My brother Jason was in a terrible car accident last time I posted. I'm thrilled to say that he is home from the hospital and his attitude is incredible. I spoke to him yesterday and he said he is learning to do many things with 1 arm that most of us take for granted...things like putting shoes and socks on, buttoning pants...etc. Jason told me he asked the doctor when he can go to the pool to start swimming and they said probably this week. I know he's excited to begin working out again and I think he'll really surprise himself by how much he can still do. I hope to be able to get in the pool with him when he's in town for Thanksgiving.
I was recently frustrated to find out that my old website address had expired and someone in Russia had purchased it. After lots of phone calls I found out that the renewal information had gone into my spam inbox of my e-mail which I didn't even know existed. After the web address expired it was put up for sale and someone in Russia purchased it. She has been kind enough to link an old copy of my blog to that address but it is not updated. If you know anyone who may be interested in reading about this journey please tell them the address has changed to http://www.dreambigjp.net/ The only difference is .net instead of .com
On Friday our school staff ran a mile on our new track. It is one way we are hoping to motivate kids to work hard. They will see what we ran and it will give them times to shoot for. I was really excited to see nearly every staff member participating in the voluntary mile. I was excited as it was the first time running since my surgery that I would be going as hard as I could over any distance. I made sure to get a good warm up in which probably looked silly but I did not want to run an all out mile on my achilles without being properly warmed up. I hoped to be able to run under 5:00 but I know my fitness is bad right now and I thought I would be around 5:08. I ran the first lap in 71 which I thought was maybe a bit too fast. My 2nd lap was 74 so I hit the 1/2 way point at 2:25 (4:50 pace). My next 400 was 75 even though I thought I was pushing hard since I know the 3rd quarter of any race is always the toughest. I had more left than I thought as I finished my last lap in 70 for a finish time of 4:50. It was a good confidence booster for me mostly because my achilles didn't hurt a bit before or afterwards and I also ran much faster than expected. I also know that is not a time I'd be happy with 2 months from now so I have lots of work cut out for me over the next weeks as I begin training in hopes of making the podium at Ironman St. George on May 7.
On Sunday Jen and I took the kids to a local race called the Pumpkin Dash. The race offered two different distances, a 4k or an 8k (2.5 and 5 miles respectively). I chose the 4k knowing I'm not at all ready for an all out 8k yet. Jen is in great shape and took on the 8k. I was hoping to be able to run 5:25 pace but realized early in the race I wasn't going to be able to do that just 2 days after running the mile hard. I was still a bit sore and I'm not in shape to recover that quickly right now. I went through the mile in 5:23 but I was already hurting. I hit the 2 mile mark at 11:00 and made it to the finish in 13:38 (right about 5:30 pace). Jen was awesome. She went through the half way point in 14:45 which was way under her best 5 mile pace. She was running with one other girl at the time. Jen pulled away over the 2nd half of the race and finished in a time of 29:35 which was almost a minute personal best for her over 5 miles. I continue to be super impressed and proud of how well she is running while maintaining her busy work schedule and being Super Mom.I'm in the process of reading the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald and I am learning a lot about how much of a difference weight makes in endurance sports. It is something I've always struggled with coming from a family with a history of obesity. I'm 20 lbs. heavy right now and I know my running and biking times will drop considerably as I approach my racing weight in the low 150's like I was at before my surgery. I plan to do a mid-week post highlighting some of the most important things I've gotten from this book each week until I have it finished.
It's been a frustrating year for me dealing with this achilles injury and surgery that for the most part kept me from racing. I'm looking forward to beginning a new year next week and putting these frustrations behind me. I know it will be a long road but I'm as motivated as ever to begin. My pro license is a 2 year license and this is year 2. It's now or never for me in 2011. I've been thinking a lot about my season goals and I can't wait to begin working towards them. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!