Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to the drawing board

This is a very hard blog to write but as they say -- I need to cowboy up! Things today did not go as planned in St.Croix. All week I was feeling positive and the body and mind were good. All my tune-ups went well and on Thursday I went up the Beast(the .7-mile hill of avg. grade of 15%)in 7 minutes, pretty much no problem at 140 HR. I felt rested, and nervous, but ready to roll and I was confident that I had done all the prep I could do to be ready for this test. Race morning was also good with all my gear and nutrition ready to race this very difficult course.

The swim started and I got out to a good start and settled into my pace and felt pretty good and relaxed. I got a good draft from Roger Wacker and another in my group on the way back in. I came out in 32 and change and thought -- "Damn, I thought I could go more like 30 here," but looking at the times and my place (7th) out of the water I was in pretty good shape going into the bike.

Then everything went bad. I started the bike and immediately thought, "Shit, my legs feel like crap!" but I didn't panic, I knew it was a long hard race and my legs surely would come around. The first short loop and into town, Sarah shouted that I was in 4th. OK, my legs feel like shit but I am OK if I get some legs sometime soon, I tried as I might, easier gears, harder gears, standing, etc.... but it was like I had a bad electrical current in my legs that wouldn't allow me to push any power to the pedals. At mile 20 I hit the "Beast," where just a few days ago I went up it pretty easy. Not this time. I was barely able to get up the thing. Over the top and down to the faster section of the course. I stayed in the game and continued to fight to find something. By mile 30 I was actually pushing my hand on my quads to push the pedal down. I was relegated to the small ring and barely able to push 200 w. I was done.

I spun easy to the short loop and cut through --- I really don't think I could of got around the hard side of the island for the last 20 miles. And certainly could not have run. It was like I was bonked after a century. I saw Sarah at the corner of the short loop and said to her, "I have never felt legs on the bike quite like that before." I was able to get to the room barely and now I am processing what exactly happened.

I can't tell you how disappointed and embarrassed I am about this. I knew this quest was going to be hard but I really thought that my training numbers were good and I was ready to perform today. I obviously wasn't. I have had so many people routing for me and supporting me in this quest. I have let you all down today and it really hurts. I even had a good cry as I watching the "Bucket List" on the tube. I have no idea why it went bad today --- which is the most frustrating. Everyone has bad days with bad legs and I --- like everyone has had my fair share of bad days on the race course. There were a couple of incidents in Training were something like this happened to me. A few weeks ago at a practice TT (17 miles) my legs where a bit bad like this and I was very average on the bike. And In Las Vegas I had a day with very little power as well. But everyone has bad training days within a training block. right? Last week, however, I felt great and my power was very strong. I tapered from 20 hrs to 10 hrs to 6 hrs the last 3 weeks and nothing seemed to indicate a problem. Although maybe tapering was the problem? But there was certainly something very wrong today. I don't know whether my heart had anything to do with this but I am scheduled for testing in the next couple of weeks to make sure it had nothing to do with the way I felt today. My gut feeling is that my heart is fine, my breathing and heart felt fine today it was my legs that were the problem.

In any case there is just a couple of choices for me going forward. One, give this whole thing up and forget about racing at this level or fight back and give it more time and another shot at Buffalo Springs. This is not the end..... Buffalo Springs 70.3, here I come. and tonight many drinks

thanks for all the well wishes and I am sorry for today



  1. Jay, you are a true hero in my book. There is absolutely no reason to be sorry.

    Your candor in all of your life events has been, and continues to be an inspiration to me. I am truly proud of you and always will be.

    Buffalo Springs, man! I'll be watching you!
    I'll have a drink (or two) for you tonight, myself.
    Mike Fogassey

  2. Wish we were there to drink with you Jay! I don't think there is anything to be embarrased about, you did the work, you were prepped and you had a bad day.
    Go Lubbock! :)

  3. jay-
    Have a beer for me! Your not giving up- This knd of stuff happens and absolutely nothing to be embarassed about. It's only the begininng. Stay strong and kick some ass next race.
    Jeff Lochmandy

  4. my heart goes out to you. I have been in your shoes many times the past few years (for different reasons) and know how hard-and yes, embarassing, it feels. Lubbock sounds like an awesome plan!! Will be routing for you :)

  5. Ditto to the comments above. We are all cheerin' for you, Jay! You have made a comeback that no one else EVER could have accomplished... and one cruddy race won't hold the Man of Steel back one bit! --Maggie Vralsted

  6. You are the man!! Remember what your body has been through and what you have overcome...that is where the champion is. You are much more that a race, you are our coach, inspiration, our friend. Each day you dedicate to making others stronger..that is what makes you "Coach Jay". No one incident defines you, it is how and why you choose to live each day!

  7. Jay, reading your post about your last Triathalon brought tears to my eyes. Your candor and gut level honesty is nothing less than the strongest and most courageous way to express what you are going through. To fully realize that your motivations have shifted on the deepest level, from being self-centered to being other-oriented, namely family and loved ones, and then to own it so cleanly is more difficult than any Triathalon could ever be! Only the strongest of men among us can face life's challenges with such open and honest humility. Thank you for being such an inspiration to us all! We wish you and your family much joy, love and happiness!
    Elizabeth Klarich