30 May 2007

Mt Hood stage race - cat 3

I've been slacking in the blogging department lately, but I had a stage race last weekend, and we've been moving to Portland and it's been busy.

Last weekend was the Mt Hood stage race. I did it last year, in the cat 4 division, and this year I was in the Cat 3s. The field was strong, and about 80+ strong to start the race. On Thursday there was a 66 mile circuit race that consisted of 3.5 laps around a course that was about 18 miles. 9 uphill and 9 down. We went up the hill 4 times, and each time the main pack got smaller. There weren't any real break aways, just some tempo riding at the front. I did not ride at the front that much, until the last lap, when I sprinted ahead of the field for about 30 seconds. It wasn't really an attempt at breaking away, Just a surge or whatever. Then I went back in the pack, and stayed in until about 1 kilometer to go, when the pack slowly pulled away and shattered. I ended up 28th and about 1.5 minutes back from the winner. It was Therapeutic Associates teammate Scott Gray who won the stage, so that meant he was in the leaders jersey, and he would be the last to start in the next days individual time trial. Sweet!

Back when I did triathlons I think I was a pretty good time trialer, because I rode alone, alot. Now I do alot of group rides, and few solo rides out in the wind. So my time trail skills are not on par with where they maybe should be. I got passed by 4 people (we started 30 seconds apart, so do the math) and finished the TT over 6 minutes behind the winner of the TT, but I only moved down one spot in the GC (overall standings) so that wasn't all bad I guess. oh yes it was I was 52nd in the ITT.

The big day was Saturday, 89 miles in 90 degree heat through the mountains east of Mount Hood. It was super tough and my teammate spencer and I almost were dropped on one of the climbs in the middle of the race. The pace was hard, on the uphills and people were getting dropped on most of the climbs. The downhills were easy, and I was surprised that nobody pulled through, to increase the pace. Most of the downhills were straight open roads and we were going fast, but there was constant breaking, which got a little annoying. By the time there was 20 miles to go, there were probably 30 people left, and one guy off the front by minutes (he would win the stage). I was not cramping, so I guess I drank enough, but I knew I was feeling it, but I think everyone else was tired too. Scott (teammate) dropped his chain with about 15k to go, so I waited for him and pulled him back to the pack. It was nice of me to do, but I think he would have made it back anyway. He was still in the top 10 overall, and stood to move up in the GC because he's a great climber. I held on to the pack until about 5k to go when the race got really hard and turned onto the road that goes up to the Mt Hood meadows parking lot. I limited my losses, and finished in 26th just over 7.5 minutes back from the leader, and I beat pro mountain biker Evan Plews. If you're pro, and you don't want to have some no-name cat 3 say that they beat you on their blog, then you should be racing with the big boys, and the other pro mountain bikers like Carl Decker. I moved into the top 25 after Saturday's road race.

On sunday was the criterium, and our team (Therapeutic Associates) won all of the primes. The crit course was super fun, but there were crashes, all which seemed pretty minor. I suffered in the back of the pack, when I should have been in the front, because I think it's easier riding in the front, with less braking into the corners, and less chasing out of them.

So the race was a success, but I need to time trail faster. I used my old bike w/ areo bars and a disc wheel and still lost more than 6 minutes (in the end of the 4 days I was less than 12 minutes behind). Laurie got some pictures of my back in the criterium, and I'll post those if I can find the camera cord after we are finished moving to Portland (we move for good on Monday June 11th). I'm planning to do the cat 3 Cascade classic in July in Bend.

Later Skaters.

21 May 2007

P3 2007, 7th

Finishing 7th

It's finally over, all the training, stress and planning for PPP07 is done, and the race went off superbly. I ended up finishing 7th place in the mens elite division. Everything went pretty much as good as I could have hoped for. I took one warm up alpine run and thought, well, this is going to be nuts. I have to say though, when the gun went off, I had my best alpine leg in my 3 year PPP history. I could actually see the leaders when we started the nordic leg (but that didn't last long). The conditions for the nordic leg were unbelievably good. It was firm and fast. The bike was good, I actually passed people unlike last year when I didn't see anyone until the run. After the first mile of the run, I got into a rhythm and was able to go pretty good. I didn't tip over in the kayak, but I also didn't enjoy any minute of that leg. I think I paddled OK, but I don't paddle often, and think a bit more practice would have come in handy. I would have been able to concentrate on going forward, rather than staying straight and upright. OK, so I know this is the most boring race report ever, and I don't have any really good stories, except that I didn't have any common PPP problems, and went as fast as I could. There were good stories though. I heard of one guy who lost his ski in the alpine leg, and had to climb back up to get it, and then when he finally got done with the bike leg, he had to run the 5 mile run in socks, because his support crew wasn't there with his running shoes. My neighbor who borrowed one of our kayaks tipped over twice. XCO all star Brayton (5th overall) was in 3rd, when he tipped over on the river, losing minutes and missing the podium, in his first ppp. The US Ski team had a couple of teams entered, and they went fast, with the mens team posting the 3rd fastest time of the day. I guess the moral of the story is, the PPP was a major success for me considering from last June 2006, until February 2007, I gave a pint of blood every week to get rid of extra iron, which took a tool on my training and fitness. My goal was to get back to where I was last spring at this time, and I think I did it, and then some. 2+ minutes faster. So that's good news.

Ski ya later!

18 May 2007

I got some ink.

Ok, not much, but hey, this is the Bend Olympics.


10 May 2007

fitness update and cookies

Yesterday we baked cookies. I made the recipe that's on the back of the bag of chocolate chips (toll house). Laurie made vegan cookies. Luckily I froze 1/2 the batch, hoping to save some for a later date. So now there are approximately zero thawed toll house cookies left (ate em), and I'm real close to digging into the rest that are in the freezer; only thing holding me back is my 'belly ache' from eating all the cookies. There's still quite a few vegan ones left though. I have pretty much zero self control when there are cookies in the cookie jar. dang.

So the fitness is coming together. I was able to keep up on the Tuesday night 'hammerfest' ride from sunny side sports. Chris Sheppard was in the house, and Megan Elliot (GF of euro pro Chris Horner). This year, the Tuesday ride has become the CSLB ride (Chase Steve Larsen's Brother). Mike Larsen moved to town a few weeks ago, and he can ride. Anyway, after getting my ass dropped many times this spring on this ride it was sweet to be in the front group until the end, especially since the group that started out this week's ride was huge. Yeeaa! I'm also running a fair amount. The bend olympics is coming up, but I have not XC skied since late March, and I haven't alpined or kayaked since last years ppp. In fact (this is sad) I've taken 4 chairlift rides since moving to Bend in May 2004, All of them having to do with doing the PPP twice. 1 ride for warm up, 1 ride up for the race. I am going to TRY to get up to the mountain once before the PPP but if I don't, oh well, the race will start for me if I can make it to dry land after the nordic leg, then watch out, cause I'll be chasing!

After the bend olympics, I'm doing the Mt Hood stage race. It will be my first Cat 3 endeavor that was not during weekly phlebotomies. I raced in and finished the Cat 3 cascade classic stage race last year, and it was pretty bad, but I finished and not DFL and not even bottom podium (but close). I raced good in the Cat 4s at hood last year, (I even won some money for being top 10!) and am looking forward to racing at hood again, but this year in the 3s. This year the format for the 3s is 4 stages in 4 days starting on May 31st. I'm a bit concerned that I haven't done any road races yet this spring, but Hood consists of 2 climbing stages (Thursday's 66 mile circut race and Saturday's epic 87 mile road race), an 18.5 mile TT on Friday and a 30 minute criterium to wrap it up. I hope to have the fitness to hang on on the climbing days, and the TT is solo, and the crit is only 30 minutes. Back in my triathlon days, the TT would have been a cinch, but the lack of a TT series in Bend this year, and my unexpected withdrawal from the DRVTT fest, I have not had much practice. Oh well, that's why I have a disc wheel :P

I'm thinking I'm going to sport THESE at Mt Hood this year... (whadya think?)
that's all, Thanks for reading.

07 May 2007

Moving to PDX

So goes the story of life, we've lived in Bend almost exactly three years ago, and now we are making plans to move to Portland, Oregon. By June 15th, we'll be fully moved over to the 'rainy side' (but on the plus side, I'm hearing that it's supposed to be pretty nice weather there from about now, until about September when it starts raining non stop for 8 or 9 months). I'm wrapping up my duties with Merrill Corporation. That means I QUIT!!! And no, it has absolutely nothing to do w/ the convention I went to last week.

Why in the hell are you moving out of bike mecca, xc skiing paradise, trail running heaven, that is Bend, Oregon, you ask?? Well, that's a good question. I once told my wife on lovely winter day XC Skiing, "it was hard for you to get me to move out of MN, but it will be even harder for you to get me to move out of Bend!". Well, turns out, I'm the instigator this time... I will be going to school full time starting next fall at OIT's Portland campus. The program I'm enrolled in, is a BS degree in renewable energy systems, and it lasts 3 years. Essentially it's an engineering program that focuses on renewable power. We'll see where that road leads.

Laurie found a nursing job at OHSU and we found a place to live in a SE Portland neighborhood, that should be good for bike commuting. It will be the first time either one of us will have lived in a city larger than Bend, (or Fargo, ND, or St. Cloud, MN if those are counted as larger than Bend) We're both anxious, excited, scared. It seems like I already miss Bend a little bit. But Bend will still be here, only 3 hours away.

We sold our house, and holy crap. we're moving. It was a tough decision to
move away from Minnesota 3 years ago, but we wouldn't trade it for anything. We've met so many great friends here. Moving now will be a bit easier, although we've got quite a bit of stuff, and some of that stuff might have to go, or find storage. I'm still going to do a bit of skiing (XC Oregon - PDX squad), but snow will be further away, so maybe I'll have to sharpen the hockey skates, as Portland actually has some ice arenas, that is if I have time between the homework.

Our new address will be

8005 se 8th ave
pdx, or 97202

Write that down.

email is the same.
cell phone will be the same (541+619+9679)
blog will continue.