On Monday I got back to training although I did not train nearly as much this week as I had been before my week off. I put an emphasis on quality bike miles. I had a good interval workout on Monday and then did a tough hill interval workout on Tuesday. On Wednesday I ran for the first time since Racine. I did 4x1200 meters with a 400 meter jog between each. They were tough running at 5:25/mile pace and combined with plyometrics and weight lifting it left me VERY sore on Thursday. I opted not to race the Brady Sprint Challenge 400 meter hill competition. I decided on sore legs this was a pulled muscle waiting to happen and with the possibility of more races this year I didn't want to risk that. The highlight of the week for me was on Saturday with the Running of the Quad City Times Bix 7 road race. My plan had always been to run with Super Mom who placed 14th overall in the female race a year ago. Last year she ran a huge Bix pr of 41:52 and I knew she was in much better shape going into the race this year. I was actually quite worried that following my week off and soreness that I wasn't going to be able to stay with her. I am nearly 20 lbs. heavier than I was early in the season and I knew that additional weight may leave me struggling to hang onto Jen's pace. I did my best to get a good stretch in Friday night to try to deal with the soreness of my quads. On Saturday we began with the first mile in 6:15. This was about 10 seconds faster than last year. The first mile includes the big Brady Street hill and it is always the slowest mile of the course. The next mile is a long gradual downhill and we ran it in 5:13 to come through 2 miles in 11:28. We then ran about 5:50 on mile 3 and at the turnaround Jen was in 16th place. The women's field had more elite runners this year than last. She stayed in 16th the entire way back. We hit the 1/2 way point in 20:00 flat and I started thinking she may be able to break 40:00 but I could tell we were slowing on the way back. The first half of the race was about as fast as I would have gone on my own. On the way back I was holding back and it began to feel pretty easy. She finished in 40:43 which was a huge PR on the course and she finished as the top QC female finisher. The top local male finisher was a guy named Charlie Paul (no relation) that I coached in high school and junior high. Charlie is a pretty incredible and inspiring story for me. In junior high he struggled to run under 7:00 for a mile. In high school his work ethic was outstanding and his progress was remarkable. His senior year he missed almost the entire track season with a stress fracture in his hip. He came back with only about 4 track meets remaining and he ended up passing 6 runners in the final lap of the 2 mile at the state meet and finished 3rd place. We told college coaches he had a huge upside. There was really no end in site of his improvement. He walked on at Iowa State and last year made their top 7 in cross country. He has run in some huge track meets all over the country and ran the Bix in 36:11 on Saturday in what he said felt easier than any Bix he's ever run. It's been amazing for me to watch his improvements and reminds me of what can happen when you DREAM BIG and work for those dreams like there's no tomorrow.
The Bix left me more sore than I've been all year. The relentless downhills absolutely trashed my quads and yesterday every step was painful. I did manage to get in 211 bike miles last week. Today my good friend Adam Bohach came back in town and we rode 72 miles together. It was great being back training with Adam. He is in incredible shape and I have no doubts he will earn his professional triathlon card at a 1/2 Ironman distance race in the Wisconsin Dells next weekend. I'm at a bit of a crossroads right now trying to figure out if I want to put in the work and dedicate my eating habits to getting back into great shape. Part of me wants to do it and race some big races in September and October and part of me wants to go tailgate at Iowa games, go socialize with friends, eat unhealthy and just live normal for awhile. Being that I'm at a crossroads I thought it was a good time to race the event known as the Crossroads Triathlon in DeWitt, Iowa on Saturday to test my fitness and find out how much work I need to do in the upcoming weeks. The race is on Saturday at 8:00 am and it's only 20 minutes from the QC so it would be great to see a lot of locals supporting this race. I enjoy seeing races in the area do well. You can sign up at www.crossroadstriathlon.com or at Healthy Habits on Thursday night. I hope to see a good crowd there next Saturday. The race is a 500 yard swim, 15 mile bike, and a 5k run through the town of DeWitt. This week I'll attempt to stay focused and get in some good quality training although I'm not planning to swim a lot for quite some time. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!