Category Archives: jvance

Boston Loves — Boston Marathon 2014

Whoa. I have no idea where that came from. Since Boston, I’ve been called a sandbagger. I know where that came from. But my performance at Boston was totally unexpected by myself and probably anyone near me, and I’m as shocked as anyone else.

Woke up at 5 AM, slightly unsure whether I had slept very well and worried about my stomach, since it had been a bit upset the day before. Had two bananas with some almond butter, an orange, and a bottle of water. Got kitted up and drove over with Macy to the Common. Took the bus over to Hopkinton and was really happy to see that we were getting heating blankets which would help keep us warm and dry. Had some coffee, chatted with some guys from Calgary and Australia, had a PowerGel explode in my shorts (but only on my left cheek so not in a chafe-y area) and headed to the portapotties with ~20 minutes to go until it was time to head down to the start. On the way down I saw the first of many signs that the area is caring and loving: a tent handing out free vasoline, sunscreen, gels, waters, etc. Another group was handing out beer, cigarettes, and donuts (“There are sober kids in Egypt!”).
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Post is Epilogue

Swim ExitNote the cap and gogglesBike 1Bike ProfileAero goodnessLast bridgeBringing it in hotStart of the runStill feeling good......and mugging for the cameraInside 4 milesStill going wellIt's business timeFinishing chuteAlmost thereFinEpilogue

Great expectations

Short version: Best race I’ve had yet, despite an awful swim.


For reasons you’ll soon understand, I was not super excited about this race. Part of it is the normal pre-race/pre-travel jitters that I get (will my bike fit in the rental, will my hotel be decent, should i really be racing twice in two weeks). I’d waited until the week of the race to book my hotel room (at the La Quinta downtown in New Orleans, which ends up being a really nice hotel).

Packing the bike is typically not a big deal. Typically. I should have remembered how difficult it was to take off the pedals before IMC, because lo and behold, I couldn’t get the pedals off my bike again. They’d been wrenched on so hard that it took standing on the allen wrench with the bike upside down to get the threads moving. Time to figure that out? About an hour. Aside from that, packing was pretty uneventful.

Getting to and from BWI is a pain in the ass. It’s ~50 miles from NoVA, and at the right time of day is a 45 minute drive. 2:30PM on a Friday is not the right time of day, ever. I had figured it might take an hour and a half to get to the airport leaving me two hours to grab a decent meal and just in general have a calm day of travel. HAHAHAHAHA. What’s that they say about the best laid plans? That they’re typically shit when it comes to acting on them? Right. The drive ended up taking 2 hours and twenty minutes, and since I’d ended up leaving 15 minutes late, this meant I had about an hour to park, check the bike, get through security and maybe get some gummi candy (candy du jour lately has been sour patch kids), which are infinity times better when they are soft then when they have been sitting out for a while.
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It’s supposed to be cold in Canada, yah?

First things first: I finished ironman canada in 11:17:41, which is a 21 minute PR. If that’s all you care about, you can stop reading now.
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I got my mojo rising, there’s a poodle in my strudel!

Did the Dextro Energy – Washington DC triathlon on June 21. At the end of the day, I felt pretty good about the event. Yeah, if you look at my time, you might be wondering why, but here goes (skipping packet pickup because that’s the same pretty much everywhere: listen to a presentation, get your packet, find your goody bag).
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A Year On

I finished Ironman Arizona today one year ago. I’ve never been happier in my life. It wasn’t happiness because I was glad the suffering was over… it was happiness that I had taken the risk of failure and worked to not fail. I remember how I thought that feeling would change me – I’m not sure, a year on, that it has as much as I thought it would. I’m still doing many of the same things and making some of the same mistakes. I’ve still got some of the doubts about myself. But I can still get on my bike, get in the pool, get my shoes on, and that’s more than enough.

A year on, I know I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m more resilient. I’m a bit more prone to happiness. I’m a bit more confident. I weigh the same (in an entirely different way), look the same (in the same exact way), sound the same (don’t want to change that) but I’m not the same.

Today’s workout was a handful of fast 100s in the pool. A good recovery from being sick.


I’m sick. Hell of a head cold right now. The throbbing in my head is worse than the pain of training. Hopefully I’ll be better for my ride tomorrow.

I was starting to get sick during the 10K and I’ve gotten worse since then it’s not gotten any better. Did a 2K swim (pacing like a metronome… a very slow metronome). Been sneezing all day today and now a headache is kicking in.

Lots of new gear is piling up. Rollers, new tools, a new crankset. I’ll add some photos of everything later on as I’m swapping stuff around. For now I think I’m just going to head to bed.

10K Test of Stomachs

Ran a 10K (well, really 6.25 miles) this morning. All part of testing for the month of April. The short story is I ran a 41:48, increasing my Vdot another 0.5. But the short story leaves out all the interesting bits. So if you want the more interesting version, and you haven’t eaten in the last hour and aren’t eating anytime soon, let’s continue, shall we?
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How I’m Spending My Vacation

I’m taking a month off from training. After training pretty much nonstop from April 06 to last weekend’s race, I could kind of use the break. My body actually made it pretty clear this past week: I’ve gotten sicker than I ever was leading up to IMAZ, and sicker than I had been since. Basically muddling through the work week (and given the markets, I should not have been muddling, but c’est la vie). I wonder if it played a part in the blow up on the run (which, to be fair, was not unexpected and is still probably unrelated) given that I’ve been entirely congested this week, and that would explain the not being able to breathe…
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Sick or tired, but not both

I’m either sick or battling severe exhaustion – even after taking two weeks off from any training and just racing. So it’s off to sleep, and the beatings of my body and mind will continue until the situation improves.

Swim today felt sluggish and slow. Didn’t finish the weights section as I just felt too tired. Tomorrow is the first run since the debacle in NYC. Should be interesting.