<![CDATA[Welcome - Personal Blog]]>Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:11:52 -0600Weebly<![CDATA["Jason Nuss....YOU are an Ironman"]]>Wed, 30 Sep 2015 22:45:02 GMThttp://jnuss.com/2/post/2015/09/jason-nussyou-are-an-ironman.html
Those words from Mike Reilly will echo in my brain for quite some time.  Well its been a couple weeks and I've had time to reflect on all that was Ironman Wisconsin on Sept 13th, 2015.  It was an absolutely amazing experience and one I will never forget.  It makes me proud to be a Wisconsinite seeing all the support on the course as the fans were absolutely amazing.  Here's my story:

Where it started
It has been a long journey for me to get to this point.  It really all started in August of 2012 when I decided at almost 300 pounds to get my health back in order.  It started with diet(Low GI diet) and then added exercise.  In November that year I decided I needed a goal so I made up my mind I would do the Green Bay Sprint Triathlon in June 2013.  What now seems so minuscule at the time for me was like climbing a mountain. 400yd Swim, 15 Mile bike, 3.1 mile run.  I started my training and in the beginning I couldn't run a mile or swim more than 50 yards without stopping.   I worked hard through the winter and did that race in June.  I remember thinking at the time that there was no way I would finish.  Once I did it, however I was hooked.  I did a couple other events moving up to Olympic distance in 2014.  

This year my goal was to complete my first 1/2 Ironman(1.2 Swim, 56 Bike, 13.1 Run).  I talked 5 of my buddies in to joining me on that journey and hired my coach Tricia Adams of TDA coaching back in January.  Having watched the coverage of the Ironman World Championships in Kona I always had in the back of my mind that a Full Ironman was something I'd ultimately like to accomplish, but never thought it was a reality.  As the training went on and the workouts got longer and harder I questioned if I could bridge from my 1/2 in July to IM Wisconsin in September.  After talking it over with my wife and coach I decided to go for it and signed up to the challenge in early July  through an Ironman Foundation Spot.  
PictureDoor County 1/2 Crew
On July 19th,  I finished my first 1/2 Ironman in Door County with my buddies.  It was a disappointing day as I had terrible cramping and blew up on the run and ended my day in the medical tent in pain.  I finished in 6:28, almost a 1/2 hour higher than my goal.  It was a great accomplishment to finish but I had serious doubts as to if I could even complete an Ironman at all let alone in a timely fashion. 

I buckled down and focused on my training and nutrition. With just two months until Ironman I had a lot of work to do.  Workouts increased with peak training being around 15hrs/week in mid-August with my longest work being a 75 mile bike followed by a 12 mile run in 90+ degree temperatures.  A 6 hour workout where I drank over 200+ oz of Fluids and 800+ calories and still lost 6 lbs. :) Those long training days prepared me for what was about to come. They taught me that a lot of Ironman was mental and you had to push yourself through some pain and suffering at times.  I worked hard and I hit taper feeling awesome and ready to rock.  That was until I crashed just 10 days before the race. My tire blew out going around a corner and I wend down hard.    A little road rash and a major contusion the size of a dinner plate on my left hip.  Not really what I was looking for the week before the race.  I cut back a little on training in hopes of healing but the bruising and swelling got worse each day leading up the to the race. (If you look through the gallery below you can actually notice how swollen my left hip really is in a few of the run/finish pics).  The doubts crept in now even more on if I would even be able to finish.  In hindsight.....that crash might have been a good thing for my race day......as it slowed me down and let me take in the race and enjoy it.  

Unlike most races, Ironman is a 4 day ordeal.  
Friday-Register and attend Race Briefing
 Saturday- Practice Swim, Turn in gear bags and bike 
Sunday-Race Day
Monday-Get Finisher Gear.....Hopefully 

Jessica and I headed out on Friday morning early so that I could sit through the Endurance Nation 4 Keys Talk.  Coach Rich gave a great talk, focusing on how to race an Ironman and specific things to watch out for on the WI course.  Three things I remember.  1)Every decision you make affects when "The Suck" sets in. Usually around mile 18 of the run.  Make the right decisions to get you to Mile 18.  2)When it comes(and it will)....Embrace the Suck!  3)You will start the bike and run feeling great and going out way too fast thinking it's your day...."ITS NOT YOUR DAY!!!" Slowdown and follow your race plan. 

PictureTeam TDA: Chris, Dave, Mike, Coach Tricia, Andrea, Me, Cooch
We took the Friday in stride grabbing lunch with the TDA team, registering and picking up our backpack and transition bags.  We of course hit the merchandise tents for a few shirts as well. 

Saturday started off with a Team TDA swim.  Here you can see a pic of our game faces......lol.  Water was nice it was great to get a feel for it and know what to expect for Sunday.  Packed up my gear bags and bike and dropped them off in transition.  My parents and the boys came down and spent the day relaxing and got in a little pool and hot tub to try to recuperate my hip.  

PictureRace Day Crowds and Bike Transition
Race Day
Race day stared out early, Up at 4:30 to get some breakfast and head out to the venue.  It was pitch dark when I left the hotel and walked about 3/4 mile to Monona Terrace.  It was very quiet as I made my way up the hill.  I was nervous and alone but I knew that I had put in the time needed to get through it.  I got my bike ready and made my way down to the water by about 6:30. Logistics around the swim are really tight and I had hoped to see my wife or coach before I started but I got stuck in the corral of people right at the start line and couldn't move.  Lucky enough Cooch and Mike from TDA were they to talk and laugh which helped calm my nerves.  Cooch told me to "Smile, they want to see you smile" and I made that my mantra for the day.  1) Avoid the Suck 2) but when it happens Embrace the Suck 3)Smile and enjoy the day.  Its a celebration of a long year of training.  

PictureSwim Start
The Swim
Ironman Wisconsin is one of the few remaining races that do a mass start.  It can be VERY intimidating.  Bobbing around in the water with 3000 of your competitors gets a little tight.  Even just waiting to start you are bumping in to people all the time.  I decided to start out by the ski jump.  I figured since it takes up space it would probably open things up once I got past it.  By luck many of the TDA Team found ourselves together by the ski jump to start which was a bit stress relieving to me.  7am hit, the cannon blew and it was mass chaos.  The best way to describe the swim is like swimming in a washing machine while being beaten with a pool noodle(or worse).  It was really hard to get in to a rhythm as you people kept bumping in to me.  I simply tried to take it easy and not burn any matches on the swim.  As it got congested I'd look for open water to swim to.  There is a lot of contact and many elbows flying which makes things interesting.  One guy next to me took my elbow to the top of his head.  The swim is a single loop out past Monona Terrace.  It's quite the site from the water with all the people cheering from above.  I made sure, in tradition, to "MOO" at the first 2 corners.   The swim just seemed to take forever, but I plotted along well within myself to exit the water in 1:25.  Not the fastest but within my goal time. 

PictureMe Exiting Swim
Transition 1
I was out of the water.....so I wasn't going to die!  That was really a relief.  I made my way up the helix and just took my time conserving matches.  The helix is lined with people as you loop up 3-4 floors and in to Monona Terrace for transition.  I walked in to transition yelled my number and BOOM, the lights went out.  I knew where my bag was so I made my way that direction in the dar, grabbed my bag and started to work my way around the room when the lights came back on.  My plan was a full clothing change from jammers to my trisuit.  Just an FYI, trying to put a Tritop on while wet can be pretty difficult. The volunteers were great and tried to help however they could.  I grabbed my shoes in hand was off for my bike.  I decides since my bike was about as far away as it could be from transition I'd carry my shoes and put them on by my bike(good call).  I grabbed my bike and down the helix I went.  

PictureThumbs up before the 3 bitches
The Bike
I love to bike....and I love this course.  It's by far my favorite discipline in triathlon. The course is extremely technical with tons of turns and ups and downs but you have to be very careful not to burn yourself out. It has some awesome downhills too. On one I maxed out around 48 mph in training.  

As I started out I remembered the 4 Key talk...."It's not your day!"  I made sure to keep my power in check as best I can. After crashing I just wanted to stay within myself, enjoy the day and finish.   The start of the course aka "the Stick" is sort of a mess starting out with some no passing areas, parking lots, and small paths.  I just settled in for a long day and took it easy on the way out to the loops.  There were tons of people jockeying for position and at times it got really crowded.  One thing that became evident very early on is I needed to race my own race.  Being a little heavier....but able to get very aero I could rock the downhills, I was passing everyone on the downhills.  But on the uphills I needed to keep my power in check while those passing me were grinding up those hills burning matches. 

 I made my way through the first 30 miles or so and got ready for the bitches(3 hills along the back of the loop).  The hills were amazing with spectator support including the Team Nussy Support Crew.  Seeing those guys gave me a big lift.  As I made it around for loop two I decided to skip my special needs bag and sandwich and live with the waffles I had a food off the course.  I stopped briefly to fix my sock that had been bothering me and then was off.    Loop 2 was a little bit tougher as the wind picked up slightly but still very enjoyable.  I made my way back around to the hills and decided to stop and thank my support team for coming out.  It was REALLY cool that they came to support me.  Here's a video of the 2nd loop stop.  

I made my way back to the stick which was downwind. It was a great, fast ride back.  I was chatting with a guy that had been riding with me pretty much the whole day, I'd pass him on the downhills, he'd pass me on the climbs.  We were just about back when we came to an intersection.  He was just ahead of me and crashed.  I felt so bad for the guy as he was probably 5 miles out and it was a completely flat slow corner.  As I approached Monona Terrace, everyone around me seemed to just coast in.  I decided I'd ride my pace and passed a ton of people in the last few miles.  I thought that was pretty weird. 

My coach Tricia and I had made a power plan to follow(sub 160 watts) which I figured would be around 16.5 mph average.  After crashing I was really concerned with how my hip was going to react.  I decided I'd ride well within my power plan for average power but knowing how hilly the course is.  I finished the bike 6:13 and average of 18MPH, a full 1.5mph faster than I had hoped for.  Average Power was in line in low 150's.  I made a conscious decision not to look at my VI(1.17 too high) or Normalized power (175 too high) as I knew they would be high given the ups and downs of the course and I didn't want to freak out thinking I worked to hard on the bike.   All in all I was really happy with my bike split.  

Not much to say here.  I threw on my compression socks, garmin, hat,and shoes and was out the door. It was then I knew is was not IF I was going to finish but WHEN.....

The Run
The run is typically my worst discipline in triathlon, I'm slow as molasses.  I didn't really have a  time goal in mind as I've never run a marathon......hell the furthest I've ever ran is 18 miles so who knows what could happen after almost 8 hours out there already.  As I looped the Capitol, I just remembered those words "Today is NOT your day" from the 4 keys talk.  I reigned in my pace to a comfortably slow maintainable pace.  The run course is a 2 loop course as well, running up and down State street a couple times as well as through the campus.  It was really cool that the support team was able to make it back in time to hit me just as I started my run on state street.  Here's a video of me slapping hands as I made the turn on to Johnson.  You'll hear in the background the music and crowd on State St. 

PictureFinisher Chute
It's funny because although my run was over 5 hours it really seemed to fly by.  The crowd support is just awesome and you sort of just get in a zone and go.  My strategy was to stay smooth and calm and walk the aid stations as well as the Observatory Drive hills.  The aid stations were frequent.  I lived off the course for the most part.  Focusing on my Base Salt to avoid cramping, and taking in Gu's and Shot Blocks for calories.  I also loved the Coke at the aid stations. The first loop went off pretty well and as I made my way back around the Capitol, I decided to skip special needs again.  All I had in there was Licorice and a change of clothes so it wasn't a big deal.  I will say however that i was super jealous of the guy next to me who pulled out a big slice of pizza from special needs and started running with it hanging from his mouth.  Damn that looked good!!!!  

I made my way back through loop two just waiting for the suck at mile 18.  To my amazement I got there and it hadn't hit yet.  Mile 19....Mile 20...Mile 21.... At Mile 21 I looked at my watch and what my pacing was and realized that I could break a 13 hour finish time if I held my pace.  I made it through 21  and hit 22.  About Mile 23 I started not to feel so good as "The Suck" was setting in.  I started to get tunnel vision as I approached an aid station.  My stomach was not happy with me.  I think in hindsight it may be due to the fact that I lived off sugar all day.  I stopped just short of the aid station and put my hands on my knees.  I know at that point I needed to throw up in order to feel better.  So there it happened at the side of the road.  But damn it did make me feel better.  I took a second and sat down on the curb, something I was told never to do.  Don't sit down, and don't stop moving but I needed a minute. Well it looks like it was closer to about a 4 minute pit stop.  I grabbed a water and coke and walked for a bit to get my wits around me.  About that time Cooch came up behind and and said "3 miles to go, lets finish this together"  I tried to run but my body just wasn't quite ready for it.  I told him to head off without me and walked a little bit more.  

I got my mind back in the game and about Mile 24 I decided to run what I could and walk when I had to.  I made my way back up to the crowds of State St.  They energized me and and ran the rest of the way in.  As you circle the Capitol you hear Mike Reilly calling people names.  You know the end is near.  As you approach the chute you look around, take it in, and for me slap some spectator hands.  I was there and made it through the day.  I ran across the line arm raised....  I AM AN IRONMAN.  

You see the video of people collapsing after they finish.  Given my emotions the past several months through this journey, I completely expected to break down in tears and lose it knowing how hard I worked to accomplish this goal. I crossed the line and was immediately grabbed by a catcher.  To my surprise I felt just fine both physically and mentally. She grabbed me a water and wouldn't leave my side.  I made my way to the finisher pictures and then over to my family who was waiting at the finish line for some hugs and more pictures.  

A three year journey was over and I had accomplished my goal.  I ended up finishing in 13:10:29.  My goal was sub 14 hours so mission accomplished.  They day really went extremely well and I wouldn't change up too much other than a little bit of normal food in my nutrition plan. .  
I can't thank my support team enough.  Without you this would not have been possible.  First off, my wife Jessica and my boys.  They sacrificed a lot this summer so that I could train and follow my dreams.  I love you and I know I owe you some time back.  To my mom & dad and to the Guc's and Dougherty's for making the trek down to support me.  It really meant a lot to me.  Thanks for being there.  To the Harbor Lights Runners(Bill, Dave, Ed, Mike(x2), Dan) who trained with me and help push me to get better, Thank You.  And last but not least to my coach Tricia Adams of TDA coaching, thank you so much for guiding me, pushing me, educating me, and making me a better triathlete.   

Team Nussy Support Crew(minus Bill)
Odds & End
I get a lot of questions so I thought I'd post a few answers here.  

1)What is the training like leading up to the race?
  In the end my totals in the 9 months leading up to race day were 142,000 yards swimming, 2800+ miles cycling, and 620+ miles running, and about 20 hours of strength training= Approximately 330 hours in 9 months.  

2)Was it worth it? 

3)Will you do it again? 
I don't know yet.  It's a huge time commitment.  If I do another one it will probably be a few years. I think 2016 will be some shorter races that don't require such long training sessions.  

4)How hard was it? How did you feel?
Honestly, I expected much worse.  I expected more "suck" sooner. It's a long day but if you train appropriately it can be and absolutely unbelievable experience with a real sense of accomplishment.   

5)How much weight did you lose in the process?
Since i started my journey in 2012, I've lost just over 100 lbs.  During IM Training I lost about 25, down to around 195 lbs on race day.  I lost 3lbs during the race :) but have since put a few pounds back on. 

6)There is no way I could have ever do that...
You absolutely can do it!!!  When I started I couldn't run more than about a mile without some walking or swim 50 yards of freestyle.  You can do whatever you put your mind to.  Will it be easy? Nope.  Worth it? Absolutely!!!!

There is a lot to learn about Triathlon, if you ever have any questions about anything Swim/Bike/Run related reach out to me at jason@jnuss.com.  I love talking about it it and helping others enjoy their journey.  Much like golf(my other passion) it's very individualized and your results are solely in your control. 

IMWI Photo Gallery

<![CDATA[My Path to a Healthier Me]]>Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:58:26 GMThttp://jnuss.com/2/post/2014/11/my-path-to-a-healthier-me.htmlMany of you who have known me for awhile, know I've struggled with my weight. And those that haven't seen me for awhile always ask "How did you do it?".  So I thought I'd share my story here in the hopes to motivate others to get healthy.  
How it all Started
I remember the day...It was August 26th, 2012. I knew I needed to do something for quite some time.  I was tipping the scales at a whopping 295.  Earlier that week I met with one of my customers who I hadn't seen in awhile and noticed she had lost a bunch of weight.  She talked about a book "The GI Diet" by Rick Gallop.  The results spoke for themselves as she talked about how easy the diet...or more like lifestyle change....was for both her and her husband.  

It was a Sunday morning, I decided to download the book to my Ipad.  I read the book cover to cover that day and decided that was the day for the change.  It started out the first few months as simply a diet.  For the most part the diet is around controlling blood sugar and reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates you take in(avoid sugar, white pasta, white, bread, etc).  It was also about reducing Net Carbs by increasing protein & fiber.  After a month I had lost 12 lbs.  After two months I had lost 20 lbs. 
The old us, and the new us!!!
Phase 2
By November I was convinced the diet was working but wanted to speed up the process.  I started working out.  I don't think you can call it running...lol...but that's how it started.  2 miles around the lake run/walk as best i could.  As time went on I was able to run a little further.  I hit December and knew I need to have a goal in mind.  I decided I wanted to do a triathlon.  I picked the Green Bay Sprint in June of 2013.  A 1/4 mile Swim, 15 mile bike, and a 5k run.   I knew with the goal in mind it would be keep me motivated to keep at the fitness throughout the winter.  By Christmas, I was down 35lbs.  It took a month or two before I told anyone about my plan.  But being public with the plan gave me even more motivation not to fall off the workout wagon.  

I worked hard throughout the winter mostly on the treadmill,  by February I started at the pool floundering like a fish out of water.  At that time I could barely make it two lengths without stopping to catch my breath.  By the end of February I had broken through the 250lb barrier.  Spring was on the way and I could get out on my bike.  I started with a 7 mile loop and slowly worked my way up.  
Crossing the Finish Line
I worked hard through spring and by the time June 2nd came around I felt great.  It was "GO TIME!"   What had I gotten myself in to???  I remember driving to the event held at Ashwaubomay and looking at the temperature.  44 degrees and I'm going to jump in a lake, then get on bike, then run?  I must be crazy.  I stood there in my swimsuit freezing my tail off.  I was wave 12 so it too quite awhile for me to start.  It was a nerve wracking moment, but when the gun went off I hit the water.  I had gotten so cold standing there that the 68 degree water felt warm.  I got on the bike.  I felt great.  I love the bike portion.  It was cold but enjoyable.  I made my way back in to transition to start out for the run.  I made it about 200 yards and I started to breakdown. I was going to do this!!! I choked back a few tears and soldiered on.  It was the longest I had ever worked out. By now it was about 1:15 and I had about 30 minutes to go.  People continued to pass me but I didn't care.  THIS WAS FOR ME!!!  I made the 1.5m turn and headed back to the finish line.  Luckily a friend was there to capture this picture.  I will cherish this one for a long time. 
I made it across the finish line.  For me my time didn't matter.  It was about the accomplishment and the journey to get there.  I had lost about 65 lbs in 9 months...... but I wasn't done.  Since then I've gone on to lose a few more pound and would like to drop a few more.  I've since done many more races and each race continues to motivate me to keep working at it.  I still try to follow the diet plan but definitely not nearly as strict as I had in the first 9 months.  As I write this going in to the off season, I've got my goals set for next year.  My first 70.3 half ironman.  By then I hope to be down a few more pounds.  

I hope this article can inspire others to take the first step.  It' sounds cliche but it really is one step at a time.  It's not difficult but it takes your commitment and patience.  Know that ANYONE can do this, you just have to put your mind to it.