Something had to give

I just wrote about 4 paragraphs of sappy mumblings about how the past few days haven’t really gone as planned.  Workouts weren’t that great and I had to spend a Zipp wheel’s worth on my car.  Yada yada…you don’t want to hear about it and I don’t need to be whining.  So instead of that I will simply say this.  When you start to feel sorry for yourself, STOP and watch this –> ,then go about your business.


KIWAMI saves the day!

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” ~Sam Ewing

It’s not always easy and some days are going to hurt more than others…and today was one of those days.  The workout plan itself was not over the top by any means.  I’ve had longer and more intense sessions already this season.  What made it so darn tough was how mentally trying it was. (I will add that I did go through some decent physical suffering as well)  Along with the mental and physical obstacles, today also came with its fair share of WTF’s.  Like after I wrapped up my outdoor segment of my ride and reset my garmin.  When it correctly resets itself you would expect to be able to then go back and see in the history section the data from the ride right?  Nah…not with my trusty Garmin 500.  The F’er decided to just erase it completely without even asking me.  I don’t live and die by my data and the fact is the power was off because I was using a spare power tap from the shop that was not calibrated to my bike, the speed didn’t matter because I climbed like 5 huge hills within the 3 hours and the cadence was irrelevant because of all that climbing.  BUT the one thing I did want was to be able to upload the file to STRAVA!!!  If there is one single thing I am most livid about today it is that…now I do not get any climbing points in the Specialized challenge nor do I get to share my work with my Strava followers.  It is truly heartbreaking.

So lets recap what happened today and why it became one of the toughest days I have ever had while training.  It started off at about 5:45AM when my iPhone alarm abruptly woke me from a really good sleep.  With cat-like agility I swiped the screen lock button and turned that b#$%h right off.  I did not have to work today and I was going to wake up when I darn well pleased.  That ended up being 7:30.  I rarely sleep past 6AM so getting up at 7:30 was a bit of a shocker and in all honesty I could have gone back to sleep but I felt that if I did not attempt to start the day that I would have absolutely no chance of getting my long ride done.  So there I was, with one eye open and the other one crusted shut because I forgot to take my contacts out the night before, driving to the grocery store to get the jar of applesauce and shower soap I had neglected to obtain the night before because I was “too tired”.  The applesauce was for my breakfast so I could practice my pre-race nutrition.  I usually do this on my long training days to make sure my body is acting behaving properly.  After the quick purchase of goods at the Safeway and the weird look from the cashier…I was really a mess, Hoody on with the hood up, gym shorts, moccasin slippers and a 8 day beard….yeah I looked good; I strolled on over to Starbucks to get a giant coffee and a couple more weird stares from the female baristas.  Back at home I got after breakfast and for some reason I ate like a starving ravenous coyote.  Yeah a COYOTE, who hadn’t ate in 4 days.  I usually don’t get all carb crazy like that but this morning the english muffins were just too good and the cheerios were SPOT ON.  After eating enough for 4 people I still felt a bit hungry but felt I better cut myself out so that I would not created any unwanted “issues” during the training day.  Some other things happened between the hours of 7:30 and 10:30 but nothing else to bore you with.

I was on my bike by 10:45 and set out from Athletes Lounge in search of hills, lots of hills.  I had a grandeous idea of climbing a butt-load as I had previously been staying on the flat grounds in preparation for Texas.  Since I had 4-5 big long rides in the bank while being aero on the flats I figured it was time to change things up a bit, tire my legs out and then hit the short transition run even more tired than normal.  Plus it would help take up some time and give me a mental break.  Staying aero in the flats is cool because you can really click off the miles but boy does it make you work mentally.  Since my trust garmin decided to act up I will tell you my route instead of being able to point you to a web page.  It went something like this (if you are not from Portland you can just skip this next part because I am going to just being naming roads out here and it will most likely have no meaning to you whatsoever.  Left the A Lounge, went up through the zoo to Skyline, along Skyline and down Germantown, up Newberry, down McNamee, up Logie Trail and down Rocky Point.  All in all when I last checked my garmin (it would end up being the last time of the day I saw data) I had climbed over 4,500 feet and had about 32 miles in.  That was at the 2:40 mark I think…somewhere around that time.  All was good going through the Zoo and even down Germantown.  However, after the descent down Germantown things began to go South. The rain that had started after about 45 minutes on the bike coupled with the sub 40 degree temperatures began to really chill me to the bone.  My feet were going numb.  I trudged on and was happy to climb Newberry since climbing warms you up nicely.  The climb had me feeling good about things and I was still planning to ride the entire 5:10 outside.  This was at about 1:40 into the ride…I was ambitious.  The descent down McNamee is long and was freaking cold.  By the time I made it to the bottom I had some doubts about continuing on outside.  Those doubts quickly went away as I hit flat ground and cruised to Logie Trail.  This is about a 20 minute climb and again got me feeling better.  However, I had made the decision that after I reach the top I was going to head for home and finish the rest on the trainer.  Well, that didn’t exactly happen.  After I reached the top I just turned right and continued on toward Rocky Point.  Why?  Good question, I guess it was because before the ride even started I had wanted to climb Rocky Point, and for some reason my body kept pushing me towards it.  I went through snow and rain to get their and when I finally got to the base of the hill after having descended it I was just cooked.  My feet were frozen and my body was just cold.  I was done with being cold and wanted to get on my trainer and suffer through the rest of the workout.  The only issue was that I was about 20 miles from the shop.  I very seriously through about puncturing my tire and calling for help…the puncturing so that I wouldn’t look like a puss.  I hardened TFU and got my butt back to the shop.  During this flat stretch along 30 my heart rate actually came up a bit and I felt relatively good, but I knew that staying out in the cold for another 2+ hours was not a good idea.  I am all for being a “hard man” and suffering through crappy weather but when it gets that cold and a race is getting very close (less than 2 weeks) I just don’t want to push the sickness envelope.

So I made it back to the shop, peeled of the cold wet clothing, warmed my feet enough to allow them to depress my gas pedal and made my way back to my house.  It was 3pm and I still had about 1:45 left to go on the bike plus a 30 minute transition run.  I flipped on Netflix (Friday Nights Lights Season 3) and got down to business. Business was not flourishing but I got the work done.  After the bike I was feeling pretty smoked and the run looked like it would be sub-optimal.  In truth the run was the best part of my training as I negative split that s$%*.  The heart rate went up and pace decreased exactly how I wanted it to.  The only downside was that I was fighting some major stomach issues.  Issues that just recently took care of themselves…and not in a great way.  But at least I feel better now and can get some food in me.

This ultimately leads me to why I titled my blog the way I did.  The reason is that life threw a lot at me today and made for a pretty tough training day.  I was not feeling super great when I got back to my house after the outdoor portion of my ride.  Luckily I saw a package on the front steps.  I quickly picked it up to check it out and after jumping up and down a little because it was actually addressed to me I opened it up to find this!


Yeah, that’s right.  My very own custom tri kit courtesy of the best triathlon apparel company in the business, KIWAMI!  I really can’t thank Andre and the good people of Kiwami for getting this kit to me so quickly.  I literally tried on a sample kit for sizing purposes about a week ago and bam one week later I have a racing kit ready to go.  I LOVE PUNCTUALITY!  The kit is a prima top and bottom, the material is really top notch stuff that doesn’t absorb any water at all.  It repels water like  no other material I have ever seen or touched.  It will be great when I am pouring all kinds of water over myself in Texas, Vegas, Kona and all the other races along the way.  If you are interested in Kiwami’s products or have any questions about my kit just let me know and I would be more than happy to give you my thoughts.  And if your at a race I am at please feel free to seek me out so we can talk shop and you can feast your eyes on my smoking good looking kit 🙂  So thank you Kiwami for being a really big BRIGHT SPOT in a day that was pretty gloomy.

Also wanted to give a shout out to those “other guys” that have earned a place on the kit this year, QT2 Systems for coaching, Base Performance for Supplement support and last but certainly not least Athletes Lounge for employing me, letting me hang out even when I am not working, allow me to start and finish many a workout at the shop, recover in the recovery pump boots and for basically being the most kickass triathlon store ever.  THANK YOU!  I hope I can make you all proud this season.

Another Block Down

This past Sunday concluded the end of another 3 week building block.  This coupled with the fact that we lost an hour due to Daylight Saving Time kicking into gear made me quite tired on Sunday morning.  Ultimately leading me to skip the Sunday morning shop ride and instead sleep in a bit longer and hop on the trainer in the garage before work instead.  All was not lost though, after getting the trainer ride done along with a short transition run I made one my my best homemade breakfast’s since I moved out here.  Believe it or not I actually used a skillet and fried up some awesome turkey bacon along with fresh duck eggs (yes duck eggs, we have two ducks that live in the back yard and one of them has started to lay 1 egg a day.  I must say that the eggs are really good, heavy yolk and a lot of egg white!) and of course a piece of hearty multigrain toast.  It was quite tasty.

On the training front things have been rolling along pretty good.  Knock on wood I have been pretty healthy and my body has been holding up well.  As of late I have been making a conscious effort to stretch a bit more as I have been feeling a little tighter in certain places lately.  These past three weeks have got me very excited as I have really been able to execute all my workouts without any issues.  I am now very comfortable back in the aero position after a good three months on my road bike, my running seems solid and in the pool I feel that I have gained some speed even without a swim emphasis as I have greatly reduced my yardage in exchange for more biking and running.  I believe that this strategy which was concocted by Tim Snow, QT2 Systems Coach will allow me to reap tremendous benefits this season.

And so as with every training block comes a reduced volume week (“recovery week”) which will give me a chance to rest my body a bit more.  I will still have some strong efforts over the next few days but I will also have a day completely off.  For the first time this year I felt a bit tired this weekend, not tired from not getting enough sleep, just a bit sluggish from some cumulative training.  This is a good thing as it means I am putting in the time…but I am grateful for the extra hours in bed that I will have this week 🙂

Next week will be back to the regular load as I ramp it up for one week and then back it down the following week, which consequently is race week.  I am heading down to Texas for the Galveston 70.3 on Thursday the 29th and will be there until Monday.  Not only will I get to hang out and race with many of my friends from back East but I will also get to see my parents for the first time since early November.  This will be the longest time I have been away from them so it will be nice to spent time with them and once again share the race experience.  With Lance-Mania taking place, race weekend will surely be filled with a lot of excitement!

Pro Cards, Cardboard Boxes and Hawaiian Dinners

Alright then, its Sunday morning here in a very mild PDX.  I’ve been up for about an hour now as I had to run to Starbucks and procure two bags of freshly ground Blonde Roast for the house, as well as a Venti Coffee to go so that I could get the caffeine into my body as quickly as possible.  I will note that as the racing season is drawing closer and the fact that I simply drink even more coffee on a daily basis here in Portland, I have limited my coffee consumption to the workout specific window(s).  Meaning that I allow myself to have coffee before my morning workouts and that is it.  This usually works out to allowing coffee in my life from the hours of 5-8:30 or 9’ish at the latest. This works well for me.

Over the past few days at work I have been working on 1 project which is still not completed and will most likely take another 2 days or so.  That project came about due to the fact that the shop received over 50 boxes of “Spring Apparel/Products” from about 4 different retailers on Friday.  Hooray for new stuff!  But not hooray for the unpacking and adding into inventory and labeling all of the stuff.  Now I will say that I by no means hate this work, in fact its pretty much what I actually enjoy doing.  I am getting to use my natural “bookkeeping skills” in a situation that I actually enjoy.  What it basically comes down to is reconciling the goods on hand to what the packing list says from the shipper and then checking that against what our Purchase Order actually says in our computer system.  So being the accounting nerd I actually don’t mind doing this stuff at all.  So that is what has been going on at work the last couple of days.

In the world of triathlon I have very exciting news to share with you all.  My friend Eric, who I mentioned was racing this weekend in my previous post did indeed race yesterday and in the process took 2nd place in a very large AG Draft Legal race held in Clermont, FL.  In taking 2nd place he earned his Professional License, a goal that he has been working hard to achieve.  He had put in the training and was clearly of the ability, so the fact that he went down to a sprint race (where anything can happen because of the short distance) and got the job done is absolutely awesome.  Plain and simple he executed and got the job done.  Only the top 3 earned a pro card so it was by no means a sure thing with 85 people on the start line, but his hard work and dedication paid off and thats great to see.  I can’t wait to see how the rest of his year will go now, as well as getting him back to PDX so I can have someone to destroy me in the pool, on the bike and while running 🙂 Follow his adventures at his blog site –>  I am sure he will have a race report up soon.

Last but not least I have to mention the awesome dinner that was once again had last night at the Bamboo House Grill.  A huge plate of kalua pig (I think that was what it was called) with white rice and some mac salad was had.  This coupled with a nice kona brewed pint was a perfect Saturday evening meal.  Boy was it good….and super filling.  I think the stomach stretched a couple sizes.

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