Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Putting the Crew Together for RAO 2006

Just got word from Ben that a good friend of his Russ will be traveling out from Wisconsin to join the crew for RAO 2006.

Russ is in! I just sent him a message suggesting minimum travel dates and briefly sketched what the race weekend is like.


Labels: ,

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Science Section: Rain & Earthworms

It’s been a while since the science section was featured here in blog land. The other day while walking to the lab, for some reason my brain was wandering, and I started to think about our friend the earthworm. Popular culture says come spring time, earthworms surface post rain to avoid drowning as the water filters down through the ground. Now my thoughts were, if this were truly true then given the incessant rain we have been experiencing I'd expect one of two things to have occurred: The surface of the ground would be covered with worms, which hasn't happened, or that the ground would be totally devoid of live earthworms as all of them would have drowned.

Well, a quick Google search reveled the truth, earthworms breath through their skin and water doesn't phase earth worms a bit. Infact earthworms can live fully immersed in water for weeks assuming the water contains adequate levels of dissolved oxygen. The earth worms real enemy isn't water but a lack of water, dehydration. The reason earthworms surface post rain is because post rain the surface humidity increases to level worms can more safely travel above ground, just don't tell the birds.


Wett Weekends & Happy Lunar New Year!

January cannot end soon enough. Don't get me wrong. January as been a great month in terms of fitness, training, and what not. But at this point I'm ready for a day of spring weather. Is it to much to ask for the rain to taper down just a bit? The crazy thing these days has been all the standing water. Weeks ago that the ground saturated itself and thus these days any even infinitesimal degree of precipitation results in flooding. My guess is February is going to continue the pattern January has set forth.

So lets see the weekend riding update:

Saturday - Did the Bean Beaver ride - As always we kicked it out from the bean just a tad shy of 10, and then cruised through the Kings Valley Loop, doing the loop in reverse starting out heading north first. Weather? Need I say anything here, wind & rain. In fairness the rain was sort of off and on so it could have been worse and I actually appreciated the wind. The wind was an ability equalizer, enabling those who wanted to work hard to do so while others could sit in the slipstream. On the way back, still feeling like the legs needed a tad more I spun off from the group and brought it back in along Decker. All and all today was just a tad more then four hours.

On getting back it was time for a recovery smoothie, I really like these.
Recovery Meal: Hammer Pro Whey Fruit Smoothie (1+ scoop hammer pro whey,
peaches (From a can put there by a man)
1 fresh orange pealed
1 banana also pealed
1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt)
blend and enjoy..

Dinner: 1 Large Mediterranean Pizza + Salad.

Sunday - Saturday we had a huge turnout, but Sunday the turnout was back to the three of us who will ride no matter what. Becky said that makes us all hardcore. There is a chance the numbers were down as people were still recovering from the previous days ride, or it could have been because the weather outside was down right horrible, perfect for the Paris Roubaix but lousy for training. The weather dictated a abbreviated training plan; the KV loop in the normal direction. Alex, lead Becky and I out and once over the first real climb we all motored trading off work at the front. Bringing it back the route took us over a few sand and gravel roads. Normal S&G roads are really not all that bad. But today with all the rain, the sand had the consistency of saltwater taffy and between that and the wind the bikes climbed at a snails pace. Once back on the main road it was up and over the saddle and back in. Ride Time: A little over three hours

Recovery Meal: Hammer Pro Whey Fruit Smoothie, (see above)

Recovery Plan tonight: The plan for tonight is power up the Compex Sport unit and go over most of the body with the active recovery program.

Happy Lunar New Year, it might be the year of the dog in China but in the NW it’s going to be the year of the Beaver..


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Friday Rollers

Friday night, I ended up working in the lab late, post dinner, it was nearing midnight, feeling tired but slightly behind I jumped on the rollers with the TT bike for a few spins on those magical aluminum drums. Its amazing how riding wakes the mind up. I ended up riding for about 2 hours watching tonight’s video rental: “The Constant Gardener”.

K-Movie Rating: 1.5 stars.
Movies Rolling value: 1.5 stars, other then a few very scenic shots of Africa not to much here.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Wet Wednesdays & Lifting Thursday

Found a few free minutes in the bottom of my back pants pocket Wednesday afternoon. What to do with the new found time, why of course a quick ~2hr recovery ride around the Decker loop. On the down side the weather was damp but on the upside ended up riding with Dr McKenzie a professor, triathlete, and budding road cyclist here at Oregon State. Prior to coming to Oregon State she did studies on Iditarod sled dogs in Alaska. Over the ride I learned a few things that reinforced some of my ultra training philosophy. Sled dogs whom race the Iditarod consume huge amounts of calories via fat, but the interesting thing is that if a normal dog were to consume fat in equal concentrations it would at best cause severe gastric distress and possibly even death and that during training sled dogs train to utilize fat a energy source and thus when it comes time to race can tolerate higher levels of fat. Well, this sounds amazingly similar to ultra racing, gastric distress and the concept of eating during training to reflect the eating patters during racing. I guess with that its time for another scoop of Perpetuem.

Thursday it was back in the gym for a few trips through my lifting sets.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Allen Across America

As you all know I'm targeting RAAM in 2007, so next year. But just a few days ago I received the wonderful news that good friend, cycling phenom, and personal hero, Allen Larson is planning on returning to RAAM THIS YEAR! Allen's cycling palmares are next to none and with out further ado here's the announcement from Teresa and Allen Larsen.

Good morning,

We hope that all is going well with you and your families and that the holidays brought much joy and peace. Just a quick e-mail to let you know that Allen is officially on the roster for RAAM 2006. After a lot of change and growth the last year especially, Allen is ready and rearing to go and give it all he’s got. He is training hard and yet maintaining balance in his life with work, family and just good healthy living. He is at top notch and is ready to go and impact RAAM through his cycling and all he’s learned just about life in general. As many of you know, doing RAAM doesn’t come cheap so we are on the sponsorship wagon once again, but with big smiles as we really believe this year has purpose in many ways. If you would like to sponsor Allen or know someone who might, please let us know as we are needing to get all the commitments in as soon as possible as we are honing in on our budget. For more information on Allen, check out his website at

Thank you,
Teresa and AllenLarsen

Tuesday Recap..

Got back into the gym yestday and lifted for about an hour. As always my lifting program hasn't changed all that much, but the weights did increase slightly yesterday! So I guess thats good news. Ken's lifting program: 3 sets of (50 situps at an angle, 30 back extensions now with a 25 lbs weight, 25 rows, & 25 overhand bar pulls. By the end of the session my flexor digitorm are always on fire, forarm muscles, and I'm glad to be done, and yesterday was no different.

In the evening in between cooking salmon, aka dinner, and studying, I jumped on the rollers for a little under a hour and half to spin the TT bike for a few revs.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

RAO Website redesign..

If you haven't seen it yet you should check out the swanky new RAO website! 2006 looks to be great year for the RAO family of event, the same favorites are back, and new training camps, new races, new adventures.

For more info see: http://www.raceacrossoregon.com

Flying with the Wind!

On getting back Sunday, I was still feeling in need of a little more. As the day had progressed and the weather had improved and improved so much in fact that we actually had dry roads a first since well before Christmas. Not to miss a opportunity, after a snack, shower, and change of clothes, I jumped on the TT Bike, in full TT regalia and headed out to kick the TT bike for the first time outside. Holly smokes! The ride was nothing short of amazing. The position felt great, barreling head first down the road I felt like I was on fire, a eagle in the wind souring over the mountains. Riding the TT bike is so different from anything I’ve done before. I can’t wait for racing season to start..

Weekend Craziness..

Monsoon season let up at least momentarily and with the wet weather an recent memory Saturday it was back out with the Beavers for a little training. The group was a little smaller then usual but with all jokes, laughs, intermittent hammer sessions you really wouldn’t have known it. Heading out yours truly was leading the pack when a target, another cyclist, was spotted a quarter to half mile down the road. Seeing the target and chomping at the bit I lead the charge. The heart rate shot up and with each revolution the target inched in and soon we tagged the prize, one old dude cruising along in his aero bars.. Yeah what a prize.. (groan).. Right after making contact we hit a hill and just after the hill the old dude road back up and said something along the lines of “That’s all you’ve got?”. Myself, still recovering, I was more then happy when Becky answered the call and dropped the prey for good. The rest of the ride was relatively regular. In the ened we logged close to three hours.

Sunday – Let the Craziness Begin

Ok.. So some times we all do stupid things. Before I go into mine, let me just say right up front that I was very lucky on many, many, levels. Ok so the brief story of one moron & a pack of friends. We all met up Sunday, I’d suggested doing the Alsea Fall’s loop but we opted to ride out and preview the upcoming Cherry Pie road race course. All was good and we motored out through the farm fields surrounding the greater Corvallis region. With all the rain we have been having the rivers have swollen up and many of the fields have flooded. After an hour or so our route of choice ran into a road block of sorts. The road was covered by a good 4 inches of flowing water. What to do? The correct choice, turn around and ride some where else. Our choice? Hey its only four inches, lets give it ago. Well this first crossing went well. Then again we hit another road block this time the water was calm but slightly deeper, again we gave it ago with the hope that it would be the last bottom bracket cleaning crossing. Then we hit the big one. This one looked a little deeper and had what looked like a fairly strong current flowing through it. Better judgment would have for sure turned back here. But convinced it was the last crossing and with excess confidence I set out to make the crossing with other riders following closely behind. At first all was good, then the water deepened and the current increased. Think air has a lot of drag try fast moving water. Yeah, so as you guess, the current tipped me over and I bailed and got swept down stream chasing after the bike. Waist plus deep in fairly fast muddy water my feet just churned in the mud and I couldn’t see anything. Then moving down stream the bottles came up, yes they float even when filled with Cytomax, and the pink Cytomax really contrasted against the sea of brown murky water. Then I saw a bike tire. Yes! Thank the lord the tires float, the bike didn’t get caught on anything underwater, and the wheels had yellow stripes on them. I then tried to pull the bike out but couldn’t get back out, the feet had no traction, and I couldn’t pull against the force of the water. Moving down stream I ended up floating out on the other side of the stream. In the end I saved everything & the bar tape got really clean but it was very scary and I’m never, ever, ever going to do that again. Even with being completely drenched I was still amazingly warm and after a cliff bar we turned it around and headed back to higher ground. In the end the ride was a little over 4hrs with the swim.

Roller, Wednesdays

Hit the rollers for an hour plus..


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Into the Wind..

Wow, Monday kicked my ass. Ok so maybe, riding hard the two previous days then lifting Sunday evening isn't the best of prep but still wow. Ok, so the plan was to meet up at the Bean, toss out 3 or 4 quality hours. But by 10:00 the sky was, dark, so the plan changed, do something short and head home. Harrisburg was decided at right around 40 miles round trip it generally takes about two hours. Heading out of Corvallis, everything seemed fine, but once on Peoria I some how knew it was going to take a little longer as the wind tried to rip the long underwear out from under my jersey. The 40 mile recovery cruise became a 12 mph struggle, and what should have been 2 hours was more like 3. But in the end I think its all good, because in the end it’s the tough rides which make the rider.

Tuesday - Chilled

Wednesday - A hour plus+ on the rollers just turning the legs over.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

RAO - News

Hey All,

While on today's ride Becky motored up to me on one of the climbs. I think it was something like 5%, totally unfazed by the grade, Becky said, "Ken, talk to me about this Race Across Oregon." After the climb let up, conversation proceeded. In short Becky is interested in teaming up with Becca, both cat 2 & 3 women, and racing the two-woman relay at RAO. There is no question in my mind if these two show up, that they would take the 2-woman relay record, but smacking the men's field and seizing overall course records are also a distinct possibility. Anyway these two ladies are one team to look out for in 2006!


Hammering it Home..

The weather this weekend is been nothing short of FANTASTIC! I was almost convinced that the nastiness that that's been dripping down from above wouldn't ever let up. But the record rainfall finally subsided at least briefly and with the sun there was but one thing to do spin the cranks.

Saturday's ride wasn't too long, ~3+hrs, basically it was a longer kings valley loop. But the shortness of the ride was more then made up by the overall intensity. Riding with the cycling team one rider would launch an attack then another, and another, by the end of the ride, I was more then happy to be heading back done, where after a snack I proceeded to fall asleep for 3 hrs.

Sunday, the whole crew was back plus a few more, for the fall's loop. The ride ended up being just a tad over 4 hrs, yes again not all that long. The intensity of today’s ride was a real mixture of sprints/intervals, tempo, and recovery. About halfway through the ride we came upon the landslide pictured right. I guess I didn't miss cyclocross season after all. Bringing it back in later today one thing was truly evident; collegiate season is going to be a total blast, and its only 9 weeks away, Yahooo!!

Post Ride Recovery Recover: Hammer Pro Whey Smoothie

(Hammer PRO-Whey, Yogurt, canned Peaches, Banana, & Pineapple Juice)

I think later today, I'll try to get into the gym for a little core. T


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Weekday update..

This week's been a mixture of rollers and weights. By the end of the week my calf muscles were feeling a bit tight, which dictated that it was time to break out the foam roller. It’s been awhile since I last used my foam roller. The quads and IT-band both felt find, but wow did the calfs hurt. After the big stick-o-foam, it was on to the Compex unit. With Martin Luther King day on Monday, this is a three day weekend.. Woohoo!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cycling Movie

While browsing the web I ran into this cool cycling movie, its about an hour, perfect for special evening on the rollers..

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

More Rain..

Ah, the start of another quarter. With all the rain that’s falling it must be winter quarter. Today I went looking on the OBRA website for the NWTTS listings. So far a whole lot a nada, I hope that changes soon, its one of my favorite series.

So today I got into Dixon, lifted for a bit, 3 sets of the same old. I think I'm getting stronger which feels good cause I've started to do sit-ups and back extensions with a little extra weight (25lbs) and I mis-set one of the machines by total accident and was dead in the water at 20 reps only to notice that I was 10lbs to heavy, after notching it back a bit I easily finished off my set of 25.

After lifting it was back to my shelter from the rain for dinner: baked chicken marinated in Italian salad dressing with rosemary and fresh ground pepper, 16 oz (1-bag) mixed frozen veggies, 1 roasted onion & 1 roasted carrot, and a large salad. Post dinner it was on the rollers for a quick 2 hrs and then a small recovery smoothie (hammer pro whey in yogurt with a dash of pineapple juice).


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dumped On

Saturday the team met up a little after 10 at the Bean. Then 5 or so strong it was out to Decker to ride the loop. The catch, there always seems to be one this time of year, was that it was pouring down rain, and we had to thread our way over a covered bridge to make it past some streams which were flooding. Well heading out towards Decker, I proposed we continue on and climb up to the cut off to Marries. After a concerted effort lobbying, the group relented and we started the very wet assent. After Marries it was back on Decker road and then in. The ride was short, but I was soaked and wet.. So it was nice to be done a tad early.. Ride Time 2.5 hrs. In the evening I went by Dixon to lift, but Dixon was closed, so it was back home for another 2 hrs on the rollers watching the new Steven Spielberg movie “War of the Worlds”, my review, two thumbs down.

Sunday, three of us met up at the Bean, and from there it was out to a quick loop around Albany. With classes picking up tomorrow the ride had to be kept short. Later in the afternoon it was back into the gym for a core workout. Finally in the evening after fish tacos. I popped in a tour dvd and ended up riding the rollers for a tad over 3.5 hrs. A little longer then I'd planned, I was hooked, I had to see who would win.

Cheers, It’s Tartan Time!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Spinning the Wheels..

Ah Oregon, how I love thee in the summer and in the winter I'd prefer to be in, Arizona. The winter rain storms finally let up a few days ago and as the rays of sun light, percolated through my blinds and began to dance on the spandex. I was up and in the pedals and out the door for another day of great training. The riding plans for Wednesday were to kick it on the kings valley loop, then after a brief stint at recovery, back into the weight room for a couple of hours working on the core, then finally back home for some dessert and an hour on the rollers.

Recovery Dessert: Low Fat Plain Yogurt + Fruit + Hammer Pro Whey Protein Powder (Yum!)

Thursday, the weather still going strong, I was back out on the king’s valley loop, and then in the evening it was 2+ hrs on the rollers.

Friday: The rain is back, time for more weights and a recovery day.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

2006! Yahoo! Resolutions for 2006, more regular blog updates, (laugh).

Training in December is always difficult. After finishing my last final on the 6th I decided to do a cold century and pedaled out to Newport. I figured that since the day before classes started in September I'd ridden to the coast it was only fitting to do the ride again the day after classes finished. The plan, ride, eat clam chowder on the coast, and ride back but some how the chowder didn't happen. On the way back I was in the middle of one absolutely stupendous bonk when I stopped ate a snickers, and felt sick. The ride was great, the snickers wasn't. The rest of the week was a serious mish mash of weights, riding, etc. After finishing up my research assistant duties I headed back to my parents place for a few days to do some training in the valley before heading up to Seattle to see some friends and log some more serious training.

The trip to Seattle, ended up being a real mixed bag. Seattle was engulfed in a cold snap and the first day out on the road while riding with my crew chief I hit some ice and went down hard. Thankfully nothing on me or the bike broke but the chin ended up requiring 12 stitches. Joy! After that little incident I was more in the mood to log some time on the cross country skis then continue to further risk my chin. Returning back to my parents place the weather was a real mixture of December crappyness and December suckyness so since then I've more or less been stuck indoors doing a mixture of computrainer and roller workouts. Then the computrainer shorted out so it was just the rollers.

Which brings me to today. I decided that I'd been stuck indoors for way to long, it was time to get back out and hit the road for a few revolutions regardless of the weather. I was finally out the door a little after noon and road a quck kings valley loop through a mixture of showers and wind. On hitting the hwy 22, I went down to Monmouth, before turning around and bringing it back in through the wind and rain. The wind and rain on the way back were so strong it took me nearly as long to do the final 20 miles back to Corvallis as all the preceding miles. In the end the ride ended up working out to nearly exactly 4 hrs..

Happy New Year! - Its Tartan Time!