Sunday, March 13, 2011

Xterra Partnership! Theory...

I'm thrilled to announce a partnership with Xterra Wetsuits for the 2011 season. With swimming being the biggest challenge of the three triathlon disciplines for me it was important for me to find the best wetsuit on the planet to help me minimize the time gaps leading into T1. For 2011 I will be swimming in the Xterra Vendetta! It is an amazing suit. Why I chose to apply for sponsorship with Xterra was not only because they have the best wetsuits however. Triathlon is a sport I have grown to love and it is one I aim to help grow. Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the United States but what scares many away from getting into the sport is how much it can cost. This is the exact reason I wanted to enter into a partnership with Xterra. Hands down they provide the most affordable wetsuits in the sport. How can a company provide the best wetsuits at a lower cost than competitors? It is a pretty simple economic concept. Xterra sells directly to customers eliminating the "middle man" mark up which nearly doubles the cost of other wetsuits. I taught this lesson to my 8th grade students who fully understood how the British East India Tea Company could offer tea to the colonists by selling it directly off their ships without sending it to colonial merchants. It didn't take them long to understand the concept of how eliminating the middle man helps lower costs substantially. Last year our local triathlon club Team Tri-Fit was sponsored by Xterra and I heard great reviews from numerous club members who were not only impressed with the wetsuit they purchased but also with the customer service that Xterra provides to customers. Xterra works so hard to ensure that customers get proper fit that they will gladly accept returns for different sizes (without a restock fee other companies charge). I even heard from one club member that they paid the return shipping!! Most companies will not take returns after a suit has been worn! How bad is that! How are you supposed to know if it fits properly without trying it on? I am thrilled to be in a partnership with a company that keeps the cost of wetsuits low while still providing a top of the line suit along with the world's best customer service. I am excited to be part of the Xterra family and really have to thank Liz Barlow from Xterra for helping make this happen. If you are in the market for a new wetsuit for 2011 please take a look at the line Xterra offers. E-mail me if you have any questions. If you want to purchase one of their suits you can enter a discount code they provided me with of SA-JPAUL to get an even better price! I can't wait to debut the Vendetta at Ironman St. George on May 7th!
I backed training down this week to help get ready for my pro debut next weekend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I didn't back down as much as I would for a peak race but I could tell the last two weeks of high volume had me pretty tired so I backed down a little more than I anticipated to make sure I'll be ready to go full-till next weekend. I had a tempo run planned for Friday but I decided to move it to Saturday so I could run with Jen in the St. Patty's Day 5k. Jen is in tremendous shape and was hoping to run a new PR. Her 5k PR before this race was 17:40. It was super windy on Saturday morning and pretty cold. The first half of the race was right into the teeth of the wind. We went through the first mile in 5:45 and then only had another 1/2 mile before making the turn and heading home with the wind at our back. Jen's 2nd mile was 5:30 and then she ran the 3rd mile in about 5:20 before finishing the final .1 of the 5k in a total time of 17:16! The effort earned her $100.00, a 1 hour massage, and a custom designed winner's jacket with her name and time embroidered on it. Pretty awesome prize!! The race was sponsored by Russell Construction and they put on a spectacular event! Over 1,400 people braved the cold weather and were treated to a 1st class race thanks to Russell Construction. Our daughter Payton ran the 1/4 mile and it was a milestone race for her. In the two previous races we have entered her in she has screamed and cried refusing to run. On Saturday she was really excited to race and she ran the entire way with a smile on her face. The pictures show her on Saturday at the St. Patty's Day race compared to last July when she screamed and walked her way through the Jr. Bix. Jen and I were really proud of her for overcoming her fears of running in a big crowd. I hope to race in San Juan with that same fearless attitude that she showed on Saturday. She said it was fun and she wanted to run more races. She's getting quite used to the active lifestyle that mom and dad live.
Theory- An untested idea or opinion created through the use of known facts.
In theory I should be faster in the 1/2 Ironman than when I earned my pro license nearly a year and a half ago. Due to my achilles tendon surgery I've built my confidence heading into San Juan according to theory. When I earned my pro license by winning the Longhorn 70.3 amateur race on October 25th, 2009 I raced faster than 7 of the 24 professionals. Although winning the race would qualify me for turning professional in the sport it wasn't the deciding factor. Meaning more to me than the win was that I beat 7 of the guys who were already professional. That however is not what my goals would be. When I opted to turn professional I had a deep belief that there was so much more to my potential than what I had in 2009. I was ending my first season of year round training devoted to this sport. I realized the human body is capable of doing incredible things...when one is willing to take great risks, put in a tremendous amount of work, and have an unwavering belief of what is possible...hence the phrase "DREAM BIG!". Here I am just 6 days away from finding out if I really belong. Just being in the race isn't what I'm looking for. Belonging in the race is much more what I am out to prove...not to others, but to myself. It was a goal I had in August of 2008 when I went to Jen with this crazy idea of resigning from 3 sports I coached so that I could find out what my body was capable of if I woke up every day with a purpose and a belief. Seeing myself as a professional triathlete took time...lots of hard workouts...completing tasks I never thought possible before. The injury and surgery in 2010 was a bump in the road. It certainly tested my resolve as it took nearly 6 months before I was able to train without any pain. I began preparing for the 2011 season on November 1. 133 days have passed and I've used 132 of them to get into the best shape of my life. It's been nearly 18 months since my last race and in theory I should be faster. I'm going into this race nearly 10 lbs. lighter than when I raced in Texas. My bike fit has seen huge improvements with a much more aero and powerful fit by the legend John Cobb. I have run the fastest times of my life in workouts and even in a 3k race...(24 seconds faster than in 09' over a distance of less than 2 miles). In the weight room I've seen tremendous improvements in strength. On the multi-hip machine three of my lifts have increased from 80 lbs. to 120 lbs. The other has increased from 140 to 200. Single leg extensions and curls have increased from 70 lbs. to 90. My single leg press has increased from 220 lbs. to 330! My Zipp wheelset has been upgraded to new custom wheels with ceramic bearings and dimpled hubs. My aero helmet is better. All these little things lead me to the theory that I'm going to be faster than ever before. Theory really doesn't matter however. That's the reason they have the race. It will be the test of my theory. 1/2 of pro field. 31 minute swim, 2:14 bike, 1:17 run...3 minutes in transition= 4:05. What started with a dream of seeing if I could compete as a professional triathlete two and a half years ago is about to be realized. My body has changed. My confience has changed. I have always known that God gives humans much greater potential than most ever realize. I intend to find mine in this one small aspect of life. I hope you'll do the same in some aspect of your life. Dream hard...believe that anything is possible. Over a year ago I put a quote from 2x Ironman champion Craig Alexander on the cover of my workout book. "But as far as the race goes, I'll just try and do what I always do, which is control what I can control-my training--and I think a lot of the fun is just getting in great shape." I couldn't agree with Mr. Alexander more!
The first two pictures below are of me in 2005 (view with caution...). I weighed 196 lbs. I don't have one from January of 2008 when I weighed my all-time high of 203 lbs. but just imagine 7 more lbs. on top of what you see. The 3rd picture is from November 1 this year when I began training for the 2011 season after a frustrating season of injury and surgery. I began the 2011 journey on midnight of Nov. 1 with a goal of transforming my body into a race machine. This final picture is 6 days before I take the starting line for my first professional race. The fun is in the getting to the starting line...getting in great shape. No doubts about it...that is the journey...the journey to physical and mental fitness that God has blessed all of us with. December, 2005
December, 2005
November 1, 2010

March 13, 2011
Unleash your potential!! DREAM BIG!!


Anonymous said...

FYI, the discount code for the Xterra suits is a really good discount (better than 50% on the suit I was looking at).

Jeff Paul said...

Great to hear! Thanks for the post!

Joshua said...

you are an inspiration! can't wait to follow your race this weekend.
best of luck Jeff and God bless

Anonymous said...