Aloha!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mai Tai & Argon... what a mix!

In the paper this week there was a story about the "Hawaiian Mai Tai". It's really from Tahiti and in Tahitian it means, "The very best-out of this world!" Personally, I'm not a mai tai kind of girl, however, "the very best-out of this world" is something I discovered this morning...

After a few days of getting my bike all set up & 3 hours of getting specially fit (that counts as a trainer ride!) my beloved Argon 18 was ready to ride. For the past month it has taken up much of my day dreaming, similar to a school girl with a crush...

Today was the day, our first date! The Saturday group ride would be the perfect spot to see how "Antonio" handles his own against the roadies. It was time to find out if he is aggressive, responsive, smooth, you know all those lovely traits a tri-girl admires...

It was LOVE at FIRST ride! Usually my focus is on the ocean, the lava, the palm trees, or talking up a storm... not today... my entire attention was consumed by "riding" my bike. Every pedal stroke felt like it went into the bike, moving it forward, not just losing energy out the back or up a creek or something like that...

Like any group ride there are break aways, some sprints, a few aggro men, and whatever else someone is dealing with on a Saturday morning. Today however was just plain fun. To top it off the group broke into a few packs and our lead pack became 6 climbing a hill. One gets dropped, another pops a spoke, and a few miles later we would lose 2 guys to flats, and another to help with the flats... all that was left was me and Antonio. He survived the break aways, pace line punches, the flats, and didn't pop any spokes...

He's a keeper.

The mystery was solved... the "18" in Argon 18 holds true! Argon is one of six naturally occurring noble (or rare) gases and this bike is totally rare as I have never been on anything like it! Certainly mai tai or out of this world.

To top off the incredible ride was a burrito! Kona has a new burrito kitchen (opened 4wks ago). It's totally got that "hole in the wall" atmosphere, which usually translates to "really good food". AND it was! I'm claiming it as one of my new favorite post-ride/pre-run fuel...

Thanks a heap Jimmy for showing me the new burrito hang out! Tell your wife I owe her $2 (talk about a cheap burrito!)

Happy Riding!

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Under Water In Kona...

Leahi and I

A few of my favorite locals...

Rounding the buoy


Living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has endless blessings... but the one I treasure most is the ocean. There is nothing like it. Being able to take a break from life on shore just by going under water has turned many "good days" into "great days". The feeling of being such a small part of something larger and humbling yourself to the sea and it's creatures is simply amazing...

The fotos are from Bo and Jaime Pardau, locals here in Kona that seem to capture the ocean the way we see it from our goggles. They are also the "underwater" volunteers as they take the swim fotos during some local events... (these are from Sundays biathlon)

Thought I would share a few views from the waters of Kona...

Mahalos Bo and Jaime Pardau!



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Monday, January 26, 2009

Favorite Spot #17 and #8...


Kona holds a few of my most favorite spots on Earth (in no particular order)...

One of them is the Kona Pool (I like swimming for sure, but it has more to do with Coach Steve and the Kona Aquatics swim team). This morning as we all froze waiting to jump in the 75* water we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises over Hualalai! It was all shades of purple and pinks and it just sparkled over the little town of Kona and made swimming under the stars that much more amazing...

About sunset time we hit another favorite... Bike Works. My bike made the long trip over the Pacific Ocean! Kainoa tried to help the bike shop boys, (Nick & J. Dog), put it in one piece (I figured after his awesome job lacing my shoes he was ready to put a bike together)...


The boys instantly fired Kainoa, told him to get back to preschool... Kainoa laughed it off and decided to pump up some tires.


"Antonio" won't be ready for riding quiet yet... I'm just glad he made it to Hawaii in one piece!

Happy riding :)

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bombs Away!


Finally got to shake out the cobwebs... actually yesterday on the group ride they flew out after getting dropped like a bad habit! (I wasn't planning to ride bike till the new bike got here, Rachel and I had a deal... if she swims (she took 3 or 5 months off), then I would ride)...Nothing like getting back into the swing of things. Adding a little intensity and feeling some explosive lungs never felt so good!

This morning was the first local race of the 2009 season. It was so good to be back around all the local athletes, playing in the Pacific Ocean, and of course getting an idea where the body is at...

Taking an extra long off-season did me good. I was so ready to race again even if it was just a fun local event (those are my favorite). Getting smashed and trashed by the high school super swimmers got the morning underway (those kids sure can swim and never cease to amaze me!) About the time we hit the half way point of the swim I was thanking coach Paul for the swim camp, surviving that helped make this open water wonderland a piece of cake! Time for the run... after a very LONG run break and the sprained ankle my heart was pounding to get moving...

My run was 33 seconds faster than last season on the same course so I'll claim it. Maybe it's the shoes. They had neon pink laces that Kainoa laced himself!

Kainoa modeling his AWESOME shoe lacing job! Yes, I did race them like that!



After the race we made time for sand castles and searching for honu & a'ama...
It sure is good to be back to the WARM island!

E malama pono!
(Take care & be well!)

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Honey, Honey, oh Sugah...

Oh SWEET! "Antonio", my handsome Argon 18 is on the way to Hawaii! Here he is in Canada freezing his derailleur off! Tuesday he will arrive on the island, where it has been a beautiful 82*.
A million "mahalos" to Marc-Andre, Stephane, and Benjamin for getting "Antonio" all ready, I am sure he was in good hands... NOW it is my turn to handle him!!

In the box somewhere in Canada... ready to fly to Hawaii...
Triple thumbs up!!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009


While thinking about triathlon a couple thoughts came up. last season it never hit me that I was a "professional". Sport just stayed "fun". Then, the thought that my job each day is to swim, bike, run came into mind. Three things that used to be my "outlet" my "escape" my "time away from the real world" were now three things I "have" to do. Thankfully I enjoy them, a lot. All of this turned into too much thinking for me...

When I get my mind in mess I grab a surf magazine and by the time I finish reading it my mind is clear, don't ask me how or why, but most problems are always solved by the time I finish the magazine...

This months interview was with Bruce Irons (one of my favorite surfers). He has always been a good surfer, never won a world title and somewhat in the shadow of his older brother who HAS won a world title. Over the years he has become one of the best surfers. Anyways, his interview was EXACTLY what I am going through! His "outlet" became his career. Something that was always so fun is something that pays the bills and puts food on the table (at least that's the plan most of the time).

The gist of his interview was how he is learning to keep the very thing he loves as something he loves and at the same time recognize that it is a "job" and he has to learn to do it as his "job". Forgive me as I stumble to explain the interview... pretty much, there is this fine line that you create as a professional athlete where you get to enjoy your profession (because it is something you love) but you also have to do it beyond the level of something you just enjoy doing.

Today... I made my run and my bike my "job". Rather than going for my run and riding my bike I went to work...

I took my run as serious as possible (hit heart rates, fueled properly, thought about things like form and pacing), then I rode my bike as if it was my office (gotta confess, my office has a nice view).

For 2009 I am going to borrow Bruce Irons plan, to let triathlon become my "labor of love" .

http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/05/01/js01srf_wipeout_wideweb__470x317,0.jpg

Looks like Bruce had a fun day at the office...


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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tropical Sunday...

Sunday started off with a run along the beach. The waves were roaring, the sun was shining, and I was in shorts. It was beautiful! 7:30am Kainoa arrived and the day only got better from there...

We went to 4 beaches, drank Jamba Juice in the sun, made sand castles, played in the surf, collected seashells, and went to the market for fresh fruits & veggies. I love the sunshine!

It feels simply amazing to be back on the island. I returned with some ZEST for triathlon and am excited to start racing again...but... the surf did make that little passion I have for surfing also spring back into my mind.




















Looks like this season will be a balancing act like no other...

PS, we have snow! Check out the foto I took from the plane...


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sleeping in Seattle...

Kainoa looking for a shell for me...

If life went the way I wanted it too I would be in Hawaii, on a beach towel, with Kainoa, getting some sunshine... but life (mine anyways) is more of a comedy and I think I had the lead role yesterday & today...

4am Wake up!

6am Flight is canceled BUT I am re-booked for one at 11am. No worries, that is only 5hrs, I will eat, play on the computer, get some work done on the computer that coach wanted me to do, email my entire family, and people watch. Thought about calling coach to come get me but feared that would lead to more swimming...

10:30am they cancel my flight. I wait in a LONG line. Katya is now at the airport wondering who the girl in the crazy American flag shoes is, it is ME! Still here Katya...

2 hours later, in another line Lisa enters the airport... yep, Lisa I skipped swimming to wait in line. She told me I missed 3k all out (now I am wondering what is worse... I would rather have swam at this point)

3rd flight fogged out. Okay... lunch time, read blogs, talk on the phone...

Now I am on the 3:30 flight.

Now I am on the 5:30 flight.

Now the 5:30 flight is late. By this time I am so hungry (airport food was not working for me), I am about to fall asleep, and my clothes stink. Thank God for the computer to play on ALL DAY! The airport has been my shelter for over 12 hours by this point, half a day of my life spent in the airport.... it wasn't that fun but life could be worse...

5:45pm I am on the plane! YES! After nearly 13 hours I was on a plane! Still not too mad, I was at least happy my plane was not one that landed in the Hudson River.

Touch down Vancouver! By this time my eyes are rolled back in my head and I am getting grumpy. I roll my luggage and bike box to the customs to check it in AGAIN. A woman asks me what is in the box? I tell her a bike pump, helmet, shoes, and a coat. No bike, I am leaving it in Canada. She makes me open it. She asks where is my bike? I told her (again) no bike, I am leaving it in Canada. Then she asked me what is in there.... I show her BIKE PUMP, HELMET, SHOES, she asks where my bike is.... I am about to cry. NOT IN THE BOX. Again, "why no bike, what's that bike pump for?" Okay... it must be a dream, did she really ask again what is in there and where the bike is? She finally asks if I have any co's, NO. I pack it back up and head away from customs in a hurry.

Now at passport check... the woman looks at me up and down and up again. (I must look a mess). I tell her I am really tired, been traveling (or sitting) all day. She tells me my name is interesting. Looks at me more, looks at the passport, tells me my name is "really" interesting. By this point every woman is driving me crazy! I tell her that her face is interesting. She didn't hear me, at least I hope not. I felt so bad for thinking out loud....

Now to Seattle, home of coffee and all I want is a burrito. Walking through the airport I weigh my options... get a hotel and sleep in a bed (my next flight was 11 hours later) or hang out for another 11 (or 13 hours) in the airport. I hear coach in my head "DON'T be cheap!". I get the hotel and I even pay 12 bucks to leave my luggage at the airport in security so I don't have to lug them on the shuttle to the hotel. I find a burrito too. No coffee. Just the burrito.

I get on the first shuttle with my burrito in hand (burrito's are my FAVORITE food and make everything better). My fingers are crossed that the shuttle goes to a good hotel (I have no reservation) and that the hotel has a room... PLEASE...

The hotel is clean, open, and has a room! Life is good.

The hotel forgot to call with my wake up call, the alarm never went off, thankfully I got a wake up call from a friend and a text from my sister...

Made the shuttle to the airport by 2 seconds! Today was already looking better...

Back to the airport. The woman at the counter looks at me (my jeans have holes in them, but I like them that way, it's the style), I am sure she is thinking I look like a train wreck. Seriously... what is up with airport women? (no offense). Then she smiles and decides my luggage will be free today! Thank you savings of $200!! Then she decides to put me in FIRST CLASS! (not kidding). Maybe she liked my jeans after all...

So here I sit, the plane is on it's way. Just ate another burrito! Did I mention I love them? They are my favorite food ever...

By the time I get to Kona it will have been well over 35 hours of airport experience for me. I must send a HUGE thank you to everyone that blogs. Most of my layovers, waiting, delays, plane changes were spent reading every single blog I could find. My life lacks the time to do that so it was actually pretty fun...

If life goes the way I hope it does, I will get to Hawaii in about 7 hours from now. At 1:10pm (Hawaii time) I will be hugging Kainoa. Then Jamba Juice at the beach, maybe a sunset, then I plan to sleep another 24 hours!

Maybe I should swim too...
Oh, they are calling for my plane... I am getting on! Bye-bye Seattle Airport!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

My New Ride...

It feels like I just won a FREE one-way ticket to Costa Rica I am so happy! Talk about finding the PERFECT fit! Like a shoe that snuggles your foot, I found the dream bike that snuggles my bum every ride! I have been on good bikes, nice bikes, pretty bikes, NOW I can say I have been (and will be) on the perfect bike for me!

It's only fitting to stick with the Canadian theme I have grown to trust. My coach and Lifesport are straight up Canucks and I wouldn't have it any other way. Perhaps the American gal in me had to cross the boarder to find a bike that fits me too... JUST don't think I plan to ever make the snow any part of my life!

Argon 18
is now part of my family! Yahoooooooooooooooooo! Talk about a dreamy bike...

Even more exciting is that I firmly believe sponsors and supporters have to be family. Some sort of relationship has to be formed to truly help both the athlete be their best and to advance the products. Not only has Argon 18 went above and beyond taking me under their wing (or chain ring), they made sure I have been introduced to the whole Argon 18 family! And in case I was wondering who the brain behind the bike was... they sent me a foto! (seriously, have you ever emailed or even talked to a sponsor and wondered who you are talking to? Kinda funny.) I was sent a foto of my new bike sponsor just so I wouldn't think he was a Canadian Eskimo!


(Marc-Andre... the man behind Argon 18... and his dog, freezing in Canada!)

Argon 18 THANK you a million for believing in me... I am more than excited to be part of the Argon 18 family and have your support! We are in for a FUN-FAST ride this season!

Once "Antonio" is all set up and I am fit on him I will post our foto!! Yes, I already named my new bike, Antonio, the name just fits... looks like a Latin fire cracker of a bike to me (even though it is Canadian).

Here is the Argon 18 press release (read here) in case you are stuck in an airport (I have been stuck here for over 7 hours thanks to fog) and you need something to read to make the time pass...

cha cha cha...

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Canadian Run & The Fast Kids...

My stinky bloody shoes from camp...

Remember in grade school the really smart good kids? Remember 3rd grade doing those multiplication quizzes where you get timed for 1 minute to complete as many multiplication problems as you can and the fast kids would raise their hand finishing after 23 seconds and you would still be on like problem 12? Those kids drove me crazy. Show offs! Today I felt like 3rd grade all over again, but it was in the pool, not school.

My lane mate Lianne... I was thanking her for ratting me out as the slow kid in the pool... those darn ex-college swimmers never get slow!

I was put in a lane with a teammate I totally love and respect, however, it was flashbacks of 3rd grade where the good fast kid was on target and I was still on problem 12. Lianne was my lane mate. Today was the only day of camp we got our names written on the board under the "goal time" we had to make. My name under hers was like seeing my name under the kids who can finish the math in 23 seconds.

The set was freaking me out, I was sweating, nervous to complete the work before the clock ran out (if it was 3rd grade I would have dropped my pencil I was so scared). We had 90 seconds before the first round of intervals. To me that meant 85 seconds before I had to put on my goggles, Lianne had her goggles on and was holding the wall in push-off position. She was so ready it was not even funny. "What the heck am I in this lane for?". I asked coach if he made a mistake putting me in the wrong lane. The set starts. Lianne is so focused, making the send offs with PLENTY of time (clearly one of the fast kids that get their work done in 23 seconds) I am making the send offs with about 3 seconds to spare (clearly I am still one of the kids that need more time, just like in school!).

So I get smart, I decide on the shorter distances I would leave 5 seconds early and try to catch Lianne's draft. Just as I get to the wall I hear, "Coach, can Bree leave 10 seconds back?". I was getting called out! Go figure the smart kid would rat on the class clown! So I backed off, left 10 seconds behind... at every wall I was huffing and puffing nearly dead from trying to make the set and my smart fast lane mate was just relaxing as if she finished and had her pencil down 10 minutes ago...
The emergency bowl. This bowl was at ALL the workouts. Our coaches had to refill it almost every workout. It saved our lives many workouts! EXCEPT for the days Coach J stole all the bars for her athletes...

70,000 meters!
I repeat... 70,000 meters!

In this camp, just shy of 2 weeks, we swam 70,000 meters!


This camp has been a WHOLE lot of swimming (very needed for me). However there have also been a handful of rides and A BUNCH of runs! Long runs, longer runs, easy runs, some tempo work, mostly sloshing through snow patches and mud slop...

My feet froze inside my shoes. I asked coach if I should wear zip-lock bags over my feet then tuck them in my shoes so my feet and socks stay dry. Nothing worked for me. By the time most of the running was done my shoes stunk so bad! Literally they went from wet to wetter to almost dry to snow soaked again, to wet, to muddy. They never had a chance to dry out. Poor shoes. Eventually they grew sour. Coach was my taxi this trip. One day I got in his truck and he said, "Ever since you got in my car it stinks." I told him it was my shoes. It was really bad.

Today was over the top bad though. We ran at the bog. Through some puddles and on a trail with things that poked into shoes. My left heal got drilled with something but I was too stubborn to stop. No way was I going to miss hanging with the pack to clean up my shoe. At the end of the run it was a bloody mess. A bloody stinky mess.

I have no intention of bringing the shoes back to Hawaii... sorry shoes...

I am leaving them behind. I hid them under coach's bed. Just snuck myself right in his room and plan to leave the shoes there. Hope he enjoys the new fragrance they bring his house. AND if he complains... too bad, he was the one making us run in that mess. Enjoy coach, my gift to you for the incredible camp!

My shoes under Coach Paul's bed!
Hawaii here I come and to my beloved shoes, enjoy your new home in Canada!

A HUGE mahalo goes out to Coach Paul, Coach Dan, Coach Lance, Coach Mark, Coach J, The Regensburg Family for having me at their home, Travis for helping me get warm clothes, The Schott family, my sponsors whom I could not have this job without your support, my awesome family, and to my incredible team mates!! Oh, and Commonwealth Pool for THE GREAT LOCKER ROOMS and that LONG pool!

ps... Kainoa, mommy is ALMOST home... get your board shorts on, we are going to the beach!


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