Originally from Louisville, KY, Paul started running the occasional 5K & 10K race just for fun starting in 2008. During a particularly bad flare up in early 2011 (Paul has had UC since age 14), he vowed to get into shape and work his way back off the medications and rid himself of their side effects. His first race in the fall of 2011 was a simple 10K that just happened to be the first race of the Austin Distance Challenge. Paul signed up, not having any idea of where this simple act would lead. A 10 miler and 3 Half Marathons later, he was hooked and couldn’t get enough, which led him to seek out as many half marathons as he could. This brought him to the 2012 Napa To Sonoma ½ Marathon and Team Challenge.
In full remission and off medications (which he attributes to the Specific Carb Diet), Paul was excited to join Team Austin as a Coach for the 2012 Vegas ½ Marathon season and is now returning for his third season with Team Challenge.
During the day, Paul is a software engineer for his own startup company. Paul and his wife donate regularly to multiple national and local charitable organizations (including CCFA). Paul is also working on a new type of fundraising software that he hopes will make supporting charities more efficient and cost effective.
Paul is married, has two children and a rescue pit bull. Unfortunately, husband, kids and the dog aren’t really into the “whole running thing” (even though many of his wife’s friends are). He tries to find as many excuses to go down to the trail for a run, and Team Challenge is one of the greatest motivators to do so.
COACH MO PAYNTER
Born and raised in Austin, Mo has been running since high school, but never a half marathon. Two years ago, on her birthday, she decided she wanted to run a half marathon and do it for a cause that was close to her heart. Her mom was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in her late teens, so she grew up watching her mom struggle with this horrible disease that has no cure. It constantly made her mad that there was nothing she could do to make things better! She did some research online and found the Team Challenge website and was committed before she even talked to anyone.
On July 15th, 2012, she joined Team Challenge for the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. Mo not only met her goal of finishing a half marathon, but she helped raised money to fight for a cure for IBD, which affects 1.5 million Americans!
Since then, Mo has run with Team Challenge in the 13.1 Chicago Allstate Half Marathon and the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. She has been a participant, mentor, and now she's thrilled to start her first season as a Coach!
"Joining Team Challenge has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Raising money to find a cure for Crohn's and colitis as well as making amazing friends has made all the hours of running and buckets of sweat worth it!" - Mo Paynter.
Below are Coach Dave’s top five tips for sticking with your new year’s resolution:
• Create one, specific goal. Whether it’s to lose a certain amount of weight, to walk or run 5-6 days per week, or to complete a 10k or half-marathon, having a specific goal is a great way to stay focused. Make sure your goals are ambitious, but attainable for you with a bit of hard work and persistence.
• Make small changes and don't overdo it. The human body is very adaptable, and it’s designed to move. The key to starting a running or walking program is to make gradual changes to your current situation. Start by walking 15-20 minutes 3-4 days per week. Gradually increase the time you walk, and if you want to run, start adding a few minutes of running at a time, interspersed with 2-3 minute walk breaks. Over time increase the duration of the running segments and decrease the time of the recovery walks.
• Track your progress in a training log. It’s a new year. Get a calendar, special book or use an online workout tracker like endomondo.com or mapmyrun.com Record your workouts every day, even if you take the day off. Track your mileage, how you feel, what you eat, how much you sleep, and anything else that has an effect on your training. Then—and this is important!—go back and read your diary from time to time! If things are going well, continue with the same plan. If you’re going through a bad patch, try to sort out what might be the cause, such as increasing your mileage too quickly, insufficient rest, poor diet, etc.
• Tell others about your goal. When family, friends and co-workers take an interest in your goal and ask how your weekend long run went; do you want to tell them you ran farther than you’ve ever gone before, or that you finished off a bag of donuts while watching the Real Housewives Marathon? Accountability keeps you honest. Social media is a great way to update friends and family of your progress.
• Make it fun! Training with others, varying your training routes, and rewarding yourself after milestone workouts are great ways to make your training more enjoyable. Finding creative ways to make your workouts fun is the key to sticking to your goal into February and beyond!
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.