Monday, April 30, 2012

The Old Switcharoo...Drake Relays 1/2 Marathon

2 weeks ago Jen and I decided to race in Des Moines the weekend of April 27th and 28th.  We both signed up for the Drake Relays on the Road 8k race and I registered to run a 5k on the track at Simpson College on Friday night against the young bucks competing unattached in a collegiate meet.  My thought was that I was in shape to PR and I wanted the chance to do that 10 years after running my current PR of 16:03.  A couple things happened that caused the old switcharoo as I call it.  Jen has been dealing with a foot injury and took about 6 days off running and didn't want to feel the pressure of going into a pretty competitive 8k without being on top of her game.  She decided she was out for the weekend and made other plans.  That left me with 2 race into the 8k that Jen would not be running and one the night before in the 5k at Simpson College.  Early in the week I began looking at the extended forecast and saw Friday night was supposed to be terrible.  I kept monitoring that but knew when I saw on Thursday that Friday night at 8:30 (race time) it was supposed to be 40 degrees with 25 mph winds and a 70% chance of rain I was going to make alternative plans.  I decided I would try to get my 8k entry switched to the half marathon and just run that hard instead of doing the 5k on Friday.  I drove up on Friday after school.  When I pulled into Des Moines Friday evening it seemed like the wind was letting up a bit and I almost drove to Indianola to race at Simpson.  I waited like 5 minutes and decided I was already excited about racing a half marathon for the first time ever without riding a bike 56 miles beforehand.  I went out to run a couple miles to loosen my legs following the car ride and while I was running they made an announcment to clear Drake Stadium due to a bad storm in the area.  I was glad I made the switch. 
My high school coach, Erik Belby was kind enough to let me stay with them so I was able to cancel my hotel room without getting charged and save on the hotel room.  I ate dinner with the PV track team and then headed for bed.  Coach Belby and I were able to catch up on overdue conversation and it was almost midnigt before I settled off to sleep.  The 6:00 alarm went off and scared me awake.  I had packed breakfast in the cooler...Wheaties Fuel mixed with yogurt and strawberries.  I also had a bowl of oatmeal.  Typically for a triathlon I like to be up 3 hours before the race to eat breakfast but I don't take these running races quite as seriously so I hoped 2 hours would be fine and I enjoyed the extra hour of sleep.  I drove to the stadium and got my entry switched to the 1/2 marathon.  I had forgotten my GPS watch but Coach Belby let me borrow his.  I wanted to have an idea of what kind of pace I was running. 

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When the gun fired at 8:00 am I took off wanting to run conservatively.   My goal for the race was to average between 5:40 and 5:45 pace with the hopes I would be under 1 hr. 15 minutes at the finish.  Immediately after starting I could not get this GPS watch to work how I wanted.  I took it off and started messing with all the settings.  I wanted to see my average pace and total time.  I was running along in the race messing with this thing and before I knew it I heard someone yelling mile splits...5:50.  I hadn't even looked at the road and was quite surprised I hadn't tripped yet since I was still messing with this GPS thing.  I waited about another 1/2 mile and God did me a favor by getting the thing to say "low battery" before shutting off.  Now I could focus a little on what I was doing.  I looked up for the first time in the race to see what was going on around me.  I went through mile 2 in 11:35.  I focused on getting into a good rhtym at this point.  Not long after the 2 mile mark the race split with the 8k turning while the 1/2 marathoners continued straight.  After the people around me turned I found myself next to this guy riding a bike.  Why is someone riding a bike right next to me during a race I thought??  Then it dawned on me when I looked up the road and saw a police car with flashing lights not too far ahead that I was running in 3rd place.  I asked the guy on the bike if that was correct and he confirmed it for me.  Where are all the runners I thought?  I don't consider myself a runner and after checking out last year's times I never dreamed I would be in the top 3 of this race.  It was supposed to be a good hard run that I could gain some fitness from.  I hit mile 3 at 17:00 flat.  The 4th mile seemed a little bit downhill and I went through 4 in 22:20 so right on 5:35 pace.  From this point on I got into a rhythm and just rode it to the finish line.  I locked in at 5:35 pace and the guy on the bike who happened to be triathlete Adam Ventling gave me mile splits.  I moved into 2nd place not too much after the 4th mile.  I knew first was well out of reach.  Adam started giving me mile splits...5:35, 5:35, 5:34, 5:36...the rhythm was consistent every mile.  When the course went up hill I just pushed a bit harder to stay on the 5:35 pace...when it went downhill I was able to relax a bit.  I never had more total time or I may have tired to drop the pace down a bit in the last mile.  I knew I had a big lead over 3rd so I just stayed on pace thinking about recovering faster this week so I can get back to normal workouts.  I crossed the finish line in 1:13:09 and finished 2nd.  My average pace was 5:35.  I was most excited because it never felt terribly difficult.  It was one of those runs where I knew if I had to go to the well I could have.  I did not want to go to the well in a road race.  Those occasions are saved for the most important triathlons only when "going to the well" will make a difference in the final place.  I got exactly out of this what I hoped for.  It will be a great training session as my body adapts to the stress of running 13.1 miles hard.  It was a great confidence booster knowing I can run 1:13.  It makes me feel like in a triathlon if I have to go to the well I can run under 1:15 if the course is mostly flat.  I also got to feel like a runner for one day.  I'll be racing the Bluff Creek Triathlon with some friends in 3 weeks.  From now until then I'll be working hard.  I had a VERY tight piriformus (butt muscle) today but a trip to Kaminski Pain and Performance Care seemed to fix that up.  Jen is also back to running well so she should be on the race scene soon and our house is always more fun when Super Mom is healthy and running.  When I think back to 4 years ago and the shape I was in I don't know if I could have run 1 mile in to do 13.1 of them that pace without just blows my mind away what you can achieve if you are willing to DREAM BIG and go work for it!  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sullivan Sprint Triathlon Race Report and Results

On Sunday morning I made the LONG drive to Sullivan, IL for my first triathlon of the year.  I did this race two years ago just two days before surgery on my achilles tendon ended my 2010 season.  I signed up last year wanting to get a race before Ironman St. George but my piriformus was bothering me so I scratched and the race director kindly deferred my entry to this year's event.  The drive took about 3.5 hours counting a couple restroom stops.  The race was scheduled to begin at 12:30 and I arrived at the venue at 11:15.  I didn't waste any time getting ready to go as I quickly got my Zipp Tangente tires filled to 120 PSI and got my bike racked in transition.  I then got my number and timing chip and headed out for a short 1 mile warm up jog.  Following that I got on the bike and rode 1 loop of the 2 loop bike course.  Then it was time to get the swim goggles out and head inside where the swim portion would take place.  I knew fellow pro triathlete Jared Milam would be super tough competition.  Jared beat me at Ironman Wisconsin and then went on to be one of the top American finishers at Ironman Wisconsin in a time of 8 hr. 47 minutes. 
SWIM: One swimmer went in the water every 10 seconds.  The swim was 400 meters.  You would swim down one side of the lane and then come back the other side of the lane before ducking under the ropes into the next lane and continuing in this format until the end of the swim.  I went in 10 seconds behind Jared and got into a good rhythm.  400 meters is so short it is a redline swim.  I took breaths every 3 strokes until about 1/2 way in when I was getting tired and decided to switch to every 2 strokes.  I did not pass anyone nor did I get passed.  I got out of the water in 5:40 something and then had to run outside the pool area, down some steps, and around the corner before I crossed the timing mat with an official swim time of 5:59.  This was the 11th fastest swim split of the day out of the 200 athletes participating.  It was only 2 seconds faster than 2 years ago but at that time about all I was doing was swimming due to the achilles soreness.  I know I need to improve and hope things will eventually click since I've been working so hard in the pool this year. 
BIKE: I had a pretty rough transition by my standards.  I normally have one of the top transitions in the race.  I have a new Specialized aero helmet that is more narrow than my old aero helmet.  The narrow part is great once I get it on but it takes a little more work to get it on.  I had even practiced putting the thing on fast but struggled on race day.  Then my bike got hung up on someone elses handlebars.  I got out of there in a respectable time but knew I had time to make up on the leaders who started the swim ahead of me.  The course is only 11.8 miles so I didn't have a lot of time to make up ground.  The first stretch was about 2 miles with a nasty cross wind.  I was riding my Zipp Sub-9 disc rear wheel combined with a Zipp 808 front and I could really feel the wind.  Thankfully one of the nice things about my new Specialized Shiv is that is designed to handle crosswinds well and I thought it did just that considering my wheel selection.  I could see Jared ahead of me by about 30 seconds and it took me about 3 miles before I started putting much of a dent into the gap.  Just as we began our 2nd loop I caught up to him.  It was a pretty dicey section as we were back in the spot with the nasty crosswind and to make things tougher there were riders on their first loop and the course was open to traffic so it was pretty congested.  I decided to wait to make the pass until we turned off that road.  Once we turned I made the pass and put in a big effort for the remaining 4 miles knowing he is a great runner and I may need a gap.  I came off the bike behind 1 other runner, college teammate Chris Sweet.  He was about 15 seconds ahead of me but started the swim about 2 minutes ahead of me so I was actually ahead of him but it was nice to have someone out in front on the run.  My bike time was right around 27:00 for an average speed of 26.0 which I was thrilled with considering all the turns and how short the course was.  I typically average faster in slightly longer races because the slowest part is the start and finish so the more ground between them gives riders more of a chance to go fast.  It was the fastest bike split of the day despite the results showing some guy averaging 33 mph!!
RUN: My 2nd transition was better than my first but not perfect as I dropped my sunglesses and had to stop to pick them up.  Out on the run I struggled a bit to get into a good rhythm which is expected in the first race of the year.  This is the exact reason I do the early season get the rust of the legs and get them race ready before the big ones come later in the summer.  I passed Chris just before the mile mark and went through mile 1 just under 5:30.  I had the GPS watch on and my current speed was getting better.  I was down to about 5:15 pace current speed and I tried to hold that rhythm.  I glanced back a couple times on the turns and knew Jared was gaining on me so I was going to have to work the entire 5k.  I had hoped I would be able to shut it down half way into the run and save a little for next Friday's 5k at Simpson College.  I ran hard to the finish and ended up winning the race in a time of 50:48.  My 5k run split was 16:43 which was 2nd fastest to Jared's blazing 16:26! 
After the race was over Chris, Jared, and myself got a nice 40 minute run in together where we talked about the upcoming race schedule and training.  It was great running with them.  Then Jared offered to watch me swim and see if he noticed anything with my stroke.  I couldn't pass up that offer and it was well worth the time and very nice of him.  We will see each other again at Kansas 70.3 in June.  That will by my 1st pro race of the year.  Congrats to everyone who raced in Sullivan.  Complete results with splits can be found by clicking here
Each night when I say my prayers I ask God to use me to motivate and inspire people to do things they didn't think possible.  I pray God allows me to work through Him to do these things.  I have 3 guys right now that I am helping with workouts...2 in running and 1 in cycling.  One of them, Brian Belha came to me with a lifetime 5k PR of 20:44 and a season goal of running under 20:00.  He is very discplined and already had a great training routine.  The only thing I have done is tweak his two hard interval runs each week.  He has been doing them for about a month and on Saturday I got the highlight of my week when I was able to run a 5k with him at Run for Renewal and he ran 19:59!!  I was thrilled to see him already go under his season goal on a tough hilly course.  It was also awesome to see so many people supporting this event that uses all the proceeds to fund Project Renewal, a house where underprivilaged youth can go be in a positive environment and learn lifelong skills to be successful.  There was a HUGE group of Live Uncommoners at this race.  The race had a record turnout thanks to the support of Live Uncommon.  It is inspiring for me to see how quickly this movement to get people healthy and active in our community has grown. 
The sport of triathlon is so much FUN for me!  It is fun getting in being in shape.  It is fun meeting people along the way that are also working towards their own goal.  On Sunday, riding my new Specialized Shiv was fun!  I am thrilled to be on this bike in 2012 thanks to the help I got from the the crew at Healthy Habits.  My early reviews of the bike are that it is tremendously fast on the flats when I'm in the aero position.  It handles cross winds well and the aero hydration system is very innovative.  Specialized has taken hydration to new levels with this bike by installing a removable bladder inside the frame.  For a race like Sullivan I was able to remove all bottle cages and get my hydration via a straw that comes out of the frame.  Being able to remove all bottles and cages from the bike makes it that much more aerodynamic.  It was fun racing this machine and I look forward to some longer races when I get to spend more time having that fun.  Next up will be the 5k on the track competing unattached in a collegiate meet this Friday night at Simpson College.  This is all assuming I can get recovered fully.  It's already Tuesday and I'm still really sore from Sunday.  My college PR was 16:03 set 10 years and 1 week ago.  I'm aiming to go under that time proving that even at age 32 college PR's can be broken if you are willing to believe there are no boundaries to big to overcome.  The next triathlon is Bluff Creek in 4 weeks.  I'm excited to travel to this race with a few guys from the QC who will be doing their first triathlon.  It should be a great time!  Thanks for reading!  DREAM BIG!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Run for Renewal...Back on (the) Track

This upcoming weekend is a road race I had never heard of until I saw it listed on the Live Uncommon race team circuit. It is called the Run for Renwal. It takes place in Davenport, Iowa this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (kids run) and 9:00 a.m. (5k). What is Run for Renewal? It is a road race that benefits a group called Project Renewal. As I recently learned, Project Renewal is a positive place for low-income children and families to come to for help. They mainly focus on kids who don't have a good home environment to go to after school. At Project Renewal they can come get a healthy snack after school, get help on homework, receive skills in social behavior and responsibility. This is a great resource for the community to have. For most kids that attend Project Renewal it is the only place they can get stability in their lives. Jen and I are thrilled to take part in this event because proceeds from the run benefit Project Renewal which in turn benefits the community we live in. We also feel good knowing our support of this race goes to support the kids who need it since their support from home is lacking. My student-teacher this semester is a volunteer for Project Renewal and she has shared some incredible stories with me about what these kids don't have and how she has seen them be positively impacted by Project Renewal. This race has only had about 150 people each year but Live Uncommon has set a goal of helping them get 1,000 people to attend! Imagine the financial impact that would have on Project Renewal! I hope you'll consider attending. Here are some of the benefits. There is a 1/2 mile kids race that is FREE!! They have lots of awards and the race only costs $20.00! They have door prizes donated by sponsors. The best part is that by participating you will be making a positive impact on someone elses life and on the community you live in. Michelle Russell, founder of Live Uncommon really inspired me when she wrote about this race and why it was chosen as a Live Uncommon event. We take so much for granted and don't realize how little some people have. Read her inspiring words by clicking here. If you would like the sign up information for Run For Renewal click here. Bring a friend...bring your family...heck, bring a stranger. Together we can make a difference here. This past Thursday I walked outside on my lunch period and was greeted with some of the most perfect running conditions I could imagine. It was just short of 60 degrees and the flag out front of our school stood perfectly still. I instantly decided to change my typical Thursday workout plans. I would swap my usual Thursday swim for Friday's interval running workout. Despite having tired legs on Wednesday night's group ride I wanted to go to the track for intervals. I had not been on the track for a workout in over two months since I was training with Augustana's team during the indoor season. I have continued doing intervals since then but they have either been on the roads or the treadmill. When I do them on the roads I don't wear a GPS so I have no idea what kind of pace I've been running. When it was time to run hard I ran hard...when it was time to recover I did just that. I knew the track would give me an idea of my fitness. My workout was one Super Mom did last week. It was prescribed by her college coach Ron Standley. The workout looked tough on paper. It was 5 sets of (600 meters, 90 seconds rest, 1200 meters, 2:30 rest). This was almost 6 miles of intervals. I set a target time of 5:12 mile pace for everything. I ran the first set in 5:08 pace and it was easy...I knew this was going to be good but also had a long way to go. I continued on with each one staying either the same pace or getting faster. By the time I got through the 5th and final set I was down to 4:48 mile pace! Overall for 9,000 meters of track work my average pace was 5:02/mile. This workout was a huge shot of confidence about how much I have benefitted from getting leaner this year. It was enough of a boost of confidence that I signed up to race 5,000 meters on the track at Simpson college in a collegiate meet in 2 weeks. I have never seen the under side of 16:00 and I think it would take a terrible storm to keep me from breaking that mark.

This upcoming week is my first race of the year, a short sprint triathlon in Sullivan, IL. I'm looking forward to putting the race wheels and aero helmet on and finding out how fast this new Specialized Shiv really is. I've been VERY impressed with it in my outdoor bike rides and workouts. This race marks a 2 year milestone of my achilles tendon surgery. I did this race 2 days before the surgery and almost blew a huge lead because I was forced to hobble in on one leg near the end of the run. It was also the worst pain I've ever experienced while running. It confirmed to me that the scheduled surgery was needed. It will be nice to actually be able to run the course this year. I remember the run course well because of how intense the pain was that day...not something that is easily forgettable. The swim is 400 meters in a pool. From there we run outside and get our bikes for an 11.8 mile tour of Sullivan. We end with a nice 5k through a park. The start list has pro triathlete Jared Milam on it. Jared beat me at Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman Arizona where he went about 8:45! It will be a good early season test for me.

Lastly Jen and I would like to thank a few more people who donated to our Live Uncommon campaign. The donations go to support charities that are tied to the races on the circuit. Project Renewal is one of them. This week we would like to thank Maddie Reynolds, Jenn Jacobs and Chad Chamberlin, Teresa and Glen Perkins, Brian and Brittney Belha, Chip and Dawn Irwin, Beau and Rachel Perkins, Kenny and Jane Wheeler, Jessica Imm and Matt Davison. We are humbled and blessed by your support!! If you would like to make a donation to Jen and I as we continue supporting the charities tied to the race series you can do so by clicking here or you can mail us a check payable to Live Uncommon. If you would like to support someone else on the Live Uncommon circuit or have your donation divided equally among all participants click here. Thanks so much for reading. I hope to see many of you on Saturday at the Run for Renewal. DREAM BIG!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 15 Summary

It's hard for me to believe it's already been 15 weeks of training. The preseason training is winding down as races are quickly approaching. I couldn't be more excited for the races to be here. I absolutely love offseason training. It is a great opportunity to focus 100% on getting in shape and making huge improvements without worrying about being rested for races and then recovering after races. I love having these long stretches to train without racing. Every offseason I've gone through has allowed me to get stronger and improve significantly. I was worried about starting my training later in the year than I ever had previously. Each of the past 3 years I began training in the first couple weeks of November. This year because I raced Ironman in late November I didn't begin training until December 26th. Despite being the latest I've ever started training this is the best shape I've ever been in as we hit the month of April. That even includes last year when I was gearing up for a May Ironman. As the week began I was swimming my usual Tuesday swim and I was doing a set of 200's on 3:00. I was coming in around 2:50 which I was not pleased with. For the past couple weeks my swimming has been very flat. I've been able to put the yards in but my quality sets were simply just about surviving and making the times. I have not had a very strong workout in the pool since my spring break week. During my 4th 200 on Tuesday I realized I needed to step away from the pool for awhile to let my body adapt to all the swimming I've done through the first 15 weeks. I got out of the water and proclaimed it was time for a 1 week swim break. I'm excited to return to the water tomorrow where I will begin a new focus on technique as I prepare another big swim build that will lead into summer racing. I'm excited for another swim clinic this upcoming weekend at Augustana College. Anyone is welcome to attend the clinic which goes from 11 a.m to noon at the Augie pool. Coaches Stacey and Tara do an awesome job of teaching technique and evaluating swim strokes at the clinic. These clinics are sponsored by Xterra Wetsuits and everyone who attends will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win some great Xterra products including a wetsuit that will be raffled off at the last clinic in May or the 1st clinic in June. If you haven't purchased a wetsuit for the 2012 season yet you are welcome to use my Xterra pro discount code of SA-JPAUL to save 60% off a Vector Pro or Vortex 3 wetsuit. It's pretty sweet that they allow me to share this with people. Simply enter that code at checkout and they will knock 60% off the price! One lucky winner at the swim clinic will also be given a free entry into the sold out Quad Cities Triathlon. If you would like more information on the clinic e-mail me and I can get you in touch with Stacey or Tara. The cost of the monthly clinic is $30.00. They typically begin by reviewing past drills, analyzing the stroke of all attendees while giving feedback. Then they will teach new drills and have a short hard set for all of us to complete. They give a packet of workouts you can complete over the month if you need guidance with how to set up swim workouts. They also stay after the clinic for 30 minutes if you want more individual guidance or have questions for them. It's been great watching the clinic grow. It's perfect timing for me as I get back in the water this week and want to make sure I refind the correct swim stroke. For week 15 I had my highest run mileage yet this year with 70 running miles. I backed off the bike mileage focusing on good quality efforts. Wednesday night's group ride was a killer but it was 44 miles of painful fun out in the wind. I'm excited to be less than 2 weeks from my season opener which will be a sprint distance race down in Sullivan, Illinois. We had a great Easter and I opted not to count calories all weekend. When I got on the scale Monday it was a good reminder of why I need to continue counting calories. This week is planned to be a pretty big week after a modest week 15. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Winning the War...Week 14 Summary

A few weeks back I declared war on 16%. That was my body fat % according to the high tech. body analysis machine at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care in Bettendorf, IA. I used a lower tech. handheld version last year and the lowest I got was 12%. I always believed it was wrong but when a 2nd machine told me how high I was...I began to accept that I needed to make a change. Getting to a competitive weight for endurance sports has never been easy for me. I struggled in high school and college when my race weight almost always was a predictor for how fast I was running...after college it was really rough. Getting leaner this year was at the top of my goal list. I felt the benefits of getting leaner in the year I went from amateur racing at 175 lbs. to to earning my pro license at 162 lbs. It was a huge difference. Last year I typically raced in the 158-160 range managing to get to 155 before Ironman Arizona. Despite thinking I was lean my body fat % bottomed out in the 12% range and my core certainly showed I had plenty of dead weight I was carrying around with me for 140.6 miles. When my brother approached me with the idea of joining his New Year's Biggest Loser Weight loss competition I jumped at the chance. Not because that is what it would take to get me to lose weight but because the start of his competition coincidentally came at the end of my 5 week break from anything resembling training and I had a lot of weight to lose. My goals for losing the weight were not for his competition but to get lean for race season. On Dec. 31st after a dinner at Olive Garden when I ate too much bread, enjoyed a huge meal of pasta and a couple drinks I decided I wasn't full enough and stopped at McDonalds on the way home for an Eggnog Shake. By the time I pulled the car into the garage I thought my stomach was going to explode. I was pretty disappointed in myself and got on the scale for a starting weight...179.8 lbs. I lost quite a bit quickly when I started training but I leveled off in the low 160 range for about 5-6 weeks. That is when I had my last body fat test (on Feb. 28) and found I had only dropped from 18.3% (early January)down to 16.7%. War was declared on 16% a week after that and I began counting calories. I put myself on a pretty strict 3,000 calorie diet that I've only blown up three times on. People who think I must be hungry on 3,000 calories are very wrong. I eat a LOT of food. The food is extremely clean now compared to what I used to eat. I probably get half the volume of my food from fruits and vegetables. In general I eat a lot of lean protein (chicken breast is the go to food here), I get most of my carbohydrates from whole grain sources, and as mentioned above the fruits and veggies fill the hunger. After 3 weeks of tracking my eating I went back to see my progress on this war. I already knew the results...they showed before I walked through the doors. Some of the signs...
1. The "skinny" jeans Jen bought me last year actually needed a belt.
2. Kids in my class told me my dress pants didn't fit right (and they are right)
3. Payton came in our bedroom with my wedding ring that had apparently slipped off my finger while reading to her the night before
4. My Timex wrist watch has been moved from notch 3 to notch 2 for the first time I can remember
5. My stomach...nicknamed "Buddy" by my college teammates has nearly disappeared
6. I saw a vein in my chest I didn't know existed the other day
7. I get cold a lot easier than I used to
8. I'm biking better than I ever have without the heavy base of training that will come later
I got tested and the results confirmed my suspicions...9.3% body fat%. I had dropped over 7% in 4 weeks (3 weeks tracking food). I weighed 11 lbs. less on the scale when they had me weigh in. They said my pounds of body fat went from 27 down to 14 and that I actually gained 2 lbs of's that for all the people that said I would lose strength on 3,000 calories...not when I'm getting 200 grams/protein a day.
Today was my last weigh in for the competition. I was standing in 2nd place overall of the 26 people going into this week with calculations based on % of weight lost. It's been incredible what my brother has put together. 26 individuals...some of whom he doesn't even know...have lost a combined weight of over 650 lbs!! That's over 20 lbs./person. We sent my brother photos of our weight every week for the past 13 weeks. My older brother Justin lost 40 lbs!!! My younger brother Josh has lost about 25!! The guy who was winning going into this week has almost lost 60 lbs. Every person lost at least 3.5% of their body weight. 2 guys lost weight every week during the challenge. The average person lost over 10% body weight! My brother was awesome at sending motivation each week and creating a facebook page for the group to help share healthy ideas for recipes, working out, and keeping each other motivated. He had weekly competitions so everyone had chances to earn back their $50.00 entry. The money that wasn't spent during the weekly competitions is to be given to the top 10 losers after today's final weigh in. My brother even reserved a couple hundred bucks from entries for a June/July weigh in to pay those who lose the most since we finish up this "regular season" competition. His goal was to inspire lifestyle changes and he thought since 99% of Americans give up on New Year's Resolutions within 8 weeks he wanted this to last longer. He thought for sure some of the 24 members would stop sending him pictures of their weight at some point during the competition but he reported that everyone has continued to send him the pictures. I felt a bit like a wrestler cutting weight yesterday into this morning. I had my biggest training day so far this year at 6 hrs. 15 minutes yesterday on 1,500 calories and then rode for 1 hour as a "Last Chance Workout" this morning before my weigh in. I realize this weigh in would not be a "race weight" but that's pretty much how every Monday weigh in has gone for me over the past 3 years. The outcome...
I will now begin to increase my calorie consumption slowly until I get my body fat % in the 6-7 range. Then I will up my calories to match what I'm burning and I should feel better than ever. I've been pleasantly surprised with how great I've felt on 3,000 because the quality of the 3,000 is so high. When I move that # to 5,000 and continue with the high quality it should be amazing. This move to track my nutrition and limit to 3,000 calories was a high risk gamble. It could have gone terrible. I could have gotten sick or worse yet injured. If you've been around since this journey began you know I've always been one to gamble on the chance to be great. I gave up coaching 3 sports I loved so I could take this journey. I train at a very high level of volume for someone who has a full-time job outside of triathlon along with being a husband and father of two children. That gamble lead to surgery on my achilles tendon in 2010. I said then I would not change my gambling approach and I haven't. My new leaner frame has me DREAMING BIGGER than ever before. For the week I ran 65 miles, biked 180, and swam 18000 yards to go along with the regular weight lifting, plyometrics, lunges, jump rope, push-ups, and core work.
In other news, Jen and I are getting closer to our Live Uncommon fundraising goal of $1500.00. Thanks to Zeb and Jasmine Gilliam, Chris and Lindsay Robb, Luke and Meghan Cooley, Jamie and Brian Cronkleton, Gravert Auto Sales LLC., Tim and Melanie Johnson, my parents Barb and Darrell Paul, and Adam Bohach for the help this week. We are so very grateful to have your support as we work to help the charities involved with the races on the Live Uncommon Race Circuit. If you would like to support our causes you can click here to make a tax deductible donation to help us reach our goal. I'm on the new bike. I want to get some pictures before I announce it. My old bike has sadly been taken apart and is being sold on ebay with a few things that came on my new bike. Thanks Orbea for the great ride! I'll have fond memories but the time for a change is now. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!