Tag Archives: triathlon

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

Oh right. So all of that happened

I had the post-marathon blues pretty bad: I wasn’t super psyched to train, I wasn’t super psyched to race. Life was good, don’t get me wrong. But I felt like the marathon training, coming back from the mangled ankle, and a general lack of focus and fitness in the biking and swimming left me far behind where I wanted to be. I traveled to Knoxville to help out with timing for Rev3, and while that was a wet and wild weekend (torrential downpours, driving all over Knoxville, etc), it didn’t bring as much of a fire to my belly as I might have hoped. So going into Quassy, I was not expecting good things.

The swim at Quassy probably went as well as I could expect. For the first time, I felt a lot of contact at the start, but I felt consistent (albeit slow) in the water. The bike was as difficult as I remembered. Up, down, around… I hit a high speed of ~50mph. While I didn’t blow up my race on the bike, I did drop my feed bottle around mile 20. Compounded with the fact that I had very little nutrition pre-race, I was going to be in a world of hurt. I was already feeling a bit of a bonk coming off the bike, and then the run… oh boy. It was 90 degrees out, and while my body might have been strong, my mind was not. Last year I had been able to run the entire course. This year, after mile 2, the course turned uphill and my mind just kind of shut the day down. I’m not sure if it’s the extra weight I’m carrying around from the lack of focused training or if I’m just being a giant wimp, but something has to give.

Today was the Mount Washington Road Race. I wish I could say I’m a mountain lion or mountain goat or whatever, but nope. The course is spectacular with views of the surrounding White Mountains. But there’s really no way to soft peddle the fact that the course is a bear. An average 11.7% grade. No downhills. No respite from climbing. No shelter from the wind above the tree line. A cruel finish that pitches up ridiculously. Yes I walked. Quite a bit of it in fact. But in doing so I had a great time with a bunch of people and prevented those thoughts that keep on telling me: just pick one sport, you’re not good at this. So up we went. Up up up into a stiff winds that were godsends when they were tailwinds and the coldest winds from the depth of hell just about any other time. And I can’t wait to try again next year: hopefully a bit lighter [1], hopefully with strong mental resolve, and hopefully, if I buckle down, much better fitness.

  1. Hopefully the June of Sobriety (except for one birthday that deserves celebrating) will help shed a few pounds.

A Higher Standard

Bear with me, because I was thinking about this on the middle of my ride today and I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. It all started when I Anyhow, I was watching From Russia With Love (because some days there’s only so much Breaking Bad one can stomach). The movie opens SPOILER ALERT with a scene of chess being played and one of the players is passed a note during the course of played. That got me thinking about the Virginia chess cheating scandal and how it might relate to doping. The main player in question was caught using an electronic guide to help figure out his next move and was beating far higher ranked players. So a relatively open and shut case of cheating (though the scope and length of time of the cheating is in question).

So how does that relate to doping in sport, and, in particular, in triathlon (some of the sourcing for what follows comes from this Slowtwitch thread)? Given the WADA rules, it’s pretty clear where the limits are. The scope of the testing for amateur athletes, however, is a bit less clear. It appears that the individual races themselves (at least when sanctioned by USADA/USATF/USAC/USAT) are often on the hook for providing the funds for testing athletes out of competition testing, I believe, is performed by the USADA sending testers to individual athletes. Again, it’s expensive, even for a limited number of pro athletes. Now one possible solution is to have some athletes tested only at the races, but not all doping occurs right before the race1. And as amateurs, many (extrapolating from my data point of 1) are less cautious about knowing exactly what is on the WADA prohibited substances list (unlike the TSA). While I would be open to getting tested (given that I haven’t knowingly ingested/injected/snorted anything banned). That being said, it’s our duty to know the rules, as it’s our duty to know the course.

And here’s where I ran out of steam, until I saw this article. And holy shit.

Now, you could say this doesn’t matter. After all, there aren’t a lot of amateurs doping, and whether the pros are being tested is sometimes questioned. But it matters because the rules are the rules. We can ignore that there’s a doping problem. I don’t know the answers. I don’t know what makes sense. But I do know doping is cheating. It is dishonest. We need to hold ourselves to high standards.

  1. I recommend The Secret Race by Hamilton and Coyle for some background on doping

It’s All About Who Shows Up


I said last week that I didn’t think there was a chance I would even sniff the podium at Lobsterman. If I was talking about the overall podium, I was right.
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