Thursday, December 9, 2010

Life Update

Had my last class of first semester here at UNI in graduate school. I tell you, it went by extremely fast. I had originally thought it would have gone slow with no swimming. Life keeps you busy as I am trying to work 2 jobs, study and ride my bike, but it is all going and is fun!

Speaking of biking, first rest week of the season this week as I have had a good 3 weeks of base training before and some good weight training! It has been pretty cold here in the Cedar Valley and very windy to really get any long rides done, but luckily these temperatures fell during my rest week! Next week I will be starting my Base 2 training and incorporating some longer and more intense tempo and muscle force building rides.

Next year, I will be joining the ranks of VeloSportIowa Cycling Team. This team is based out of Davenport, but we will have riders from all over. Have known these guys for a few years and all have given me great advice and help towards training and being a better bike racer. Logistics are still falling into place, but we have a great schedule together and looking forward to some big time races!

2011 Race Team:
Jeff Bradley
Paul Deninger
Lou Waugaman
Chad Bishop
TJ Tollakson
Carson Christen

Also please to announce some great sponsors coming on board for next season!

Trek Bikes
American Equity Insurance (Thanks Wendy!)
Oakley (Thanks Rob V!)
Velocity Wheels (Personal Sponsorship)
Dunn Bros Coffee (Yum!)
Pharrels Extreme Bodyshapping
More to come...!

Just the suspense of what a great team we will have next season is giving me the motivation to ride, ride, ride and work hard!

Now I have about a month off before classes resume again. Looking to put in some great miles and work.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Been forever since I updated, sorry!

Did the second two days of Jingle cross this weekend. My 3rd and 4th cyclocross races ever. I won and got 2nd in the first two I did this season, but as with Memorial Day weekend racing, I knew it was going to be much harder. Finished in the top half both days, but I tell ya, I need some serious work on technical riding skills. Nothing some mountain biking won't take care of.

The one thing with cyclocross, is that I have been hooked. It is a different kind of racing, but lots of fun. Next season, I am going to get into it, with proper training and racing more than a few times. Really a fun time! Was awesome to see Amanda Miller win two of three, she is going to be on fire for HTC Columbia this next season.

My first Thanksgiving Break in 8 years was pretty awesome, no swimming or early morning practices, now I see what I missed! Only two weeks until finals and another first. A winter break of almost a month. With swimming, I would have about 3 days off for a break, and at Luther we started a J-Term class January 3rd.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long-Overdue Update!

Hey blogger world!

Sitting here taking some time to update my life. While racing has been over since the state road race, I have taken some time off the bike to get into my graduate program here at UNI. It is going pretty well, I only have two tests the whole semester, but 3x15 page papers or so. Pretty much as though I am writing my senior paper all over again. This if fine with me as I get to choose the topics to research! My class schedule is as follows:

Adv. Exercise Physiology
Topics in Strength and Conditioning
Sport Psychology
Lab Instrumentation

Each class has its set of work to be done, but each also ties in with one another, and makes it better than four differing classes at a liberal arts school such as Luther. I do miss Luther though, and it has been tough not having a swim team for support. It has also been hard to be away from my family and friends in Decorah. But enough of the negatives, there aren't many!

I came to UNI with the idea of creating a cycling club in order to race next spring in the NCCCC conference. Well a few weeks have passed and I am pleased to announce the UNI Cycling Club. We are going to have a racing faction, but also have ideas/plans to increase bicycle advocacy around Cedar Falls. This will include "Share the Road" stuff, Bike Garages, Bike Lanes and trying to reduce the number of cars on the roads driving less than 5 miles to places! Will keep updates on here and the cycling website! Stay tuned, and if anyone is interested in sponsorship, please contact me!

Cycling has been hit or miss, and I took a week off the bike last week for a post-season break. Now I have my cyclocross bike built up and will be starting to ride my gravels and such with the gang here and do some cross racing. Never have done it, but I am looking forward to it! Have watched Jingle Cross a few times in the past. Here is bike: pretty cheap frame (Scattante) with better than average components (105).

Also since my last post, I did end up getting a new car towards the end of summer. Thank you to my Dad for locating such a great deal! This Saturn LW300 had only 66,000 miles on it, for being a 2002. Looked brand new on outside, and when you looked under the hood, it was as though it had never been driven. We are thinking it was a professors car, who didn't end up driving to campus or an older couple who didn't drive much! Has worked amazing so far. No 4x4, but much better gas mileage and still the storage for my bikes!

I will hopefully update a little bit more now that I have my classes under way and will be riding more for fitness than nose-saddle training as during the summer! Pictures of bikes and friends!

Hope all is well!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Graduate School

Well I am less than 5 days away from starting my Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology from the University of Northern Iowa. I am quite excited to say the least, it is going to be a big change from 2,500 students and 6 months of swimming at Luther, to 14,000 students with no swimming and trying to manage 2 jobs. Picked up my books the other day, and only have two so far, totaling less than $150, not bad for grad school!!! My schedule is pretty nice with class on Monday from 1-2, 5-7:30 and Wed/Fri 1-2, Tuesday and Thursday will be 9:30 to 2. I will be taking a Sport Psychology class, Advanced Exercise Physiology, a seminar in Strength and Conditioning and a Statistical Analysis class. Hopefully they will be pretty interesting and I can bring previous experience with Brian Solberg and Eric Baack from Luther to the class and pass with a good grade! Will keep everyone informed as to the class load and how the first days go!

Still working at Peppers Sports Bar and Grill, and it has starting to get busier now that students are returning. A fun job to say the least, get to sit there and watch sporting events on tv while meeting new people and serving great food! I have been pretty good and haven't eaten to much food, usually sticking to the soup and salad combo! I am also now working at Europa Cycle and Ski in Cedar Falls. This place is awesome! I really enjoyed working at Halls in Cedar Rapids, and Europa is just as good. A bit larger store, and they deal with cross-country skiing as well. It is nice to have Will Greenwood working also, as he is up for school.

As stated, I have been hired as an endurance coach for Zoom Performance coaching out of Des Moines. This is a path that I may want to pursue as a potential career field and I am ready to get moving. Rather than just a "coaching" service, Zoom offers sports performance testing such as VO2, Body Comp, Nutritional Analysis to go along with swimming, cycling, running coaching. I will be receiving my USA Swimming and USA Cycling coaching certifications in the upcoming weeks to increase my knowledge. Triathlons intrigue me, and many say I could be very good at them, coming from a strong swimming/cycling background, but the whole running part scares me :)

Cycling has been pretty chill as of late, I am not going to be able to race any more on the road this year with my school/work schedule and making rent payments more important. I am getting a cross bike together, so hopefully will race a bit of that. Never have done it before, so show up early and watch me in the Cat 4 races :)

As I have stated, it is going to be the weirdest feeling in the world to not be swimming this fall. For the past decade plus, I have been up at 5:30am for practice, and then practice til 5pm after a day of school. This sport kept me in great shape and met a lot of people. I am very interested to see what my life can be without it, but I know I will miss it when I go and watch the Norse swim! I really look forward to riding the gravels around Cedar Falls and cross country skiing if we get the snow. Will keep these endevours posted as the school year progresses!

Good luck to those racing in Des Moines.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

State Road Race

Saturday marked my key race for the year. That 108 miles Iowa State Road Race Championships in West Branch, Iowa. There is something that intrigues me about that length of a race, especially around the midwest. I really enjoy it, as I believe it takes a sort of mentality, strength to do well rather than always doing well in 50-65mile road races.

Thought the weather was going to be nice when Bethany and I started our drive after a great breakfast at home and a stop at Starbucks on the way. Got registered and number pinned on with about 45 minutes to spare and just relaxed as no warmup was needed for a race of that distance. Lined up for the start with the other 45-50 riders but didn't see a lot of firepower that is usually present in the Cat 1,2 fields. Brian Eppen, Jerrod Osterloh, Lane Anderson, Paul Deninger, Lou Waugaman, Jeff Bradley were all not in attendance. I thought to myself this could be a good thing or make for a very boring race. Our Mercy-Specialized team was well represented with Jeff Barnes, Adam Price, Ryan Nenninger, Mattius Perret, John Olney, Brendan Keeley, and myself.

As soon as we got out of West Branch for the first lap, the skies opened up into a steady rain that would still with our peloton for the first 85 miles of this race. While this made the race hit a different mental game of slogging it out for 4.5 hours in the rain even harder, it was fun to say the least. The pace was pretty chill with only a couple attacks, but the one we were looking for got away, with Ryan and Clark Preibe getting away. This was the move of the day, with none of the other moves able to stick. At one point, we heard 4.5 minutes up the road for the break, but then all of a sudden heard Ryan had fallen off the pace. Clark's gap at it's highest was 6 minutes, he took it out that far by himself. We started to rotate on the front, and sure enough we caught Ryan. The next couple time gaps were surprising, 4 minutes, 2:45 and then 1:30 all within the span of a half lap. As we went through West Branch for the last time, we saw Clark up the road. After the race, he said he bonked so hard core he actually had to wave down the pace car for food. (Congrats to Clark for the great try).
The last lap really didn't get to heated, and the three hills on the course never made much of a difference. The wind was out of the south, and started to pick up a little bit neutralizing any attacks going of the front. Turning back West towards West Branch, I was sitting 4th wheel, and trying to mark attacks and keep Brendan and Jeff out of the wind. With about 4 miles to go, I hit the gas trying to get a half/hearted gap or see what was up, but this was marked and I was on the front. All of a sudden, an attack went up the left hand side with Ryan French and Will Greenwood. I was on the front and knew it was my job to bring it back, I was able to get to Will, but Ryan had a good gap.

All of a sudden Jeff made a soft attack(??) or so it seemed he just motored his way off the front, I was able to back off the gas and wait for the surge. It came and I got into the drafts with about 1.5 miles to go. This is where it got kinda hectic, on the last half lap, the official said we had the whole road from about 1 mile to go, but I don't think the whole peloton got a hold of this. Coming up to the finish, everyone seemed to want the right hand side of the road. As I was sprinting I saw Jeff cross the finish line for the WIN!!!!

I came across in 10th place, Brendan Kealey just behind, who ended up getting 5th in the Cat 3's. It was awesome to see Jeff get the win. Adam, Mattius, Ryan, Brendan, Jeff and I did a pretty good job when we needed to and got the result!

It was 9 minutes slower than last years race, maybe because of the rain or lack of horsepower in the field, but none the less, it was a fun race! Good to have a field of 50 guys. Always makes me leave wanting more races of that distance! Good job to everyone until next time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Whats happening?

Hey friends/family/followers!

Not to much to report on, as no racing has really occurred since Clear Lake. Just been working at Peppers and just finished a very successful rest week on the bike last week. I have never been much for rest weeks, as I feel like I can't eat stuff I want and when on the bike, always wanna go harder than I should. It was a good week though as I said, with the whole ride style of "go out, do your work and go home". Each day I still had a purpose to be on the road, either with some shorter LT or VO2 stuff, but as soon as I was done, it was home and off the legs or work. This made for a great week of watching the TDF.
Now this week, I start my final couple weeks of preparation for the State RR/ State TT. For the first time today, I tried motor pacing. From minute one, I am hooked and hope to do it quite a bit. I was nervous for myself and my motorpacer (girlfriend Bethany) as we had never done anything like this. I could tell she was very scared, as she didn't wanna crash herself or me, but man did she do an incredible job! We have some kinks to work out with accelerations/hills/decents and stuff but had a great time at 28-30mph! It was fun cruising down the road at these speeds, when usually a race type situation is the only time such speeds would happen. Coming from behind the scooter, and sprinting was the best part, seeing 30+ mph sprints into headwinds.

I tell ya, this TDF has been fun to watch and tomorrows stage up the Tourmelet is gonna be epic! Go ANDY! I think Alberto was very thoughtful with his apology and its good to see that they are friends!
On the other hand, how about Ivan Stevic at the Tour of Quingi Lake. Wasn't this guy banned for doping for 2 years, now he comes back and shows the bird when winning? Or how about Floyd Landis wearing a Hanes T-Shirt for his TT at Cascade! Now ABC is thinking of doing a story on Floyd, I think they should tell him to get a life and move on.
This weekend is Nordic Fest in Decorah. I have been involved with this every year of my life, with family and friends living there, and having grown up in Decorah. It is a great time with food and activities. My grandpa has run the "Rock Throw" for 20+ years. A cool event, Women thrown a 50lb rock, (sub) 150 men thrown 50, 150-200lb men throw 75lb and 200+ throw a 100lb rock! Looking forward to reacquainting with friends from Luther and getting some good food!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Clear Lake Road Race

Well Saturday was Megan and Eric Thorsen's wedding in Des Moines. I went down on Thursday night and did the Elkhart TT series presented by Zealous Racing. A greatly run event, and it put back in my mind how hard a TT felt. I hadn't done one in 2 years or so.

Friday and Saturday I did rides with Lou Waugaman, as he showed me the routes around Des Moines. Friday was nice as we had Reed R, and a couple other guys I forgot names (sorry!) join us on their TT bikes. Did a loop around Saylorville Lake. Friday night, Bethany, Doug and I stayed at the Staybridge Suites in WDM, went to Olive Garden and enjoyed the evening. Saturday, Lou and I rode downtown to the farmers market, which is huge! I couldn't believe it, and I had a great breakfast burrito and coffee. Rode back to my hotel and then got ready for the wedding. A great wedding and reception at Des Moines CC.

Sunday, I was up bright and early for the drive to Clear Lake. Arrived with plenty of time to get number pinned, coffee and bagel down for the 80 mile RR. Mercy had a great showing for the race and overall, the race was great sized!

Started off neutral for the first 3 miles then the speed kicked up as attack were thrown off. Unfortunately we missed the break that contained Zealous, Velosport and Clark Preibe. This was a dangerous break, and can't believe we missed it. Adam Price and I decided to try and keep the break in check and went right to the front to ride tempo. We rode a two man rotation for about 10 miles, before being joined by Lee Venticher(B2U). We then spent the next 10 miles rotating before Speedfix came to help. After a while, we got help from more B2U guys and single riders and the break never got more than 2 minutes. Even though 2 minutes doesn't seem like that much, we didn't bring the gap down fast at all, and a 20-25mile all out chase in the tailwind section by Duey/Rock/Moritz only neutralized the break with about 8 miles to go. I paid for my 40 miles of tempo riding on the front when I was dispatched from the lead group in the crosswind section with 6 laps to go. Rolled in off the back, disappointing....but what can I expect from working and expending energy.

Zealous did a very smart race, by having a guy in the break and took a back seat, having Lane Anderson win in the finale.

One thing I am finding this year, is the large jump from a Cat 3- Cat 2. I never had a problem being off the bike from Sept-Feb for swimming and then being competitive, but this year, I am about 2 months behind many of the regional pro riders. Even though I have trained harder/longer volume than I ever had before. I am not eligible to swim collegiate anymore, so will start riding in the fall/winter and come out stronger next spring. Next up is probably a couple Superweek races and then State RR in August.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cedar Rapids Weekend

Drove to Cedar Rapids with Bethany on Saturday afternoon for the Gold Pointe Fitness Criterium and Squak Creek Circuit Race put on by the great guys from HBA Racing. I grew up in Cedar Rapids, and the guys on the HBA Racing team have helped me out ever since I started racing, so it was an honor to race.Was pretty hot for the 4 corner, wide open course, about .75miles in length. We did 40 laps in the Cat 1,2 and Mercy Specialized had 5 guys in the race, which was a good change. We were all active and involved in many moves to get off the front of the race. Nothing was going to stick during the race, as it seemed if there was a break up the road, either a team didn't like their guy in it, or the group didn't work well together. Ended up coming down to a sprint, won with a great jump by Derek Cassidy (B2U). We were able to get 2nd with Adam Price, and 3 guys in the top 15, for some money! I was in 12th, and once again, just not where I needed to be.....I made up 3 spots in the last corner, but if I was sitting 5th wheel, maybe could have gotten 3rd. Just need to learn! But overall a great night, with all my family/friends cheering me on. Was nice to hear "Go Carson" on pretty much every corner of the course.
Sunday was the 35mile Squak Creek Circuit Race. This course has a Muscatine like hill on it, that gets a bit steeper at the top and then has a false flat, followed by a flat area on top and a 40mph decent with a curve that gets tighter as you go through it. Cat 1/2 lined up with the Cat 3, which would make the race a bit interesting. Zealous was pretty active throughout the race, and Duey and I being the only guys from Mercy there, had our work cut out for us. I ended up getting away with about 10 laps to go with Chad Bishop and Jerome Rewarts in a move that could have been the icing, but B2U did a great chase and we were reeled in after about 2.5 laps. Duey put in a counter attack after this and drew out Jerod Osterloh with him. This was the move to be in, so I was able to sit in and try to conserve energy. At the end, Jerod is to fast for Duey in a sprint, and Mercy was once again crummed to 2nd place. I got swarmed from a bunch of Cat 3's in the sprint, and got 12th again.

Mr. Consistency for the weekend goes to me! Legs came along nicely and I am anxious to race in the upcoming weeks with some good form. Made money this weekend, had a great time with family and friends in nice weather.
Coming up, may hit up some SuperWeek racing, Clear Lake, State Road Race and hopefully somethings in between!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

State Center Road Race

Have been stiff the last couple days after the crashes, but legs have been feeling good, even when on the bike. Made the quick drive over to Bangor, Iowa this morning for the 60 mile Cat 1/2 road race. Got all signed in and numbered up, and was good to see Lou, Paul and Duey.

Lined up for the race, and was not fun to see Zealous with 10 riders on the start line. Adam Price, Duey and I from Mercy, Paul and Lou from Velosport and a handful of other single riders. We started out fast, with Zealous insisting on getting someone off the front. Adam and I went to work making sure that a Zealous guy wasn't to far off the front, riding tempo. Lou got into a break with Lou up the road and this wasn't a bad thing, so we just sat there and sent a tempo that would keep them less than 1.5 minutes. Lou dropped Kurt, and this made Zealous chase hard which helped us out, we were able to take a back seat. Once Lou was brought in, nothing stuff for the rest of the 2nd lap, but at the finish line ( a 500m jaunt up a grinding hill, Duey put in a nice acceleration) which broke the field. I was caught a little out and was able to latch onto Lou and Derek Cassidy to make sure we didn't get dropped. In the crosswind section, Duey launched a nice attack and brought out Lane Anderson and Brian West, these three got up the road and Adam and I were set to sit there. Zealous didn't seem to like this and would try sending guys up the road to bring it back. They were never able to do this, so I just sat in the field and waited for the end.

Coming into the finish, Zealous were trying to set up Jared Osterloh for the sprint, which worked well...he did get 4th I believe. I blew up on the final climb along with many others, and rolled across to hear that Duey won! Nice job Duey and Mercy Specialized for finally getting into the podium that was held captive by Zealous this weekend.

Just relaxing now, and getting ready for next weekend in Cedar Rapids. Excited to race there as I had to miss last year. Good job to everyone in the race for making it a good day to race!

Happy Fathers Day Dad! I love you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

State Center Crit

Well today was interesting to say the least. I am writing this with bandages on my left elbow and left greater trochanter (hip).

Drove over to State Center, Iowa for the CICC Colorbiotics crit. A nice location and venue for a 2nd year race. All the way over with the Nicoll family was in blinding rain, and didn't know if the race would still be going on. State Center is where Greg Nicoll grew up, so it was nice to get him back there, he actually owns a couple apartments there for rent.

Anywho, got to State Center, and the skies were lightening up a little bit, a good sign. Got registered and ready to roll and by this time the sun had come out...hopefully a good luck symbol! Duey made his way down, which is always a great thing, such a great guy!

Lined up with about 25 riders, a good showing for a Cat 1/2 field in Iowa. Only the 2nd time this year, I have lined up with Iowa riders for the majority, instead of midwestern riders such as Texas Roadhouse and such. Legs felt good, and I was ready to roll. So much for good luck.. Zealous Racing had a lot of guys in the field, which meant attack after attack, which is what happened. Chased down a few with the help of Paul Deninger, Brian West and a couple others.

Then the bad stuff happened, I found myself chasing down an attack right after the start finish line, and I was going to fast, ran out of real estate in the corner and slid fault completely, and a dumb mistake. The curb literally went up my rear, which didn't feel good at all..Sat there and was lucky enough to get back into the race once I found out everything was ok. Got back in, and was still feeling good, adrenaline pumping, laps ticked down and on the last lap I was sitting about 10th wheel, not a good place. Coming around the last corner, the 2nd place guy slid out, followed by the 4-6th with 7-9 going into the grass. I was unfortunate to go down again....can't believe it. Got up and crossed the line and looked at the carnage afterwards. My left elbow was bleeding, my shorts torn up, my shoes all scuffed and my hip killing and bleeding. Got some nice assistance by Randy Catron.

Now this is where I sum it up... Only my 2nd crit of the year, and I can say I have some work to do on cornering especially in the rain. But even though I have this to work on, I still don't see how someone who knows a crash in the final corner wasn't my fault, but yet the first thing he says to me is "Carson, your a dumbf**k!) Really? I can't believe you said that when 4 guys in front of me are on the ground, what else could I have done. Usually when there is a crash, you see if the other person is ok, rather than yelling and making the other person feel inferior. So now I sit here, just pondering what happened, and what I have to do to get better, I am still just learning to race aggressively, I haven't been doing it for 10-15 years like you. So THANK YOU for making me feel like a shitty person.....

Looks like there was a crash by Ben King (Trek Livestrong) at NVGP, this must mean he is a dumbfuck if he said he overcooked a corner too.....

I guess, I have to reaccess my ability to race with all you guys....since the majority of you wanna see me quit or get hit by a truck so it seems as much shit as I hear spoken about me. Again, thank you very much.

Anyway, I HOPE everyone is ok from the crash. Maybe see you on Sunday..if I don't get scolded and ridiculed again.

So, since it always seems to be the norm of give Carson shit on his blog, I am ready for the comments to start pouring in...but at least give your name, and man up instead of being anonymous.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New "New" Bike

Have had the frame for a little while, but just got the bike put together in time for this weekends racing in State Center.

Excited to get it on its first ride tomorrow to open the legs up for the weekend. Here are some pictures, hopefully this one lasts a little longer than the last one!! :)
It is a 2009 SL2 got it on closeout from Specialized. Same components that were on the last one.

Hope this weekend will be pretty good, not the best prize money, but oh well, I just wanna race! Hopefully I can text myself and the competition and get some good fitness rolling!

Race report and photos to come this weekend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quick Check-in

Not to much going down on the bike front. Still trying to get my new frame built up and will hope to have it done in the next couple days, to be ready for State Center weekend. Still trying to figure out my schedule for races, just got a job at Peppers Sports Bar and Grill here in Cedar Falls. A great place to eat that I would highly recommend to anyone that comes to town! Great chicken strips, wraps, tenderloins. Once I get to work and my schedule set up.....I hope to race State Center, Cedar Rapids, Clear Lake, Iowa TTT, (maybe Elk Grove), State RR, Grinnell, Des Moines. Intermingled in here, maybe some Tour of America's Dairyland, Missouri and Minnesota racing.

Have moved into my new place here in Cedar Falls, and liking the setup. Just a nice small house, with 2 other guys...pretty plain and simple but for the price I am paying! AWESOME!

Also looking to get into some cyclocross this fall, as I won't be swimming, so if anyone has any ideas as to bikes/gear/what the heck I need to do, would be open to suggestions! Hope to have more in another post.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Burlington RR and Snake Alley Criterium

Left on Thursday for Cedar Rapids with Bethany, stayed with my parents. Got up on Friday and headed down towards Burlington for the Memorial Day Weekend Races, with the first race an 80 mile road race from Burlington-Wapello-Mediapolis-Burlington. Bethany and I stopped by Halls on the way so I could see the guys and true up a wheel. After this, we stopped in Iowa City at Geoffs Bike and Ski and I picked up my new frame from Specialized. A 2009 Tarmac SL2, which I am eager to get on and riding. Ended up down in Burlington quite early and found a nice coffee shop where I was able to watch the Giro d'Italia coverage, have some coffee and watch Bethany study for her ACSM test.

Got registered and pinned all 5 numbers on the jersey and bike, tires aired up, shoes on, helments/bottles ready....ok time to line up. A few big names were present, AeroCat and Texas Roadhouse Cycling, Ukranian National Champion, Trek-Tradewinds, Panther, Verizon U25 and Nick Frey (Jamis, Des Moines).

Race started out chill for 2 miles or so, then right away Matt Brandt of Mesa and an ISCorp rider took off for a long day off the front. Many numerous attempts to bridge were all a failure all the way to Wapello. At this point, an Aerocat rider, Verizon U25 and the Ukranian National Road champ jumped and must have made the bridge. Texas Roadhouse road tempo all the way to the finish line, and we never caught the group. Aerocat won the race, I came across in 40th, but if you saw the finish, I was probably 1/2 wheel out of 20th haha. Felt pretty good during the race, have never had to fight for position for the last 15 miles or so as I did. It was fun, and I could get used to it! 80 miles in 3 hours, 25mph average.

Stayed with Garrett McAllister, Sarge and the Team Wisconsin boys Saturday night, and had a great dinner and chat!

Saturday was the Snake! Got up to a great pancake breakfast at Garretts, and then headed to Burlington. Hung out and watched a few races on the Snake and hung out in the coffee shop. Got the number all pinned and lined up for the start. Same big names as before but with the addition of Brad Huff of Jelly Belly as well. Race started off super fast and I was fortunate to not hit a huge speed crunch on the Snake. Made it up without getting off and got into a group. My legs were pretty roughed up from an easy road race the day before though(great :/) Just couldn't feel the rhythm on the climb and after 10 laps or so, our group was pulled. Kinda dissapointed, as I have had amazing sucess here in the past, 2 wins in past two years (Cat 4 and Cat 3). Shows how much harder it is to do well in these races. The Ukranian National Road Champ won the race solo after riding away from everyone.

Was fun, but wished for better success. Now just a rest day and building up for the rest of the season.

Friday, May 21, 2010


So I graduate from Luther College in 2 days. The last has been full of finals and department dinners to help us celebrate. It is starting to sink in....I can't believe 4 years has come and gone so fast. But now moving onto another chapter of my life in Cedar Falls at UNI. Will be moving down to CF on Sunday or Monday and hope to get the personal training job at Snap Fitness shortly after.

Next weekend is also the first time I will line up as a Cat 1,2 for Memorial Day weekend races. I will only be competing in the Burlington Road Race and Snake Alley Criterium, as my sister graduates from high school on Sunday. I am starting to get quite nervous, as I don't know what to expect. I am starting in the first row for Snake Alley, but it is already mental challenging to know I have to work as hard as I can just to hold that position for the race. Don't have huge goals of getting a high place, but just don't want to get lapped or pulled if possible. I have had success in the past (2 years, 2 wins) but it is going to be completely different ball game this year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Joe Martin Recap

Not being able to race the final 2 days of Joe Martin was a thorn in the side. I sat in the wheel truck the third day and watched the entire race. This was probably a bad idea as I wanted to be out there so bad. Duey put in a nice attack with about 4k's to go, but with a downhill finish and sprinters licking their lips, it was pulled back within 1k to go. The crit on Sunday was a 12 corner crit with ups and downs. The field was cut in half almost immediately....from what I noticed while riding my trainer on turn 3. By the end, only about 12 guys were left to fight for victory. Duey ended up 5th on GC at the end of the week. Paul, Jeff, Duey and I loaded up and were on the road back home to Des Moines. Stopped for Arby's and a couple drinks for Jeff and Duey :) on the way home.
Got to Lou's about 11:30 and watch Liege Bastogne Liege before heading to bed. Woke up early on Monday morning, to a nice breakfast put on by Lou, with bagels, fruit and NUTELLA! Good coffee as well. After this, Paul, Jeff and I dropped of the trailer and headed to Iowa City. I stopped by Geoffs to drop of the frame and see what could be done. Looks like I will have a new frame on the way, hopefully will arive shortly. Going to be a 2009 SL2, so a step up from the Tarmac Pro. Will definetly be putting this one on my parents homeowners insurance!

Bad luck seems to be running with the Decorah boys this spring. Sarge broke his frame in Arizona, Karl broke his at Iowa City weekend and I broke mine. A couple wheels have also been trashed by our group too. And then just today while on my ride, I flatted and when I tried to fix the flat, the valve on my replacment tube went to shit, about 20 miles from home. Had to call for a ride. This bad luck is really starting to affect my psyche and wallet haha.

I am officially done with class at Luther College. Finals on Monday and Tuesday and then I will be graduating next Sunday. It doesn't feel weird yet because I am going back to school at UNI next year for graduate school, but will be different being away from Decorah. Bethany will be at UNI as well and her parents live in Cedar Falls, so I am going from one family to another and I am excited!!! Will post more as Memorial Day weekend races get closer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Joe Martin Stage 2: Down and Out

Got up this morning and had my breakfast, legs were feeling amazing, and I was ready to roll. Race didn't start til 12:30, so all of us just hung out this morning, had some good coffee and TV. Have been working on my senior paper presentation in free time.

Got down to Fayetteville and a Wal-Mart parking lot at around 11:30, numbers were already pinned up and bikes ready to go so we hung out and waited to roll out. Started at 12:30 with a group of 100 guys. Winds were out of NW at around 14mph, so it was gonna be a quick first 50 miles. Stayed towards the front of the rolling enclosure (Local Police/Sherriff keep whole road open for us). Now the SHIT HITS THE FAN....

About 25 miles into the race, after a fast downhill on flat roads, two guys touch handlebars and the domino effect starts. About 25 guys went down along with myself and Lou. When I got up, my rear wheel was not functioning and I had to get a spare. By the time this happened, I was chasing with one other guy, we picked up Lou up the road and another couple guys. After about 1 hour of chasing, we made it back to the peloton....Good? So I thought. After a few miles we hit this steep pitch of road where the feed zone was. This hill was a little to difficult to run a feed zone on if you ask me, guys are lunging and trying to get over the hill with the group and try to get fluids/food at the same time. I found myself gapped a little bit and got in a group to get back, but when I tried to organize a chase, the guys wouldn't help. We lost sight of the peloton, and after about 5 more miles....a motoref comes and tells us we went the wrong way? I never saw corner marshals anywhere. When we backtracked, these corner marshals suddenly appeared out of no-where to point us in the right direction. Nice job nutjobs....hicks...failures.

After this I was just so pissed, that our group called it quits. We had 50 miles to ride, not having reached the headwind sections and 10 mile climb of Mt. Gaylor yet. No chance to make the time cut, so my first Joe Martin experience was cut way short. My legs are good right now, and I wish bad luck wouldn't always happen to me.....always seems to.

Lou and I rode with the lead wheel truck to the finish. To make matters worse, I couldn't find my rear wheel in the truck and still can't so I have no idea where it is.... It mustn't have been too bad after the crash and someone else must have it on their bike as a spare as well...Hope we get it back. It is actually Jeff Bradleys nice carbon tubular...

So overall, one of the those days I need to forget, but can't, and was one of the worst I have experienced on a bike in terms of depressing and bad luck. I have a bruised ego and to make matters worse.... a jammed left thumb and a bruised sternum.....

Tomorrow, Lou and I are gonna head out when the peloton rolls, and hit up 3 hours or so of riding and a coffee shop or two.

Sorry for the painful post, hopefully my season can get better....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Devils Den TT- Joe Martin Stage Race

Got up this morning and had a good breakfast in the room, oatmeal, raisins and a banana. Met the guys downstairs and we went out and rode for about 45 min, stopping at a Starbucks and getting some good joe!

Left for Devils Den State Park, and amazed when I got down south of Fayetteville. Some big hills down here, (I have never seen Rockies up close). Driving down into the valley was like swirling around in a toilet. Got to the bottom and got unpacked. Punk Rock Cycling was nice enough to lend us their trailer for the week!

Helmet and bike put together, it was time to get numbers pinned and relax for the next 1.5 hours. My scheduled time off of the start ramp was 4:22. Started warming up around 1:30 and got a good warm up in = climbing back out of Devils Den == 10 min climb, warmed up for about 45 minutes with a nice 5 min piece to open the legs up the climb. Legs were feeling good.

Pulled up to the start line a little late (30 sec to spare) and got ready to go, took a deep breath and was off. Started out fairly fast and then hit the climb. This climb was flattish for .8 miles and then kicks up for the next 2 miles. Found a decent rhythm with a slight tail/cross wind and already saw the heartrate going above 185 and feeling ok. 30 sec man was up the road the whole day and by the end I had almost caught 1 min man. Coming to the line the lungs and legs were burning, and started to close my eyes towards the end fending off the visual pain of going up and up. Finished with a time of 10:29 which was good for 61 place out of 106 starters. The ride data :
2.5 miles
Avg. HR 191
Max HR 197

Rode back to the bottom and then spun around for another 15 min to rest the legs. Changed and back to Bentonville. Duey ended up 3rd, 5 seconds in the rears of Bill Gault of Tulsa Tough and Joe Schmalz of Mercy Cycling Team. Great place for tomorrow as for the first time in 3 years, Duey gets to be on the offensive, and takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders to set tempo. Will try to keep him fueled and in position. Paul/Lou and Jeff Bradley are with and boy what a group to learn stuff from, I am still trying to absorb tactics and stratagies. This race is won on time bonuses at the finish. Hope luck is on our side tomorrow!

Bentonville, AR

So the drive down was a little longer than we had expected yesterday. Made a couple stops, one to eat in Bethany, MO. Reminded me of Bethany :) Go figure....

Then we stopped at a small hicktown around 6 and rode for 45min to try and loosen the legs up. Then in Joplin for dinner at Olive Garden. First time I have ever gone to an Olive Garden and didn't get pasta. Lou and I got a chicken dish with a citrus sauce with asparagus on the side broccoli. Have to say it was amazing. Also was weird as we walked in and saw Steve Tilford and his gang on the way to Joe Martin as well, talked with them for a bit about the course/doping. Really funny guy!

Got to Bentonville (Home of Walmart) and this was evident right away. We stopped at what we believe is the first Walmart in America and are staying at an extended stay on Walton Ave. No doubt named after Sam Walton, who began the franchise.

Overall a good experience so far, and will update after TT today, but I forgot my no pics! DOH!

Monday, May 3, 2010

La Crosse Criterium

The past week as seen the highest volume of work so far this week, and some good speed work in the legs. Over 15 hours on the bike with a 90 mile stroke and some fast work.

Sunday was the LaCrosse Fitness Festival Criterium in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. This course is right downtown on a 4 corner rectangle that is extremely flat and fast. 80 starters took to the line in the Cat 1,2 race. Duey and myself representing the Mercy-Specialized boys, Jeff Bradley in his VeloSport gear and Jerome in the All9 kit. Pace started very fast, and wouldn't really let up most of the day. A break of 10 got up the road with all major teams, I was just a bit to far back when the acceleration came...almost got it. My whole goal for the race was to try and stick to no-less than 10-15 wheels back in the group. Jeff Bradley rode for 7-11 in Europe and the Tour de France and always knows where to be, this was my spot for pack positioning. It took some mental and physical work to stay up in the front, but it worked and I am feeling better fighting for wheels and open spaces!

At the end of the race, I made it to the line and finished in 30th place. Not bad, and went much better than Old Cap. Legs are coming along good and ready to kick ass this week in Arkansas for Joe Martin Stage Race.

Mercy-Specialized and VeloSport are combining to bring a winning team to Fayetteville, AR. Paul Deninger, Lou Waugamon, Jeff Bradley, Duey Dickey and myself will try to bring home the yellow jersey at the end of the week.
5 days with more climbing than I have ever done in my life. A tough day 2 with a 110 mile stage with a 10mile climb at about 60 miles in. Will have to make sure I eat and drink my fill during the stage and work on pack positioning to conserve energy.

Will be taking some pictures and updating daily! Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Old Capital Crit Race Report

Been a bit since my last post so I will update you on school and training, about the only things I am doing. School is winding down, and I just finished editing my senior paper, a total of 40 pages. The paper was written on Nutrition in Endurance Athletes. Couldn't believe I wrote that much one one subject, but it was very interesting to research and I will present on May 12th to the HPE faculty.

So back to the main priority of life :) Cycling

This week was good, putting in over 15 hours on the bike with 2 VO2 days and a couple longer tempo rides with the boys up here in Decorah.

Had the swim banquet yesterday at Luther, and then rode back with parents to Cedar Rapids for the night, so I could race Old Cap today. The threat of rain almost made me not wanna race, but have to learn how to do it sometime! A great atmosphere, and venue for the race that drags many teams from the midwest to Iowa City for battle. Steve Tilford and his team, ISCorp, Texas Roadhouse were all regional powerhouse teams that took part today. My legs were feeling more open than earlier this week so I was looking to do well.

Fast forward a couple laps and I already find myself at the back......what? I started off well and didn't really get passed by many people, but I guess the insane pass set by Texas Roadhouse at the front popped off guys earlier than me. I came unglued about 12 laps in to the race and rode tempo for a few laps before Chris Eastburn came up. We rode for another 5 laps or so before being pulled off the course. Pat Lemiuex took a great win, riding solo for all but 8 laps or so?

A big blow to the mentality so far this year, have been putting in so much more training than I ever have before, but no results to show yet. I guess it doesn't matter good your preparations are when you only start on the bike in Feb. Most of these guys have been riding all winter, or December. I guess I just have to work, work, and work some more to try and gain the fitness needed. Also need to become more comfortable at higher speeds within a pack. I have no problems being 2 inch from another persons handlebars going down a hill or cornering, but I always seem to tap the brakes when it is un-needed.

This next week is pretty chill at school, so I look to have another good week and will be incorporating more high intensity VO2 type efforts to try and find my top end speed.

Schedule coming up looks like LaCrosse Fitness Festival Criterium next Sunday and possibly Joe Martin Stage Race the week after.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First races of the season don't go that well I guess...

Having upgraded to a cat 2 this year, I knew what I was getting into in terms of race length and intensity, but not the fact that many guys have been training all winter in the south to come to races nice and fast this early in spring.

Went to Iowa City and then on to Hillsboro, Illinois for the Hillsboro Roubaix Nature Valley Grand Prix qualifier race. Only Cat 1's are able to make the 8 man team, but this meant that some strong teams and riders were going to show up. Texas Roadhouse, ISCorp, Kenda-GearGrinder, Panther Cycling all brought squads of about 8 guys. Now racing with Mercy, there was Duey, me, Ryan Neninger, John Olney and Jeff Barnes.

Got all suited up in my new kit, which is pretty nice....really like the LG shorts and chamois.

Race started pretty neutral for about 10 miles, then the crosswinds started, and immediatly it was gas on. The course is very nice in the back country of illinois, on european sized roads with chipseal. Constantly were turning left and right, so the winds didn't have great impacts right away. Coming into town, there is a nice hill through the feed zone and then a 40mph decent on cobbles. This was very hairy, having never ridden the race before.....I counted a dozen bottles coming out of bikes and even about 3 bottles with bottle cages still attached. Anyway, I made it through the first 2 laps, but coming into town on the start of the third lap, I was caught to far back in the pack and starting to cramp...As the crosswinds hit again, Texas Roadhouse put the hammer down and I was popped off. Caught up to Paul Deninger a couple miles up the road and we rolled to the finish.

A little dissapointed, but I have only been on bike for about a month, and this is my longest race ever this early in the season, so nothing but good training. Looking forward to some more road races coming up.

Sunday, I was coming back through Cedar Rapids and Mark Guthart was nice enough to let me fly the "Luther Norse" colors in the NCCC cycling confrence race at Hawkeye Downs. Raced the mens A/B race, and immediatly guys from Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas went up the road and lapped our field. With this happeneing, I had no chance of a great placing and ended up being a good hour of motorpacing. Looking to do more college when I go to graduate school next year.

Now back to school, where I totally lack motivation to keep my studies going...that is not good as I have 1 month to go before finals even start ! Training will keep going as I try to be going my best at Joe Martin.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Bike

Brand new frame with a big thanks to Geoffs Bike and Ski, Mercy Specialized and Specialized. Got it built up this weekend and ready to get it on the road and ready for Hillsboro next weekend!

Frame Size 61
Components 2010 Ultegra 6700 with Dura Ace rear derailleur

Went to Geoffs today and Kevin McConnell performed a BG Fit session. It was very informational and ended up changing cleat position, saddle position and handlebar position. Using Specialized Rro Road shoes this year, and the insoles that are inside helped a lot!

Keeping the training rolling this week, as I would like to be on top form for Joe Martin.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Training Training Training

With only 7 weeks to go of my undergraduate career at Luther, I am definitely trying to slack off and not put much emphasis on school :), at least in the classes that I don't care about. All of my graduate schools have my transcripts and I should hear from the last two soon. Minnesota State Mankato and UNI are the last, and probably the two I am looking at going.

Been putting some good quality hours on the bike this week since coming back from a rest week in Florida. 3 days in and already up to 9 hours, with another good block of training this weekend while at home in Cedar Rapids for Easter Break. Decorah has to be some of the best riding around the midwest. Being located in NE Iowa, the hills and climbing is awesome and you can easily ride on roads 1 time in a week without crossing it again. Plus it helps when you have a Cat 1 rider in Novian Whitsit to kick your ass everyday on the bike, will only get stronger! Another ex-cross country runner still living in the area, Karl "Moose" Larson is also a force to be watched.

Novian on left and Karl

Next week will be my first race as a Cat 2, and its a big one. Hillsboro Roubaix down by St. Louis. A 90 mile road race with some of the really good domestic pro teams in the midwest attending, Kenda GearGrinder, Mercy Cycling Team just to name a few. Look to be in the mix and not just sit in all the time. Going down with most of the Mercy team, should be a good squad. Jeff, Duey, Adam, Andy and myself for the pro race.

Just picked up my team gear today and will post some pictures soon of the new ride!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break!

Writing this from Minneapolis, Minnesota as I await my flights tomorrow with Bethany down to Hollywood, Florida. Will be spending the week with her at her aunt and uncles house in sunny and warm weather. Spent the morning at the D3 national swim meet at the U of M, watching 3 fellow swimmers compete. A great end to the season for them.

Last 4 weeks have yielded some great training in my legs, much more than I ever have gotten in by this time of the season. Extremely excited to get onto the race scene here in April. While in Florida, will be taking a well deserved rest week and spending less time on the bike and making the time count, and spending quite a bit of time on the beach. Looking ahead, should see some foreign races on my schedule first. As a part of Mercy-Specialized, I will be attending Hillsboro Roubaix for my first race. A chance to test my legs as a newly christened cat 2. Iowa City weekend should be next and then the first big test will be competing in the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayettville, Arkansas.

From there, depending on where I will end up going to graduate school kind of determines my racing schedule. I would like to go to Tour of Ohio, Tour of America's Dairyland and some other regional races. Hope to compete in most of the local racing scene in Minnesota,Wisconsin and Iowa as well.

Excited to get home after Spring Break as I will be able to pick up my gear and new team bike from the great guys at Geoffs in Iowa City!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lactic Acid and VO2 Max Test

This week marks my 3rd week on the bike and great time it has been so far. The first week of training I spent on the trainer just getting the leg muscles in shape again and not having to brave the elements. A good week with over 10 hours.

Then last week I was able to get outside and start my LT intervals which made the legs ache all week, but hey, a good sign. Ended the week on Sunday with a good 3 hour whipping by Novian Whitsit. A greatweek and about 15 hours on the bike.

This week will be a lot of the same stuff, trying to build up my time training above lactic threshold. Should have another great week and a bunch of time before I head to Florida in 2 weeks with Bethany for spring break. Today, I was asked by our Exercise Physiology class to come in and perform a Lactic Threshold/VO2 max. Being in the class last year, I knew what it entailed and the pain that would come with it. Last years numbers had my lactic threshold around 300 watts and a VO2 max of 60.2 was recorded. At the end of the test today, I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers. My lactic threshold was around 330watts and my VO2 max had lept up 5 points, up to 65.4. This is a respectable number in the Cat 2 field which I hope bodes well for this season!

I am anxious to get the season started and in one of my next few posts will get some pictures of training and my tentative race schedule posted.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cycling Season 2010

So my swim career has finally come to a close. Our final meet was Feb. 18-20 down in Elsha, IL, right across the river from St. Louis at Principia College. This college is Christian Science in denomination and in the middle of no where. A very nice facility, but if you need athletic training or pain meds, you better bring your own. Their religion doesn't believe in artificial medicine. The meet went very well, I had all but one lifetime swim, and placed 15th, 5th and 12th in my respective events (200IM, 400IM and 200Back). Bethany also had a great meet and placed 2nd in both IM's and 3rd in the 200back. She capped off an excellent career. It was very weird leaving that pool and knowing I will never compete scholastically again in any sport. I have swam for 11 years, and now won't have to get up at 5:30am every morning from October-February anymore! WOO HOO.

Moving on to the bike, I didn't take a day off and started on the bike last week on Monday. Figured I am already about 1 month behind all the other cyclists, in terms of cycling legs. Spent a good deal of time on the trainer just getting the muscle fibers moving again. One day of riding outside happened on Sunday and it was great, finally above 32 degrees! I put in 11 hours last week and already feeling better. Now onto this week, I will hopefully increase the time a bit but increase the time at LT. Ready to put in some good intervals and feel that burn. One month to go until I am on the beach with Bethany in Florida. It will be awesome, her Aunt and Uncle live in Hollywood, Florida, just north of Ft. Lauderdale. They live on the intercoastal waterway and have jetskis, boats, a pool and some nice cars! Ron is an avid biker and will be graciously lending me his bike that week. So with 60 plus degree temps, I hope to get some great training on before I come back and get into racing in April.

Now I have to go try and concentrate on Histology and my senior paper. School is starting to hit the backburner already and I have 2 months to go...UH OH! Also, should be finding out about graduate schools this week. St. Scholastica has already sent me their letter of acceptance, so that is a good sign. I don't know if Duluth, is the best place to go however. Still very cold and wintery up there!

Look forward to seeing everyone again.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Short and to the point...

Hope everyone's Christmas went well.

Getting ready to start my cycling season tomorrow. Don't have a class over J-term, so I will be swimming from 5:45- 7:15 every AM, getting some bfast and then hopefully putting in 1-2 hours on the trainer or outside in the morning. Swim practice then in the after noon is at 2:30.

Since, I don't have a class; I will be working on and hopefully getting most of my senior paper done during J-term.

Also conformed to cyclists everywhere and got a twitter....