Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Holding Strong...

Sport has taught me more about life than I ever envisioned.  Who knew lacing shoes would open up so many doors of opportunity and teach me lessons about life that otherwise may have been left unknown.  I had just one goal for Ironman CDA, to come home in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place.  All of which would mean I finish the course, one that once quit, and KONA.

The amount of notes I get telling me how lucky I am to have sponsors fly me all over the world to swim, bike, and run could fill a shoe box.  Little do they know, that is not how it works for me, I have been given a bike, shoes, gels, swim suits, and an opportunity.  The rest is up to me.  While I'm so thankful, the harsh reality of chasing a dream always catches up to me.  My dream is to race Ironman Hawaii this year, after sitting out the last 2 seasons because I was too financially challenged to chase the points us pros need to qualify.  The thought to retire sport and go back to teaching, a much more knowing income did entertain me, but greater than the question to take an easier path has been  those in my life that just believe with me...

And so...
My friend Tammy help fly me to Idaho, Robyn and her Family took me into their home, and I was in position to grab points for Hawaii.  A top 3 would seal the deal and I was near certain I'd then be on the start line in October, no more need to wonder what race next and how.  Done deal.  That made my race plan simple.  Be smart, but when you need to be brave, be that...

Bravery sometimes looks like stupidity to those that have yet to understand or be brave in their own lives.  My race went like this....

A very cold swim, but I was smart.  I used the first loop to warm up and hung on to feet, the second loop I felt right at home and passed one of the girls in our little pack to run up the beach in 2nd.  It felt easy, it was safe.  On the bike I rode my own ride, let Heather go knowing she was on a mission to undo some damage that was done to her on the course last year.  A little pay backs.  Watching her was my own personal inspiration for my mission too.  Humbled, she was so far out of any woman's league Sunday.  Riding in 2nd till nearly the end of the 112 mile bike, it was time to run.  I felt great, it felt like wings grew passing mile one, knowing the last time I was on this course I didn't even make it that far.

Running in 3rd, holding  strong and feeling good, better runners than me were gaining.  And so, the time to be smart, what I felt all day, grew into the time to be brave.  I ran as fast as I could up a hill trying to chase down the girl who just over took my 3rd place, and I blew up.  Just like that I crashed and tumbled.  It may have been dumb, but it would have been horrible to land back in Kona, with a safe 4th or even 5th place, and wonder, "What if I ran hard, what if I tried?".  I went for the goal and blew up.  It was the only way I thought I could hold a chance to grab all the points I needed, playing it safe works sometimes, but not when you have just this one chance.

I finished 7th.  And while it did move me up to 32nd female pro of the 35 they will take to Ironman Hawaii.  It is such an unsafe place to be.  21 races left in our season, points will change us girls with each race we do or don't do.  That means I still need another race other than my Philippines 70.3 (that has thankfully been all set & paid for).  Back to the drawing board leaves me wondering and where and when. 

 Onto more thrilling parts, the giant hill we run up and over 4 times has a lot to do with the courage I grew out on that marathon.  The support that has been given to me is by far some of the most beautiful gifts in my life. Thank you to the little town of CDA for the cheers, the spankings, the water hoses, the dancing girls, all the fun 140.6 miles could hold.

Thank you too, to this man that made me run, and never walk, no matter how much pain I was in.  Knowing the longer I was out there meant the more time I would have to put up with that speedo was enough to keep me shuffling.  Congrats to his wife too., on her Ironman finish.  Visit them in AZ at Cadence Running Company if you need help running (or new shoes & speedos).

Now that I'm one more flight from home, I can officially say, I want to go back.  Everything about Idaho became very special to me.  In some ways I grew confidence that probably was buried a little deeper than it should have been.  It took finishing I once started, chasing a dream, and good people to make it all possible...good boots help too!

After the race was all fun and games, because there was still much to celebrate.  My homestay family took me on the boat for cliff jumps and freezing.  It took my breath away to be back in that lake without a wetsuit, but I highly recommend it if you ever land in position to shock the piss out of yourself!!
AS for my thank yous, the list is really, really long.  I think I'll write them all out tomorrow.  For now (since the airplane woman is telling me I have to board), I really want to thank Robyn, Rick, Alex, and Ben.  Your family is beautiful and I am so thankful for you... thank you!!

ALoha, Bree


Blogger ltlindian said...

Bree I think people would help you out if they could, like people you don't know. Like me. If you were to set up a donation page, people like me would be able to donate to you. Something to think about.

I love your spirit. And I want to see you race more.

June 25, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Blogger Charisa said...

I tried and blew up at Melbourne. And you know what - I am so glad I did. I'm going to try again at Frankfurt. And some day we will look back on all this Kona Points chasing as the time of our lives. Love you Bree - keep living life the way it was meant to be lived.

June 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Blogger Tina Marie Parker said...

Beautiful and keep going! I am in awe of you and love to soak up your energy.

June 25, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Blogger Michelle Simmons said...

I totally agree with your strategy and how you had to race that one... You raced the way you needed to race to shoot for the podium position you wanted! I love that style!

June 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Blogger Jennifer Kenney said...

Great job Bree! You are always such an inspiration! You will get to Kona, I just know it!!

June 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

I love this Bree. And I love your spirit. I agree, it would be awesome to have a way to support you.

I will never forget your kind words as I was embarking on Ironman CdA a few years ago, and the hello as you passed me on your second loop on the bike. I love how carefree you are and how you welcome opportunities to grow. Keep at it.

June 25, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Blogger Beth said...

So much better to have tried bravely and failed than not try at all! You'll get on that Kona start line sooner rather than later - this I know Bree! Cheering for you!

June 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Blogger Christine said...

Come to IM Canada! We'll put you up. Bring Kainoa - he can play with our kids. I can't promise it'll be warm but it'll be fun!

June 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Blogger Christine said...

Come to IM Canada! We'll put you up. Bring Kainoa - he can play with our kids. I can't promise it'll be warm but it'll be fun!

June 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Blogger D'Arcy Toffolo said...

Bree, I completely agree with the first poster... there are tons of people who have met you once or twice, like me, or who have never met you, who would gladly give to you...after all, you have given me (us) so much! You continue to be an inspiration and I applaud you for going big! The risks will pay off in the end. xo

June 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Blogger Michele said...

Bree - put up a donation link (check PayPal if you don't have an account already). Or if you have a specific airline that you could use some donated miles for a flight, say what it is. I would happily contribute to getting you to a race.

June 26, 2013 at 12:52 AM

Blogger PipTook said...

Bree - In the same vein as Christine, you have a homestay here in Lake Placid right near the IMLP start should you ever need it. (Closest airport is Albany or Burlington, but of course I'll pick you up.)

June 26, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Blogger Jordan said...

Yes, come to IM Canada! And I agree with what was said up there, about donations - ask and you shall receive.

June 26, 2013 at 5:07 AM

Blogger Nibbles said...

I'll gladly donate to help you realize your dream. Though we've never met, I have been so inspired by the courage, grit, and positive attitude you display on your blog. Please consider setting up a page!

June 26, 2013 at 6:45 AM

Blogger Adrian said...

Love this post and yes people will donate whatever we can!!!

Tremblant IM has your name all written all over it!!!

June 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Blogger rosario808 said...

check this page out to see if we can help you within our means to fund your dream

June 26, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Blogger Lucy Francis said...

Bree I would donate too  set that page up chick.
And if there was an IM London you could stay at my house too, you never know, if WTC buys up challenge Henley one day. And yes it will be chilly unless we have a heatwave courtesy of the Azores anticyclone.

June 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Blogger Julia Esther Jones said...

I will also donate if you have a page set up. Don't be shy, people want to help. You are such an inspiration of perseverance - I waited until you crossed the finish line on the live feed until I went to bed - 3.00 am my time!
Like any groupie, I will be following you virtually to the Philippines :-)

June 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

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June 28, 2013 at 5:28 AM

Blogger Ordinarylife said...

This is the exact reason why you are such an inspiration. We know that you always give your absolute best! Good luck chasing those points.

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