Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Swim Clinic with Pro: Sara McLarty at Chicago Triathlon.



Wanted to pass along this info for anyone in Chicago and interested in a swim clinic with pro, Sara McLarty
 
 
Are you ready for the Chicago Triathlon?!?!?
Well Jet Set Performance has something special just for you. Co-Founder of Swim Like A Pro, Triathlete Magazine (swimming) Writer and Professional Triathlete Sara McLarty will be joining us for an open water session Saturday August 23, 2014.

This is your opportunity to meet and learn directly from a Pro for only $50 per person. This is an unparalleled experience that offers you one-on-one time for a special pre-race swimming clinic downtown Chicago Saturday the 23rd from 1pm-2pm.

Jet Set Performance specializes in bringing you VIP experiences where the memories will last a lifetime. Just think how cool it will be jumping in the water with the picturesque skyline of downtown Chicago surrounding you and learning tips and tricks from Sara herself!

Come and Join us as we make the journey together in the open water preparing you for not only the Chicago Triathlon but improving your swimming skills for a better you in the water. Contact James Balcer as space if filling up and we don’t want you to miss this amazing opportunity. Email James@trijetset.com to sign up or go directly to http://www.trijetset.com/destination-packages/

Hope to see you there and we look forward to treating you to our signature Red Carpet Experience with Jet Set Ambassador Sara McLarty. See you on the Beach!!!!

The Jet Set Team


Photo: Ok Party People Here We Gooooo! 

Are you ready to Swim-Like-A-Pro?!?!? Are you ready for the Chicago Triathlon?!?!? 

Well Jet Set Performance has something special just for you. Co-Founder of Swim Like A Pro, Triathlete Magazine (swimming) Writer and Bad@$$ Professional Triathlete Sara McLarty will be joining us for an open water session Saturday August 23, 2014. 

This is your opportunity to meet and learn directly from a Pro for only $50 per person. This is an unparalleled experience that offers you one-on-one time for a special pre-race swimming clinic downtown Chicago Saturday the 23rd from 1pm-2pm. 

Jet Set Performance specializes in bringing you VIP experiences where the memories will last a lifetime. Just think how cool it will be jumping in the water with the picturesque skyline of downtown Chicago surrounding you and learning tips and tricks from Sara herself! 

Come and Join us as we make the journey together in the open water preparing you for not only the Chicago Triathlon but improving your swimming skills for a better you in the water.  Contact James Balcer as space if filling up and we don’t want you to miss this amazing opportunity. Email James@trijetset.com to sign up or go directly to http://www.trijetset.com/destination-packages/

Hope to see you there and we look forward to treating you to our signature Red Carpet Experience with Jet Set Ambassador Sara McLarty. See you on the Beach!!!! 

The Jet Set Team

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Norseman Triathlon Race Report by Maggie Rusch

My friend posted that she was racing Norseman a few months ago.. i didn't know much about the race until i saw this preview. It was the first time i was terrified of a race.  Seeing all those people freaking out at the end was intense!   
Excited to share her race report of the event and congrats to her 2nd place finish!  

She also shared with me that there were black and which finisher shirts.  Black: first 160 people to base checkpoint get to summit Mt. Gaustatoppen 
White: finish 26.2 on road

She rocked her black finishers shirt!  
Congrats Maggie!!! 
You can follow her at http://maggierusch.com/blog/



Norseman: the short & sweet version of a long & cruel course

By Maggie Rusch 
Yes, I went into Norseman with the ambitious goal of winning the women’s race and fell one podium spot short. Do I consider it a failure? Far from it.




photo by Mikkel Beisner
photo by Mikkel Beisner
In my thirteen and a half hours on the course, I learned the hard way that Norseman is a cruel, cruel beast that can chew you up and spit you out if your day doesn’t go any less than perfect. There is no other course like it: from the 20,000ft+ of climbing across the bike and the run to the grueling climbs to Dyranut, to Geilo, to Imingfjell that sap the energy from your legs, all the way to the infamous Zombie Hill that’s only a precursor to the final death blow that is Gaustatoppen.
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Going into the race, I would not go as far as to say I underestimated this course – because I certainly put in the work required on similar terrain with my training in North Carolina – but I learned that there is no way to completely prepare oneself for the challenge that is Norseman without actually going there and competing — not physically, not emotionally. In my pre-race notes to Hillary, I wrote that I expected a “long, long day with lots of troubleshooting involved” and while my predictions could not have been more appropriate, it was even harder than imagined.
From racing the course sight-unseen, dealing with exhaustion and sleep deprivation to the point of literally falling asleep on the bike at one point, a somewhat poorly-planned and frenetic day with the support crew and major stomach troubles on a completely porta-potty-less course, my ability to roll with the punches and troubleshoot was the saving grace of the day.
As I’ve mentioned, this race is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced — or likely will experience for quite some time. Notably, this was one of the most electric and competitive races I have ever participated in: a hard-fought battle with countless passes and repasses among the women’s top five, a story that so far has been absent in articles published about this year’s race. While I have a longer story to tell, and likely will get around to it in the coming days, I wanted to share some highlights while the aching legs of never-ending Imingfjell, the pains of attempting to run Zombie and the glassy-eyed, noodle-legged scramble up Gaustatoppen are still fresh in my memory.
To start such an epic day, it only seemed appropriate that we leapt from a ferry into darkness. For me, the nervous energy as the ferry steamed to the start and the realization of the long day ahead were actually more terrifying than the jump itself. The water was clear and crisp and the swim a little bit lonely; it was hard to stay focused on the task at hand and not pause for a longer look at the serene snow-capped mountains drifting past with each breath.
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On the bike, I struggled to find my legs early on, was passed and dropped as low as fifth or sixth place. As we started the series of five climbs, the most brutal and never-ending being Imingfjell, I started to feel myself come around, repass and work my way up to second. With each climb, I was more and more thankful about my switch to riding my new Blue Triad in the weeks leading up to Norseman. I love this bike and the Di2 was a godsend for the amount of time I was climbing, shifting gears and trying to do work on this epic bike course. Despite only a few weeks of us together, the Blue performed brilliantly and I see a really good future between the two of us :)
Despite my rally on the series of hills and extending my lead of some of the girls behind me, the eventual winner Line Foss passed me shortly before the last and most brutal of the climbs, Imingfjell, never to be seen again as I cursed each switchback and each false peak on the crazy climb.
About halfway through the bike I ran out of my sports drink mix—forced to a much diluted version due to poor planning on my part. As my support crew, mixing and handing off the bottles, my parents were horrified but I did my best to shrug it off and let them know that the mostly-water was more than fine. I told you, “troubleshooting” was the theme of the day.
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We rode across an open plain into a headwind as it started to pour, gusts pushing my Blue across the road, headwinds pushing me back as I tried to avoid getting blown into the support cars that raced by, trying to catch up to their athletes. Here’s a sample of the headwind we were facing - I know, right? The course elevation profile had promised nothing but downhill after the 2,000ft ascent of Imingfjell (tucked in nicely from miles 85-95, some of the roughest in Ironman) and the climbs and headwind seemed like a cruel fate to face after I had given the previous climb all of the energy reserves I had in anticipation of the final descent.
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Even crueler, perhaps, my jet lag and sheer exhaustion caught up to me when we finally did start to make the twisting descent back to T2 — one that would be terrifying in crystal clear weather, not to mention in gusty, raining, even hailing conditions. At one point I fell asleep in the aerobars, an arm slipped off the pads, I caught myself. I would spend the next 20 miles of the course pinching myself, squinting my eyes and trying to sing to keep myself from falling asleep again.
I survived the terrifying return to T2, only to find my support crew noticeably absent; I would spend six horrifying minutes pacing T2 wrapped in a blanket, hollow eyes, wondering whether my race was ruined as my support crew found themselves stuck in the backed-up traffic.

Six or seven miles into the run, jogging along and trying to get the stomach to settle, I passed my parents during one of my short walk breaks to refuel, telling them, dejected, “I’m just trying to finish. I don’t think I can chase the podium without the risk of throwing away a finish on Gaustatoppen.” Last year’s collapse in Kona loomed heavily on my mind and I had no idea what this cocktail of narcolepsy on the bike and a total stomach shut-down really meant as the hours waned on. There was also an, um, “incident” in a ditch/behind a bush thanks to a donated hankie from my dad, my stomach started to settle some and I started picking off both men and closing on the women ahead.
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I summited Zombie Hill, finding my legs again as I passed the girl in third, walking, and continued my charge forward after hearing that my 9-minute deficit behind second was steadily dropping with each mile. I was determined to get up Zombie as quickly as possible, mostly to put an end to the torture of the 10% incline and the resulting pain in my lower back. It was impossible to run without being reduced to a complete shuffle so I alternated running and walking: twenty steps each, sometimes ten and then on the steepest portions, humbled myself with my best attempts a power-walking. I befriended a crew of four jogging the last “flat” part of the course after zombie and made my final pass of the day. I was in second now but still running—well, hiking—scared.




Photo by Mikkel Beisner
Photo by Mikkel Beisner
The base to Gaustatoppen felt like a mini finish and I breathed easily as the medical crew gave me the okay to continue. From there, it was just one foot ahead of the other to get up the rocky face. I kept telling myself to take it easy after a few close calls with tipsy rocks, threatening a rolled or even broken ankle with only weeks to go to Kona. Well over an hour into the hike, the dense fog, paired with the maddening feedback from hikers descending from the top (first it was “only 15 minutes to go”, then five minutes later, it was 30; there didn’t seem to be a consensus on how far we had left to go) only intensified the feelings that this was a summit-less mountain.
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The cheering got closer, then we were crawling hands and knees up the crumbling scree, starting mini-avalanches and sliding back down a bit at times, until finally the rocks gave way to stairs, then, finally, the finish line.  I crossed with minimal fanfare, staggered a few steps to the right and then curled in the fetal position against the rocky ledge in the blistering cold wind as a race official draped a blanked over my shell-shocked body. Norseman took everything I had; a complete going-to-the-well experience.

At the end of the day, I was spent. There was little celebration. The whole way up the mountain, my dad just kept repeating, “you had a phenomenal race, Maggie. Just phenomenal.” But at the end of the day, I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed by pain, so happy to just be still and not moving, that I just sat there in the little hut at the top of the mountain, depleted and numb and ready to go get myself off of Gaustatoppen and into bed.

While I did not execute on my original race plan — that was thrown out very early on — I learned that a race is not truly over until the finish line. That you can be nearly ten minutes down, in fourth place and on the verge of settling to “just finish”, only to claw your way back up to second.
I’m proud of the day I had in order to excel on such a brutal course and amazed at the experience, but this lesson—the one of perseverance in the face of adversity—is the thing I’ll treasure most from this experience and something I’ll always have in my back pocket for future races: that deep down, this resilience, this ability to bounce back regardless of the punishing circumstances, is something that no one can ever take or ever challenge.

“Men as fit as you, when your everyday strength is gone, can draw on a mysterious reservoir of power far greater. Then it is that you can reach for the stars. That is the way champions are made.” – George Yeoman Pocock
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Friday, August 1, 2014

Tri Club (with a twist) --> sheJAMS

Through my Rev3 connection, recently heard about sheJAMS from Portland, Maine.  Loved learning more about this group of ladies how they are connecting female triathletes in New England.  I would describe them as a tri-club with a twist.. learn more!


1. What was your inspiration in starting sheJAMS.
sheJAMs was started by 3 friends. Julie Andrea Melissa (that is how we got JAM). We were all hooked on Triathlons and wanted to hook other women just like us. We were all USAT Certified Coaches and wanted to find a way to use our knowledge – so we decided to do an all women’s Triathlon training program. Coreen joined us soon after the inception.

It was a natural for us because Julie is the founder of the Maine Cancer Foundation Tri for a Cure – which is an all women’s sprint triathlon to benefit cancer research, patient support and education for the Maine Cancer Foundation. This race started in 2008 and since then has raised over 7 million for the foundation. We get newbies every year – lots of them and we want to help them have the best race experience ever. It has been wonderful. This year we had over 85 women in the Tri training program. We swim on Monday’s, Run on Tuesday and Bike on Saturday’s. We provide a coach for each discipline and also provide them with a training program to do when they are not with us! It is great to see the women change over time. Many have gone on to do Half and Full distance triathlons!

We have pretty much year round training programs – Swim, Run, Spin, Boot Camp & Yoga. All great fun in a non competitive atmosphere!

2. Who is your targeted audience for this and how is your experience different?
sheJAMs joined with REV 3 in 2012. This is our third year with the “Race within a Race” concept. We limit the experience to 100 women and we really support them from coming to pick up their race packets to cheering them out on the course!! This is for the woman who wants to try an Olympic Triathlon in an all women’s atmosphere.

The race is a way to give back to women in our community. Each participant must raise $100 for Women Work & Community. This foundation helps women recognize strengths, overcome barriers, find resources, develop a plan, take action towards their goals... We believe the mission of both sheJAMs and Women Work and Community are the same in many ways!

You don’t have to be a sheJAMs member to do the REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon.....you just need to want to have fun with a bunch of women and raise a little money for a GREAT cause....

3. What upcoming events do you have planned for this yr?
REV3 sheJAMs Triathlon is our last Triathlon planned for the season, after this we will be paddle boarding and doing running races and taking a little time off before off season training starts.

*although i am a rev3 team member, i have no affiliation with sheJAMS and it is not a sponsored post*