Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hey everyone, with no racing I have behind on blogging, but my life has been far from boring.....

After the State Center weekend as my previous post listed, I needed a week off the bike to regain my mind/legs/etc. My body had been pushed too far, and I was very close to over trained, but I was lucky enough to not get sick, but had no power. I took 5 days total off the bike and was a complete couch potato except for work. About 3 days into the break, I found myself wanting the bike so much, and this is the point where I found that I just love riding my bike, and being outside. I was going stir-crazy to say the least. On Friday, I was scheduled to go to Madison, Wisconsin to help facilitate and coach with the Zoom Performance Epic Ironman Camp. This was going to be a great weekend where I could get on the bike with friends and restart the engines!

So now the fun starts....or not. Driving to Madison, I was 4 miles from the hotel and I ended up getting in a car accident on 151. Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time, but unfortunately, my car was totaled....SUCKAGE. I am a poor college kid, and getting a new car is not something that needs to be happening. The good thing, is no one was injured. So I was late getting to the first evening workouts with the athletes, but no one seemed to be to mad at me, a good excuse I suppose I had. Anyway, I was pretty flustered but that you to my Dad, Mom, and Bethany for keeping me under control, and told me everything would be ok. This was my first car accident ever.....I wanted to keep a clean slate forever, but I guess there is a first for everything.
The rest of the weekend was awesome though, getting up at 5am, having a great breakfast provided by the hotel and out the door around 6am for workouts. Saturday was a 110mile ride around the Ironman Wisconsin bike course. This course was so amazing, and I can't believe they have to run 26.2miles after completing it. When we got home, the groups headed out for a 4 or 6 mile run, OUCH....can't believe the training an Ironman needs to do, but I really respect it! That night to replenish the 4000+kj's burned, we went downtown for some food, ice cream, and SPOTTED COW ON TAP!!!!! Sunday was another day of training for the group. The athletes started out with an open water swim at Lake Monona. Julie and I then rode our bikes in support of the group as they tackled between 10-13miles of running on the Ironman Course. Everyone did a great job, and a HUGE THANK YOU to Julie for the ride back to Cedar Falls. It was a great weekend, and I was so glad to be involved, and hope to help out again!

So after the weekend, my mind was off the accident, and refocused on working and riding. My coach has me riding by feel for the next 3 weeks to just enjoy my bike. It has been fun so far, with no Joule to look at, no timed intervals, no speed, HR, distance, just my Ipod, bike, and myself. From here on out, I am going to ride my bike for the love of it, and not focus on the number crunching, race my bike and have fun.

Schedule: Clear Lake
Z3 Select Camp (Des Moines)
State Road Race

Monday, June 20, 2011

State Center Road Race


That sends up my race on Saturday in Bangor, IA for the Rose Festival RR. My legs didn't feel too bad Friday night or Saturday, and I was ready to give it a go at making the race really hard. Unfortunately, my body had other plans....

Drove over early in the morning after a great breakfast with Bethany, and got all kited up and ready for the 60mile slugfest with Zealous, B2U, Mercy and a couple individuals. Race started out fast from the gun, pretty hard for the start of a 60mile rr. I was already struggling, and didn't know why. A group got up the road, but everyone was represented and it would make for a very boring race, so we all tried chasing it down. I ended up in a small group with Paul, Dave Lippold, Jeff Barnes as we tried to reach the front group. My HR was skyrocketting and I had no legs, and pretty soon, I found myself off the back. This was 15miles into a 60mile rr, and I was already gone for the I chased the group for another lap, and never seemed to let them get more than 1.5min up the road according to my calculations, but pretty soon, they started to slip away and I pulled the plug. Paul had another great race coming in 3rd, and Chad in 6th I think. Awesome job by those two, I almost didn't want to let them talk with a failure, but I hung around and watched them finish.

That's two road races in a row where I just have no legs to stay in the race.....I really don't know whats going on. I believe it is my body telling me that I have to take a break.....and forget about training. When I was swimming for Luther, I wouldn't get on the bike until late February, but this year I started training in January. Maybe my body has just hit the wall, and I have overtrained myself to try and be competitive in the cat 1/2 area. I started out the year great, with good showings in Tucson and Tour of Hermann, Iowa City weekend and collegiate nats, but since then, it has seemed to go downhill. I'll try hitting the reset button here and salvage some of the rest of the season, what is left of it....for Iowa at least.

Paul noticed that part of my problem may be in between the ears, and I sort of agree. I have never really had a great deal of self-confidence when it comes to believing in my ability. Has anyone else had these problems, or tried reading any books/visualization techniques to work on this?

Everyone else seems to be moving pretty well now....maybe I can get back to that level. Until then, have fun.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rose Festival Criterium

Friday night was the twilight criterium in State Center, IA. This race is put on by Colorbiotics who did a great job. A pretty small race, but also had a decent turnout. I drove down with Kat Porter and Ben Morris from Cedar Falls to contest the event. Paul, Chad, and I were the American Equity boys present to fly the colors while our team manager was sunning himself in the sunny Caribbean islands.

Race was only scheduled for 40min + 3 laps, which equaled about 45min. While I recognize the inability to hold a race in the dark without adequate lighting, it is hard for cat 1/2 race at 45min to hurt anyone. While, I am not saying the race didn't hurt, because everyone did a great job of making it hard! There are still way to many fresh legs at the end. The race started out very fast with D. Cassidy (B2U) going off the front. American Equity and Zealous chased it down and counter attacks would continue for the remainder of the race. I ended up off the front in some very good looking moves during the race, as did Paul where there would be a B2U, Zealous, American Equity and a couple individuals present. These groups would normally stay away, and B2U and American Equity took up positions to block. But being a Cat 1/2/3 race, there were many times where guys with teammates up the road would hit the front really hard and chase down their own teammates? Maybe they weren't happy with the moves up the road, but I don't know for sure. Coming into the last lap, D. Cassidy took a monster flyer off the front, and I was just a tad bit late trying to close the gap, and we just barely missed catching him. Paul came in for 5th, and I came across for 11th. Not exactly where I wanted to finish, but it was a fun race none-the-less. Each team did a great job of executing attacks, chases, bridges, blocking, and it made for a fun, but very short race!

Race was done about 8:45 and we were on the way home to CF to rest for the 60mile RR the next day. Report to come!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tour of Galena Day 2

Woke up on Sunday with some tired legs, but still feel as though I recovered decently. On tap was a 75min crit in downtown Galena. One thing that is really odd about being a Cat 1/2 is that you wait all day to race. Most races start before 6pm, but the last two crits I have done start then, which means you have a lot of downtime and time to think.

Bethany and I enjoyed sleeping in, having a sub-par hotel conti breakfast, and watching the Dauphine/Swiss races. We had to check out at 11am, which meant for a long day in downtown Galena. We arrived, and Bethany wanted to go dress shopping, so like a good boyfriend I tagged along. She never ended up finding anything, but did buy a little pursue. We settled down in a coffee shop for a coffee and then watched some racing. We had a decent lunch at one of the "upscale" bars of Galena, where they served Pita sandwiches. The cool thing about Galena, is I don't think there is a typical "bar", all the bars have employees wearing very high class outfits, and just in general the place is very clean. The food was very good this weekend, but does pull a steep price tag with it. Galena was a very cool place, and I would really like to go back and maybe even hold a personal training camp there while Bethany shops.

Anyway, moving on to the race. Got ready to go with the other 33 athletes, and right from the gun the GP Bianchi boys lit it up. I must have been sleeping along with Chad/JJ because pretty soon, the three of us were off the back? WTF!!!!!!! What could have been the most embarrassing moment for American Equity was averted as the pace slowed and we were back in the pack. Right away Paul told me to start attacking/counterattacking with him to try and break up the pack. I got off the front for 2 laps at one point and ended up winning a preme. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of the $200, $350 premes offered as I thought. I ended up with a bottle of carbonated wine.....Are you KIDDING! I mean, I love a good bottle of wine, but the money would be better in my eyes (being a poor college, bike racer). But hey, a preme is a preme, and it was the first one I have won as a Cat 1/2. We kept attacking, but never really got away, and settled into the pack for the finish. The finale came, and I was way to far back, and out of the 5 spots of money. Chad and Paul ended up in the omnium results, which totally didn't make my weekend bad. Always good to see teammates getting some good results, and to work for them as they have done for me.

Huge props to the XXX Racing team for the weekend. They did everything right for a first year event, plenty of friendly volunteers, police, prizes, and just friendly. Will really be looking to come back next year.

Overall, I felt a bit better than the road race, but still have some restructuring to do in order to find my form. State Center races are this weekend, and maybe I'll go a bit better....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tour of Galena Day 1

Well it was an early wakeup call on Saturday morning, Bethany and I were up at 5am to drive to Galena for the inaugural Tour of Galena event. It started with a 4.4mile prologue. We arrived around 8am to be registered, get numbers pinned, and meet up with Lou, Paul, Chad, JJ to get set. One thing right away is a huge congrats to XXX racing for putting this race on, it is a great event, and has been run well. Props for sure.

This 4.4mile TT means you have to warm up for an hour or so, to have the engine very hot when leaving on such a violent effort. The course was a rolling course with a .5mile 10% downhill and uphill on the way back, I had a 25 on the back, was happy to have it, what an ass kicker of a hill for a TT. TT have not really been good to me this year, and this was no different. I don't understand why, I am a bigger guy and should be able to put out good power for that long of an effort, but none-the-less, I was caught by my minute man, who actually won the event by 12 not horrible I guess. Still very frustrated with myself. 24th out of 30 starters, which I guess is better then I have produced this year so far.....

Anyway, afterwards we had about 5hours to waste before the start of the 90mile RR. We all drove to downtown Galena and had some coffee at a little shop. Galena is full of old style downtown shops, that are skinny and narrow, but full of everything from coffee shops, restaurants, bead stores, etc. A real ladies town if you ask me, it was funny to see the guys in the shop just eager to leave! Bethany and I had a great lunch and I was ready to rock the road race.

35 starters or so started the road race, and this was another difficult course with 4-mile + long climbs on the course, and steep gradients to boot. I was not doing well right off the back, and didn't have good feelings for the rest of the race. The first two laps were pretty chill except for the hills where a few attacks would go. I put on a 27cassette for the race, and used every bit of it. On the start of the third lap, I was not feeling good at all on the uphills. After the progressive 3mile climb with a 300m stretch of about 10+%, I was gaped with 4 others. We chased back towards Galena, but lost sight of the moving peloton. I was gaped from this group going up the 15% feed zone hill and was riding by myself. I don't think I was bonking, but I just had no power for the engine room. Little did I know, I was still sitting in the top 15, from everyone who had dropped out. I did the most noob thing you could do and turned around, tail between my legs, and DNF'ed. I thought there were 20 guys still ahead of me, and I wouldn't have gotten a single point anyway. Little did I know, I would have gotten 18th. What a dumbass, Carson. So I am very annoyed with myself to say the least, I have never dropped out of a race on my own will. Chad and Paul were in the top 15, to keep their omnium hopes alive.

So I am going into this crit out of the omnium, but still able to get some money. I don't know how my form is going to let me do it, but I am going to race my heart out for Chad and Paul. I won't care if I get dropped during this race, but I am going to attack, attack, attack and try to help them out and maybe get a few primes.

I really don't know whats going on with my form right now. After the Tour of Herman, I was weighing in at about 167, but now I weight 175. So do the math, and you realize I have become one tubby fat load. I can tell this is really starting to hurt me. I need to start taking better care of myself and drop some weight, or really increase my power output. Anyway, hopefully I get something sorted out soon. My cleat position is acting up again, and just don't know what is wrong with it....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pigman Triathlon

Triathlon? Is that what the title says? Yes it does!

I decided in January, to attempt a triathlon. Coming from a such a heavy competitive swim and cycling background, I have heard from everyone that I could be pretty decent, even if I am not a runner at all. So Bethany and I signed up for the 2011 Pigman Triathlon in Palo (Cedar Rapids) Iowa. This was a sprint distance, 550yd swim, 15.5 mile bike and 3.1mile run. It is located in the Pleasant Creek State Park, and is a great venue!

I was not worried about my swimming as I am still going to be better then most of the athletes, without a lot of work. The running needs a lot of work though, as I had never run 3 miles in my life! The cyclist is self explanatory, with hundreds of hours of practice already this season. I have spent the last 3 weeks or so trying to get some kind of swimming and running shape to have some type of chance to complete it in decent times.

Bethany and I got up at 5am on Sunday morning, had breakfast and drove to Palo. It was 70 degrees, and just amazing, sunny with little wind. It is amazing how popular triathlons are getting, with people as young as 12 and as old as 80 competing yesterday. I decided not to use a wetsuit, and this seemed like an ok idea, I was never cold in the 71 degree water. We got the the venue, placed everything in the transition area, and got ready with the other 900 athletes!

The swim started at 7:45, with an individual going off every 3 seconds. I entered the water and settled into a rhythm. It didn't take long to start catching some of the other age groupers, Clydesdale and team swimmers. I actually ran over a couple, it is amazing how many people struggle with the swim. I thought most everyone took swimming lessons as little kids, but I was mistaken! I came out of the water in a 7:40, which was good enough for 38th place swim overall. Not bad, but not as good as I thought, I suppose a wetsuit would have helped with the buoyancy and speed.

Next was the biking segment, where I could lay it down! I didn't have any aero equipment other than my helmet, and just road my stock Trek Madone! I settled into a nice rhythm and was happy to be picking off bikers ahead of me pretty nicely. I was never passed on the bike. After 15.5 miles, I recorded a time of 40minutes (23mph) average. This time ended up being good enough for 13th fastest on the day. Not bad for no aero equipment! Would be nice to see how high I could have placed with a bike, wheel combo!

The last part of the race was the dreaded 3.1 mile run. Run?? Who runs!!! Anyway, I settled into some kind of pace, I really don't know what pacing for a run is. Anyway, I was passed by 4 people or so during the run, and actually passed around 7-8, so that was surprising. I came home with a 20min30sec 5k, which was good enough for 7min8sec paced miles. I don't believe that is horrible, ended up in 59th place out of 500+ run times. Really have a lot of work to do on the run, but was very happy with the race overall. I had never run a 5k in my life, and proved to myself that I could do it.

So I placed 2nd in the 20-24 age group, only passed by the 1st place guy with .75miles to go...SHOOT! But it was very fun, for the lack of swim/run work I had done. I ended up with the 29th fastest time of the day out of everyone! That was really surprising to me, and I was extremely happy to see that. It was awesome hearing everyone cheer for me, I didn't know that many people at the event would know or recognize me.

Bethany also had a great day! She placed 12th in her age group, and improved her sprint triathlon time by 30minutes from last years TriHawks race! A big improvement, and her new Madone really helped out! She continues to love the bike!

So that is my report from the Pigman! I will post some pictures when they become available!

Back to bike racing this weekend with the American Equity boys, looking forward to it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Melon City Criterium

After the previous two days of racing, my legs were toast. I got up and they were aching like no other. Good thing I had the day to rest. Bethany and I got up and went to HyVee for breakfast. That was an experience. We both ordered egg white omelette's, and it was so funny, the kid at the register had no idea what we meant. The female chef actually had to come out after a couple minutes and confirm our order. It was really tasty none-the-less, but come on. While we were there, the tornado sirens went off and it started to get really bad out. We drove back to Chad's house, and in the nick of time, the winds started to really pick up and it was nearly black out at 10am. We hunkered down for the rest of the day. The races were postponed 2hr and so I wasn't going to race until 6pm instead of 4 as originally scheduled.

On to race time, my legs really hadn't felt much better since the morning. Vince, Chad, and I were the representatives from American Equity. At the start line, I didn't know what to expect, I had placed well here in the lower categories before (2nd, 4th), but from the previous two days, it was evident, the racing is much different. The gun went off and from the get go, we were single file. The speed bump at the bottom didn't seem to phase everyone, and it was a sprint up the hill each of the 40 laps. That really started to wear on my legs, and I was seeing stars and cross-eyed from about lap 10 or so to the finish, pure survival mode. The laps couldn't tick down fast enough, but I could see the peloton getting thinner and thinner, which meant I was doing what many couldn't. With 2 laps to go heading down the hill towards the speed bump, a Grand Performance rider looked back and hit the curb, sending himself flying and a couple other guys into the grass. I saw Jerod (Zealous) go flying over a bike and hit his shoulder pretty hard. Turns out that the bike he went over was my other buddy Sarge (Decorah boy). What a horrible way to end the race, why would you look back when going 35+mph down a hill? But glad to see everyone was alright for the most part...Never a good sign with the sound of crashing carbon.

On to the last lap, I was gassed so bad that the downhill was hurting, and I popped off the back on the final climb up the hill. Ended up as 4th Iowan in the race, and got a few Iowa Cup points for the team. Overall, a fun weekend, but really puts into perspective just how hard Pro/Cat 1 riders can race who aren't from Iowa. Still a lot of work to be done in order to be able to perform with these riders, but I am still young and focused. Read Chad's blog to get another view point of a Cat2 racer dealing with regional pro riders....a few good points!

Next up, will be an omnium event with the American Equity boys next weekend in Illinois. Looks like a hilly TT, a brutally hilly RR and a flat Crit.