One Is Better Than Two

Greetings, friends! Its finally happened: The long anticipated merging of our two mediocre blogs into a Gestalt-like one. Figuring Jesse’s mom needed a break from switching from page to page (hi, Melinda!), and not wanting to lose Amy's three readers in South Korea, we have decided to keep our friends and family updated from the same internet home. This blog is a collection of pictures, recaps, and ramblings from a pro triathlete and elite runner. Jesse has been racing triathlon since 2007, turned pro shortly after, and has posted several top-10 Ironman finishes. His eyes are on Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Chattanooga, and Ironman Arizona in 2014. Amy is a former division one swimmer turned triathlete turned elite runner. In 2011, she decided to stop cycling and swimming in pursuit of marathon glory. She has since won several races, including the 2014 PF Changs Rock n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. Her sights are now set on qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tickets! (No Gun Show)

by Jesse

Amy and I just bought 'em! Our summer EuroTrip is official! Now I can make the "Race Calendar of the Century" official as well. Instead of writing a list, I decided to throw on some Foo Fighters and give you each of my upcoming races along with my opinions on each one. Because if you didn't want my opinion then why are you here? I have done a few fun races already this year, including the Sun Run 10k, 12 hrs in Papago, The Runners Den Pancake Run, and the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. From these race experiences, I have learned a few things. To summarize, racing dumb hurts. A lot. Racing smart feels significantly better and tends to result in a faster race. Also, I enjoy mountain biking but let's just say my skills are lacking there!

Looking ahead: Up next is the Mountain To Fountain 15k (M2F). Now you might be thinking, "That doesn't sound like an A race for a triathlete," until I tell you this: The winning team wins their heaviest teammate's weight in BEER! I just bought tickets to Europe, therefore I need some free beer!

M2F 2014. Hoping for a similar scene this year!

Following M2F is the Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon. I hope to race some other Desert Endurance athletes, including a couple that I coach. I want to blow the cobwebs out of tri racing before I get to the real spring race of the season. I am heading back to the one the only WILDFLOWER. Executing this race well is something that still eludes me. I hope to change that this season. Either way, it is far and away the most fun race I have ever done. The drive is long, the course is legit, and the people are amazing. Plus, how cool would it be to get 2 Jesses on the podium??

After Wildflower starts the journey of a lifetime. No, I am not talking about the Euro trip yet. First, Amy needs to qualify for the Trials. We are headed to Eugene for a long run. Since I get bored pretty easily, I decided to jump in the race with Amy and most of the all-star cast of The Sonoran Distance Project. I hope to hold on to the house marathon PR and get to see Amy qualify for the Trials firsthand. One month later, we embark on our badass Euro trip.

Eugene will be just like this...hopefully minus the 12 year old

First, we head to Denmark to kick things off with Challenge Denmark. I love Challenge races, and am excited to race a couple of them this season. I hope the strength I gain from Wildflower training will correlate to speed on this flat, fast course. Word on the street is that Macca is racing too. If his hand survives the swim, I am excited to race against him, because hey, you never know!

a race in Denmark with a run in legoland...

Then we roll down to Italy to kick it for a month. During this month I need to figure out how to climb. Next up is basically the craziest race in the world, that can only be summed up in this video:

Oravaman is going to be the hardest, hilliest, roughest, most hard to understand the volunteers, and awesomest race I have ever done. I am not going to lie, winning Oravaman might be the coolest thing ever, so keep your fingers crossed!

Oravaman run course

Up soon, an introduction to the support for the season! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pancakes, PRs, and an SDP sweep!

Top 5 sweep! #sdpstrongertogether

A month after our Double W at the Sun Run, Jesse and I attempted our second 6.2 miler of the year  - The Runner's Den Pancake Run in Phoenix. I'd been looking forward to toeing the line one with many of my teammates, and Jesse's last minute entry was the icing on the cake (syrup on the pancakes?). After our Saturday workouts, we arrived in Scottsdale in time for a bike fit for Jesse and a trip to Sole Sports for me. Several hours later, we enjoyed an early Whole Foods dinner with Autumn while watching the New Balance Grand Prix live. Jenny Simpson impressed in the 2-mile and the ageless Bernard Lagat nearly won the 3000 meters! Nothing tops a pre-race routine of sipping beet juice while watching elite runners compete...

The plus of racing recklessly on occasion (as I did during my last 10k), is that you appreciate how much better it feels to pace yourself well. My splits were far more even this time around, allowing me to PR by nearly 30 seconds: 5:49, 5:45, 5:42, 5:40, 5:46, 5:47 according to my trusty Garmin. Also in contrast to the Sun Run, I didn't feel awful until the last 2 miles. Luckily, my friend Ricardo paced me towards to finish as the lead filled my legs.

The "bearded wonder" Jesse V crushing the final straightaway

Two minutes later...

I won the women's race, but the highlight of the day was being part of SDP's top 5 sweep! I did miss my sub 36 minute "A" goal, but that's why it's fun to aim high - there's usually something to keep striving for. Jesse PR'd by nearly thirty seconds as well (!), ending up third in the men's race. I'd venture to say the competition was a little steeper for him, with Alan Webb leading the way for the gents.

A few weeks ago, I resolved to give up alcohol until the Phoenix Half Marathon on 2/28. I guess I'm a liar, because Sunday night found me on the couch with Jesse, Addy, and a glass of Jam Jar. Don't worry, this was a one time occurrence in the name of "celebrating every success." I want that OTQ so badly, but I need to enjoy the journey as well. I'm looking forward to another couple weeks of hard training before I go for my third PR of 2015!