We posed a few questions to Jordan Rapp has he progresses in his recovery and makes plans for the future....
Based on your recent Tweets it sounds like you are now back to full training already which is fantastic news for all fans of professional Ironman racing. Cleary the road to recovery is never easy. Can you share some of the ups and downs you have been through as you returned to "finding your legs"?
It's not yet full training, as my run volume is still limited. But I'm swimming a lot and riding a lot, and if you factor in time spent doing rehab exercises, then I would say I'm at least working on my running a lot! My legs started to come back around once Jill and I got back to Penticton. Really since we got up here in mid-July, there haven't been too many "downs." Earlier on - April, May, June - there were a lot of downs, but lately it's been mostly up, though there's the inevitable flat spot.
You are back in Penticton for the summer training, what is it about this part of Canada that is so appealing? What's your favorite Canadian beer? (if applicable)
I really only have good memories of being here. I love training here. I love the pace of life and the size of the town. No driving on the freeway, no LA traffic, and great training for swim, bike, and run right out your door. And, of course, unlike in California, this is actually *our* house. The Okanagan is Canada's wine country, and it is the home of some excellent vineyards. The favored local beer is Kokanee, which is good, but I'm not much of a beer drinker. I love the local wines, but the consensus opinion is that alcohol inhibits nerve growth, so I haven't had a drink since I got out of the hospital, and for at least a few weeks prior.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2010?
Right now, it's a sort of secret. I have told people, but no one that has been in a position to put it in print yet. So you'll have to wait.
Prior to your accident you had a solid race in Abu Dhabi and also got to enjoy the experience of visiting the UAE. What other destination races appeal to you beyond the races themselves?
The list is really too long to cover. Visiting Abu Dhabi reminded me of how much bigger the world is than North America. I traveled a lot internationally when I was younger; my family lived in Japan from 1982 - 1989. But I have not traveled that much outside of North America as an adult, and visiting Abu Dhabi really made me appreciate the size of the world again. Of course, not every race can be a destination race, because there's a lot of training that needs to be done as well. In the short term, I think I'd very much enjoy the new Challenge race in Copenhagen, where my coach is from, or the TriStar 111 race in Estonia, which looked awesome.
Will Rev3 be a focus for 2011?
Certainly some of the races will be. But I'm not sure what other tricks besides Costa Rica they might have up their sleeve. They are wily folks, so there might be even more things than that planned that I don't know about so I can't say that I'll do them all... Yet. But it's a great series, and I'm absolutely planning to focus on their races. ITU LD World Champs is in Las Vegas - on the Silverman course - next Nov. 5th, though, and I've said to my coach that will be my primary goal for 2011, so I need to talk with the Rev3 folks and my coach to see if the race in Cedar Point will be on the same date and if that date allows enough recovery for ITU LD WC. It should be a punishing bike course, and I really want to win that race.
Listening to your body and analyzing the hard data in training sessions is something you've embraced early on in your career. The numbers (I assume) are starting to climb back up now that you're back to your normal training levels. Can you explain what it's like to have "patience" with yourself. In other words, many times athletes "rush" the process after an injury. How have you taken steps to let your fitness come back to you at a pace your body can handle and absorb?
I've tried to remove myself as much as possible from the decision making process and trust my coach, who is way better at being objective about things that I am. My approach has been to just let Michael decide the process, and then I just follow his plan. I have very little patience. But I'm pretty good about doing what my coach tells me. So I tried to rely on my discipline in following the coach as opposed to letting my own impatience get in the way.
Ok - now the fun questions....when will we hear of a Little Rappstar arriving into the world??? (Canadian Citizen I assume)
I can promise the arrival won't be in less than nine months, but hopefully in less than a year.
Has your experience with the accident forced you to think about what you'd like to do after competitive racing? Author? Professor? Rappstar?
I thought about it a lot even before the accident. Maybe too much. I've certainly pondered the idea of going back to school to study engineering further. And I've thought about designing the bikes instead of riding them. But for now, I try to focus on today, since that's what's gonna actually give me a career that I can hopefully retire from with some level of satisfaction.
Predictions on Hawaii...inparticular, Chrissy Wellington. Can she break into the top 10?
Absolutely Chrissie will not be in the top ten. The top-ten men last year were separated by about 12 minutes. Even with her phenomenal performance at Roth, which is a much faster course than Hawaii, she was still more than double that margin back of Rasmus Henning. Assuming a similar percentage, that'd put her somewhere in the top-20, which would be an improvement on her 23rd overall last year, and still a phenomenal performance. I think Chrissie will win, but I think she'll have a fight on her hands with Julie Dibens, who I expect will arrive in T2 at least with Chrissie. In the men's race, I think it'll be a new winner. I have my fingers crossed for Chris Lieto, who is a good friend. He's racing even faster this year than he did last year, and I think several other men have upped their game as well.
Thanks you Jordan and best of luck with your training for the remainder of the year.
True-motion's Paul Bashforth was in Cambridge, Maryland yesterday for the eagleman 70.3. Here is his race report...
One word to describe this yesterday's race - Rough!
Swim was no-wetsuit at last minute but also seemed extremely long (or strong current) as I was 12 mins slower than normal! The choptank river didnt live up to its name fully but it was no mill pond and managed to swallow a decent amount of its murky offering! I Felt great coming out of water though and after spending an eternity in t1 wresting with getting a dry shirt on a wet body i head out onto the bike feeling good. There was also a significant amount of bikes left in transition so i felt my swim had not been a complete disaster.
The bike had its usual windy spots an the heat was beating doen but i managed my effort evenly, got in all my nutrition and rode the bike according to plan and felt fresh coming into t2...
Given the heat a decided to take more time in t2 than normal in order to avoid jacking up my heart rate. My legs felt a little stiff from the flat course but I figured they'd quickly loosen up once I got going.
However, a few strides into the run the worst stitches of my life kicked in and I could barely breathe when I tried to even shuffle the slowest jog. My legs now felt great and everything except my stomach was ready to roll but the pain when not walking was excruciating. I probably ended up walking most of the first 3 1/2 miles seriously considering a dnf but remembering how my las ironman run started in a similar fashion and I ended up running a personal best I opted to work through it! I finally risked a coke to see if that would help and it worked wonders. From then on I was able to run the whole thing and actually felt great for the last couple of miles. It was hot out (95F) but I seemed to manage that aspect pretty well compared to many out there. All in all a pretty tough day! I ended up with a new personal worst time for that course which was about 50 mins slower than my best but a certain amount of satisfaction from battling though the rough stages and finishing strong.
I think this is the first time I've ever been given an open forum on the True-Motion blog, so I hope I don't mess it up. I know I'm safe when someone else is writing the questions, but when I'm answering my own questions, the results are potentially much dicier! To give a quick recap, for any first time readers, my life of late has been mostly a journey of recovery following a hit-and-run accident on Mar 23 when a van pulled out in front of me during a ride resulting in two severed jugular veins (out of six in the human body), 3L of blood loss (out of ~6L in most people), a broken clavicle, and a broken zygomaxillary arch (facial bones). As gruesome as that all sounds, I will say it is remarkably minimal considering what could have happened. I did NOT break my neck. I did NOT damage either of my eyes. My jaw and teeth got knocked a bit but seem on their way to a full recovery without any root canals or lost teeth. And, most importantly, there was no damage that the doctors felt I would not recovery from fully. The timeframe is still up in the air, with some nerve damage maybe taking as long as 18 months to fully heal, but I am thankful every day that there is no injury that the doctors perceive as being permanent. It read recently that scars are just tattoos with better stories, so it looks like all I will come away with is some new "ink" and the ability - maybe - to set off airport metal detectors naked.
I lived in my True-Motion polo shirts even more often than normal out of the hospital because the soft cotton was easy on my scar tissue and open collars made them easier to pull on with one good arm. Amazing the things that matter to you when life isn't "normal." I found a new appreciation for the heel-pull-tab on my running shoes, since it made them easier to slip on with one arm, something that matters a lot when you have only one arm to put your shoes on with. Wool socks were another great comfort since with the blood loss, I found that I was cold all the time. But slowly, these symptoms are fading or have faded. I now put on my True-Motion polos just because they look good. I still can't run due to doctor's orders, but I keep my running shoes laced up in anticipation of the day I am able to do so. And I wear whatever socks I want to. Some days I even find I get too hot and went out in shorts for the first time in almost two months thanks to the arrival of some new blood and the California summer.
I was telling the story of my accident to someone the other day, and they remarked how they never would have guessed that the scars on my neck weren't some sort of birthmark. That's a far cry from the day I left the hospital and had someone stop me at the local supermarket to say, "I don't mean to seem rude, but what happened?" I still find that I'm shocked on occasion when I look in the mirror, but that too is fading as the scars themselves heal and fade. There was a time when I felt like I'd left a piece of myself out on the road and that I'd never get it back. But I no longer feel that way. Now I spend most days counting down until I can rediscover that part of myself doing what I've done for the past 7 years - swimming, biking, and running.
For now, I'm not much of a swimmer - workouts are now mostly kicking as opposed to that being something that I simply do because I have to - and I'm not much of a biker - a long workout is 45min on the trainer - and I'm not any sort of runner - thanks Dr. Reid. But I will be. And knowing that is a relatively new phenomenon for me. And it feels pretty good. I guess I'm finally being true to myself. Probably should have poked around on this website sooner. There's good advice in addition to good clothing...
True-Motion's Mimi Boyle recently won her third American Zofingen overal title. Here is her race report...
Another year, another blood bath. This race just doesn't get any easier. Knowledge and experience barely pay anything back to you as you suffer through hill after hill on the run and bike courses of the American Zofingen Duathlon. This year's race was moved to May to avoid motorized and pedestrian "leaf-peeping" traffic along many routes of the bike course. We could not have asked for a more spectacular day. Temps were at 50 degrees at the start with literally zero wind. By day's end they would rise to a comfortable 68 degrees with sun shining and birds chirping.
It was great to see the American Zofingen's viral word-of-mouth marketing pay off. The entrant list has literally doubled in size over the past 3 years. This is my 4th go at the long course and as far as I'm concerned...there's no other way to experience this event. It's the single most physically and mentally challenging race I've ever started and finished. You know your legs can get you to the finish line, but there is so much mental and emotional strength and patience needed, that it almost becomes mind over matter for the last few hours.
My first 5-mile run went extremely well. My legs felt good and I came in exactly where I wanted to. I was leading going into the bike which is a good spot for me b/c I tend to ride each loop as if I'm being hunted down...a great motivator! I got through loop 1 keeping my legs and lungs in check. Spin/spin/spin...over gearing in this race will come back to bite you on the final run segment. Going into lap 2 I felt hungry. Time to refuel. I had a banana and my trusty peanut butter and jelly sandwich on english muffin...it hits the spot! I felt completely energized and upon starting loop 3 I noticed others slowing down...their wheels coming off so-to-speak. I kept my cadence as high as I could and had another 300 calories (2 bags of Gu Chomps) before heading into T2 and starting the devastating 3-loop run. I quickly changed into my run stuff, and hit the bathrooms and was out onto the course. I knew I had a decent lead, so the need to kill myself wasn't present. I took the first loop in stride, walking only up one steep section.
Loop 2 of the run was a little more challenging. I began to feel the "dead legs" going up the first climb, and started to shuffle...ok...it was probably more like fast walk. And from that point on, the major steep hills had to be walked with a purpose. I did solidly run the flats and downhills, and upon entering the pavilion for the start of the last loop I figured it would take me a good 55 min to finish. And that's almost what it did. I arrived back at the pavilion to not only cross the finish line in first place, but take about 18 minutes off last year's time and set a new course record! BONUS!!!
Overall, a truly great day. My good friends were up there racing and that made it even more special.
At the finish line the food, the beer and the camaraderie is like none other in the sport! In a word...AMAZING.
Jordan Rapp is an exceptional triathlete, and as one of his loyal sponsors, we can honestly say, an overall exceptional person. When we launched True-Motion Sportswear almost 4 years ago, we were looking for a professional triathlete to partner with us in product development. Jordan was our first choice not only because we believed (before he had competed in his first ironman by the way) that he would go very, very, very far in this sport, but because we genuinely liked him. He was, and still is, a rising star.
Rappstar...from your friends at True-Motion, we wish you a healthy and speedy recovery. He look forward to cheering you on again soon.
To help support Jordan and Jill during this time of healing and recovery, we are donating 10% of all sales of True-Motion sportswear to them to offset medical expenses. We will honor this fundraising effort through memorial day.
Since we last caught up with Pro Triathlete Jordan Rapp a lot has been going on in his life - victory at Ironman Arizona, his Marriage to former Canadian Olympian Jill Savege and most recently kicking off the 2010 Triathlon season in Abu Dhabi. We caught up with him for a few words upon his return to the US from the Middle East...
Jordan sporting his "Rappstar" True-Motion Polo in Abu Dhabi
TM- How does it feel to be a married man?
JR - It feels like I have something stuck on my finger all the time! Some days it feels more different than others. One of the most surreal moments was to see some of the photos from the race in Abu Dhabi and to see a wedding ring on my fingers. I didn't really expect to notice it, but I did. I actually found that I noticed it during the race too. I'd like down at my hands and see it there. I'm definitely most aware of wearing a ring during training, which I think is appropriate since I'm now working for two people when I train and race.
Where did you end up spending your honeymoon?
We went to Kauai, on the recommendation of my sister and also my friend Mikkel Bondesen. It was a pretty short trip - just three days - but it was wonderful. Kauai is beautiful. The highlight for me was our dinner the last night there at the Kilohanna sugar cane plantation. They've converted the house into a museum and restaurant. And the food is unbelievable. Yes, the dinner involved some bacon - it was a pork tenderloin with a reduction sauce that had bacon crumbled in it.
What was the most useful wedding gift you received?
We didn't ask for any gifts. No registry of any sort. We're just not stuff people. I get regular gifts from all my sponsors - tires, saddles, helmets, etc. What else could I ask for? The best gift was really from my parents - especially my mom - who really made the whole thing happen. Without her planning and my parents support, we wouldn't have been able to have such a special wedding
How has your off season been?
Right now, it seems like a distant memory. I've been training pretty much full on since just about the beginning of January. If there was an offseason, I seem to have missed it!
Did you make it to the Olympics? Is Lyndsey Vonn all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips up-close?
We are currently waiting on Jill's Green Card, so she can't leave the US until she gets her temporary papers. That put an end to any chance of going to the Olympics, which is too bad since as a Canadian Olympian, Jill can get pretty good tickets. I would say that Lindsay Vonn, who was hyped as the Michael Phelps of the Olympics, didn't really live up to that billing. But I also don't think it was fair to expect that of her. Getting a gold medal is always a massively impressive feat, and to do it with the pressure she had and also the nagging lower leg injury was very impressive. However, I don't think she was any more impressive than any other medalist, and I thought she get a lot more press during the games than she deserved. If the US needs a "hero" of sorts from Vancouver, I would say that title belongs to Steve Holcomb or Evan Lysacek. They came to the Olympics with equivalent pressure, and each performed as well as Vonn, yet received a lot less press. Holcomb, especially, delivered in a big way and seemed to be relatively overlooked.
What races have you earmarked for 2010?
I will be focusing on the three races in the Rev3 series - the olympic in Tennessee, the half in Connecticut, and the iron in Ohio. I'd like to improve on my finish from Wildflower last year. It's always nice to be on the podium, especially when it was close. I kicked off the year in Abu Dhabi, which I put a lot of energy into. It was a mixed result. I was really pleased to finish well, but I thought I had a better finish in me.
Any training camps planned?
I'm still sorting that out, but I am planning to go somewhere during the middle of the summer. I had a great time training with Dirk Bockel, who has the same coach as I do, in Clermont, FL for two weeks. We rode our bikes way too much, but now with that mileage under our belt, I hope the next camp will involve a little less saddle time. I'm also planning to spend some time with Simon Whitfield, who I haven't seen in a while. And I'd like to spend some time with my coach actually seeing me train everyday, which would mean travel to Europe. So lots of options. But I'm not sure what I'll do yet. Having just gotten off a 16 hour flight, I'm anxious to stay put for a bit
Abu Dhabi Race Photo provided by Jordan, courtesy of Herbert Krabel/Slowtwitch.com
So you just raced the Abu Dhabi International Tri...what piqued your interest about this race?
The obvious and immediate draw was the great prize purse. But the chance to go to the UAE was pretty spectacular as well. It's an area of the world that I knew relatively little about and had never been too. Having just returned, I would say that the chance to visit was (almost) equal to the prize purse. I am already looking forward to the race next year. I am thinking I might go sneak up on Faris in Al Ain and do a bit of training there at the end of the year. Special shoutout to my homestay in Abu Dhabi - Dee & Shane Boys, who are awesome.
I'm sure there are many, but give us your top 3 goals of 2010?
- Win the Rev3 iron in Ohio - Win the Rev3 series title - Get my wife pregnant!