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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.

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