Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mimi chats with Jordan Rapp about his upcoming season

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 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

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

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.