Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 25 summary...the Hay is in the Barn!

As they say when the work is complete...the hay is in the barn. I am 2 weeks away from my first full Ironman in St. George, Utah and I am finished with the big blocks and big days of training until a couple weeks after the race when I'll begin the process once again for some big summer races. When I began training at midnight on November 1 the race on my mind was Ironman St. George. That has been the big focus of my preparation to the 2011 season. At that time I didn't know if my surgically repaired achilles tendon would hold up through the training I intended to do for this race. With 2 weeks to go I can say it passed every test I put it through. Before the 2011 season began I had a handful of people advise me to lower my training volume for this year in an attempt to stay healthy. Although that may have been the smart thing to do it just wasn't what I could get myself to do. I'm a risk taker. With goals as high as the ones I have set for myself the only way possible I know they can be reached is to train like test my body and mind more than I ever believed possible. Now, with just two weeks to go, the hard work is complete. This past week I ran 57 miles (6 days), biked 240 (5 days), and swam 10,000 yards (4 days). I used the extended weekend to get one last big block of training in before the race that should make me stronger as I back things down over the next 12 days. On Friday I swam 2,400 yards, biked 52 miles, and ran 13 miles which included 6x 1 mile repeats with a 2 minute rest. I began those at 1/2 Ironman pace (5:45) and cut down each one running the 6th in 5:14. On Saturday I swam 3,000 yards and then did a 60 mile bike ride in crazy ridiculous wind which I've gotten quite used to this spring. Sunday I drove to Clinton to get one last long run in with Adam Bohach. We went on the absolute hilliest route I could imagine in the QC area. It was 16.2 miles of constant ups and downs and we ran it in 1 hr. 36 minutes flat (just a tad under 6:00/mile pace). We then cooled down 1.3 miles really easy to get 17.5 for the run. It was a huge confidence booster to have that run on an extremely hilly course. I'm hoping to run right around 7:00/mile in St. George with a goal marathon time of 3:05 or under. I think that can happen if I ride smart and don't trash my legs. Later in the afternoon after watching the Payton run around the yard in her Easter Egg hunt I rode 83 miles in the best weather we've had all spring. I felt pretty good considering the run I had in the morning. That was my last long ride before the race as well. The next few days won't be a big back down in training but by the weekend I'll be in full-blown taper mode hoping to get my body ready for the best race of my life. On Thursday Payton got a package in the mail from GU Energy! It was a set of GU swim caps with a note from GU that told her to share with her dad. She was super excited and put all 3 caps on her head at the same time. I was able to get one away from her for this picture. Owen must have felt left out as he can be seen in the background reaching for mine. Luckily for Payton the Easter Bunny brought her some swimming goggles to go with the cap and we have her signed up to start swim lessons this summer! She'll definitely have the coolest swim cap of all the 3 year olds!!

I was really inspired last week by the video I found of a guy named Travis who has lost an incredible amount of weight in just over a year. What inspired me the most was that Travis set a goal that most would have deemed unachievable. He was definitely DREAMING BIG and it was something I'm sure he thought about every single day. Hearing stories of people who set goals most think are impossible...and then following through to meet them is something that really motivates me. It is my hope through keeping this blog that someone reads about my own journey...a guy who once weighed over 200 lbs...deciding one day he wanted to work relentlessly to see if he could become a professional triathlete...and then following through. I hope it inspires readers somewhere to set high goals for set out to achieve the impossible. For St. George I won the gamble of training like crazy...testing myself. I won't always win that gamble...but I wouldn't do anything differently. Injury will always be a possibility. This time it wasn't in the cards and it leaves me 100% confident going into this race that I'm more fit than I've ever been. Travis provided me with more inspiration this week when he posted a video of another guy who set out to achieve the unimaginable...check this one out. It's tough to stop someone who has a goal they think about every day. What is yours? I encourage you to set one...and then work towards it every day believing the impossible isn't! We live in a society that is short-sighted. What I mean by that is people tend to work towards goals that are in the near future but have a difficult time preparing for ones that are a long ways down the road. I saw this all the time when I coached high school athletes. They had no problem working hard the week of a big race...but tell them to work hard over the summer for a race that was 5 months away...they struggled. St. George seemed like an eternity away when I woke up at midnight on November 1st to get on my bike and begin this 2011 journey. It's a race that I have thought about every day since that night. Time has gone by much quicker than I could have imagined and by keeping that long term goal in my mind every day I know I'm ready for it. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!!

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