Wednesday, December 30, 2009


It is dope to be home. I am in love with my family. They are hilarious. My mom is the best chef in the world (sorry all other moms and Emeril, but you guys are fighting for second), my dad is the cleverest man in the world, and my sister... I can't even put into words how much I love and like her. I am beyond lucky. You probably are too. But not as lucky as I am.

Monday, December 21, 2009

You can find me in the A

Up until two days ago, I considered the ATL to be nothing more than the bastard stepchild of US cities. After Santo Domingo, it looks like an efficient, clean, and friendly place. A place you would take your kids to and say, "Look, kids. THIS is Atlanta." We had a layover in Atlanta and the sheer Americaness of everything hit me and Caitlin like a sock full of quarters. It was very strange. I found myself talking a lot of Spanish, butchering my English, and trying to pay in pesos. I never thought the US would be weird to me.
After the brief stop over in Atlanta, we made it home. Lo and behold, THE MITTEN! It is cold and my blood is thin but I love Michigan. I have been hanging out with my family a ton. I missed running with my sister. She is the only person I really run with on a consistent basis throughout the year (about 20 times a year) and I love talking with her on these runs. We talk about pretty much everything from school to pigs and other barnyard animals. She runs for the University of Michigan, so she also is a pretty good barometer of my fitness if she is coming off cross country season.
It seems like things are on track for me and I finished up a big block of training yesterday. I hit a 2 hour bike ride and an hour 20 min run in the afternoon. Then at night I did sub lactate intervals on the trainer. Both went pretty well and I now I rest until Christmas. After that my family is going to a cross country ski lodge. My sister and I plan to mash ourselves into oblivion.

Merry Fish Guts

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mr. Severin's Smely feets

Dear Santa,

I want a spray for the smely feets of Mr. Severin because all the times he take hes shoes every kid die of the smely shoes of Mr. Severin. and if you don't give that spray to Mr. Severin I will vomit.

This is a direct copy of a letter to Santa from one of my students. In my defense, I had to re wear my socks at the end of a laundry cycle. I thought the vomit comment was hilarious.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dominican ITU otra vez

So today started out early (5:20AM) with the last race of the year... I have been racing from February to December. That, my friends, is better than butter. I love warm weather. Anyway...

The race start was an hour late per the Dominican custom of being completely indifferent to time... The gun went off and I started out smooth and fast. The water was crystal clear, perfect temp, and salty so my heavy under carriage popped right out of the water. I found myself in no man's land with a two man group about 15 seconds off the front and me leading out a pack of three... I have been working on breathing on both sides to even out my stroke and it has improved both my feel for the water and my rotation. When I started concentrating on my form, I bridged up to the two and came out in a pack with 2nd-4th. Who knows what time it ways and no one in this country cares. The distance was billed at 750m and probably was stretched into more of a 1200 or so which was great as it was a brilliant day to be a fish.
Moving along...the bike was flat and into the wind for 25k. I drafted (legal) with a guy who looked like a runner (bird bones) but was a weaker biker. We shelled the 4th place kid quickly. It felt super comfortable and I figured he would be gassed starting the run. I figured I would sit in and be ready to blitz the run. With every pull I put in a slight surge to take the punch out of his legs... I love ITU racing as I find that I think a lot more and I can eff with people which is, in my my mind, hilarious. We rolled up on first place slowly (big cow of a man who both of us knew was going to waddle the run).
I lost 20 seconds to him in transition as I took my sweet ass time tying my shoes and putting on my t-shirt. I don't have any race clothing here because I though triathlon would not be found in a third world country. Mistake.
Coming out I realized I had made a mistake by letting him sit on and not trying any attacks. He was moving well and was holding me at 10 seconds. I could not bridge. The leader (read waddler) was caught at about 1k and spit out the back. It was down to me and this caballero. We went around the 3 loop course with the lead fluctuating from 8-13 seconds. I wasn't taking it deep as I'm not used to the race discomfort anymore. (translation: Sally-ed it up big time.) Usually I am very good at coping with pain but I was allowing myself just to be uncomfortable and not really dipping into the well which is something I pride myself in, even in stupid races. Came second by 9 seconds... Moral of the story- I am Phil Michelson... can't come up with the W. good swim... lazy bike but comfortable... strong run but no speed in the legs due to this time of year.

This was the first race I have trained through and I liked it. I went just got back from a long run to cap the week. I am hitting pretty good frequency and decent volume and I'm pumped about the upcoming year.

Friday, December 11, 2009


So with my little epileptic incident, I smacked my skull open on something or other. I was given 8-10 stictches that proceeded to irritate the hell out of me for the past week. Yesterday, I went digging with a small pair of scissors to rectify the situation. Needless to say, I started cutting out more hair than stitch so I had to have Caitlin do it.
She had already warned me against this... I didn't listen. Then I made her do it. HAHA. She got through about 7 stitches muttering about how she hated me and how she was going to throw up. Finally, she paused and said I AM GOING TO PUKE. She flopped onto the couch looking paler than Jim Carey's stomach. After collecting herself, she plucked the last one out and I am right as rain...

Moral of the story: Caitlin, I'm sorry for being a thick headed idiot. I love you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Linsey Corbin

Going Big with Linsey Corbin

Linsey Corbin is known around the triathlon world as the fast chica with the cowboy hat and the smoking bike split. But she fired a shot off at Ironman Arizona that will certainly have other pros taking notice as she nearly ran down Sam McGlone with a blistering 3 hour and 4 minute marathon, missing the win by a smidge. She also is a girl after my own heart as she is an awesome baker and threatens to single handedly put Aunt Jemimah and Betty Crocker out of business. Anyway... let’s get cooking.

JP: So Linsey, skipping over all this triathlon nonsense, let’s get to the good stuff… talk to us about your baking. How did you start?

LC: Ha- I love to bake and spend time in the kitchen. I grew up in a family of excellent cooks. Growing up my mom was a no-nonsense, simplistic, healthy cook. Around high school my dad discovered a passion for gourmet Italian food and took over the kitchen. My sister is an excellent wine sommelier and my husband works at a micro-brewery as well. I have combined them all with my love for carbohydrates to enjoy baking in my spare time. Sometimes it is healthy, sometimes it is not. :).

JP: What is your favorite food?

LC: I like all sorts of things in no particular order: sushi, pretzels, peanut butter, dark chocolate, espresso, spinach, cheese, and fruit.

JP: Where’d you learn to bake?

LC: Home economics class at Cascade Junior High. We made scones. In all seriousness, just from experimenting around. My favorite thing is to decide what I want to bake or cook and then read a few recipes and come up with my own invention. Usually it works out well.

JP: Any healthy recipes you’d care to share?

LC: Sure, I am going to post a tasty one for apple bread in the next day or so on my webpage:

JP: Synapse jump but baking made me think of the Energy Lab at Kona. Your Ironman Hawaii didn’t go exactly as planned, can you walk through exactly what happened?

LC: Well, this is very true. I went to Hawaii early this year – 6 weeks before the race. In 2008 this worked out great for me and I was 5th place. In 2009, this plan back-fired on me. I went into the race overdone and paid for it on race day. I swam slower than I expected. I got a penalty early on in the bike from some age group men, I scrambled to catch up on the bike and by the time the energy lab came around, I was cooked. I struggled through my toughest marathon to date and came 11th, but had expectations of another top-5 performance. So, it was tough, but I learned a lot and came out of the race as a stronger athlete.

JP: You were looking for redemption at IM Arizona and I would say you got it. How did it feel to be that strong at the end of the day?

LC: Arizona ended up playing out how I wanted Hawaii to play out, so I was really happy. It is always nice to end the season on a positive note with a little bit of fire in the belly for 2010.

JP: Your running really has come on strong, what have you been doing differently than in years past?

LC: Thank you. I have actually always considered myself a natural runner. I grew up running competitively and only started biking and swimming in the last 5 years. I have had a lot of road-blocks with my running as I have had several injuries since 2006 – stress fracture, hip bursitis, hamstring tendonitis. Ugh. I am changing the way I train for 2010 to keep me injury free and hoping my running will shine through once again.

JP: As usual you finished the race with your trademark cowboy hat… where does the hat come from?

LC: Well, as you know, I live in Montana and love it here. It is tradition to finish a race with a cowboy hat on for our local triathlon club, Team Stampede. I started racing with the team in 2004 and have kept the tradition alive in all my races. To me, the cowboy hat symbolizes something fun – which at the end of the day is why I race. Regardless of if I win, am 5th or 23rd place, I do this for fun and the cowboy hat is a good reminder for that.

JP: You seem to be a proud Montana gal… Here’s your chance to plug your state. Let the people know what exactly is the big deal about Montana other than the sky?

LC: Well, you can leave my house, ride for 6 hours and only hit one stop-light and three stop signs. The riding and running trails are remarkable, the people are great, and the state is beautiful.

JP: What are you planning to do in your offseason and your upcoming year?

LC: Well, I will do some baking and cooking. Have fun with my husband, Chris and our dog, Madison. I will do some reading. Visit my family. Work on my swim and strength on the bike. I will also go to some of the rural high schools in Montana and share my passion for Sport.

JP: Boring Vanilla Q… what does your basic training week look like?

LC: Swim. Bike. Run. Strength. Eat, Sleep. :)

JP: Any tips for the age groupers out there?


1. In an Ironman, never give up. It is such a long journey to get to the start line and you will go through so much in your year long preparation. On race day, so much can happen, you have to believe in yourself and your training and enjoy each moment.

2. I think strength and core work in the off-season are key for injury prevention.

3. Have fun. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a workout or some training to spend time with you family or friends. Don’t be afraid to drink a beer, eat some chocolate and stay up late every once in a while.

JP: Thanks so much for your time… anything else we should know about the legend that is Linsey Corbin?

LC: My favorite training and racing slogan is “Go big or go home.” Thanks for the interview!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hot flakes and mistakes

So...I entered into a gentleman's (and lady's) agreement with Ms. Caitlin Dark. She wagered 100 pesos that I wouldn't eat a tablespoonful of red pepper flakes. I decided that this was essentially taking candy from a demented baby. Naturally I didn't hesitate. I gobbled it up without batting an eye. People were impressed. It barely phased me. I was impressed.... Then my friend Doug said, "let me know how your *radio edit* goes tomorrow".... call it foreshadowing, call it dramatic irony...

Fast Forward

I went for my long run (see the one I missed due to seizure) my insides felt like poison. I did the bad deed about four times in the woods and nothing could make me come right. I stopped at a Bomba (gas station) and drank some coconut water (nature's gatorade) and stumbled home with my tail between my spicy legs. Shame shame forever shame.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holy Mother of Pearl

Dear Bloggers,

Saturday started in a lovely and very normal way. I woke up, ate a granola cookie, and drank some coffee before heading to the pool. I swam very well and then got outta there. Went shopping with Caitlin for Christmas stuff and we made tons of progress on presents. Spoiler Alert: it's for my family.

I was plotting a big weekend of training and a big run was on the agenda. I set out feeling pretty spritely.... then suddenly................



Anyway, apparently I had a seizure during said long run and woke up trying to communicate in Spanish. I had several snafu's where I apparently communicated that I was allergic to ibuprofen so instead they gave me a giant needle to the ass. I was also, in my daze, apparently thrashing about (affectionately termed "aggresivo") and they bound me to the table. This resulted in major bruising.... hopefully pictures to follow.... I also split my skull open on some metal thing which resulted in skull stitches.

They tried to get a phone number out of me (I'm amazed anything came out of me in spanish) to contact Caitlin. I told them I didn't know Caitlin's but I knew mine. They called mine and she came to save me! Also, I was freezing and shirtless (no idea why). Some man gave me literally the shirt off his back. I told him it wasn't necessary... he said it was just a shirt and went to get another for himself. That's why I love this country.



PS. I think someone stole my watch

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rappstar Interview

Freestyle with the Rappstar

Jordan “Rappstar” Rapp has been scorching hot this season with a solid 4th place at wildflower, several fastest bike splits, and his first Ironman victory at Ironman Canada where he absolutely blitzed the field. He recently backed that up by taking out Ironman Arizona after knocking on the door at that race for several years. With that win, he topped the course record previously held by Andreas Raelert.

JP: So you have had an unreal season so far, what would you say is responsible your breakthrough?

JR: No one thing in particular. I think I learned a lot from the mistakes I made last year, especially in Ironman, but I also just continued to learn and develop as an athlete. The problem with looking at success is a breakthrough is that you tend to see it as a singular moment. Suddenly you are “successful,” which implies that in the prior to that moment you weren’t. But that’s not reality. There is a huge difference between “bursting onto the scene” as the public sees it and the actual progression where a minute here and seconds there add up to the difference between a win and podium spot. I wasn’t really prepared for the attention I received after winning Ironman Canada, simply because it didn’t seem to me to be so different from coming third in Arizona. I just swam a bit faster, biked a bit faster, and ran a bit faster. But the difference in how people saw my performance was massive. There is winning and there is everything else. But of course that is because people only see you on the race course. So things happen in jumps. But it’s actually just a very steady progression day-to-day and week-to-week that ends up manifesting itself as a “breakthrough.”

JP: How has your training changed from years past?

JR: I suppose it depends on how you look at training. If you focus on the differences, then there are certainly a lot since I started with a new coach – Michael Kruger of Denmark – this year when my previous coach – Joel Filliol – took a job with Triathlon Great Britain in February. But the core aspects of my training have remained very consistent – lots of hard training with intelligent structure and purpose. However, I would say that are two definite differences between this year and last year. I have a bigger delta now in training load between my hardest days and my easiest days within a training block. My hardest days seem harder on a per-day basis (though the hardest individual workouts are no more or less hard), but my easiest days seem easier. The overall load within a week is quite similar; it’s just broken up differently. The other difference is that I’ve become more targeted in my training. In the past, the delta of intensity between my easiest workout and my hardest workout was very large, so my easiest individual workout was very easy. Now I think it’s much smaller, so I generally don’t ever do an easy swim, ride or run. I don’t know if it is those two changes that caused my success or if it was simply making *a* change that caused my success or if it was just the natural progression of consistent hard work and dedication. I imagine it’s some combination of the three.

JP: What did it feel like to win your first Ironman?

JR: Unreal. It’s a fleeting moment of pure, unadulterated joy. I almost didn’t want to cross the line. I wished I could just stand in the chute and stop time so that it would never end. Of course, I also want the race to be over. But I felt nothing once I hit the carpet except absolute bliss. And then you step over the line and sit down and are exhausted and it’s gone. But it’s wonderful.

JP: How have things changed in terms of sponsorship after your two huge wins?

JR: I signed a deal with Specialized, which was really exciting, but other than that, I don’t have much news. I am sticking with the companies that stuck by me before I won, since I couldn’t have done it without them. I have taken care of the majority of what I need. And for those things that I don’t have covered – like running shoes, for example – I am exceedingly particular about what I’d use, which can make it hard to find a company to work with. I need to work with them, and they need to work with me, and that’s not always an easy combination. I do hope I can find a non-endemic sponsorship this year, since I think triathlon has a lot to offer to companies outside of the industry, but getting your foot in the door to show those companies the potential ROI of a triathlon sponsorship is very hard. Companies understand Tiger Woods or NASCAR or the Super Bowl. Triathlon is not in their field of view. So you sort of have to do double duty. First you have to convince a company that triathlon has value and then you have to convince them that you are the person to deliver that value. But that’s what I’d like to do this year, so wish me luck.

JP: You come from a competitive rowing background, what made you decide to change to triathlon?

JR: I got injured my first year out of college when I was training with the hopes of making the US National Team. I’d done one year of U23 National Team selection, and two years of Senior National Team selection, and I thought I was really on the cusp of making a boat for what would have been the 2003 World Championships. (Selection means they invite the best rowers from around the country and then select the number that they need to fill the number of spots they have for races. Both existing National Team rowers and non-National Team rowers, such as collegiate athletes, can be invited. National Team athletes are not guaranteed a spot in a boat, but they do receive support from the US Rowing throughout the year and are considered to be a part of the US Team, meaning they are part of the drug testing pool, etc). But I was an idiot training myself without a coach to guide me after four years of very structured and supervised training. I did too much, got injured – intercostal (rib muscle) strain, then did too much as soon as I thought I was healthy again and got injured again, and that pretty much ended my hopes of making a boat for World Champs. So I decided to do something to stay fit that didn’t involve a boat or an oar. I rode my bike for cross training, but I didn’t know anything about bike racing (i.e., I did not understand drafting) and when I asked how fast they rode at the local crit, I thought “there is no way I can do that.” So I decided to look for something else. I had seen the Ironman on TV and thought “triathlon seems cool.” I also knew some rowers who did triathlon, so I thought it would be a good way to stay fit and then I could return to rowing really being truly injury free but still in good shape. Almost seven years later, and I’m still waiting to return to rowing. Maybe in another seven.

JP: You are known for your amazing bike strength, what do you do differently than everyone else that allows you to fly on two wheels?

JR: I don’t really know that I actually go so much faster than other people. I think it’s actually that I slow down less. That’s definitely the case in Ironman. In half-Ironman, I can speed up in the second half, but it needs to be the right course. In terms of what I focus on, I think I take care of the details – good equipment underneath a biomechanically and aerodynamically sound position – and then it’s just a matter of the unglamorous stuff – hard riding day after day, week after week. Train hard. Recover well. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. And of course, I need to thank my parents for good genetics and the opportunity to invest myself wholely in the pursuit of excellence. Without that initial opportunity provided by their genes and their unwavering support, nothing else would matter.

JP: I know you are heavily involved in bike fitting, what would you say are the most important considerations in a good bike fit?

JR: Comfort is king. Of course, I don’t mean comfort in the context of sitting in a LA-Z-BOY, but comfort within the context of racing being inherently uncomfortable in that wow-this-really-hurts-and-I’d-like-to-stop-or-at-least-slow-down sort of context. Your saddle can’t chafe. Your aerobar pads need to be supportive. Your shoes need to fit well. Those are all things that matter. And your muscles need to be able to work well through the range of motion that is required of them. Power is comfortable and vice-versa.

JP: Do you have any tips for your average age grouper to improve their bike fit and improve their bike times?

JR: See a good fitter. There are, unfortunately, not as many good fitters as there should be, but there are more and more every year. It’s like seeing a therapist – you can figure out most things on your own, but it’s easier if you have someone there to guide you. For improving your riding, buy a powermeter and learn how to use it. A powermeter is the best tool there is. It’s the one thing I would never give up. I’d rather ride a road bike with clip ons and training wheels with a powermeter than the fastest/lightest/newest/tech-est/best-est bike out there without one. There is no better way to spend your money than on a good fit and a good powermeter. Both of these things will yield vastly more return on investment than anything else you can spend your money on for cycling. And they also are things that will last a long time if you invest wisely from the start.

JP: Describe your basic training week.

JR: I try not to delve too much into the specifics of how I train for two reasons. One, the actual training program is the intellectual property of my coach, not me. I pay him for my training plan, not for the rights to publish it. And secondly, I’d need to be extremely specific in order for someone to really learn something from what I do. I.e., if I say I ride at X watts for Y time, but you don’t know my FTP, then that is meaningless. And if you don’t know what I did the week before, or what I will do the week after, that is also not very helpful. It also changes quite a bit based on what time of year it is, how close I am to a race, etc. So I don’t really have a typical week in the general sense. Given that preamble, I’ll try to give a rough overview. I don’t have any junk workouts. Every workout that I do has a purpose, which doesn’t mean every workout is hard, just that every workout is designed to be done at a specific level of “hardness.” I don’t ever set out to “just run,” or “just swim,” or “just ride.” Have you ever seen any of Conrad Stoltz’s videos, where he talks about his “organic” training, like where he just gets into a lake and swims for while based off how feels and letting that dictate time and intensity? That is the exact opposite of how I train, which I don’t mean as implying that one is right or wrong, just that we sort of fall at different ends of the spectrum (at least as far as I can tell from reading about his “caveman training,” which I love to do). I know what I need and want to get done when I start a workout, and I do my best to meet that goal. If I don’t achieve that, then I try to figure out why I did not achieve my targets. On the rare occasion when I know I will not (or would not) hit my targets, then I talk to my coach, and we make changes to the training. I guess I could summarize it as “I listen to my coach.”

Time for the lightning round…
Favorite Movie: “Full Metal Jacket” directed by Stanley Kubrick
Favorite Book: Book Five Rings written by Miyamoto Musashi
Favorite Bike Workout: Slowtwitch Mountain Hillclimb (Big Pines Hwy from Valyermo to Wrightwood)

JP: How are you planning on using the well-earned off season?

JR: I got married on Sunday, November 29th to Jill Savege, my girlfriend of three years and fiancĂ© of one. That made an already amazing year even more unbelievable. So nothing could top that. I’m not sure how I’ll cope with a return to normal life after an Ironman win and a wedding to the love of my life within a week (since I finished in AZ less than 168 hours before my wedding). Now I am really just excited to sleep a lot, eat a little bit of bad food, and enjoy the chance to not have to be as focused and targeted in my training as I normally am. This is the time of the year when I will go out and just run or just swim or just ride. Jill and I will go on a honeymoon later in December, and I know that will be really special no matter what we do and will put a punctuation mark on a magical year.

JP: What are your plans for the upcoming season? Will we be seeing you at Kona?

JR: I am planning to focus on the three Rev3 races – the Olympic distance race in Knoxville, TN, the half in Middlebury, CT, and the ultra in Sandusky, OH. I will also do the new race in Abu Dhabi, which I am very excited for. You will see me in Kona, but I am not sure if I will be racing. I will definitely go to be involved with Specialized and some of my other sponsors, but I will not race in Kona if I have a good race at the Rev3. If I had some bad luck at Rev3 ultra – which is about one month before Kona - and was not able to finish or finished poorly, then I would consider racing Kona. So right now, I am viewing it as an “insurance” slot. But if everything went to plan, then you’d see me as a spectator rather than a competitor. Specialized has some very cool projects for the year that I will be a par of, and I could do a lot more work on those projects in Kona if I was not racing, so it will be great either way.

JP: Anything else you would like people to know about you?

JR: I raised money for World Bicycle Relief by selling tickets to a raffle before Ironman Arizona. Thanks to the generosity of a lot of awesome triathletes, who bought the tickets, and many of my sponsors, who donated a lot of fantastic prizes, I was able to raise $24,120 for World Bicycle Relief. This includes personal donations, matching gifts from donor’s companies, some money from the Janus Charity Challenge, and my own personal contributions from a percentage of my prize money at IMAZ. This money will be then further matched by an anonymous donor who has agreed to match all WBR donations in 2009 up to $1,000,000. So we will end up giving $48,240 to the project, which will provide bicycles to at least three entire schools (100 bikes to each school plus the training and equipping of two mechanics costs $15,000) and then some. Each bike gets used by and/or benefits about twenty people, so we’ll end up impacting over 6,000 people with this work. That makes me feel really good. As John F. Kennedy said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I just saw a dog eating a diaper... just tearing into the thing like a piece of steak. What a thick animal. This is exactly why I love dogs. How often have you seen a cat eat a diaper?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mr. Collington

Fireside Chat with Olypic Hopeful, Kevin Collington!!!

Kevin stormed onto the triathlon scene as a recent ITU stud. He has brilliant results to his name such as 13th place at the incredibly competitive Hy-Vee Triathlon. A feat which few can claim, he has outsplit Simon Whitfield on a run course! A member of the USA triathlon team, he is definitely one to watch for in the London Olympics of 2012. He recently smacked it at 70.3 world championships, coming 7th.

Representing the Red White and Blue in ITU

Amazing season so far, how did this season compare with your expectations going into the year?

This year I really just wanted to prove I could race on the international level. I raced well in 2008 in some of the World Cups in Europe but a lot of people questioned those results because those races were not as competitive as they usually are since a lot of the top guys were sitting out waiting for the Olympics. So I really wanted to do well in a couple of competitive races this year and prove I can race at that level. My result at Hy-Vee really exceeded even my highest expectations, and I did OK at a couple of World Championship Series races this year in Hamburg and Gold Coast. The end result is that I should really be able to attack the 2010 World Championship Series next year.

Your run speed has just gone through the roof and your progression has been amazing. What changes have you made from years past that has lead to this development?

My run improvement came from a lot of different changes. The biggest has just been a slow increase in running mileage over the years. I was only running 20 miles a week in 2007, but now I'm up to 50 or 60 per week. I have also been working with a running coach out of Boulder, Bobby McGee, and combining the work I do with him on running form and economy with the increased running mileage has really made my run my biggest weapon. I still have a lot of work to do before I can keep up with the top ranked guys in the WCS, though!

I understand you recently stepped up from ITU and short course racing to 70.3 placing 7th at 70.3 Augusta. How was your first go around at this distance?

Augusta was an interesting experience. Having just returned from the World Champs in Gold Coast, Australia I was really having sleeping and training leading up to the race. But it turns out this was just the taper I needed and I had a great race. I learned a lot about what I need nutritionally for the 70.3 distance and also how to pace myself so I hope to have an even better race in Clearwater in 3 weeks.

Any plans on Ironman in the distant future?

I could see myself doing an ironman but not until my short course career is over. I'm really focused on making the 2012 Olympic team for London right now, and I'll be 35 for the 2020 Olympics so that would be the last Olympic team I would probably be capable of making. I would love the challenge of Ironman so maybe you'll see me racing one in 2021. That's a long way off, though!

Could you roughly describe your weekly training?

I live and train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and this really shapes the way I train. I swim with the triathlon group here 5 to 6 days per week at 4000 to 5500 meters per session. Running this year was 50 to 60 miles per week - during the summer I like to go up into the mountains to do long runs at around 9,500 ft (2900m), and I do my faster runs on a local trail at around 5900 ft. Biking in the springs is great - again I do my longer rides in the local mountains - we have lots of challenging climbs in the Springs. I do some harder rides on the Computrainer just because it's a great way to dial in your workout intensity.

Favorite workout?

My favorite workout is a long run up at the Rampart Reservoir. It's a challenging, technical trail at around 9500ft above sea level. It's a beautiful place to run and also running there makes me appreciate running at 6000ft a lot more, and sea level is a breeze.

As an olympic hopeful, what would going to London mean to you?

Going to London would be amazing. It would be the culmination of a lot of hard work. I don't just want to go, though - I want to be a medal contender! With a few more years of development at my current progression that is certainly a possibility.

How are things in terms of sponsorship?

Things are going great! I'm very lucky to be able to work with some great companies like Shimano, Rudy Project and Kiwami to name a few. My results have improved again this year and I'm talking with a couple of companies now that I will hopefully be working with next year!

Being a pro triathlete sounds very glamorous but the training and travel sound ridiculous. What is one thing you absolutely love about your job and one thing you absolutely could live without?

I love the travel - going to a new race in a new location is always lots of fun. At the same time, though, I need some time at home to unwind. One thing I could live without is traveling with a bike box. Not only is it heavy and cumbersome, but you always have to wonder "is my bike going to arrive when I get there?" or "If it arrives, is it still in one piece?" My favorite part about being a professional triathlete is just getting to swim, ride my bike, and run and call it a job!

Any other things we should know about you? Shout outs, favorite foods, horrible phobias, etc...

My favorite food is Krispy Kreme Donuts and I can eat a dozen in about 2 minutes!


Like the alanis morsette song... I almost got hit on my bike today. The offending vehicle: an ambulance. Ironic and almost convenient had anything happened.

Another interesting little bit for those of you who enjoy weird things.

So, I signed up for IM florida as I may or may not have mentioned... and today I was riding and I pulled up on a guy wearing an IM florida jersey. He was affronted by my riding up on him and started smacking it. He was one of those late 30 year olds who has spent the better part of a decade developing those tree trunk legs and could move pretty good. I was staying near and everytime I tried to pass, he would surge hard. Looking at his ass the whole time, it was like I was literally chasing my goal.

I've got a long way to go.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bryan Rhodes Interview

Fireside Chat With Bryan Rhodes!!!

We're here with Bryan Rhodes aka rhodsey, multiple ironman champion, great guy, and avid liver of the good life. I had the pleasure of meeting Rhodsey at a local socal race where I was guiding Aaron Scheidies, blind triathlete extraordinaire. His season was sadly cut short by an injury and he has been rehabbing in New Zealand, and getting ready to drill everyone next year.

JP: Bryan, seemed like you had a solid season going until the injury at Steelhead 70.3. Can you walk us through what exactly happened?

Rhodsey: Yes. It happened when we were running into the water at Steelhead 70.3. I got landed on by one of the other pro men and got me on my ankle as I was going forward with my left leg. He was coming down with his foot. I thought I had a really bad cramp and rolled over did some backstroke to try and loosen up my leg. I was 2nd to last going around the 1st Bouy and then told myself to harden up and get going. I swam through most of the field to stand up in 5th place but then I knew something was really wrong as I went to put weight on my left leg and I couldn't and had to get 5-6 Guys to help me out of the water and up the beach.

JP: How has the recovery been coming?

Rhodsey: The first coule of months were really hard. I was very fit and couldn't do anything. I was in cast for weeks and had to get around on crutches. You realize how hard it is to just do the little things when you're injured.

JP: What have you been doing with the forced downtime due to the injury?

Rhodsey: I sat on the couch and watched every movie I had. I was pretty upset about missing the rest of my race season especially Worlds in Kona! Since getting back into it from the 1st of October I've been carving it up at the pool and been in the Gym working on getting strength in my left leg so not to come back weak. I want to come back a better Triathlete.

JP: Looking at your resume, I notice a domination of Ironman Malaysia with 2 wins and a 2nd place. What is the appeal of that race for you? Why do you keep going back?

Rhodsey: Ironman Malaysia was were I won my 1st Ironman title and it has been hard to win a 3rd title there. I like that it is super hot, sometimes even hotter than Hawaii. When I won the 1st year it was 42.3deg. This is one reason for me going back and that they really take good care of me year after year.

JP: What are the plans for the upcoming year?

Rhodsey: I'm really wanting to mount a good challenge for Ironman NZ next year as I don't want to be a unknown Triathlete in New Zealand, I'm just hoping I'll be 100% but want to be there one way or another. After that, a number of 70.3's and I will focus on Kona as if I don't place top 10 next year, I'll just do other Ironmans I've never done before.

JP: I think it is fair to say you are an IM guy and many people think that IMers have lost their speed. False. I have witnessed first hand the blitzing 5k speed that is Bryan Rhodes. What is your 5k pr?

Rhodsey: We'll I'm not that fast over 5k my PR is 15.45 and 10k 32.10. I wish I could run like sub 30 of 10k as I wouldn't be doing Ironman. I would be trying for the Olympics.

JP: With that 5k speed, you must be doing some seriously intense training. Would you say you favor volume or intensity in training?

Rhodsey: I'm definitely a volume guy as, if I put too much intensity in my training, I get injured. Once I've built a big base I add strength and track workout once a week.

JP: What does a typical training week look like for you?

Rhodsey: Swim 5 times a week = 25k Ride 6 times = 500 -650k Run 6 times = 80k

JP: I know the economy can be a bit rough on athletes, how is sponsorship going for you?

Rhodsey: I'm really lucky to have a good sponsors and they have been with me for Years : Cervelo 12yrs , Blue70 6 years, Clif Bar 6 years, Saucony 12 years, Profile design 8 years, Computrainer 6 years, a couple of new ones... Coffee's of Hawaii where if you go to there website and enter the promo code "RHODSEY" you get 25% off your order. Also Selle Italia saddles came onboard this year and also Shimano.

Now for the lightning round:

Favorite food? Medium rare Steak with chips and a Salard.
Favorite workout? 10 x 400 in the pool.
Favorite triathlon? Escape from Alcatraz
Favorite movie? Lock stock and two smoking barrels, Also Hangover!!!
And finally, and most importantly, favorite beer? Mac's Gold (NZ Beer) MGD in the U.S.A.

JP: Anything else the people should know about The man, The myth, The legend, Bryan Rhodes?

Rhodsey: I race very hard and party just as hard after!!! My website is :

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PIcture this

This is a picture from a bar located in a cave. Pretty cool. As you can see me and my fellow gringos are sunburned and slightly borracho.

After years of hiding like a coward and letting fake Waldos take the fall, he's finally brought to justice. We can all sleep a little more soundly knowing this rat is off the streets.

Holy health issues batman

That's right robins, I have been backhanded by the cold ice queen that is health related issues. The last month has been a literal hell on earth. Allow me to bring you up to speed. This blog will in no way do it justice.

1. Dengue Fever- also known as bonecrusher disease for how it makes you feel. Cute. My experience this pleasant little jungle fever (grow up) was a 7 day suffer fest. I had about 17 episodes of 5-6 hour fevers in that time span. It got up to about 101-103 and my back felt like someone hit it with a hammer and my eye sockets felt like they were in a vice. I couldn't imagine being sicker.

2. Food poisoning- after eating at places that would give you tetanus just looking at them, I got horrific food poisoning from a yogurt stand in a mall in the richest part of town (imagine a baskin robins in the hamptons or something). I think the frozen coconut was rotten and it took a while for my body to register what was wrong. OH when it did. There were serious fireworks. 6-8 hours of puking. (dry heaving/ legit pukes). That coconut got so deep into my GI tract that by the time it was out, I had strained my lower abs so bad that I am feeling it 5 days after.

3. I am currently sitting here, desperately hoping that I can make it to the bathroom in time in case a certain ... ahem urgent, frequent, and unpleasant issue arises. Let's just say this problem is not conducive to being stuck in a third grade classroom without random bathroom breaks. Dios mio.

there are several others little problems that will be divulged once a battery of blood work comes back. Stay tuned as my body falls into disrepair.

Monday, October 19, 2009


2 huge whoas...

I just got over this horrible jungle disease called dengue fever (not jungle fever)
It is a high fever for about 7 days with bouts of intense eye socket, joint pain, and sweating... Oh my word. Nothing has ever been harder for me than teaching with this little illness. I didn't miss a day because it was exam week and I was compelled. I don't know why. I don't think I will be teaching again because I am too scared of getting sick and doing this again.

Second whoa was kona... holy shit. Chrissie was on fire. She shamed half the pro men's field and all the women's field. Someone should go after her and blow up like crazy... why not. Guaranteed Macca (if he had breasts) would be blowing to bits going after her. What is the deal? Anyway, Mirinda had a stellar marathon but was such a non factor after t2 that it was silly.
What can I say about the men? Chris Lieto broke my heart. What an amazing race. Huge courage and he almost got it done. Macca was amazing with his huge bike to make up for a poor swim... Should have had the race but a huge Mid Run BLOWUP (see my blog prediction) was certain... rallying from this was one of the most impressive things on the day. Raelart was stellar and Alexander is a machine and a bit lucky as it was Macca and Lieto's race to lose. A 12 minute deficit in t2 is something you shouldn't be able to get away with and I don't think he will again.
Potts? What the hell happened with the bike? Look at his splits in any tri and he should be up there. Who knows... but I still think he can win this thing.

I think I am signing up for IM florida.

Sunday, October 4, 2009



Kona is coming and I am majorly pumped because it is probably the best field the event has seen in history. There are probably 10 men who all have legitimate shots at the overall. No way of predicting this race but I'd like to toss out a couple names that have been of particular interest to me and could do damage.

Ronnie Schildknect- After a ridiculous bike run combo that left him in forth by seconds to Rutger Beke, he knows that he lost the race on the swim. Biking in isolation much of the day had to have made an impact on his swim training. Look for him to hang on in the chase pack and be in the hunt on the run.

Andy Potts- After a crash in Chicago, his name dropped from the contenders list. I don't think potts will have a problem. Huge performance last year in first Ironman on almost no specific training. People also forget his drafting penalty last year. Look for him to lead from the gun and dictate the first half of the bike. The run will be a shoot out and potts will be there late.

Usual suspects-
Macca, Llanos, and Crowie

Macca- ridiculous racing this year, but my I think he may have overcooked it with too much variety, racing, and travel in his lead up. Also, a damaging Ironman Germany took him very deep. My favorite athlete and I hope he smashes everyone but I am concerned.

Llanos- People say he lacks the head to win... great performer in the heat can never be overlooked. Also took it incredibly deep in Ironman Germany

Crowie- Sharp in the majority of his races. Smacked Macca early in the year. No ironmans and very stable year. Can he be the first to defend since Tim Deboom? My gut says yeah, looking at the field, probably not.

The record will fall this year... The swim will be faster than ever with ITU guys (bozzone, henning, and potts pushing)

The bike will see lieto, stadler and new man 20 yr old phillip graves pushing hard.

The run will have a pack of brilliant foot speed come into t2 together (llanos, beke, macca, crowie, henning, potts, schildknect, bracht)

people will be shelled by mile 10 as Macca will take it out very hard- llanos doesn't have the speed to hang but will stay steady to finish 3rd, beke will fall off, and bracht will let them run away.

Henning's inexperience will show, Bracht and Schildknect will fade.

Macca will pop from pushing too hard too early.

Crowie and Potts will kill each other. Potts wins with surge in the last 2 miles.

Potts will split 48, 4:30, and 2:43 for roughly an 8:06

Women? Chrissie and she'll destory the record and will terrify the mens pro field.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All aboard the off season mildly comfortable train

Actually this doesn't really hurt. I like these sessions for the off season and maybe they will help you....

1. Aerobic top end
15 min jog warm up 5 x ( 7 min comfortably hard (like a 6 out of 10) 1 min speed walk), cool down...
the goal of this workout is to stretch your aerobic limits. It is just hard enough

2. Strength
15 min jog warm up ( 5 x (1 min steep hill, 1.5 min wall sit, 1 min lunges, walk/jog down hill), (5 x 40 seconds of long bounding)) 15 min cool down
the goal of this workout is to build hill climbing strength and power. It is a good session to keep momentum going if you feel like your body can't handle a high HR run.

3. Neuromuscular
Look up Bobby Mcgee. It is hard to write about the drills that should be done but if you don't half ass them, they work.

These three run workouts, in addition to a long run and a bunch of little easy runs have helped me increase my mileage a lot in what seems to be a pretty sustainable way. I am running about 5-6 times a week which I haven't done in forever. Give em a try.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Heavy in the streets

So here's an update of my vida in the Dominican

I am always in the streets here. Allow me to illustrate...

I was walking back to my apartment and thought I would get a coconut to drink as I was incredibly thirsty... here you can get agua de coco for 25 pesos from hatian street vendors. They are usually pretty good and sort of like a natural gatorade... anyway I went to one and he was garbage. First off, he handled a machete like a bumbling idiot. Imagine kramer with a machete. Scary. He almost hit me in the eyeball. Me and an old man were watching and mumbling about his "talents". I got my first coco and it was delicious. The old man got his and tasted to see if it was good, spat it out and walked away. I wanted his as it was just going to waste so I tasted it. It was horrid. Skunked coconut tastes sort of like vinegar, milk, and water mixed together. I spat it out. I figured I would buy another since I was really thirsty... I tasted it, spat it out and told him it wasn't fit for consumption. He didn't like that. I told him to give me another and he did... same result. Garbage water. So this is when things got ugly and we started screaming at each other about the coconut. We nearly came to blows.

Next illutration....

I was sitting in my apartment when a guy came to my door and asked if he could charge his phone. He had a slit cheek... Like when gangs hate other gangs and they use a knife to cut the other gangmember's cheeks. It is a horrible scar. So I knew he was heavy in the streets for sure. I let him charge his phone and we started talking. The next thing I knew he was in my apartment teaching me how to cook the best rice ever... the dominican way. Basically you put oil in the bottom, salt the hell out of it, then add water to make an oily broth... you then wash the rice and add it to the broth. This works really well and makes really flavorful rice. Anyway, we had eggs and rice and hung out in lawn chairs outside my apartment (this is what everyone does here)... then we went to the colmado ( corner store) and split a jumbo beer.

Other examples...

I now own a machete for coconuts and know how to use it properly
I know prices and call bull shit on cab drivers, and store owners
I drink water out of bags instead of bottles (bags of water cost 3 pesos, bottles cost 12-15)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mr. Severin checking in

So my job has been going incredibly well... I am liking the kids/ disciples. I am enjoying punishing people. I think some of them even like me. Most fear me. I got a card from a third grader today. It said...
"Dear Mrs. Severin (bilingual school)

You are being kind to me. You are big and beautiful


hahahha I laughed so hard at the big and beautiful. It sounds like a Queen Latifah movie or something.

It has been really difficult to bike here and I can tell because every time I hop on the bike I feel like I have chicken legs. I lost my butt because I have been running so much and I have found that my butt was the source of my bike power. I am trying to figure out a way to get my trainer and to get a heart rate monitor. I need to get on it as I have big plans.

I tried to buy a reloj de pulsa (heart rate monitor) at this kiosk in the mall. It was about 60 bucks and looked like it would serve my purposes. I was excited. They asked if I needed a receipt because they had computer problems. I said nah prolly not. Then as I was walking out, I thought ehhhh maybe I should check if this works... I put it on in the parking lot and started hitting buttons. Not heart rate. Checking the box, I realized it was the wrong watch.... naturally.

I walked back in, told them I needed the correct watch... after about 6 minutes, she found it... She told me it was triple the price. I told her no. She told me that I could either take it and pay the difference or take a watch of equal or lower value since I didn't have a receipt.... I was fuming and holding the heart rate watch, basically thinking I was going to take the watch if they didn't give me my money... She called her manager over and finally reason came into the situation... She looked at me like I was crazy and said she was sorry and would issue a refund. I was crazy but things in the Dominican do not operate logically and I was not going to be ripped this stupid kiosk in the mall.

The moral of the story is I can now get mad, get my money back, and look for a heart rate monitor ALL IN SPANISH!!!!!!!

Peace out boy scouts.

Things to come:

I might swim with a team of Dominicans across a bay (17km)....

Monday, September 14, 2009

The only thing you can't recycle is wasted time!

Hello Students,

your response is hello Mr. Severin.

I am now a teacher in Santo Domingo. Today we will be learning about how I am going to struggle mightily at teaching but also smack some kids around and enjoy when they say things about Brad Pitt and Angelina making a sculpture out of their baby's first poop (true).

My first real day was today and I am blogging as these kids work on some nonsense assignment. I am wandering around dishing out warnings and punishment for not being on task and pretending I care at all about kids being smart asses.

I am getting ruined by this one class of little goblins as we speak. Gotta get back to it.

I'll post more soon as I have some stuff to write about (we went to the prostitution capital of Dominican Republic... awkward... but awesome white sand beaches)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

^%$ ^%$^%$ my shoes Brand New

Hello lovelies,

Some new things to report...

Moved into a third world apartment. It doesn't have a door to the bathroom... which is a bit weird... the fridge gets down to about 5 degrees below room temp. The bed is essentially a board and the sheets are so old they are transparent. The pillows are so equally as thin which I really like. Overall, pretty cool.
The guy I am renting from speak swiss german and barely any spanish. The problem with this is he will throw in english words, spanish words, and german words all into one conversation at break neck speed. It's almost like he is playing a game of how high he can build the language barrier. A game that isn't fun to anyone but him.

Trying to recover from being a bit sick... Caitlin's roommates are essentially disease carrying goblins right now. Despite having the immune system of a bull elephant, I have fallen slightly ill...

Now for something new...

Dr. John's advice for sickness:
1. Eat as much real food (food that is recently deceased) as possible for the loads of vitamins
2. Overload your system with zinc and B vitamins
3. Go to the store, buy ginger, go home, boil it, drink what's left over

It works... I am getting better instead of getting the full blown sickness that the weak disease vectors experienced.

Just got a hair cut from a dominican shop close to my new apartment. I have never had such care with a buzz cut and it cost 4 dollars. Absolutely amazing. Some things are really cheap here and I am starting to figure out how to stretch my money which is key when you don't plan on making more than 6 dollars an hour.

Might start a new job on monday... stay tuned as I might have a hand in shaping the dominican youth!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Really Weird

So today I had another incredibly bizarre run... really, this place is the most interesting place imaginable to exercise... I'm not sure if that is good, but it is definitely not boring.

here's the breakdown...

The idea was to run to the pool, do a continuous swim, then run home...

Sounds simple... nothing weird.

It started brilliantly and I cruised fairly quickly to the pool, said high to the guys on the triathlon team and felt proud to be an American for the first time in my life...

I walked into the pool and a Haitian stopped me. He said, do you have permission for the pool. I explained I was training with the triathlon team... just then a guys popped out from around the corner and yelled HE'S AMERICAN... let him in! I walked in a popped in the pool without a second thought. I had just been talking about how I felt no particular attachment to the US. I take that back. My new name is John Paul "Old Glory" Severin. My favorite food is American flag cake and I only drive Ford Trucks while listening to Toby Keith. I am going to get a tattoo of an eagle tearing through an American Flag on my chest.

The weird part starts now... after a great really smooth swim, I hopped out of the pool and started jogging home. I was running by a building being demolished and I felt something fluttery around my head. Then it hit me smack in the face... I looked around thinking it was a bird. No. It was a bat. In broad daylight. There were two bats swirling around feet from my head. A haitian fruit vendor screamed VAMANOS and we both took off running down the street away from the bats. We escaped... looked at each other with a universal language look of "can you believe this just effing happened" then laughed and I continued running.

I finished the run, got home and almost forgot this happened. The worst part is this stuff is beginning to not phase me.

Have a happy winds day.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Knock Knock

who's there????

wanna ride bikes?

I went for a ride last night @ around 7... it was terrifying. First problem is cars. Traffic never goes away here. I constantly have the feeling that cars are lurking behind me, ready to pounce. This makes me uneasy as all hell. Anyway, on this particular ride the lights went out about 10 minutes in. Se fue la luz en espanol. The uneasiness of traffic was then compounded by the fact that I couldn't see anything. Everyone uses their brights, as courtesy to other cars is not something that anyone is interested in... This combined with the dark had me essentially seeing green spots, darkness, and more lights. I headed for home in a desperate blinded stupor and just as I was onto the main road a giant land rover pulled behind me... Naturally I thought it was the end t0 my particularly reckless existence. Not so, apparently a guardian angel was behind the wheel of the land rover. He dropped back about 30 feet and blocked traffic for literally 4 miles as I made my way home. The honking that ensued was amazing but the godly land rover was didn't flinch and he protected me all the way.
every car in santo domingo looks like this... you can see why I was scared

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things that have helped me lately...

I thought I would share some training info that has helped me structure what I am doing lately... I read an interesting article about fading in pr's and approaches to distance running...

for example if my pr's were
10k-36 flat
1/2 marathon-never done
marathon- 3 flat

This shows fading as distance increases...There is an acceptable tolerance of fading as distance increases and this example falls outside of the limits.

"Think of it roughly like a clock face: Your one mile PR should be at 12, your 5k PR pace should be at quarter-past (+15 secs), your 10k PR should be at half-past (again, +15 secs), your HM PR should be at quarter-to (again + 15 secs), and your marathon PR should be once again at the top of the hour. (This also fits in with the old rule of thumb that your marathon PR pace should be mile PR pace + 60 secs/mile)"

This is obviously a rough rule of thumb but generally holds true give or take a few seconds and depending on strengths of the athlete.

The question is why... the answer is lack of proper aerobic training for each of the given distances... Now what should be done to rectify this and tighten up the pr's... It isn't as simple as simply slogging long slow miles.

two things can be wrong with poor aerobic training
1) Low mileage background in training
2) Whatever mileage being done is being run "too fast" (for performance level)

After examining what I have been doing, I've found that both were the case...

I was not doing nearly enough run volume to perform properly (not to mention bike and swim) but also, in my vanity, doing it much faster than would benefit me from an aerobic standpoint.

After reading articles on this method, I confirmed this with a friend who runs for Michigan State. I asked how he was training and he told me that his pr had dropped 50 seconds over the 5k using this training method. He was running slower than he ever had in training, while still maintaining his neuromuscular ability to run fast through strides, hills, and drills. The key for him was running slow enough for the training to be repeatable and every now and slightly push the upper limits of his "slow" pace. He wouldn't ever hit his LT or exceed it as this training becomes not repeatable. After doing this training with one workout at roughly race pace, he scored a pr of 30 seconds in his 5k (from 14:50 to 14:20).... I am beginning to think massive time spent at the track isn't the way to go about things.

I am starting this method hoping to tighten up my pr's and improve my aerobic ability. Just thought I would share as this is the time to try to break through plateaus.

The key for me will be logging miles with frequency, running at a pace that is repeatable, and every so often, stretching the limits of my aerobic pace... However, abandoning speed is not something that has worked for me and training all energy systems is crucial for racing. I will be doing hill work for strength and tabata sprints for top end speed. I will leave out extended efforts at LT pace for now and I'll let you know how the training progresses.

I am already handling more mileage than ever before and I have been using this approach for about 6 weeks. I also raced very well and have done almost no speed work or race pace efforts. Just some hills and some sprints (4 minutes worth a week).

For me, this marks the start of a journey and I think I am starting to piece the puzzle together. Hope it helps you too. Please ask if this is unclear as I kind of word vomited it out.

Monday, August 31, 2009

ITU dominican style

Alright everyone,

Just did my first ever ITU style race (drafting allowed on the bike) and also first ever race in Santo Domingo...

Here's how it went...

Gun went off (20 min late as is the latin american way) and the small herd rushed into the water. Apparently the national team doesn't spend 10 hours in the pool here a week for nothing because the lead group was shot out of a canon and shelled me before I could even blink. I was left working with the chase group to limit our losses. I swam pretty well and the water was clean as can be. You should see some of the stretches of ocean here. It is like an enormous garbage milkshake so I was worried.

I transitioned onto my old trusty (read rusty) trek 1000... and after riding my BMC tt02, felt like I was taking the 3rd world thing too far... Caitlin simply stated that it was time for me to get back to basics... (she has no idea how much she sounds like a triathlon coach sometimes)

Anyway, got onto the bike and there was a group of four people soft pedaling up ahead. I couldn't believe it... soft pedaling in a race?! I yelled in broken spanish at them and one guy jumped onto my wheel as we tore off after the fish who had smashed us in the swim. As I was the only one intent on catching, I was doing 75% of the pacing. We quickly caught a loner who had been stuck in no man's land and he hopped on the pain train as well. This guy refused to do any work. I yelled more. Still no work as he had designs of running quickly.

No time to work on my Spanish to reason with him that it wasn't acceptable to race for 5th, I stuck at the front but couldn't for the life of me figure out where the leaders were... It was a 4 lap course... we should see them (the reason is at the end)?! Anyway, I tested the legs of the two behind me with a couple attacks on the 4th lap to see if I could dislodge them before the run. No luck as I have very little punch on the bike.

Transitioned onto the run slowly (no speed laces and a t shirt instead of tri suit=back to basics)

We dropped the guy who had pulled a few times right off the bat. Then it was me and freeloader. I took out the first 1.5k @ a good 5:40min/mile pace to see where his running legs were. In this heat (89 deg and 80% humidity on the day) 5:40 is pretty painful. He shadowed me but his legs sounded heavy. I did some investigation by dropping the pace and waiting for him to pull up to my shoulder. He ran to the other side of the road and I followed... I looked at him and he was touching his side and showed a bit of a grimace. The move was made and I shot off as fast as I could.

I heard a yelp (literally it sounded like a wounded animal or a quiet chewbacca cry) and within 500m I had 15 seconds on him. The rest of the run was spent running through people which made me really happy as I have been running a lot lately. I caught 1...2...3...4...5 people and ran my way into third.

After the race freeloader came up to me and explained that we added mass distance to the bike, we had missed a turn each lap and thus added 2k each lap for a grand total of 28k en vez de 20k. How nice.... in short, I think I could have biked/ ran down the fishies had this not happened... This is why after the first lap we never saw the leaders again. I think we ended up adding about 12 minutes to our times.

Free loader also told me there is another race in three weeks... entonces

el proximo

Saturday, August 29, 2009



So I had my race meeting for the first EVER triathlon in Santo Domingo. It was absurd and the way it is set up is almost ensuring hilarity and disaster. It is an ITU style race with only beginner triathletes... To clarify, it is a multi lap bike ride (4 laps) with drafting, or riding in packs, allowed. This presents problems if people aren't familiar with riding bikes because people crash... Also, the race takes us through the transition area 4 times.... each time is a potential crash with people finishing the swim. I am going to love this for sure. I'll keep you posted.

In the mean time, check out these old clips of Greg Bennet, Chris McCormack, Shane Reed, and Greg Welch... this racing format is amazing. You should watch both races because the finishes are incredible.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lance to Kona?

I love triathlon pretty much to the point that I will watch anything related to it... I have been watching a bunch of old tri footage and I found this old old clip that is pretty cool because it is Lance before he was a 7 time whatever... He is a monster at age 15

Any thoughts on Lance at Kona?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Yes bloggers and bloggettes... It is that time of the year again. Festivus is upon us. For those of you who find trees with tinsel distracting and unseemly, break out the pole. I am now going to start with the airing of greivances... I've got a lot of problems with you people... and NOW you're gonna hear about it.

1. I hate running around Santo Domingo and worrying about stepping on chickens. This is a city and the chickens should act like it and get the hell out or make themselves useful and fry themselves up with spices to seal in the juices.
2. Taxi drives struck a huge blow in our ongoing war by coming up with a creative excuse for overcharging... apparently gas prices had increased between 10 am and noon to the point where cab costs had to reflect it. Not happening.
2. The triathlon team punk'd me and told me the wrong time, meeting place, or something. I walked up to the normal place and I have become aware that if a man is sitting in front of a building in fatigues and holding a huge shotgun, generally the place is closed. This was no exception... so plans were drastically altered which leads to .........

1. My best run yet was had today... a paltry 6.5 miles... but when it is 90 degrees and 75% humidity the game changes... I am experimenting with a walk run protocol and it is going very well.
2. I also found out that santo domingo on domingo (sunday) is like a ghost town. I don't know where everyone is but the traffic goes from making LA look like north dakota to .... well... north dakota. It was nice and I got to bike all over and found a park that is 4 miles long and closed to cars. Excellent.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


So I have huge news! we'll start small and I'll list my latest small victories then hit you up with the pure excitement. Get ready for a roller coaster blog that will make you laugh, cry, and pee yourself with delight. If you play the final countdown while you are reading this, your heart might explode so read con mucho cuidado.

First, I have been having mass problems with my computer charger. This would be really no problem if I were in the US or if I had more than a well behaved dog's comprehension of spanish. Sadly neither was working in my favor. I made myself look like a huge idiot a handful of times but I navigated my way around 2 malls, a taxi ride, a technology store, and a bus and made it back with a charger that solved all the world's problems. I used a ton of shit spanish but it is definitely coming along.

Second,  my friend and MSU triathlete, Matt Inch, is about to do his first US age group nationals. He is ready to go about very fast and certainly sub 2 depending on the day which should put him in great contention for both the overall and the win in his 20-24 age group. The reason this is a victory for me is because he is one of my best friends and I have had a huge hand in teaching him about this sport. I have made a ton of mistakes and I try to prevent him from doing the same. We have made mistakes together and made each other way faster. It is great to see him kill it and watching him figure out how to race and train is really cool for me. I'll let you know how he goes but he should put the screws to the field.

Finally,  my main victory was finding a triathlon team in the dominican. I hooked up with the dominican u23 national team completely by accident today. I was dicking around in the pool doing more flopping than actual swimming and a huge storm rolled in. Everyone abandoned the pool but a group of about 15 guys. They had some run gear and looked like triathletes so I asked in broken basset hound spanish if they were triathletes and the coach said yes. I talked to him for about 40 minutes (all in spanish!) and he asked me if I wanted to train with them! I am so pumped as i had 0 expectations of finding a team down here. I love stumbling into these situations and it also reinforces my mantra of never plan anything.

Thug Life,


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Golpe De Calor

It's hot again... Just to get a feel for it.... here are some of the STRENUOUS activities that have resulted in my profuse sweating...

Sitting in a cab
Making juice
Eating a peanut butter sandwich
Hanging up dirty clothes
and my personal favorite...
Taking a cold shower somehow made me sweat

My sister warned me that this climate was a surefire recipe for Bacne so I am trying to stay clean and cool but I fear the worst. Next time I write, my back may look like a pepperoni pizza. Pray for me.

Next on in agenda.....
In the never ending battle against cab drivers, I have seen a chink in their armor. They are constantly trying to over charge me based only on my gorgeous freckles and milky skin. I am fighting back against this profiling, however flattering it may be. A guy tried to over charge me 2 dollars yesterday and another guy tried to get me for 3 the day before. With my marginally improving Spanish, I fended both off and stole the second guys lighter accidentally. The tide may be turning and soon I may be charging them to take me around town.

This picture makes me feel so good inside. Sort of like when I watch Hugh Grant movies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brian Damage

Hello again to all my friends,

I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you a most.... unpleasant and unfortunate event. It would seem my life has become a comedy of errors and a most predictable one at that.
I have been hit by a car, I have run over a rattle snake, been circled by a shark, electrocuted and now this....

I woke up feeling brand new...
I was thinking about the beating my knees had taken in their relatively short life and musing that I probably would be relegated to a wheel chair within a decade (DRAMATIC IRONY). Anyway...I thought to myself, "probably should go for a run." Just as that thought crossed my usually blank mind, the heavens opened up and a torrential downpour began. I set out anyway, thinking it was my first chance to run in a somewhat normal temperature as the rain would cool it off a bit. The run was brilliant and I was getting some serious stares. Normal stares are reserved for gringos. When gringos do strange things, the stares go from curiosity to condescending repulsion very quickly.
I got lost and shot out onto a main road. I was running down the sidewalk and the drainage in Santo Domingo isn't exactly a marvel of modern engineering. Needless to say, I was splashing through a lake. Just as I started really enjoying the run and a smile crossed my face, I DROPPED INTO A MANHOLE! In the middle of broad daylight. Completely submerged in 3rd world water, I thought, "this can't be real... I can't believe this is my life". My entire body into a drain... *shakes head in exasperation* I pulled myself out and gasped at the polluted air in shock. I crawled out, much to the surprise of a bus full of dominicans, and took stock of the damage. Bloody hand, giant welt on quad from hitting the curb, and busted knees (of course) from hitting as I fell face first down the manhole. I looked at the water... haha. well, look for yourself.

I limped back home. Bloody. Dirty. Badly bruised. Incredulous.

Moral: If you put your faith in puddles, you will get your heart broken. Even if it seems like a nice puddle that you would take home to your parents, think twice bloggers. They are all the same. Dirty liars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

THUG is just one letter more than HUG :)

I am about to smack you in the face with some real talk so sit down and callate.

Here is what happened to me recently that is funny to me. We'll see if it cuts the mustard and is interesting to you too.

  • First things first... I traveled to a place called Las Terrenas (mass white sand beaches and thieves and junk) with 2 friends and Caitlin
  • We spent the wknd on the beach and Caitlin almost got robbed which was funny.
  • I found a knife and hunted coconuts (I learned to climb palm trees and which ones were ripe and effective ways to gut the cocos) I was like Tom Hanks in that boring movie where he talks to that volleyball the whole time.
  • We stayed in a Mansion for some reason ( friend of a friend of a friend lives there) for 15 dollars a night
  • When I was climbing one of the many palms, I failed to notice a wire that was hooked to a light and I got electrocuted BIG TIME. I got shocked off the tree when I was halfway up. It also caused my arm to pink up like a salmon steak. It was hilarious and I felt like a stupid dog running into an electrical fence. Life lessons.
  • I might have gotten a job as a permasubsitute teacher at an english school. THUG LIFE!
  • I also found out where the triathlon federation de dominicana is located and they will be visited shortly by a certain bear that everyone knows and few bearly tolerate (PUN).

Love you and post comments if you think this was cool or really boring (be harsh because I want this blog to be all killer and no filler like the opposite of a limp bizkit album or something)

Fred Durst out.

Monday, August 3, 2009



So I am in the dominican republic as we speak (actually you aren't speaking... I am writing... so pipe down and listen). This is my third day here and I am locked in an apartamento ahora.... I will get back to that. Oh also, get used to spanglish because I am learning espanol and it may come out like word vomit.

This country is pretty cool from what I have seen and not nearly as third world as the US stereotype dictates from what I have seen. Caitlin and I have been wandering around looking for food and other items. The food is excellent. But food is pretty much excellent everywhere. The dish that sticks out is MOFONGO. El Mofongo es hecho de platanos y la piel de puerco. En igleis, plaintains and pork rinds. It is amazing. Mira esto.

It is how you get obese on a budget. Speaking of which, nothing is cheap. In fact, quite the opposite. The cost of living, foodwise, is more expensive than california. Porque? Yo tengo ni idea pero asi es la vida.

Also, we saw a dead dog on the side walk. It was a shock to the system. It was quite dead and I think it had been shot in the head. I don't want to see it again.

The heat and humidity is effing loco and I am sweating profusely as I write and gumming up the keyboard. I wake up in the middle of the night dripping like a hot dog on a rotisserie. I am hoping I will get used to it pero no estoy seguro.



ps. I am locked in an apartment because things lock from the inside as well as the outside. Good for ensuring that you have the keys but bad if you don't have the keys and want to escape.