Monthly Archives: August 2013

Rev3 Old Orchard Beach: Stop and go penalty

Alisa, my home stay/teammate from Portland last year, flew into Boston and we drove up to OOB together on Saturday. An early morning for me was an even earlier morning for her coming from the West Coast. Friday had been an interesting day. I had run into work, and though it’s only a 2.5 mile run, I had felt terrible. I decided not to run that evening on account of not feeling great and having a stomach that wasn’t quite settled. Despite the knowledge that I should go to sleep early, I hadn’t. So Saturday morning was a very early morning to drive the 1.5 hours to Portland. Fortunately, we had some Sludgies® to eat along the way.

Blueberries, bananas, blackberries and boranges.

Blueberries, bananas, blackberries and boranges.

Upon our arrival, Alisa went to swim and I just messed around for a bit, talking to the Powerbar rep, saying hi to all of the Rev3 family that I’ve come to know so well, and getting myself psyched to go for a run. I realized I had forgotten my Garmin, but no matter. I’ve been running with it a lot less frequently during the summer of nomojo, and having done the half course last year I vaguely knew where things were. As I ran, as I often do, I alternated between being in the zone and dreading the next few steps. This is not an infrequent occurrence, but when I have less mojo, the speed with which I alternate between the two states increases dramatically. Around mile 4 of my run, I stopped and used a portapotty[1]. Made it to 5 miles and decided it was time to turn around. I ended up walking a bit of the run in: my head was definitely taking it’s time working through what it wanted to do.

While checking in my bike, I ended up talking to a city council member from Old Orchard Beach, who was raving about the triathletes and how they bring such a good group to Old Orchard Beach. Well, Old Orchard Beach certainly does a great job in bringing out the best volunteers.

Alisa and I both grabbed an early dinner and then headed back to the motel. I ended up watching a bit of Too Cute Puppies/Kittens. Perhaps the best thing to get someone psyched up before a race?!

Early is terrible

Early is terrible

The Swim
I had a long time before my swim wave went off, so I spent the time drinking Coke and having Swedish Fish and Goldfish. You know, the standard. My stomach had seemed settled for a bit, but once I had my wetsuit on and was in the swim corral, I knew something was off. But there wasn’t enough time to do anything about it other than hope that I could keep my shit together. The tide was probably at its lowest which meant a very shallow start, including a fair bit of trudging through thigh deep water. The inbound and outbound legs seemed normal (aside from the walking) but the cross-leg seemed to go on forever. Looking at everyone’s times, it appears that it did (the fastest age groupers went through the swim in ~24 minutes which is just pretty damn slow for the fishes if there’s not something counteracting them. Also slowing people down? The cold: the water temp was announced as 62. That said, aside from my face freezing, my BlueSeventy Helix kept me warm as a… (what’s the opposite as cool as a cucumber?).

The Bike
Nothing to report here. Went entirely by feel. Dogged a bit of it where I could have pressed. Started pressing on the inbound leg, but my heart wasn’t truly in it. That said, there were moments of sheer exhilaration where everything that just clicked and felt amazing. Big todo for next year is to overhaul my drivetrain: I’m not sure I can stand the slipping gears or how much power I’m losing to it.

The run
I love running. I was giving everyone whose path I crossed a high-five. I grabbed a delicious PowerBar Pomengranate Blueberry Acai gel and probably got more of it on the ground than in my gut (it was good though. I typically go for the blander chocolate or vanilla flavored gels, but sometimes you just get lucky when you grab something). Continued on the downhills and then I made it to the mile 4 aid station where Carole was cheering for me (and everyone else):
Carole: Go Jordan! Go!!!
Me: (Pointing at the portapotty) Oh I’m going to go so hard.
Carole: (laughing) Number 1?
Me: No no.
At some point while I was in there, Carole asked if I was done yet. I’m not sure how long I had been in there. 2 minutes? 1? 3? Definitely a stop and go penalty of some sort. But hey, I’m not trying to crush myself for triathlon right now, so now reason to get in the dumps about it. So I kept on giving people high fives. Ryan passed me as he started out on the half run course and called me a sandbagger, but hey, I was just out there to have a good time.

So what are the takeaways from this race? I love it. I love racing. I loved the triathlon, and I’m a lot better at all three sports combined than I am at any one of them individually. I’m not trying, nor will I ever, set the triathlon world on fire. But whatever was missing is back now. Perhaps this means I need to race more to keep my competitive juices flowing (racing, it’s been said, is just icing on the cake… and I love icing). So now I turn my attention to the fall running schedule, which will see me take on new, terrifying challenges while trying not to be bummed that I’m currently a bit slower than I was last year. The speed will come back. And that’s a lot easier to do when the challenge of racing is ever present.

  1. For those of you new here, I had never used a portapotty until I was 25 or so, despite high school sports, etc

Walking away to come back

If I’ve been quiet, it’s because I didn’t know quite how to write this. I’ve been struggling getting my head on straight and focusing on training all season. It would be easy to say that it’s because of everything that happened at Boston, or to blame it on the injuries, but I think the reasons are a bit more expansive. All of this is to say that I’ve taken a break from training for triathlon for a bit so that I’ll be able to come back to it at as soon as possible (next year). That said, I’m still racing.
This morning was the Boston Triathlon, which would be only my second sprint tri. I haven’t swim in a month. I haven’t biked in that time either. And it showed. Slow in the water, slow on the bike (not sure if a brake was rubbing or if I was just terrible), and once on the run I decided that given my focus is being able to run long and fast this fall and winter, there was no need to really race 4.5 miles of running. So I didn’t (I still ran very comfortably quickly, which was good news). That’s just the way it ends up.
Is it troubling that I feel the need to step back? I think so if only because I have so many unanswered questions about why I need to step back. I’ve got it all. Great sponsors who have great products that I love to get people to use, great teammates who are loving and understanding and crazy, great family and loved ones… but I feel burnt out: if not by the training than by what goes into getting into training. Case in point: last night I had to swap tubes from my training wheels to my race wheels, and that alone took longer than the race itself. Getting to the pool to swim is a 20-25 minute walk from work. But if I wanted it badly enough, I would put up with it, right? So what’s changed since November?

  • Is it the mangled ankle? Was that such a spanner in the works that I couldn’t be back to racing this year? Did the fact that I went all in on running to get back for Boston mean that I had to forsake all the other sports[[1. No I didn’t. I just ended up not doing them
  • Is it performance anxiety? Am I afraid of my own success? I am worried that this is quite possibly true
  • I’m 20 lbs over where I was last year. I don’t have top end speed (speedwork right now is terrible). I know what the cause of the first one is, I have no clue what the reason for the second one is

So for right now, I’m doing what I can to stay in shape, get my head right, and get some training discipline back into my life. I’ve got OOB (get one of the last spots and race with me!) coming up, then back to Applefest, Marine Corps, and JFK 50 Miler. And in a few hours, I’ll find out about HURT 100.