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 year...it 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 race...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!