Rev 3 Race Report

| July 10, 2012

from Brad Kehm, AKA: BK (newsletter 7/10/12)

There are certain times in life when you reach the Pinnacle. Times when you feel like you are on top of the world. You set your goals, you prepare and train to hit those goals, then you exceed expectations. I am certainly not an expert in life coaching; however, I can tell you that between the highs there are lows. We all go through the lows at some point, but to get back to the summit you have to experience some tough times. You have to learn to gut it out through the tough days…not only in training, but also at work and home.

Work has been tough for me this year, specifically from January through the end of our fiscal year in May. We fought tooth and nail to hit budget for the Tennis category at Nike. I worked 80 hour weeks and my training suffered. But, I still kept going. I went skiing on Mt.Hood in March and took a bad fall. Didn’t think anything of it until I started getting some hamstring pain in training. I thought I pulled something. I kept training. I ran the Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon on May 20 in 2:02 on limited training and felt pretty good. Except the day after the race, I had a lot of pain. I took three weeks off. Still a ton of pain. Joella kept giving me workouts and I kept working hoping I would heal up without a ton of training. Last week, the pain was so bad I demanded an MRI from my primary care physician. My request was granted and we found torn cartilage in my right knee from the ski trip on Hood…I know exactly when it happened there, my right knee is my good knee-I have no cartilage in my left knee. Again, no excuses. I am going to compete until they have to replace both of my knees! Mom’s and Dad’s…FYI…these are both pre-pubescent football injuries. Please don’t let your kids play football at a young age.

So, this week I had a huge dilemma to deal with. Like all of us, I set goals with Jo this year. Rock and Roll was goal #1. Rev 3 Olympic was goal #2. My dilemma…try to race and see where my fitness was without a ton of training or walk away and skip the race. 5 years ago I would have skipped the race. That’s not me anymore. I called my Doc and asked her if it was a liability to race and she told me I wouldn’t do anymore damage to my knee if I was running straight ahead or cycling. So, I called Jo and let her know I was racing this weekend. She said she would be happy with 3 hours. I knew that meant 3:15 or under. It was go time and how bad could it be…I was racing Clydesdale again and knew I would be with some other big boys.

It was a great feeling to go to the expo yesterday and get my stuff. I met some guys at the Athlete’s Lounge, a local triathlon shop, and they fixed my bike up for me. My last race was Louisville so it was good to be back in the game. My expectations were to get through the race no matter what the time. So, last night, I packed my gear up in my GFF backpack, broke my new GFF kit out, and got everything organized. I woke up without my alarm at 5AM…guess I was excited. I drove out the to the race at 6AM. Stopped by McDonalds for an Oatmeal and coffee and chugged a couple of gallons of water. The forecast for PDX Sunday was 90 degrees and that is about as hot as it gets out here. I hit transition at 7AM. Everything was set. Race start was at 8AM. Water was 73 degrees and wetsuit legal so I put on the suit. Gun goes off and I start the swim. I was hurting. I haven’t been swimming. I was sweating, cramping, and miserable. I told myself to keep pushing.

Out of the water in 36 minutes. Not great, but hey…REALLY? I haven’t been swimming and I will take it. Quick transition and I am on the bike. I start off slow, but start feeling it. Please note a 1/4 of the course was under road repair and it was SO bumpy. 26 miles later and I finish in 1:12:00. Yes, I am a cyclist. I averaged 23.5 mph. Into T 2 and I am on the run. Boy, what a year of NOT racing will do to you! My legs felt like cement. I hurt all over and I have the torn cartilage thing working against me. But, you all should know by now, and I don’t want to sound cocky, the one thing I pride myself in is being tough as nails.

Being mentally tough will get you through 99% of all life situations. I kept telling myself to stay moving and steady. I finished the run in 1:05. Not bad, considering I went really hard on the bike. Total time was 2:57. I wandered over to check my time and the REV 3 volunteer said, “Mr. Kehm, congrats you placed 2nd in Clydesdale today. Nice bike split.” I was so happy. Normally that time wouldn’t hit the podium, however, it was really hot this afternoon. On the run it was 94 degrees. I guess I just gutted it out more than my competitors. One thing I know for sure…I will never let one of my teammates down with a slack performance. I will never put on the GFF kit without giving it my all. Why? Because it’s not acceptable. Because we all need to learn to be “comfortable, feeling uncomfortable.” Joella, Jason, Greg, Caleb, Sue, Rick, Nan, Chad, and the rest of this team are fighters and have so much to give to others. One thing you can do for me is keep encouraging more people to Get Fit!

The last year has been an amazing experience for me and my family. I got a promotion at Nike, Finished an Ironman, and raced cyclocross. All of this wouldn’t have happened ,if it were not for Joella Baker and GFF. The team takes the fear out of everything. There are no excuses because someone will always be waiting whether it be at the Y pool, at CVE for long runs, or on long summer rides. I miss all of you a ton. Know that…and if you are ever in Portland, please come by and say hello. You all are family to me.

As I write this I am on a 5 week sabbatical from Nike. It’s a gift from the company for 15 years of service. Yeah, I’m that guy. The company guy. I have a tattoo on my calf and I love this place. So far,it’s awesome to be at home with my wife and kids and to see their lives on a daily basis. And, it doesn’t stink when you can say you are getting paid to train professionally for 5 weeks! What’s next for me? A little ortho surgery on my knee in two weeks, rehab, Stumptown 1/2 Ironman on August 5, and then Team Nationals in Miami. And who knows…maybe my favorite race in the world in November… Miamiman. Oh and I forgot to mention…a ton of pool work and cycling until my next race!

My message to you all…keep setting goals. Don’t get comfortable with mediocrity. We are all Champions and never forget that! Stay tough and hope to see you in OKC!

All the best-BK

Category: 2012, Team Blog

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