The very moment I stepped on the pool deck this afternoon Coach Steve grabbed my hands and said, "Bree, breathe". He knew, he knows, he sees me almost everyday and can read me better then most. He could tell I was barely catching my breath. Everything is moving so fast, Ironman is getting so close, the tiny town of Kona is so full, it is getting harder to breathe...
I've been reading that focus book night and day and one of the major points is breathing. In a quiet spot, like the ocean it is easy to breathe. In a more active spot, like a crowded grocery store or traffic, breathing full breaths takes more focus and the ability to calm down. In an event like Ironman, breathing takes even more focus, more ability to control deep within yourself. I was barely breathing on the pool deck, a second home to me, and Coach Steve could see that. I am on a mission to R.E.L.A.X and breathe right through this weekend and race week and then through 140.6 miles.
My plan is to think of everything blue. Blue is my favorite color and everything I love most in the world is blue. The colors of the ocean, the sky at it's brightest, the shade of my son's eyes, the way the moon sparkles on the sea at night, waterfalls, and the depths of the Pacific... I will breathe blue...
The beach, the local races, and my Hawaiian adventures are all winding down. Before long all I will only be left with crossword puzzles, books, and movies. Today was my last longish hard ride. However, hard was only part of it, the other half was fun! WAY TOO MUCH FUN!
Today was the Kona Wahine Bikini Ride! No way could I miss it, not a chance! Whenever the local Kona girls get into Ironman it becomes a celebration, next year all the Big Island girls racing better show up! Today we were five. And I could not stop laughing...we felt like little kids on our bikes playing in the summer time without a care in the world!
The ride wasn't all fun and games. After Vicki and Kym turned it was time for intervals. 3x15 minutes and bikini or not, sweat was flying, hair was blowing, snot was spraying, and the heart rate was maxed out. There really was nothing feminine or pretty about it. The legs screamed, the heart was pounding, and knowing it was my last hard day on the bike I had no choice but to make it count the way I do when chasing the Hawaii Cycling Club boys.
After the intervals it was one hill, 5 times. This time I was on my own. No girls. No boys. Just me and Kalani (my bike). It was like all the training I did all year long with all my favorite training partners prepared me for what's to come, 140.6 miles by myself, and the hill was warm up for that moment to come. I loved today's ride!
To make the ride even better we ran into Kawika! I have not ridden with Kawika in years! Honestly, years! My first ever bike ride was with him. One day, while skipping paddling practice, he took me on my first ride. We rode all of Alii Drive! ALL 14 MILES OF IT (round trip)! Then, I thought that was SO LONG! He was on a mountain bike and I was determined to keep up. The next day I would take my second ever ride, to Waikoloa (50 miles round trip), so this Alii Drive was practice.
Today, on the bikini ride, we had a good laugh at how my first ride, skipping paddling practice, turned into an Ironman! What a sweet ride this triathlon life has been!
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To make everything even more fantastic... Kate, Kiwi, and me returned to massive side walk chalking! My truck was left with bikini's decorating it...(wonder if the girls drove home topless)... what a celebration! It has been amazing to have such fantastic people to share this triathlon ride with! I just adore the friendships triathlon has brought me...
Just when I was thinking life is really as close to perfect as it can get, a rainbow came up. At that moment I was able to breathe the deepest of deep breaths...big blue breaths!
Coach has landed in Kona.. ALL the Lifesport coaches are here! It's a really good thing. Perfect timing in fact. The first words out of Coaches mouth (after saying how EXCITED he is to see me, of course), is that my sunshine days are done till October 11 and from here on out is is FOCUS ON IRONMAN ONLY. Tomorrow morning we are running together. Well, me running, him on a bike, so if you see a crazy man chasing me don't worry, I'm okay, it's just Coach Paul.
Good Night from Kona!