26 December 2006

Dec 26th

Rain...

We didn't have a white christmas in town but they've got multiple feet of snow up in the mountains. I think santa had to put wheels on the sleigh this year ;) Hope everyone had an excellent christmas. Happy holidays and check back later in the week for an Ironman Update.

15 December 2006

Oregon update / weather.

Some of my friends and family back home have been wondering about what the hell is going on in Oregon this year. Californians getting stranded in snowstorms (1 out of 4 dead) , Snowmobilers getting lost (1 of 2 dead), climbers stranded on Mt Hood (status unknown), and huge storms coming in almost every week making the national news. Well for the most part we have been high and dry in central Oregon, since we're on the other side (east side) of the cascade volcanic range. We have had storms, but by the time they get here, they are a bit weaker.

And since there's no snow in MN right now I thought I'd just rub it in a little bit more. I just pulled up the el nino forcast for Central Oregon (see below). If this forcast comes true, we'll be skiing in town. But right now, it's full on sunny. On the horizon where we usually see white capped volcanoes, it's a huge blanket of cloudy snowy wonder. That's the high desert for ya, in 10 mintues we might be in a blizzard. Get the kick wax ready!

NOAA weather forcast, Bend, OR as of 2:07 pacific time:
HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM PST THIS AFTERNOON
Rest Of Today...Snow showers west of highway 97 with total accumulations of 6 to 12 inches. Mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers and rain showers elsewhere with local accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Breezy...Colder. Snow level 3000 feet. Highs 34 to 42. Southwest wind 15 to 25 mph. Gusts around 35 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Tonight...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Much colder. Lows 7 to 16. Southwest wind 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 28 to 34. South wind 5 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 8 to 16. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday...Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. Highs 27 to 37. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows 7 to 13.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs 32 to 37.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of snow showers. Lows 16 to 21.

Tuesday...Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow showers and rain showers. Highs 33 to 38.

Tuesday Night...Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of rain showers and snow showers. Lows 15 to 23. Highs 33 to 38.

Wednesday...Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of rain showers and snow showers. Lows 15 to 23. Highs 33 to 38.

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of snow showers. Lows 19 to 25.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of rain showers and snow showers. Highs 33 to 39.

There's a Pool in town...

This one goes out to my buddies in St. Cloud, MN (aka 'the cloud') who swim (or even bike). See back in the cloud, there used to be a freaking sweet 50 meter outdoor lap swimming pool called Municipal Pool (or just Munice). It was old and historic. Generations of people learned to swim in this pool including my parents, it was a great asset to the community of STC. Problem is, the pool needed updates. It was losing money and it wasn't managed effectively. The leadership in the city (and most likely the majority of the tax payers) didn't see it that way, and thought that the area would be better served if they filled in the pool and made it into a parking lot. (I still can't believe it). So that's just what happened.

Here in Bend, there's this place called Juniper Park Fitness center where they used to have a 45 meter outdoor lap swimming pool that was wearing out, needed updates, much like munice in STC. But instead of giving up, and filling it in, they spent millions, lengthened it to 50 meters and widened it to have 8 foot lanes. They also put a removable lid on it so it can be used in the winter. Duh, what a brilliant idea. Holy crap, that's not the end of it, they also built an awesome weight room and spinning room (a room 100% dedicated to cycling spin classes with a 50 inch plasma flat screen TV in there - I'm not kidding, I going to push for live TdF coverage during the tour!). There is a big difference though between Bend, and St. Cloud. People here are generally fit and want their kids to have a healty lifestyle, and that's where they want to go in their free time, unlike in the people in the cloud are going to the buffet and then the bar to drink MGD light.

The pool in St. Cloud was one of the reasons that brought me back there after college, and now it's gone. Someday maybe Dave Kleis (STC Mayor, and also my former drivers ed teacher) will regret that decision, but I'm sure most of St. Cloud probably doesn't care, which is too damn bad.

This completes my rant for the day. Snow report: it's blizzrarding up at bachelor, and we have 1 inch of snow in town.

10 December 2006

The gingerbread man.

In the holiday spirit, Laurie made some gingerbread people cookies. Can you tell which one is her's and which one is the actual photo in a magazine?

09 December 2006

MN Wild - Spin o rama

This is almost a week old, but it's sweet, because the opposing coach invented the move. Pierre Marc Bouchard wins it in the shootout. enjoy.

06 December 2006

Pint 26.

I gave pint 26 today.

If you don't know what I mean by that, you don't read this blog very often.

Hopefully only a few more weekly pints to go.

23 November 2006

Turkey Day!

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and safe too! We have it so good here, we're thankful for so much. I miss getting together w/ the family for the holidays, that's definatly the hardest part of living so far away! Mom- we went skiing today though, and the snow was perfect!! We hosted thanksgiving here, at our house, with some friends of ours, that also don't have nearby reletives.

I was looking for a nice turkey picture for the holiday to post on the blog, so I typed in 'turkey' on google images... and this is the first hit:

Can you believe it? Is that how you would like to spend your thanksgiving? Getting dropped in oil, I'm sure is right up there. We did not have a full turkey, but we did cook a turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams (some tofu also), the whole deal.

Oh yea, did I mention that the skiing is officially awesome.

We'll be skiing the rest of the weekend.

That's all!

21 November 2006

Ironman Update.

My de-ironing progress continues. I started out with a ferritin level of 1090, in June, and now, over 5 months and 23 phlebotomies later, I'm at a miniscule 231!!! Yea twenty freaking three pints in 24 weeks - one short of 3 gallons. But don't worry, I'll be hitting 3 gallons tomorrow (that's alot when you look at a one gallon jug of apple juice). A ferritin level of 231 puts me within the -normal- range for a non-iron overloaded person (normal range for ferritin level is somewhere around 30-300). WOO HOO!

This was nothing short of great news, but I'm not done yet. The doc said the goal will be to get the ferritin between 10 and 30. I'm still under going weekly phlebotomies, for a few more weeks, so it will be important to make sure I don't actually run out of iron, which would lead to anemia.

On the fitness front, I ran in yet another 5k run last weekend (the COCC turkey trot) and I made it to the finish in under 19 minutes. I was proud of my friend Sean, and my friend Erika, who were the overall winners of the race. That wraps it up for running races in 2006. In fact, probably racing period. I'm planning some big events for 2007, many of which include pedaling a bike.

Here is a teaser for my next post: [11/23 update: you'll have to wait a few more days :) ]



bye.

09 November 2006

Apple CRAP-ple.

Apple iPod nano: completely remastered
Apple MacBook: intel core 2 duo

Yea, in the past few months I got a new ipod, and what do you know, a few days later they came out with a new, even cooler nano with more storage and more battery life. yippie. We got a new MacBook at the same time, and now, what do you know, they have come out with new faster MacBooks. What the hell. It's not like I hadn't waited 5 years (or more) for the next sweet laptop to come out. I could never bite the bullet, because I figured a newer faster one would be offered next month or next year. So what happens when I finally get a laptop? Well, exactly what I thought would happen. Aside from the bad timing, I have to say I'm totally impressed w/ the macbook and it has more than likely converted me to an apple user, instead of PCs only. I only should have waited a few weeks.

I've been a bit sick the past couple days, nothing major, but hopefully it goes away because it's lame.

There was a trace of snow on the Mt batchelor web cam today, so we might just be skiing by Thanksgiving afterall.

I was 2nd in the 10k last weekend but I should've been 1st. I'm chaulking that up to having 22 phlebotomies in the past 23 weeks. That's right, 2 more to go, and I've got 3 gallons. My next appointment at the doc is Nov 21st, so there'll be a full update of de-ironing progress.

02 November 2006

MacForest 15k

One of the best 15k trail runs is held each fall in Corvallis every year. The course has gains and loses about 1000 feet, so it's challenging, and it's held in MacForest which is resembles a rain forest after living in central oregon for the last 2.5 years.

The race is usually on the day that the clocks get switched back one hour. So basically you have tons of time before the race to get there, so you can sleep an extra hour. So for whatever reason, I had it in my head that the race started at 10:30am. We didn't get off to a super early start, but I didn't consider us running late. That is, until the gas light went on in the Subaru, (which means get gas immediately if the wife is in the car). So we got gas in Corvallis. As we were heading to the race, I glanced at Laurie and asked, 'it's at 10:30, right?' She replied: "I don't know, It's at TEN THIRTY, isn't it, Ryan?" in a sarcastic sort of way. I was the reason we were going to this race so obvioulsy I was the one that need to have the details right. So as we were pulling in to park, I was thinking we missed the start, because there were other cars parked, but there were only cars, no people. So we parked the car, and then like clockwork, Jazzy, our dog, ralphs all over the back of the car. (And I mean a big puke.) The plan was to have Jazz stay in the car while we ran, so no Lauire is stressing because the dog is sick, and we were thinking well should we just turn around, and go home? I think we both felt like doing that. We managed to get the car cleaned up so the dog wasn't laying in puke, and then jogged toward the start. Again, it was pretty desserted, excpet for the timer, and a few spectators, I knew we'd missed the start but I asked someone anyway. We went to get our race bib, and started about 15 minutes late. I ran the first mile w/ Laurie, and then proceeded to catch half the field, and Laurie ran the whole course passing a good amount of people as well. I'm proud of her finish, as she wasn't really 'pumped up' for this race (at all). So I didn't break any records but I did manage to run the last 8.3 miles in 58 minutes and 30 seconds.

Maybe do another 10k this weekend in Powell Butte.

Until then.

22 October 2006

Running lately

Not much new. I ran the Sisters Scramble 10k last weekend, and was pretty satisfied with how it went, considering. This weekend it's Mac Forest 15k trail run in Corvallis, and on Nov. 4th it's the Lords Acre 10k in Powell Butte. After that hopefully we have some snow? I heard it's snowing in the rockies, and there have even been reports of skiing in the midwest. We should be skiing soon. Speaking of skiing, there's some new technology in ski poles. I know, you're thinking it's that new swix pole that looks more like a blade and is really strong and really light. Nope, it's called a coldpole, and you can read about it by clicking here. It might come in handy toward the end of the birkie if you can manage to keep it thawed.

We're going to Portland for the weekend. Planning to stop at Silver Falls state park on the way out to see if the falls are really silver. I need some new photos.

Hasta Luego

20 October 2006

the mix

Last year I came out with a music mix. Ok it's just a bunch of pop songs, and some you might like some you might not. This year, I will again build a mix, and it'll be coming out sometime within the next 3 months. Get ready, because this years mix is going to send shockwaves through the music world. There are still openings, so if you have any requests for the 2006 mix, drop me a line. You know how to get ahold of me. Email. Comment. Phone.

Here's last years mix (code named Kyle's mix, for obvious reasons).

  1. The Killers - Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)
  2. beck - ghettochip malfunction (hell yes) [remix by 8-Bit]
  3. nine inch nails - Only
  4. butthole surfers - dracula from houston
  5. gorillaz - feel good, inc.
  6. the killers - sombody told me
  7. blur - song 2
  8. weezer - hash pipe
  9. weezer - island in the sun
  10. eminem - lose yourself
  11. si*se - sometimes
  12. si*se - more shine
  13. alanis morissette - crazy
  14. madonna - hung up
  15. live - the river
  16. live - white, discussion
  17. the killers - mr. brightside

This weekend I'm gearing up for the Sisters Scramble. A 10k trail run through the woods. The compeition will be feirce, but we're drinking the good drink and eating the good eats, so we should be bringing the 'A' game tomorrow. It would be sweet if I hadn't had to donate NINETEEN pints of blood in the last 20 weeks. You do the math. That's more blood than 2 of me can hold at one time. In anycase, I'm feeling pretty decent and should be able to rip off a sub 40 minute 10k. Costume might be in effect.

end.

14 October 2006

new URL - same spot

The new URL www.nessski.com is operational. Sort of. Give it a shot.

It'll just bring you right here to nessski.blogspot.com, but please update your bookmarks to www.nessski.com if you have them, and I know you do.

13 October 2006

NHL prediction

The 06-07 nhl season is young, and I intended to get this out before the season started, but here goes. I predict that the Minnesota Wild will win the stanley cup this year. Here's how it will play out:

East finals: Pittsburg (wins most improved club over last year - worst to first almost) vs. Montreal. West finals: Minnesota vs. Detroit

Minnesota will crush Montreal in 5 games, and it won't be over until June. A homer pick you say, picking your home town MN wild? No way. OK maybe just a little bit. The Wild finally opened up the pocket book and signed some goal scorers: former SCSU star Mark Parrish and Pavol Demitra, to go along w/ all star Marian Gaborik (or also pronouced 'mary ann' by wild coach Jacques Lamaire in all of his interviews - classic). That offensive strategy will work great, along w/ Lamaires defensive coaching style. It will be great to see Lamaire match up against the Canadiens.

11 October 2006

Newsflash: Season is over

Well, it was a long season, but it's over! That's right, The 2006 season is in the books. Ness said, "It was a tough desicion to forgo the final race in the Thrilla in the Milla cyclocross series, but it's been a long season. It started out really good, and I had good results at Mt Hood, but after the weekly phlebotomies started, it was tough to keep the intesity up." Ness continued to race through weekly phlebotomies racing in some of the weekly bendcycling.org weekly criteriums and as a Cat 3 in the Cascade classic stage race in his current place of residence, Bend, Oregon.

Ness plans a full comeback next year in his first full season as a Cat 3 racer in Oregon. Since June 5th, Ness has been undergoing treatment for Hemochromatosis, a genetic condition that causes the body to store extra iron. As of today he's undergone 18 phlebotomies, and it looks like treatment could last into 2007. Ness plans to do some ski racing this winter, with possible plans for the Birkie in Feb. and the National Masters in March.

In other local news, Ness's wife Laurie recently returned from Paraguay on a trip for operation smile. Click here for a flickr slideshow.

(*** uh, yea, this was about my racing season for 2006 - There might be other events -mac forest 15k trail run-, but for the most part, it's over, just like the Twins) the blog will continue though. There are some rumors of a site re-design and a new URL (nessski.com??) wait and see!

03 October 2006

Game 2

Lose game 1 at home, with soon to be 2 time cy young winner.

Must win game 2 at home with rookie pitcher Boof Bonser.

Boof -freaking- Bonser, pitching the twins most important game of the year thus far. BOOF!!!

The twins won the alds game 1 in NY 2 years ago, and then went on to lose the next 3. (I think it also happend like that 3 years ago too, but I can't quite remember). These are the Oakland A's we're talking about here, time to git some hits, dammit!

25 September 2006

Minnesota Twins baseball


Twins clinch playoff berth! How cool is that...? it's not the same energy here in Oregon, but I'm happy for them. Now it's time to kick some yankee ass in October. The twins have always been right there. They were beat by the yankees in 03 and 04, but each of those series could have gone the other way.

Hopefully they can stick it to them this year!!!

19 September 2006

Update from Paraguay!

Laurie is in Paraguay, and she sent an update! Sounds like she's having a good time, and busy! Here's the update:

From: Laurie
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 2006
Subject: hola
hello all, well i made it to paraguay friday eve around 6pm a day and a half after my bend departure, a long journey! i don´t think a few of you know i am on a volunteer trip with operation smile. we are staying at a nice hotel outside of town. the hospital is a military hospital that is vacant. i had a tour today and worked a little, we are pretty much set to go for the week. we are planning to operate on 150 children. it is a bit overwhelming at times, emotions etc., amazing how this all works. i guess there were over 400 people who came to the hospital for the screening, and there is only room for aprox. 150 mainly children some young adults and adults. we will have 3 or rooms 2 tables in two of the rooms, 1 in the last. we are preparing for many people in the or rooms. ie. news, students, dr.´s etc. quite different than home!! it is a privilage to be here people very hospitible. i am looking forward to the work week, lack of sleep and veggie food!! but it is so worth it. i will send another note if i can. sorry for any mis spellings yikes i am terrible and spell heck ... .not so good here
hugs,
laurie


So she's in Paraguay, doing some critical deeds, and I'm here running pilot butte and selling stuff on ebay.

Thats all today. Hope you are well.

15 September 2006

It was fun while it lasted

Today we said goodbye to the Van.


It had a good run. Ironically we owned it exactly one year minus one day. I was thinking it might have been about a year, and then I checked the records, and it was a day short of a year. Also, we got just shy of what we paid for it. The couple that bought it is great, and they'll really enjoy it.

Now we are going to experiment with DITDOC (double income two dogs one car - yea i just made it up). Well it shouldn't be too bad since I work from home. We'll see how long it takes before I have to bike somewhere in the snow, or how about bike to the red cross for a blood donation? That ride home might be exciting!

Laurie made it to Santiago, and by now she's probably in Paraguay. The dogs are waiting for her, and well, they have a long wait.

bye

13 September 2006

Thrilla in the milla

Raced in the 2nd installment of the weekly September cyclocross series the Thrilla in the Milla. It is a pretty sweet little bike race where you're supposed to ride a bike that's in between a road bike and a mountain bike. I ride a full on mountian bike though, because I don't have a CX bike. There's usually a few obsticles where you are required to get off the bike and jump over them. So it's not easy.

I haven't been training hard or training to race lately, so I knew I would be hurting through this one. It started out fast and I was pegged way too early and by that time, I just tried to maintain position. Last year I was pretty strong in the B race, so either the Bs are stronger or I'm slower, and I'm thinking that the weekly trips to the red cross have just a little bit to do with it.

No worries though it was still fun, and I got to suffer a little bit. The weather is supposed to be changing here at least for a couple days, and this time of year, in this area that could mean that either fall is going to happen, or winter. But then we could get more summer in a couple weeks too.

Laurie leaves for a couple weeks tomorrow for Paraguay, on a mission trip with Operation Smile. Should be a great experience for her. She's going to stay a couple extra days to travel a bit. So I'm flying solo, party at my house!

Smith rock time trial this weekend. stay tuned...

06 September 2006

Back from Minnesota

For the past week I was back in Minnesota for some work, and also visiting friends and family. It was a fabulous weekend. I really miss going 'up to the lake' in Minnesota, so when I do get the chance to go up there now, it's pretty nice.

It was a real good trip. I even did a mountain bike race. Highlight is below (yea that's me on a borrowed schwinn homegrown singlespeed, and no, I wasn't hurt.) I went to the Laddies Loppet mountain bike race at Maplelag up in northern minnesota. It was super fun, and pretty hard too. There was alot of singletrack on trails that didn't produce any dust! Imagine that! This photo ended up on skinny ski dot com.

skinnyski.com photo

I took a ton of photos, but I have some major computer problems before I can get them organized and uploaded. So you'll just have to hold on!

also, I drained pint #13 today. And I only have 2 more to go to have put 1 gallon into the blood bank at the red cross. They're happy, and hopefully some people who need it are getting my O neg blood.

bye

23 August 2006

still ironman

I got my lab results yesterday. I was a bit off with my prediction, but I think I'm on track. I wanted to see that I was over 1/2 way done, but the ferritin number came back at 745. That means I'm losing about 34 points per bleed. If that rate holds for all bleeds, I can expect to be done by about January. yippie. 4 more months of weeklies. Oh well, the red cross is happy.

That's all for now.

21 August 2006

Iron

Any guesses on how many points my ferritin will drop after 10 blood donations in 11 weeks? In case you haven't studied up on how many pints of blood is in a person about my height and weight, well, it's just about 10 pints. I've recycled my whole blood supply since June 5th. Tomorrow is the first follow-up to see how much iron I've unloaded. I started out on June 5th at about 1090. Guess? Let's say 412. That would mean I'm over 1/2 way done. If it's under 412, I'll be encouraged. (it has to be, right?) I'm tired, mentally, physically (and not from doing things like this), and I'm sick of donating blood.

I'll probably know the result in the next day or 2.

Some netflix notes: from this weekend: Match Point. It was OK. 3/5 stars. The ending bumped up my rating from 2 to 3 stars. Hopefully this doesn't give it away: you'll really like 'the talented mr. ripley' if you like this one.

Last week: Cinderella Man: 5 stars. This was a great movie if you like sports or not. Back in the day, boxing was cool, and this is one of those movies that it's hard to rent for whatever reason, but it's defiantly worth it.

At the theater, we're hitting up Talladega Nights tonight in sisters.

Jazzy says hello:

Jazzmine in the backyard,sun

Here's to low ferritin levels and some dust curing rainy days soon.

09 August 2006

Published (sort of)

Well I got some props for my excellent photography skills. Some of my photos of Justin Gatlin are showcased in this online article.

Gatlin (like Roid Landis) has tested positive for taking testosterone. His excuse is, that a massage therapist rubbed steroid cream without his knowledge before a meet in Kansas City.

I don't believe him.

As for Landis, I'd like to believe him, but I think he used some kind of testosterone recovery assistance after his blow out on stage 16.

They should use my reverse doping techniques: Lose 9 pints of blood in 10 weeks... Without putting any back in. Iron unloading fast I hope. It's getting a little old. The only good news is my last 2 pints have gone into the blood bank at the red cross. And my blood type is O neg, which is the universal donor, which means that anyone can accept my blood in a transfusion, so it's good when patients are in the ER, and the docs don't have time to type the blood of the recipient.

Enough of that. Look at my pics at nowpublic.com

JUSTIN GATLIN - Doped up on roids.

peace.

04 August 2006

FS: Eurovan Weekender!!

Well, we were part of the Bend Eurovan/Subaru outback cult for a while, but it may be coming to an end. If you want to buy this great van, contact me ASAP.

It's advertised for sale on autotrader.

If you like going on long road trips, this is the ULTIMATE vehicle. We just don't go on enough trips like that. We had fun with it, it runs awesome and is super duper clean.

DSC00274

UPDATE: Sorry, the van is sold!

02 August 2006

Peak Oil

Here we are back in Bend after a great weekend in Portland. After weeks of 90 degree heat, we woke up on Monday morning to 37F degrees!! Wow was that a shock. A little too soon for a morning like that (can you say fall is on the way?), but we'll take it.

I've been reading some books about engergy. Peak Oil: What is it? Well, it's the theory that there is a finite supply of oil in the world that we're using slowly (or quickly depending on how you look at it) each day. So the rate at which new oil fields are discovered has already fallen off, as the big fields are pretty much known. We're still able to kick out more barrels today, than we did yesterday, but peak oil says that that will someday change, and we'll no longer produce enough oil to meet the demands of the world. (We're currently using between 80 and 90 MILLION barrels oil per DAY in the world.) It will probably be more like a plateau before the number we can produce starts going down.

Some say this might be a sort of armegeddon, with mass chaos and a big world war for the remaining oil. And this might be happening in the middle east right now (thanks GW). The more I read about it, the more I have hope that the law's of economics come into play and we become more energy efficient so we actually need less oil. It is already happening with the big 3 US automakers going in the tank (ford, gm and chrysler). They simply can't compete w/ Toyota an Honda and the efficient cars they are selling now.

So the point here is, change your light bulbs to compact florescents, use less electricity and natural gas and when it's time to get a new car, go for gas mileage.

Go out and see Al Gore's new movie and just wonder how different the world would be if we'd have had about 200 more votes for him in the 2000 election. I wasn't a big Gore fan back then, but hopefully he get's another chance to run in 08.

OK back to Yard work and blood donations.

out.

27 July 2006

Not Floyd!?!?! say it ain't so!

Well, we were all shocked to read today that Floyd Landis had some drug test results at the tour come back positive for out of whack testosterone level. As luck wouldn't have it it the positive test was right after he won big in stage 17, having the ride of his career, after one of the worst days of his career. Hopefully it get's sorted out, and it's not true. Otherwise you might see yours truly in the pro peloton after all the real pros are kicked out for various banned substance violations.

In other news, we're going to Portland this weekend. That should be a good time kicken it in the valley. Paradise that it is, I have to say it's always nice to get out of the bubble that is Bend Oregon. And I mean bubble in more than one way. I found a site called Bendoregonbubble that talks about the real estate bubble that may be causing havoc with the local economy. It's true, houses are expensive here, and it's also true that there is probably at least 1 if not 3 houses for sale on almost every block. So you could say it's a buyers market, but part of the reason so many houses are for sale is because people want more for their houses than buyers are willing to pay.

In more other news, I have begun donating my Hemochromatosis blood at the American Red Cross. There's alot of strict policies and procedures that they follow, so they haven't actually put any of my blood in the bank yet, but next Tuesday I should be good to go. So far I've had 7 pints extracted in 8 weeks (since June 5th).

oh yea, there's some forest fire activity around here, but we're not preparing to duck and cover just yet. They are a long ways away, but hopefully they don't burn down too much forest.

audi 5000.

19 July 2006

Cascade Classic Day 2-3

On to the Time trial. Since my weekly trips to the blood bank, one of the things I've noticed is my recovery times seemed a bit longer. Well after going all out the day before, it was time for a morning time trial (only 6.5+ miles) with a start time at 9:04:30am. It went OK, well except for the fact that like 3 people passed me. That was kindof a drag, and it didn't really seem like I was able to get all of my power on the pedals. One of the top objectives for next season is to improve the time trialing. I didn't finish last, but i was bottom 10.

On to the Criterium. Lining up for the start:

So if we had to follow that guy all day, it might have been a bit stinkier. The GTO lead out the first lap, and it smelled like a combination of burning rubber, and super hot exhaust that didn't really smell like normal car exaust. Maybe more like race car exhaust, I'm not sure. Anyway, the GTO lasted for 1 lap, and we had to go for 50 minutes around a downtown course of about .7 miles. This kind of racing has it all, it's fast, fun, scary, intense, hard, and fun for everybody to watch. I had alot of people cheering for me, so it seemed, and all I heard was "Go Ryan!, Start moving up!" on almost every lap. So when I heard that I didn't want to look back, because i might have been the last in line. The fact was, I was constantly trying to move up, but I just couldn't get more than about 1/3 of the way to the front. There were prime laps (where you sprint for a prize) like every 3rd lap it seemed, so the pace was pretty relentless. I wish I knew our average speed, because we were flying. I finished in the pack, again making it a step closer for the goal for the weekend. Finish (No DNF), and don't be DFL.

Sunday would bring a circut race with 4 laps around a common training loop west of Bend. I've ridden these roads many times, and that should have played to my advantage. Well, it was pretty cool to know the course real well, as the majority of the field was from out of town. Next year I'm going to use that to my advantage more. I made it one lap and then I got dropped. I did too much work at the front of the pack early, and then on a steep climb (Archie Briggs road), I just couldn't hang on. I rode the last 3 laps solo, to make it in 3rd from last on the stage. (oh well, bottom podium) I made it through my 3rd and hardest (by far) stage race, and my 1st Cat 3 races and I didn't finish last. But I finished. The 5 units of blood I lost in the last 6 weeks was definatly a factor. 6 weeks ago I was approaching top shape, and during the last 6 weeks I couldn't train with the intensity I had in April and May. I'm really determined to come back full blood and de-ironed next year, and plan to come out swinging. Watch out.

Until then I think I'll do some yard work.

17 July 2006

Cascade Classic: Day1


The first (of 4) stage of the Cascade classic took us through some pretty good scenery. Photo of the CAT 3 pack going down the first descent after a 4 mile climb to start the race. The 1st stage was a 74 mile road race that started out with a tough 4 mile climb to the base of Mt. Bachelor. That went OK, and was followed by a long descent (later to be climbed) and about 50 miles of rolling hills through pine tree lined roads. The course was like a lolly pop with an out and back, with a loop in the middle. It was in the 80s or 90s, a really hot day, and it was made worse by a tail wind on the return, so there was not as much wind blowing through the 'peleton'.

I started this race with 2 water bottles, one with HEED and one with water. My lack of training in the mid-day heat was evident in the choice to only bring 2 bottles. I would later pay for that in the last 10 kilometers of this race.

I was dropped on the last climb, and at 2 points had to stop because my hamstrings were cramping up. I did make it to the finish line with a smile. There were many casualties on the last climb and I was only one of them. My first CAT3 race went OK, and with more water, I could have placed a bit better, and who knows what the 5 pints of blood that I've lost in the last 6 weeks have done.

Day 2 includes a 7 mile TT and a 50 minute downtown Crit.

10 July 2006

Netflix: Worlds Fastest Indian

We netflixed the world's fastest Indian last weekend. It was hands down the best movie I've seen in 2006. And it's based on the true story of the life of New Zealander: Burt Munro. Definitely one to put in your queue, or rent at the video store.

two thumbs way up for _the Worlds Fastest Indian_.

06 July 2006

Tour rolling.

Sweet pic from today's TdF stage (it's a team game).


Well, the first week of the TdF is nearly in the books. Although it's always a great show, the action has been pretty boring: breakaways that won't make it, and a sprinters dominating the tour to this point, with a fair amount of crashing too. Boonen is in Yellow, but McEwen has 2 stage wins, and the green jersey. We'll see how my predictions pan out...

Whatever, maybe it would be more exciting on TV, but we don't have cable so I'm just watching the 2 minute updates on velonews. They do have a very sweet daily video diary with Chris Horner. Check that out.

Unlike some of the top cyclists in the world who like to put extra blood in their body for performance, I'm taking it out (in case you don't know, here's why). From a training perspective, the first couple weeks went OK. I ran in a very difficult big horn 30k trail run after 3 weekly bleeds. My next bleed after big horn, was very bad, tired all week, virtually no quality training. I amazingly recovered this week after my 4th bleed (although my CBCs don't really show raised HCT or HGB). We did go to Madras for the 10k, where I was 3rd overall running a sub 38 minute 10k. I also did the weekly crit yesterday, and felt OK. And since I got my upgrade to a Cat3, and a spot for our team opened up for the BMC Cascade Classic, I'm deciding to give it a go. It starts next Friday, and was a race I really wanted to do. We have a really strong team, and it will be fun to ride with those guys.

Don't tell my doctor, but I'm skipping next weeks blood removal to prepare. I have been going every 8 days anyway, and am coordinating with the red cross to start doing my bleeds there, so I'm thinking my next one will be the week of the 17th at the red cross, so some in-need person may be able to use my iron rich blood for a transfusion.

Go Floyd! Standings should change on Saturday in France (Big TT).

Have a good weekend.

29 June 2006

#4, Happy 4th.


4 weeks.
4 pints.
4th of July next week.
4th consecutive 10k on the 4th of July?

Last year, Laurie ran the 10k in Madras; I had to sit out because of some injuries from a bike crash the week prior. In 2004 I ran in Madras w/ a couple friends. In 2003, Laurie and I were in Freeport, Maine and ran in a 10k, and had a pancake breakfast afterward. So it would be logical continue the tradition to return to Madras and run in the 10k. It's a small town, with a small town vibe, unlike Bend, which isn't really a big or small town, but it definatly doesn't have a small town vibe.

To my family at the lake in MN: We miss you. Hope you have nice weather at the lake like this:

The tour starts on Saturday (that little bike race in France). Lots of doping investigations and bad press for some high profile riders. Kinda makes you wonder. I think there are some pretty nervous racers waiting to see what's going to happen.

My jersey predictions:
Yellow: Landis (Ullrich and Basso will be close)
Green: McEwen (Boonen will drop out - Zabel & Thor will make it close)
Dots: Rassmusen (aka 'skeletor' - see photo below)
White: Gomez (who the crap is that?)

I'm rooting for these guys (in this order):

Landis (Floyd Rocks!)

Horner (Take some chances Chris)

Hincapie (Top 10 for Hincapie)

Leipheimer (Could be top 5)

Zabriskie (Repeat prolouge win in the works?)


McEwen (Green Jersey, if he can make it over the mountains)

Rasmussen (skeletor will be in polka dots in Paris)

Millar (what the heck, admitted doper - now apparently clean, so he definatly won't win)

Now all I need is OLN.

27 June 2006

This is Funny.

http://www.glumbert.com/media/waldo.html

Natural Gas (and oh yea, it's hot out)

This is part 1 of 3 for the energy usage for us, here I'm analyzing the usage of Natural Gas, up next is electricity and then water, maybe Gasoline too, but I've only been keeping track of that since October of 2005.

So regarding the natural gas, I don't have alot to compare the data to, to see if we are efficient, compared to the average American, but I think we do OK anyway, especially since our house was not really built with energy efficiency in mind. I began keeping track of this when we moved into our house in Nov. 2004.

For the first 6 months of 2006, the Ness casa used 284 therms of natural gas. In the same period last year we used 292, so we used 8 less therms of natural gas. NG is used to heat our house, water and we have a natural gas stove for cooking. Unfortunatly we don't keep temperature statistics but here's a breakdown of gas used per day, grouped by month.
So in every month except one, we used less gas. In March of this year, it was MUCH colder this year than last year which explains the discrepancy there. It would be interesting to compare the average temp in each month. Maybe I can find that online somewhere.

Cost? Well the average cost (per month) of our first 6 months in 2005 was $51.43, and in 2006 the average cost was $55.13. The cost per therm of our natural gas only went up about 10.2% (according to my math anyway) . Not bad considering the big scare about high NG prices after the hurricanes last fall.

Ahh- ok, this is my blog so I can blog whatever I want, so if you are bored to death by my energy usage statistics, then wait until the next blog entry where I will return to blogging about who will win the Tour de France, or my blood letting experiences, or something cool like that. Did I mention that it's about 100 degrees here in Bend right now? Yea it's HOT. So this week would mark the official beginning of Summer in central oregon. Needless to say we're not using much natural gas nowadays.

later

23 June 2006

World Cup

Why does the USA suck so bad at soccer? Soccer is just not that popular here. It was pretty fun when we visited Ireland and England last spring, when there were some big games going on. We viewed a couple at some pubs, and dang I have to say it was pretty cool. I guess the average american sports fan needs higher scoring games.

Anyway, I don't think Jeff will mind, so I'm passing on a link to his race report for the Big Horn 100 mile trail run. It's pretty sweet. He really knocked it out of the park with the race. Definatly an inspiration. We celebrated this week by going out for lunch instead of the weekly Wednesday noon run.

Wish I was here.

That's all.

21 June 2006

Big Horn 30k

So, before arriving in Dayton Wyoming, we set out for Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone. It was sweet, except it rained quite a bit. So, we missed the tops of the tetons (clouds) and we were almost dry when we saw old faithful blow (right about on time of course). Luckily though most of the stuff at Yellowstone is on the ground, so cloud cover wasn't a big deal. All the bubbling springs and gurgling caves are pretty dang cool. I'm quite certain that the area will blow up soon, after seeing it first hand. Also - we visited the park on like thursday, and then heard on the radio that a family from Michigan lost their mom after she stepped over the guard rail to take a photo, and fell off of a 500 foot drop off. Common smarts might have come into play there, but I'm not sure. All in all, the road trip was sweet, and that neat little digital camera that holds almost 300 pictures, was useless because we forgot the battery for it. Oh well.

The wild and scenic Big horn trail run is a challenging race, no matter what distance you do. (you can choose 100 mile, 50 mile, 50k or 30k.) Laurie and I choose the 30k, thinking it might be the easy way out. Well, it was still pretty dang tough. The start was at about 7400 feet, and the end was at about 4000 feet, so if you do that math, there's alot of descending. Some rollers before the drop off, but once you get to the drop off, hang on and if you have the balls, you will go fast, but this was some uneven moose trails that were very technical (bad footing). I was with the 2 leaders, (that turned out to be local guys, who probably train on the course) (big advantage) throught the first half where there were some big climbs, but when the down hill started they were like bowling balls going down that thing. I was out of control, and had to bag it, because I wasn't prepared mentally or physically to handle that kind of pace right there. I was thinking to myself, I'm never coming back to this one as I was suffering down that hill, trying to race it. I was wondering how Laurie would handle it, but she did great finishing in under 3 1/2 hours.

So I ended up 3rd overall. Some Bend Oregon friends of ours also kicked ass, w/ Jeff taking 1st in the 100miler (new course record), and Sean and Chris taking 1st and 7th in the 50 miler, respectively. I have not been this sore after a race for a long time, and it's because of the down hill. Well, I think I'll stick to the gentle Bend trails which are like freeways compared to big horn.

So, now what? With my 3rd 'reverse blood doping' (RBD) session yesterday, I'm feeling OK I guess. The day of the RBD, I become super tired afterward, but seem to recover good the next day. And I was able to compete at Big Horn after 2 RBDs, so who knows what the future will bring.

I continue to be a little bummed about the whole blood letting but I have to say I'm am glad I figured this disease out now, instead of when I'm 60, with a ferritin of 8000, a rusty liver that doesn't work and a bunch of other health problems.

word out.

20 June 2006

Back!

Well, here we are back in Central Oregon after a big road trip to WY. There are a ton of things going on here, so this is a short post.

Oh yea, we forgot the battery (opps!!) for our little digital camera, so there will be a delay on getting any pictures of the few disposable camera pics up from the trip.

Oh yea, 3rd phlebotomy was yesterday upon arriving back in Bend. That sucked.

13 June 2006

Heading east.

blood donation yesterday: check
haircut saturday: check
gas up van: check
pack up van: check
camera batteries charged: check

we're outa here.

10 June 2006

Bon Weekend

It's the weekend, and there's not much happening. Big off road 1/2 marathon tomorrrow in Bend. I'm not running, though, still trying to recover from my first therapudic blood donation. I was pretty much recovered after a couple days, I think, but I've been taking it pretty easy, in terms of working out. I go back for round 2 on Monday.

We're hittin' the road on Tuesday for a road trip to the big horn mountains in Wyoming. On the way, we'll go through eastern Oregon (yee ha), Idaho (maybe we'll see napoleon), and then Jackson Hole, WY, Grand teton national park, and Yellowstone national park. Oh yea, there's a little trail run that we are in too, the 'Big Horn Trail Run'. Laurie and I are both in the 30k, but they also have distances of 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile. A couple of our friends are running the 50 mile, and another friend is the defending champ in the 100 mile. Yea, that's right, 100 miles of running. Biking that is hard enough. I guess if you like running all night.

For now- that's all.

06 June 2006

6-6-06 / Still alive.

(warning - contains graphic bleeding descriptions) I had my first session of bleeding yesterday. It went OK. I didn't have any problems, the blood came out fast, and I was out of there in less than 40 minutes. I was hoping for a smaller needle, but that was not possible, as they only have one set of 'phlebotomy' equiptment. I think the needle was a 17 gauge (isn't that a shot gun?). It might as well have been a shot gun, the thing was huge. I don't watch them put the needle in for obvious reasons, but what they do is stick a big needle in your vein, that's hooked up to a tube, and then hook that clear tube up to a bottle, and then put the bottle on the floor, so gravity helps the process. I did look at the tube (for about 5 seconds), with blood flowing in it, and instead of coming out evenly, like a leak in a water balloon, it was pumping out. I don't know why that suprised me, but I guess it was the heart beating pumping blood out. I think the unit of blood was supposed to be a pint, but the bottle looked more like the size a litre.

Also, the Doc has setup parameters on my hematocrit (HCT) and hemoglobin (HGB), and if they are below a certain point, they will let me skip a week. Initially my HCT was 43 (back in April), and my HGB 15.5. Well yesterday, they were much lower (39 and 13.9), and I'm thinkin it was because of the stage race I completed the day before, and if not, I need to get some blood back in me, not bleed it out!!! Or get an altitude tent or something. At this point (and this opinion might change as I go throught this process further) I'm pretty sure that pro cyclist do in fact dope, or do something to keep their HCT as close to 50 (the limit) as they can. (or maybe it's an altitude tent?) I don't know if the stage race caused me to dehydrate, and that's what caused the low numbers, but in any case, those Pro tour riders are racing twice as far as I did yesterday, day after day. Go figure...

Anyway, the nurse was pretty sure my numbers would be lower next week and I wouldn't need to waste another unit of blood. (I say waste, because that's just what they do, throw it out). I think she was full of beans, and it was very clear from the start yesterday, that I knew much more of what I was going through than she did. I had to give her a little information on exactly why I was in there, and what this thing called Hemochromatosis is. I predict my HCT will be back above 40 next week, and HGB over 14, that would lead me to believe that I'm depleting a little bit of iron.

Oh yea, the Nurse, was from Minnesota. What's up with Nurses from Minnesota? My wife is from MN; she's a nurse. When we first got to Bend, her first interview was a Nurse from MN. When I busted up my ribs last year, the Nurse was from MN. Our friend Melissa is a nurse, and she's from MN. My mom's a nurse (she's still in MN though).

The world did not end, even though the date is 6-6-6. I didn't think it was going to.

Hopefully the Oilers can turn it around. It's gonna be tough after Roli went down, but we gotta believe. The cup does not belong in Carolina! Period!

04 June 2006

Bike Racing 101 - some lessons learned at Mt Hood

Here we are back in Central Oregon after an action packed weekend of bike racing (and a few heated ping pong matches). The weekend started early Friday morning, when we decided that it would be better to take the car, instead of camping in the Van. This would require us to drive back to West Linn after the bike race on Friday to stay w/ Laruie's bro. Then I would make the trip to the time trial on Saturday solo. Worked out nicely; we got to spend a little time w/ Laurie's brother & fam. The accomodations were excellent, thank you very much.

We awoke to rain in Central Oregon on Friday. That can only mean that it's basically raining everywhere from Bend on west, because it's not common to have much rain. It rained through most of the drive to the race actually, where it was still raining. Needless to say it was going to be a wet race. (Soaking wet and cold too) It was a 2 loop circut for us w/ the race starting and immedatly descending about 9 miles, and then back up 9 miles. I was shivering and soaked at the bottom of the initial descent. There was hardly any attacking. then a guy starts slowly riding faster, and everyone just let him go gradually. Turns out he was a real strong rider, because him and another guy got almost 2 minutes on us. That's the problem with a cat4 race, is nobody really wants to work very much, and working together almost never happens. I stupidly didn't attack until about 1km to go to the finish, and ended up 8th. I should have attacked with about 5k to go. It would have split the field alot, and well, That was lesson number one. ATTACK!!!

Lesson Number 2 came at the time trial. I was going to get all nostalgic and wear my old school sleeveless NDSU cycling jersey. For one it's really tight, so less wind, and also it's a cool green color. Well, I got to the starting line about 3 minutes before I was supposed to start, and this big official guy says (in a very mean voice) 'you gotta find sleeves!' I'm sort of dumbfounded by just how mean he was, and lipped off a little bit, but he was not nice at all. He said "this ain't no triathlon". I know there's a sleeves rule in road races, but I figured that this was a time trial, so it would fly. Give me a break this isn't the freaken tour de france here. I sprinted back to the car, and got my Team jersey and numbers, and then almost missed my start (I had 15 seconds when I was clipped in ready to go.) I finished a crappy 28th losing over 2 1/2 minues. Lesson number 2: Gotta have SLEEVES!!!

So I wasn't super happy w/ the TT, because I knew the race really happened on Sunday (73 miles of climbing and desceneding.) It was pretty rainy again, but the sun came out a few times during the race, so not a complete wash out. We got to the race and there was a slight break in the clouds, so it was possible to warm up a bit out of the rain. I rode a little bit and then made it to the start about 5 minutes early. At stage races you have to sign in. They close sign in 15 minutes before the race start. Lesson Number 3: SIGN IN EARLY!

Unfortunatly the gal (probably a volunteer), was mean to me also, I'm sorta new to this whole program and I guess I was supposed to bring an extra set of wheels, because they have neutral support at these races, where a van follows the pack, and if someone flats they can get you new wheel. So they drew my name and as the gal was telling me that I had to be there 15 minutes early and sounding not nice at all, and then she notices that I was drawn to have a set of wheels, she get's even more angry. I didn't have time to find a set of wheels that I didn't even bring, and it was too late to try to find any. I think I was supposed to get a penatly but so far it hasn't shown up on the results. what ever. Lesson Number 4: Bring Extra Wheels!!!

The first of 3 summits was probably the hardest, for whatever reason. After that, the descent was down right scary. Wet roads and very twisty. I think I wore almost all the way through my brake pads this weekend! Then the same two guys eventually got out in front again, gaining minutes on the field. A group of about 10 riders emerged on the second climb, and I was in it. About that time (w/ 5k to go to the 2nd summit) I notice a slow leak in my rear tire. and no wheel car in sight!!! So I roll as long as I can and at the last moment the van shows up, and I got a new wheel, and then I had to CHASE my ass of to try to catch up. I chased for a long time. But I did catch back up. Another Super fast descent but dry roads this time, thankfully. If you're a fearless descender, you could really make time up in a cat 4 race anyway.

On the last climb, I started to do little attacks, because nobody would carry a sustained pace at the front (except me, and everyone was on my wheel). So I let someone else by, and he pulled for a while, and when he stopped, I'd attack. I think it worked a bit to tire people out, but again, I should have started it sooner. It was a grind to the top, but I made it in 7th place for an overall place of 7th in the GC (General Classification). I was super happy with the overall result and had such a great time that I hope to race at Elkhorn in 3 weeks. (We'll see how I feel) Sorry about the long post.

Blood donation #1 tomorrow.

01 June 2006

Mt Hood Preview

Leaving tomorrow for Hood River, nice little town on the Columbia river. Looks like it might be wet. 38 mile circut race for Friday, 10.5 mile time trial on Saturday and a 75 mile road race on Sunday.

As for the bike, I borrowed the bontrager race lite wheels off of my wife's trek wsd madone. They are freaken fast compared to my old mavic open pro rims, w/ ultegra hubs. I'm pulling out the rear disc for the TT as well. Also pimped out on my ride is a ritchey compact crankset I got a couple weeks ago. It is very sweet. Best upgrade I've done to my bike in a while. I could have got a 12-25 or 27 cassette, but the compact crank (50-34) with a 11-23 in the back is working pretty sweet for me so far.

time for sleep. Stage race coming up.

for results.

29 May 2006

Pre Classic

Here we are, back in Central Oregon after a rainy trip to Eugene. OK it didn't rain the whole time, but as soon as the announcer at Hayward Field said: "and now the national anthem", the clouds opened up, and it was pouring for a good 1/2 hour. So it made for a wet day, since we had General admission seats, we didn't get under the roof, where the reserved seats are, so we got wet. Our seats would have been perfect, but there was a big TV tower between us and the finish line. The key is to arrive early if you have General admission, and we were not as early as we could have been.

We saw Gatlin and Powell, both going under 10 seconds in the 100 meters, and a lightning fast 400 meters run in under 45 seconds! Woah. 2 mile in 8 minutes and 10 seconds! dang.



This meet was really cool, if you ever get a chance, you must go. I was taking all kinds of photos, so check out my slideshow.

7 days until the bloodletting begins.

yippie skippie.

27 May 2006

Memorial weekend

Time for the first of three major summer holidays. Back in MN it was literally a rat race to get 'up to the lake'. Here in Oregon, people probably head to the mountains or something... Today, we are just kickin' it at home, since I guess we already live in the mountains (sort of).

Tomorrow we're going to watch some of the best Track and Field athletes in the whole world at the Pre-classic track meet in Eugene, Oregon. You have to be ranked in the top 50 in your event to even get an invite to this meet, so needless to say, I didn't get one (not that I was ever a huge fan of running on the track anyway). This guy (Justin Gatlin) will be there:

And this guy (Asafa Powell):

They are the 2 fastest men in the world (co-world record holders). Unfortunatly they are racing in seperate heats, so it won't be a one-on-one match-up, but it will be cool to see them in any case. Steve Prefontaine will be there in spirit. There are a ton of extremely fast guys in the mile and 2 mile too, so those should be good races. Hopefully we get a nice day in the valley and I'll make sure the battery is charged in the canon camera.

Also, I'm preparing for a stage race next weekend, and starting a series of weekly Phlebotomies on June 5th.

O, yea, here's the course profile for the 70+ mile final day of the Mt Hood race that takes place next sunday:

Looks like fun, eh? They call it the three summits road race for obvious reasons. I hear there's snow up on the summits this weekend, so I'm really hoping for a return of the heat wave that we had a couple weeks ago. Come on global warming! Show us what you got.

Look for a full report on the track meet on Monday with cool photos (hopefully).

and have a safe holiday.

24 May 2006

Hemochromatosis. What is it?

When I first found out that I had hereditary hemochromatosis (or HHC or Iron overload), I was a little shocked. As an athlete, I'm in some of the best shape I've ever been in, and I can say health wise I've really never felt better. I have no symptoms of HHC, whatsoever. Then to find out that my ferritin level was way high (ferritin: the level of iron my body has stored for future use) was a little surprising. It's a genetic disease (or disorder really) that causes your body to metabolize too much iron. I guess on the bright side, it's OK because as an endurance athlete, I'll probably never have an iron deficiency.

I will start treatment on June 5, 2006, by donating at least one unit of blood (phlebotomy) per week, until my ferritin reaches a more normal level. Right now it's at about 1090, and the goal will be to get that between 25 and 75, so there's a long way to go, and a lot of needles sucking blood out of my veins. Now from what I've learned, I don't think the iron is so much in my blood, but the loss of blood will prompt my body to build more red blood cells and the body needs iron to do that. So it is logical that after a series of weekly blood donations, my body will eventually use up my extra iron. After the initial aggressive once per week treatment, the maintenance plan is a bit more manageable 2-6 phlebotomies per year.

I plan to keep training (cycling, running, maybe swimming, etc) through the treatment, depending on how I feel, so if you're interested in how that goes (or if you're in a similar situation, and stumbled across this site), check the blog this summer, I plan to document the treatment (and training) progress. It will be interesting to monitor my hematocrit (HCT) and hemoglobin (HGB) values throughout the process. As a reference point my early April HCT was 43. I'm thinking this might rise in the early phase of the inital treatment, but we'll see.

If all goes well, I'm hoping to have this once per week thing wrapped up by next fall (or winter?). Only time will tell.

That's all for now, have yourself a fine day!

21 May 2006

Pole Pedal Paddle

The PPP. 6 different segments. 5 different sets of gear. 2 crew members. 3000+ feet elevation loss. 2500+ total participants. 2 hours of pain.

Well, I was a bit worried about the weather. It was great weather. We did have cloud cover and mist when we arrived about 2 hours before the start, but it cleared up slowly, and it was high overcast at the start.

The race starts at the top of one of the chair lifts at Mt Bachelor, where you set your skis and then go down the hill about 50 meters where, after the start, you run up and click into your alpine skis. I didn't exactly get the jump I was hoping for, and it seemd like I was suddenly behind by 3 gates in the giant slalom course. Those guys take off like rockets on that part, maybe I should practice that more. The last time I downhill skied was last years PPP. Oh well, my main objective was to stay upright, and I was successful. I was screaming down the mountain w/ the lead women, and there were a couple stragglers who wandered onto the course in full on snow plow mode, which made things even more exciting. After a minor glitch in the 1st transition, I was racing on my XC skis. Hoping to make up a little time, I was pushing it pretty hard. At the end of a long winding descent, there was a hard left. I was carrying a bit too much speed, and proceeded to crash. Hard. And since the snowpack of about 14 feet has melted to about 6 feet, there are no longer embankments on the sides of the trail, it's more like a drop off. So as I was trying to make the corner, I proceeded to fall, and slid right off the trail and down the bank. As I was crawling back up, I nearly took out a couple of other skiers. I struggled a bit to regain my composure (and speed), but was back at it in a short time-Passing a few people for the second time. I was crusing until the bike leg where I have to say I felt a little sluggishon the couple of uphill sections, before the really fast descent in to Bend. I had my sights on a group that seemed like they were about a minute ahead of me. I caught one of the guys right at the end of the bike and caught another 2 in the first couple miles of the run, where it was sunny and hot. Luckily I had shorts under my tights that I took off after the bike. It was really hot. I was in 7th place to start out the kayak, but Tav (eventual 7th place finisher) had a faster boat, and I paddled as hard as I could but just couldn't stay on him. Fellow XC oregonian Colin also passed me and I finished a solid 9th place. All in all it was pretty fun. It's such a festival of Central Oregon, with a wide range of athletes all the way from the elite olympic caliber athlete all the way to the ordianary people just doing it for fun. It really is somthing to see. I took some photos, check out the slide show here! If I get any from the Ski portion of the race I'll add them, but we didn't bring a camera up there.


Hope all is well. Phlebotomie's start in 15 days.

20 May 2006

9TH place

Ninth Place in the elite division at PPP. Check it o_u_t!. More tomorrow.

19 May 2006

It's P-P-Party time!

Well it's here. By the time you read this it will probably be over. It's a big deal here in Bend. As one of my friends put it today: "there's life and death... and this [the ppp] is much more important." I have everything ready. The downhill skis, the extra large rear entry down hill boots sans liners that my nordic boots fit into. My XC ski's are waxed up. My bike is tuned up and in full on TT mode w/ disc wheel and all. My running shoes have elastic laces. The kayak is waiting for me right now down by the river. I have all this stuff, and the only thing I actually bought for the PPP specifically is the downhill boots. I got an old pair from the 2nd hand store here in town for 11 dollars last year. The rest of the stuff I just had from doing triathlons and stuff. It truely is a gear junkie's race. To be fast you really need the specific gear. The transistions require logistics and a 2 person support crew.

There will be some SPEEDY kayaks out there tomorrow. Really sleek and thin looking things that look really tippy. I won't have that problem in the perception touring boat. Now it's time for some rest, because it's going to be an early morning. We'll see if I can go under 2 hours, and if I can, how far under 2 I can go. It will be 'balls to the walls' once I get done w/ the downhill ski, after that it's going to hurt. Hopefully the weather holds out.

It looks like we might have some rain. From my experience looking at the weather forecasts in the high desert, when they say chance of rain, they really mean it could rain for a few minutes, and that's it. Who knows, maybe it'll be snowing! that would make it intersting on the bike. Lot's to think about. Almost too much. Man those running races are nice, all you need to do is lace them up and run. Not the PPP.

It'll be fun. We'll post an update tomorrow after the big event.

until then..........

16 May 2006

It's PPP week!

It's also approaching 90 degrees.

Had a blast mountain bike racing last weekend. Super dusty, but the trail was really fun. OK as for my result, I was 2nd in the singlespeed division. It was super fun. I was probably in 6th place after the first lap, and proceded to kick butt (rally style) on the second lap. I found that I could rally much easier up the hills, than down, because I still don't have the rally downhill skills. It was pretty sweet, I could have gone 3 laps (like what the experts did). I didn't crash, but there was lots of crashing. One of the Expert women went down right in front of me, and I had to stop and my foot was in her spokes (no harm done). I must have had a death grip on the handle bars, because my hands were real tired a while into the race.

Now, about all I can think about is the giant slalom to XC transition, and my paddling technique.

Let's hope it cools off a bit, and get it on!

PPP training this week:
Monday: easy run w/ 30 sec intervals
Tuesday: hard bike
Wednesday: kayak and easy run (ski? nah!)
Thursday: rest - maybe easy bike in TT mode.
Friday: get ready to rumble.
Saturday: the 'bend olympics' game on!

12 May 2006

McEwen wins 3rd stage, Tour prediction, and PPP training update

Was thinking about what to blog about today, and I figured, what else? The Giro! Robbie McEwen won his 3rd stage today, blowing away all his challengers in the final 100 meters. I'm wondering just how long he'll last though, it'd be nice if he finished the whole thing, but that's not likely, for a sprinter like him. His eyes are fully focused on the Tour de France green jersey.


He's fast and he's sure to kick everyones a$$ in the sprint finishes at the tour, and take the green jersey. As for the overall tour favorites? Everyone seems to think Italian Ivan Basso is the man to beat. I'm going to make my prediction right now, PHONAK rider Floyd Landis will win the 2006 Tour.

Floyd has had a great season thus far winning the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia. Rounding out the podium will be the ultra skinny climber all star Michael Rasmusen, who will not blow it like he did last year in a disasterous final time trial, and Ivan Basso for 3rd. I really wanted to put Jan Ullrich on the Podium, so hopefully he can get is crap together and be able to stay w/ the contenders in the mountains where the race will probably be decided. There you have it. Check back in late July to see how that works out.

We're in shape for a 80 degrees in town this weekend with crystal clear skies. I'm going XC skiing tomorrow morning, where hopefully it will be a bit less than 80 degrees. Yes, we are still skiing here in central oregon, but unfortunatly I have not been up since April 2nd. Too busy biking and running. It's time to get my ski game on for PPP. My XC game that is. The race also includes a Giant Slalom, which I plan to practice once, about 20 minutes before the race. That's probably not smart, considering I have some big old rear entry downhill boots that my XC boots fit in, so it's a little shaky. I figure that I'm not going to win the GS, and hopefully I can keep up for the most part on the XC leg. I plan to make up as much ground as possible on the bike and the run. Then we'll try to survive the kayak leg, and then sprint my ass to the finish line. This is going to be one fast and furious competition. Fun if nothing else.

peace out.

10 May 2006

Music news

black mountainLive has a new album. The name of the album is: songs from black mountain. Every time I read the name of the album I think it says brokeback mountain. The songs are definatly not from there though. It's not being released until June, but it came out overseas in April. I have no idea why they delayed the release in the US until june, but in any case, there's this online music store called allofmp3.com and it's great for a couple reasons. It's CHEAP. you can get most albums for between $1 and $2 dollars, (yea that's right a flippen dollar.) And you download the MP3 file, to play whenever, where ever you want, and it never expires. The best part is, I found the new live album on the site (click here). The only hitch is I think it's in russia or somewhere in the soviet union, where copyright laws are probably a little different than this side of the pond.

They don't have the selection of iTunes, but they have a huge selection. Try it out!

I got dropped for the first time in the sunnyside tuesday night ride last night. Well there were alot of others dropped before me and I wasn't too far behind at the end. There were alot of big dogs there. Dudes that climb like they're riding a motor cycle, and dudes that win cat 1/2 races.

That's all.

09 May 2006

Stage 4 - Giro d'Italia

OK, so the photo is complements of velonews, but I had to post it. Aussie Robbie McEwen taking his second stage of the 06 Giro. I've become a fan of the Davitamon-lotto team this year and you'll probably be seeing more of these updates in July, when Le Tour starts.

later-

08 May 2006

Salmon

The salmon 10k went well. I finished 2nd place, about 2 minutes of the winning time, but I'm OK with that, I still had a pretty good time (37:49=6:05 minutes per mile pace). Between the bike races I've been doing, this was a good tune up for PPP. To finish 2nd in a 10k run in a town with a ton of great athletes, is pretty cool. My second podium finish in as many running races for 2006. We'll see if I can keep that pace up at Big Horn 30k.

Laurie has a friend from MN coming out this week and they're going down to the Redwood national forest in northern california, so I'm goin solo next weekend. It would be fun to go with, but they'll have a good time in the van.

That's all for now. (I know, a lame race report - sorry)

over.

05 May 2006

Hola!

Aunque parezca increible, aún tenemos que aclarar que el Cinco de Mayo no es el dia de la Independencia de México. El Cinco de Mayo celebramos la heróica defenza de la ciudad de Puebla por parte de fuerzas militares y de la gente de la ciudad. El Cinco de Mayo es el día de La Batalla de Puebla.

Someday I'll be able to read that! I have a goal to learn spanish at some point in my life.

10k tomorrow. Report will follow.

adios.

29 April 2006

hee-moe-chro-ma-toe-sis

You know, that picture of Chris Horner on the previous post is so awesome I'm putting it in this post too.


So, basically the treatment plan will be weekly phlebotomies starting June 5th. I don't like the sound of that word, so I'm going with blood dropping (since it is basically just like blood doping except the pints will not be added back into my body). I talked with the doc, and he basically agreed that because I'm young, my liver tests out fine, I have no symptoms of related to hemochomatosis, that it would be OK to delay the treatments one month. I'm not really looking forward to sitting in the 'infusion center' in the oncology section of the Bend Memorial Clinic, and dropping a pint of blood per week until further notice. It could take up to 30, 40 even 50 weeks. If my math is right that could be a year. Might as well git er done, because when I start this, I'm not stopping. After the initial treatment of 1 drop per week, we'll be on a more manageable maintenance schedule that will include only about 2-6 blood donations per year.

It's actually possible that my HGB (hemoglobin) and HCT (hematocrit) will actually rise after the first few or several drops. Because of the iron stored in my body I will be able to replace the lost RBCs (red blood cells) faster than the average person. We'll see, I plan to keep a close eye on my numbers.

As for this weekend, there are no competitions, only training. I might just have to get out kayaking, because the PPP is not far off. I've got a 10k run next weekend, and I've added the Cascade chainbreaker to the program the week after that. Then it's the PPP, with an open memorial day weekend, and then the penultimate cat 4 stage race (the Mount Hood Cycling Classic) on June 2-4. After that It's kind of an open book; I'll most certainly be out there training, I'm not yet sure about competition. I'll be at the Big Horn trail run (near Sheridan, WY) running in the 30k, we might take it easy and run with the wife. No matter what it will be a fun road trip and weekend. A few friends of ours are also running events there. The weekend includes a 30k, 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile trail runs. 1 friend is running the 100 (also happens to be the defending champion in the 100 mile race), two are running the 50 miler. Laurie and I are doing the 30k.

I also want to congratulate my mother-in-law Barb, for her one year sobriety anniversary yesterday! Huge props to you Barb.

27 April 2006

GO HORNER!!!

This guy is the man. (click photo for proof) He lives here in Bend in the off season, and I must say, he kicks some ass. He's become a legend in this town full of legends. Last fall I saw some guy in all yellow riding down the road on a cool fall morning. Turned out to be none other than Mr. Horner, in his full yellow and white Saunier Duval kit. At first I was thinking, who's this goof ball wearing all yellow? Then I recognized him as Chris Horner, Tour de France Bike racer, it was pretty cool. Now he rides for Davitamon Lotto, and will be sure to go fast and take chances, in France this july. We'll be rooting for you to be in Yellow in July, Chris.

25 April 2006

Made it!

I made it through my first stage race! It was super fun (the whole weekend), and super hard (on the last day). We made it to the start of the first road race on Friday with enough time to drive the flat 17 mile loop. We would race that loop twice. I have to say my plan was to stay safe, in the pack and not use alot of energy, and not lose time. There were a couple breaks, one guy was off the front for the whole first lap. the race was only hard during the intermediate sprint and time bonus at the end of the first lap. Right after that, I took the front and drove the bus for a while. TAI had 3 other riders in the 4/5 category so it was pretty fun. On Friday, I finished 20 something in a pack sprint.

Day 2 was a circut race (5 mile loop 4 times). Not really that long, so I expected this to be fast. It was fast, but I was at the front of the pack most of the race, until the last lap, where I had to go talk to the official, because of something, and when I got back there, he was talking to someone else, and said he didn't want to talk to me. I think they thought I went over the yellow line, and mistook me for someone else. Anyway, I couldn't get back up to the front of the pack to get in position for the spint. There was no time trial in this race, the big daddy road race is coming up.

We drove the course after the race on Saturday, and that was a good thing. There were some major climbs on this course. My plan for the weekend had been to save myself until the long(er) road race, but I'm not entirly sure if that was the best option, if I'd got some time bonuses, it would have greatly helped my GC standing, and we had time to recover between races. I gained alot of experience here, and had alot of fun. Our plan for sunday was to kick it into gear early, before the climbs. I wanted to push the pace until we got there, otherwise it would have been a stop and go brake - sprint type of thing, because nobody wanted to work. We had one guy on our team that is more of a climber, and I told him to sit on my wheel and don't do any pulls. I'd take a big pull, and then finally some other guy would pull up in front, and then I'd get on his wheel. It worked OK, I didn't kill myself, but I wanted to pull our guy to the bottom of the climb. When we got to the climb, it was every man for himself. I was at my max, and didn't completely lose sight with the leaders, and if I'd have had more legs i might have been able to bridge the gap on the descent or after the descent. The guys I was descending with made the bridge, but I just didn't have it. I rode alone for a while, until I was caught by the group including the 'yellow' jersey. They were working together (rare - i think - in a cat 4/5 race). I tried to break away just before the final climb, and did, but was caught on the climb. I gave it my all, and considering my short bike training season this spring, I think it went awesome. Bike racing is fun. 2 weeks ago I was in a trail run, and 3 weeks ago a ski race (the weekend before that 3 ski races) I have the fitness, and my legs are getting there. I can't wait until Mt. Hood. The final day there is 70 miles of pain (instead of just 43), with a Saturday Time trail, and a difficult Friday circut race. Hopefully I can keep my HCT in the 40s. I will post an update on my iron overload after my doctor's appointment on Thursday.

WVC 4/5 Results Here

20 April 2006

The Buzz

There's a buzz in the air, about the iron thing, and about the stage race tomorrow. Since my parents are referring people to the blog, for info about the iron thing, the inital post is here. (or you can scroll down to see it.) Another really good site for information. I plan to detail my adventures with hemochromatosis here also, and will be adding a little box with my current ferritin level which, as of April 3rd, is 1090 (where 18-464 is considered normal). I think that the goal will be to get this below 50. And my TSAT (transferritin saturation) is 88.8%, which is also pretty high. I'll know much more about what's going to happen next after next thursday when I visit the hemotologist.

I'm leave tomorrow morning with a couple teammates for the WVC 3 day stage race in Eugene. It's like the tour de france, only smaller (ok much smaller). I've been looking forward to this one for a while, should be a good time.

Stay tuned for updates from Eugene, where the forcast calls for mostly cloudy skies.

Have a great weekend!

19 April 2006

Bike is almost ready


The empire is ready to go. Well almost. I'm going to clean it up a bit, put new handlebar tape on, make some adjustments and lube it up. Then we'll be ready. I will only be able to wait and see what this stage race is going to be like, as I haven't done a road race in about 4 years. I the last one was the Firehouse 50 in Grand View, Wisconsin. That race is a huge open race (non-sanctioned) so it's basically a free-for-all, and it's kind of well known as being dangerous, especially the last corner (I remember crashes, and then ambulances to take the crash victims away). There were climbs but not like what we'll see this weekend.

I tend to get really antsy when the pack is just rolling along. I have a history of going off the front when that happens, and it's only worked for me once, when I won a collegiate race (much thanks to my teammates in the pack though). I am not going to do that this weekend. I think the best option is to keep things together, until the last climb? I'm kind of guessing there. With the 4/5 field combined I think it might be a wide range of ability, so there are probably bound to be some breaks each day. I really have no expectations, I just want to ride strong and hopefully have a chance on the last day to be near the front. (yea we'll see on that)

Here's the schedule for the 4/5
Friday 11am - 37 mile road race (2 laps)
Saturday 9am - 22 mile circuit race (4 laps)
Sunday 8:30am - 50 mile road race (4500 total elevation gain)

18 April 2006

Iron-man.

You knew I was an ironman, but it turns out I might be iron overloaded. It's called hemochromatosis (AKA Iron overload disease or 'genetic iron poisoning'). It's genetic. What it means is that your body doesn't metablolize iron like it should. I was debating on wether or not to put this on my blog, but I decided what the heck, the only people that read it are friends and family that have been sent the URL by me (I think only like 4 people read it and that includes my mom).

The fact is, I actually don't even have -any- iron overload symptoms (fatigue, joint pain, arthritis). How did we find out about this you say? Well, my brother was tested a few weeks ago and it came up positive for him. He was in the doctor for a respiratory sickness (like the flu) and the doc heard a heart murmur or something, and did more tests, and by chance, found high iron levels in his blood (BTW his heart is fine). The disease is hereditary, so he promptly informed me, and then both myself and my dad were tested. I just found out the results of my blood test yesterday, and what do you know, I have full blown hemochromatosis. (So does my dad!) Now, I'm messing up the medical terms, but the iron level in my blood is something like 1080 (where a normal level is like 50-460 or so) I'm going to the hemotologist next week, and I'm going to read my ass off about this thing and I'll be able to post better info then.

It kind of makes a little sense too, because my dads parents were young (well younger anyway) when they passed away (70s) and my moms parents lived into their mid 90s. Also, my dads the oldest one of his cousins that's still alive. People die young on the 'Ness' side of the family. I wonder why? Well, (speculation) it's this iron thing!! Iron overload. Hemochromatosis. I'm still learning how to pronounce it.

Sound serious? Well it sorta is, and it can really mess you up if you don't know you have it. The thing with my brother and I is we discovered it now, before we have experienced symptoms and this thing has wrecked our liver or any other organs. Hemochromatosis is actually one of the FEW genetic diseases that has a prevention plan so organ damage and premature death can be avoided. WOO HOO! And I don't even have to take drugs! From what I'm learning (have not yet seen the hemotologist) is that the treatment is to give blood every so often (like every week or even twice a week) to get the iron level lowered, and then 2-6 times per year after that. That kind of sucks, the last time I attempted to give blood I almost passed out, and I don't think they even got a full pint out of me. Giving that much blood might hinder my bike racing plan... I think I might need to wait until June (after Mt Hood) to do the treatment. I don't think that giving four pints of blood would be a good idea going into a difficult 3 day stage race that ends with a 75 mile road race with 3 major climbs.

This is something that a lot of people have (millions in America) but, most of the people that have it don't know it, and have not even heard of it. Because of the way it mimics other health problems, people are often mis-diagnosed. So if you think you might be at risk, go get your ass tested, it's a simple blood test. At first when the doc said I was positive, I was like oh crap, this sucks. But the fact that I found this out now, before it got bad, probably added 10 or 20 years or more to my life span. Who knows, maybe, once I get my iron levels under control, I might be faster.

More infomation on hemocromatosis here and here.

While your at it check this out for a laugh.

[5/21/2006 edit: turns out only my Brother and I have the disease, and not my dad! Good news for him!]