Sunday, December 30, 2007


After Thursday's ride with Cory I was really feeling like things were coming together physically. I am getting in better shape and the sit and grinding away is getting better I found out today that I am needing just a bit of time off. I think anyway.

This past Friday I got up early and went to the gym. I ran my 4 miles in 30 minutes and lifted harder than I have in moves. I was feeling it pretty good for the rest of the day. Then Saturday morning I did some core work and some squats with weights and some other calastetics. Then last night we had some of Tammy's coworkers over and I hit the hay around 2 in the morning. Getting up this morning wasn't easy (I didn't push snooze though!) and I just wasn't wanting to go riding for whatever reason. I showed up for our little group ride about 10 minutes late. I hate being late. I really didn't have much gusto and about 1.5 hours into the ride I wanted to call it quits. I think we ended up riding about 2 hours and I have no clue how many miles it ended up being.

The plus side was that I picked up Other Paul's Cyclops trainer and will give that a go. I need to get a slick tire put on as the hum of knobbies is enough to drive a person mad.

Happy training.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Okay, I will admit, I am going to make a few goals. I will purposely set a deadline for one week instead of trying to change my ways forever. I will give these two goals one week and if I can make it then I will go for two. So, here you go:

Resolution number one: Do not push snooze button for one week.

I emailed my brother Mark this past week with a link to a watch that Cory had recommended checking into that has an alarm that supposedly wakes you up within a certain time frame at the best time for you to wake up. Since I have a real problem with pushing snooze I emailed Mark to ask him about the watch and my problem with the snooze. I told him that I want to wake up at 5:00 to start working out, but often times push snooze 3-5 times each morning and then don't work out most days. My brother Mark manages two sleep clinics in Phoenix and I would consider him an expert on sleep. Here is his response (remember this is an email to his brother and not a research article!):

I've never heard about this watch, but a couple of years ago I did a
bunch of research on a device that would fit on a patient's arm and two
fingers. Basically these things just work on body movement and heart
rate, which change all the time throughout sleep and aren't necessarily
associated with between sleep/wake cycles. Without seeing brain
activity there's really nothing that can measure if you are asleep.

Most of the reason people have such a hard time waking up at 5 is that most people enter their last and longest REM period right before they wake up, which on average takes about 6 hours to get into. What’s happening is that you’re waking yourself up toward the last 3rd (30-45min) of your last REM period. Well that pisses off your brain and your body because REM is your most restorative sleep, and messing it up can cause a number of issues from simply day time tiredness to chronic injuries. And that’s why you constantly hit your snooze and have a really hard time getting out of bed.

A word about snoozing: This is a horrible habit to have when it comes to sleep. Now everyone snoozes some, but to continually do it you’re robbing yourself of uninterrupted REM sleep. Even though you go to bed with every intention to wake up at 5am, if you’re not going to get up it’s far healthier to just sleep until you REALLY need to get out of bed. You probably would tell a difference in energy level instantly after getting yourself trained not to snooze for 30 min or in your case an hour

There are ways to get yourself to enter your REM period sooner upon waking up so to maximize your REM sleep:
- Try to cut back on caffeine as best you can. Though caffeine is a wonder stimulant a lot research shows that it causes your REM latency to be increased. Best thing is to not drink any caffeine 3 hours before going to bed.

- Go to bed an hour earlier. Obvious I know

- Exercise, but you already have that down.

- Don’t use your snooze. Wake up when you want to wake up and you can slowly train your body to change its sleep cycles appropriately

- Have an orgasm. Yep that’s right!!! It helps you relax and that in turn helps you get started on your REM cycles faster. Research proves it!!

- Some meditation will work too. I have been doing this during the day and it seems to help with me. Just take ten minutes during the day and shut your eyes. This causes your brain to give off strong alpha waves, which are super good for your brain and your disposition.

Resolution number two:

Off the internet no later than 8:00 pm. This will be good for me. I usually am getting on around 10 or so when my daughter is going to bed and then I just surf away until 11 or later. Not good if I am wanting to get up at 5:00!

I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunday morning ride

Cory, Matt, and I are planning on taking off from Ada Haden park at 10:00 on Sunday. If you would like to join in the fun meet us there. You might as well leave a comment or call me at 641 232-0027 to let me know that you are coming so we don't leave without you. We are looking at 40-60 miles.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

WOW! I love winter riding!

Picture stolen from Cory's blog!

What an incredible day! I slept in until 9:00 AM. Yes! Then I made some coffee and ate my Sugar Smacks! I knew Cory would be coming around 10:00 for our ride so I started getting ready to go. We got started around 10:30 or so. We had no clue where we were going to ride so I decided that we would just ride a loop of mostly gravel around Ames in a clockwise fashion. Click here for the route. I thought it would be around 20 miles. Opps. This is just too typical of my rides. It ended up being just a hair until 35. We took off at a comfortable pace and were having a ball. I had woke up with a NASTY cold with my head pounding. Not that I told Cory, but if he had called to call it off I would have been ok with it as I just felt like crap (of course I would have missed out on seeing Cory again which would have sucked).

Within the first couple of miles I was feeling great. Isn't that how it goes!??! We weren't setting any speed records by any means but we had great conversation catching up on how things are going now that Cory is living the good life in Salem, Oregon.

We continued to push with both of us complaining just a tad about losing our fitness and reminiscing about last year's winter rides. We did some crazy stuff last winter that is for sure.

I sure miss Cory. My friendship with him is a good one. With my day to day busyness with work and family life I can TRULY appreciate my friendship with Cory. He has this incredible attitude and it has even improved since I first met Cory around two years ago. Two years ago it was apparent to me that he wasn't the most happy person with his job. Sometimes even coming across with a bit of angst. Then... his girlfriend Jess started looking at law school and he was looking at going to UBI to learn the art of building bikes. He started the count down on his blog from nearly a year out and he became (at least from my prospective) more laid back and comfortable knowing that better things than a 9-5 job that he disliked was coming down the pipe. He then saved all kinds of cash (his job did pay well!) and paid off everything. Now, living in Salem, Oregon he has taken several months off of the day to day grind. Wouldn't we all love to do that?

So, to see him today was wonderful. He had a presence about him that was that he was living the life. And.... he is. I am so happy for him. He is a very sharp guy with tons of talent in so many things. For him to take a break like this is something we all could use. I am happy that he has done it. Once again, having the nads to pay off all debt and live off of savings is quite the accomplishment. I can't wait to see all the things he accomplishes.

So... back to the ride! We rolled into Gilbert with about 35 miles in. We walked in to the house to find that it was about 1:15! I think we rode for about 2 hours 45 minutes or so. We went inside and drank a pot of coffee and just chilled for a bit. What a wonderful day of vacation!

Cory, thanks so much for taking the time away from your family to spend a bit of time riding. It is appreciated.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Taking advantage of some vacation time!

This afternoon I rode from my parents house in Forest City to Tammy's parents house outside of Britt. Here is the route. I actually was able to ride just a tiny bit (and I mean tiny!) of the Trans Iowa V.1 route. It was fun thinking about how those guys must have been feeling at 7-8 at night after 14 hours of riding with a 30-35 mile per hour wind. More on that later...

So I rode the route into a 10-20 mile per hour wind and I will admit I was toast near the end. I was starting to cramp up just a bit, and then quite a bit in the final push on the last hill. I sure hope this single speeding deal gets me stronger, because it sure can be a lot of work! Which I am absolutely loving so far! I look forward to throwing on a 36 tooth ring just to further the punishment. Which gets me back to TI V.1. Patrick Humenny finished the race with a 44 X 16 gearing. Can you imagine? I rode 32 X 17 on a 29er today and it hurt. Paddy was the inspiration to ride single speed so thanks Paddy!

I am going to take tomorrow off and Cory and I are planning on riding on the 27th. If you want to join in on the fun leave Cory or I a comment.

Happy suffering

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pop up versus snooze

I had a strange thought go through my head when I woke up at 5:30 this morning feeling wide awake. I am currently on vacation, like much of you, and for whatever reason when I woke up this morning I popped out of bed like it was nothing. I was ready to tackle the day. What makes this so ironic is that during the week I can push the snooze button 2-3 times EASILY, and sometimes, I can literally push it for 45 minutes. In other words, 5 times! My wife, on the other hand, has the alarm go off at 5:00 am and she is usually jumping out of bed completely rested at 4:50 before the alarm even goes off! Why is it that I DREAD getting out of bed each morning? I feel horrible about it as I feel so lazy, which undoubtely, I am in the morning. What makes a person snap out of bed with ease versus pushing snooze for the upteenth time?

Any hints?

Update: After getting up and watching, yes watching Tammy do her hour long workout, I donned the clothes and headed out for an hour bike ride. It was 10 degrees with 25-40 mile per hour winds and windchills way to cold to think about. Fortunately the clothes worked out, but wind sucked. I literally had to pedal hard down a 2-3 percent grade hill just to make it down. Seriously. So, I was having so much fun I ended up riding two hours and stayed warm the whole time. This is what I wore:

Smartwool socks with Cannondale windproof socks. Northwave boots with Pearl Izumi neoprene boot covers. Feet were warm except against the wind and they were just a touch cold.

Cycling shorts under fleece running tights with Adidas running pants over them. Legs felt great.

Duofold shirt, another duofold shirt, jersey, medium weight fleece coat, wind proof coat.

Balaclova and a wool hat.

Ski gloves.

I was probably warmer, especially when riding with the wind, than I am sleeping from snooze to snooze each morning. Doesn't make sense does it!??!

Happy training!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Riding to the border!

So, would anyone be interested in riding from Minnesota to Missouri via mostly gravel roads on the weekend of March 22 and 23? We would start from Emmons, Minnesota and end at Lamoni, Iowa. The route will be roughly 270 miles (ok, probably just a bit further!) Here is a VERY TENTATIVE route.

Some pluses to this route:

Usually at this time of year there is a northwesterly wind. Hopefully we can get pushed most of the way.

We will have plenty of towns to go through. At mile 128 or so we will be going through campus town in Ames where there will be more beer and pizza than we would care to devore with another 140-150 miles to go!

The southern part of the state is full of rollers so it would be fun!

It would be a group ride and not a race!

The start and finish will be VERY close to interstate 35 so to have your family provide a bit of support it would be a piece of cake!

The negatives?

Ummmm We might have a stiff wind from the south that weekend. If so, we will run the course in reverse! Heck, we aren't riding this to kill ourselves! We just want to ride a whole heck of a lot of gravel across the state!

Spread the word and get back to me either via this blog or via email at thejacobsons at If I get 5-10 "Heck yes I am interested!" then I will start getting things organized. If not, well, then just a few of us crazies will do it. It sure would be fun to have 10-20 guys and gals to do at least half the course!

Let me know!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I took off for a ride today to brave the ice. I have never seen so much ice on the roads for this long. I swear the city and county crews have given up as the roads are still in horrible shape, even in town.

I took off for Ames as I wanted to deliver my Forerunner GPS watch to Matt so he could measure out his ski routes. It was a wonderful ride into town. I know I have only been back running and lifting for the last three or so weeks, but I could tell that I was stronger on the pedals. Time to increase the gear ratio! Cruised around Ames, even giving the ISU cross country course a try, but the snow was still a little too soft. Except the sledding hill which I had a blast riding down! I cruised around the icy trails and side streets before hitting the gravel east of Ames to get home. Just a bit over 3 hours total.

The new boots worked amazingly well in the 17 degree temps. I didn't use the neoprene shoe covers today as I wanted to see how the boots would do alone. My toes were just starting to get a bit cold near the end, but certainly not stinging cold! With my neoprene boots over the cycling boots I should be good to go to near zero I would think. Especially if I add some chemical warmers.

Matt told me that my rims are done so I am very excited about that! Now I just have to come up with $400 bucks! And before Christmas! Fortunately, I have been saving a bit for these so hopefully it doesn't hurt too badly!

Happy training!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I am sure this is the Steve McGuire that finished TI last year and competed in the GDR as well:

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A Coralville woman and her two children were pulled from their sinking car Friday by bystanders who saw the vehicle veer off an Iowa City road and into the Iowa River.

Iowa City police say Michelle Kehoe, 33, was distracted by 6-year-old Sean Kenoe, and 1-year-old Seth Kehoe, as she was driving. The car went out of control, struck a curb and plunged into the icy river at about 4:30 p.m.

Josh Shepherd and Steve McGuire, of Iowa City; Cory Rath, of Cedar Rapids; and Mark Petersen, of North Liberty, jumped into the water and pulled the Kehoe family to safety before the car sank.

Police said several other witnesses helped the Kehoe family and their rescuers after they exited the river until emergency crews arrived.

The Kehoes and Josh Shepherd were taken to University Hospital where they were treated for exposure.

The others declined medical treatment at the scene.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Work and a bit of working out!

This has been a busy week even though we did have one day off due to the weather. Yesterday was a 14 hour day and I, like you I am sure, dread those long days even though they are very productive. Thankfully, my long days are productive.

On Tuesday I just got a 30 minute run in and tonight another 30 minute run and a weight session. This is how my typical run session goes:

Start off between 8:30-9 minute pace for the first .5 to 1 mile to warm up. I always run the treadmill at random so I am always running up hill at varying degrees. After the warm up session I will push the speed up button once ever .25 miles or twice every .5 mile with no real pattern to it. One psuh of the button is about 7 seconds per mile or so. So I go 8:30 then 8:23, then 8:15, 8:08, etc. I continue this until I have maybe 5 minutes left ( I am usually at 7:30 pace or so at this point) and then I will push the speed up button once or twice for every .1 miles. So, with about 1:30-2 minutes left then I push the up button every 10 seconds so I get down somewhere around 6:30 or so. So far this is comfortable. I think it ends up that my average is around 7:50-8:00 per mile, but I hardly am ever at that pace when it comes down to it. I am going to keep this up for at least another couple of weeks. And then I will probably do something different, maybe some repeats or something with a longer run of 6-10 miles once a week. I like to call workouts like I am doing Fartleks, which I believe in French means speed play.

Hopefully, we can get a decent day to melt off these gravel roads a bit so they aren't so icy. They truly suck right now.

Happy training.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

SWEET! One to try!

Snow days are great! No school today! %^)

I was checking out some cross tires and found that Schwalbe makes the Racing Ralph in a cross tire! These tires are 35's and weigh in at 340 grams

This is very exciting news to me as I rode my last 26 X 2.1 Racing Ralphs for 4500 miles before I decided they had had a enough. I finished both Dirty Kanza's with this tire. I found them to be pretty fast, very comfy, and incredibly durable.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Enough is Enough Already!

So, here we are around over 4.5 months away from TI and I am already obsessing. I swore this was not going to happen again. Last year, I didn't even commit to riding Dirty Kanza until the week before the race and it was arguably my best race yet. Why can't I do that for TI? It just makes it that much more daunting.

I did order my rims. Hopefully they work out well!

Salsa Delgado Race 29er rims
DMR Revolver hubs
DT Swiss Super Comp

$400 built.

Would you run a cross tire, such as the Kenda Small Block 8, for TI or would you run a 2.1 tire? I need as much speed as possible.

To help keep myself somewhat accountable I hope to add just a bit about what I am doing for training thus far.
Out of the house to the gym at 5:15. Thirty minutes of stairmaster as the dreadmills were all packed! Then 30 minutes of weights.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Well, I didn't end up riding after all. Well, at least not yet. I drove some of the gravel last night and after getting nearly an inch of ice this past week they are horrible. I have ridden in some pretty nasty conditions, but these conditions just aren't the safest. Being hard core and tough is one thing, but I just don't want to risk it right now.

Well, this past week has been a good one. I have been going to the gym on a regular basis and I am beginning to get my butt back into shape. I have lifted now four times this week, ran 3.5 miles at a steadily increasing pace up to around 6:30 pace, and today did an hour of the stairmaster. I could tell just the little bit of single speeding I have done has helped with the stair master quite a bit. So, I will keep this up and see how things go.

I have been really considering getting a bigger chain ring for the Flight or turning my Ibex into a single speed. I rode the Ibex for the first time since Labor Day weekend a couple of nights ago and I was just shocked at how different it felt compared to the Flight. Not in a bad way, just different. I need to get going on some short rides in the mornings or afternoons with a tough gear so all of the workouts are pushing me instead of riding 10-15 miles with a gear that is tolerable. I need to be getting pushed so that I can get faster. One thing I learned at TI V.3 was that I needed be a faster rider so I don't have the mental side beating myself up that I am not going to make it in time.

If you have any advice on a 36 tooth chain ring that won't break the bank I will take it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saturday ride

So, I had a few people talking about riding on the TI training ride and it sounds like some of you guys are still wanting to go. Of course, I am game for anything, I just want to make sure that we aren't riding on a skating rink either. With this new snow the roads should be a bit better. Chime in if you are wanting to still go for a long ride, but maybe not a century, on Saturday morning? Let's say 50-70 miles instead of a century leaving around 7-8 AM.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride

Well, I am about 95% sure I am going to cancel the Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride for the this weekend! Sorry fellas, but the gravel is HORRIBLE. We have tons of ice and hard, deep grooves from when the tires of car dug into the soft gravel during the rain/ice storm this past Saturday and those grooves are now frozen solid. As of right I am planning on postponing the ride! I am sorry to do this, but I PROMISE I will have having many other opportunities for some long rides in the coming months.

Now, I did say 95%. I may still do some riding. Stay tuned!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Staying warm

Tammy and I went to the gym this morning. While my wife burns 1000 calories 5-6 days a week at the gym I haven't been there for months. I actually like going to the gym and today was hopefully the first day of some serious training before TI. We will see! %^)

I ran 3.5 miles on the dreadmill on the hills setting in 30 minutes. I wanted to take it easy as I hadn't run in a month or so. It was easy so my goal was accomplished. I then took out my weight lifting sheets from last year (still in the fill with everyone elses!). I decided to try the weights that it took me two months to be able to attain last year and it went well. There was only one lift that I couldn't do the 15 reps that I used to be able to do and that was the shoulder press where you lift the bar above your head. I have always been very weak doing that.

So, we will see if I can make it back. I also picked up a sheet on the spinning classes and Tammy actually told me that she would like to do it as well! WOW! I have never gone to a spin class so we will see how tough it really is!

Happy training.

UPDATE: Well, I just bought some Northwave winter cycling boots off of Ebay. Let's hope they work out. If not, they will be back on ebay!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


On Thursday night around 7:30 I drove about 25 miles to try out the hardest hills of the Trans Iowa Training Ride coming up next weekend. It was a blast, but I can tell I haven't been riding hardly at all over the last three weeks. I did 6 of the 10% or so grade hills and cleaned them all on the 32 X 17 gearing I had set, but the last one I honestly had to stop for 10-15 seconds as I was demoralized.

Riding these hills at night has it's positives and negatives. It is great that you can't look up and see just how much further you have to go up these beasts, but that is also part of the agony. The one hill that I stopped on had two false summits. Ugh. What was crazy was that my legs were really doing ok climbing up those hills, it was my upper body that is weak. I really have to pull on those handle bars and man.... I am just a wimp. I hope to get some more riding in tomorrow if the roads clear up at all cuz I am going to need at least a little bit more riding before riding 100 cold miles!

I was surprised that the hills really weren't as bad as I thought they would be on the single speed. For the few of you that have ridden those hills with me you know how I have no shame in dropping it down to the granny gear and spinning like crazy at 3 mph to get up those hills, but I am finding that standing and cranking away with a fully rigid bike climbs a lot better, and faster.

I guess we will see how this week goes. Hopefully I will get some riding in!

Happy training.

EDIT: Check out this ride! It looks like a great time!