I began Saturday with a 2 hr. 30 minute bike ride in which I did a 3 minute climbing simulation every 10 minutes pedaling at a very high wattage and low cadence. After the ride I went home and jumped in the car with Jen and the kids to head to Clinton, Iowa for a 4 mile road race. I wanted to get 10 miles running so I warmed up 3 miles. My plan was to run the first 2 miles at tempo pace (in the 5:45 range) and then run the last 2 miles as fast as I could. Jen was racing in a Duck Tales costume with some friends (think 80's cartoons). I hit the 2 mile mark in 11:26 and I was in 3rd place. 2nd was only about 8 seconds ahead of me but first was 3 blocks down the road and when I saw the split times after the race I found out he was 28 seconds ahead of me at the 2 mile point. Right when I hit the 2 mile I shifted gears and began racing. I moved into 2nd within about 600 meters but never thought I would catch the leader. He was a long way up the road and I didn't really care if I caught him or not. My goal was to see what I could do for 2 miles hard coming off the long bike ride in the morning and 2 mile tempo to start the race. With 1 mile to go I was still about 12 seconds back and still didn't think I would catch the leader. I glanced down at my GPS watch and saw we had a 1/2 mile to go and I was only down 5 seconds. I made the pass a couple hundred meters later and ended up winning by 12 seconds in a time of 21:44. More importantly I ran the last 2 miles in 10:18 which I was really pleased with. It was a big boost of confidence which was what I hoped to gain from the workout. Even more exciting to me was looking down the road as I was getting interviewed and watching Louie...the green duck from Duck Tales coming in as the first woman. Jen amazes me. She ran 24:18 with a huge sweatshirt on and pants that were falling down. Complete results from the race can be found by clicking HERE.
I can't be more excited with where I'm at right now. I'm less than 6 weeks away from my pro debut in San Juan. I'm ready right now for a fast 1/2 Ironman. The only thing I need to do between now and then is get outdoors for a few rides to get comfortable with my bike handling again. I'm lighter than I've ever raced a triathlon by 10 lbs., I'm stronger on the bike than I've ever been, and I'm running faster than I ever have. This is what I've dreamed about. This is what I've put all this work in for. When I began this journey over 2 years ago I wanted to find out how good I could be if I went all in. I know many people second guess my volume with the risk of injury...especially after being hurt last year. I'm a gambler when it comes to trying to be my best. I'll continue throwing caution to the wind so when I toe the line I know I've done everything in my power to be as prepared as possible. My body responds really well to big weeks followed by periods of rest. This next week will be pretty easy as I let my body adapt to the big workload I put in this past week. I am going to race a 3k (200 meters short of 2 miles) on Saturday in a college track meet at Augustana. Last year I ran 9:13 which was only 2 seconds off my college PR. I hope to be under 9:11 this week. I would feel pretty good about beating a PR that came 10 years ago. I've had some people asking me how I have time to train so much with a full-time job and a wife and two awesome children. I have 4 times each day when I get a chance to work out. In a big week I utilize most of them. My main workout time which I call "practice time" is from 3:15 to 6:30. 3:15 is when I get out of school and 6:30 is when I promise to be home by so my actual workout typically goes from 3:35 to 6:00 by the time I factor in driving and changing. Outside of practice time I have 30 minutes in the morning before I get the kids up and ready for daycare when I can get a short ride in. The main benefit I see in this ride is that it gets my body burning calories early in the day at a faster rate. A 3rd chance for a workout is during my 8th period at school. I don't have a class and I mentor 2 kids at our school who work out with me some days. Those are mostly sessions when we do short runs, core work, plyometrics, lunges, jump rope, push-ups...etc. The last chance I get to work out is after everyone else at my house goes to sleep around 8:30. Jen gets up for work at 4:45 every day so she is in bed early and after 8:30 I can get a trainer ride or treadmill run in. This week I used all of those workout times to my advantage to get the volume up. Saturday was my 2nd day this year over 6 hours training in a day and my body handled this one much better than the 1st one. I hope to continue adding on the hours to days like this so that I'm ready to go on May 7 for Ironman St. George. Judging by this week I think I'll be where I need to be. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!