Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Idaho Farm Bureau's 70th Annual Meeting

Gem County Delegate Vaughn Jensen is not only a Delegate and Farmer, but an Ironman. Putnam photo

From Farmer to Ironman, Gem County Delegate balances passion and Farming

Idaho Falls--Vaughn Jensen spent most of the day studying resolutions and the Farm Bureau policy book in the Farm Bureau House of Delegates. When he's not farming or taking care of Farm Bureau business he's trying to get in a 10 mile run or a swim. Jensen is a 50-something aspiring tri-athlete and posted respectable times in Boise's Ironman event last summer. He says goal setting and staying in shape makes him a better farmer. Jake Putnam caught up with Jensen during a House of Delegates break:

From farmer to Ironman—not a path many farmers follow, how did you start racing?

A few years ago I was feeling my age and weight, I decided that I wanted to get back in shape and I always wanted to do an Iron Man, and they had a local triathlon with Olympic distance and length there in Emmett and I decided to train for that and from there I went on.

As a farmer you have flexible hours, how do you schedule your workouts?

I try to plan the events I’m going to do at times when I can make the training schedule that would apply to that work as well, it’s not perfect, but its worked so far.

How do triathlons help your farming operation?

I do think they help, when I’m working out or running, bicycle or swimming I think about things that are going on in my farming operation and I think it has given me renewed energy and fresh outlook on things. It’s helped me with my goal setting.

You competed in Boise’s Ironman competition last summer, how did you do?

That race is called an Ironman 70.3 which is 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bicycle ride, followed with a 13.1 mile run which is a half marathon. It was something that I definitely had to train for, and my first goal was to finish the race and I really didn’t give me much time constraints, I finished in about the 45th percentile for my age group, so I was in the middle. I’m looking forward to see what I can do to improve that time.

Boise’s Ironman was held in June yet it was a cold rainy day, how did you adapt?

The water temps were not too much of a problem; I had a wetsuit that protected me against the cold, along with head protection. It was windy there were waves and water was rough; I didn’t realize how rough until I got out of the water, the wave action affected my equilibrium and I staggered a bit when I came out of the water. What I experienced in the race, in the bicycle part was that we went through some hard driving rain storms, passing thundershowers. I termed it good working weather, it was just warm enough to me that I didn’t get a chill I stayed warm just by physical exertion. I was really pleased at how it went for me. My only problem was that I over hydrated, so I had extra bathroom breaks that cost me on my time.

Are you going run it next year?

I’m running the Coeur D’Alene full Ironman next year, and it’s too close to Boise’s even to run them both.

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