Monday, December 20, 2010

Chubby Bunny and the Airing of Grievances

I've been living in some sort of fantasy world where black licorice is a main food group and pizza is a breakfast food. Apparently my body has reacted to this and I have turned into a flabby goblin. I look like a marshmallow peep after 20 seconds in the microwave. Vile. Licorice just got thrown out.

On another note.... I'd like to share a very embarrassing story. I just got back from a trip to the ER. Here is a stupid explanation...I was operating on my powertap hub and trying to update the hub. I lacked the tool to remove the shell so I was using a knife. MISTAKE. I cut myself pretty deeply right on the knuckle. Quite frankly, I slit the hell out of my knuckle. My finger was absolutely puking blood all over my disc wheel. It was one of those legendary paper cuts.

My Mom is a nurse and Dad is an ER doc and they have conditioned me to not go to the hospital as most injuries just sort themselves out. Apparently the only exception to the rule is paper cuts

It was healing up slightly until I started writing a couple days ago. I was writing a christmas card and a few thank you cards and some checks... I incidentally was bending the heck out of it. About an hour later it had tripled in size

and I was calling my Dad to explain the situation (should have done that a week ago). He told me to get seen which worried me as that is coming from a man who has operated on me with a sewing needle that he had held over a candle. Again... who knew that paper cuts on the knuckle are the only exception to the never go to hospital rule. Anyway, I was just there to get on a course of antibiotics really. Thank god though cuz the Jersey Shore was on in the ER waiting room. I would say booya but that wouldn't do justice to the level of excitement that was gained from watching snooki screech like a howler monkey in heat even despite my finger pains.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blair Witch Running PSA

Listen, bloggers. I am writing a PSA. Being prepared is critical. This extends from how to handle your food when camping, to knowing how to fix a flat tire, and even to predator/prey situations. Don't bother reading this if your idea of a good time is cozying up on the sofa and catching up on your DVD of Lost Season 2. Continue reading if you have one too many coffees and start thinking that finding a coyote in the wild and attacking it might be a good idea. You are my target audience...

Some baller taking life by the B@ll$ and confronting a coyote on Snowboard

Here goes:

You never know when you will need to escape. But I can tell you one thing... if you wait to find out when, it's already too late. Constant vigilance isn't enough. You need to be ready. I know you're probably thinking, "HOLY CRAP! What if I get eaten by a falcon or worse? JP! HELP! LOL! TELL US WHAT TO DO." Settle down. You're lucky I am writing this.

Escaping is critical. It is an essential skill that few, in our sedentary, feeding trough society, could do properly. So without further ado: here is my guide for developing your flight mechanism.

1. Get a headlamp (all good ideas start here)
2. Lie in wait til that bothersome sun goes away and has been gone for several hours. Make sure the moon isn't around either.
3. Play some "Comfort Eagle" by cake, bong a few energy drinks, and snort some cayenne. This is a critical step to heighten your senses.
4. Go outside and run directly into a forest.
5. Run around until you are disoriented. This should take at least 30 minutes.
6. Now... you should be around some animals. Even squirrels will do... Remember, this is a dry run. It's better if the animals aren't big.
7. With your heightened senses from step 3 and sight deprivation, your ears are firing on all cylinders.
8. Stop and turn off your light.
9. As soon as you hear a twig crack, SPRINT for your life. It's the blair witch you dumb ass.
10. You should be lost by now, just like those stupid kids. You are probably also frightened. Don't panic or pee yourself, you coward. Use your wits to get home. The key is to sprint like a scared rabbit every time you hear anything.

Repeat this as many times as needed until you feel equipped to deal with any bird of prey attack or run in with a bully.

I am training again! I'm back baby.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


The past two days have been the first two under a new regime. I am no longer in the driver seat, piloting wherever I please, lazing about in the pool like a crawdad. I have a coach and I am pumped!
Jill Savege is taking the reins from my incompetent hands. I was sold after we met the first time and found out how aligned we were in terms of training philosophy. She has excelled at a variety of distances. She was on the Canadian National team, won multiple world cups, and has a few top Ironman places and a top 10 at Hawaii.
If I tell you any more I will have to kill you, but you can bet your ass I will be ballin this season.

In other news, I slit my finger wide open while messing with a knife. I don't want to go into specifics of how or why I was doing what I was doing with said knife. My mom reads this and it will make her anxious. I bled like I would never get a chance to bleed again and it got all over my disc wheel and my computer.
My family has been conditioned to not go to the hospital so that wasn't an option. Mom is a nurse and Dad is a doctor so they see a lot of false alarms and they made sure we were never among them. I figured out (read: googled) how to cut butterfly bandages to bring the skin together as it was on the knuckle. However, this was after a day of bleeding all over and several failed bandaging attempts. I splattered it all over my disc wheel and dripped on my computer. It has stopped now.

Potato Reenactment

Finally, I have some BIG news. I may have scored an interview with a LEGEND. I will give you a hint: he is one of the Big Four. If you don't know what I am talking about, google it or stick your head in an oven or something. I have already interviewed two of the four so you have a 50/50 chance. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Iris Questions and Answers

Disregard this post if you aren't pretty interested in triathlon training. It will put you to sleep. It probably will anyway. I don't care.

One of my friends, Iris, recently asked for some input on her upcoming season and how to structure it. Good questions. Trying to provide some useful feedback got me thinking and I thought I would share my answer. These are some things that have taken a long time for me to learn. Disclaimer: training is so individual that, while this is great training for me, it may leave something to be desired for you. Different strokes for different folks. Anyway, on with the show.


This statement “Anyway, pretty soon I really want to start doing lots and lots and lots of training.” is not a good idea. Start lightly with mostly aerobic stuff. Keep it pretty aerobic/ steady for 6-8 weeks, then you can start to inject some intensity. Keep in mind, aerobic does not mean slow. It is pretty challenging to keep steady and not fade when in your aerobic zone. It starts out feeling easy then it gets pretty tough once you are a while in… Once you can maintain power for say 2.5-3 hours on the bike, you have earned the right to continue to intense training. Think of it as graduating to harder training.

Here are some basic guidelines and things that have worked for me (may not work for you)

· Consistency in all disciplines, almost never went more than 72 hrs between sessions in each sport

· Frequency in running to build durability... A lot of injuries come from people neglecting to train their connective tissue (doesn’t have to be long but I was running 5-7 times a week most weeks- low intensity on most)

· Strength on the bike (lots of steady/ mod hard efforts… building the distance on these during the major IM build)

· Continuous swimming was a good addition but I was lacking variety/ overall length in swim training

· I used lots of caution with intensity but probably too little development of top end

· Racing infrequently to keep training blocks uninterrupted (probably not applicable to you as you seem to handle a large race load…big difference between small girls and large guys)

She then asked a question about recovery and the 3 weeks on, 1 week off axiom of triathlon training....

I disagree with the 3 up 1 down system...this is the structure that most people follow, but I have found that it is too long to train and too long to recover. I think most people would do better with a 10-16 day training period followed by a 2-5 day block of recovery... I find that overall I can take fewer recovery days this way and hit the training with fresher legs.

For example, If you can make 10 days of training, then take 2 recovery days to feel fresh, then repeat. You have just completed 20 training days and 4 recovery days vs the 3 up 1 down system of 21 training and 7 recovery days ... 10 and 2 is more efficient and generally the 10 and 10 are more quality than 21 straight. Personally, if I train hard longer than 16 days and try to make it 21, the last five days are shit and worthless in terms of building fitness. To make matters worse, it almost always takes the full 7 days to fully recover. The point is to maximize your training time during your blocks and get completely fresh during your recovery... Simple but not easy.

I take recovery by feel. If it takes 2 days to feel completely fresh, then good and I will immediately get back into training. If it takes 7, then fine but the point is to feel completely fresh. Same with training, if you get blasted quick then take a day off. You should end your training block feeling properly tired... not too deep in the bucket, but definitely not fresh... it takes a long time to learn what is properly tired. It takes time to learn the system that is best for you.

My overall guidelines are to be frequent, be consistent, don’t overdo it in any individual session and don’t get caught up in competition in practice…sometimes is ok but all the time is not, be diligent about recovery, minimize processed food and gluten. Work in the following order: form then aerobic/strength then speed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chelsea, MI... I am thankful for you! LOL

I am writing this from a flight back from Michigan. I am on a spirit air flight that feels more like a stuffy cattle car. I am, once again, crossing my long legs to give my lengthy femurs space in the hell-pod they call a seat. It is thoroughly rotten but only you know my plight, bloggers. I suffer in silence…but not electronically. To you, I wail like a banshee. The good news is my flight is like the exact opposite of how the previous several days went.

Spending thanksgiving at home was exceptional. I got home on Tuesday and hung around with my parents, sister, and a ton of good friends. The one bad decision was more or less mainlining gravy and beer for several days. I have never been a huge gravy person, but things change…people change. Profound, I know.

Highlights of the thanksgiving break include but are not limited to seeing Cullen (roommate from MSU and all around sarcastic, hilarious, hobbit lookalike), Travis and Alex (friends from Chelsea who are affectionately known as trailmix due to their recent engagement), Rory and Aaron (cute, music-loving lifemates and friends from Chelsea), Leroy (roommate and ballerina teacher from MSU, in addition good buddy), Inch (MSU tri buddy going to Kona with me) and Monica (ring maker and certainly in the top ten of most likable people in the world). Lauren, Kelly, Adam, Kathleen, and I am sure I am forgetting others, made lamentably small but enjoyable appearances.

The best was seeing my mom, dad, and sister. As far as families go, they are absolute legends and hanging out was about the most excellent thing I could have imagined.

My mom is the most loving, fun woman bar none. She is also a ridiculously good cook. She is better than you mother. Flat out. I am not biased. Come see. My dad is probably the most hilarious person on the planet. He is also incredibly competent and a man of serious integrity. My sister is my best friend. She is the greatest and our connection runs stupidly deep. She and I see eye to eye on nearly everything and are more or less clones. She is the greatest. I love them more than I can possibly communicate on a dumb @$$ blog.

I am thankful for everyone in my life. I am more blessed than I could have ever dreamed. My life may have a confusing script and the lead role may be played by a mildly irritating bumbler, but I have a phenomenal supporting cast. I love you all and thanks for making the week great.

Here are some photos so you can see the people who I constantly yammer about...

Me and Leroy enjoying a moment together
Rory and I baywatchin' it up

Cullen and I molesting the Green Lantern at six flags... during this picture taking session he yelled, in a raspy voice, "why are they doing this?" hahaha. No good answer for that.
Alex me and Travy! FUNNNNNNNN!
Family of legends!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Attention Deficit

Look-bloggers. You are going to have to forgive my antsy/hostile/over-enthusiastic/spastic/ bipolar behavior/writing. Apparently, I come bleeping unglued when I don't exercise. It's not that I am physically twitchy or anything... well actually I do have epilepsy (true) but that's beside the point. It is just that my moods are like stuck in overdrive. I am like a roller coaster. I am just as likely to kick a kitten off an overpass in a blind fury as I am to get teary-eyed over an episode of glee.

Shit man. I need to get untired soon so I can go nuts with exercise again. Time is wasting and Lance Armstrong is getting fitter as we speak.

Adios for now... I'll leave you with an awesome quotes

"OMG! LOL! I am going to tweet about your ignorance!"- My Sister, Rachel (talking shit about Monks' lack of touch with technology)

"All this fuss over a pork sandwich?"- Caitlin Dark (after listening to me and my roommate rave for fifteen minutes about pulled pork)

"You are delightful...but certainly not now"- Caitlin Dark (after hearing me declare how delightful I thought I was being)

"You're not having one of your private dance parties again, are you?"- Caitlin in reference to my epilepsy... she thinks it is funny to poke fun at my illness... sick.

One of those is fake... can you guess which one?

Here are a few more pics of IM... This post is all over the place

Did you get motion sick from reading this yet? Whatever, I'm going to watch legally blonde!!!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ironman Epilogue

What have I been up to post-Ironman?

Well, it all starts with absolute gluttony. Here are some highlights... race night was capped off by a saline IV to keep me from passing out, followed closely by 3 slices of pizza, 2 greasy pretzels, 1/2 box of hot tamales, and 1/2 bag of sour patch kids. The IV was critical in allowing me to be conscious while ingesting the rest of the stuff.
Following my return to California, I reintroduced myself to cereal... with style. 2 boxes of eggo cereal, 1 box of pb crunch and now I am starting on cinnabon cereal. The major highlight was eating 5 frozen snickers bars in 4 hours. I have put on my allotted amount of belly fat for the off a week! I look like a marshmallow puff. Excellent.

I have done no exercise except thursday when I went out on a bike ride. My legs feel sweet. I have amazing range of motion but my lungs and heart are so deeply fatigued it is insane.

Yesterday Cait and I went to Solvang (a fake danish town) and poked around.

We went to an apple orchard where we launched apples at each other like guerillas, dodging in and out of trees, and took senior pictures by an obscenely large pumpkin.
Yes I wear sweat pants in public, does it look like I care?! WHAT!? THUG LIFE
First two shots captured me in my element.
Then things got serious....
HAHAHAHA! This was just her natural pose when I said, "ok now you take a picture with that pumpkin"... I burst out laughing and told her it wasn't a senior picture. But actually I guess it was... Not sure what goes on in that pretty little head sometimes.
After seeing her elegance with the pumpkin, I had to try....

These pictures are actually better than my real senior pictures. I won't show those because I think it will bring back annoying memories for my mom. She is a very patient woman and already had to live through my high school years once.

I did a 10k today and wow... what a mistake that was. I did it because Nokia comped my entry so I figured eh why not... Why not? Because you are 1 week removed from an Ironman. But it's free! Not running would be like looking a gift horse in the mouth and then shooting it in the face. No sir. Not me. I may be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them.
Look at that stupid idiot who thinks this 10k is going to be anything other than slow, humbling, and uncomfortable

Anyway the race went absolutely horribly after mile 2. My legs are shockingly pretty smoked (albeit less so than I thought) and my heart and lungs are being obstinate little bastards right now. I did manage to hold off the 3rd place woman to take 20th overall in a legendary time of 41 minutes and change. That was certainly the hardest 41 minute 10k I have ever done. As I type this, I have sort of an achy feverish feeling and am inexplicably cold. That is from dipping into a well that has already run dry. Lesson learned.
That is the face of a piss poor time, uncomfortable effort, and nearly getting chicked at the finish! Racing is great though. Free racing is the best. Fully catered run.

Macca and Terenzo Bozzone were there too, which was awesome. I had interviewed Macca with Simply Stu earlier in the week but At&T failed me again and I was spat off the call mid way through... I apologized for the snafu. He was incredibly mad and spat in my face. He then turned over the table he was sitting at and stormed off, screeching curses like an irritated howler monkey..... Weird I know.

Actually, he was very good natured and told me about his blistering 23 minute 5k. He and Terenzo set the world on fire in the 5k fun run, finishing mid pack... guess that shows you the level of talent at the Calabasas Classic. Even the people with baby strollers can outpace a couple of world champs.

Adios for now...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Michigan State Abuses Ironman Florida

Other highlights from the MSU team-

Matt Inch finished in 9:28 and snagged the 18-24 slot so we are going to the big island together! We had talked about it all year as sort of a “wouldn’t it be ridiculous if” situation and it actually happened. Unreal. But let the record show that I have my shirt back...

Inch- You really thought you'd never lose to me again?

Anthony Klingler finished in 9:46. He committed to the race and went out hard. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take and he took his shot. He showed major courage out there. Not many people get after it in Ironman and if you do, sometimes it doesn’t work out. He finished in a stellar time and has major upside for his next race. He is now going after Ironman Louisville to get in for Kona 2011. He should get in with a well executed race.

Despite how stupid Kling looks, he is actually in Vet school and doing quite well... I still can't really believe it.

Greg Boyd finished in a brilliant 10:20. He executed his race to a T and got the marathon he didn’t think was possible. He was shooting for 4:30. I told him 4 easy... he hit 3:56...Absolutely spot on. He has had some frustrating Ironman runs and finally drilled it. Love your work, Greggles.

Greg doing things to himself that should be done behind closed doors...kidding... he is putting on his shirt

Eric Tingwall had a huge issue on his bike when he snapped a spoke and his wheel was thrashing his frame. The extent of the damage would have ended 99% of the participants’ days, but Tingwall is a legend. He thought about waiting for wheel support then decided he would just fix it. He trued his wheel on the side of the road, wrapped his spoke around another spoke like a zip tie and finished up. Tingwall also fixed a garbage disposal before the race. He is the epitome of what it means to be a MAN. He is my inspiration.

Tingwall- after showing the disposal what was up.

Mike, Cindy, and Chris Matulis all represented the Matuli well. Kate Salvadore and Josh McCallum also had strong races. Josh's dad also did his first IM! I didn’t get to talk to these guys as much about their races as we all kinda bolted the day after but the Spartan presence was insane.

Cindy had the same smile at mile 16 of the run

We had huge fan support from Michelle Dawes, Iris Lessard, Nancy Boyd, Joe Matulis, the Inch clan, the Klingler clan, Caitlin, Rachel, my dad, and my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. Sean and Sarah, our friends from the Dominican, came out with their new baby, Sullly. It was incredible to see them.

Sean and Sarah. Sully too! That baby is a legend. He'll probably hate Hemingway to spite Big Daddy

I was feeling the support from people watching from home too and it was awesome to have so much positivity sent my way after the race. My sister and Caitlin really helped me drill it for the last 10k. My sister especially knows how to push the right buttons and I always race better when she is cracking the whip.

Doesn't she look like a master motivator?

My dad also gets major props for bringing an IV and forcing it on me after the race. I recovered and didn't go into the Ironman Wisconsin coma that I was headed for...

MSU KILLED IT. Greg summed it up best when he said something to the extent of, “Well a 10:20 really sounds good but it only was good for 4th in our condo of 5 racers.” We went stupid fast. 2 Kona spots and a ton of epic racing. Overall it was better than I could have hoped.

Dream Team/ Team SeverInch (obviously me and inch) vs. Cream Team (rachel and boyd) playing euchre... Dream team is going to Kona!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ironman Part III

Part 3

I went through the 1st 6 miles moving pretty well, but to my annoyance Klingler caught me at mile 6…. He went out in 6:44’s! I was impressed and tried to go with him. We ran together for a mile when a guy in his age group passed. I said, “There goes your kona slot, you need to go.” Secretly I was thinking, “this move needs to be made but it may over extend him and then I can pull him back once he blows.” Evil… I know. But I don’t like losing, even to my friends and teammates. Well… especially to them. We talk a lot about beating each other and losses are not forgotten quickly.

I watched as he went up the road. It looked like it was just Klingler’s day. Ugh. My body was starting to not cooperate. Just as I entered a dark spot, it got worse as I got news that Inch was 30 seconds back. Son of a ^%#$... I mean… bunions that itch. He picked me up and touched my butt cheek soothingly as he went by… dammit. My race was unraveling. I was thinking that it was going to be my first walk fest disaster in a race. Mile 11 came and I hit rock bottom. I was thinking aid station to aid station. I stopped. I looted that aid station like I was packing for a week-long trip in the back country and set off again. The next three miles were rough and I watched, after a turn around, as Inch and Klingler battled about 3 minute up the road. I was out of it. I stumbled through just trying to put one foot in front of the other.

Picture doesn't do it justice but I am dead on my feet at Mile 12

It was the weirdest thing though...Mile 14 came and suddenly, I came good! I kept thinking, "if you feel good, go with it and hit the gas". I pushed the pace and shockingly, 7:20 pace was doable again. I blasted and suddenly I was was reeling in Klingler. He was paying for his ridiculous 1st 10k and I moved passed easily. I was pulling people back all over the place and soon I could see Inch on the horizon. He was 1 minute up. 1 mile later, he was 20 seconds up. I started getting goosebumps as I hunted. Mile 19 came and I was 5 seconds back thinking how stupid this comeback was. I got on his shoulder and said, "Hey buddy, I'm back from the dead." I was ready for a rest. I could tell he wasn't expecting me as we talked a bit. We ran the next half mile together in silence. We had dialed the pace up to a point that was pretty uncomfortable so late in the race. We went from 7:30's down to 7:17's. Not pleasant. I needed to get away. NOW.

I can't believe someone got this photo (props to Joe Matulis)... Mile 19.5 running shoulder to shoulder with Inch. MSU Ironwar.

I needed to get some breathing room and settle back to an easier pace after breaking the rubber band. Literally it was the exact same scenario as the ironwar this year at Kona. Macca pounced when Raleart went for coke at an aid station. Our MSU ironwar went down the same way. We went through the aid station at mile 21 and I dropped back to grab some water and to watch how he was feeling. He went up and grabbed some coke. To my surprise, he slowed to walk for about 5 steps to get it down. As soon as I saw him walk, I jumped and took off like I stole something. The next mile was 6:50. I didn’t look back. I was running scared. I panicked, thinking that I made the move way too early and didn’t have enough juice to get home. The next mile was 7:10 and I eased up and looked back. He was gone. Still nervous, I settled into 7:40-8:00 pace and ticked a mile off. I saw my sister and told her to go get me a split to inch. She guessed at about 2 minutes. Whoa! It was the most ridiculous comeback I could have imagined. Once you are passed in an Ironman, coming back is pretty much out of the question…. I rode the adrenaline and pulled back probably 10-15 places over the final 10k. I hit mile 24 running 7:30’s and picked up a German guy who was shuffling. I had drilled the bike for about 5 miles coming into town with this guy and he took off on me at mile 2 on the marathon! I went by but he was a mongrel and didn't want to let a place slip away. He stuck on my back as I went by but I was having none of it. I ratcheted the pace up and we were flying at 6:50's. He was right there. I was feeling stupidly good and I turned the screws and closed the final mile in a 6:40 and spat him out the back with 600 to go. With 400 to go I looked at my garmin and saw 6:11 pace.... COME ON! I hit the finish and absolutely lost it. I shot my hands to the sky thanking God. I turned, almost in tears, to see the german come down the finish. I was so impressed with his fight. Not many people are racing at mile 25 in the marathon but he was an animal. He had a massive smile on and we hugged it out, laughing like idiots.

I couldn’t have written it better. It was epic.


Final time was 9:24 and 3rd in the 25-29 age group. It ended up being good enough for a Kona spot! No roll down either. Inch snagged a spot too in the 18-24 division with a 9:28. But the key is that I got my shirt back.

It is a dream. We are headed to the big island for MSU Ironwar round II.


Ironman Part II

Part 2

Coming out of T1, I set out hard and the wind was in my face but the legs were feeling magic. I started moving through the field and pushing a big gear. The last Ironman I did (wisconsin) I slid back through the field on the bike which really pissed me off as I usually am a pretty good biker. I was stoked to be moving up. The order of the jungle had been restored as I had trained myself to ride a proper 112 miles.

MSU tri supporters- Iris, Nancy and Klingler’s family gave me a split that I was three minutes down to Inch at mile 35… I was thinking, “what the hell? No way am I three down.” I shifted down, screamed a curse that I won’t repeat (it sounds like bunions that itch) and set off. They drove away leaving me quite annoyed. The anger was short lived as I saw them a quarter mile later yelling that he was the next biker up the road! Apparently, the 3-minute split was after the swim… Beauty! I caught him and we worked together for 16 miles and peed a ton, which was weird for the aid stations workers as they heard us grunting together trying to get the stream going. This isn’t really a pretty sport.

I felt strong so I pushed to break away after seeing about 3 major groups of drafters on an out and back. Klingler, another MSU racer to whom I despise losing, was in one of the groups. Shit. I needed breathing room but just as I picked up the pace, the constant stream of gu’s I had been shoveling down my gullet started to make me sick… I let up trying to keep from ralphing and a group of four guys picked me up. I was miffed as they were weaker riders but I was content to let them work as I tried to get my stomach to come around. Once it did, I went to the front and blasted off as we turned and got the wind at our back. I rocked home and, on another out and back, saw my two teammates (inch and klingler) in a group of about 20-30. Dammit. I needed time on both of them to be able to relax on the marathon so I doubled the effort despite having to go alone. They were less than 3 minutes back.

NOW: rant time. I did not enjoy the Ironman Florida biking as it really rewards middle of the pack swimmers who come out onto the bike in huge groups. They then shamelessly draft in the STRONG wind on the course. Drafting isn’t an issue when you are up front, but about 5 minutes back it is ridiculous and I felt I was robbed of one of the faster bike splits as weak riders ended up out splitting me because they are sitting in huge packs. Fair enough- it isn't just a bike race but I think I will be doing a more honest Ironman next time.

Either way, I got into transition feeling ok. I knew I had to hustle through to bank some free time on Inch and Kling. They are both capable of running in the 3:15 range and I didn't want to be forced into an unreasonable pace too early. I got out of T2 and heard, "and here comes John Severin... leading his age group!" Excellent start to a marathon.

Split- 4:52 (23 mph average)

Ironman part I

Wow… Ironman Florida actually happened. This weekend was about as meaty as Chef Boyardee ravioli so it is going to take multiple posts to convey how it unfolded… I know you all have short attention spans so it makes sense to cut it up. First up are 6 reasons to continue reading

  1. You like triathlon and are indifferent to the actual specifics so long as it relates to triathlon
  2. You are interested in how a most epic day panned out for yours truly
  3. You gleefully hope something bad happened to me and I blew apart
  4. You are bored at work and have a weird man pony-tail (probably will only make sense to one of you)
  5. You want to hear about an IronWar between three MSU Spartans that was nearly as exciting as watching Macca and Raleart duel at the end of Kona
  6. You are my mom
  7. You are stalking me. You should be ashamed of yourself, pervert. I forgive you though. In this modern age, it is pretty easy to casually stalk someone and if forbes made a list of 500 most stalkable people, I would be probably in the mid 200's.

I digress.

Here is part 1

Race week started out by getting to the apartment where I was rooming with a ton of my good friends from MSU. Matt, Greg, Eric, and Anthony were all racing. It was a reunion of Ironman Wisconsin. Also, it was basically a foul-mouthed, euchre and South Park fest with very little thought of the race for the first couple days.

The weather was horrible. It was rainy and getting progressively colder but the forecast was good for race day, especially for the exceptionally thick individuals of the MSU tri team. We like the cold mainly because it freezes the other manorexic triathletes.

Race night came and I could barely sleep. There was so much build up that was finally going to be realized. I rarely struggle sleeping but this was one night that beat me up. I woke up at 3:30 thinking it was 4:30… I went back to bed and an hour later rolled out of bed and groggily made coffee and got my crap together. We all headed out and got into transition to set things up. It was in the high 40’s and I have to imagine that was in peoples’ heads. I love the fact that most triathletes are giant head cases… they just over think everything and freak themselves out of races. It’s almost like the only time people want to race is 70 degrees, no wind, and a course with no hills. I used to think like this but finally realized it never happens. Today was pretty windy and cold which is absolutely ideal for me.

I made my way over to the swim start and I was shocked to see my dad! He hadn’t told me he was coming and had jumped a plane 2 days prior. I was blown away and completely stoked. He put me on the phone with my mom and she had a few words for me. It was incredible. I had such awesome support from my sister, Caitlin, the MSU crew and now my dad. They got me through some majorly rough spots and the support on the course was huge.

Anyway, I lined up to the far left to give myself a super clean line and the cannon went off. I blasted the first 500 to get clear water and settled in. The current was strong but I hit the first turn buoy and started riding the waves. I came out of the water on the first loop feeling good. It was a tale of two loops and I struggled to find a rhythm on the second go around. I fought the waves rather than using them and just had a garbage back half of the swim. 1st loop was 26:35

2nd was 30:00. Rough. I was happy to be out of the water and got into T1 with a major purpose of blasting the first hour of the bike to catch my buddy, Matt Inch. He and I go at each other in every race we do together and I wanted to set the tone by catching him early to get in his head. Each race we do together, we have a prize for the winner. It is a half zip MSU tri shirt that we both covet. Whoever wins gets the shirt til the next race. He has had it for a while and I wanted my damn shirt back.

Split- 56:35

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


SICK!!!! at the airport again… I got up super early and bombed to airport only to realize that I had just bombed on an expired license…Apparently airport security doesn’t take too kindly to this. However, I have a fresh cut Mohawk and a gentle lamb’s attitude so they let me through after taking a look at every other thing in my wallet. Health insurance card, library card, and gum wrappers were dumped onto the kiosk and apparently were sufficient. In all this distraction, I wasn’t charged the 175 buck bike fee! Awesome start.

Flights were uneventful and I got to Panama city and called my buddies. They were still in Alabama so I set up my bike and got it nice and primed for racing…beauty. Then I called again (probably irritating the boys) and they still hadn’t arrived. I was getting itchy legs just sitting around, so I asked the information desk to watch my plethora of crap and I trotted out for a run. I pilfered a dept. of transportation construction site for stuff that I could use on my bike and found some plastic end caps and nick nacks that I might try to fashion into a container for a flat kit. My legs felt magic and the weather is pretty good. Most likely people will be bitching about the humidity but really it is about as perfect as any race weather can get. Hopefully it holds out.

The area around the panama city airport is, strangely enough, unbelievable running terrain. Lots of flat grass, perfect pavement, and smooth lonely dirt roads. It was a perfect shake out. I am super relaxed now. Few boxes to tick before Saturday but I should be ready to go….

Hoping for a midnight ocean swim!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Baday

Yesterday was my birthday and it was pretty cool. Cait made me banana bread so I woke up to hot banana bread with candles stuffed in it- Awesome. Then, I got dressed as Harry Potter. Not for any weird personal reasons just for Halloween purposes. Then I opened my presents. Mainly food presents-Awesome. I also got this from one of my good friends, Iris.... Check it out
Pretty Stellar.
Thanks, Iris.

I talked to my Parents for a while and they also got me food related items. My roommates did too. You may ask, "but JP, food isn't a present! Is it? LOL!!!"
Well, despite your obnoxious use of LOL's and exclamation points, I will answer your question. Yes. It is. It's called a birthday stocking. Just like a christmas stocking, but on Birthdays. I invented it (patent pending). I have explained this concept to everyone I love and it results in my getting about 3-6 birthday stockings each year. The best part is they are always different. And if they are the same... who cares! Food is good even if you have two of something.

Anways...It was a perfect Birthday. Going out for a ride now. Bye bye.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Macca Video

Breakdown of Macca's race. He was dealt a great hand and played it to perfection. RAYNARD! Hit the Gas!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"Great things happen to people who make great things happen to themselves."-Simon Whitfield

Ironman Florida is coming up quick and I am ready to jump out of my skin. Legs feel kinda like shite. Heart and lungs feel supercharged. Legs will come around so all is on track...

My head is kind of getting away from me and I am starting to have some really high expectations, bordering on unreasonable. In order to achieve what I am now shooting for, everything will have to be executed to perfection. I am prepared to dip deep into the well to make it happen, but it may take more than that.

Plan is to swim super strong but not empty the tank. The bike is where the bread will be buttered. I am not interested in the common "hold back" bike technique that everyone preaches for Ironman. I did it at Ironman Wisconsin and it is fine when going after Ironman completion. I left at least 10 minutes on the table at that race by touring on the bike instead of racing. Soft strategies are for people who are scared to fail. I am ready to air it out on the bike and have done it in every brick/ long bike all season. No reason to soft pedal now. The key to the race will be easing into the marathon. Unlike the bike, I can't get away with any bull on the run. I want to race to my potential and either it will result in a super fast time or complete implosion 14 miles into the marathon. Fireworks either way.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today was a fairytale


Just thought I would get your attention. Taylor Swift is a talent that comes along once in a generation so you better be paying attention. Now that I have a captive audience, I'd like to tell you some cool news. Cait's back! The peck returned from Yosemite where she was chaperoning brats for a week. Yes, THE yosemite of "double rainbow" fame. If you don't know the youtube clip "double rainbow", it isn't funny. What is funny is she went through a week of the kids shouting double rainbow every five seconds and busting up laughing. I would have fit in well so I am planning on chaperoning next time.

I was pumped that she got back. So pumped that I went for a bike ride without her. Then we went hiking where I constantly reminded her of the double rainbow by shouting it every time we crested a hill. It's the gift that keeps on giving. OH MY GOD IT'S SO BRIGHT AND VIVID.

Brick is on the agenda today. Legs feel sweet on the bike especially.

Here's something that is actually funny. Little treat for getting to the end of yet another pointless post.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ease up on the Gas. Grilled Cheesus.

I went flippin stir crazy during my recovery week. I was jumping out of my skin but my body was totally in the bucket and I was having trouble climbing out. Finally I came right just in time to hit some major workouts with my buddy from out of town... They promptly put me back in the bucket. Shit.

Instead of resting, I hit a huge speed workout on my bike that had me cross-eyed by the end... literally. It was just for a second but I was actually cross-eyed. Pretty funny and new experience.

I took a day to relax but couldn't help thrashing myself in the pool. Damn. Then feeling that pull and feeling a bit chubby, I hit another hard workout: 1 hr 50 min strong strong ride with big wind and some ok climbs then a 30 min hillacious run. Damn.

I got smart about getting back on track and ate super healthy, did the 30 min window of carbs and a bit of protein, then jumped in the pool and the hot tub to bob around and let my muscles chill.

I feel good today. Short nice and easy swim... no thrashing myself. Good. Trying to resist my running shoes calling my name. God. I need to ease off and I know it as I am trying to get fresh for Ironman but I can't for some reason. That's the problem with addiction, I guess. I would be a terrible heroine addict. Honestly though, triathlon is probably more expensive.

Unrelated. I have some book recommendations for those of you who geek out properly on endurance stuff.

  1. once a runner (classic book about a miler... super intense and motivating read)
  2. again to carthage (same miler transitions to the marathon... weird pacing and slow beginning but picks up)
  3. simon says gold (kinda corny shit writing but cool to hear about simon whitfield in general)

I am about to start a book born to run, high crimes (mountain climbing), and then Mark Allen's new book... I'll let you know.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good Weekend pt. 2

The next day Caitlin was off on a trip to Yosemite where she will be chaperoning a week long 8th grade field trip (read: getting paid to hike around in a national park). Me and Aaron connected with a lady near my house who has a 15,000 dollar titanium tandem bike. Sidenote: She is also Macca and Terenzo’s homestay and has all their bikes from Kona. Awesome to see.

The plan was to do a 60 mile ride then a 45 minute run. We headed over to her house. Turns out it is a ridiculous mansion, kitty corner from the Kardashians’ place. Weird. We tried to outfit the tandem as best we could but it was made for midgets and babies. I felt like I was on a tricycle but we got rolling. The gearing was paltry. They apparently run tiny teacup nancy gears instead of manly dinner plate gears and we spun out a ton. The rain was coming down as we headed around the Santa Monica mountains. Lots of climbing and 60 miles later, we jumped off and onto the run. The plan was to run at Ironman pace for a bit then turn the screws but we hit it hard from the gun. It was super hilly and we were both puffing by the end. We finished on an uphill and I was really happy with the effort 3 weeks out from Ironman.

We bounced back to the house and off to a hole-in-the-wall Italian place for dinner. I haven’t had pasta in 3 months and I basically inhaled it. I met a couple of his friends from the LA tri club and we geeked out on triathlon talk. Overall, amazing weekend with a good friend. The training was spot on and my legs are feeling good. 3 weeks to go...

Good Weekend Pt. 1

Finally my down week is over. I just started my last bit of training before Ironman. My friend, Aaron Scheidies, came into town on Friday. We had plans to meet up at the Distance Swim Challenge in Santa Monica the next day. I did a 2.4 mile race and he was entered in the 4.8 mile race. As I made my way over to the start, I saw him coming into the halfway point of his race. Keep in mind, Scheidies is visually impaired. I saw him coming in and I noticed that his guide (a kayaker) was following him. Not the other way around. This is a major problem for a blind person swimming in a very large ocean. He was snaking all over the place, apparently with designs of swimming an extra 2.4 miles just for kicks. The crazy thing was he was leading the race. Haha. Service to all able bodied athletes.

After watching him, I took off with about a group of 60 swimmers and got out past the surf break and quickly into a rhythm. I jumped on a train of two feet and sat in, still pushing to stay on their feet. We came around the 1.2 mile buoy and the train broke apart. The second guy dropped 15 m back and the lead guy went off the front. I was stranded in no man’s land as I headed into a “check point” halfway through. It was some sort of anal medical check on the orders of the LA life guard. Anyway, I headed back out into a big surf. This time, instead of slipping out of the surf like a baby dolphin, I was barreled 4 times like an obese hippo in the ocean for the first time. I lost 30 meters to the guy behind me and he hit the turn buoy up by 5 meters. In a blind rage, I hit the gas to regain my spot in 3rd. I swam hard for 100 strokes and flipped onto my back to check where he was. 8 meters back and swimming well. The good thing was I had enough of a gap so he wasn't drafting. We hit the turn buoy to the finish and I checked. He was 4 meters back and sprinting. I absolutely redlined, rode a wave in, and hit the beach. We almost reeled in 2nd place who was probably 100 meters up at the turn. I sprinted up the beach and promptly fell and ate a bunch of sand. I scrambled back to my feet, looked over my shoulder, and crossed the finish 15 seconds up and on the podium. I grabbed my knees and rasped for O2. Good race.

After, I talked to Caitlin for a bit and I met up with Aaron who was highly disoriented and chaffed all over his body. He had won the 4.8 mile swim! I also had a huge raw wound all over my neck from sand getting in the wetsuit and we griped to each other as we headed to Starbucks. Off to the awards and the VIP tent (Aaron is big business) where we met Marcellus Wiley (NFL player and ESPN analyst) who had just learned to swim and was in the 1.2 mile race, no doubt floundering like a wounded harp seal. Then we headed back to my house after collecting our prizes (floor tiles that had first place painted on them) and had a few beers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beans Beans the musical fruit

Not talking about the standard green bean that may or may not cause flatulence. I am talking about the bean responsible for the elixir of the Gods. The coffee bean may get a lot of love. But let me tell you it is STILL underappreciated. Here are some comments about the beauty of coffee.

1. Nothin gets my colon rollin’ like a huge cup in the morning…Sorry coworkers. You should thank your lucky stars for industrial flushers.
2. I would snort or mainline the beans if the drink weren’t available
3. No other substance could literally support a billion dollar industry that has representatives rivaling McDonald’s. Suck it beer.
4. Move over compulsive exercisers, because this is the most socially accepted addiction ever.
5. If you drink too much alcohol you are labeled an alcoholic and have to go to classes like a sucker. No such stigma for coffee drinkers. So go ahead, drink that whole pot you pathetic junkie.
6. Coffee smells better than everything. Nothing comes close…except apple cider and donuts but if you had those every day you would balloon up as fast as Eddy Murphy puts on a fat suit for money. It’s amazing how often he has tried that fat thing… Idiot.
7. Science rationalizes coffee ALL the time. It prevents gout! It’s an antioxidant! It reduces your risk of Gallstones! It makes you see Jesus! Science can’t stop thinking of weird ways that coffee is baller. I can see them all sitting around in lab coats, guzzling coffee, and as the time goes by they get more excited from the caffeine and more frenetic about their slanted research.
8. Coffee has improved ice cream, milk, candy, and has provided us with an enormous source of caffeine. We have impregnated a ton of different things with said caffeine that would otherwise be boring and not worthwhile. I feel like people who drink energy drinks are just being disrespectful.
I'm getting another coffee. BOOYAH

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

That time of the month

Harry Potter/Hugh Grant marathon!

In an effort to balance my highlight posting with lowlight posting, I figured I should give some insight into recovery weeks (hence the title) I'll give you sort of a timeline of the days leading up to it.

T-3 days to recovery week: Feeling like lead is pumping into my muscles. Heart rate doesn't make sense with effort level. Begging for time off.
T-2 days to recovery week: Appetite is kind of gone. Lower ass half sinks in the water and makes my pool workouts suck. Reluctantly eat some carbs to get ready for the next day.
T-1 day to recovery week: One more monster effort where I allow myself to be completely detonated. Can take this day as deep as possible. Generally feels like SHITE.

Recovery week! It sounds so nice. Sort of like vacation. Newsflash bloggers: I am in the middle of one and it isn't that cool.
My appetite returns like a demon straight out of Hitler's corner of hell and I spend nearly all waking hours either eating or thinking about eating. Nothing can stop me and once I get a taste of, say, popcorn, I won't stop til I have eaten at least 40% of the food that doesn't require any preparation.
My legs feel like cookie dough for at least 4 days if I am properly tired from the training.
My motivation sort of droops like a dead flower and I do very little in the way of being a contributing member of society.
Specific accomplishments in recovery week are basically limited to the following:
1. dressing yourself to go outside
2. stopping yourself from eating your own hand during a binge session
3. And the big one: watching every harry potter/ hugh grant movie in one week (sound impossible?)
4. Not napping every time you find yourself alone.

I snapped this picture just as Hugh Grant was launching his container of baked beans at me. I waited in his bushes for 6 hours and when I asked for an autograph and he gave me his dinner instead. He also verbally abused me and kicked me in the ribs.

Couple things

Couple things today...

My Mom told me to talk more about the women's race so, begrudgingly, I will. Why begrudgingly? Because the depth of the women's field is really weak in my opinion. That might not be fair as Chrissie may be the best women's athlete ever... so comparisons are a bit slanted... The men's field doesn't have a Chrissie but they have 20 guys who could win. Natascha Badmann could get away with swimming a 1:03 and still win the race like 6 or 7 times. That put her back like 8 minutes... in the men's race if you miss the front pack by more than 2 minutes you can kiss your race goodbye unless you plan on setting a bike course record. Sharpen up Yvonne Van Vlerken... Swimming over an hour is unprofessional.

No one can really touch the top 3 girls in the sport. That being said, the top three girls are RIDICULOUS. Sadly, Chrissie dropped out. Down to 2. Julie Dibens and Mirinda Carfrae...and they didn't let us down. Dibens popped out in the lead and proceeded to bike out of her mind. But Mirinda, with a much improved swim, was nipping at her heels. She unleashed on the bike (nothing compared to Dibens who looked super smooth and metronomic) and then went to work on the run... Holy god. Dibs was running really well but Rinny is in another area code. She took the win with a 2:53 marathon! 2:53 stacks up really well with the male pros.... it doesn't just stack up, she destroyed most of the male pro field on the run. Amazing race but you can't help but ask: what happens if Chrissie starts?

Second thing- Saturday was my final big day in my 3 week ironman build. 85 miles on the bike and 12 miles on the run at race pace. First 10 minutes on the bike and I knew my legs had not showed up to the party. Sluggish, gummy, and heavy. Not a good thing for fighting coastal wind. It didn't seem to matter though as my speed was fine. I kept the effort high even though my heart rate was super depressed from huge fatigue. I finished with an average of 23.4 mph! I hope this speed translates to Ironman because if I can hit a 23.4 mph average I am biking in the 4:40's... huge if.
The best part of the workout was getting off the bike, loading up with coke and setting off with fresh running legs. I felt really comfortable for the first 4 miles @ 7:29 pace. I loaded up with some more coke and stepped up the pace. Again, comfortable @ 7:25 pace for 4 miles... more coke and again, comfortable @ 7:14 for 4 miles. I started to feel the edge going 7:15's but I finished feeling pretty good, knowing I could do a buttload more if need be. Average for 12 miles was about 7:23's.

85 miles @ 23.4 mph
12 miles @ 7:23's

I've got to think that translates, right?

Next up- recovery week and then doing everything I can to be ready for the race.