Friday, April 25, 2008

Matthew Knoop, 1988-2008

My daughter MarKay, and Matt's sister Marney spent the first 10 years of their life together.

My very dear friends, Dave and Kay Knoop lost their son Matt April 21st in a tragic accident in Brazil, where Matt was serving a mission for the LDS Chruch. Words cannot express the emptiness everyone feels at this time. It has been said countless times that parents are not supposed to bury their children. For the first time in my life, I now know the pain associated with that statement. Our sadness is deep and our hope great that he is in a better place and that Dave, Kay and Marney will grieve, heal, live life, and someday rejoin Matt. It is that hope and belief that makes enduring such a tragedy bearable. Rest in peace our dear Mattmo.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

IHE Boost Complete

Part of the IHE protocol is to recharge every 6 weeks in order to bring the new new red blood cells created in the last 6 weeks up to the level of the cells that remain from the 3 week initialization phase. I'm told our red blood cells replace themselves every 12 weeks, so half of those guys inside me right now are new and they don't know what the other guys are doing. Now they do.

The boost phase consists of 5 - 1 hour sessions at the following levels:

Session 1 - 11% SpO2 88
Session 2 - 10% SpO2 86
Session 3 - 10% SpO2 84
Session 4 - 9% SpO2 82
Session 5 - 9% SpO2 78

I'm embarassed to say I don't totally know what the numbers mean, but, I do know that each session was harder than the prior one and by session 4 I was feeling pretty good. Session 5 was very difficult.

During sessons 1 and 2 I had to take the mask off several times during the 1st two five minute pulls. It appears I was forcing my breathing and trying too hard. During session 1 I think I may have passed out because I found myself with my head on my shoulder, dizzy and not knowing where I was. That made my wife real happy! She thinks I' crazy :-). Eric, the owner of the USA rights to this incredible technology told me to be sure to relax, recline in the chair and just breathe normally. Dont' over work and press. That seemed to work cuz I was able to do sessions 3-5 without removing the mask. That doesn't mean I didn't get light headed. I did and hopefully that means I'm receiving the desired benefits. Physiological things I experienced were the afore mentioned frequent light headness, a muffling of ambient sounds, twitchy face muscles and a big need to pee afterwards.

It's my feeling that this stuff is working. My training volume is down from last year this time, but the one XC race I did last week was stronger than last year, on what some are saying was a tougher course than 2007. My recovery is very good and I am not at all fatigued. The XC race season begins in earnest May 3rd and I will be racing for 5 weekends in a row. That's a lot of stress on my system so I'll have a better feel for how this IHE is effecting me. I'm hopeful and confident my results will be positive.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cholla Challenge

What a beautiful spot for a race.

The "over the hill" podium.

Chris, me, KC and Dwight

What a perfect day for a race. The average temp was 72F, the skies were crystal clear, there was very little wind, the course was dry and dusty and the usual suspects were there in fine form with smiling faces and happy hearts. It sounds like Pleasantville instead of stop number 2 of the ICUP Series in Hurricane Utah.

Last year this course ate many top flite riders and spit their carsasses out in the sagebrush and red rock. The buzzards had a field day with all those lean, skinny bodies dotting the desertscape. Heat, dehydration, wind and bad luck was the norm in 2007, and almost nobody was exempt. Not this year! The weather cooperated, Jerry reversed the course, it was fast, fun and nobody died. All the climbing was left to the last 3 miles, along with a nice dose of sand and gravel in the drainages, but the first 9 were reasonably well packed, sometimes dusty, and fast. My per mile average times went from 4:48 in 2007 to 4:22 this year.

My race went well and I finished 2nd, 2:13 behind teammate and ICUP points leader Dwight Hibdon. I rode with Dwight on the Rim Ride "social event" 2 weeks ago so it was fun lacing 'em up and doing battle in a real race. I hung with him the entire 1st lap but had to let him go as the 2nd lap began due to implosion and poor planning on my part. Ya see, I'm beginning to think I'm superman because I can do these long races, and, I know Lynda and Dave. Just knowin them makes me special (in my mind) and vicariously I can do what they do - go long and go hard. 24 miles is nothing! I wish I could say ignorance is bliss, but I know better. My mistake was pre-riding a full 12 mile lap before the start of the race. Dahhhhhh. That was stupid! I felt fine on the pre-ride and first lap, but that was it. The pace of a XC race is soooo different and intense, it doesn't take me long to fall apart. Dwight's pace was way too ambitious for me and I was cooked. The anerobic and VO2 max portions of my training are sorely deficient, and it shows when I race XC. My lungs are good (I think the IHE training has something to do with that) but my legs just give out. No, it's not age - it's effective, specific training that I'm lacking. Hopefully I'll get that addressed shortly, then, watch out!

Congrats go out to Chris and KC Holley. The dynamic husband/wife duo topped the pro men's and women's podium and took home the bacon! That is so cool...

All-in-all, it was a good day. I love to race and really enjoy my teammates and the friends I've made through biking. Events like this make the long, cold winter days tolerable. Helllllllllo summer!!!