Thursday, May 22, 2008

Battle Field of the Mind...

Running down Alii Drive-DETERMINED not to walk...

Every single training session of my life (the hard & the easy) I have 2 thoughts going on in my head. They keep me going and keep me pushing through...

  • The body achieves what the mind believes
  • If you can't do it in training you can't do it in racing

Today was the LONGEST most CHALLENGING training day of my entire triathlon life- EVER! You better believe my 2 motivational thoughts were clinging tightly to my head and heart all 8hrs. long! Yep, 8 hrs long.

I had my first 8 hour training session of my life. Ironman Japan is exactly a month away (June 22) . My focus was to make this session count, make it one worth doing well so when I am suffering on the little island of Goto (something like that) I will be able to say to myself, "Bree, you CAN & WILL do this, you made it through the 8 hours of hell in Kona..."

The workout was 5:30 hrs. on my bike followed immediately by a 2:30 hrs. run. I tried really hard to recruit some friends but nobody felt like an 8 hr. day this close to Hawaii 70.3 (I didn't blame them). About mile 60 of the ride, just when I was getting the "I am so alone" feeling I see this car come zooming along with a HUGE smile. It was my buddy Pat to keep me company! He kept driving ahead then waiting for me to pass- just keeping me going & highly entertained!

I was working VERY hard on my bike. I used a HR monitor for the first time ever in training for the entire bike ride! (thank you so much Bike Works for totally teaching me how to use it and Linda for picking out such a pretty one!) I was keeping my pace, my focus, my nutrition all dialed in. I even managed to stop for sushi (Don't worry coach the stop was only 45 seconds long!) Anyways, this was the type of ride with NO lolly gagging allowed, no stops, no nothing...

Here is where the going got tuff... 5 miles from the bike finish my pedal completely flung off my bike and out of my bike cleat! I really can't explain what happened, I lived though, but I had to pedal the last 5 miles up a little hill with only my right leg! In all actuality I was happy it happened because I know in an Ironman there will be all sorts of really weird situations that must be dealt with stress free. Up until I lost my pedal in the bushes the ride was amazing...

On to the 2:30 hr. run... about mile 3 my brain hit the spot where walking is so inconveniently located. My nutrition went GREAT, I was pacing pretty good, there was NO reason to bonk. It was just a "battle of the mind". Lucky for me Pat decided to be my partner on this ride (remember no Kona fool is running this sort of brick prior to Hawaii 70.3 but me). He rode the entire time on a mountain bike next to me! He was the best traveling aid station a girl could ever have! I wanted so bad to walk, to catch my breath, to just quit moving for a second... he never let me.

After reminding me of my 2 favorite thoughts (the body achieves what the mind believes and that if I can't do this now I won't be able to do it in Japan) I was able to keep going. I even ran up and over the hills without walking. I still can't explain the battle I was dealing with in my head... I was so dizzy, seeing stars, fainty, you name it I was experiencing it like NEVER before.

I didn't walk (thank you Pat for not letting me). After the run I was wishing I had a med-tent and an IV waiting, it hurt like post-Ironman Hawaii, maybe even worse. On the drive to Jamba Juice I had coach on the phone pulling me through... I wasn't even speaking clear or seeing straight... I ran red lights I was so out of it! After receiving my recovery instructions and actually doing them I am finally doing better. I can sit up straight and process the 8hrs of hell in Kona that I just endured...

Bree vs the battle field of the mind & I won! Mahalo again Pat, I could not have done it without you kicking my @$$ on a mountain bike!
Long ride sushi baby! And I promise coach the stop was only 45 seconds!


Blogger Patrick said...

Bree, you ROCKED today!! Even in the pouring rain!

We all know you in someway, either on the blog or in person and we see your passion and determination and what you put your mind and body through. I could write a small book about your performance today but simply put Bree, your mind will take you far but the fire in your heart lights your way to success! You are living your dream, embrace it!

Ironman buddy!

May 22, 2008 at 7:43 PM

Blogger Bruce Stewart said...

I would have trained with you if I had been there, only how, I don't know. I think I would have had to train about 15 hours, not 8. Glad you had an angel with you on the run. I once bonked so bad on the bike when on my own I could hardly make it back to the Chevron station (near the boat harbor). My arms were shaking so much I could hardly stay on the bike.

May 22, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Blogger Beth said...

Amazing Bree!! IM Japan is going to feel easy now!! :) You will be able to draw back on this experience when the going gets tough in Japan (including your 1 pedal only cycling!) and know that you DID NOT GIVE UP. YIPPPEEE!! Hope that recovery is going well and that you have a great day!

May 22, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Blogger TB said...

Pat rocks!

Great day. WOW!

Japan will be a sprint to you this year!

Train hard, race easy!

May 22, 2008 at 11:42 PM

Blogger Shelley said...

This was such an inspirational post for me, so many good things to think about when the going gets tough! This is what makes you a champ, you went out there and did it!!! yay!

May 23, 2008 at 12:27 AM

Blogger Aubrey said...

bree hey hey... gosh your training seems the pictures hope everthing is going well. when you get a chance could you send me some of those jawaiian sounds like music i would like. Hey and do you remember seeing my bathing suit at aunt erickas when we went swimming over there.. i lost it.. but jave a good week love you

May 23, 2008 at 1:43 AM

Blogger Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

This is exactly why you are such an amazing athlete! You dug deep, didn't quit, and gave it your all!! Today you learned lessons that will get your through Japan and every other Ironman you will do in the future. Your hard training training, your awesome attitude, and your determination to be great is so inspiring. Amazing job rock!

May 23, 2008 at 1:47 AM

Blogger Cy said...

Bree-You are amazing. I love the line "The body achieves what the mind believes." This is SO TRUE. I think I'll write that on my hand for this weekends race.

Keep up that high level of determination, you are such an inspiration for all.

Pat-Excellent support-What a great friend ;-)

May 23, 2008 at 1:52 AM

Blogger Ange said...

Wow!!! Amazing. I am incredibly impressed. You must feel SO STRONG!! You are the toughest person I've ever known. I pull so much motivation and inspiration from you Bree. Thank you. You have what it takes. I just Love your desire and drive. Keep up the great work! Hope today is a recovery day! A nice swim maybe?
And thank you for you encouraging words on my blog. Much appreciated!!

May 23, 2008 at 1:57 AM

Blogger alison said...

I like your mantras, especially 'the body achieves what the mind believes'..I might have to use it too! Great job on an insanely tough workout. How much distance did you actually cover in that time?

May 23, 2008 at 2:04 AM

Blogger Mel said...

CRAZY girl...8 hours of TRAINING, you are tough as nails...way to stick it out and finish in the hurt box :) Those are the BEST workouts when you are in PAIN, but good pain from giving it your all during training/race :)

WOW, Bree did you EVER imagine you were going to be a Pro triathlete and instead of being in a class room teaching all day...Now look at you.... outside for 8 hours doing something HEALTHY and something you LOVE!!! KEEP GOING :)
Love ya...hugs
BTW: Everyone needs a Pat....heart of Gold...he's a keeper :)

May 23, 2008 at 2:14 AM

Blogger LeAnn said...

You look good on the top pic...I wish I had a flat belly like you...and I cant believe you're eating sushi...looks more like a spam musubi to me!!!

May 23, 2008 at 2:47 AM

Blogger Iain Banks said...

8hrs training....all while I sitting in front of a computer screen at work.....Wow! How was the sushi?

May 23, 2008 at 2:50 AM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

You are amazing! Thanks for the quotes! Those are going up on my wall - words to live by, I strongly believe. Thanks for sharing - I can't imagine what this workout, this MEGA session was like. But you are a true inspiration! AND - Pat is an amazing sherpa! WOW WOW WOW! Can we rent him for races??? :)

May 23, 2008 at 3:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Way to stick it out, Bree and these workouts are huge milestones as you work on reaching and exceeding your goals this year - and especially @ Japan!!! NICE work and kudos to Pat for his help! Enjoy the recovery (for a short time, I am sure!). Jen H.

May 23, 2008 at 3:20 AM

Blogger Jennifer Cunnane said...

Wow, even superstars like you feel like they want to quit! It was nice to read about how you mentally dealt a power punch back to the "I feel like I want to walk and/or quit now" - I love the quotes to. Good mantras for me to remember next tough workout or race.

May 23, 2008 at 4:03 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

I wish I looked as adorable as you do in spandex! You are unbelievable! Go! Go! Go! Your success has just started! Pat is awesome! Way to be a great guy Pat!
Your momma must me proud!

May 23, 2008 at 4:15 AM

Blogger Rory said...

I agree with everyone else.

May 23, 2008 at 4:35 AM

Blogger j-mo said...

way to be tough! those days are tougher than IM, where you'll have crowds of people around =)
recovery sushi?

May 23, 2008 at 4:59 AM

Blogger kerrie said...

you are looking lean and mean!!!!wish i were there to run with you, i know it can get awfully lonely out there but i guess that is all part of the mental challenge of racing IM. japan will be breeze:)

May 23, 2008 at 5:04 AM

Blogger Shan said...

Bree - AMAZING!!! I don't think I ever did more than an hour run off the long bike for IM - that must be TOUGH!! Way to battle it out with your mind and totally whip it into shape :). I can't WAIT to read your Japan race report! Do you think they'll be serving sushi at the aid stations there? :) (That would be delicious!)

And Pat - you rock!

May 23, 2008 at 6:25 AM

Blogger Eileen Swanson said...


Love ya,

May 23, 2008 at 6:27 AM

Blogger rr said...

Killer workout, Wee. You are going to see it all pay off in LESS THAN a month now!!!

May 23, 2008 at 7:06 AM

Blogger Paul said...

What? No spam musubi! Haha nice training. I'm sure your transition from bike to sushi to bike was pretty quick and excellent race practice.

May 23, 2008 at 7:51 AM

Blogger triguyjt said...

Pat sounds like a real special person...
way to rock out the 8 hours....holy moley!!!

japan won't know what hit them...

May 23, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Blogger triguyjt said...

Pat sounds like a real special person...
way to rock out the 8 hours....holy moley!!!

japan won't know what hit them...

May 23, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Blogger triguyjt said...

Pat sounds like a real special person...
way to rock out the 8 hours....holy moley!!!

japan won't know what hit them...

May 23, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

hey..that last photo of you with sushi looks like you are having a picnic in Kawaihae!! 45 seconds ehh? Jokin'

Bree thanks for the kind words in your Blog and thanks to your friends for their kind words in reply. I've trained for 3 Hawaii Ironman races & know how much it meant to me when support crew showed up for a few minutes on my long rides. Nice boost! Just helping a fellow Ironman buddy, no big deal!!

Bree, when you do see me out there make sure you hold on to your aero bars, don't wave just smile and tell me you're doing okay. Hold on!!Silly!!

Something tells me you could've done this brick and kept going even if I wasn't around but I'm glad I was! You are destined for greatness don't let anybody tell you otherwise! You kicked your own "a#$" out there! Nicely done!


May 23, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Oh I forgot to add....
The Land of the rising Sun is going to get a wake-up call when you arrive!!

Wee,(Wii) you should fit right in with that name!!

May 23, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Blogger James Cotter said...

Great mental focus Bree! I love the sushi pic as well. Oh and thanks for the brangelina comment, your way too kind!!!

May 23, 2008 at 2:26 PM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

OMG, I think I was holding my breath the entire time I read this post. You really showed some incredible courage and strength training all by yourself for 8 hours. That is awesome, simply awesome and I have no doubt that it will pay off in dividends when racing in Japan. Weird about the pedal!

May 23, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Blogger TATI said...

man, that sounds like sooo much fun!! i would have gone hands down :) ....i should move to kona

May 23, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Blogger Lisa said...

Wow - amazing Bree!! A workout like that requires a very strong mind and focus! And lucky you to have such a nice training partner/support crew!

May 23, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Blogger Randy said...

What can be said but AMAZING! Way to hang in there when things got tough. You do know you have to get back out there and pedal 5 miles with only your left leg now, so you stay balanced, right? Great job.

May 23, 2008 at 10:15 PM

Blogger Kellye Mills said...

That is one heck of a workout! And I'm glad to read you had some company. Those long rides are lonesome all by yourself! It was refreshing to hear even YOU, super bad Bree has to convince herself not to walk the hills! Way to stick it out!!

Oh... And I'll definitely be emailing you because I absolutely want to get together! I think I'm going to try to do the open water clinic thing on Friday too. So I'll send more info via email. Talk to you soon!!

May 24, 2008 at 2:30 AM

Blogger Speed Racer said...

Hell yeah! That's amazing! I hope you don't mind if I steal those mantras (although I might add the f-word somewhere in there... sometimes I need the f-word to keep me going).

It's so encouraging to know that even the big guns like you walk sometimes. Seems like maybe you should have walked, or at least sat on Pat's handlebars to get to Jamba Juice, though. Believe me, traffic violations are NO fun.

Now that you've gotten all the mental hurdles out of the way at home, you'll be unstoppable in Japan.

May 24, 2008 at 4:17 AM

Blogger IronMatron said...

You are such an inspiration, Bree! We will all be watching you (via the net) at Japan--watching you win it! You are so tough and you have an amazing attitude. Nice work out there.

May 24, 2008 at 6:30 AM

Blogger Jodi Joye said...

Hi , I am coached by LW for 3 years. I love your blog and pull something from it every time I read it . Thank you.


May 24, 2008 at 7:58 AM

Blogger Aubrey said...

I leave July 12th and get back the 18th

May 24, 2008 at 8:51 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

wow.. your pedal came off???? Geesh.. beeeee careful. That could have been very dangerous.
That is some solid training right there and those two comments at the true.. gotta keep those in mind.
REST UP and HAVE dessert. You deserve it.

May 24, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Blogger Jodi Joye said...


I look forward to your training/racing reports. I always walk away with something to help me process the mental aspect of the job at hand...Sound like Lance. Sorry Coach. Well Kick some butt...I know you have great things ahead.


May 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Blogger Jen said...

Great post Bree :) Gotta love the sushi sag stops!

May 26, 2008 at 4:10 AM

Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

Sushi stop on a ride? I CAN NOT say I've tried that before!!!

May 27, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Blogger Jasmine said...


LOVE your blog, you go girl! :-)

What did you do the next day???

May 28, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

I'm a little late on the boat here - just haven't had time to read everybody's blogs! I'm sure you know how that goes.

Anyway...holy sh**!

Bree, you are one bad@$$ woman! And Pat is a super guy for being there for you. I posted your quotes at my desk and at home. I really really love those and they are so true.

I am so INSPIRED and IMPRESSED by your commitment and your will and strength. YOU ROCK, BREE! Congrats on a great training session and for not giving in. :D

I'm so proud of you. I can't wait to see how you do.

May 29, 2008 at 8:08 AM


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