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.


08 May 2006


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)


05 May 2006


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.