Aloha!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back Yard Racing...

4 more sleeps till race day. The butterflies have long been fluttering, the nerves have already accumulated in full force, the excitement was built sometime last week, and of course...it's rest week. Rest week for some reason drives me weird. This morning I felt so flat at swim, it literally felt like I was swimming against a wild, raging current. In fact, fluster began to entertain me so I skipped a 50 on one of the sets to catch my breath, give me a pep talk to SNAP out of it and push through the taper-blahs, and because I needed to swim at least one round with some pep so I could feel a drop or 2 of swim speed. Yeah, self pep talks help me BIG time, reminded myself, "to loosen the bra and empty that girly pink purse full of reasons why I felt junky", works most every time.
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Then a bike ride. Same thing. Coach must know me pretty good by now, he had some little intervals tossed into a 2hr ride that would wake up and shake out my legs. Sure enough what felt like a slug in the start of the ride felt more like me by the finish. You know, I have a secret... Whenever coach (or anyone for that matter) would give me a workout race week with anything other than "easy, recovery, or loosen up" in the plan I would ignore it. In my mind I used to think, "weird, aren't we supposed to save it for race day, I'm not spending ANY energy till the race". SO Id ignore the pick ups and intervals and just swim, bike, or run easy. After feeling flatter than a pancake on so many race days I realized I am the fool not the coach and I have to ignore myself. Now I believe in those pick ups and few intervals, such as today's ride. Perfect example if I do say so myself...
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In 4 days is a home-race, those are the best! I've decided to list my favorite reasons for racing at home. Of course having Kainoa front and center is the first best reason! He's my recovery swim buddy as soon as the finish line happens...
#2. The views. Racing in my back yard sure has some amazing views. You know, oceans, palm trees, plumerias, dolphins and fish, the list goes on and on...hula & fire dancers?!
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#3. Home. Sleeping in your own bed, eating from your kitchen, having your neighbors and training partners all over racing with you or cheering for you, being able to have your vehicle there to drive, your phone works (sometimes over seas mine does not work), you can carry on with your everyday life a little easier.
#4. The weather. I like it more hot than cold. 'nuff said...

#5. Sunsets. Thankfully I won't have to miss any racing at home! Sunsets are something I will forever appreciate wherever I am in the world.

#6. The Course. I love racing around Hapuna/Mauna Lani...it's pretty amazing. Hot n' beachy, windy n' wild, it's a favorite of mine. Not too hilly, not too cold, it's home.

I'm doing my best to pretend Saturday will be just another good day at home. It's not working trying to fool myself, but keeping the normal routine of motherhood and life is helping to shake off a few of the flutters...and as I was once told, "Butterflies and race nerves mean you care". I do care...

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Bree
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hale Sweet Hale...

Yesterday (and the day before), I felt like junk. Of course by now I should know that "sometimes" the day after a taper begins a junk-feeling day usually happens to me. Getting all out of whack requires EXTRA strength to keep positive despite the body feeling ready to crawl into a hole. Since I live life with a very full plate, as soon as something like a long ride or big training session is cut short or taken away it throws off my balance...the junk feeling.
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Today felt more normal, a tiny bit of "spunk" is coming back to my "spunkless, fiestyless" self, slowly. I suppose that is the way taper goes, you slow down a little, feel out of balance, then the spunk comes back, and hopefully by race day you are FIRED UP AND SPUNKY! In a week the truth will be told...
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My day began at the beach, the same spot I'll be standing a week from today, with SPUNK...

A handful of my favorite people and I rode into the Hawi winds, through the swirls of cross wind, and under a very hot Summer sun. It was where I needed to be, home sweet home for me on the bike, training. A good day paved the way for everything to feel more balanced in me...

...and the BEST part of the day, finding my Heaven on Earth! With the shark attacks this week and a few beaches closed it was very AWESOME returning to the beloved ocean! for exactly 5 days I did not go underwater in the Pacific. My feet touched it, up to my knees maybe, but underwater has been TOO LONG. 5 days is the longest amount of time in my entire life (other than mainland trips) that I have not been 100% salt water covered! It was amazing to be there again, can't even put it into words...







Tomorrow's long run is a whopping 60 minutes, knowing that is all the distance my legs will cover I plan to fully embrace it. Then of course a little ocean action, nothing like a surf or paddle, a "recovery" swim. The return of my spunk I will let find me, no need to search for it, its there, waiting for the start line...

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Happy Weekend & safe weekend!

PS... if you need a new swim suit check out Splish.com, they have a 26% off swim suit sale for the holiday weekend!

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Bree
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ocean Love...

"Love is what we are born with, fear is what we learn". I was born with a sincere passion for the ocean. Pretty sure salt water runs through my veins, to be far from an ocean for too long is perhaps one of the rare times when my heart feels uneasy. I've got scars, stitches, staples, cuts, and bruises all from favorite ocean moments. More than that, the ocean has given me some of the greatest sources of relief, joy, and that beautiful self confidence that creates inner strength in a girl...
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For as long as I can remember solo swims out to sea have been nothing short of perfect. Laying on my back, eyes closed in the surf was a safe spot for me. I've swam with sharks, I've fished them, and I've sat in a hospital with a friend after he'd been bit by a shark out surfing. Sharks have a great deal of my respect, I'm for sharks and stand up for them when it comes to protecting them. I know they exist in the ocean and for so long I've believed that if I swim and play in peace they will be okay with me enjoying their territory...

From Hawaii News Now...

Yesterday was shark attack number 2 in 3 days. Not to mention beaches in town and as far North as Mauna Kea have been closed this week for the shark action. Thankfully each of the attacks (from different sharks each time) have only sunk teeth into boards and not bodies. Am I struck with fear? I don't know...
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It's not going to keep me out of the water but having helicopters flying above every morning this week, scoping the coast line to determine opening the beaches or not isn't exactly fun. Yesterday it made me a little angry, enough that I ALMOST entertained fear. In fact it sent me to swim with the high school team rather than the regular masters swim. That practice was like swimming with sharks. We did 5,000 in the duration it takes us to swim nearly 3,000! It was very good for me mentally to battle the road blocks that come with fast swimming. One of the main sets was a set of 200's on 2:40 and our lanes goal was to bust them under 2:15. Followed that up by 300 yards of broken 25's holding our breath, talk about being a mermaid! In deed it was like swimming with sharks...


So this morning, coach had up: Run and recovery ocean swim. I was ready to jump feet first into the ocean and to combat any mistake of shark bait I sported my ocean bikini. It is very lovely blue with star fish, squids, sea horses, and other ocean creatures-talk about blending into my surrounding! Camoflauge at its finest. Then the helicopters came, (I live just 1 mile from the most recent shark attack), and my ocean voyage was knocked out of question, along with having no company. To the pool we went, like a couple of kids running from the school bully, a 16 foot shark. "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."-Helen Keller

Today I spent time looking out to the ocean, I know what's out there, it's visible as much as it's hidden. Saturday we have planned an ocean swim, it will be the first venture since the beach closures and hopefully create closure to this shark fear that is trying to entertain me...I want my carefree ocean floats back...

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Swim Happy,

Bree
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Swim, Run, Ride...into Summer!

Okay, okay, so it's always Summery in Hawaii, but today it is SUMMER with ALL THINGS Summer in full bloom! For starters, the sharks are cruising the shore line. Sunday one of them swam itself right on up to Lymans Beach, (a favorite surf spot) and knocked a woman and her grandson off their board, then took a bite out of the board, she kicked the shark and they got away safe...THANKFULLY neither of them were injured. However, a 16 foot shark in a favorite surf/swim beach reminds me Summer time is here. Note: sharks are always in the ocean, Jaws theme song now playing in my head...
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Sooooooo, Monday morning landed me in the above pool, I took a day out of the ocean since the beach was still closed while the helicopters scoped the coast line. It's the tiny Club pool where Kona Aquatics used to swim. In a few ways it was like the ocean, no lanes. After knocking out a few people I jumped out and called it a shark infested mess. Today more than made up for yesterdays swim. Kona Aquatics pool (the big one), was open and practice was in session! And how does that let me know it's Summer?? It was WARM at 6am in that water and a couple of the girls swam in 2 pieces, YES!!!

Summer Swim Main Set:


  • 12x100 descend (you have to drop everyone for it to count)

  • 10x75 descend-pick up up faster pace than the 100's

  • 8x50 descend-you better be flying now and don't forget, each one must get faster, no starting easy though!

  • 6x25 all fast and getting faster
Onto the bike! Summer on the bike means a few things, one of them being NEW RACE KITS! Yes, YES, Yes, (insert triple fist pumps). Love the colors so much! I chose my favorite blue, Kainoa's favorite color red, and of course black in the bottom area since last season I had a bad experience in white and everyone told me go black! Thanks KSwiss!!
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Today's run was HOT. Hot=Summer. Okay that makes no sense on the island, but it felt like a Summer run because everyone was out! I'm talking strollers, racers, kids that are out for Summer just cruising on the streets with skate boards, it felt like dodging people more than cars and that was mid afternoon, after the swim & bike! Oh, and it's time to buy more sunscreen, that's Summer for sure!
Finally, my favorite Summer twist on between workouts snack: Ezekiel raisin toast with almond butter, bananas, honey drizzle, and sprinkles of bee pollen! The bees are busy right now, that means more fresh pollen and honey on the island-ALOHA SUMMER!
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Bree
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Weekend in Pictures...

Sunsets that take your breath away...


...most of Saturday morning on the bike.


Sunday morning run. Note: Kainoa is totally making fun of me for using the fuel belt.



Sunset dinner with the family.


Believe it or not, this was a HIGH-LIGHT! I organized my shell collection, (call it recovery if you want, I did).


OCEAN TREASURES!!!




Lounging in tide pools...


Riding with the Hawaii Cycling Club in the NEW KSwiss colors!! Ocean Blue n' black (on the right).


For me to know and you to find out...
Fishing...




Fish Tacos, twice in a day! Oooooo island life, I love you...


Farmers market moments...


Playing in the hose with Kainoa.


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It was a good weekend, 2 more till Honu.


Bree
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Friday, May 20, 2011

ALOHA Friday....

Happy ALOHA Friday! This has been a pretty good week in all things life, love, and sport. First I would like to thank the Frenchmen who created the bikini. Truly it is a wonderful little outfit perfect for days on the island and countless hours on the beach and in the ocean, who am I kidding, its great on all occasions. In fact, I was helping my friend recently shop for a new bikini and I told her she needs a black one, for special occasions...yep, special days in 2 pieces do happen in Hawaii.

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Today is the 55th anniversary of the Bikini Island Bombing, (remember the Marshallese Project??) Today marks the 55 years since America played the roll of "mess maker", and well, the only good from that was the creation of the bikini... In 1946 we got our 2 pieces. Today us girls are "remembering & supporting the Marshallese" bombing by proudly wearing bikinis...

As for sport this week, take a little peek, a beautiful rainbow strung across the evening sky during swim practice Wednesday. Oh, it was a rough workout, the kind that require mental and physical strength in abundance! But with all difficulties comes something beautiful...at the end. We got our rainbow.

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Speaking of beauty at the end, yesterday was the run of the season for me thus far. 10x800. That set alone speaks for itself to a girl like me-run for your life! I'm not exactly a gazelle in 2 shoes and for me to make run gains it takes a village (or a handful of Kona's best runners). With some boys we set out to get 'er done. Of course each of us had their own goal pace and of course I was freaking out that I would do number 1 feeling like a rock star and blow up by number 3 (happens a lot to me). After 2:50 I asked Jason (pacing his for his 1:14 half marathon) what the heck next because I went 10 seconds faster than the numbers I was sent to run with. He told me this:

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"Bree if you want to make it you can".

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He was very matter-of-fact about it, I wanted to make it. Then I made a 2:45 and till number 7 all of them were dipping under 2:50. I love running with boys better than me, they just get the work done even if we rode long the day before and felt Honolulu Tri in our legs, it was good for me to be around such optimistic runners, one of them even trying to channel his inner Ryan Hall...

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At number 8 the body was still alive and well. However my mind was entering the battle zone. "Bree you nut, you ran the first 7 faster than the numbers you were supposed to follow, are you ready to walk 8-10?", "Hey Bree, the boys are like 20 seconds ahead of you, do you like being back here by yourself, maybe you should just jog". It was so dumb. For being such a positive person it baffles me how in running my head turns so sour. So I made a game, I asked the boys if I can leave 1o seconds in front of them so they aren't so far up the road and then maybe the voices will stop. They let me, I was the rabbit.

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2:39, maybe 2:40, in any case it was my best one at number 8. The plan worked. However, I know in a race I can't just ask for a 10 second lead, so I did the next with only 5 seconds head start, then tried to hold Jason when he zipped by me and did all it took not to let the others catch me. By the end of the workout nothing hurt as bad as my face, all smiles. This was a workout very much desired. It's not that I don't always work hard, I just don't always go fast. This week had a little faster in it...
...and with faster comes cold. 50 pounds of ice in the tub with cold water running over it only to return from the kitchen a minute later to find Kainoa had the water on boiling hot to melt the ice! He wanted mommy's bath warm and the ice to be melted so he could get in. I never took an ice bath...it was "luke warm". Ah, that's the life of a tri-mom!!

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Just believe....

Bree
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Few Good Things...

Finding my balance! With another race finished and another on the horizon, "race, train, triathlon" mode is in full swing. BUT it's the simple things, the little things that have been crucial to the survival of my motivation and balance in all things life, love, and sport. This week it has been recovery focus with the worlds greatest "ocean lover", Kainoa! He has made sure to drag me to the recovery ponds to sit in tide pools and collect shells. From yesterdays training into today's long ride it was a good thing to have Kainoa lead us ocean bound...

Ohana! My parents are in town to spend time with the sister and our boys! Let's just say family dinners are full of laughter and we have enjoyed having babysitter help, 'er spoiling sessions.

Na hoa!! The friends in my life are UNBELIEVABLE. It's been said that you don't need a lot of friends, just a few good ones and I can boldly say the one's that Ive been blessed with are amazing! On Oahu we must have visited a million bikini shops and somehow I left the island with ZERO. My heart was set on one (the one above) but after racing my heart out and being so tri-focused I left it in the shop, on the rack, wishing I bought it. Today before my long ride one of my favorite friends rolled over on her bike and handed me a bag with THIS BIKINI IN IT! Shocked to say the least...

Last but NOT least on my "few good things" list for Wednesday is this! Boxes full of shoes and sporting clothes for 200 high schoolers in the Philippines! We got our wish and reached our goal of making the mile happen! Aloha Tri Club sends the BIGGEST MAHALO to everyone that sent in shoes and clothes to help make this possible! I was on Oahu Sunday when the team packed everything so I don't have a list of all that sent in shoes, but you know who you are, and we thank you! (Thanks to the girls that packed the boxes too!!).


It is the little things that add up to make the big things, like all these miles! Happy Training!

Bree
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Honolulu Triathlon...

Honolulu Triathlon was a "race/training session" on the path to Hawaii 70.3 and I had one mission (well, I wanted to win it too, but a different mission), I wanted to run good. My swimmer friend Wendy calls aid stations "rest stops", she really dislikes running. Anyways, unfortunately they have been my rest stops in a few sour races, so this race I was going to try and "race the rest stops".
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In '08 I remember the run course being a super flat out and back 2 loops. It was fast and friendly and I was very excited to be on a flat fast run course to see if the run work we have been doing was paying off. Coach asked the night before how I was feeling from the training into this. On the scale of 1-10 I told him 5. I read a book that said the things we say with our mouth often determine the outcome, so I said 5 in hopes race day a 5 on the legs would happen. Really I felt pooped like an 8.5...maybe 9. Anyways, I had to post that run photo above because I love the rest stop race face, THANK YOU to Kurtis Haun for the photos! It is officially my least parade-like photo ever!



Hope these girls like my sighting... we are on a mission to catch as many of the men that had the 6 minute lead from us!

The awesome swim start with a view of the "city in paradise". Believe it or not the swim was wetsuit legal, I put it on and took it off. I know its faster with it but I'm pretty sure it would have been so hot it would have been slower...our weather is weird lately. Most the morning was spent trying to convince myself I felt like a 5. The swim warm up felt pretty good and made the 5 more believable. The swim race itself was perfect for me as I was alone after the first buoy and had to work very hard to try and keep swimming without any feet to follow. Us girls had to swim over crowds of men and perhaps that kept me from day dreaming too much. (Photo Credit: Wendy Smith) Onto the bike....

Photo thanks to Kurtis Haun
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There might be a tiny concern with my new bike, it's too comfortable. On the bike I fell instantly into that "Half iron pace" and really struggled to get moving. Over and over I had to keep reminding myself this is a race, a very short one, move it! I tried to push through the "5" but it was very hard for me. Being as I can't afford a bike computer for my new bike I also had no idea how fast or slow I was going, so I just kept riding in what felt like Olympic distance effort but comfy like half pace on legs that felt like a "5". For the first time in a long time I didn't enjoy racing on my bike, it was frustrating to feel so junky but not be able to see any numbers to show if I was making any effort or just losing time. At the final turn I saw the other girls making major gains and I knew my lack luster ride would have to push my run if I wanted to be happy about my race. Off the bike, checked my watch to discover it was 3 minutes slower than last time I raced the same course, ah bad job racing by feel... Time to invest in a bike computer, no more lala land riding for me...
You know that flat 2 loop run I told you about? The course changed since the last time I raced it and because I did not read the course map I discovered when we went right instead of left. When we ran next to a beautiful beach with surfers dancing on waves. When we ran through a parking lot. When we ran up some grassy hill and over another little mound then down the grassy hill. When we ran up 4 stairs and down 4 more stairs. It was not the same loop with all the people in the streets like a parade...it was new.

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I liked it SO MUCH BETTER! It was like a maze and it kept me highly entertained. As for running that flat fast course, I still went for it pretending it was the same. Actually I had too, Michelle was in T2 when I was leaving T2 so there was no time for beaching it! When the run was said and done my 5 was a legit 10 but I felt like a 1 because the run went well for me... in fact it was a little faster on a little less flat/fast course than the old one... good.
HUGE thank you to the volunteers and all the cheerleaders out there! It really makes racing so much more fun having support and others to share the day with! CONGRATS to all the finishers and of course Tim Marr the men's winner, Sam Corace the Big Island Champ, and the girls that raced along with me, I loved being out there with you and having you bike your way up to the front to help me run scared...

The beach did happen, we all felt like 10's out of 10 on the "how much you hurt" scale after the awards and packing up bikes to fly them home. Well, maybe I was still only a 5 because I found energy to irritate my friends.
LOVE the sand on Oahu! The pineapples too!!!


Another week has begun, I'm going to begin it feeling like a 5 (but don't believe me), maybe after some active recovery tomorrow I can get it down to a 4...

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Happy Training,

Bree
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

City In The Pacific...

When you live in the little town of Kona (my dream come true home-sweet-home), it makes a trip to Oahu very exciting! This morning I woke up to a beautiful view of the city, my favorite BIG city in the world! (Note: I have not been to many big cities in my life), so far this is my ultimate favorite of the ones I have explored though. It was holding a lot of excitement swimbikerun style...

Puas on the beach, not to mention BEACHES with plenty of walking distance. One of my favorite things is watching the surfers, oh I love watching them back home, but here it's different. Waikiki is so full of surf history (pretty much where it all began), its exciting to see all the crowds of children, adults, even dogs just jostling for waves. Of course the NS holds excitement of its own, but today we were in the city and Waikiki had me likey, likey, liking the views...

As most island ocean swims go, it was warm and clear. My body feels a little funky still, no worries, tomorrow will be a great day of having to push through unwanted funk in the trunk...

Okay, I do have to confess not all things "city in the Pacific" are awesome, riding here still scares the whatever you want to call it out of me. Truly the cyclists that live on this island amaze me, some were weaving in and out and around cars as if it was a hobby! Beautiful! Me on the other hand was holding on for dear life praying my bike would ride itself and I could just hold on for the ride. Finally we made it to bike check in and it is safely in the rack waiting for tomorrows adventure on the island...
6am race start, swimbikerun, AND then a road trip for us Kona peeps! SO EXCITED! Happy weekend,

Bree
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