Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patiently Waiting, Meeting Michellie, A New Gig and Jessi's Bag of Tricks

Still no running. It's been 2 1/2 weeks. The ankle sprain is lingering, and I don't want to make a bad situation worse. Just another lesson in learning to be patient and listen to my body. Thankfully, I can bike pain-free, swim (sometimes with a pull buoy) and strength train, so I'm not a total bum! But I never thought I'd crave running so much....

In the meantime, some pretty cool stuff has been going on (notice super-long blog title). I met an awesome triathlete/endurance sports enthusiast, Roman Mica, who runs a legit website called It's got the latest news, interviews, etc., on everything going on in the tri world and endurance sports, with updates throughout the day. He also has writers who test and review tri gear for the site, and yours truly is now part of that team. Check out my first gear review here.
And on the topic of meeting people, I also had a chance to meet and talk with Michellie Jones at the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona pre-race expo. Totally rad person, very down to earth... everything I expected. I, on the other hand, actually became a little star-struck when I finally spoke with her!She and Triathlete Magazine Publisher John Duke were featured speakers at the expo. Basically triathlon royalty! Kind of funny because in the sea of race participants & expo browsers, I don't think too many people realized the significance of these two publicly talking and answering questions. Of the thousands scrambling around, only a handful made it to their chat. Of course I was one. My friend and I did a bike ride that morning, and all the while I kept saying, "we have to be at the expo by 1:30, I haaaave to see Michellie!" I feel a little more connected to her these days since I'm riding a Felt complete with SRAM components too. Not as amazing as hers, but it's a start :)
Michellie was running the half-marathon and said that her coach instructed her to run at a specific HR, which she was not allowed to go above. With that, she didn't know what time she'd run. Checked results the next day, and she did it in like 1:26. Amazing for not being able to "go all out!" Next, watch for her in Ironman Australia...

As for me, I didn't run in RNRAZ (I told Michellie my sprain story, and she commended me for staying off the's not easy to do when you're all caught up in the race vibe)! Also, volunteering didn't work out due to our limited transportation options, and on race morning I was craving exercise. Bike ride! But I woke up so early that I had to sit around and wait for it to get light enough to safely ride. I planned a loop that eventually had me riding along the race course. Fun to see a race from that perspective.

...watching the runners about to finish, left the Felt in CA...

...gotta love the bands who are willing to set up and play at dawn, not the most "rock n roll" thing to do...

Lastly, I had another run-in with a pro-triathlete... Jessi Stensland. She was the guest speaker at the OC Tri Club meeting last week, and I didn't get to talk to her one-on-one, but I totally enjoyed listening to her. She's all about "being an athlete" first, in other words, building a fit body that will let you perform amazingly in your given sport. That means lots of core work, physical-therapy-type exercises, having good posture, stretching, strength training, etc., to keep all parts of the body in superb shape and injury-free. She swears by the Core Performance program, and after checking out their website, I was impressed with how many free videos and resources they have! It's cool because a lot of it's built around the idea that it doesn't take hours to benefit from the exercises; it can be 1 to 15 minutes of "body maintenance," i.e. a 5-minute warmup routine that will make your swim that much better. I recommend taking a look, I'm definitely going to start taking advantage!!

One thing that I related to and found pretty funny were the things Jessi "never leaves home without." This consisted of a running stick (pictured), quad roller, a set of exercise bands, tennis balls and some other workout stuff. Only an athlete would understand....


  1. I have met MJ a few times too - she is incredibly down to earth - always nice to see. Embrace the stick!

  2. a couple of things...

    I saw michellie out riding this morning. She's awesome.

    the "stick" is awesome too... try using it while in a dry sauna for even better recovery (torture).

    my foot injury too has made me really realize how much I LOVE running. You are doin the right thing. Be patient, let it heel, and you'll be ready to go.

  3. That blog entry was a good read. That was a great pic with you and Michellie. Good on 'ya for taking a break to heal up. I'd just prolong the injury to racing on it.

  4. How cool that you got to see Michellie and John Duke. I'm sure you learned a lot from them. I listened to Jesi talk about Core Performance on Simply Stu's podcast over a year ago. Kicking myself that I didn't stick with it enough. Think of it as insurance. I was too out of it to make it to OCTC.

  5. hi!!! bummed i missed you in san diego- sounds like your fiesta ride on the new bike was fun- but you would have dropped me for sure at that speed!!!

    hope all is well up there in the OC. you'll heal in no time, way to play it smart and spectate!