Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happiness, marriage, and the weigh-in

I'm overweight. Since I've left racing, I haven't been training much, and I'm definitely fat now. I don't even know how much I weigh. It's hilarious that I use to weigh myself daily, and now I can't remember the last time I weighed myself. Today I did an open-water swim clinic, and I was worried the wetsuit, rash guard and tri-shorts wouldn't fit! Hahaha! Seriously!

My medium shirts and shorts no longer fit. I have to wear larges.

I'm going to write this post as I go, and when it's done, I'm going to weigh myself and see what I weigh. I think I weigh about 190. Will I be close? Wow...I weighed at my lowest in prep for Ironman AZ at 161.

Friends and former training partners are encouraging me to return to racing and training, but it's amazing to me how much satisfaction I feel in my life right now, and lack any desire to return to training. I wouldn't mind going into the weight room and working with a personal trainer, but that can't happen until a few other things happen. Namely, Orlanda and I want to buy a home here in San Diego. The trainer would be nice, only because I enjoy weight lifting.

The funny thing is, I don't think the number I'll see on the scale will affect me. The last time I felt this happy...this satisfied....this positive, was after Ironman Florida 2006. When I finished that race, it was amazing how many opportunities were before me, and the general reception I got. You'd have thought I was just elected to public office. But that's how my life is now, with so many positive opportunities before me, and I find it so full-filling. I am beginning to accept that perhaps I am better as a coach than as an athlete. That's not a bad thing at all. At first I feared that, but now I am starting to find a real sense of pride and satisfaction in that.

I have a renewed love and affection for my wife, Orlanda. Our finances have improved rather dramatically since leaving racing, and this has relieved a lot of stress in our life. The fact that buying a home seems possible has brought a new vigor to our life. As much as I am happy about this, it's a clear lesson of the affect of attitude on a marriage. We've been married a little over two years, and despite my clear love for her, and confidence in saying it's been a great two years, they haven't been easy as a professional triathlete. I don't want to be an "easy" love for my wife, that's not why I married her. I married her for the tough times. And trust me, we've had that. I've not been a perfect husband, that's for sure.

But I can really feel and tell... that my attitude determines my happiness. My attitude affects my marriage. My attitude affects my well-being. It's not my race weight. It's not my last race result. It's not the medals around my neck, or the trophies on the bookcase. It's not the number of sponsors and potential sponsors that call or email. It's just being happy with today. Being happy with what I'm doing, and how I'm doing it. For the past few years, that was training. Now, it's not. And I'm ok with that. When I look at her, I smile, and know that no finish line can give me what I feel.

In the past, it could. But I'm not the same person I was back then. I won't be the same person next week, or even tomorrow. I do feel good though when I see athletes find the satisfaction I found in the past, from training and racing. It's my connection to those times, and those finer moments.

I can only imagine how I'll feel when Orlanda and I have children. I've grown an appreciation of that as I've grown older. I used to just give an obligatory nod or congrats to friends who had children. But the more I think about it, going thru something like that with Orlanda almost makes me cry tears of happiness when I think about it. I now understand, and wow...what an amazing moment for a person...

I remember my friend Benji telling me that he and his wife cried when they saw me cross the finish line at Florida in 2006......During the interview with Welchie, they were both crying, as was I nearly! I had reached a pinnacle, and felt like all my efforts were finally worth something. And it's amazing how that feeling has returned, depsite my weight and lack of training. I feel it in my marriage, and maybe again soon when we decide to have children.

What's my point? I'm not sure, I just sit here and type away. I guess it's that I'm exposing the transition from professional triathlete to the real world. That attitude is important. The old saying that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it, is true.

I asked myself this week, "What did you not get to do that you wish you had?" I named five things...

1. Win an Ironman.
2. Race Lance Armstrong. (If he does an Ironman, maybe I'll comeback).
3. Do Roth Quelle Challenge. (If you see the race photos, you'll understand).
4. Get a good Kona result. (Good being in the top 20).
5. Race more ITU to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

I won't be upset if these never happen, and that's what I've come to realize. I'm no longer focused on what I haven't accomplished, but on the amazing possibilities of what I can still accomplish.

I'm not looking at all the things I've missed out on due to training, like family get-togethers, Nebraska football games, trips with friends, etc. Instead, I'm looking forward to all the possibilities of things I've missed out on.

Wow....this has probably been the most honest and open post I've ever written...time to weigh-in...

The official weight....190.6. I guess I really know myself. I guess my honesty with myself was real. And now that I think about it, that's exactly why I'm happy.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Threshold at the OTC

I was in Colorado Springs, with Justin Trolle, who is USA Triathlon's Elite Athlete Development Manager, learning a lot and discussing a lot of different training theories, etc.

I went to some practice sessions at the pool, and met Mike Doane, who coaches Andy Potts. He and I hit it off really well, and I learned a lot from him on swimming. We even discussed Andy's approach to training this year, with short course and Kona coming. Interesting stuff.

I can tell though, I am creeping back to the threshold of wanting to get back to training. It's funny how I can creep back up to it, and then the next day I could care less about wanting to train and getting back at it. We will see what happens.

Interestingly, Andy Potts sat on his butt for 5 years doing nothing after college, when he graduated from Michigan in 1997. By 2002 he was starting back into triathlon, was quickly back at it. By 2004, he was at the Athens games.

Maybe a year off isn't so bad? I don't think 5 is right for me though.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Borat, the media movement!

I have a few friends who dressed up in some Borat swim suits, (yes, that swim suit), for charity and ran alongside the Tour of California. At first, it was just hilarious. Now, it's becoming a media movement!

This was even in the first paragraph of the Associated Press' article on the race...

updated 7:42 a.m. PT, Mon., Feb. 23, 2009

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - The climb up a snowcapped mountain during the final stage certainly gave the Tour of California a European feel, as well as the spectators dressed in an array of costumes from a devil to an overweight guy wearing only a lime-green thong.

Come to find out, some other friends of mine were the Sumo dudes in the video. I know some really weird folks I guess.

I love San Diego!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Twitter updates on side

Much like I have done with my coaching blog, I've added the Twitter updates here on the right. Had a lot of trouble uploading photos, but finally figured out I had the settings wrong. Now I'll be able to add the photos a lot more frequently. Again, my username is jimvance on Twitter.

Check it out and if you haven't been following my coaching blog, you're missing out. I've even added an email subscription option, so you don't have to check it as often.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm on twitter now...

Follow if you'd like. Got a lot of cool stuff going on in the coming weeks. You can see what I'm talking about at the coaching blog. Stuff like the wind tunnel, Olympic Training Center, Tour of California, and much more...

New Blackberry Storm arriving soon as well, so I can do some on the fly updates with photo and video.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Continuation of doping....

I recently have heard some references to Marion Jones with professional cyclists...

Let me just say on here...If you heard Marion Jones on Oprah a while back, that girl, (and I'm putting that nicely), was lying out of her teeth to Oprah. She knew exactly what was going on and what she was taking. There was an entire drug regimen calendar which was seized by the authorities and turned over and admitted to by Victor Conte.

She claimed she wasn't aware of what she was taking and that is as truthful as Nixon on Watergate. After lying to a federal grand jury and spending time in prison for it, she is trying to win back the public favor, and it's all propaganda.

I was so disgusted when my wife and I watched the interview, that after yelling at the television, trying to call out her lies, my wife couldn't watch the rest of the interview. Neither could I. We deleted it from the DVR.

A friend recently emailed me about my post about drug use in triathlon, and asked me if I really believed many guys were doping, and what about all the drafting accusations. He made my point for me...I stated to him, "Plenty of guys are willing to cheat right in front of my face, on the course, so why is it crazy to think they'll cheat when I'm not looking?"

Sad state of affairs, but please, don't believe that lying b***h, Marion Jones.


If I were to comeback...

The race I would most want to do would be Roth. If you're looking for a race which will bring the most amazing experience, check it out. Google Roth Challenge.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Revisiting the drug issue in sports

I can't stand drug cheats. I've been a vocal proponent of drug testing, and at times mentioned the names of people who have been busted, as evidence of my distrust to believe any of their performances as clean. This was not always a popular position to take.

In the past week or so, we've seen some drug issues come to light, and here's one which sickens me. He's innocent until proven guilty, but the circumstances of trying to close a case by intimidation of investigating officials, rather than by transparency is hard to swallow...

Then we have our famous A-Rod. Sadly, he cheated. He admitted it, and I am thankful he admitted it, even though it was not due to a guilty conscious. But much like I said in a post about a year ago on Floyd Landis, when the system must cheat to catch the cheaters, only injustice prevails. I think this says it clearly...

It's always tough. Performing well just makes you not care about drug use that much when you're clean. But once you start to stumble a little, you start looking at your competition with a stricter eye. We have to be careful though...Be too vocal and you sign your career death warrant, as sponsors will be distant, as will your fellow competitors, sometimes even ganging up against you. Be too quiet, and people start thinking you're possibly cheating.

I don't have many answers to provide. I just want to see a system that catches the cheaters, and does it fairly, without violating the rights of all of us. Then again, I've always been accused of being a bit of a dreamer.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

One truck household

I sold Orlanda's car today. She almost cried as it happened. We have my truck for her still.

We are downsizing, and hoping to buy a house soon. This was a big step in the right direction. Also helps that I work out of the house, and that I have a scooter. Yes, I have a scooter....IT ROCKS!

I'll post some photos soon...


Friday, February 6, 2009


For those of you racing at the Tritonman Triathlon here in San Diego on February 21st, I will see you there! I'll be announcing for the race, for the third year in a row. This year should be a lot of fun!

Hope to see you out there....


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Promised photos from plane ride

I promised some photos from the emergency landing on my flight out to Chicago. I was sitting right off the left wing, with the engine which lost all oil pressure and died. The above is a shot I took of our plane sitting out on the tarmac after they bused us to the terminal. My plane is the further of the two. The other plane is the one which landed before ours, another emergency landing. They had smoke in the cabin of the plane!!! Makes me feel like we had it easy.

When we landed in Amarillo, Texas there were rescue vehicles and trucks waiting for us.

Interesting to say the least...


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Max Sports and Fitness Issue Article

In the latest issue of Max Sports and Fitness, there is an article and photo of me, as a contributor to training and racing for Ironmans. The cover has Michellie Jones on it, and in the article is the photo of me.

You can read the article at their website here:


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Word to the wise....Don't...

do this....(warning, the following video may not be suitable for all audiences)...