Aloha!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

...And Away We Go...


Finally everything is in the bag or box, the bike, race stuff, clothes stuff, all of it.  All of it but my bike computer.  If I knew where it was it would be packed too, somehow it ran away from home today and with absolutely no luck turning everything upside down, it is winning the hide-n-seek game.  The Olympics has me inspired to let it go.  It has been a nice training tool, keeping me company, Sunday is race day though and perhaps its for the better being lost...

My head, heart, body, all feel eager to land in the Philippines.  Work=done.  Rest=doing it. I will count the flight as more rest, and I will be able to rest.  Kainoa is ready to enjoy a good week/weekend with his dad, that comforts me, so now I'm set free from the worry that usually hounds me when I leave home.

My surprise of the day, and a very big one it was, was a ride to pick up an envelope.  Clearly showing up on my bike was a comedy for the men of Aloha Air Cargo, it was not an envelope.  Last week I broke my favorite travel luggage, the dehydrator, and I ended my journal.   Complain, of course not. I honestly had bigger fish to fry.  The luggage (I thought) would still have a flight or two left in it as long as I prayed super hard the zipper would open when I wanted it to and stay shut during travel, so that was packed last week.  As for the dehydrator, I pretty much killed that thing, over use will do that to any kitchen supply over 10 years old!  And my journal, well...I'm not telling.

SO I land to THIS! From Maui to me.  My same luggage only blue, the favorite dehydrated snacks that I would have made for my trip had I not used the kitchen too much, and a journal of the boys to go with me.  The shirt, that's Masudas, I take it to all the races, yes I am one of those that like to sleep in his shirt. It was a very, very welcome surprise from Masuda on Maui to me in Kona...

I'm feeling pretty blessed tonight, for a lot of reasons, and each of those reasons will come along with me to the Philippines, fuel baby!


Philippines bound, journeying on...
Bree
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Monday, July 30, 2012

First Day of School...



Today I told my mom how thankful I am that Kainoa is not like me, well he is in some ways, but not the bad ones...

Yesterday he cut his own hair, he was perfectly proud to wear those chopped up bangs to the first day of 1st grade, owning his hair cut.  That's a lot like me, I own & celebrate all the things I really, really love about life, I've even worn my own cut hair proudly!  The part we are different is the first day of school, the "back to school part", to be specific.  He is much more awesome than I ever was.

This discovery began over school supply shopping.  Do you remember buying those 3-ring binders and pocket folders?  I do, very clearly.  My mom always made us girls get the boring folders with 3 prongs, not the cool ones with horses on them or sparkles.  And the 3-ring binders, we got the plain ones, not the ones with clear plastic over them to slip cool drawings in the front.  The only thing she let us splurge on was Crayola crayons, the other ones really did not work as well.  As for pencils, always the #2 yellow ones, not the mechanical ones.  At that age I was sad rather than thankful, looking at my classmates with cool school supplies left me a blob of pity.  (I've changed since then, honest). Back to Kainoa.  Shopping with him, I was offering to let him pick out a couple awesome folders with waves or animals on them, he chose the plain ones, he just wanted his name on them.  As for pencils, no lie, he wanted the ones for "just 10 cents".  This mom was so proud, he amazed me that trip through Target.

But the best part, was this morning.  My parents wanted to buy Kainoa his back to school clothes and shoes, how blessed are we!  In the mail went the box, of course not landing in Hawaii when it was meant to land here. Last night, the night before school came and flashbacks of my mother taking my sisters and I school clothes shopping flooded me.  We all wanted new dresses, hair bows, dress shoes and PE shoes, purses, skirts, socks, all of it, and more if she would let us.  Sometimes we would cry because we wanted another dress and sadly, sometimes the trendy expensive things.  Those spoiled moments of mine were flooding big time...

Kainoa was nothing like that and this morning, the first day of school, he put on his favorite beach shorts he wore all Summer to the beach, a clean shirt, and then we went to put on his shoes.  Soaking wet from the weekend trip we took around the island, we wiped off the mud, I was holding in tears feeling so bad about my behavior to mom years ago, for Kainoa being in old shoes, and for not just going shopping.  Kainoa smiled, "Mom these shoes have all the fun left on them from Red Road".  He did not notice them as "last years" or "old", but the fun ones.  He was so proud.  I was proud of him.  We left the house excited for school, but made a trip to the PO BOX at 7:05 to check one more time for the box from the grandparents...

It was there!  Kainoa was shouting in the mail room at his new shoes!  He was glowing, he never asked for them and didn't even know they were coming, he was thankful, an amazing love, the best I have ever known I have found in my son.  Then we pulled out new shoes and shorts, lots of them with tags still on.  I asked Kainoa if he wanted to change into the new clothes, he was happy in the outfit he had on and just new shoes...

My parents amaze me, Kainoa amazes me, I have a lot of growing up to do.  Of course I know school is more than new clothes and pretty school supplies, it just took me till now for a 6yr old to teach me.  AS for the haircut, we did shave his head and he loves it... 



We also took our family vacation around the island this weekend... it was perhaps one of the best vacations ever endured.  A lot to laugh about, memories to last a lifetime, and plenty of time together.  As Kainoa has also taught me LOVE is spelled TIME...








Bree
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Week till Philippines...

My bags are already half packed!  A week out from a race my bags are empty 9/10 times, but this time, they are nearly ready to fly, baby!  I woke up so excited, pretty thankful that I get to pack my bags and fly to race, and of course fired up TO RACE...

Today was a day worthy of sharing the workout, so I will in case you need a Wednesday workout...

Run Squad: 
  1. Warm up easy 10 minutes, then toss in a few pick ups, such as 2x100 fast and a 200 quick for leg turn over and to fire up the heart.
  2. Main set:  4x1 minute at 5k pace minus 15 seconds, 1min. rest between each.  4x3 minutes at 5k pace with 2 minutes rest between each.  2x5 minutes at 10k pace or slightly faster depending on where you are in race season, 3 minutes rest between.  Finish off with 2x1 minute all out race pace, minute rest between each.  (This was super ugly for us).  We had about 30 of us at practice pretty much went full speed, hit a wall, and fell backwards after 29 seconds.
  3. Cool down. (8ish miles for our crew was the workout).
Swim Squad:
  1. Warm up whatever you like, swim, drills, kick...do that.
  2. Main set:  70x50 @ 45 building to sprint the last ones.  This was not physically hard but mentally a challenge for me, that's why I'm sharing.  If you struggle at all with repetition like this I highly suggest this set.  My brain was all over the place and when the finish came I felt like a rock star for not having my head explode, well truth be told the company made it way better too.
  3. Cool down.
Back to the Philippines....
I'm looking forward to that dance, the one with the sticks that makes you feel like a kid!

I'm looking forward to the competition.  Philippines always has a handful of incredible girls, it's not as full as the mainland races but it makes up for that with talent.  This race was the first one I became aware of how awesome it is to have pro moms in the line up.  I'm usually the only mom or one of very few at most races.  The first time I raced Philippines Lucy Smith and Gina Kehr were among us.  I learned so much, felt so honored, and try to remember the lessons learned-like make it count if you have to be away from home...
...and of course, the locals!  Over the years many of us still keep in touch and a reunion is in order!  I am so appreciative that sport has paved a way for me to learn about other cultures, meet other faces in another language, and just grow so much more aware of how unique we all are.  That said, I must throw in a Kainoa moment.  I busted him saying to another after swim practice, "I'd rather kiss my mom than eat dog poop".  I'm pretty lucky...

Good night,
Bree

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In The Valley...



Kainoas map took us to the valley, how appropriate.  The funny thing is, down in the middle of roaring seas, tall mountains surrounding us, and hot black sand, there was the most calm river.  It was all the shades of peaceful, still, and unhurried...

Much to my surprise, in the midst of my very own tall mountains to climb, seas that are raging a bit more than usual, and of course some hot black sand, I feel more calm and collected than usual.  I'd like to blame it on trust.  Maybe as an athlete you can relate-you do the training so the start line is less intimidating, you trust the work you did.  Maybe as a mom you can relate-you taught your child manners as best as you can, prepared them with school supplies, even put them to bed on time, just maybe they survive the first day of school (and the teacher).  It feels like that...



On a rope swing, holding on tight, deep breaths and enjoying the "day by day".  At the moment, training has been very appreciated.  Each swimbikerun this week just feels so new to me, maybe because it feels more like a mom who swims, bikes, runs rather than a professional triathlete mom. I'm still sorting through how to feel on that thought, but it's a mountain top to climb and I of course, am trusting...

The week, so far, has also been a beautiful blend of triathlon & school.  You know, TB testing, some educational videos to "update" myself, I even wrote on the white board with EXPO markers today!  I'll be honest though, through partial excitement because the thrill of "teaching a child" still excites me, the markers that still make me happy with all the colors, and brushing my hair (nicely), a few moments of "I'm just not ready for this life yet" did consume me.  I wonder if I'll be in the middle of a lesson looking out the window, missing my bike.  Then I made myself stop wondering because nothing has changed at the moment and I am still holding a training plan for a race next weekend...

...and triathlon?  My flight to the Philippines is ready to go.  This momma even got out her luggage and passport.  I was all colors of excited.  The Philippines is one of the most special spots on Earth, it puts life into perspective when my feet are overseas, there specifically.  The trip will be very welcomed, extremely appreciated, and of course taken whole hearted.  It also dished up an opportunity to meet up with some of the Swift Carbon crew for that side of the world, looking forward to meeting them and seeing the best bike ever in their shop!  See, it's things like that, people like that, who have made my moments in sport so enduring, they just keep caring and opening doors for me.  Like the staff of Philippines 70.3, how incredibly patiently they have been!  Sometimes it just feels as if I am where I belong...

Beautiful balance, trust, right?


Kainoa starts 1st grade Monday, we did the school shopping stuff that wraps up a Summer, we are soaking literally every drop out of this week with friends and adventures, and he is so amazing in knowing that mom "gets to race in the Philippines", just supporting me too-like letting me ride bike today without complaint.  We truly have become a beautiful team...




Thankful,
Bree
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Map...


Kainoa drew a map, I've yet to see it but his dad tells me when he gets home tomorrow from his house he has a map to a place he wants to go.  Thrilled that a young boy already has an idea of what he wants to do in life, even if it is just on a Monday in his world.  Very impressed that he even mapped out some future plans, in color.  Inspired as always...

Life is a little adventurous how it always changes on us, even causing the most ambitious to toss out their maps and go with the flow...I like going with the flow...but I have learned it is still a good idea to have a map and plan in hand no matter how many times you have to stop and ask for directions.  Today was perhaps the most intimidating "map reading" ever endured on a Sunday.  Like any girl who follows her heart, sometimes you just have to ask a lot of trusted people which way to go, especially when you get knocked so far down you aren't even sure which way is up...


Having Kainoa at his dads I scored many miles on my bike and in run shoes, it was beautiful, Summer paved training at it's finest.  The best part may have been the company.  Saturday mornings long ride began with the news, reading every detail of the Colorado shooting.  Once again, life tossed gently into perspective.  Life in this town always lands you with someone to train with even when you aren't looking, in my case it was a few very good men who have more years than me and were able to keep me focused on big pictures, further down the road, and of course on the little things.  Then my run shoes and over tall socks found a very cold stream to "ice bath" in and very good company to match...
It is now Sunday, life is good here, and tomorrow a map awaits me and a 6yr old...
Good night!

Bree
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Something about the bike...

I don't have a bike photo or any taken from the ride, even though a few views were more than photo worthy, I just rode...  There is something about the bike so different than a swim or a run.  I love how far you can get, I love that you can push really hard and make it sting everywhere, even your face.  And I love how you can stop pedalling, like down the big hill today, and still move so fast...

Do you know what my favorite part of life is right now?  All of it.

Yesterday was Jesse's service, a lot of people in our small town are super affected by his death.  I went out for a ride at turtles pace during the towns tears, a little sad, just thinking about how in one moment someone is here and the next they are gone.  I'm pretty sure that is no way to spend a day, sadly considering death, but I am sure it is a good reason to put aside things that do not matter.  Thankfully just moments into the ride a couple of the guys joined up and we ended up smashing ourselves, maybe that was for Jesse, to just beat out a good ride and smile through it.  I know he loved riding his bike like that...

Today was a much longer ride and it left me with a lot of time to think, as bike rides are so good for that.  I thought only about people.  First about my family and how we are so blessed to have the beach as our backyard, to be part of something that costs nothing and gives us so much. Especially thankful that Kainoa gets to grow up like this! Then I thought about my mom and how I hung up on her this morning, Why on Earth Bree, it was just a lecture (out of love), you should be used to those by now?  Then I thought about my dad, (the birth one), he called for the first time in like 10 years but I was sleeping, he might not know I live 6hrs different time zone.  Then I thought about my dad, (the one I grew up with), he sent me a necklace to remind me he loves me, I felt bad about that because I haven't taken my whale tale necklace off in 10 years, when a whale came over to me on my surf board at Lyman's. Not sure how to tell him "thank you", but I don't plan to take the whale off.  I thought about my amazing sisters and brothers.  Both my brothers are engaged, so proud of them growing up to be men and that they have found women worth claiming.  Thought about my sister and her family on their 3 month long bike ride across the mainland.  Thought about my older sister and how much I wish I could be like her, she is the strongest of all of us, nothing in life effects her because she believes so much in who she is.  Then I thought about my pregnant sister, her world is about to get really awesome!  I thought about my friends too, they feed me dinner-a lot.  They let me call all the time and answer their phones, I love life so much more because of them.  And Masuda, I wonder how I got so blessed...

I was pretty much smiling by this point in the ride.  I thought about being sad or mad, because of stuff happening in life, but it is not worth it to think too much on things out of our control, or to stress them before they happen or not, and mostly because life always opens another door if one should close, and if that is not an option we can jump and fly through a window...

At that point my thoughts went to people I'm motivated by right now.  A lot of good people have been jumping into my life through way of text, email, or a stranger on the street, to them I am beyond grateful.  What beautiful people to care by choice.  Then I thought about Meredith Kessler.  I was going down the hill where we ran into each other during Ironman 2010, same spot, had me thinking of her. You know how some people are just good people because they only know how to give kindness, that is her.  She was the very first person to write me when I landed on my face in a mess, between her races she reached out.  She was all shades of supportive, which means a lot coming from the most winning girl in sport at the moment.  Then I thought about the man directing traffic, he made all the cars go "slow" then turned the sign to "stop" when it was my turn to pass the new road, he laughed, smiled, then said "have a nice day", go.  Maybe unknowingly I needed that laughter, thank you to that stranger...

My final thought about people came from a moment in yesterday, at the University of the Nations.  My feet always land on that campus, it's on my bucket list to return to schooling there, so I look at classes and pretend to enroll in all the ones I want to be part of. I was holding 4 books, put them down on hold, wanting to cry a little because it sucks being too poor to afford books, they are priceless to me, like an education, and then I met a professor.  I tried not to cry in front of him and some how mustered out what I was wanting to say, that landed him telling me that he can maybe let me sit in on a class or two for a couple weeks, or go to lectures. People AMAZE me, some are just so, so, so good....like really good.

The rest of the ride was pretty much the same, pedal, think, pedal, appreciate, pedal, pout, pedal, get motivated, pedal, feel encouraged, pedal, go home and call my mom back...

Happy riding, be safe too...
Bree



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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mini Wee N' Me...


In the middle of a few twists and turns in the road and a lot of family/friendly support, I'm finding some amazing inner strength that has possibly been dormant lately-because I'm feeling brave in this moment.  Or maybe I'm just realizing that life is short, we only get one of them, and that means we have to live it to the fullest, (our fullest, whatever that means to us).  Sadly, a good man in our community lost his life this week, riding his bike.  Not that I needed or wanted anyone to die, it did serve as another reminder that no matter what is going on around us, if we have good health and good people in our lives, we have it made-the rest we just have to get through, sometimes making lemonade from our lemons, often times not that bad at all...

The high-light of this week was swim practice with Kainoa.  AND I mean, with Kainoa.  It was mid morning, I had 10x200 to cruise through, so we did them together. (I mean "share" a lane).  Mini-me was doing roughly a 25 for every 75 yards I swam.  After 4 of them he did what he does best, play.  Dive to the pool bottom, stop me every few laps to say, "good job mom", and then of course I would get distracted.  His flip turns were blowing my mind!  His stream line was super impressive, and he was looking more like a swimmer than I'd ever seen him look.  Our 30 minute pool session was perhaps one of the best, as a mom these moments are priceless and I know it's only a matter of time till we are "swimming together", not just sharing a lane...


...And then of course, there are those sunsets that take up a lot of island moments of mine.  I believe I sat through 5 of them this week and one tonight from the lanai at dinner.  A lot is lingering in my head with the teaching/triathlon position I'm in, sunsets let me think without thinking, hope that makes sense to you like it works for me.  On Friday my finger prints were taken to get back into the classroom, a meeting with the school principal was wrapped up, and I lifted weights in the gym with a former student.  He told me I was his favorite teacher ever...that makes you feel good.  That very same day I swam my best swim set ever.  It was not a particularly good morning but I was in the middle of making my lemons into lemonade and it wound up being pretty sweet.  So there you have it, loving my sport and seeing best times in the pool while also doing some "teachery" things.

Then the card came, my Elite card.  And with that, the word that I can race my next race, Philippines 70.3 because the hearing isn't for 5 or so weeks and until that time I am free to race.  What is the big problem anyways, I am not entirely sure but I'll try to sum it up better than I have been.

My membership with USAT was expired, my blond headed self thought that with the renewal of my Ironman membership at the start of the year I was "good to go". But I was not, both memberships needed to be up-to-date.  SO that $795 bucks pros pay at the start of the year is different than the $39 I never paid. What went so wrong?  I raced a couple races unpaid to USAT-but I wasn't trying to not pay.  I did that $12 one-day fee thing, telling the sign in people that my card is in the mail (yeah, I know, long time but mail to Hawaii is SOOOOOOO LONG).  So I would race and they would let me.  Turns out-pros are not allowed to do a one-day fee.  So I paid like $60 bucks in one day fees for 5 races this year (obviously I was not trying to ditch out on the fee, I over paid it).  And not my fault those check in USAT people were letting me.  In Portland one of them finally told me, told me to just renew online, so I did.  $45 bucks online, boom, got it.  THEN he tells me, actually pros cant renew online like that.  So now...$45 bucks online fee, $60 in race day fee's, then the $39 this week to actually get my card by faxing in results...I got my card up-to-date and can race until the hearing where they are waiting to determine if my "racing without a renewed membership" will have me suspended for a year.



See, look what I have!  So happy about this...

And where am I now with the teaching/triathlon thing?  I'm training as much as this momma can and put my name on the substitute teaching list.  That is the best plan I can come up with at the moment.  Training in hopes the hearing goes good for me and I get to keep up with triathlon full time, getting back into teaching because I need money to even get to the race now that  $$ was spent on a race I didn't get to race.  I'm thinking some part time teaching would better work for me anyways, I'm not exactly an Ironman winner that can live on sport alone.  And if the hearing goes sour I will be teaching full time...

Hope you guys are all having a very good weekend, be safe out there, it's a crazy world on and off the bike and send some good prayers & thoughts to Jesse's family-I know they need some as he will be really missed!! 

Bree
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And...


Trying to put thoughts to paper the past couple days has been a big challenge for me, mostly because I keep catching myself begin to whine or pout only to realize "it could be worse".  You know what it feels like, in some way, like I lost my job.  It feels like I just joined the ranks of the 20 million people that lost their jobs in the past year.  Waking up usually begins with a goal, a plan, and a training day set out before me all because those 3 things put together in place lead me to race day.  Race day leads me to "work and hopefully make a pay day". 

I've never been one to just sit still wishing, waiting, hoping the tide will change.  So I've been pretty pro active in looking for another means-to-an-end. At the same time I've been cooperating with everything USAT wants/needs from me to sort out the situation and under tearful phone calls Mr. Crawford has been good about answering every thought I'm thinking.  The biggest is, "Can I race?".  On my list is Philippines 70.3 and Ironman Louisville in 4 and 7 weeks.  He has told me to go forth and prepare for them and pull out if they end up suspending me for a year.  That is a hard thing to swallow, because the flight to both of those places from Hawaii is not exactly pocket change or a short trip.  He believes it will take longer than that to conclude my case, but it could be sooner.  The other hard part, the part that makes me feel so bad about REV3 Portland and the REV3 crew that were so good to me is wondering why I couldn't have raced then too, if I can do a couple more till case closed (as in hopefully sorted out with me back into sport full time).

Yesterday I woke up and "trained" or maybe it was just a "run" since I'm not even sure if this is my job at the moment.  Kainoa came with me on his bike, that was a very big smile on my face.  He kept me focused on what matters most and my head was kept peaceful.  I actually ran 14 miles-just in case I race.  Then I did all the research I need to take care of for teaching, like paperwork.  That hard part is school starts in Hawaii in 3 weeks, so now what?!  Scramble for a job, beg a principal, land one, then pull out if I get to keep racing triathlon?  Or do I just train and prepare to race and worry about a job after the USAT stuff is sorted.  It is such a scary position for this mom and I'm still not even sure how I landed this mess...but I always land in a mess without trying...and somehow messes clean up.

On the other end, USAT has been busy checking all my results to make sure I never raced any of them since 2008 (when I got my pro card), as an age group athlete.  I can assure you I did not, I even promise.  Then they had to check for a pro card, my first pro race was St. Anthony's in Florida if I remember right, I met Charlie Crawford there for the first time.  He didn't remember that and wondered how I even got into that pro race because he couldn't find a pro card for me, so I had to send him a photo of my Elite Card today.  That was fun. Now he is curious how the information on the computer is showing that I didn't have one, when I do.  Finally, send in my race results. 

For a female to race in the ELITE wave you have to submit results showing you have finished within 8% of the winner's time.  Example:  Hawaii 70.3 you had to finish in 4:47or better on that course, on that day.  I had a 4:32.  All of my results made it/make it.  I know, sometimes I have bad races but they still land this mom in the 8%, so I race ELITE, love it, and reach daily to become better.  I'm pretty sure if I raced 30-35 age group the girls would not like me and to be honest, getting my butt kicked and the challenge of the pro women thrills me and makes life feel like I am living fully...



All that said, there is always something more beautiful going on in the middle of chaos.  Check this out.  Dolphins hugging, or maybe dolphins dancing?  It could even be dolphin baby making in my back yard...

Again, thank you for the outpouring of support, I've been trying to respond to the emails, I'll get to them, (or maybe have Kainoa write you back). Finally, thank you to the REV3 crew for being so supportive during this, I hope I did not get you in any trouble, also thank you to Mr. Crawford, Anna, and Christina at USAT for trying to work with the athletes...

Bree
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Monday, July 9, 2012

The Race I did not race...


I'm sure every person on Earth has experienced a rise and fall, landing them in a puddle of tears and some hurt.  Perhaps that is the risk of climbing towards any goal or living life fully.  Masuda tells me it's like climbing trees.  Some people don't climb at all, content on the ground, others like safer smaller trees with secure strong branches.  Then there are those of us that like to get into the really tall trees, falling from such heights can bring hard landings. He then reminds me I would not be happy safe on the ground or in small trees.  I remind him how much I love the view from the higher tree tops and that all the falls I've taken in life have been worth it to me for the couple of great views I've experienced. 

Then I cried more about being in Portland, at a race but not racing.  Holding my hand he said, "You just fell out of a tree is all". That was my yesterday, at a race I came to race, but landed talking under a tree instead...



It all started on Fourth of July.  My bike, bags, and I left Kona with a job to do, race REV3 Portland Triathlon.  On the flight my face wore a quiet, confident smile.  The one an athlete wears when they feel as if the training had been done well, the rest & recovery landed them safely in that spot where they are more excited than nervous, and then the big one-your head, heart, and body join the same team.  That fueled me all flight long, passion meshed with confidence is a good thing...

Then something even more awesome happened, a layover in Seattle had me at gate N2 where the most thrilling display of fireworks ever lit me up...it was Masuda!  He has helped me again to believe in myself, in my dreams, in so much more and now he was going to be part of the journey into Sunday's race. 

The next couple days were putting the finishing touches on the way to 70.3 miles of swimbikerun.  Runs along the river, a ride on one of the most beautiful spots my bike has ever been, and lake swimming in cool water.  Not to mention, shared laughter and meals with Masuda, Wendy, and Fredo. Fredo was also racing so Wendy joined his journey, it was as if some of my favorite parts of home were making Portland feel like home with those 3...



 The part of the bike course I was most looking forward to...

Like a sudden nightmare during a peaceful sleep I get the call that I was not going to be able to race Sunday or my pro license would be suspended because of USAT membership and paperwork miscommunication (to sum it all up).  In a pile of tears that I did not understand I landed in a meeting with the USAT official on site and the REV3 race directors.  Oh so much happened in that meeting, mostly me lost in translation and confusion, but somehow later checking in my bike to race transition with an "okay" that was then taken back and had me pulling my bike out of transition at 9pm that night, the night before the race.  All of it hurt.  I mean every drop of the experience and surviving it took Masuda taking the walk of shame, humility, hurt, and anger with me. It got pretty dark real fast that night...

I began to do that emotional list rambling thing sad people do, it went like this:  But I came all this way, the cost of the travel, the flight, missing Kainoa, pouring my heart into this race, the sacrifices for training, Masuda missing work to support me, his flight costs, my sponsors, my support crew, and what about Kainoa and my parents, what next, what now...the list went on. What do I do?! How can this be, am I really not racing?  I left my bike up, still filled my water bottles that night, and set out all my race gear.  There was no way I could believe this and I kept expecting a call that it was all sorted out and I could race.  At midnight no call, finally went to bed, but woke up just in case...

Sunday at 7:21am, 39 minutes till the race start I asked Masuda, do you think if they call now I could make it there in time, they might still call.  He told me of course I'd make it and if not I'd start late. We laughed, I had to laugh, it was survival medicine at that point.  Nobody called me, I cried instead.  But then, I realized something refreshing, we are not to count the cost on the way to a dream, anything we desire for that matter...so I did and spent what I thought was worth it to be in Portland had the race been possible for me. As my mom would say, "Sometimes life is like a Monopoly game and you Bree landed on "shitty day".  Then she would apologize entirely for cussing, reminding me this is just a day in my life and it could be worse...

That race had me needing a support crew like never before, but not the kind of support where they yell at you to run faster, on that day I was given even better support.  Masuda picked me up with all his Japanese wisdom, slapped my @$$, and told me to keep climbing my trees, the big tall ones that I love.

At this moment I'm reminded of a handful of wonderful stories about the Olympians and all the adversity they faced to be part of the Olympic Games about to happen in London.  Great stories of missing out by less than a second 4 years ago, being born unable to afford a basketball but making the team even when coaches said you won't, getting left off teams, having no sponsors, getting knocked out but getting back up again and again, falling. It encourages me beyond words in my own little belly flops of sport.

I'm not sure how the paperwork will sort out at the moment.  After a long chat with USAT's Charlie Crawford today I just know it will take a little time, he was patient to make it all so clear to me.  During that time I felt the flood of panic try to consume me, if it was just me I'm looking out for it would be okay, but I've got Kainoa and have to stay strong for him and keep working for him.  So I made that list again, the one sad people make:  I'll go back to teaching for a while, I'll call my parents for direction, maybe I can do another race, (Crawford told me I might be able to believe it or not until things are decided), maybe I just need to give a lot to Masuda right now and support him on his career the way he has looked out for me. Then I just stopped, took a big deep breath, and reminded myself this is not the end of the world, or the end of sport for me, or the end of anything...just that fall from a tree and landing in the unknown for a little bit...


I'm really thankful for all the support that has flooded my email, my phone, and other ways of communication.  It has helped me keep my chin up the past 24 hours, it has reminded me that there are so many more difficult challenges we face in life than a hang up with our jobs.  And I know that no prize from any race is more valuable than my family and friends, and let me tell you, I have some good, good people in my life...

Chin up, right...
Bree
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Portland TOMORROW!

Happy 4th of July, on a plane!  Amongst the stars will be the sparkle and shine tomorrow's holiday will roll in for this momma, I am thrilled to head out to another race.  As of 3 hours ago the bike and clothes have been packed, the final touches on any planning have been made, and Kainoa is safe and happy at his dads! Last up-get tomorrow lined up!

The usual 8am run squad with Sal's crew will be exchanged for 8am ocean swim with Kona Aquatics, nice call, right?  My thoughts are better to fly after a swim than a run, not to mention some salty ocean makes those flights over the ocean way more bearable!  AND a final prerace swim without a wetsuit sounds lovely!  After that, directly to the airport, landing in Portland at midnight!  Life on an island really makes for a loooooooooong travel day, but so worth it...

My plan of attack for this race is to get out of my head, just let my body that has done all the training and my heart that has loved all the training, do the work.  Sounds good to me.  I love racing, I love Portland & the REV3 crew, I love getting in the hurt box and searching ways out, I love setting goals and working for them, I love the challenges presented during 70.3 miles, I love digging deep to bring out the best in me, and I am not afraid to believe in a good result.  Humbled?  I've been there before too, so going for something you want is always worth it. 


Last Sunday was the Hapuna Roughwater Swim and a much appreciated ocean challenge. The thought of using a wetsuit to actually practice in one for Portland crossed my mind, then went right out the window when the sun rose and heater turned on.  This race happens every year and is sort of an indicator race of my swim for me.  Of course conditions always vary with the winds and chop, but its always the same buoys anchored in the same spot.  I like my swim right now, but what I loved at the race was the lack of anxiety, the dealing with butterflies, and of course the amazing high school swimmers that push me to betterness every single time!  Not to mention they are sure to remind me open water swimming DOES NOT have lane lines and everything goes...welcome to triathlon swims.


And now for the workout that I am most excited to carry into the race: 30x100 mostly IM with 5 of the best high school swimmers in our state, Cara, Leahi, and Kelly shown above. I know, how is THAT going to help in the triathlon?  I'll tell you.  Yesterday the girls showed up to masters and took over a lane to do IM while our adult team does Free in all the other lanes. Coach (I think joking) asked if anyone wanted to join them, because who other than a high school swimmer made to do that is going to actually do that.  Without hesitation, I said ME!!!  Not really because it sounded fun or anything, but they are the best in our state and I'm learning that it takes getting out of your comfort zone to get any better, so I jumped into the 18 and under lane.  Swims with them are very far out of my comfort zone and frequently see me humbled. 

The first 100 fly went well actually, the word COMMIT was my mantra.  Over and over I reminded myself to commit to the set and work as hard as the girls.  It worked wonders, because like all things you have to work extra hard for, the finish always feels better than when it's just handed to you...

Time for some more hard work, next stop Portland!
Bree
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 6 Kainoa...




At 13 years old 3 important lessons were taught to me in sex ed class. How to put a condom on a banana, you will not get pregnant French kissing, and that it is normal for girls to have one boob bigger than the other,  they also make milk when you have a baby.  That sums up every drop of experience middle school thought we needed to know about sex, womanhood, and motherhood.  Other than that one time I babysat my nephew, I was clueless on diapers, poop, and life actually.

After a few mission trips during college I warmed up and wisened up to those little people that poop in their pants, suck boobs, and cry (often). My child-handling experience grew on those trips, I taught Math & various sports to a young boys school in Belize, worked in a baby orphange in Honduras, and gave beach side English lessons to children in Costa Rica one Summer.  Children became a big deal to me and I decided one day I will be a mom, by adopting of course, a child from each country I worked in!  4 was my chosen number of kids, mostly because just one would be lonely and 4 is my favorite number. 

Life seems to always have a plan of it's own for me, despite being ready or not, then popped out Kainoa.  6 years ago today he was born and my entire life changed for the better. I also learned bananas are not meant to wear condoms but be mashed and actually taste good from a baby jar! To that list a million other life lessons have all been taught to me by a child, my very own 6 year old:


Life might take you under, cause you to lose your balance, and knock you off your board...you have to get back on.
Be proud of who you are.  It is okay to stand out, fit in, hide in a tree, or all three at any given time...
 Pray a lot, believe in the things that matter to you with your whole heart!  Trusting even when you lack a vision, lack hearing the direction you are called, and when things make no sense, keep trusting, it all works out-eventually.
Pick up pennies, save them, they make dollars, lots of them after a year of putting them in a jar.


Books are very, very cool.  
 Sandcastles are just the start of building dreams...
Friends are like crayons, it is so much better to have every color and culture, they make our pictures and world so much more beautiful...
Recycle, feed the homeless, give away all the toys you no longer play with, and share...

 Really bad dives sometimes turn out AWESOME!
Fall in love with every sunset, every hand that holds your hand tightly hold it back tightly, see the world with your eyes open, and whatever you do be brave and fearless when it comes to love...

Happy Birthday Kainoa, you have brought so much life to my life...
Love mom.
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