Me and my agent, but more importantly GREAT friend!

Me and my agent, but more importantly GREAT friend!
Jess and Amanda

Swimming in Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Swimming in Lake Taupo, New Zealand
"How sweet it is!"

Jessica Jacobs...IRONMAN CHAMPION!!!!

Ironman Florida, 2010 Women's Champion in a time of 9:07:50

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line
Representing 'Ol Glory!!!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pro's and Cons to moving to El Paso, TX

As some of you know, I recently made the trek from just outside Birmingham, AL to El Paso, TX. My husband was offered several duty assignments, which included, FT Benning, GA, Alaska, FT Riley, KS, Korea, Ft Irwin, CA and FT Bliss, TX --- we reviewed the pros and cons of each assignment and duty location and found our best scenerio to call "home" (for at least 3-7 years) in El Paso, TX....or, FT Bliss!

Many friends and even some family were confused by our choice, but looking at our options, we felt the best place to raise our daughter, a climate I can train in year-round and a duty assignment to help catapult my husband's career, was in Texas. I mean, let's me honest, yes, Alaska would've been gorgeous...but, how many months could I actually train on my bike outside?!?!

Well - it'll be 1 month this Sunday since I've arrived to our new casa, so, I've gotten a pretty decent "lay of the land", feel for the people, taste for the climate - that is why I can feel comfortable to give you my "PROS and CONS" list of El Paso/FT Bliss, TX!

ENJOY!

Pros:
Very Friendly atmosphere...haven't met one person that has been rude to me, or treated me with disrespect.

Cons:
Driving on post is ULTRA SLOW --- I think 35 MPH is the max?!?!

Pros:
Weather has thus far been quite pleasant - it's chilly in the morning (December), but quickly warms up and you can be out on your bike taking off layers by 8-9am!

Cons:
I heard Mar/Apr is the windy season...dust, sand storms, tumble-weed -- yippee!

Pros:
My husband is happy he's back serving in the Army and my daughter goes to a great private school and she is getting a phenomenal education

Cons:
My dogs have a smaller backyard than in Alabama!

Pros:
The on-post pool is 50 meters, 8 lanes and open 7 days a week...new gym is 60,000 sq ft and has state-of the art equipment...even a TRX room!

Cons:
The pool is 50 meters...that's a long way to go before you "flip"!

Pros:
I have been introduced to some great people in the tri community here and swim with some friendly guys at noon on Wed who have been nothing but welcoming!

Cons:
I miss my training buddies in Bham...God I miss you guys!

Pros:
The roads here have SHOULDERS --- amazing concept that Bham has yet to implement

Cons:
Seems to be a lot of glass out there...what is up with all the smashed beer bottles?!?!? And why wasn't I invited to that party?

Pros:
I have extra time to spend with family and take care of my home since I no longer teach spin classes at Gold's Gym or the YMCA.

Cons:
I dearly miss my clients from the above gyms - you guys really made me feel like I was afforded the opportunity to help change, cultivate and add a POSITIVE impact onto your lives...and for that, I will forever be grateful!

Till next time - be good! Santa's watching!!!

Cheers!

Jess

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ironman Florida - Champion!!!

You know that dream you have for many, many years...that scenerio you play over and over again in your head while you're out running trails, staring at a black line on the bottom of the pool or biking on an endless country road for hours on end? Well, mine came true on Saturday, 6 Nov 2010 in Panama City Beach, FL...the title, "Ironman Champion" is now mine!

For years I had that nagging goal rip away at my core - Ironman Florida was my 17th Ironman distance race (10th as a pro). I have spent years clawing my way up this ladder and when you look at the time commitment it takes to train, the career I traded for this one and the chess match I play daily managing a 5 yr old daughter and support a military husband's career...you begin to look at your goals in a completely different light...this is why this victory is so incredibly sweet!

Before I go into the race recap, I have to take a moment to thank my husband and daughter for their enormous support and understanding. I know I am not the easiest person to love everyday, but they do and show it everyday! I want to thank my coach for believing in me when I called in February. I was on the verge of walking away from the sport last December, but, I decided to give it "one more year"...thank God I picked Derick! He accepted the job and is not only my coach, but an amazing friend and confidant! Lastly, there are those who supported me mentally, financially and physically - allow me to explain! Mentally...that one goes to my sister Jayne, brother's Tony and Mark, sister-in-law Ida and nieces Aly, Rachel, Taylor and Sarah...and of course my mom. You are all my big fans, I love you and will always stay grounded because of you! Financially, I have to thank my sponsors: Sport Beans/NTTC, QR, Hawk Racing, Newton, SLS3, Rudy Project, Blue Seventy, and Schwalbe. Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to endorse your wonderful products! Finally, the crew that keeps me physically moving in the right direction...Eskeridge and White Physiotherapy and Bike Link. The amount of love you've given this journey is beyond words of appreciation. I will have a hell of a time finding replacements in El Paso that will take care of me the way you guys did...thank you, thank you, thank you!

Ok...now for the report! I had an erie calm going into IMFL...I knew I felt ready, but I wasn't nervous. I've felt prepared in the past before, but not like this - this was a "I'm going to work to do the job I know I can do and will do" kind of confidence. My coach and I organized my training in a way that capatilized on this confidence, but, with only being together for 8.5 months, he, as a coach, was probably still trying to figure me out! Hell --- I'm still trying to figure me out! Ha!!

At any rate, the swim was ironically a welcoming retreat due to the cool air and cold beach sand that embodied Panama City Beach that morning...outside of choppy waves going out to the bouys on the 2-loop swim course, I really had a somewhat uneventful swim...one little kick to the goggle that forced me to quickly stop, readjust, but, no major damage was done! Once out of the water, I hustled into the changing tent to the arms of one of my good friends that was volunteering...Tanya Beck, along with 2 other ladies made quick work in giving me my helmet, sunglasses and putting my race belt around me...oh, and how can I forget the precious (and much needed) arm warmers...those damn things are so hard to get on when you're cold, shaking and wet...but...damnit...on they went! Boom! Out of the transition tent and out for a little run thru the bike parking lot...(Here is a snippet of what went thru my head during the trek to my bike) "Oww! Oww! Cold feet! Cold toes! Ouch, Mother of God! When will I see my bike...ahhh!!! There you are!!!"

Off onto the bike it was "go" time!!! I love this course, I love to ride and run...anyone that knows me, follows me, knows this about me! Today was no exception, but, it was cold and I did not change my kit, so I was wet, wet, wet! I did have on those lovely arm warmers and toe covers, but unlike some other racers, I did not add tights, leggings, gloves (I wish I could've found a pair at Walgreens the night before, but...no luck!!!), a vest or jacket. So, for the first 30 miles I was a popscicle...I felt my body literally creak like the "Tin Man" from the "Wizard of Oz" as I got out of my saddle to climb the first (and close to only) hill on the bike course around mile 10...but I started heating up and thought...this isn't so bad...it's hurtin' them more than it is you!!! By mile 10 I started passing some female pros, so, maybe that ignited my fire and made the crisp morning not seem so bad! I kept holding the pace I knew was powerful, yet steady...I wanted to actually go harder than what I went, but, once I made the pass into first at mile 75 I knew I still had a marathon to tackle and wanted to be smart...my coach and I had a plan and I was already surpassing his (and my) expectations on the bike...I could've gone much harder on the bike...but to what cost would that have affected my marathon? The bike came with 3 mishaps I need to tell you about! First one: completely missed my bike special needs bag - the woman tried to give it to me, but her reach wasn't fully extended and nor was mine, ohhhh, so close, but it was like 2 ships passing in the night....In my head it went like this, "Oh no...crap, there went my Coke, hmmm, that's ok, I still have almost a full bottle...oh, but I also had donuts in there...damn, powdered donuts sound good right now...ok, what else was in there...an extra GU? Hell, I have plenty of that on the course, an extra bar...no worries, still got a granola bar here...see, you're cool Jess, you got it all!" Then, just when I had my head readjusted from the special needs fall-out, I hit a minor bump in the road...literally...SNAP! Off went my right aeropad....not JUST the pad...didn't you hear the SNAP!!! The ENTIRE piece completely gone...so, for the next 52 miles, my arm rested on the bar...it hurt, but not as bad as quitting would've! And, finally, there is that pesky "stop-n-go" penalty I incurred. I rec'd the yellow card for the following reason...for about 20 miles I pulled 3, let's call them "gentlemen" for Christian purposes...then, they heard the rumble of the Race Officials Harley coming...one guy passes me right away to reflect attention off his questionable riding behavior. I immediately sat up and stop pedaling to fully allow the 10 meter rule to take effect. Well, just as I'm doing this, a 2nd knuckle-head passes me and instead of passing me and the first guy, he squeezes in b/t me and the first one...oh no! I knew waht he was doing was illegal...he needed to pass the both of us due to official distance rules. As upset as I was, I SHOULD HAVE let it go...waited a good minute, and then hammer pass this drama...but, I didn't...I reacted and passed both men right away...bottom line...I got a yellow card because I didn't allow a full 25 sec to go by before passing the first man. I made a mistake and fully accept the punishment and consequences...but, for any AG male out there that is doing this...shame on you!!! Please remember we are pro's trying to make a living...if you want to draft off me for the full 112...I don't care! But, please, please, please don't suddenly kill my tempo and potential race by passing me, then slowing down and not maintaining a strong cadence when you hear a Harley coming...it's so uncool and you're are literally taking food out of my daughter's mouth! (How's that for a guilt-trip people!?!?!?!)

On to the run!!! Yes, the marathon! I wanted 2 things out of the marathon upon entering T2...First, I wanted to leave T2 before the next female Pro got into transition and next, I wanted to come as close to 3:03 as I could (this is my Ironman distance PR for the marathon). First goal, accomplished! Got out of T2 3:30 something before the next chica, then, slapped down a 3:04 marathon split...BAM! Part II, done! At the end of the day, I hit the fast female bike and run splits, became the first American woman to win IMFL and I believe had the second fastest time...not bad for a girl originally from Green Bay, WI!!!

When I spoke to my family the next day I felt as though I really made my family proud of me...not because of the win, but because I try to ALWAYS cross the finish line with the American flag during an Ironman distance race. They saw that on the live feed and where touched by my words of graditude of the men and women of our Armed Forces. They are the true heroes...not me. I carry the flay as a symbolic effort to show how absolutely proud I am to be an American, thank those who are or have served and to tell the world...this is the BEST country to represent...look how many come here for work? To play? To experience freedom?

So, on behalf of a proud veteran herself...thank you to all who serve and allowed me to follow my dream, this accomplishment could never have come to fruition if it wasn't for your sacrifice...I do the easy work...you do the tough stuff! Thank you and I love you!

Thanks for reading!!! More to come soon from El Paso!!!

Cheers!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

IMFL...It's Time!!!

Ironman Florida...3rd year in a row, here we go! I'm about 9-10 days out right now to "show time" and ready to race! I felt pretty prepared this year for IM Canada, but in hindsight, now - I feel totally ready to go!

I feel as though my coach and I have taken my fitness in running and cycling to a completely different level in the past 3-4 months. I was able to really test it 2 weeks ago when I took a little trip to Panama City Beach for a weekend of training. I got out the course map and rode on that bad boy like I owned it! It's a little different from the last 2 years, but, all in all, it's pretty much the same course...flat, little windy and fast! I'm excited to see what my legs can clock in on the bike and then turn around and give me in the marathon. I'm even stoked to ocean swim!!!! Yes - even the swim I'm excited about :)

This year has been a wonderful journey - new coach, huge PR in my open and ironman marathons (2:48 open...just 2.5 minutes off US Olympic Trials qualiying!!!) new revelations within myself (less is more), an ultra-supportive husband, daughter and family...I have no excuses!

I'm excited to see what I can put together in Florida as well as where my journey will take me in 2011...this is an attitude I did not have last year. I will not lie -driving to Florida last year, I was just "going thru the motions" - really wasn't excited, but thought..."oh well, one more IM won't hurt me!"...luckily it didn't physically hurt me...but with it being my 5th of the season...something had to give! I was ready to hang up the season right after Kona...but, you get that itch to do "just one more" --- at what point do you tell yourself, "STOP!! Take a break for goodness sake?!?!?" Burnout and a bit of disappointment shadowed me leading into Florida and post-season...but, like anything in life ---- brush yourself off...find out what truly makes you happy and figure out a way to live that life to the fullest EVERYDAY! I'm not going to lie...some days don't click, life gets the best of you...but, take a deep breath, evaluate, examine and pick yourself back up...that's a true LIFE LONG champ!!

Cheers!

Jess

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thank You REV 3!!!

Thank you REV 3 for the amazing race series you put on this year! I was fortunate enough to race in all three locations building from the Olympic distance in Knoxville, to the 1/2 in Middlebury, CT and finally landing in Sandusky, Ohio for the full. It was worth the wait to get to Cedar Point and put everything I worked for this season on the line! It was all easy of a day as Lake Erie was more like a cold washing machine than a lake, but, I made it thru the swim with the thoughts of, "ride hard...run harder" on my mind! I had to redeem myself from IM Canada two weeks prior...I had a great swim and bike there, but, nutrition got away from me, I lost track of it a bit and paid dearly on the run. It absolutely broke my heart, but after much reflection, I was happy I could pull myself together to have a little "redo" in Ohio...I wanted to prove myself on the run...the run is my baby, my buddy - how could I let you down in Canada?!!? We needed to rekindle our friendship and we did! After a fun little trip on the bike for 112 miles I got to unleash the beast on the pavement! I felt great leaving T2, but had to remind myself to "run my race" --- 26.2 miles is still a LONG way...luckily my sister was cheering me on and told me to "relax...chill!" My husband was constantly on the phone with my coach, Derick Williamson, giving him updates, then relaying those messages onto me...it was great to have the love of so many on my side mile after mile! I knew leaving T2 in 5th place I could put pressure on those in front of me...but I didn't know how much. You can NEVER underestimate your competition, that's why it is VITAL you just RUN YOUR RACE...sounds so simple, but, it's so true! YOu never know what kind of day they are having...or not having...so, control YOURSELF - believe in your abilities and let "the chips fall where they may!" (That was an old saying my high school cross country coach used to ALWAYS say!) Suffice to say, I crossed the finish line in 9:28 with a new marathon PR of 3:03...besting my old PR of 3:12 by 9 min...I was elated (go check out the photos on the REV 3 Cedar Point page!!!) What a day! My family from Wisconsin was on hand to enjoy the ride with me as was my husband and daughter that traveled with me from Alabama! What's up next?!?! Ironman Florida on 6 November...stay tuned for the adventure my friends!

Cheers and enjoy the ride!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Long time my friends!!!

I know, I know, I know - I've abandoned my blog for some time and I am truly sorry for such a huge delay! There has been a lot going on in my life and training, but no excuses...shall we make a date - twice a week, I BLOG!!! How's that for a New Year's Resolution in March!!!

Ok - to get you all up to speed, I'm still a Team Sports Beans/NTTC girl, and have resigned with Newton, Rudy Project, Blue Seventy, SL3s compression socks, but my biggest leap this year came when I signed a 3 year agreement with Quintana Roo. However, I still maintain my relationship with Hawk, by riding are their amazing wheels and their excellent bottom brackets! I'm a very lucky girl to get the best of both worlds! Thank you to all my sponsors for your continued support and love!

Secondly, and, to me, this is a big step - I've decided to change coaches this year. After much research, interviewing and exploring my options I've decided to partner with Derick Williamson and his team at Durata Training. I'm very excited to work with Derick as I feel as though he has the science, knowledge and experience to take me to the next level of fitness I'm ready to cultivate! (This new coaching style should add fuel to my blogging!!)

Finally, I've already starting 2010 off with a win as I defended my title at the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, AL on Feb, 14th. My primary goal was to enter the race and go under my PR of 2:54:25 Well, I did that and won! I went 2:52:56. It was a great day, my race plan unfolded beautifully and I capitalized on it as I did last year. Feels great to win on your home turf! Thank you Bham! Looking forward to writing much more in 2010 - take care!

Cheers!!!