Monday, May 4, 2009

St. Croix 70.3


I’m sitting here feeling so many things… Feeling happy to have experienced another awesome trip to St. Croix, race an event I love so much, and just incredibly stoked this sport I love has brought me so much happiness. But I’m not very tired and the legs don’t feel bad like I wanted them too, the way I was hoping they would had I ran the race I was hoping to run…

I’m kind of in the mood to make one of my snappy sarcastic jokes to keep from crying… but I just gotta take my lesson and learn some more, so I will. Training has been going sooooooo good, my preparation leading into this race and my confidence going into it has been stellar. For sure I felt that feeling of “this is it”, where everything comes together and finally a great race comes to bloom. My rookie season I learned so much, in training I’ve learned another dose of so much, and on the start line I was confident that I was ready to put some pieces together, things I’ve learned, and just have a great race.

The swim always gives me a stomach full of butterflies. As much as I love the ocean I just want to get it over with as quick as possible and get on my bike. Knowing I have this severe butterfly attack pre-swim I wanted a way to calm them so I could set myself up for a nice mood leading into the race… so I did the island thing I do, I put on my favorite Roxy bikini top under that K-Swiss top and pretended I was going for a surf. I literally played this game in my head that all of us pro women were lined up with our boards and as soon as the horn blew we were going to paddle out for our heat. Knowing I could out surf any girl on the start line it gave me confidence. I know, pretty silly, but it worked for me. When you aren’t exactly a “swimmer” you gotta have a backup plan so you don’t enter swim races knowing you are about to get shown the kiddie pool. (That is not good for the confidence and like I said, I thought this was going to be my GREAT DAY, so I made this plan to get the GREAT DAY started). Lisa Bentley noticed the bikini, I told her it was because I was planning on hitting the beach if I got lost on the bike course or had a problem…

The swim was my usual swim. Not horrible yet not where I want it, a work in progress for sure.

Now to the bike. Coach and I have put me on a bike focus, it was something we worked really hard on. I’ve also been super blessed to be part of the Argon 18 team and I really believe in their bikes and have fallen completely, utterly, in love with my bike! Once I got on my bike I was ready to rock n’ roll. It was Kona like conditions in every possible way, the heat, the wind, some hills, it was perfect. The legs were there, the HR was where it needed to be, the plan was in place. All that Kaloko Hill climbing and help from the boys back home paid off. The Beast was my new best friend and I loved it, really loved it. My smile was ear to ear, actually my face was kind of in focus mode for once, but there was a smile and I threw shakas to all the kids I passed.

Then, I went for my salts. MISSING IN ACTION. Dropping them was not part of the plan. I stayed as calm as I could and kept the HR and pacing as close to plan as possible. A bit of dizzy came and riding hard on only calories from carbo pro hit me. I really am not a fan of excuses. I thought I had it all figured out, but I was busted with no electrolytes. Knowing there were salts waiting at my run transition my mission became to get there and eat them all.

Off the bike in 3rd, I just wanted to hold that with the run I was knowing I had in me... The legs had a lot of frisk left, I could tell the bike focus paid off. I started the run with a mouth full of salts and hoped they would kick in ASAP. Maybe it was too late and I couldn’t catch up the amount of sodium I lost, so I did what I could, and sadly, the run I worked so hard on never came. It was really challenging to get passed, then passed again, then again... however, the one thing that was so different in this race was the women, each one that ran by me gave me a huge boost of support and told me to hang on. One even gave me electrolytes. Amanda was the 3rd gal to pass me and even invited me to run with her, I tried, but instead ran with TJ Tollakson and my friend Pedro from Panama... they really pulled me through...them and the amazing crowd and my homestay on the sidelines...

Trying only to focus on the positives it was nice to see my biking pay off and the swim go okay. It was good to know I have a calorie plan that works for my stomach (all things I have been working on). I was just so ready to run off the bike the way I have been able to run in training… looks like another lesson learned, another thing to check off the list of “learned it the hard way”.

More positives are definitely being in the company of such great athletes, having incredible supporters, and being able to at least earn a pay check from the 2 races (St. Anthony’s & St. Croix) that are the sum of a month’s teaching salary (looks like I can keep this dream job even longer), and for sure coming home to my family and Kainoa was the cherry on top!

Half Ironman number 6 is in the bank, another handful of lessons learned, and number 7 will be later this month! I am already looking forward to racing AGAIN!

Thank you to everyone for all the support!.


Blogger Roo said...

Sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the run, but so glad to see that you're still your positive, upbeat self! Great job putting all that hard training to work in your race!

May 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Blogger Dolphin Boy said...

Dude you are such a rock star! I have some sarcastic things to say but will wait to see you in Kona!!

BTW- you are a champion both on and off the race course. Don't let anyone tell ya otherwise!

see ya soon! safe travels my friend

May 4, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Blogger Maggs said...

Way to take home some cash :-) I just checked out Kaloko hill. I'm gonna try it in late June when i come over for a LP training weekend.

May 4, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Great job Bree, under TOUGH conditions. Have NO SALT on the bike... well... wow. I do the same thing with Carbopro...the drawback is no salt. I am SO IMPRESSED with you, and so proud. Way to go. Better to have this happen NOW instead of on 10/10 at Kona... ;) Keep up the great work - you are making GREAT strkdes!!! Yea yea yea!

May 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Blogger E.L.F. said...

Bree...have you ever used ELETE? It is actual drops of electrolytes that you can put into your drink. I'm not sure how it would go with Carbo Pro but it might be worth looking into (no risk of dropping those little salt tabs/pills):

May 4, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Blogger t-odd said...

I think you did great, especially now that I know the whole story. Money, money, money! I am glad to hear you are already looking forward to your next race. Get back on that horse! Everyone has "one of those days" - hey, Joanna Zeiger's aerobars snapped - at least you were able to tough it out and finish. Enjoy a couple days off.

May 4, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Blogger MJ said...

I was going to suggest ELETE as well. It has no taste - you would just drop 20-40 drops (not much) into your bottle (depending on the size) and never have to think about it again..... Impossible to lose. Possible to forget, but impossible to lose...

Regardless - GREAT JOB!

May 4, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Blogger Train-This said...

Bree...... these are the lessons, the pieces of the puzzle if you will...... that you need to have happen. You don't want that puzzle completed today. You want that puzzle completed on a certain day in October, when you are racing on your home turf and you are executing the race you are meant to have, as you are meant to execute it. Don't forget about the lessons of Mark Allen. Took him years. Yours, I know they will come sooner.

Another bail of hay in the barn. Another wonderful experience, another shoulder to stand on sister.

Your day is coming, and I have this very strong feeling it will be in October. Then..... you will see why this was so important!


May 4, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Blogger IronBob said...

Given the lack of electrolytes, you kicked ass!!

I was already to give a pep talk on learning and this being your second full year and all, but crap, you had what I would call an equipment malfunction.

Talk to your coaches, INFINIT should have everything you need in a bottle per hour (water, protein, carbs, electrolytes, amino acids, etc), and not have to worry about multiple things on the bike. I swear by it and am counting on it taking 4 hours off my IM time this year (just think what it could do for you!!)

May 4, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Blogger Chloe said...

Great job!! Corney I know - but you are such an inspiration to me and my training. My positive attitude has been MIA the past few days- but everytime I read one of your posts,my positive tude comes out of hiding :) Thanks a ton - and awesome post!!


May 4, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Blogger Dave Jewell said...


You are still fairly new to this sport. It will all come together in time. The talent is obviously there. To Bonus you made bank. Very Cool!

May 4, 2009 at 5:30 PM

Blogger Jen said...

Great race Bree! All of this "practice" will pay huge rewards in October :)

We are coming out to HI for the race...What is your favorite hike on the big island? Any must sees?

May 4, 2009 at 6:38 PM

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

When you reached T2 I thought it was a given that you were going to at least hold your position through the run. You could have done so had you had the salt (or other goodies) you needed. For a small indispensable thing like that, could you not carry some spare, like taping something on to the bike frame where you don't create drag? Anyway, it was still a great race.

May 4, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Blogger LizE said...

You have no idea how often I know use the motto, "Make peace with Pain!" I raced Wildflower Long this weekend and it kept me solid. Thanks for that!

Looks like you revisited Pain again this weekend... hopefully it works that we pay our dues to Pain and then rock the races that follow.

May 4, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Blogger Oscarjet said...

Bree, siempre positiva, sacando lo bueno.
Me alegro mucho de tus dias en St.Croix.
Lo bueno de este 70.3 ha sido llevarte mucha informacion valiosa para el proximo 70.3 !
Y mucho cariño de la gente que te quiere.
Un abrazo !!
Have fun!

May 4, 2009 at 10:19 PM

Blogger Ordinarylife said...

Congratulations and congratulations on seeing the postive when it could be so easy to be negative.

I love reading your blog and am a firm supporter, even if I can't be there to cheer you on from the side lines.
Way to go!!

May 4, 2009 at 10:48 PM

Blogger Missy said...

There's nothing to add other than what has already been said, no tips, no great inspiration. Just know that you had tons of people watching you from the sidelines cheering you on - knowing that you are still achieving more in two years than most of us will in a lifetime (from triathlon).

What a ride, what a story.

May 5, 2009 at 12:47 AM

Blogger Leah said...

You are a star no matter what! And you always inspire. It may not have been your perfect race, but the fact is, those are rare and that's what makes them so special.

May 5, 2009 at 1:29 AM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

You have come a long way since last year--that was just the foundation to what I think will be a stellar year in '09. Can't wait to see pics of you and Kainoa at the beach when you get home. Abrazos!

May 5, 2009 at 2:11 AM

Blogger Bob Almighty said...

I can't wait to see what you do to the field at Rev 3...although I would duck tape a m&m minis container of electrolytes to the top tube the roads are a little rough...

Also anytime you get paid to do what you love it was defintely a good day...Good Job.

May 5, 2009 at 3:09 AM

Blogger Teresa said...

Great job Bree, way to think of the positive when the going was TOUGH! I can't imagine not having salt in that heat.

Let me apologize if Mark (my boyfriend) was a little excited out there-he loves cheering!!! I think he has more video footage of you than anyone else out there. He claims he was practicing :). I will send it via email.

Keep smiling, keep training and it will all pay off on the BIG day!


May 5, 2009 at 3:23 AM

Blogger Adrienne said...

Bree: You are an inspiration, showing us how to have class when things just don't plan out on race day.

May 5, 2009 at 3:42 AM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Bree, you never disappoint even when things don't go according to plan. Congrats on a strong performance despite those MIA salts. Look forward to hearing about your next race!

May 5, 2009 at 4:05 AM

Blogger Christy said...

Bree, I love your blog. You're always smiling and cheering for us 1st-timers or those going for the sub-8. Thx for the MIA salt tip. I will try that! Congrats on your race and pushing thru! Can't wait to hear about races to come.

May 5, 2009 at 7:21 AM

Blogger Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Hey Bree, sorry to hear about the hiccup in your plan. Mentally managing that crisis must have been tough and you did a beautiful job. Way to look ahead to the next race. We love cheering you on!

May 5, 2009 at 8:11 AM

Blogger Sherry said...

Aw, Bree... you are such an inspiration to all of us 'little guys and gals' out there. St. Croix presented you with some real challenges and yet you managed to mentally keep it together and kick it hard! Way to go!

Loved every second of the video. Well done! Have a super safe trip home to HI! :o)

May 5, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Blogger Maria said...

Congratulations Bree...there will always be lessons to learn, and it's great to see you are 'soaking it all in'...the best part is the way you can offer a huge smile, even when the going is rock! I'll make it a goal to 'smile-no-matter-what' this tri season...Best in training and in your next race...cheers from afar ;o)

May 5, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Blogger Running~Jordan said...

You always kick ass with a smile. Kicking ass sometimes means learning and growing from your experiences. You are amazing :) :) :)

May 5, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Blogger Shawna Barlette said...

Congrat's on your race! Well done. A little trick Keith Krugh taught me. I put my salts in the bottles with the carbo pro. I found if I added a teeny bit of fruit punch powdered gatorade, it cut the salt taste very well. I used to premix a bottle or two with a super concentration, and then added water to it as I went along the course. Worth thinking about as an alternative to carrying them separately. Best of luck to you on the rest of the season. You are very inspiring to all of us watching you!

May 5, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Blogger allyson said...

Great race, glad to read that you did so well on the swim and bike.

May 5, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Blogger CoachLiz said...

Well Bree,

You can always fall back on my plan when I run out of salt in a race...I start licking my arms. They are nice and salty! I look like an idiot but it works until I can get to some S-caps or Enduralytes.

Great job on sticking it out when your eyes started to cross. Oh, and I would LOVE to be able to run with T.J.!!! Does that make me sound like a huge cougar?

Safe travels back to Kona!

May 6, 2009 at 3:27 AM

Blogger Runner Leana said...

Bree, sorry to hear about the electrolyte mishap. Your had such a strong race and are such an inspiration. There is a lot of racing left for the season and I know you are going to be one fierce competitor out there, while smiling the whole way!!

Love Coach Liz's comment. Yeah, I'd totally be up for running with TJ too, haha!

May 6, 2009 at 4:09 AM

Blogger Renee said...

Incredible post and great pictures!! Way to go!

May 7, 2009 at 5:48 AM


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