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.”