29 April 2006


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


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


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!]

17 April 2006

Woke up to this today-

The dogs get excited when it snows, but they don't know that it's April and it's supposed to be sunny and warm right now. Anyway, the sun will come out today (it's clear) so most of this should be gone by this afternoon. We just put the patio chairs out yesterday, and today they were covered in 5 inches of snow. On April 17th. The forecast calls for 67 on Wednesday. Hopefully that means it will be at least a little dry in Eugene this weekend.

that's all.

15 April 2006

1 week to willamette

One week until my oregon stage racing debut. I am pretty excited but relaxed about the whole thing, I do think the last day will be tough. The first 2 days will probably be too, but they are shorter. There are some pretty good climbs on the last day that will put some of us into difficulty. (Course profile below) Hopefully I will be able to stay in the mix until the last climb. There will be at least 3 of my teammates in the cat 4/5 race, so it will be fun to pretend we're using team tactics. Stay tuned for my race reports next week, they should be good.

Today is a pretty rainy day by central oregon standards. There's snow happening in the higher elevations though, kinda funny, because it just won't quit this year. This weekend is the last weekend of full operation for the nordic center, and with the crappy weather there's probably not that many people up there. They still groom the trail for PPP until May 20th, so we'll still be able to train on groomed snow.

Went out for breakfast this morning at the Breakfast club. They have the best 'out to eat' value in Bend I think. 3 of us ate for under 11 dollars. Pretty crazy.

Happy easter!

09 April 2006


Yesterday was the Peterson Ridge Rumble. 32 kilometers trail running. 28 were pretty real smooth. 4 were pretty darn tough. They turned out to be the last 4k, and it was not because it was the hardest section of the course. The Rumble would be my furthest run this spring by about 8 miles, so it was a bit of uncharted territory. I was feeling good though until about 2 miles to go. My legs were real sore, so I was just going to survive to the finish line. I'm stoked about a good result (3rd overall). I jumped over a big log in the first 1/2 mile (that most runners were going around, I might add), and whadya know the guy from the local newspaper was taking photos, and I ended up on the front page of the sports section! Pretty sweet! Sorry for the quick report, I'll try to find more pictures and post later.


04 April 2006


The John Craig ski race was fun. It was essentially 10k uphill, then 10k back down hill. There's quite a bit of elevation, so snow conditions are much different up high, than they are down low, so wax is in play. I used my ski's with start grip tape, and it worked pretty good down low, but up high, it was not so good. Klister was the ticket I think. Last week, I demoed these Madshus no wax ski's that had a hairy type grip zone (not like scales). They were the bomb. I wonder how they would have been. I was 4th in the race. The nordic center is open for 2 more weekends, so I will definatly take advantage of that. (sorry, I'm not putting the boards away yet!)

I did get out the road bike out last night. It was about 44 degrees, a little chilly but it was a ride. It's amazing how quick it is compared to my commuter / mountain bike. That bike would be a single speed (34 -16) gary fisher rig 29er. It's one of the coolest and most fun bikes I've ever owned. peace out.