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.