Saturday, February 6, 2010

Maui Whale Run.....

I got lei'd in Maui... really, thanks to a good run.

All for the love of whales I got one heck of an adventure and a 3hour 10 minute wait at the worlds smallest airport (Maui Commuter). I blame the fact that Maui has 5 main roads and Kona has 2, for me being “fashionably late”. Fashionably was exactly 5 minutes too much aloha time and now I wait, wait, wait for another plane. The check in counter man, (as we waved good bye to my plane), said he could fly me to Molokai in an hour. Molokai is the only island I don’t know, (you’d think I’d know Maui after dozens of visits, clearly I don’t). VERY tempted, I had a little self restraint, and whimpered out a no, get me to Kona.
Holding bags, shoes, laptop, this and that, book, and water, the little planes weigh you and all your stuff then tell you where you sit depending on the scale. Kona 158, Maui 168...10 pounds more on the flight home thanks to a man that gave me a box of pineapples (don't ask, it was part of my adventure in getting lost).
A bit of exploring, some dinner, and a movie it was soon slumber time and I was more than ready after a week of “Coach Jimmy’s coaching”. Woke up to rice, coconut water, and a banana, called it good and went to check in. Once the race number and timing chip was on I was ready to run with the usual butterflies parading in my belly. “This half marathon was just a training day Bree, just a training day, just a training day.” I said that a few times so I would keep the focus on being smart and using it as a training run all for the love of whales.
Quickly if you asked me to sum up the course, “Palani Hill Repeats”. The only other half marathon I’d ever run (all 4 times) was the Kona Half and you know that course, “Alii 98% flat Drive”. The only flat mile today was mile one…which I thought I paced well because I was in 11th with a few other girls for a while-no, I did a 5:42, not-so-smart-me. I just get too excited, but at least I wasn’t with the lead boys running a 5:05 or something crazy at mile one. Let’s just say I ran that roller coaster as best and smart as I thought I could. I was being brave, being patient, being focused, and not letting the weeks of training in my legs entertain me. Mostly I thought of my coach and how he has worked so hard with me to help build up my confidence after I pretty much was 95% sure I would return to teaching this season. I thought of all my workouts where he gave me opportunities to succeed because he let me have cushions of time and a few “options” when things weren’t working out. Or in his words, “if I feel like a turd”.
About half way, at the top of a climb that was said to be just over 1,000 feet my legs felt so wobbly. They were jello mush but my head and my heart were willing and I kept thinking of how much coach has worked to get me back on the start line of a race with even an ounce of belief. I just kept pushing and thankfully a pack of boys were pulling for me. They were calling me to keep up, telling me to tuck in behind when the head wind came, and they were helping me hide in their shoulders. I just kept running. I knew my PR on the “Kona 98% flat course” was a 1:21.29. I wanted to beat that even though this was about 2% flat and I was far from rested. I wanted to run hard for the whales, for coach, for me, for Kainoa, for Travis, for my sponsors, for those that supported me through my rough spots and helping me find courage to try triathlon another season before considering the return to teaching. (excuse the drama but all that was going on in my head while running).
With the final mile that 80’s song “Jesse’s girl” came on. Yes, IPODS are legal in most all run races for 2010 season according to the new rules. Anyways, I just love that song for some unknown reason and I ran up the last hill as if it was the first hill and then into the flat zone to the finish line, the clock was ticking….1:21.43. 14 seconds off my PR on the most challenging half course I ever ran, I was so happy you would never believe. The boys in my pack told me they were about 3 minutes off their PR on this course…ooooh that made me hungry to run another one. Then I found out later from the MAN-ager with a big mouth that coach knew this course and was thinking a 1:24 would be a good day out of me on it. I shocked him, I shocked me, then he said he was proud of me, I was like a little kid on Christmas to hear that.

After all that it was time to explore. And I got lost. I followed a few top secret beaches rather than the "known" path. Now I have slightly less than 2 hours of waiting in the airport for my missed plane. The good news is I will have a weekend of exploring in Maui, A FULL weekend and a WHALE CRUISE for 4, thanks to that half marathon! Tomorrow is a 5hour recovery ride. Recovery ride sounds good right about now. 5 hours worth, oh legs get ready…

Anyways, a few whales will hopefully be saved thanks today’s Maui Whale Run. AND fantastic news, the hump back whale is ALMOST off the "near extinction" list thanks to the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Whale Foundation for fighting to save them. YOU can help too... donate AND your donations enter you to win a FREE trip to Hawaii. CONGRATS to everyone who came from the mainland and other islands to save whales. Well worth it. And a SPECIAL shout out to my man Marley... HAPPY Birthday Bob, you are right-"Every little thing is gonna be alright".
Aloha from Maui.


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

Cannot believe I might be writing the first comment (unless someone is writing at the same time). Hang in there, you triathlon career is not over yet. I see you having some great successes (surpassing this whale run) before you get more focused on teaching again.

February 7, 2010 at 4:53 AM

Blogger Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Awesome job! You deserve it.

February 7, 2010 at 7:19 AM

Blogger D said...


February 7, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Blogger Oscarjet said...

Bree,porque solo un año mas triatlon?? Belen es teacher also!!!
cuentame si quieres y tienes 5 min por email !!!!
Un beso !
Las fotos son impresionantes....eres muy buena fotographer !!!

February 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Blogger Christi said...

Great job Bree! I really believe you are going to have a great year and you are already on your way!

February 7, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Blogger Damie said...

You needed that!!!! So awesome- yea Bree!!!!!!!!!!

February 7, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Blogger Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Super happy for you Bree Wee!! Sounds like a wicked hilly course and you just reached down into your training and heart and pulled it out. LOVE IT!

February 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Blogger Josie said...

Had no idea you were contemplating a return to teaching...though the keiki of Hawaii would be so luck if you did, I'm so glad you're fighting your back! And what a reward!!! Great finish, great prize!!! PS- Nice bumping into you on your recovery ride this morning!

February 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Blogger Coach Liz said...

Fantastic finish! It is always a boost to do better than you thought you could.

February 7, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Blogger ADC said...

Excellent run Bree. Yay!!!! I am so proud of you (it's funny how even thogh I've never met you, because I've been following your story for a while, I feel "entitled" to feel proud og your acomplishments :)))

February 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Blogger Jill Costantino said...

Holy Quacamoli Chica - you are tan rapido! Congrats:))))

February 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Blogger Monica Kvas said...

Aw, Congrats Bree! What a fantastic run! Always keep believing, no matter what!!! Thanks for your message! I will definitely drop you a line the next time I'm on the Big Island!

February 8, 2010 at 8:52 PM


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