Sunday, November 30, 2008

When He Can Bike That Far...

For a girl who carries her camera everywhere (even in the ocean at times, in a zip lock bag!) I have no photos. Just not sure anything I saw could even sum up the emotions! It was everything from inspiring to disgusting...

From the 6:30 am start Friday morning till sometime Sunday I was at a loss for words. I remember last year, IM Hawaii, coach told me I have to have a reason. He gave me all week to think of my purpose for wanting to do Ironman. He told me, "Bree, you have to have one because when the going gets tuff and you are hit hard you need to have a reason to keep on going, a reason to finish".

There are moments in life we ask, "Why am I doing this?" and if we can answer we keep going... if we don't have the answer we stop or grumble through it annoying everyone in our path...

Ultraman Hawaii was so different this year. I actually had 4 friends in it. Todd Crandell, Jason Lester, Warren Hollinger, and Cory Foulk. There was also a handful I know from emails and other races. So I really cared this year (not to say other years I didn't)...

From man-o-war stings, crapping and vomiiting on that LONG bike ride, to pooping your pants and puking your guts out on a 52 mile run, I was in tears! I know Todd is racing for recovery (read his book by the way), Jason has been hit with so much adverisity and has an incredible story of living after nearly dying, they each have a reason... something deep within and bigger than saying, "I did Ultraman".

Today wrapped up the final day. 52 miles of running. It was so hot. So windy. So voggy. Pele was in one of her moods... I stole my sisters truck (way nicer than mine) and drove up and down Queen K honking at every person I passed running, walking, barfing, pooping, eating, napping... thankfully the cops were in a good mood because I was definitly a bad driver today.

I thought about Suzy, her children would drive a mile or so and wait for mom to run to them, it was beautiful! I can relate, I am a mom too. Then I saw Todd... that was when I really cried. He ran with me in IM KY when I was barfing my brains out... I saw all his tattoos from a past of addictions and I knew he had come so far not just in the race but in life. I cried, called Mellissa, left a long message that her husband is doing incredible and is only 4 miles away (by the way, I have 3 Melissas in my phone and I called the wrong one! Sorry Mel!!).

Then Jason came by... his arm tucked in a pocket... I thought about his reasons... hope...about being abondoned, nearly dying of a drug overdose, missing Katana, and my heart went out to him...

Everyone's story was filling my mind and made me realize if anything in life is worth doing well we have to have a reason. A really good one.

Finally Nick took over driving and Brooke and I hung out the window near the last mile just screaming and crying for the finishers to get in... then she asked me, "Do you want to do this? I will crew for you?" I thought for a moment... hmmm... she could paddle for me, her boyfriend Nick could be my bike crew, but I would need a runner. I know coach would tell me, "Bree you better have a DARN GOOD REASON!!"...

So I thought for a minute...the one and only thing that ever comes to mind when life gets hard and I need to keep going is Kainoa.

I got a reason. Just maybe, in a few years, when Kainoa can ride his bike 52 miles (he can bike next to me while I run 52 miles)... I will think about doing it...

Till then, CONGRATULATIONS to ALL the Ultraman Finishers! You inspired me!! Check out the results here: Ultraman Hawaii Results 08



Blogger Beth said...

What an absolutely insane race Bree!! I would have to have THE best reason in the world to finish that thing!! :) But there is no doubt in my mind you could do the race and finish with style! What an inspiration!

December 1, 2008 at 1:54 AM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

Those guys ran 52 miles in the time it takes me to do a 1/2 iron! OMG. What an amazing accomplishment. You are so right--it takes something deep down to drive you that far, much farther than an IM.

December 1, 2008 at 3:57 AM

Blogger Mel said...

Beautiful write up Bree:) What an amazing accomplishment for all of them..Todd called me right after and sounded wobbling or anything other than blisters....Today might be a different story:) Thank you sooooo much keeping me updated:)

December 1, 2008 at 4:05 AM

Blogger beth said...

inspiring again! those people are amazing and i'm sure you had a BIG part in helping them get where they wanted to be- you know first hand how much a little on course encourgaement can help.

happy monday!

December 1, 2008 at 4:08 AM

Blogger MadisonDuo said...

Thanks for posting, I was reviewing the results all weekend to see who is in what place, how they are all doing, etc.

It is a race that I've wanted to do for the past couple of years. I say by the time I am 45-50 I want to tackle it, so I've got another 8-10 years to build up. I need to get a couple more endurance events under my belt and I need to find out 'why' I have this crazy desire to do this event. So if you are still in HI and I am one of these athletes, I'd love for you to be my paddler, runner, crew, camera girl. Shoot, I'll even let you pick the job you want.

Congrats to all the athletes, what an amazing accomplishment.

December 1, 2008 at 4:13 AM

Blogger Eric said...

Awesome insight and reporting on the race. Living in Ohio I know of Todd and did the Racing for Recovery Half IM in '07.

We all have reasons to reach the finish line.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

Game On.

December 1, 2008 at 4:19 AM

Blogger Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

Great write up! I've often thought about the Ultraman. I like the supportive attitude, the friendliness, the feeling its just you out there and the elements and Pele and whatever, etc. I just think that it (the run, especially) is too much for me. I would need a lot more time to train, but I have to focus on money for the time being. There is a time for everything. You could try it in your forties when you retire from elite competition! I am glad Todd finished. I was most touched reading his story before.

December 1, 2008 at 4:58 AM

Blogger Angela Brooks said...

To watch someone complete one of these events gives me cold chills.
I can not imagine the training that goes into it - the mind set that it takes
to keep going when the pain sets in.

I used to run but only 10K nothing large and that was small pain compared
to these.

Thumbs up - keep going !!!

December 1, 2008 at 5:32 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

Okay so my workout for today now sounds like nothing!
What a great inspiring story- I'd loved to have been there to cheer with you guys!
See ya soon!

December 1, 2008 at 5:43 AM

Blogger Jill Costantino said...

Fantastic post! What a way to motivate yourself and others for the 2009 season. I agree with your coach about having a reason and sure does sound like you have a the best one in the world!

December 1, 2008 at 6:01 AM

Blogger Shawn and Tracy said...

Bree thanks for sharing. Having a reason is key. Thanks for the reminders and congratulations to all the incredible Ultramen/women out there!

December 1, 2008 at 6:59 AM

Blogger kerrie said...

that is just so crazy...i can barely handle biking from hawi to kona, let alone running it! it boggle my mind. so glad you have your inspiration ;)

December 1, 2008 at 7:10 AM

Blogger Jenna said...

A child is the ultimate reason. It can get you through anything. OMG - this post was a snottle bubbles, crying, emotional one.... such strong souls out there!!!

December 1, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Blogger Charisa said...

So inspiring! Can't wait til you do it with Kainoa!

December 1, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Blogger Stephanie Corker Irwin said...

Know thy purpose! You are an inspiration...

December 1, 2008 at 8:11 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

Great write up, Bree. I've always just thought this competition was simply pure insanity and I couldn't understand why anybody would even WANT to do this. But you helped me understand it a whole lot more. It's about so much more than simply 'doing this event.'

Thank you for sharing your amazing experience with these amazing people!

December 1, 2008 at 9:47 AM

Blogger Eileen Swanson said...

That is a cool, crazy, scary, inspiring race! I watched Reid suffer in the 508 mile bike race and I know how he went through all the emotions. It's a wild ride for sure. Good on ya for being out there cheering....

December 1, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Blogger Wes said...

Knowing the difference between "It's all about me" to "It's not about me (but it ultimately is anyways)" is a sign of maturity, and shows the fact that you are one hell of a Mom :-)

You gotta have a reason...

December 1, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Blogger Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

What a stunning weekend...thanks for reporting on it for those of us (me) who have no idea what an Ultraman is all about.

December 1, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Blogger Kellye Mills said...

Really goes to show you that you can do whatever you set your mind to!

December 1, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

Man, that's a RACE!! Your post below is NUTS!!!


December 1, 2008 at 4:02 PM

Blogger Karen said...

Those stings on your leg looks terrible. Makes me not want to swim in the ocean.

I can't believe that people actually do the Ultraman. We honked at several of the runners near the end of the race. They looked so hot and tired. It was very hot out and sweat was flying off their face. I felt sorry for them.
That was so nice of you to be Jason's guide on the swim. He must be a strong man to keep on after those stings in the water. What an inspiration!

December 1, 2008 at 7:11 PM

Blogger UntPawGal02 said...

You should totally go for it! And to have Kainoa with you at your side... what an experience that would be!

December 2, 2008 at 1:01 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

Simply put, that is some crazy stuff right there. Yikes. So nice you were out there helping out in the water and cheering.

December 2, 2008 at 4:30 AM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Wowo! Yup, you HAVE to have a reason to race - very touching that yours is Kainoa. :) Um - for the 52 miles of running... yikes. I still get slightly nervous when I bike more than 50 miles. Suffice to say, I would need some work... Keep up the great work!

December 2, 2008 at 5:42 AM

Blogger L1z4 said...

Great post about the UltraMan race. I can see why it would be tempting to try it.

December 2, 2008 at 7:59 AM

Blogger Viv said...

Great post, Bree. Thanks for sharing some of the stories of those who did such a intense(to say the least) event.
I loved your reason, and especially that whole idea of having a reason of why are you doing it?

December 2, 2008 at 10:29 AM


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