Jen and I are thrilled to announce a partnership with Russell Construction for the 2011 season! Russell Construction has been providing quality contstruction to clients in the Quad Cities and 28 states throughout the United States since 1983. Russell CEO Jim Russell and his wife Michelle have been extremely active in the community not only through business but also through giving back. As a company Russell Construction encourages employees to be active in giving back to the community they serve. Jen and I are thrilled to begin a campaign for Russell Construction called "Live Uncommon". The idea behind "Live Uncommon" is to encourage people in the community to be actively involved in making our world a better place to live. Jen and I hope to inspire members of the community to live active, healthy lifestyles, while giving back through volunteer opportunities. We are both extremely busy individuals holding full-time jobs, parenting two awesome children, and volunteering at numerous community events. Despite the business of our lifestyles we are also very active individuals. Being pysically fit is a high priority for both of us and we aim to inspire others to believe that being pysically fit is not only possible with a busy schedule, but something that is very important, not only for ourselves, but also for the example it sets for the youth in our community. In 2011 we will "Live Uncommonly" and hope that you will do the same. This week was a recovery week of training. I ran 29 miles, biked 151, and swam 13,500 yards. My goal was to take care of the pulled glute muscle I suffered last Sunday while running hills with my brothers. It has gotten much better but still isn't quite 100%. Getting that glute to 100% will continue to be my goal as I get closer to Ironman St. George which is now less than 3 weeks away. I had a great day of training today with Adam Bohach. I ran 9 miles with him this morning before deciding to stop. My glute wasn't hurting but it was clear to me i wasn't yet 100% and I didn't want to risk further damage to it as our pace was nearly 6:00/mile. Adam finished the run with 11 more miles. After that we had a great swim workout split between the Fitness Center and Augustana College. We started at the Fitness Center in Bettendorf where I wanted to try out my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit. The suit is amazing! We did 11x 100's on 1:25 and I started off with a 1:07. It didn't feel too hard but I began slowing down as I was getting quite warm in the wetsuit while swimming in a pool that is 84 degrees. Through the 11 I averaged about 1:13-1:14. Compare that to 2 weeks ago when I did 10 100's on the 1:30 with no wetsuit and averaged 1:23. It is safe to say I'm 10 sec./100 faster with the Vendetta on which is significantly faster. What I found with the Vendetta is that it's quite obvious from the moment I jumped in that I am extremly bouyant. I swam much higher in the water than without the wetsuit on. The suit has 5 mm of neoprene which helps but what sets this suit apart from others is that it has tiny air bubbles throughout the suit that make it more bouyant than any other suit on the planet. The wetsuit rule is 5 mm of neoprene but with the added air bubbles the suit is much more bouyant than any other suit with 5 mm. The other thing I noticed that separates the Vendetta from other top of the line suits is that the arms are composed of 6 separate pieces of material which make them more flexible than other top of the line suits. Having flexible arms in a wetsuit is a key to keeping the arms from tiring quickly. It fits great and if it didn't Xterra would allow me to send it back for a free exchange of a different size. See if any other companies out there will do that. The answer is no! If you decide to purchase an Xterra suit at http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/ enter discount code SA-JPaul and you will receive a nice discount.
Following our swim at the Fitness Center we drove over to the pool at Augustana College to meet with my swim coach Stacey Zapolski. Stacey coaches a youth clinic there on Sundays and worked with us for about 30 minutes on technique before the clinic began. After the clinic we went on a 66 mile bike ride from the house. Of course the first half was into the wind just before we made the turn we realized the wind had died down to almost nothing so we wouldn't have the free ride home we were expecting. With 3 weeks to go before Ironman St. George this next week will be my last really big week of training before beginning to back things down to rest up for the race. I won't do a full 2 week taper for this race since I tapered for Ironman San Juan but I will back things down for 10 days to ensure my legs are really rested for the Ironman. I'm really excited about this challenge. I keep emphasizing to myself that I need to be able to get off the bike with good run legs. It will be a challenge as the bike course is tremendously hilly but I feel the outdoor work I've gotten in the past 4 weeks has made a huge difference in my cycling compared to Ironman San Juan. The entire race will be televised on the internet at http://www.universalsports.com/ I hope to finish at around 5:55 p.m. central time which would be 9 hrs. 10 minutes. I'm hoping to improve on my San Juan race by placing in the top 1/2 of the pro field. I can't wait! This week I ran across this video that I found tremendously inspiring. It shows the importance of living active...being healthy. It shows there are no shortcuts to being healthy. I showed it to my class this week at school and told them there was no "magic" pill that can lead to weight loss. It takes hard work, smart nutritional decisions, and a belief that anything is possible. Enjoy. DREAM BIG!!