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Poconos 70.3 Preview, Kona & Post Worlds

Wake up, crazy ass fans! Time to emerge from you slumber. I hope the last couple of weeks gave you some time to relax, catch your breath, put away your streamers, mega phones, body paint, and Picky Bar face tattoos, and just enjoy a little break from Jesse’s World.

I’ve got a couple of “announcements” to make – so I thought I’d throw out a quick blog to satiate your appetite.

  1. I’m racing on Sunday in Stroudsburg, PA at 70.3 Poconos.
  2. I’m headed to Kona to cheer on my buddies, hang out at the Mauna Lani, do some Specialized rides, and just say hi to people.
  3. I want to thank you again for the support on the World’s race report. Seriously, you guys are awesome.

70.3 Poconos on Sunday

After a bunch of heehawing, Matt and I decided that I should do another race. I’m training through the Rev3 Final in Florida on 10/28, so adding a race before then allows me to 1) get a few 70.3 Worlds points for next year (which I failed to do at Worlds, sad face), and 2) not train as much. Both good things.

So I looked at the 70.3 race schedule, busted out some airline miles, and decided to do 70.3 Poconos. Why did I decide to do this race? Because Poconos sounds like one of the Lands in Disneyland, like it would be right next to TomorrowLand. Unfortunately, it’s not. Here is the extent of what I know about this race:

  1. It’s in Pennsylvania (a place called Stroudsburg, I suck at east coast)
  2. They canceled the swim last year because it was too cold.

I think the course is kind of rolly/hilly, but I’m honestly not sure. The field is solid, with at least 5 or 6 guys who could win without it being an upset. I think it will be fairly cold again, maybe even raining. Sounds awesome, seriously.

Matt also thought Poconos was funny.

I think you can follow here, but you may have to do some digging. I’m going solo, so no twitter updates.

Sunday is also Lauren and I’s FIVE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, booyah! So I’m headed back to meet Lauren in Santa Barbara almost immediately after the race is over. In fact, if I don’t finish close to 4 hours, I may miss my flight. The pressure is on.

SF Bay Area then Kona at the Mauna Lani

Lauren and I are going to road trip up to the SF Bay Area for a few days, visit some friends, and attend a wedding of one of my Ardica buddies. Yes, these are the same “buddies” that created a fake rice krispie cake (my dream cake) and then destroyed it before my very eyes at my wedding. Long story, but anyway, watch out Adam & Michelle. Haha.

On Monday 10/8, we’ll head to Kona for a week! And, we’ll be staying at the “Luxurious Mauna Lani Hotel!!!!!!” For some reason, I always imagine the Mauna Lani as a super prize on the Price is Right. It’s nice enough to be one.

Life is rough at the Mauna Lani (from Kona last year).

I met the Mauna Lani staff through (of course) Matt Lieto, and they have invited me to be a part of their triathlon team! I’m honestly totally honored as they are incredibly kind and generous people, and, of course, the Mauna Lani is about as good as it gets for a place to stay on the island. Rad open water swimming, biking, running, a 25m pool and gym, great rooms, and a RIDICULOUS breakfast (can you tell which characteristic I’m most excited about?). Anyway, I’ll be doing a whole bunch more reporting from the Mauna Lani while I’m there, and we’re trying to set up a group run and/or clinic of some kind at the hotel as well. I’ll provide details in a pre-Kona blog and/or twitter.

One thing I do know for certain is that I will be leading group bike rides at 7:30am and 9am Tuesday 10/9 through Friday (10/12) with Specialized. I’m not sure about the location yet, (maybe their booth at the expo?) I’ll let you know.

Anyway, if you’re in Kona, come find me and say hello! Stoked to be there.

Rebounding Post Worlds – Getting on the Horse

I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit of a drag coming off a subpar World’s performance. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it still bums me out when I think about it, and that it’s shocked my confidence a little. I’m finding I need to constantly remind myself that I’m not only as good as my last race, that I don’t need to prove my fitness in workouts or train for confidence in general. You actually want to do the opposite after a subpar race. You should rest, because most likely that’s what your body needs. Under Matt’s guidance, I feel like I’ve done a decent job resting and not trying to prove fitness to myself in training, but it’s still a struggle. It’s probably a good blog or Triathlete Magazine article – How To Get Over A [Shorty] Race.

Anyway, I sincerely appreciate the incredible support, comments and sharing of my race report that you all provided. It made me feel substantially better about what happened. It seems that sometimes my biggest failures make the most popular blogs. It certainly isn’t something I want to get in the habit of, but it’s cool to know that the story and process is what matters, even to the crazy ass fans.

Matt has done a good job of letting me free-flow the last few weeks with very little structured training. I’ve trained hard when I felt like it, but also had the flexibility to do very little when the mood wasn’t right. It’s this time in the season where I have to do some new stuff to keep mentally motivated. As soon as I got home, I finally rode the Crux cyclocross bike I got from Specialized. That thing is freaking rad. I went on one of the coolest rides I’ve been on in a while out in the mountains southeast of Eugene. I also did a Cyclocross race, super fun stuff that absolutely crushed me. Anyway, the training has come and gone and I’m just doing my best to let my body do what it wants to do, and not ask any more of it than that.

Cyclocross is like the steeplechase on a bike, except muddier. (thanks Phil Johnson for the awesome pic).

Even though I might not be 100% mentally and physically prepared, I think it’s a good thing that I’m racing again. In the fall of 1999, I trained and raced my ass off in the hopes of becoming an NCAA XC All-American. Then, in a last minute change, I was made the alternate to Stanford’s NCAA XC team. This meant I would prepare for the race, travel there, warm up with the team, and then when the race started, step back and let the other guys run. Needless to say, I was devastated. My confidence was shattered. I was angry at the sport and my coaches. I didn’t want to race again until I felt supremely confident and fit that I could make up for the whole thing in one magical “prove-it” race back. I remember my coaches encouraging me to race indoors on my XC fitness, see what happened, let myself experience what I was capable of. But instead, I went month’s letting that bad result simmer inside me. I lost confidence, motivation, and fitness. By the time I raced again, I had become the athlete I wanted to prove I wasn’t.

So in a way, I’m using that experience to get myself back out there again, even if I don’t feel ready. I realize now that one result doesn’t define you, your season, or certainly you career. The only way it does is if you let it. It’s like they say, when you fall, you get back on the horse as quick as you can. It might be scary, and you might fall again, but the important part is to continue the process. Erase that memory and move onto the next step.

So that’s what I’ll do. I’m prepared to feel anything from great to terrible. And I honestly don’t really care. The point of this race is simply to race again, continue the process and create some new memories to finish the season. Onward!


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