I checked in they had one of these Satanic machines set out so you could check your seat height. It is up to each athlete to set the seat height before getting on the bike. I played around with a few different options to see which one would be the "least uncomfortable". Seat height #8 was my magic number. When I got to my bike in the race I set the seat at #8, climbed on and started pedaling while the volunteer screwed the seat in so it wouldn't fall on me. About 5 pedals in I realized I could barely reach the pedals. Either the bike I tested was a slightly different height or I'd magically gotten shorter by about 2" over the course of the last hour. Either way, I knew I needed to stop and adjust...oh crap the seat was screwed into place. I had to unscrew it, move it down and then screw it back in. I probably lost a good 15 seconds in the process. At least I could now reach the pedals. The thing I hate most about this bike is there is no way to get comfortable. I tried a number of various approaches that Jen captured with her new bazooka camera lenz that I bought her for Christmas. I tried the "lean over the pedal approach" (see picture 1)...and that was terrible so I next went to the "give me some water approach" (picture 2) only to get about 1 ounce from the dixie straw that reminded me of the experiment I did once to see how long I could go breathing through a straw to simulate lungs of a smoker. Next I moved on to the "no arms" approach (picture 3) to try to give my tired arms a break. The "no arms" one was about the same speed as with the arms but then I knew my legs were working lots harder and I worried what my run would be like. Either way it reminded me of the days of going no hands on a roller coaster...without any of the fun however. After that I tried the "reverse grip" approach (picture 4) and that wasn't any better than the previous attempts to get comfortable. I also threw in the...for lack of a better term..."weird grip" approach (picture 5) and that seemed to help for a little bit but then I realized my speed was no better than any of the other attempts. One of the other approaches I tried was the "close your eyes and hope it ends" approach (picture 6). Closing my eyes did not make anything go faster so I opened them back up for my final attempt. I finished with the traditional boring "regular grip" approach (picture 7) and that was as much torture as any of my other attempts to get comfortable. One attempt I couldn't try was the "aero approach" in which you hold the middle console with your arms like it is a set of aero bars and just pedal the bike with your legs like most bikes work. That's the position I'm most comfortable in since that's how I race a triathlon bike. I was not allowed to do this for what I will call the "Jeff Paul" rule. My first year doing this race I spent most of my time in that aero position with my arms on the center console but the next year when I got my entry there was a new rule for the bike portion that stated "competitors may not hold on to the center console while biking"...not sure why they put that in but I'm guessing it had something to do with the way I rode the previous year. You may click on any of those pictures to get a closer look at the new styles I tried to create or the amount of pain that was on my face during this portion of the event. I ended up getting off the bike in 4th place, behind two relay teams where 3 people each do one portion of the event, and Chris Mann, who I fully expected would be in front of me. He got off the bike about 40 seconds ahead of me and I didn't know if I would have enough to catch him on the run. My bike time was 20 seconds slower than last year. This ride makes me more excited to throw a new set of Zipp wheels on my Orbea Ordu and roll through a real bike event this spring.

RUN: My first few laps of the run were a little sluggish. My legs were tired from the bike portion. Chris Mann was almost 2 laps ahead of me. It felt like a long time before I was able to catch him and reduce the gap to 1 lap. He was running really well. After about the first 6 laps I started to get into a nice rhythm right around 5:30 mile pace. I was able to hold that pace throuhout most of the run. I passed Chris again sometime around lap 25. I pushed hard my last few laps knowing there were other athletes competing later in the event who would be aiming to beat my time. As it turned out I won the race with a time of 44:06. Chris Mann finished 2nd about 25 seconds back. He is going to have a tremendous season this summer. I was 10 seconds slower than last year and a little disappointed with that fact. My run time was 13:52 which was 6 seconds faster. I should feel good about that since I've only been back to regular running for 3 weeks since the achilles injury and I have not put in near as many hard workouts yet as I had last year at this point. The only spot I was slower was on the devil's bike segment. The best news I got all day was that this would be the last year they would use the Schwinn Airdyne bikes. Next year they are hoping to use typical indoor spinning bikes instead. Until then, I'm sure I'll have plenty of nightmares about the Schwinn Airdyne for this year.
The training week was planned to be a down week swimming and cycling. I only swam 8,000 yards, and biked only 70 miles. I ran 50 miles including 8 after the race. I'm feeling great but thought it would be wise to take an easier week. I haven't had a day of rest since November 21st and pretty soon I'll get a 3 day break. I'm planning on racing the 3,000 meters in a collegiate track meet at Augustana College in a couple weeks. Thanks for reading...STAY AWAY FROM THE SCHWINN AIRDYNE BIKES!!!! DREAM BIG!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Race Schedule

I've been debating a lot lately about the race schedule that I will compete in this upcoming year. I have gone back and forth on various races and this may change some but here is what I have tentatively settled on. At times I thought I maybe should race less 1/2 Ironman events if I'm preparing for my first full Ironman distance race but I decided that I want to race all of these if training continues to go well. I don't know how many years I can continue to devote as much time to training as I currently am so the deciding factor was that I didn't want to skip races that I would regret later while I'm lying in my bed growing old. While I'm fit...I'll compete...and I'll enjoy the journey.

This schedule will allow me to get in some good blocks of training from late June to early July, and then again through the early part of August.
Sullivan Civic Center Triathlon- Sprint Distance- April 25th Sullivan, IL
Galena Triathlon- Sprint Distance- May 22 Galena, IL
Ironman Kansas 70.3**Pro Race- June 6 Lawrence, KS
Quad City Triathlon- June 20 Davenport, IA
10 Days and 10 Nights Training Camp (My own training camp) June 22-July 1
Ironman Racine 70.3**Pro Race- July 18 Racine, WI
Ironman Steelhead 70.3**Pro Race- July 31 Benton Harbor, MI
5 Days and 5 Nights Training Camp (My own training camp) August 3-7
Pigman Long Course Triathlon- August 18 Cedar Rapids, IA
Rev 3 "Full Rev"**Pro Race (Ironman Distance)- September 12 Sandusky, OH or...
Ironman Wisconsin**Pro Race - September 12 Madison, WI

As you can tell my main race distance this year will be on the 1/2 Ironman distance. I am excited to compete in my first full Ironman in September assuming training continues to go well. There may be a couple small races I add into the schedule as well. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 10 Summary...Quad City Triathlon Club (Team Tri Fit)

Week 10 was a tremendous week of training for me due in part to two days off school no thanks to a huge ice storm that rolled through the Quad Cities on Wednesday and Thursday. Combine that with a 1/2 day off for MLK day and I only had 2.5 days of work. That allowed me to get in 24 hours and 15 minutes of training time. My totals for the week were 51 miles running, 180 biking, and 14,100 yards swimming. I also lifted weights three times, did core work six times, speed drills, strides, and lunges three times, and plyometrics twice. I'm feeling really great following what turned out to be my 5th highest volume of training in a week ever (my highest ever during the school year). The results of the MRI on my achilles came on Monday and I was informed that the tendon is in perfect condition. I have a bone near my heal that is slightly larger than it should be. That causes extra strain on some fat tissue near the tendon when I go up on my toes. Too much repetition of this causes the swelling around the tendon. The doctor informed me that I will have some swelling from time to time and we will be okay to inject cortisone twice a year to get rid of the swelling. I've had no pain since the cortisone and thanks to work from Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care I'm back to running at a level I was hoping to be.
For my best workouts of the week...on Wednesday I escaped the ice by running 2x 3 miles at tempo pace on the treadmill with a mile easy between. My first one was 18:00 (6 min. pace). I followed that up with a 17:17 on my 2nd tempo run (5:45 pace). I'll try to get to Augustana this week to work out with the track team on Wednesday. In the pool I had my best set ever on Saturday morning. I swam 10x 100's on 1:20 coming in on each one between 1:15 and 1:17. This added up to a faster 1,000 time than I've ever swam even counting the breaks between 100's. I had 2 bike interval workouts that have me feeling very strong on the bike. Next Sunday I will be competing in an indoor triathlon at the YMCA in Muscatine, IA. Last year I set the event record but tied another guy in a different heat. Hopefully we'll be in the same heat this year with a chance to lower the record. The event is swim heavy with a 900 yard pool swim followed by the ever famous 7 mile bike ride on the legendary Schwinn AirDyne. For those who are unfamiliar that is the bike where you use your arms and legs together. It really measures nothing about biking ability and is a pure test of pain tolerance. I have woken up numerous times throughout the year to nightmares that I am back on the Scwhinn AirDyne. I'm looking forward to that once a year challenge. The event finishes with a 2.5 mile run with 40 laps around the 100 meter track featuring banked turns. It sounds aweful but it's actually a very fun run around the banked track. I'll be able to measure my swim improvements and compare where I am at running without near the mileage I had at this point last year.

I'd like to finish by putting in a plug for the local triathlon club that was started in the Quad Cities last year, Team Tri-Fit. The club was created by director Steve Meek and I was thrilled to help promote this great sport in the QC. We ended last year with over 50 members and have already had over 40 sign up to join the club this year. We have group training opportunities, free clinics on triathlons, free club dinners, great sponsorship discounts and team get togethers that are always lots of fun. Next Saturday the club will be hosting a "Train Your Brain" seminar in which we view one of legendary triathlon coach Mark Allen's training videos followed by a question and answer panel discussion in which I am on the panel with local Ironman Hawaii finisher Jen Foley. This is a great opportunity for beginner to advanced triathletes to gain some useful knowledge on the sport. The cost of the clinic is free to club members and only $3.00 for non-members. The clinic begins at 8:00 a.m. at Heritage Church in Bettendorf, IA. You can find more great information on Team Tri-Fit at The cost for joining the club is only $25.00 this year. Optional team jersey and dri-fit shirt are available for additional purchase to club members. I'd love to see Team Tri-Fit continue to grow. We are very community oriented. Last year many members of the club volunteered at the Hy-Vee Youth Triathlon. We also were active in helping a club member with bike repairs and meals after a serious bike injury in the summer. Other times club members brought meals to those who had additions to their families during that busy time. If you live around the QC and want to be part of a great triathlon club Team Tri-Fit is right for you. E-mail me if you have any questions. I'm finalizing a race schedule at this time. I'll release that later this week with additional sponsors. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!


It's 1:44... a.m. if you can't tell. I've been lying in bed for nearly 3 hours unable to fall asleep. My legs are twitching uncontrollably from the workout I finished on the bike 3 hours ago. It wasn't anything crazy; a 1 hour ride with 30x 30 seconds at max effort followed by 30 seconds easy after each one with a 15 minute warm up and cool down. I'll make sure not to do this one late at night anymore as it woke the legs up more than I wanted. I try to fall asleep but my legs are twitching and my mind keeps thinking about the upcoming season. I'm starting to feel very fit. Today was a 5,500 yard swim day with a set of 10x 100's on 1:20 to kick things off after the warm up. We took an extra 20 seconds rest after the 5th one. I hit all of them in 1:15-1:18. My total time for the 1,000 yard set was 13:45 including the breaks after each 100. I swam the 1,000 once in college and my time was 14:00...without taking a break after every 100. Following the swim I got a nap in before running 7 miles shorts! It was perfect out...38 degrees...I wanted to keep going if not for a long run tomorrow morning (now 7 hours away). After the run I rode the bike for 30 minutes and then finished up later with the 1 hour ride I mentioned earlier. My mind keeps thinking about my race schedule that I can't decide on for the upcoming season. I keep thinking about how much my fitness has increased since last year already. While I was in the waiting room at the doctor's office a few weeks ago I was reading an article on goal setting. The article had the top 10 things necessary to reaching a goal. One of the top things they listed was that you have to be obsessed with the goal. I'd say I'm there...considering I can't stop thinking about my goals. A student in my class made a plaque for me with a quotation that says, "Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about." I'm off to attempt some sleep. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week 9 Summary...thoughts on swimming

Week 9 was my best week of training so far this year. I began the week with my weekly weigh in on Monday morning and I was 156 lbs., the lightest I've weighed in since November of 2002 after just finishing my senior cross country season at Augustana. For the week my total training time was 21.75 hours. I swam 14,000 yards, biked 150 miles, and ran 45 miles in 5 days of running. My achilles has felt better than it has over the past 7 weeks. There is no pain or swelling following my runs. I had an MRI on it Wednesday and look forward to finding the results tomorrow morning. I'm unsure if it is feeling good due to the cortisone shot from a couple weeks ago or if something is healing. Dr. Kaminski from Kaminski Pain and Performance Care has been treating me regularly and that seems to be helping a great deal. If you have any injuries he can be a great help! In addition to the running, biking, and swimming, I also lifted weights three times, did lunges and plyometrics twice each, speed drills and strides three times, and core work five times. What excites me is that the amount of weight I am lifting has increased quite a bit over last year, especially on the leg lifts, so I know I'm stronger as well as weighing less. It can be difficult to reduce body weight while increasing muscle but I am doing just that. This was one of the big goals I set for myself this year that I believe will allow me to race much faster than last year. I had a few great workouts this week...first in the pool on Wednesday when I did a set of 15x 100's on 1:25 with the high school team. Last year I could not have swam a straight 1500 averaging 1:25. I did the set coming in on each 100 in 1:15-1:18. It didn't even feel very difficult. On Friday I ran repeat miles outside. I did 4 of them with 3 minutes rest between each. My times were 5:39, 5:36, 5:30, and 5:13. I was pretty excited with how easy the first 3 felt considering my lack of mileage over the past 6 weeks. I pushed the last one pretty hard. I also got my longest run of the year on Sunday when I went 11.5 miles. It felt pretty easy and I'm hoping I am healed up enough to start getting in my weekly long runs. One of my goals was to build that long run up to 2 hours by May.
I have been swimming faster workout times this year than I ever have before. I will try to break down why that is for anyone who is interested...keep in mind I am not an expert swimmer and despite my improvements it is still the area where I will be gapped by other professionals in the 1/2 Ironman this summer. The gap is just considerably less now than it would have been a year ago. One thing I had read a lot about was the importance of bilateral breathing (breathing to both sides). Until this year I used to always breath to my right. That caused me to have trouble staying on course in open water swims. The reason is pretty simple...the muscles in my back were stronger on one side of my body than on the other. Also I rotated more to the side I breathed to. Now I am equally comfortable breathing to either side. In workouts I tend to do most of my swimming breathing every 3 strokes (alternating sides as opposed to always breathing to the same side). My rotation is much more even than it was before. If I get tired and can't breath every 3 then I spend an equal amount of time breathing to my right and left. Another thing that I've really focused on is getting my elbow high when it comes out of the water. This is something the high school coach pointed out to me and I think about it every time I'm swimming easy. My elbow is much higher out of the water than it was last year. The 3rd thing I've spent time working on is dropping my fingers down when I start my catch at the beginning of my stroke after rotating to my side and extending my arm in the water. The better catch has helped me to swim faster. I've spent a great deal of time analzying swim technique on a website at Check it out and maybe it will help you also. I've downloaded the Mr. Swim Smooth program and watch it regularly. Like my good friend Chris Coon said, I always liked books with pictures growing up because they allowed me to see what was happening in the story. Watching Mr. Swim Smooth has helped me see what good technique looks like. I hope to stay confidence continues to grow. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

GU Energy Partnership...Week 8 Training Summary

I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining the team of triathletes sponsored by GU Energy for the 2010 triathlon season. I was hoping to find a partner that would aid in my nutrition for training and racing through my first professional season in the sport. I believe I found the best products available for keeping athletes fueled in GU Energy. GU Energy has been revolutionizing nutritional products for athletes since 1991 and they set the standard in nutrition. GU makes the best gel hands down with their Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel. One serving of this gel is packed with 1200 mg of amino acids. Roctane contains the amino acid Histidine which acts as a buffer to slow down the lactic acid build-up in muscles. It is also the only energy gel on the market that contains Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (OKG) which limits the body's tendency to break down muscle protein tissue during extremely intense training and racing. In addition to Roctane, GU Energy also manufactures electrolyte and recovery drinks, energy chews, and the standard GU Gel which I carry on all my training rides to ensure I don't bonk. All of the GU products can be found at Healthy Habits in Bettendorf, IA. If you are looking for top of the line nutrition please think about supporting the people who have helped me in this journey. I am super excited to have another great company who believes in my abilities as I begin my professional career in triathlon. GU Energy supports a number of professional triathletes...most notably Craig Alexander, winner of the last 2 Ironman Hawaii World Championships. Check out all the great GU Energy products at
This week was a great week of training. I finished my week of no running since the cortisone injection on Wednesday. I ran Wednesday and Thursday and my achilles was pretty swollen. After doing much research on the internet I think I found what my injury is...Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. It is basically a nerve entrapment through the tarsal tunnel which is located near the achilles. Dr. Ellis was correct that my tendon is not the problem. I began massaging the tarsal tunnel a lot to try to break up the adhesion and whether or not that did the trick I'm not sure but I had great runs on Saturday and Sunday with no swelling at all. It was the first time in over a month I've run without swelling. For the week my total training time was 18 hours. I ran 25 miles in 4 runs, biked 120 miles, and swam 14,000 yards with 3 days of swimming. I lifted weights and did lunges 3 times, did speed drills, strides, and plyometrics twice, and core work 6 times. On Saturday morning I had my best workout of the week when I swam a set consisting of 10x 75's on 2:00. I did this set a year ago and averaged 54 seconds. Saturday I did the set with an average time of 50. I'm pretty excited about the improvements I'm making in the water. Saturday I put in a 5 hour training day and followed it up with close to 4 hours on Sunday. Those are the types of days where I build my strength in preparation of the 1/2 Ironman distance. If I continue to have no swelling I will begin to build my running mileage up to where I want it to be this time of year...about 50-60 miles a week. Last Monday, on my weigh in I was 159 lbs, down 9 lbs. since I began training 8 weeks ago. That tied the lowest weigh in I had all of last year. I typically raced at about 164 last year. 2 years ago I hit my all-time high on a weigh in when I was 202 lbs. in January of 2008. Right now I am stronger than I've ever been so I know I'm losing body fat which was one of my big goals to improving performance. My confidence grows by the day. I am dreaming of big success this summer. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year 2010! Resolution

Happy New Year 2010 to all of you! What a year it was for the Paul's. My highlights have been watching Payton grow up. She's successfully mastered "Go Hawks!" and she says more words every day. She has been saying the word "bike" for some time and I'm excited to buy her one for her 2nd birthday although if you ask her how old she is she'll tell you she's 2 already...
Week 7 was up and down. I've been having this continual problem with my achilles tendon. It doesn't hurt to run but when I'm finished it swells up within a few hours. I ice, stretch, use anti-inflamatory cream, rest...and it feels great relatively quickly only to repeat the process. I had a great track workout on Wednesday but after it swelled yet again I made another trip to see the orthopedic surgeon. This time around I was given the choice of an MRI and possible surgery or another cortisone injection. I chose the cortisone. The injection was not directly into the tendon as that can be very dangerous for the long term effects of a complete rupture. I'm praying that this will get me through the season. Along with the injection the doctor instructed me not to run for a week. A year ago this would have been difficult for me but not now. I have coached myself through this journey which has been extremely fun. After the Hy-Vee Triathlon last year I wanted to fire myself...after winning the 70.3 race in Austin I wanted to give myself a raise. I've been told by a number of people to find a coach but I just haven't been able to pull the trigger. I have lots of faith in the way I know my body and I believe that God will guide me. With this most recent way of slowing down my running I have faith that God has a reason. Perhaps He wants me to focus more on swimming and biking. I knew going into this season that if I'm going to be competitive at the pro level I either need to swim much faster, become one of the strongest riders on the course, or have a combination of improvements at both. I believe both have been big improvements thus far. I checked today and I've ridden 77% more miles on the bike this year through 7 weeks and I've swam 49% more yards. I'm much stronger than last year and I'm quickly becoming much more lean than I was. All of these signs point to success in the summer months. I know God will allow me to run more when the time is right. Until then I'll be improving in the water and on the bike. For the week I had my highest training time this year at 22.5 hours. I ran only 13 miles (Monday and Wednesday). I biked my all-time indoor high at 200 miles getting 10 hours on the trainer. I swam 18,600 yards. I lifted weights and did lunges each 3 times, core work 7 times, plyometrics once, and speed drills and strides twice.

RESOLUTION: This is the time of year when so many people make resolutions for the year to come. I have a lot of high goals for the 2010 triathlon season. I saw this week on TV that only 8% of people stick to their New Year's resolutions. I'm not surprised...we live in a society where people think "right now" rather than plan for weeks and months ahead. Last year my resolution was to pour everything into triathlon to see if I could become a professional. Not a single day passed that I didn't think about that goal. It was something I woke up thinking about and it is something I laid in bed dreaming about on a nightly basis. I kept weekly goal sheets every week through the year to help me and I kept a daily log of workouts. If you asked I could look back and tell you what I did for workouts any day of the year last year. I believe those are important tools to helping me meet my goals. I've given much thought to this year's resolution. Here it is:
"No Fear". This is important to me. I think back to my first triathlon last was in Galena, IL. There were 800 people competing that day. I was in great shape and beginning a year in which I hoped to become a professional triathlete. Before the race I was sitting next to the beachside bathroom stretching and I was listening to my ipod while stretching. As I looked around I saw hundreds of people who looked extremely fit. Triathlon is different from when you go to a road race because almost everyone racing looks fit. I kept thinking how fit these people were and I wondered where my fitness stacked up with theirs. I would think, "That guy looks really fast"...or "look at that guys sweet jersey and aero helmet". Before the race even started I was doubting whether or not I was as fit as the guy next to me. This was something that I thought about before many of the early season races. I went on to win in Galena by over 2 minutes erasing some of the doubt and helping me overcome some of my fears. I grew more confident as the season progressed and when I headed to Austin, TX to race in the 70.3 I believed I was going to win. I wasn't being arrogant about it or anything like that but I trusted my workouts and my fitness. This year I'll be in a whole new league. Every guy in the pro races is extremely fit. Every pro I see looks like they have less body fat than I do and it would be very easy for me to wonder whether I really belong on the same starting line with guys like Andy Potts, Craig Alexander, TJ Tollakson, and Matty Reed. Some of these guys have competed in the Olympics. My resolution for the year is to have "No Fear". I know I belong in the pro field. I trust in my training and know I will be much faster than I was a year ago. I continue to dream big...hoping to make the podium of a professional 70.3 race. I have so much room for improvement and it's happening even without much running. My college coach Paul Olsen instilled in me the idea of being reckless and aggressive...enthusiastic and intense. He instilled in us the mindset that we always had the freedom to fail...but it was never failure when you took a risk at greatness. Not a day passes that I don't think about having success at the pro level. I can't wait to prove I belong. No Fear. I still have a quote hanging on the mirror in my room that symbolizes this journey. Here it is.

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.

Make 2010 your best year yet. Set high goals and write them down! Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!