Aloha!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Little Swim, A Little Ride, A Little Shave Ice...

Woke up to plumerias invading my nose, its my most favorite smell on Earth! Woke up to Kainoa kicking me in the head, its okay when he jumps in bed with me at 3 in the morning, reminds me of what motherhood is all about!
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The morning was a swim out to sea with the girls in bikini's and the boys along for the ride. Drenched in salt water and covered in sunscreen, it was so good to wake up to the sun over Hualalai and tip toe back into my life on the island. Ever so gently taking things a day at a time towards the next goal and doing what I love to do along the way.
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From the swim to a ride. Just a little easy spin, nothing more than "enjoyable" pace and girl chat about what was shakin' on the island while I was away and stories of the potatoes I enjoyed in Idaho. Truthfully, I miss it there. Really. Never in my life imagined loving a landlocked place but I did. In fact, I took a run along the lake my last day and was so in awe at the things my eyes were seeing, so much in awe I even said, "If I had to live here I could and I would enjoy it". Not that I want to move, I'm just saying, that place totally took me by surprise.


After my work day and Kainoa's school day it was time for our shave ice date. Just sitting on the sea wall watching everyone play in the ocean, talking about big kid things, like what he drew at school and how he thinks its better to have 2 straws. Ahhhhh, the sweet life. Of course my day was filled with some tri-business too. Lots of planning and thought collecting to do. I even managed to look through all 463 photos my home stay dad took of the Ironman! Oh those were fun memories, but this one says it all...
Those that know me, like really know me. know when my tongue comes out of my mouth like that I'm deep in thought. It started in 2nd grade, my music teacher busted me and noticed I only do it when I am lost in thought or focusing in such a matter that the world around me is blocked out....
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This was when I was thinking so hard about how to shut the stuff in my head up. Never managed to silent it all, usually I look around me-that's why I smile and wave, its my distraction from my head. But this day I couldn't even look around, I was too deep in thought...usually never go to that place when I race, it makes me too tense. Anyways, found a super amazing sports doc on the island. He's way legit, worked with all sorts of pros in all sorts of sports, he's from Germany and a professor at the University. I am begging my way into his office, fingers are crossed he agrees to take my case. I love sport so much, its my passion and its something I want to do my best at, whatever that may be, but Ill never know my potential if my head gets in the way of what my body does in training.... fingers crossed this man wants me...if not I have a couple other docs I think I can work with.

Alright, that's it for the day... GOOD night from Kona,

Bree :)

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Miss Potato Head in Idaho...

I'm sitting here with a little sadness about the race and a little hope knowing that there is always another one. It just never gets easy working for something, sacrificing, and believing only to come up short of the goal. So..... as they say, "only dead fish swim with the stream", I'm totally alive so I gotta pick up where I left off and swim against whatever it is.
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However, as I venture home Idaho sweet Idaho was unbelievable. Never would I have envisioned marking it on the map as one of my best and most favorite race places. Loved it all...especially the family that took me in. Rounds family, you all are beautiful in so many ways and even though the race went a little sour my days with you all were super sweet!
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As for the race... let's sum it up shortly as I would rather not relive it. Even before the start my head began to fill with each & every painful memory or comment given to me in my sport life. I'm talking the poop you want to scrape off your shoe when you step in dog $h!t. I found my home stay dad on the beach and he helped me wipe the tears and get my head at least attached to my body. The entire day it felt like I was Miss Potato head with all the parts of a face but nothing in my mind that made any sense at all. I know it wasn't a bonk because I was fueled and even wore a HR monitor...it was crap I chose to believe rather than the positive stuff I usually cling too.
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I love finishing what I start, no matter how it gets done. So I ventured out on the run and nearly 18 people spectating saw the tears and offered to walk with me, just to get me finished. In my mind I thought I don't need a 26.2 mile walk, I'm not even tired, I need to beat the battle field in my mind. So Coach and I have some work to do outside of physically training me, its time to face the demons in life & sport that I have been hiding behind a smile. Truly I appreciate all the support that is always lavished upon me, I'm beyond thankful...
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As for now... time to grab the hand of Kainoa and keep on moving forward. Another day, another race. And I'm even checking myself into some visits with a sports psychologist at home...because it doesnt matter if I have my manager, coach, sponsors, friends, and family believing... I have to believe too.
Across the ocean I go...
Malama Pono,
Bree
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Saturday....

The day before the day. One more sleep. I love this day, it's like FINALLY. You work and train so hard just waiting for the day to arrive, then it gets here with just one more sleep to go, just enough time for that last deep breath...
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Nice little bike ride along the lake then a swim. It was choppy & perfect (well, cold but not horrible in the wetsuit). This morning was one of those swims where you want to be in the water and swim long & far. I hope that feeling is there tomorrow morning too. Seriously I was in the zone, I wanted to swim across the lake to explore a little island on the other side. For maybe I minute I swam with my eyes closed and let myself just listen to the swirling water and feel the chop-the sound and feel were the same as home and in that moment I was in the Pacific Ocean. In that moment Kainoa felt close to me too & my friends weren't so far away. I just want to race already...
The lake was serving up shaved ice, so cool...too cold for me, maybe hot tea or coco, Ill pass on the ice. But it was special seeing that. Then I saw Andy Potts on the beach with his family. Did I ever tell you he is one of my favorite triathletes?? Mostly because of the family guy in him. He just adores his family and its living proof you can be a triathlete and include your family in this crazy "look at me spend all day with my bike" sport that we love.
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Top secret, Id like to see John Flanagan win his first Ironman tomorrow, how can I not root for the Hawaii boy!!??! However, if Potts crosses the line first that would give me a smile too!


Bike is racked, checked in, bags are given to the transition people, feet are up, took a mini-nap (any longer and I will be challenged sleeping tonight). There isn't much else left to do...but wait. Oh, I finally got a sunset photo too...since I'm struggling to sleep long hours here I figure might as well spend my time getting a good view...9:30 or something like that sunset:
As we say back home, auuuuuuuuright love it. Go get em' to all the Kona Marathoners tomorrow, having fun along Alii Drive, and to all of us out here at IM CDA, have a great race! Thanks for all the support and cheers too, it means so much!!
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Bree
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today I Played Hawaii N' Idaho....

Okay...today was one of those days where you wake up and have a huge smile because you are so thankful for the life you live. Woke up with lots of pajamas, socks, and wanting to put the covers over me to stay warm longer, but still I was stoked to wake up with a smile in Idaho. Of course while waking up the phone was going off the charts with yesterdays texts from friends back home, stuff like this, "Bree SOUTH SWELL, you are missing it", "we had dolphins", "Bree Costco is selling Roxy bikini's now-really", "Hey, swimming at 7 if you want to go, its warm and salty". Oh I love my friends, and of course home... however, this week is showing me something different.
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All over is beatiful, its just different colors, like here is more greens and browns and home is more blues and oranges. So today I was going to play a little game, I was going to look around and see Hawaii here, or see this place and find home in it...
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Above, thats Hawaii looking across the bay...where I swim and below, looking across the lake, where I swam this morning....

Above, Idaho's lake bottom, I think they are old dead logs, they felt like logs. Below, thats some old dead coral and lava rock, dead too....

Shore break: Above, Idaho...I had to kick to make the ripples, but it sure turned out cool with the bubbles. Below, Hawaii....little summer swell on the beach of Honl's, no kicking required.
Laying on the lake bottom, browns and greens of Idaho above. Laying on the ocean floor back home (below), shades of blue.

Here is the deep, deep part of the lake, in a wetsuit, super clean water though. Below is the deep, deep part of the ocean, not in a wetsuit...I enjoyed both, honestly. Of course warm suits me better and no fish swam with me today...

And the trees. Idaho has some of the tallest trees I have ever seen in my entire life! They go up forever and look so strong. Hawaii, we have palms that sway with the breezes along our shore line.
Other than playing Idaho/Hawaii I borrowed a food processor to make some recovery balls, tried not to destroy my homestays kitchen too much (thanks family). I played way too much computer but that was the order (stay off my feet), I finished a book, and of course took a nice little drive so I could see more of this beautiful Idaho. As for the race, I even picked up my race number today...#51... very excited to get on with the race, until then I'm enjoying what my eyes see throughout this week and the people I am meeting.
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Hugs from Idaho and the biggest sent back home to Kainoa!!
Bree
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday in Idaho....

This is the swim course... it is so beautiful in a very different than the beachy-beautiful that I'm used to. My entire morning was saved by the Hutter Family. Sue and Chloe pretty much made sure I didn't end up in Canada, Montana, or Washington by giving me their GPS and plugging in any and all places I might want to go while I'm here. Swim start, my home stay, the natural food store, places like that. Except for the fact an island mix I burned was jamming in the car, driving is SOOOOOO different. One area has no lane dividers and believe it or not I was in the middle of the street or the other side of the road! Not to mention I drove right on through a stop sign (with Sue's daughter in the passenger seat, so sorry about that....). It's getting better as I slowly found this is not a one-loop-around-the island type of driving place, it has freeways!
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Back to my swim.... the swim was incredible...incredibly cold & beautiful! My hands & feet were instantly numb, however I could feel my face. Go grab an ice pack and hold it firmly on your face, that burning feeling, that's what it was like. The air temp is amazing though, I never got sweaty today but was never cold (out of water that is). Really, its gorgeous. I'm finding that so many places are incredible all over the world, it just depends on the eyes & attitude you decide to look with....
This is the view coming down the hill from my home stay: Crystal & Brian Rounds. Let me tell you how incredibly blessed I am to be with them, VERY! They have totally welcomed me with open arms, like when I showed up at 1:30am this morning! Truthfully, the only thing for me to personally struggle with, other than my homesickness for Kainoa, is this insane dark/light thing! I am ready to sleep (it's 8pm) but it looks like 4pm outside!

Coach told me to ride a loop today and hilariously used a word I have not heard in FOREVER! "Bree, think of it as exercise, "EXERCISE", not a workout or training session". Exercise? So funny, but he was serious. Today's ride was just to learn the course, get a feel for the rolling hills, loosen up from my flight, and get the blood moving. In fact I was sent out with company. Gabe (A local pro cyclist) was my tour guide. Without him I would have been so lost! I was picturing myself calling the Rounds, "Hi guys I'm lost, somewhere near the cow skulls".
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The ride was so beautiful! I'm most certain coach sent me out on an easy loop today knowing I would have been awe-struck and googling over the views, he was having me get it out my system today rather than race day. Everyone here is beyond kind...like the people on the bike loop who set up an aid station in their front yard for the athletes out there training all day, the Hutters & Rounds, Gabe, Vertical Planet Bike Shop, everyone...thank you!
Okay, it's 8:15 now.... it looks like 4:15pm. I'm going to pretend its dark out and close my eyes. 5 more sleeps till race day, by then I'll be sleeping like a champ with the sun still awake!
Good Night from Idaho!
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Bree
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Something Like This...

Sitting on the plane I know 3 things. 1) I just left the greatest place I know-home, and it’ll all be there when I return, so I will go enjoy Idaho and of course get the job done as best as I can . 2) This flight will be short and sweet compared to the South Africa trip, that will forever remain in my head as the longest sitting experience I will never forget. 3) Where I’m going is DARN cold, I was told by a few local Idahoians. Lovely…me no likey cold.
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To pass the time I decide to work on one of the projects I’m tackling for the Kona-California Scholarship fundraising (and you all better support it when it’s ready for action). I pop open the computer, plug the head phones into the computer totally ready to jam while I type. The plane is of course noisy but I hear the music. With the head phones on I continue to turn the volume up. O-Shens “Island Jewel” is playing, I completely love that song and just imagine its being sung to me by some Island tan boy back home…but anyways, I am now full on jamming, head bobbing, smiling, even shaking the hips a little in my seat. Still the volume is too low so I make it go as loud as I can and discover the people near me looking quite funnily, I smile the kind of smile that says, “mind your own business” , then take off the ear phones to get my gum out of my bag only to find the head phones were indeed NOT plugged into the computer and the music was floating throughout the plane to everyone but me because I had the head phones on barely hearing it… ahh, what a start to a will-be-great-trip!
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Well….Im arriving at midnight. Fantastic. Just in time for bed. Tomorrow I know I have a bike ride on tap, so if by chance anyone reading this in Idaho near the race, if you want to ride bikes with me PLEASE let me know. This island girl would love company, or a personal map to keep me from riding to the ocean, because back home it seems all bike rides land us near the ocean! Okay….that’s all the reporting I have to scoop you all on. Once I begin the Idaho experience I will hopefully have something more exciting, like a giant potato discovery or something. Till then, just a few of yesterdays “under the sun” day with Kainoa photos…



and of course my new nephew and his parents :)

One flight down, one to go. Hope somebody back home caught the sunset for me, the plane ride didn't have the greatest view. Next stop: Idaho (well, Spokane, then drive to Idaho....)
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Thanks for reading...
Bree
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hop Across The Pacific.....

Pretty soon it'll be time to hop across the Pacific Ocean!! WHOOOP WHOOOOP, I'm actually excited under this tiny bit of homesickness! Coach gave me a swim this morning to prepare for whats to come: cold water, a lake, a wetsuit. Ahhhh, nothing like swimming in warm Kailua Bay, in a wetsuit, roasting by the time you make it to the King's Buoy, hoping not to over heat on the return to shore. Love the looks too, everyone wonders what you are doing in a wetsuit rather than the usual bikini's/surf trunks & skinny dipping the Big Island is known for. The first couple hundred meters were ugly, no rotation, just a big floating mess in that wetsuit. After I got the elbows up and hips rotating it got better and I was actually loving the wetsuit floating capabilities I now had!




After the swim my next mission was to get packing. Packing did not happen. That little Kainoa smile stole my day. He wanted nothing more to do than wander around the tide pools. Tomorrow I'll pack. In Idaho I'll relax more. As a parent the abilty to just sit still isn't always possible and this weekend is no different...as far as taper goes, it's not ruined, I'm considering it shared with a 3 year old :) Perhaps parenting and the excessive triathlon indulgment is the perfect fit...

I smile every time I see blue meet green. There is something amazing about sky meeting ocean that never ceases to amaze me! Our tide pool discoveries were the usual wana, fish, coral chunks, hermit crabs, and today we even found a sea horse...at least we think it was.



ooooops, a little too much water on the lens...

Idaho. Never been there, I am totally excited to see some place new and very different. I'm wondering if it'll be sunrise or sunset in the little town. I'm wondering if there are big country roads and horses. I'm wondering if it's a place with cowboys & country music or if I still might be able to hear Ryan Hiraoka on the radio. I'm hoping they don't just serve potatoes but rice too. New places totally excite me, of course for me there is no place like home, but being able to catch a small glimpse into another part of this giant world just makes me understand life and people better.

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South Africa was hands down one of the greatest opportunities of my life, but this trip already feels more calm. Knowing I am only 7 hours from home rather than the 47 hours it took me to return from Africa is a sigh of relief! Tomorrow a run along the Kona Coast, a call to my dad to tell him I love him, then packing. Perhaps one more beach trip will happen with Kainoa too.

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Aloha ahi ahi!!

Bree

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Deep Blue Long Swim at Manini...

Ahh the beautiful, world famous Kealakekua Bay, home of little Manini Beach & on the other side the landing spot of Captain Cook. The history would take forever to tell and the wonders of that bay and all that has happened there (and some things that still happen) are just mysteries galore. However....there is one tiny Hawaiian legend (or possibly truth) that lingers in my head when I am there and today it was choking me.
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Back in the day (the time I taught 4th graders Hawaiian Studies) we had to read this Hawaiian History book, for some families it was like a Bible, total truth, live and die by it. Others believed, others ignored, and others claim it as nonfiction. I'm stuck in the "could have happened", "seen photos", "locals that lived years ago tell me stories of their youth here that relate", yeah, that's where I stand on it all, call me a believer.
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That above photo is standing at Manini looking out at Kealakekua Bay. The 2.3 mile loop (there and back) that we swam today. It's a dolphin filled bay, jelly fish at times, who knows-maybe even sharks, and of course some waves, currents, chop, things like that...
This was our crew. Hillary Biscay-an Ironman Champ and usual swim leader, 2 master swimmers record holders, 2 moms, 2 college students home from break who can swim, and a former swim coach. It wasn't a cruise pace but not an open water swim race either, it was more of a go when you can, hold on when you have to, and make it if you get left behind. Thankfully I hung on fine and dandy across the Bay. It gets so deep you dont see a darn thing! Its nothing like swimming at Kona Pier or Kailua Bay...nothing.
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On the way back, a different story. 3 of the girls decide to go diving off a friends boat and the rest of us go back hanging onto Hillary's feet (if you could). Jim and I fell of the back a little and decided to take the loop through the middle of the bay, the deepest darkest part. I ran into dolphins, literally, lost Jim and all of a sudden was alone with the old stories I had to teach about that bay. The story in my mind was the one of survival. The story goes....if you messed up (the kinds of mess ups people did hundreds of years ago in Hawaii) you had to swim from Kona to this bay, if you made it you would be forgiven and could come back. If you dont make it nobody cared and good-you die the death you deserve. Well, not many ever made it. Those caves and high mountain side walls surrounding the bay are filled with bones (no lie, its a burial ground too).
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When I was alone in the deepest, darkest part, where you cant see bottom and you are in the exact middle (far from any shore and nobody could hear if you scream for help) I was imagining me having to swim that swim of survival, alone. You know when your mind starts to play tricks on you because you entertain any bad thought?? Well, I thought I saw a shark fin so I could not stop thinking sharks were all around me, then I was so scared to look down, not that you can see a single thing, I forced myself to look down, then I thought a whale was coming (I know, maybe I was bonking), it was insane all the thoughts lingering. Then I had myself so convinced I would be attacked so I started to think of a positive outcome. You know Bethany Hamilton, the Hawaii surfer girl who was attacked and now surfs professionally with one arm??? Well, I was telling myself when my leg or arm gets bitten off Ill be a pro with one leg or arm missing and still do my sport just like her, then I was thinking how long would I have to get to shore before all the blood spills out? Bad news...
Eventually I got closer and closer to Jim, then to Hillary and the other 2 girls, the other 3 girls behind us were so far back I never saw them, and finally to shore! It was the longest swim of my life, mentally I was talking to me all swim long trying to convince myself I would survive a shark attack!
And the worst part, was my friends laughing.... Wendy already had the headline, "mom in a bikini found floating after shark attack, nobody knows what she was doing out there". But at least I was in a bikini! I won't say names but not all the girls swim in clothes and its totally fine! Back in the day, when you had to swim from Kona, it was naked! I better chill out on the Hawaiian studies because I am freaking myself out on some of this history!!
Finally, I found my dream wetsuit for IM CDA....Blue Seventy, lets get this going! ha ha... Happy training from a sharkless filled bay :)
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Bree
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