Monday, September 5, 2011

5 months down, 5 weeks to go

It’s hard to believe that it’s already September and there are only a few short months until the end of my 2011 Triathlon season! Where does the time go? The biggest races of the year (Vegas and Kona) are just around the corner. Only 5 more weeks and I will be on the big island…I hear the Coco Loco calling my name from the Kona Brewery already!

While I start to prepare for the two biggest races of my season, I can’t help but think about what I have done the past several months to get to where I am today. It has been a crazy ride, with ups, and downs, but truly an experience of a lifetime.

My journey really started about 5 months ago. I had just gotten back from the Purplepatch pro camp in Tucson, that I was selected to attend by Coach Matt Dixon. It was the first time I had ever been able to focus solely on triathlon for more than a weekend and it was AMAZING! After the camp Matt became my full time coach and it has been all down hill from there. Just kidding – the past 5 months have been way beyond what I expected.

Camp picture montage interlude (yes, I do realize I have the same cheesy smile in all my pictures)

Biking up Mt. Lemmon w/ Purplepatch pro Jen Tetrick

Getting ready to ride w/ my new buddies!

Top of Mt. Lemmon w/ some of the best triathletes. Jesse Thomas in his “outfit of the day”

Since starting with Matt, I have added indoor cycling at Velo SF to my schedule, which instantly multiplied the intensity of my bike workouts by about a million. I have stepped up my game at the Stanford Masters practices, although I still haven’t quite made it permanently to lane 1 (just a few guest appearances)…soon! And of course I have been busting my butt to keep up with the boys from Team Sheeper, aka the best triathlon team in the world! Each one of the groups plays such an integral part in my training and I absolutely love being a part of them all. And of course orchestrating all of the work has been coach Matty D. Matt has completely changed my approach to training and racing, for the better, of course. I’m so excited to see all this hard work pay off and to continue working hard to see how much further I can get!

Recent training ride w/ Hailey – 105 HOT miles in Livermore California, good thing we had our awesome Soas kits to keep us comfy!

Making new friends after the Treasure Island Olympic. Love new tri buddies!

Making the case for doing more non-wetsuit races! Mirella and me before the SJIT, where I would go on to do an extra 8 miles on the bike after missing an unmarked, unmanned turn

5 months ago I decided it was time to go after my dream of being an elite triathlete and I made some big changes in my life. Now with 5 weeks to go until my big race of the season, it’s time to start thinking about the little things – getting plenty of rest, not cheating on the diet, no alcohol. I definitely have goals in mind for both Vegas and Kona. I know how I want to finish and what I want my times to be. I also know that while these races might be the end of my 2011 season, they really are just the beginning. Now for the next, most important part of this blog!

In addition to my random blog subjects, I wanted to include a special new section every time I post called “My VIPs”

I think there are a lot of things that make an athlete successful. Of course there is natural ability, hard work, and determination. But I also think, at least for me, one of the things that has helped me be successful are inspirational people. These are coworkers, teammates, family members, and friends. Each time I write a new blog, I want to highlight someone in my life who has motivated me to be better. I chose this person first because she was actually the inspiration for this idea.

My very first VIP is Anne Thilges. Anne, I hope you don’t mind that I lifted this pic from facebook without asking  I felt it was fitting since this is about what you looked like the first time we met.

I met Anne a couple months ago at Velo SF. We were taking the same spin class and realized we had a few mutual friends. Anne was super friendly and it was very clear right away that she is an extremely caring, positive, generous, and amazing woman, not to mention an EXTREMELY hard worker.

It was a Saturday morning spin session (2hrs on the trainers…woohoo!) We were doing some high power work and the workout was starting to “accumulate” (which is what everyone says when you have been working hard for a long time and you feel like you are about to die). Anyway, Anne was clearly in high power and her cadence started to drop. Instead of giving up or lowering her power, she just kept grinding away. In the middle of a set, I looked over Anne looked so focus and strong that it instantly made me want to push harder. I realized that I was able to put that little extra bit of effort in on that set that I otherwise might not have because of Ann.

After that set I started thinking about all the times someone else has done something that motivated me to give just a little bit more. I want to make sure that eventually all those people know how much I appreciate what they have done for me and that they are a part of helping me get to wherever it is I end up going.

Thanks Anne for your inspiration!


  1. Wow. Thanks Jess. Wow! I've never been named a VIP before. I don't even have words to tell you how affected I am to read your blog. That alone will inspire me to keep plugging away at my goals. It is funny, because I could have written the same thing about you.... YOU inspire me! You are always positive and working hard.... And I will never forget how you spit me out the back of our "easy transition run". Easy my a##! Keep bein' great, girl! You're amazing!
    -Anne T.

  2. Hey, Jess! I now read your blog! I love reading blogs (due to kids and such I don't even attempt to read books anymore...) and am looking forward to following your road to being a pro! Looks like you will definitely get there very quickly with being the first amateur at 70.3 Worlds! Way to go! Good luck in Kona!

  3. Hi Jess! Loved the picture! It was great to meet you at Regionals and I love tracking your successes. You are already better than most of the female pros out there. I have no doubt you will achieve major elite greatness. I'll be watching you next weekend at Kona. Good luck!