Aloha!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Splish + KSwiss = KSplish....

You know you are slightly crazy when you feel like a million bucks after getting your rear end kicked half the day and like it. In fact, it almost feels like a treat, like you could pinch yourself that things clicked well in training despite the fact you are smashed and can hardly drive home after training... that's a good day.

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Training today was swim practice where for some reason the lane mates made me go first from start to finish, no feet to follow, nobody to chase or draft, and mentally it hurts having to count, watch send offs, and go first. Okay for me its rough, I'm not a natural in the pool. So I kicked my own rear. Then I did something that is slightly new for me, I asked the fast boys to PLEASE run with me...
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No worries chasing them on the bikes or swim, I just draft and when that isn't happening I try to hold on, then it becomes a game of "don't get lapped in the swim or don't get more than 3 hills or 14 palm trees behind on the bike". In the run its another story, how do you draft? And well, I'm not the fastest girl on 2 feet, but I always work to get faster than I am now. That's usually when I land on the track with an IPOD or on the treadmill. Anyways, today I had boys with me for 400 repeats because I wound up with the courage to ask them to kick my butt and the willingness to be humbled. Seriously, it was so much better, it hurt worse, it pushed me out of my usual comfort zone, and it took off a little intimidation I have from them. No wonder people who run in groups and packs are so fast! . After warm up I convinced them to hurt me for 10x400's alternating 5:55 pace on odds and 5:20 pace on evens. It was easy for them as they paced for me and felt like a swim workout for me, totally doable with company! I plan to BEG, PLEAD, BRIBE the boys for more run help...
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After that ride. It was past lunch hour which meant hotter than HAWAII hot and windier than HAWAII windy! All part of "I like to kick my own rear into gear". Home-sweet-home from the swimrunbike and despite a craving for anything and everything edible my face was all smiles from a good day at the office. However it got better when some KSwiss meshed with Splish landed at my door in the form of KSplish :) I LOVE them, so much! My KSwiss race kit won't be ready for a few weeks so these are the "here and now" and you better believe I am LOVING them!

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PS: Splish has a sale happening, $19.50 for practice suits if you need one!
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Almost sunset time, a good day in sport on the island!
.Bree
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Was A Good One...

The best part of the weekend was the uninterrupted time with Kainoa, away from you know, things like phone calls, texting, computer, IPOD, toys, and other action grabbers. Our distractions were simple, pure, perfect! Watching surfers at dawn patrol, kayaking, sand, tide pools, jumping off rocks into the ocean, swimming, boogy boarding, camp fire, and the other things that come along with 2 days and an evening under stars, at the beach! No worries coach, I did my run that morning, all 12 miles of it on sandy trails along the ocean while the uncles and aunties played with Kainoa...
There was absolutely no other place Id rather be then at that beach with that company. It was the perfect recovery after a long ride and swim and the great escape for a long run all while being lost at the beach away from the hustle and bustle of life...and mine seems to be spinning crazy lately, this was much welcomed! I guess you could call it mixing business with pleasure...

Hard at work...or recovery spin?!?
ahhhhh, life is good along the Kona coast!
4 Star accommodations! We scored front row.
Kainoa found a nice "out house" too.... shhhh.


It was a good weekend for sure! One of those weekends where you just let the cares of the word fade away and indulge in the moment. Of course when we got back home my bed looked so boring without the stars above and the cares of life all flooded back. Prince Kuhio Day should happen more often!! This week is full swing ahead already and I'm welcoming it too, at least the swimbikerun part...

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Race week on the island too, Lavaman Sunday! That means another day along the beach swimbikerun, alright by me!

Bree

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Prince Kuhio Day!!

The day began here, the ocean without complaint! I would like to personally thank Prince Kuhio for the pool being closed, some businesses closed, schools closed, and most the island having the day off. LOVE me this holiday! Swim practice thankfully went on, the entire squad landed at the beach for practice. However, before practice the camp site was in full on "set up mode". In fact, half this side of the island was pitching tents along the beach before work. Set up, go work (in my case train), then go back to the beach when pau hana (finished for the day). If you wait till after work you wont get a spot...really, we take this family day seriously. Well, my sister boycotts the crowd of the beach so her family is camping up the mountain, but most people this side of the island are camping this night/weekend somewhere! We have a nice sized crew ready and waiting to camp at the waters edge. Let's just say being the first at the gate when it opens for camp (Cody), really helps land the sweet spot! Packing is simple:
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*fishing pole, 3 prong, spear gun
*surf stuff
*little grill/pan to cook the lobster & fish we hope to catch
*bikinis and pajamas
*smores for the keiki :)
*Run stuff for me, I plan to wake early and tackle my long run tomorrow
*Tunes, cameras to save up some memories
*pancakes for the morning
*beach chairs, sunscreen, towels
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Think that's about it, Kainoa packed a pillow and flashlight too.

After swim practice was a long ride for me. It was awesome to get on my new bike and break it in. Of course there was a pit stop at Bike Works Waikaloa (the bike shop a little North). Helped test out a beach cruiser while the water bottles were getting refilled. Liked the cruiser a lot, thinking to race it next weekend at Lavaman! hahaha, not really...love my Swift too much!
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So what is Prince Kuhio Day?? It's one of only 2 royal holidays the United States celebrates and the 8 islands are sure to take a little time out. On March 26th 1919??? (sorry forgot the exact year, been a while since I was a teacher), Prince Kuhio set heir to the throne and he set up a Hawaiian Homes Act, setting aside 200,000 acres of land for Hawaiian blooded people. It's a pretty cool situation as the island has been taken over by different religions back in the day, different cultures all the time, and of course those who swept away grass shacks with giant homes at a cost more than fish & seashells could afford. Anyways, there is still land set aside that unless you have Hawaiian blood you can't touch it. As you know, I don't have any Hawaiian blood but I support the Act entirely. It's always raising problems on the islands and despite being Indian, German, Irish (a total mutt), I agree nobody can come along and take someones life or just change up their culture no matter where in the world. I wish I was alive back in the day the super conservative religions came along and took their grass skirts, little ti leaves for the men, and made the Hawaiians wear clothes. You better believe this white girl would be covered in grass skirts and plumerias over my boobs too, supporting the "let us/them have our culture". But that's another story...
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My training day is done, the rest of the friends are almost done with obligations, holiday is about to begin! Hope you all enjoy your weekend! You can find us at the beach, but of course I'll get that run and ride in between sunshine, family, friends, and the ocean! Must leave you with a song....HOLIDAY.
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MUAH!
Bree
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How To Make a Lei by Kainoa Wee


My mom is cleaning her bike so I told her I'd write the blog tonight. Living surrounded by puas (flowers) it's a favorite hobby of mine to string them together and make a lei. On the island we give them away to express our love to another person, it's also a "welcome greeting", and of course one of celebration at weddings & graduations. You know what baffles me? When I see them sold at Walmart from $7-$35 bucks! All of us kids on the island make our own FREE! It's so easy even a 4 year old can do it!
Lei's are made mostly out of plants, nuts, or flowers. However, I sometimes get one made out of candy on holidays! The most popular ones in Hawaii are awapuhi, hala, kupaloke, pua kenikeni, maile, melia, okika, keiki, orchid, ti leaf, and the easiest of all.... PLUMERIA!
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To make the plumeria lei find a plumeria tree and pick the flowers. Told you this is easy! My mom thinks these smell the best so that's what I like to make her. I never worry if my colors match because she loves the hot pink plumeria the most but I can usually only find enough yellow or white ones. The pink ones grow too high for me to reach, if I find a couple on the ground she gets those mixed in...

Once you collect all the plumerias you want, grab some fishing line and a giant lei needle (don't worry, a lei needle is not as sharp as a typical sewing needle, it's totally kid safe). Put the flowers on the needle, string them down the fishing line till you have enough to fit over your head. Tie the line and you are pau! A little tip, if you don't have fishing line dental floss works super too!!
It's my bed time now, happy lei making!
Kainoa
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

San Juan 70.3 Went Like This...

Must begin with, "I think this is one of the best 3 races in the world". It amazes me how first year races are hit or miss and when it's a hit, it is a BANG! Before I even begin my day, a HUGE shout out to the directors of San Juan 70.3, you know your racing, course planning, and how to celebrate. Seriously, I can't even think of a negative of the race if I had to try...it was that good. And volunteers, "GRACIAS"...
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I have to wake up in 4 hours to catch a plane home so I plan to make this QUICK...
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I spent 4hours and 33 minutes chasing some of the best women in triathlon. It hurt, it felt good, it challenged me in so many ways, and it made me truly appreciate that THIS day in Puerto Rico was my office for 70.3 miles. I was hoping to have been a little faster but the day landed me 9th and that means my next travel race, St. Croix 70.3 is now a no-go. No worries, more time to train for Hawaii 70.3 and I can handle that, probably need it too :)
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...and immedietly upon crossing the finish line I was in the med tent for who knows what. My nutrition was super and I felt alright, but after they took some blood they said I had "blah blah something blah". I didn't understand it at all even with my best Spanglish...so they stuck a shot of something in my butt and I screamed! Here's the best part...on the way to the elevator my butt was aching so bad, like it must have a massive bruise on it. The hotel just happens to have a giant mirror next to the elevator, sooooo I discover nobody in sight and lift up my dress in the mirror to check for a bruise and just my luck, the elevator opens and I am busted checking for a bruise in the giant hotel mirror, wanted to HIDE BIG TIME....Oh Puerto Rico, gonna miss this! And don't pretend you wouldn't have looked in the mirror for a bruise, I know you would too!
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If you have never been to Puerto Rico I highly reccomend it, wonderful little spot on Earth and some of the most kind people I have ever met! MAJOR big "Mahalo" to Ramon Serrano and his wife for all the support while on the island, they were like my "Spanish parents" and they truly made the trip for me. Also to Enrique for the company on my training sessions in this traffic full of cars and manattees...so much fun!
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To Trakkers, Swift Bikes, KSwiss, Splish, Bike Works, Coach Jimmy, and Johnson Blanton-I could not do this without you, thank you for helping me have this chance to live a dream come true! Alright then, Hawaii... see you in 4 flights & 17 hours!
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Nos vemos,
Bree
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Friday, March 18, 2011

...Manana

Alright, for those of you that aren't here for San Juan 70.3, here is the transition, and now you have seen the swimbikerun, (from previous photos). It's pretty cool being at first year events, you just never know what to expect. Let me tell ya, this is AMAZING! Highly reccomend it. In fact, the race director went around and personally shook hands of all the athletes in the briefing today! He really cared about the event and you can tell all the volunteers are beyond excited to be part of our big day tomorrow...
The track field is the only place large enough to hold all the bikes! Of course, its also a good 400 meters away from the swim exit before you run the length of the field for your bike. All of this course is totally unique, from swimming under a bridge in a manatee filled beach, to cycling along a city full of life, to running through historical landmarks. I like it. I am ready to race on it.
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Of course the evening is turning dark and all the stuff for tomorrow is set to go. That means the butterflies are parading within me and I'm forced to sleep through them, silent them with a pep talk that we have trained, we have prepared, and we love this...nothing left to do but get out there and finish up 70.3 miles as best and fast as I personally can.
Tomorrow athletes from near and far are going to be on this little beach, then we swim out, back, under a bridge, over manatees, and onto a little ramp. It's super cool, maybe one of my new favorite swims, ever. Reminds me of St. Croix 70.3 in a few ways...



I have really enjoyed my time on this island. It has been fun training away and getting to know another place on Earth. The people of Puerto Rico are absolutely amazing, warm as can be! Always late, even moreso than the "aloha time" we arrive on back home. Until tonight I have really been appreciating being here and just going with the flow. Now it's the evening before the race and my mind is fixed on doing my best job possible when the gun goes off in the morning.
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It's always easy for me to switch over from "fun" to "focus", it just helps if I wait till last minute to do it, keeps me relaxed and reminds me RACING IS FUN, hard but fun. Todays prerace meeting and seeing the superstars I get to race along with tomorrow got the "focus" shifting into high gear...

Don't worry, it stayed chill...an amigo gave me an official "Puerto Rico" shirt to lighten the butterflies. I did laugh and will wear it on the plane home. In fact, tomorrow has to be a good day, its my last day on the island and Sunday morning at 6am I fly back to Hawaii so I can land in time to get Kainoa from school :) That said, gotta race my heart out then go soak up what's left to discover of Puerto Rico!
Good luck tomorrow everyone racing! Hope your day is worth the journey you traveled (training) to get here! See ya at the finish line!
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Bree
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

San Juan...

Today was by far one of the coolest days I have lived. After a very long night of "trying to fall asleep" I fell asleep, then woke up homesick. By 8am I was in the company of one of my favorite Puerto Rican amigos and off to a giant swimming pool and a tour of the race area. From there I was in the hands of another amigo from the island that showed me all the "real Puerto Rico" stuff. How people really live, where they really eat, and what they do...stuff you just dont see if you arent looking. I am so blessed with incredible people in my life.
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After lunch it was time to ride. Riding here is the most scary thing I have ever survived. When you come from an island that has a bike lane the size of a traffic lane and are put into "traffic" on this island it is scary. Let's just say we rode a long time and my heart rate got up-but not because of effort-TRAFFIC!
Mid way through the ride we found a fruit smoothie stand, it was ONLY fruits in there and the perfect bottle refuel stop, ever. Pina, papaya smoothie and mango on the side is just what this island girl was craving! We rode till almost sunset, it was a great way to explore the island when the traffic wasnt causing me to nearly pi$$ my pants! My legs are pretty heavy feeling, I suppose a long travel just doesnt disappear. Coach told me to keep them moving and get the blood going in there, so thats what I did. Hotel ALL day never tempts me anyways so I was happy to be out in the fresh air training away... This is the run course, part of it. We climb a short, steep hill then get to a gradual climb. Once we get to the turn I was thinking it would be down hill but we take a middle road that gradually climbs back to the turn to run the second loop. Im not sure how its possible to have an almost entirely uphill run course on a 2 loop course but I never really noticed the gradual down hill... it has some awesome views though. Managed to look at them today so Saturday they wont cause me curiosity :)
Then I dove off a very high dive so I can remember the cliff jummping back home and shake off my homesickness. Just kidding, I only took a peak and jumped into the swimming pool for laps instead. Tomorrow will be the ocean swim I have been waiting for! A HUGE "gracias" goes out to the incredible people of San Juan that have been so helpful! This trip would not be this amazing without your company and support!


Muchos abrazos,
Bree
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Pretty Place...

Flying into San Juan my mind was instantly at peace, familiar before even stepping off the plane or landing for that matter. From the sky looking down it looked as if I was flying to the island of Oahu, Waikiki speaks Spanish to be exact. Then I saw the giant cruise ship and it took me to Kailua Bay, we get a cruise ship in our bay every week, this island was looking like home, Hawaii tucked in Espanol here and there...

16 hours of travel has left me sleepy. After lacing the run shoes and getting out and about I was a bit more revived. These days before the "race stuff" happens are my most favorite, you get to swimbikerun in such new places with such a simple joy. This place happens to be beautiful to me, infact it excites me to be a triathlete in moments like this.
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As with all my travels, sailing isnt always smooth. The 17th my hotel over booked and is kicking me out for the night, but I get to come back the next day. Not sure how to process that yet, its just a night but Id rather not pack up and deal with finding another place for one day just to return here for 2 more. As we say back home, "no worries". I'm crossing my fingers that some people decide not to check in and I can stay. Toes are crossed too...



Tomorrow is swim and ride, looking forward to getting back on my new bike and of course swimming out a little more of this long travel. Buenos Noches...
Bree
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Long Run, Smelly Swim, Long Flight...


Yesterdays long run was the first chance I had to really "dwell on" and "reflect on" and just "let loose" all things tsunami. Before the long run it was just a whirl wind of pack, unpack, clean up, reorganize, prioritize, and readjust without really taking a minute of time out. On the run I got to breeze past all the damage that you don't really see from the car, you get to smell the dirty smells-those of fish, others of who knows what.
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Lots of clean up crews, lots of churches praying at the sights of damaged areas, and lots of picture taking by all. Today I leave for a week and when I return I'm almost positive town will be closer to the scents of plumerias than that of dead fish we have lingering now. Most the debris will be swept away by wind and waves (yes, we are getting 10-20ft waves according to the surf forecast for tomorrow). The long run really made me happy to call Hawaii, this island especially, home. The long run had me so thankful I get to be part of a community that really embraces the "family", and that despite all that has happened Id still rather be here then anywhere else. Japan is still on my mind, a lot...


My training has really taken somewhat of a back seat, I feel so bad about that because I usually am really good about finding a way to make it happen despite curve balls in life or motherhood, this time was different, especially leading into a race. The day I was supposed to ride my new bike for the first time the tsunami came, today I rode it for the first time, once before the race. Swims were called off, pool is closed today, ocean has been dead-fish-and other stuff-polluted, school was closed, and more importantly it has been a few days of "cling to family". We of course found a beach barely effected by the Friday mess and played together as if nothing happened...
This morning was a reminder something has happened. Today was my first swim in 4 days, if the pool was opened I would have been in it 'cause the ocean is trippin' me out still. With a race coming I sort of just held my breath and jumped in with some friends of the swim team. It stunk so bad like dead fish, 2 showers later I still smell it in my hair. I tried so hard not to let water in my mouth but I swim with my mouth open so that lasted about 7 seconds. It was really weird too. It felt so shallow, as if you could reach the ocean bottom even way out to sea.
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We all played a really dumb game at the turn buoy, we asked, "what would you do if all of a sudden the water started to go out to sea?" Not a fun thing to think on when you are out in the middle of the ocean, but we asked anyway. Half of us decided we would try to swim to shore as fast as we can and when the water sucked up run on the choral even if we are digging razor sharp reef into our feet. The other half would swim out to sea and try to be deep enough when the wave hit to not get thrown to shore. It was not a cool thought and with that we decided to just swim to shore for safety. There were condoms, underwear, tires, shopping carts, and other weird things all being seen by the swimmers the past couple days, Robin put it in perspective, "At least its not bodies we are swimming into". With that all we could do was thing about Japan and again I didn't mind that training up to a race was on the sidelines, I am more stoked family, Kainoa, and the town is doing so good...


The bike is in the box, the clothes are packed in my luggage, and now its time to hele to the airport. Kainoa is safely at his dads and that leaves me with a lot of peace. Of course I feel bad leaving to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico while my friends are swimming in fish guts. Ill be back. Having not thought much on the race I plan to regaze my focus during my flight, Ill have 16 hours or so to do just that...
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Aloha Hawaii, hola Puerto Rico...
Bree
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