Ragnarok Hypochondria

I’m a known hypochondriac. It’s funny because I can ignore aches and low level pains for ever, but once I fixate on them I notice every. little. thing. Ragnarok was one of those days, and I’m still unwinding and learning about what malfunctioned. The day started out ok. I had been fighting a sinus / respiratory bug all week, but I thought I had it under control with the inhalers full of steroids and albuterol. I took my prerequisite hits before the race, tried to choke down some last minute food, and got lined up. One year, I lined up Read More

The Alexander 380: Part 2

(This is the second half of my Alexander 380 story, the 380 mile gravel race that is the “big brother” of Almanzo.  Read the first part here.) As we left the first gas station stop at mile 70-something, we soon crossed over highway 52.  It was so tempting to cruise down the big hill to Decorah, to a hot shower, a warm bed, and excellent ice cream.  Ugh.  We pedaled on, and not long after leaving Kwik Trip the rain started to fall.  First it was a few drops, and then the sky opened up with a vigorous rain. We were Read More

The Alexander 380: Part 1

The Alexander 380.  The little known big brother of its famous baby sibling Almanzo and the middle child, the still popular but slightly less known Royal.  These three races make up a trio of notorious gravel rides in southeastern Minnesota.  The Almanzo is 100 miles, the Royal is 162 miles, and the Alexander is 380 miles.  Three. Hundred. And. Eighty. Miles.

Ragnarok 105: The Race Report

When I scoped out my spring race schedule, I was quite surprised to see that the Ragnarok 105 fit perfectly with my rough Alexander training plan, at least on paper… With  105 miles + with >8000 ft elevation, it would be excellent prep.  I’ve been ramping up hours in the saddle over the last 3+ weeks, and this event was the last long ride scheduled before a down week, and then a few more weeks of volume build before the Alexander 380.