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 Arizona in 2015. 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.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Voices In My Head

by Amy

The idea for this blog, as is often the case, was born on a run. This particular run was in the middle of a week when I couldn't seem to stop (over)analyzing every ache, pain, or sensation I felt in my body. This obsessiveness is fairly common for me, especially when building back my mileage after a layoff. I didn't mention this before, but I started to experience some knee pain towards the end of our Eurotrip. I was able to run through it because it never hurt during the majority of my actual running time. Going up and down stairs, however, made me feel approximately 40 years older than my actual age. In order to combat this, I spent ten days exclusively pool running at the end of July/beginning of August. If there's ever a good time to be stuck training in a pool, it's when you're in Arizona in July!

Bike support/paparazzi duty during the long run.

Jesse V! Always makes me smile and keeps things in perspective.

The break from land running, plus multiple visits to Melissa, the chiropractor, and acupuncturist helped me heal quickly, and I was extremely grateful to be back on the roads. As my mileage increased, however, so did the craziness level of my thoughts. Just for fun, here's a sample of all the thoughts I had in a single week of running. Some of these actually occurred together during a single run (the beauty of a 20 miler!):

  • My hamstring feels tight. Why? Mental note - add hamstring exercises to pre-run routine.
  • My glutes are SORE. This must be good. I'm activating the shit out of them while I run.
  • My Achilles feels tight. Is this the beginning of tendinitis? I've heard that doesn't go away quickly. Fuck.
  • I feel AWESOME. I am so grateful to be running again.
  • I'm exhausted. How am I going to keep this up for 10 more weeks?
  • Shin tightness? Wtf? Is this the beginning of a tibial stress fracture? Mental note - look up exercises to target shin pain. Add these to your pre-run routine.
  • My other knee kind of hurts now. Oh well, it will probably be fine.
  • I can really feel the difference in my running since adding plyometrics. I feel like I'm springing off the ground with every step.
  • Should I be running every run at a faster pace? Would that make a marathon at 6:10 pace feel easier?
  • I should probably slow down. I feel great but can only handle mileage if my intensity is low enough.
  • I need to up my mileage. Multiple weeks of 100+ miles will make me strong enough to run an OTQ in Indianapolis.
  • I need to get to the starting line healthy. I shouldn't run one step further than Coach John suggests.
  • I'm going to run an OTQ in Indianapolis.

I realize the above list makes me resemble an insane person, and I promise that my body is actually feeling really good. I just happen to be a tad hypersensitive. Sometimes it's a blessing - My hypersensitivity often allows me to catch niggles before they become full blown injuries. Other times, it's just excessive. Luckily, I'm gaining more confidence in my strength as I continue to train for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. My runs lately have been more of the "turn my brain off" variety, which I really enjoy.

Back on Track! Should Dr. Ray and I start carpooling??

I hope this blog made you feel better if you have a run induced monkey mind like me! Next up, a race recap!

Sunday, August 16, 2015


by Amy

The inspiration to travel to Slovakia came from a single youtube video. After multiple viewings of this, we knew our Eurotrip would be ending at the Oravaman Triathlon:

We didn't know Jesse would end up being one of the stars of this year's promotional video. The full length hasn't been released, but the preview is AWESOME (even if you don't know Spanish, French, and Slovak). Link is here.

It took us two days to get to Zuberec from Tuscany. More specifically, we took two HOT Italian trains, a flight to Vienna, a sketchy bus to Bratislava, and 4 hour rental car drive to Zuberec. The views were well worth the travel:

view from Orava castle

Course preview...oh Sh#%
Peter, the race director, took hospitality to a new level. He gave us a room in the host hotel, which included breakfast and dinner every day. He was always there to answer our questions, helped us navigate our way around Slovakia, and suggested some great tourist spots for post-race celebrating. In addition to taking care of us, he put on a stellar race. From the opening ceremonies, to the awards and DISCO the following night, every participant stuck around to celebrate Oravaman. This was a stark contrast from many American races, where many people leave right after the race in order to get back to work the next day (including us!). It was fun to take the time to properly celebrate, especially after such a challenging race.

our home in the mountains for a week

Still climbing?!?
Ridge Run!

Power hiking to 3rd!
Challenging, in fact, would be an understatement. As Jesse V said in the promo video, Oravaman is truly the most grueling and beautiful race he's ever completed. This is coming from a guy who has done over 15 Ironmans! Oravaman is slightly shorter than your typical 70.3 Half Ironman Distance. Jesse V's half ironman PR is a 4:08. His Oravaman time? 5:48. The race has over 10,000 feet of climbing, and trails that don't look runnable, including summiting a huge peak. It was enough to make the podium against a strong field. To recap the race let's just say this. He made the move from 4th to 3rd power hiking up a mountain at 25min a mile pace. I don't know if you have ever been in a power hiking battle, but in the moment it feels pretty ridiculous!


Top 3 Men! - Yes 2nd place is wearing a shirt that reads -"I was in Miami Bitch"

We spent our last night in Europe celebrating in Bratislava. After some awesome Thai massages and Tapas in the capital city, we decided it's an underrated hidden gem. Let's just say we searched for international school jobs in Slovakia as we enjoyed beers overlooking the river that night.

Bratislava shenanigans. Sad it was our last night in Europe!

Now it's back to normal life. Jesse V has a new job (!), is Ironman training, and coaching his athletes to their best performances. I'm still working as a school psych, and am officially marathon training. I'm grateful to be healthy and to have another chance at the OTQ this fall!