Sunday, March 30, 2008

1st Zimbabwe, 2nd Australia, 3rd Hawaii

That's right! My first professional race and I made the podium...3rd.

The 3 week Noosa/Sunshine Beach training camp leading up to the Mooloolaba Triathlon gave me some much needed confidence, a fresh motivation for sport, and a new perspective (racing as a pro is VERY different than age-group). All I learned has helped me develop into a much stronger athlete and person. It was a life experience that changed me for the better in countless ways.

Being a draft-legal race I had to borrow a road bike and get to know it & love it in about 10 minutes (that is how long I played with it prior to checking it in). Coach gave me the low down on gearing & I was good to go. I could hardly believe I was about to race a road bike, a pro race, and in Australia! I was so excited and full of butterflies, much like the day of my first triathlon ever…I had nothing to lose.

Beautiful Mooloolaba, a calm ocean, running beach start, a few dolphin dives and I was off! The swim was such a feeding frenzy but I was determined to hang onto any feet within reach. I came out of the water 6th or 7th, well over a min. back from the leaders. The massive meter swimming with the Aussie’s must have paid off though because I felt “alive” out of the water rather than my usual “dead” feeling.

Once onto the bike I was full on time-trialling to get out front. Luckily there was an Aussie girl who teamed up with me and we swallowed the leaders by 1-2k into the bike. Our little pack soon formed to 6 and I was like a little kid at Christmas! I could not believe I was in a drafting race, in a pack, in the front! It was so amazing for this rookie! (I still am lovin’ the feelings I had out there). On the bike there were 3 of us taking pulls, long hard pulls, and 3 girls sort of “along for the ride”. We tried to drop them but they were strong enough to hang on & must have had a plan to “save legs for the run”. Oh trust me, I was wishing I was on my good ol’ TT bike so I could have tried to make a get-away-escape!

Onto the run… oh my gosh my legs were shook up! Maybe it was from riding in a position I was not used to or maybe from riding so hard. Within a minute of the run I was in 6th but very calm. In camp I practiced running strong after hard rides & on toasted legs. I just needed to relax, breathe, find my rhythm… I caught 3 girls about 2k into the run. THEN, Rina Hill (Australian Olympian) passed me. I was frazzled. Part of me thought, “Oh that stinks, but oh well, she raced in the Olympics & has several World Cup podiums, she has every right to pass me”. Another part of me, the one my coach is helping me believe in, thought “Hold onto her, just tuck in and hold on, you have worked so hard the past few weeks and belong there”. So I held on. About a mile later I got brave and considered to go around her & I did. I was secretly freaking out but proud that I got the confidence thing going. I pulled away from her, pretty far away in fact, and hugged that 3rd place spot for dear life & made some time up on the 2nd place woman.

Then my biggest disaster from The Great Aloha Run came back to haunt me… the 4th place girl was moving in on me & fast! Coach was at the bottom of the hill just near the finish and told me I have to move and I have to go now! He yelled to me, “Bree, your race is up this hill”. I knew he meant I can hold her off if I put time on her up the hill, but if I don’t she will get me. I put about 6 seconds on her up the hill. Running through the finish shoot I quickly turned back to see her near but not close enough to take my position. I was so happy to have not lost another sprint finish. That hill saved me! Coach saved me! I also set a new off-the bike 10k PR (36:16) AND… I got a pay check for my day at the office!

All in all I have to say my time in OZ was beyond my wildest dreams and surpassed my expectations. BUT it’s not quiet over… the scooter that haunted me nearly every workout in Australia has not left me yet… Ya, you guessed it… I have another 2 weeks with my coach chasing me down on a scooter. At least this time it is in my back yard and I know ALL the best routes to hide from him! (I am partly joking…. I am SO GLAD he his sticking with me for a couple more weeks of training with the Lavacamp).

CALLING ALL KONA GIRLS: You are invited! The Club at 5am Wednesday if you want to run on the tready’s with me and “SURPRISE-SURPRISE “Coach Paul will be there to lead the session! Lana, Brooke, Wendy, Rani, & Naughty I hope you can make it!


Blogger Fresh Life said...

YES!!! That is so cool. Sounds like you are stronger then ever... in every way. So proud!

March 30, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Blogger kerrie said...

nice! way to win that mental battle with yourself - you know that everyone is hurting but you made yourself want it more. that is gutsy.

March 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

Blogger Carolyn said...

Way to go Bree !! I am so happy for you !

March 30, 2008 at 6:35 PM

Anonymous Naughty said...

Yea! You make us so proud and watch out Wee comes!!

March 30, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Incredible! Simply Awesome - Bree you are a true inspiration. Way to work on racing aggressive and keeping your game face on. YES YES YES!

Sweet 10k pr time. Wow. VERY happy that you're a pro... :) You deserve it - all the hard work you're doing is simply amazing. Way to go and keep it up!

March 30, 2008 at 7:54 PM

Blogger jessica rae kirkwood said...

I wish I could make that tready workout. I haven't ran on the tready in a while. But they make you so fast eh.

You are friends with Rani eh? That girl flew by me at the Hilo 10.8

I'll have to head to Kona more often to train with you guys.

See you this weekend!

I'll be camping out at Spencer's... if you'd like to join my for some veggie-burgers and smores over the camp fire, you are more than welcome to !!

March 31, 2008 at 12:14 AM

Blogger Beth said...

So excited for you Bree - podium on your very first pro race. YIPPPEEEE!!! Glad it was such an awesome experience. Safe travels home!!

March 31, 2008 at 12:56 AM

Blogger Mel said...

BREE, you always make me tear up, BUT this time it was a HAPPY TEAR!!!! YEAH :) awesome race and way to believe in yourself and to go after it!!!! You are doing something you LOVE and earned a pay check, can't get better than that....Have a safe trip home and I am sure it will be a emotional/HAPPY time and arms will be wide open waiting for your arrival :)

March 31, 2008 at 1:38 AM

Blogger Speed Racer said...

Congratulations! Your first race as a pro and you placed! In AUSTRALIA of all places, and on an unfamiliar bike! Sounds like it was an amazing day. You're so badass.

Congratulations again, and welcome home (when you get there).

March 31, 2008 at 1:51 AM

Blogger Ange said...

Fantastic!!! I found your blog through Marni and I enjoy reading about your experiences so very much. Congrats on an amazing first Pro race. You inspire me so much Bree. I'm a newbie amateur from Maine but I have a passion for this sport and just Love hearing about your training. I had a super hard workout a few days ago and I thought of you and it helped me hang on. Congratulations on all you are doing. Have fun hugging your little one soon!

March 31, 2008 at 1:52 AM

Blogger alison said...

Amazing!!! You inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to feel my heart racing!
You should feel so good and proud stepping off the plane in Kona..the smell of the plumerias and your family waiting for you. Keep up the good work! Yay!!

March 31, 2008 at 2:20 AM

Blogger Marni said...

congrats on an awesome race!!! I can't believe how you pulled it all together after all that time of "Pro" training. YOu are unbelievable!!!!
Great great job!

March 31, 2008 at 2:20 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

Simply awesome! Have a safe trip home. Wish I could come to lava camp.

March 31, 2008 at 2:32 AM

Blogger Mira Lelovic said...

Congratulations, Bree! Enjoy your first pay check! I'm sure you will have many more of those coming your way :-)

March 31, 2008 at 2:37 AM

Blogger Kellye Mills said...

Yeah Bree!! When I looked up your results and saw that you had finished 3rd, I was SOOOO very proud of you! And then to read this and realize that you did it by really holding onto that spot right there at the end shows just how much you're earned it!!

Congratulations! You are in for one heck of a rookie year!!

March 31, 2008 at 2:40 AM

Blogger Iain Banks said...

Great result Bree, what a way to start the season....the only way is up!

March 31, 2008 at 2:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SUPER JOB, Bree! Way to stay tough and gut it out for a podium spot for your 1st PRO race! Yahooo! Enjoy being home soon! Jen H.

March 31, 2008 at 2:55 AM

Blogger TB said...

SWEET! I don't think it was the hill that saved was all the preparation for that hill that saved you!!!

Onward and Upward!

March 31, 2008 at 3:02 AM

Blogger Leigh Anne said...

Wow Bree...congratulations!!! Im so happy for you...way to go!!!

March 31, 2008 at 3:10 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

Your "Ri-Cow" family is so proud of you! You showed the world that you deserve to be a pro! You are truly an inspiration... Can't wait to see you soon!
WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

March 31, 2008 at 3:54 AM

Blogger Pedergraham said...

Yippee!!! I was looking at the race results yesterday and thinking to myself that you must have had a great race--you passed that Rina Hill and I remembered that she was a fast ITU-er. So great to read about it here IN DETAIL. I felt like I was right there. (I can even hear that darn scooter!)
Safe travels home!

March 31, 2008 at 4:12 AM

Blogger Cy said...

Great job-Aside from your obvious physical skills, you have such an outstanding mental game...That's what makes the difference!! AWESOME.

March 31, 2008 at 7:16 AM

Blogger Ashley said...

Uh, yes... "Hi, my name is Ashley, and I'll have what she's having!" ROCKSTAR! Awesome job!!

March 31, 2008 at 7:42 AM

Blogger Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

Awesome job Bree!

March 31, 2008 at 8:20 AM

Blogger Jen in Budapest said...

Bree, I am so proud of you. Really. I don't even know you but I'm just so proud of you. Keep shinin'!! :D


March 31, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Blogger Emmalee said...

Congratulations on your Moloo whatever. haha. Pretty soon I'll get to congratulate you in person....I can't wait to see you and brooke.

March 31, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Blogger MaryMaryMyers said...

Oh Breely you are ALL PRO! Your hard work and dedication and courage and FAITH has taken you this far....WAYTOGO! And I know you'll just keep on going and going and going!
All God's Blessings!
Peace and Love,

March 31, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Blogger kerri said...

Another CONGRATULATIONS!!!! WOW!! Now, off to home....YEAH!! Loved your best memory photos, too! Cheers

April 1, 2008 at 1:42 AM

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