Aloha!

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

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Ultraman Swim... (6.2 miles!)


What a LONG swim! Really long... I am talking 6.2 miles long... 6.2 miles before riding 224 miles on a bike before running a double marathon LONG!

And even more LONG if you are doing it with only 1 arm! INCREDIBLE! I have swam the 6 miles twice. It got a bit long...my arms got tired...but Jason Lester... HE JUST SWAM IT ONE ARMED like a CHAMP!!!

Jason (center), Doug still sleeping (on the right) and I pre swim...

Thanksgiving Day was pretty cool, spent time being thankful for all the awesome gifts in my life... but the day after Thanksgiving hit differently... I am so thankful for my health! For 20/20 vision, for both arms! Both legs! Good lungs! The list goes on and on...


The morning was perfect. Calm ocean, beautiful sun rise, dolphins, and I was in the Kayak enjoying a peaceful morning in Kona. I was #448's swim escort. #448 was Jason Lester, who at 12 years old lost the ability to use his right arm (his arm tucks into a pocket).

Normally Friday is swim practice morning, and everyone in Kona knows I do NOT miss Kona Masters for anything! If the man of my dreams asked me on a date at 6am I would ask him to make it 7am (that is how much I LOVE my Kona Masters swim team). When I was asked to lead Jason through the Ultraman swim instantly I forgot about me and my LOVE of Friday practice...I was going to help someone else out...

But as I spent 6.2 miles guiding Jason through the currents, ocean, swells, sea lice, jelly fish, man-o-war, reefs, soon I realized he was helping me out... The little things I take for granted, like taking a breath during swimming on the right side, soon made a bigger impact on me than perhaps imagined... nothing like the little things...

Mike Rouse from ZOOT enjoying the swim... ha ha! Local gal Stacy keeping me company as we lead our swimmers through the schools of man-o-wars!

Jason hoping I don't run him into any more jellys!

Ooop's, forgot to wait (I started racing the other kayakers...)

Only 3 miles to go!!


2 miles to go! (This is where I started bonking!)


1.5 miles to go... Jason said, "Didn't you say that a mile ago?"

Nothing like Kona Coast!!!

Jason got attacked by a man-o-war. (a few times). I tried to rip the tentacles off him and fling them back into the ocean... but instead I flung them all over my legs! He ended up in the medical boat. They called 911 (one other man was sent to the hospital for attacks). BUT Jason and I told them to HANG UP THE PHONE! He dove off the boat and kept on going! It was awesome!

500 meters to go! Of course I ran head first into the buoy!

GO! This is where we had some fun! I was cheering for him SO loud to pass Mike (even though I like Mike)... it was incredible to see Jason give it everything all stung up!

Nice Job Jason, now go ride your bike 90 miles!! ha ha ha...

90 miles today... 134 miles tomorrow, and a double marathon on Sunday! Now that is burning off turkey dinner!

Have fun Jason... Kona is so excited for you! And GOOD LUCK to all the men and women racing Ultraman Hawaii!!


video
And, for everyone curious, because I know you might be... here is how Jason swims... Click the top one. I have no idea how to erase the second image...



More news about Ultraman (read here)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tis The Season...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
After stuffing your face you might be too tired to start that holiday shopping... no fear! You can do it from home, start with Splish!

blue logo
Hey guys, girls, tri-zombies and swimfreakz,

Winter is here! And while most people will be stuffing themselves with turkey, mashed potatoes and pie, we know you're going to be looking for the hottest new swimsuits to stay in shape over the holidays! Check out our latest new prints, available only on Splish.com!

20% off all orders at
www.splish.com and www.splishcustom.com

Our very first Black Friday sale. Well I guess it's really Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday andMonday sale. Just enter the coupon code BIGBROWNSHOE when checking out on either site for the discount.

Sale ends Monday December 1st at midnight.


Also, the first five people to email us and tell us where we came up with our coupon code get a special prize.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ja ja ja ja ja... coach is funny!

(Hey coach, honestly, me riding a trainer in Costa Rica??? Sorry, doesn't work with my board and bikini!)

Ramon, mi amigo from Puerto Rico has been helping me on my Spanish. I haven't really spoke Spanish fluently in over 5 years (since moving to Hawaii) so it is hiding... and I am searching for it...I need it for my trip to Costa Rica...

Lost in translation is obviously my wonderful coach...

Not sure how many phone chats, emails, and other forms of communication we have had on the topic, "I am going to Costa Rica", but it was a lot. In fact, I broke into Training Peaks and wrote on my schedule, "Bree goes to Costa Rica". "Bree returns from Costa Rica", just so he would visually be able to see it & plan accordingly...

SOOOOOO... this morning I discover, coach has put a 3 week "build-back-into-training" block up for me! YES!! Finally getting off my bum!! Eager as can be I look ahead at all the fun to be had... and in an instant I am on the floor hysterically laughing! I mean, it was the kind of laughing that hurts in your side, that makes you blow your drink out your nose, the kind that makes you cry it hurts so bad laughing. Poor coach. Poor me!

During the trip in Costa Rica he has me riding bike. (I did mention the bike is NOT coming) I only plan to ride waves and horses... I giggle and suck it up and decide maybe I will borrow an amigos mountain bike one day. But I read on... he has me riding for real stuff with drills and cadence and the most HILARIOUS PART, it is on a trainer!!!!???!!!

Is he for real?! Am I reading this right?! Riding bike in CR is one thing, but on a trainer...?? Does anyone in CR even know what a trainer is?? No way would I haul that thing all the way there!

That is the funniest thing I have ever read in my life... Bree Wee riding on a trainer in Costa Rica! Coach... ah ha ha ha, I am laughing just writing this... he is hilarious!

The deal is... my board and Asics. Let's just humor my coach, will the bike even fit in my board bag???? How about that trainer...

Didn't think so...
And so, the only training I want to see on Training Peaks is surf sessions, some beach runs, salsa dancing, maybe some ocean swims, a few hikes, some waterfall jumping, and horse back riding...

Bikes. No.

20 days till I am THERE!!!


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love this song...

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Men Wanted...

19 days of pretty much eating, sleeping, chillin', and a few random sweat sessions here and there. Today was time to get SERIOUS...

I took the 3 minute walk from my home to the gym (what a warm up!!) Then I searched the gym for the BIGGEST, STRONGEST, most SCARY men in Kona! I needed to measure my strength, see what I was made of....

I discovered, I am an endurance machine that can hardly lift a dumb bell! Push ups? Don't even ask!! Pull ups, not a single one! At least I have a starting point...the bottom.

So... I lifted, pushed, pulled, sat up, squatted, flexed, hung, dropped, and all the other things you do in a gym. After 30 minutes I was feeling pretty darn good, feisty might be a better word. Can I seriously go from spaghetti noodle arms to "Wonder Woman" in a 30 minute session?! I think so... or maybe having not lifted weights all in-season (I only lift in off-season), my body was remembering all the off-season reps!

In any case I was feeling spunky! Maybe even cocky. So I did another search for the biggest man I could find and with my new found strength I mustered up the guts to challenge him in an arm wrestling match...

Check out the size of his pipes compared to mine?????? OF COURSE I WON!
I love the off-season!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Plan On...

We did it. Coach and I finally came to agreements on 2009. Where and when is put on paper...and it looks like loads of fun. A lot of the same and a couple new races. Of course I am in no rush to end off season... I fully believe in total recovery of mind and body (even though it gets a bit challenging). This year was incredible in so many ways. The experiences will forever remain with me. The people I met and places I saw are CHERISHED! (I love my job)!

Before kicking off 09 I am going to extend the off season... Kainoa and I will head to Florida in a couple weeks for holidays with the Florida Family. My gift to my parents is 8 days of SPOILING Kainoa while I take a trip to my second home away from home (more on that later, no bikes allowed.)

I will give you a hint...

My Tico family grows mango's...
We shower outside...

Nobody wears matching clothes...

Kids play in the streets barefoot...

We ride bikes almost everywhere! (no aero bars and helmets though)

Mis amigos hablan en espanol...

At night we get into a lot of trouble, unless we are dancing salsa

I get to teach my little Spanish brother to swim :)

We swim in the shore breaks and get beat up by the waves...

I surf...

I surf more...

We ride bareback to get groceries...

We spend countless hours in hammocks...

We Jump off waterfalls...

I try to help the little children with their English...

And more horses... of course no shoes...

This place is so special to my heart... I spent summers upon summers with my best friends surfing and laughing. Truly enjoying life. One semester of school was also spent there, that is an experience I still have to pinch myself that I got to have. I even worked a summer there teaching English. My moments in this place helped me develop interests in life as I saw it in other people. Through the people, the language, food, and music, I realized life is throbbing with rich treasures...

After this heartbreak I have endured all season long I have come to realize I need to return to the place that taught me to smile and love and be strong. Just because you fail at something, such as a marriage, does not mean you are a failure and have to hurt forever. The only thing I know to do is start over. The only place I know to go is the place that taught me that lesson.

Soak up the off season...
Bree

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Monday, November 17, 2008

My Reality...


Phewwwwww.... I can breathe again!

The days Kainoa is at his daddy's house are the LONGEST days of my life! Feels like I am holding my breath waiting for my turn!!! Never knew loving someone could totally take your breath away like that...

To make it through the days I have to plan long hikes, full day surf adventures, beg coach to let me ride my bike ALL DAY LONG, anything to not be home alone! I am just not good at this yet, but it is getting easier...

The first few nights I had to sleep with a night light (yes, a good friend actually sent me 14 night lights!!). It was my first time ever being home alone. I went from my parents home to college dorm life to a host family in Costa Rica to a roommate in Hawaii to life with Jim... this alone thing had me in new territory. I am on week 5. I can sleep without a night light now, I don't have to check under my bed and in the closet for monsters before falling asleep, and I clean all my own messes! (Yes, I still leave my Asics and Splish suits everywhere...)

The blessing in it all is that Jim and I are still friends and our biggest desire is to love Kainoa and make sure he knows he is loved. BUT today, after a few days with daddy... it was my turn to have him at mommy's house!!!

First stop. Jamba Juice! We have been hanging there "mother and son" bonding since he was 6months old. Then to the beach. No day in Hawaii is complete without a little time at the beach. And of course we wrapped up the day with inviting Auntie Brooke over for chocolate milk and tea... then we read the Ricky Martin book (that is not a joke... my son loves it!). Maybe because he laughs when mommy tries to sing old Menudo songs!

Now my little son is sleeping. Precious. And this mommy feels complete...

I thought having a baby made an Ironman easy... but I changed my mind... having to pick up pieces of a broken heart makes an Ironman seem easy...


Life is not always easy. BUT life is still good...

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Napapoo & Captain Cook...

Oh so lucky to live on the Big Island... Just love every breath I get to breathe here! This morning coach told me to take a hike (literally), not one of his usual "Bree Wee!!!" Where he wants to tell me to take a hike or GET LOST...

So I hiked. For 3 hours. A mile of getting lost, 4 miles down to where Captain Cook first landed in the "Sandwich Isles" then 4 miles up...up...up...




What amazing views!

Check this out! Back in the day the ancient Hawaiians would bury the Alii in the lava caves. This one looked a LOT like a face to me...






Coffee- talk about organic!


Ahhh.... life is good!





Oh the places your feet can take you...




The Monument... it's pretty little- ha ha ha!




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