TM: congratulations! You now have 2 ironman wins in 2 races. How does this one compare to the last?
JR: Canada was one of those rare days that come maybe once or twice in a career where everything feels great. Not "effortless," but very smooth. Today was not like that. Today was an exercise in knowing that a given effort, pace, power, etc. was possible and forcing myself to do it. It was painful. And very hard.
TM: Your execution looked flawless on the live universal sports feed although ibeas wetting myself watching you in t2 hoping you got out before tj showed up. Was it really the perfect race for you?
JR: Well my T2 was pretty off! I made some small mistakes, since normally I'm a bit quicker in T2 than I was. This was not a perfect race. That was Canada. This was a race about sticking to the plan even when I didn't want to.
TM: we noticed you were checking your watch quit a bit in the closing stages. Did you know you had a good shot at the course record at that point?
JR: I actually had no idea. The watch checking was to make sure that I wasn't slowing down, since I really, really, really, wanted to.
TM : you spent a fair amount of the bike with tj keeping close by. Was it a help or a hindrance mentally to have someone with you? Did Knowing he had come close to a win in April 2008 give you any cause or concern?
JR : Once we started the second loop, TJ never passed me, so I didn't actually realize that he was as close as he was until we hit the turnaround points. I don't know that it either helped or hindered me. TJ is a very good rider, but he also did Kona only six weeks ago so I didn't know what to expect. The year that he was second here was the year that I also came close to win, and in that race I rode quite a bit faster than he did, so I thought I was capable of doing it again. But two years is also a long time to go and people get fitter, etc. so I didn't assume that I'd be the same thing. Plus in that race, I got to chase, which makes a difference. I do think that I am a bit better of a runner than TJ, so if it came down to a foot race, I thought that favored me.
TM: So today you get to practice your public speaking once more before the big day next weekend. Do you have the speech finalized for next week?
JR: I'm giving a speech next week?! Jill didn't tell me that...
TM: do you have a honeymoon planned and what is the rappstar plans for the off season?
JR: We didn't really before, but I think now we will. I discovered a neat looking hotel in Miami reading "Spirit" (Southwest's magazine) on the flight to the race. So maybe we'll go there. Never been to South Beach.
TM : finally, thanksgiving turkey - wrapped in bacon by any chance?
JR: I keep trying to get my mother to let me do one deep fried. No luck yet. I'd rather do that. Or a Turducken first.
TM: Congratulations and best wishes to you and Jill for next weekend and your future together
Our very own Mimi Boyle returned to the Catskills last week to defend her 2008 American Zofingen Title. Here's how things went in her own words....
Well after all the pain, suffering, twitching muscles, cramps sneaking up at inopportune times, laying in bed and actually reciting “woe is me” a few times each morning, and small, but powerful nightmares of the 4th time around the run course which I experienced after American Zofingen ’08, I found myself online 4 days before the race forking over my hard earned money to give this diabolical race one more try.
Let’s compare last year’s preparation to this year’s:
2008: April – Spent a week in Tucson riding, running, swimming, applying chapstick 24/7 to combat the arid desert conditions, May – back to back weekends of racing beginning with the Disney Half Ironman rolling into the American Triple T (ouch…that hurt like a banchy!) June – one month of back to back weekends of racing wasn’t enough, so I jumped into Eagleman, and then 4 days later was on a plane to Durango, Co for a week-long endurance cycling event called Ride The Rockies. Yep…it was every bit as difficult as the name insinuates. July – Ironman Lake Placid August – twiddled my thumbs and watched my butt get big from eating ice cream, cheeseburgers and drinking lots-o-wine. September – knew AmZof was approaching so I managed to cycle 5 times, run about 50 miles that month and cut back on the pigging out. AmZof 2008 – I was nowhere near prepared for the bike course. My training for LP was intense, and I didn’t have the mind to get on the bike and train for this. My run was ok, but on weak legs from a grueling bike ride, it hurt.
2009: April – Signed up for Disney Half Ironman…tried to train, but kind of failed due to laziness and distractions. May – Disney Half Ironman…run was a disaster due to stomach issues June – Rev3 Half Ironman…,bike was great, again, stomach issues on the run so a less than stellar performance Sprint Tri in New Paltz…had fun and won. Remainder of June/July – gave up on a the idea of racing IM Canada. Spent many hours at the beach, out to dinner, sleeping. Morphed into a “normal” person…what was I thinking??? Maintained my running and did “some” cycling. August – woke up and realized Toughman Half IM was on the horizon. Started riding with a purpose and running with a bit more urgency. September – Toughman Half IM…my running legs were nowhere near ready, but I hung on and finished relatively strong.
Fast Forward to last weekend when I was driving to this year’s installment of terror…the 2009 AmZof – LONG COURSE. This race is so epic words can’t do it justice. You simply have to live it to realize that this is without question, the most difficult one-day duathlon on earth.
Before long, the gun went off and roughly 70 certifiably insane athletes were off to embark on a very very very very long day.
Temps were holding in the upper 40’s for the first run, but would warm up to about 55 by day’s end. Perfect Amzof weather!
I ran the first 5 mile loop a bit conservatively with my main competition (Tamela – 2nd place finisher 2008) right on my heels. We came into transition neck and neck at about 41 minutes. I thought “hmmm…that was faster than I wanted to go, and my hamstrings were tight. Not a good sign when you know what lies ahead.
Trying to get out of transition was rough. I was out, then had to run back to get my food. Pre-race organization has never been my thing!
Onto the bike course and up the first deadly climb. I figured Tamela had about a minute on me out of transition. Time to catch the carrot! On the climb up to Minnewaska I had her in my sights and pounced. I remained in the lead for the remainder of the bike, and actually, for the rest of the day.
The wind was fierce on the last lap of the bike…I knew it would forcefully suck a ton of energy out of me, so I had one move…EAT, get tucked, spin. I took in a ton of calories on that last loop and rolled into T2 with a few minutes on Tamela.
I’m not gonna lie…I did NOT train enough for the 15mile run that I faced. BUT…if you’re a competitor and you’re winning the best and most challenging damn duathlon on this planet, you suck it up and start running like you stole something! That’s what I did. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fast, it wasn’t even running at certain points – it was walking, but I got it done and crossed the finish line 11 minutes faster than last year.
And at the finish line…OH YEAH BABY…a first place finishers Stein which quickly got filled with beer! Add a cup of soup and piece of cornbread to that and you’ve got a real nice time!
As always – I need to thank John McGovern, the race’s director and founder, for enabling me and the other crazies to test their physical, mental, spiritual limits on October 11th. It is hands-down, THE BEST RACE EVER!
Follow Bjorn's recent victory at the Savageman Half we caught up with him for a few quick questions (photos courtesy of Fredrik Ivansson)
1) You just won savageman. how well does the name describe the race and what makes you more of a Savage than the next man?
It certainly describes the race very well as the bike course is brutal and while the run is not quite as bad it's certainly not easy either.
2) Your resume shows you tend to excel in some of the more challenging triathlon courses - wildflower, half ironman uk and most notably the insanely difficult Norseman. Is this the swedish way?
To be honest I'm a bit too heavy for the most hilly courses to be ideal for me but they do break up the packs on the bike which is good for me. Apart from that I just enjoy doing something different like Norseman every once in a while.
3) Your known as an "uber" biker with many a course record but your vistories have shown you also have a very solid run and fast swim. Where do you see your strengths and how does this translate into you approach to racing? The swim/bike combo is obviously my strength while my run is mostly quite bad. That makes my strategy quite obvious as I need to make the most of those two disciplines and try to hang on as best I can during the run segment. It has worked well in some instances though there are plenty of times it hasn't as well. I'm working on making it work a bit more often of course.
4) You have ridden sub 2hrs at clearwater and we KNOW that is with your own nose into the wind throughout. Will you be going back this year to see if you can beat that?
I'm going back there this year even though the pack riding situation that usually seem to happen there doesen't really suit me. But since I haven't had the best of seasons so far I wanted to make it a bit longer by adding that race. My hopes are to go a bit faster on the bike and much faster on the run than last time hopefully and see where that lands me.
5) Fellow Swede Clas Bjorling just won SOS, an unconventional Triathlon known for not only being extremely challenging but also for its phenomenal post race feast. Is there a chance we might see you give this race a shot in the future?
Since I first heard about it I have wanted to do it so I hope it fits in my schedule sometime. Seems like a fun race for sure.
6) Finally and most importantly, we know that you and Rappstar have been trading back and forth the title for "King of the Hill" at the Slowtwitch Ranch. Tell us about the climb, the watts you put out and who has the current crown? Also, what are the chances of us seeing a Rappstar versus Bjorn head to head on the climb??
The climb is a bit over 11miles with about a 6% average grade. It starts at about 4500feet above sea level I I think so the air is getting pretty thin at the top of it. I actually don't quite remember what my best time or power is since it was a while ago I did it as a max effort. The way the Rappstar is going right now I think he'd kick my ass up the climb if we went head to head at the moment actually. Maybe I need to start eating more bacon..
Bacon! the universal answer to all nutrition issues!
Thanks for taking the time and best wishes for Clearwater
Obviously you are still processing what happened on Sunday, but I have to ask...how the hell does it feel to WIN an Ironman!???
It's pretty remarkable. I think like anything really special, it’s impossible to describe. It’s this thing that happens that sort of knocks you over. Vince Lombardi, whose classic speech on winning is really a must-read (“The Habit of Winning), summarizes as well as anything I’ve ever read, “I firmly believe that any man's finest hours, his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle victorious.” That’s what it feels like to win an Ironman.
As many competitive athletes witnessed with Lance Armstrong's method of preparing for the TDF, living and training ON the course absolutely works. How long were you living in Penticton before the race? Did the same roads you trained on day in and day out feel "easy" on raceday?
I’ve been here since the beginning of May. The roads didn’t feel easy, because there just aren’t easy roads around here, but I knew how hard they were going to feel. More than the roads, which I think you can perceive from the course map and from talking to people or driving the course, I expected to get pounded by the winds. That’s what you really can’t see, especially if you drive the course. I didn’t have it any easier in the winds, but I knew they were coming. There are a couple of spots where I know you don’t need to touch the brakes where I think I saved a few seconds, but other than that, there’s nothing free out there. I guess I was just prepared. At the same time, it’s always different on race day with aid stations, people out there cheering, and competition. When I go and train on the roads, there are also the places that I generally like to just coast and stretch my back, and you don’t get to do that on race day. That was actually hard, because you have to keep pushing. There’s a fruit stand that I always stop at when I ride the course to have a snack and refill my bottles. I didn’t expect it to be phase me, but it was sort of weird to not be able to even slow down and rest. I think your brain perceives that as a marker. It made some stretches that seemed short in training actually feel longer during the race. But overall I do think it helped, mostly because this is just a great place to train for any Ironman. Beautiful, long and open roads with tough conditions will prepare you for anything.
We know your family is very supportive of your dream, and try to make it to all of your big races. Was Mom-Rappstar present on Sunday? Did she know this day would come?
Mom-Rappstar was unable to make it. Someone misunderstood Jasper’s mom (Jasper, Jordan are easy to mix up) and thought she was my mother and called me over. At first I thought my mom - who is very wily - had come out without telling me. I think it was quite hard for her, but she actually got sick right around the race so it was probably for the best. She never really takes any vacation, and I think flying across the continent would have been yet another thing to do when she probably ought to have been relaxing. I called her today and despite having pneumonia, she was weeding the roof of the garage. That pretty much sums up my mom. I am sure she will say she knew I would win, but she’s a mother, and therefore not to be trusted on such matters. You could probably tell her that I had walked on water down at the lake the next morning, and she’d say, “I knew he could do that.”
In terms of the race itself, as an outsider looking in, it seemed as though you were having one of those PERFECT days everyone dreams of...was this the case? Were there any bad patches you had to overcome?
There were some rough spots. Especially on the bike, it seemed like I was paraphrasing Homer Simpson a bit. There is a classic episode where Homer is having an internal monologue and he says, “Okay, brain. You don't like me, and I don't like you, but let's get through this thing and then I can continue killing you with beer.” I have those conversations regularly with my legs only I promise to let them lay on the couch for a while after it’s all over. On the run, it’s always a struggle once you get deep into the marathon. I think this is true even in standalone marathons. Running 26.2 miles is far. There is always going to be at least one moment where you will say to yourself, “It would be really good just to stop running right now.” Especially when I was beside the lake, it was “I could A) jump in the lake and just relax or B) run another 10km.” It’s best not to think too much in those cases, because there a very few sensible reasons to choose option B. But I think that’s just Ironman racing. There’s no way it can’t be hard. It’s just too far. It’s really a ridiculous thing to do, but I suppose that’s exactly why we do it.
The bike is clearly where you set yourself apart from the field. How did you feel about your bike split?
I felt pretty good. There were certainly some moments where I felt I could have done a bit better, but I think maybe I’m overly critical. Sometimes I think that my expectations on the bike are too high and that my expectations on the run are too low. Generally I try to ignore the split, though I certainly covet the 4:25 that Chris Lieto rode on this course, and just focus on the execution. It is certainly satisfying to have the fastest bike split of the day though. As much as the end result is really what I go after and a fast bike ride just seems to be the best way for me to achieve it, it lights a fire under me to have the fastest ride. It was also really nice to lead out of transition, but I don’t want to become a “T2 chaser.” I sometimes wish I was a faster swimmer so that I could spend more time riding away from people instead of riding up to people, so ironically I think that fast bike rides ultimately motivate me to swim more than anything else, because I imagine “what if I didn’t have to make up that time out of the water?”
Now let's talk about your 2:55 marathon split. WOW. Major triumph. We noticed you won by 15mins yet negative split the marathon - does that mean you had plenty in the tank and could have done even faster or did you pace yourself perfectly?
The course is actually shorter on the way in since you don’t run an exact “reverse” of what you do on the way out. So if you ran the exact same speed, you’d actually be a fair bit faster on the way in. You can tell this is the case when you run the course since you hit 13 mile and the turnaround is way more than 0.1 miles beyond it. That being said, I felt quite good and could have run faster (I think) if I had to. Of course, I think part of the reason that I felt good is that I was able to relaxed since I was in the lead and was running well. So part of why I felt able to run faster is also the same reason that I didn’t have to. If I’d needed to run 2:55 to win, I don’t know if it would have felt as easy, since then there is a desperation that you have to overcome. That can be a powerful motivator, but it can also be crushing.
Are you tempted to go to Kona this year (instead of AZ) now you have a win under your belt?
I was definitely tempted. But at the same time, I know I’ve had success by sticking to a plan, so I thought it best to follow my own advice. And of course, I definitely feel like I have unfinished business in Arizona. I would actually really love to go see the race in Kona live this year, moreso than in other years, so maybe if I can find a cheap ticket I will. But I’m also excited to get ready for Arizona. It’s much easier to get out the door when you know how the hard work can pay off on race day.
Will your first child with Jill be named Penticton or Skaha? Maybe your first pet? Pretty sure Bamf is out of the question.
Skaha is a good dog’s name. If I had to pick a kids name from the course, I think it’d be Richter. Jill and I are partial to “J” names, though, being both that we are both “J”s. But I don’t think there are any climbs or roads that start with “J” out on the course. Fortunately, unless Jill knows something that I don’t, we still have lots of time to decide.
Congrats and enjoy your time off! You've certainly earned it!
How has your IMC training been going? And by "how has it been going" we mean what are the raw data numbers.
It went quite well. The raw data numbers are secret. Well, not really secret. But I don’t generally share the details of how I train. I’m generally much happier to share how I race, because that’s in many ways less informative overall than how someone trains, though it can be illustrative and helpful from a pacing perspective. Generally, I swam, biked, and ran. Surprising, I know. It was probably not as much as much as some people might think, but I think enough. At least for me. There were some significant differences between how I prepared for this Ironman with my new coach, Michael Kruger, than how I had prepared for the previous two Ironmans with my old coach, Joel Filliol, and I’m interested to see how that translates into how I feel during the race. Overall, it will be a new experience to do Canada with actual preparation, unlike in 2007 when I just did the race. I’ve ridden every mile of the course at least three times, so I feel like I know the course. But of course the winds, which are fickle in the Okanagan valley, can make a huge difference about how the race actually plays out on the day. But overall, I feel like I have a great sense of the course and hopefully I can use that to a small advantage.
How will you taper before Canada?
I think I have a pretty typical taper. I cut the volume down quite a bit starting two weeks out. I still do some race pace stuff so you don’t forget what it feels like to go fast. Some of it depends on how I feel. On days where I feel really tired, I might cut some workouts short. In training, it’s about getting the work done. In taper, it’s about getting the rest in. The only thing that is a bit peculiar is that I live right in the heart on Penticton, so Ironman is really all around. The pool especially becomes crazy before Ironman, so I will probably seek out some of my secret swimming spots to do my taper swims.
You raced there a few years ago, pretty much on a whim but now with three Ironmans under your belt you’re close to a veteran this time. Has your preparation changed much over the past two years? What's been going through your mind since then? Any difference in strategy this time around?
The preparation has changed the most this year as a result of having a new coach, but generally it’s been - at it’s core - similar to the previous years: lots of hard work, then taper. My strategy up to the marathon has been consistent for every race, but I think this is the first race where I think I may have a better idea about how to approach that last big hurdle. The first Ironman, I had no idea what to expect. Last April, I was too cautious. Last November, I was too aggressive. I haven’t ruminated on the errors I made in pacing too much, but I certainly have remained aware of them. Especially in April, where I feel like I let the race happen around me, I don’t want to forget that it’s actually a race against other people, not just yourself and the clock. Hopefully I can find the right balance this time around and can execute my best marathon, though I know that often takes many races.
We at True-Motion are not only fascinated by clothing but also by fast transitions. It is possible to combine compression socks with zippy transitions? What will be your strategy on race day?
I have some compression “sleeves” - socks without feet. I will put on my regular socks, and then pull on the sleeves. Overall, this is much faster than putting on compression socks. But overall, I am still wary of putting the compression socks on. I’ve missed out on 2nd place by 20 seconds in both of the last two races. So I’m not too keen on taking any extra time in transition. I think I’ll time myself and make a call in the next the couple of days about what I’m going to do.
Other than eating copious amounts of Bacon, how do you plan to enjoy your recovery after the race?
I would like to say that I have big plans, but probably I will not really do too much of interest. After Arizona last November, I got engaged, so it will be hard to beat that for a post-Ironman experience. I will cook a lot. Probably sleep a lot. And I will waste lots of time on Slowtwitch. Sounds pretty much the same as my life before Ironman. I wonder if that is a bad thing... I have some things that I’ve put off that hopefully I can get done. Training makes you stupid, so it is hard to do anything that requires serious thought. So hopefully I will be able to exercise my brain some while my body recuperates.
Have you gotten over Michael Jackson's untimely passing yet? Would you ever consider moon-walking across the finishline in Canada?
Sadly, after many attempts in middle school and high school to learn how, I am unable to moonwalk. I think it might be the lack of penny loafers, but probably it is just my ineptitude. I would consider giving it a whirl though, since I think people are willing to forgive many transgressions at the end of an Ironman. Dignity, in most cases, has left the building long before the finishline approaches
Just over a week ago I was supposed to ride in the Connecticut Challenge - a 75mile ride through south eastern CT to raise money in support of Cancer. Unfortunately, days before the ride I became sick with a Stomach virus so was unable to participate.
However, given the very generous $$$s I had been pledged by my sponsors I committed to doing a solo ride the following weekend while we spent a relaxing weekend in New Hampshire with some friends.
We were staying at our friend's house on Sunset Lake, just south west of the largest lake in New Hampshire - Lake Winnipesaukee; so it seemed like an obvious choice to carve a route around the lake. My estimates had one loop of the lake close to the distance I was planning to ride and getting lost wouldn't be a problem as long as I kept the lake to me left at all times!
Waking up saturday morning I discovered the most beautiful right on our doorstep and couldn't resist going for a swim. I figured making the day a triathlon would add to the fun and the added swim would compensate for any lost miles if the ride turned out a little short :)
Who could resist this?
Following a mile swim I then embarked on the voyage around the lake. Foolishly I had not checked out the route between the house and Lake Winnipesaukee before I set off and 2 miles in I encountered a VERY long and fast descent down to the Lake shore. Hmmm...that 2mile delight was waiting for me in the opposite direction upon my completion of the loop - better make sure I get adequate nutrition!
The route as traced by my GPS watch:
Quite hilly! (Note: particularly high points at beginning and end of ride and lack of anything remotely flat in between!)
The ride proved to be very enjoyable. It was very picturesque with fantastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains and for the most part the roads were smooth.
The 2 mile climb at the end proved to be quite a beast but I didn't let it get the better of me. However, just as i crested the peak a cramp kicked into my left calf and I almost fell off my bike as the leg spasmed as I tried to unclip from my pedals. Although the remainder of the ride was more or less downhill this calf pull put an end to any hopes of completing the run with a triathlon and I had to settle for a 70.5 mile bike and 1mile swim instead.
Lake Winnipesaukee from the high point of the ride:
Thanks to all who generously made a donation and I hope the 71.5 mile swim/bike combo is an adequate alternative the the 75mile CT challenge. (I think I did at least emphasize the "challenge" despite being in the wrong state!)
We at True-Motion are big fans of NYC Elite Age Grouper Triathlete Cliff Sherb. Many of you may know Cliff from his stellar performances over the past few years. Any race he enters, he manages to surface to the top of his age group. It's a combination of dedication, passion, and sheer raw talent. Founder and head coach of TriStar Athletes (a coaching program for runners, cyclists and triathletes), here are some things about Cliff you may not know. Enjoy!
1. What sports did you play growing up?
Baseball, basketball, soccer, waterpolo, swimming, track. Anything I could do to be active and help my fidgeting while sitting still.
2. I'm sure when people see you and read your racing stats, they would never know that you are a challenged athlete in some ways.you live each and every day with diabetes. What type of diabetes do you have? (explain)
I have Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes, (A genetic disease where my body no longer makes insulin for glucose metabolism. I wear an insulin pump that helps regulate and control my blood sugars. I test my blood on average 12-15times per day)
I guess I have never thought of myself as "challenged" and for many years I raced without letting many others know that I was a Type 1 diabetic. I did this because I wanted to be respected for my racing and not let anyone think that I had a bad race due to being diabetic.
Athletically it has taken me 8 of my last 10 Ironman races to learn how to pin my blood sugars with racing and training accuracy. I will say there were several major bumps in the road that were hard learning through "crash and burn" style nutrition and training but it helped me craft how I manage my blood sugars for my sport. Ironman Hawaii in 2005 was the hardest learning experience I have had in this sport. My high blood sugars forced me to walk 26.2 agonizing miles of the run.
As a coach and athlete I have always recognized the importance of recovery. Uncontrolled diabetes for me is a major issue as an athlete because it slows recovery time. What I have learned through racing, training, especially nutrition has helped me to train my athletes and help them to have break through races.
3. Have Dr's advised you against racing Ironman? (As if that would stop you)
Surprisingly not in the past 5yrs but years ago they were more skeptical. But at this point in my career they also want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes! Most Dr's don't know what to tell me when it comes to this sport; rather I tell them how I do it and they give me feedback. I am encouraged by them and they are motivated by me to help me become the fastest type 1 diabetic. My goal is to break the unofficial course record at Ironman Western Australia after Hawaii this year. (This would mean a record sub 8hr50min Ironman)
4. What sort of compromises do you have to make in training/racing?
I don't think there are any compromises for me. I live, train, and coach they way I want. Its great when you're the boss : )
5. You founded TriStar Athletes - a personal coaching service for multisport athletes. Tell us why you jumped from your day job in corporate America to personal coaching. (other than to "live the dream" of course)
It was actually quite simple, I loved working with people and training. I was way into triathlon and wanted to give others the opportunity to unlock their race potential. At the end of my corporate sales career I was wearing my tri top and bottom under my suit and going from lunch in the pool back to Dr's offices before heading back to the park for an evening run. I decided to take a leap of faith and do what I love and I have never looked back since.
6. How many athletes do you coach presently? Is it as rewarding as you had hoped?
Coaching is very rewarding because each time I work with an individual they learn something that will either help them race faster or be healthier. I enjoy understanding each athlete and how to help them improve. I try to only work with 15 coached athletes as I find this is the optimal number for me to give the best attention to. Any more than this as a coach and its like trying to land too many planes at a major airport! I lose sleep at night worrying about their training, therefore so I can sleep and they can race well I keep the numbers close to 15 : ) Our other three coaches work in the same way and we refer to one another when an athlete wants to be a TriStar.
7. Ok.now let's shift to your ever-improving racing career to date.It took a few tries, but you finally did it. You qualified for Kona in Ironman AZ in 2008. How did that feel?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words..i would say this photo is worth 10,000.
8. Having a great ironman race (I believe) requires proper physical and mental preparation, as well as a little bit of luck.
Let's talk mental preparation. You finished Ironman USA in 10:07 in 2006. It was a time that would have clearly gotten you a slot to Kona in that race years prior. Were those demons in your head going into last year's Ironman Florida? What were your expectations?
Well, I have had so many close races to qualify and each one I knew going in my training was where I needed to be but the wild card has always been my blood sugar control. Lake Placid in 2007 was particularly brutal, I gave it 110% and the end of the marathon was really grueling for me. I was on the bubble with no roll down. In one sense it just makes you want it more. The best part about coming so close is that you tweak things each time and get better. I have taken my training plans and reworked them so that they are very specific. I am focused on specific strength and speed 12 weeks and less to an Ironman. As for demons none to speak of, but it did take some self reflection to get up and go after three bad Ironman races back to back to back. It was at this point that I made a major overall to my nutrition and diabetes regimen and kept the faith that one day I would achieve my goal. I have always been motivated to do something that no one else has ever done before and racing for the spot as "fastest type 1 Ironman" continues to drive me.
9. So now you've made it to the dance, and we'll see you at the start line in Hawaii this year. Do you carry that thought into every training swim/ride/run?
Yep! Each workout I try to think about how it will help me for that particular race. This kind of focus is the best way to be physically and mentally prepared for a race that has the best of the best that will be at their best! My last trip to the big island was a long day over 14hrs. This year, armed with better training strategies and diabetes control the question is how fast?!
10. Have you thought about your post race meal? lease share.we are obsessed with food at True-Motion.
Im already drooling for my post race Hawaiian pineapple cheeseburger.. I crave beef only one day per year and it is always right after an Ironman. That and some local Hawaiian brew and I will be way ahead on recovery. Ha.
11. IF you see a shark during the swim, what will you do?
I think I would say hi if he or she was a friendly shark. Otherwise I would punch im in the nose. Its bad karma to mess with any Kona island creatures as it can bring bad luck for many triathlon years to come.
12. Lastly, for those who read this and have never met you, we need to let them know that you are, quite possibly, the most upbeat person we know. Does ANYTHING upset you? (example: people who don't flush public toilets, someone failing to use their directional signal, woman in front of you in Starbucks who takes a cell phone call in the middle of her order and causes the line to jam up)..something..
Thanks : ) It's a better way to be, glass half full type of thing. It must be the way I was raised? Being happy isn't always easy but putting a smile on when others are sad or upset makes you stand out. Who would I rather spend time with someone who is a debby downer or a smiling TriStarAthlete :)
After a successsful 2008 with 2 Third place finishes in both Ironman Arizona races and a new bike course record, we thought it was time to catch up with Jordan as he kicks off the 2009 season. True-Motion's Mimi Boyle fired a few questions at him...
Give it up...what bike will you be riding this year???
Unfortunately, it's not a secret. Right now, I'm still riding last year's bike. I don't have a deal with any company at the moment. I'm hoping that I will have a different answer to that question some time this year, but if not, that's okay too.
On that note, let's talk sponsors. Who will you be supporting (or who's supporting you) this year?
Most of the companies are the same as last year - TargeTraining, Zipp, Kiwami, SRAM, Saris (PowerTap), and, of course, True Motion. New this year are PersonalBestNutrtion.com and First Endurance. This is probably not the best year to be hunting for sponsors, so I'm thankful for the ones I do have.
Give us some background on your new coach. How is he working out? Is it an online relationship, or will he come to the states to meet you?
I'll start formally with Michael Kruger after Oceanside. I'd set up a schedule through that race early in the year, so he's using this time to get feedback and see how I train. Right now, it's just online. I may make a trip over to Denmark this summer to spend time with him, or if he gets stateside for one of the bigger races then I'll try to meet him then. I'm looking forward to seeing how the relationship develops. As much as I didn't want to switch coaches, I think that there will be great opportunities that come out of this. I'll probably have a better answer to this question in a couple months.
What kind of weekly volume are you putting in right now?
Right now, with getting ready for the races, it's not all that much. Prior to this, I did a big run block, and I was putting in about 25 hours a week, with a lot of running. But somewhere between 20-25 hours has been typical this year, as I've been running more and biking less, so the overall time of training has been a bit lower. Running tires you out!
Do you get massages often to speed recovery, or are you sleeping in epsom salt bathes?
I don't get massage often enough, but if I can get one every couple of weeks that's pretty good. Once a week is ideal, but it just hasn't been in the cards this year. I haven't done an epsom salt bath in a while, but I did do regular ice baths when I was running a lot. Ice baths are the most important thing for me. I find they really help my recovery. I've nicknamed my iPod the "icePod" since a lot of times I'll only use it as a distraction when I'm sitting in the tub.
So you've chosen Cali Half to kick off the season. Other than the suffering to stay warm in that deathly cold water, do you feel this will be a challenging event for you? Have you thought of any strategy for the race? (most of us just try to finish our season opener...)
I know the cold water will be a challenge in Oceanside. What to wear on the bike seems to be the biggest challenge. My regular race suit dries really fast, so I think that might be enough if it's a sunny day. If it's cool, then I'll have to reconsider what I wear. Perhaps the fashion faux pas of trisuit and arm warmers. In terms of strategy, I've been running a lot this year, so I'm hoping to have a good run. The winds will probably determine some of how the bike course goes. I'd like to have a pretty good complete race. If I can swim and run well, I'll be happy since that's really been my focus so far this year. But considering the last time I tried to do Oceanside, I had a 103F fever the Wednesday before the race (that was a DNS), I think this has got to be better than that. I was really glad to find the Superseal Olympic in Coronado the week before, since the prospect of having a race as competitive as Oceanside be my first of the season was pretty daunting. Besides, who doesn't want to swim twice in the Pacific in March!
What does the rest of the year look like? I hear you're dabbling in a few Ironmans (again) in 2009?
I'll race Superseal and Oceanside, then Wildflower, which will be my first time there as well. After that, I'm racing the new Rev3 triathlon in Connecticut; with a great venue (I've raced in Middlebury before) and big prize money, that's shaping up to be a fantastic race in it's first year. From there I'll do the short rest gig into Boise 70.3 again. Then it'll be big training for Ironman Canada with a brief interlude at NYC to kee the race legs sharp. After Canada, I'll take some down time before doing the Toyota US Open in Dallas, the Rosehall Triathlon in Jamaica - both Olympic distance races. And then it's yet another grand finale at Ironman Arizona; hoping that third time is the charm!
Have you ever dabbled in bike racing to compliment your cycling training?
I haven't, but I'm going to try to do the Devil's Punchbowl Road Race out by Slowtwitch HQ. It's a very small, very hilly race, so it seems like the perfect way to get into it. I'm not much of a bike handler, so a big field would really scare me. As long as the field is small enough to basically mimic a group ride I think I'll be ok. Plus, this is supposedly a race of will and attrition, so I think that might be good. [I'm not sure if I'll be able to do the race, so I don't know if you want to include this one. As an alternative, you can put what I write after this.] I'd really like to do some road time trials. Maybe something like the ITT in Solvange before the ToC next year, where they let folks ride the course before the pros. Or maybe one of the bigger state championships. Time trialing just seems like more, er, "fun" as bizarre as that sounds.
With all this training on the horizon, how will you have time to plan your wedding? Note to Jordan: Do NOT show up to the altar in your wetsuit. You'll need to go shopping for a real one. Have you set a date?
Jill and I haven't done much planning. We said it will be after the season ends, so I think I'm currently putting it off until that period of recovery after Ironman Canada. I will make sure to buy a NEW wetsuit before the wedding! ;) Actually, I already have my suit. I inherited from my soon-to-be brother-in-law (Jill's sister's husband). He's got tremendous style, and he gave me a really nice cream colored suit from Italy that he didn't wear anymore. We're almost exactly the same size, so a quick trip to the tailor later and voila. It's probably the nicest piece of clothing I've ever owned.
Do you think Lance has a real shot at a comeback if his collarbone heals well and he gets back on track with training?
I think after the career he's had, you'd be foolish to ever bet against Lance. The man came back from the dead (well, almost). How hard can it be to come back from a broken collarbone?
Do you shave your legs all year long, or pretty much just in racing season?
Once it gets close to race season, shaving them the week before the race seems to work ok in terms of carrying me over for a few weeks. I always shave them the week before the race, usually wednesday or thursday, and then if I think they are getting unruly then I might shave them. I shaved at the end of February, which was the first time since Ironman in November since I just got tired of my bike shorts pulling on the hair. But generally, I think shaving is like caffeine. It makes you extra fast if you don't do it all the time.
(Not sure if you saw The Wrestler, but if you did) Did you feel Mickey Rourke deserved the best actor oscar over Sean Penn? (sorry, I am still kind of pissed about that choice. Thought they robbed him)
As an aside, Mickey was born in the same town as my mother in upstate New York. I didn't see either movie, but based on my max attention-span viewing, Mickey Rourke deserved it. Generally, I think if you watch the previews of each, that tells you pretty much all you need to know, and the previews for "The Wrestler" were much better. Besides, I just like Mickey Rourke a lot more than I like Sean Penn. I mean, honestly, "9 1/2 Weeks" vs. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"? No comparison. I do think Mickey needs to not dress like such a wacko, though. I really do feel the need to see "The Wrestler." That and "Watchmen." "Milk" looked very missable. Besides, I think it's much easier to capture a real charismatic character than to create one.