Aloha!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cool With Ironman Hawaii...


So far I am passing (with flying colors I might add) that little test, "Am I truly cool with Ironman?" You know when you give 100%, then try again even when you took all your trys, that kind of effort.  Well, it's true, when you give like that you really can be cool with the outcome, even when it's not the outcome you were after.  How do I know?  First of all, the start list was posted and I didn't cry when my name wasn't on it.  Then the island started to bring in all the fully shaved, very fit people with bikes more expensive than my truck and I felt excited for them.  All prices went up at the farmers markets (those ladies are smart to know triathletes will still pay highway robbery prices for food from a tree).  Our local swim team now has Ironman Champs leading the lanes and I'm truly loving it despite having sometimes 9 in a lane!  And the ZOOT team has sent us the race week schedule, it excites me to be around the chaos of an expo rather than hide out like the girl missing out.  That's mostly how I know....

It helps having the yogi sister to keep me focused too.  So maybe I'm not in this Ironman but I'll be racing an Ironman December 1st.  Focus on that.  That's a little tip for you if you need one, change your focus when your outcome changes.  That said, training has been really fun.  It feels refreshing to keep focusing on a goal and being totally cool with goals changing...



I've been training around other parts of the island lately, plenty of newer views, some markets on the other side of the island where food prices are still normal, and of course being able to run into a certain fire recruit.  Want me to tell you what else I've been noticing, how love really does come in different ways.  So I'll be honest, I grew up with too many Cinderella kind of stories, where you get dressed up in pretty dresses and fancy shoes, taken on some date in a pumpkin pulled by horses or whatever.  Well, it can look really different, better.  Mine happened after a 10 mile run.  There was a voice mail telling me that he knows I'd be done around 9:30 because of what time I started, and knowing my pace.  That is love, to know your woman's run pace for a 10 miler.  Girls, it gave me butterflies, like the kind I wanted to get on the phone and call you about with ooohs and ahhhhs, "He knows my run paces!!"  haha...






With my Ironman about 9 weeks away I'm still in the easy miles n' volume phase.  It's been nice to feel my body start to get back in shape after a mini-break. It also means I'm in small, little, tiny ways spending sometime doing other things I really enjoy.  Like hiking and climbing to the most beautiful places in the entire world!  It makes me happy, being in gorgeous places that take no dollars to get to have such a way of making me feel really rich.  Not to mention having time with family and friends, it sort of fills you up for the next time you have to get out on your bike all day, alone.

 Kainoa is doing good in swimming too.  He still has about 0% competitive drive, I'm cool with it, seeing him doing something for the sole purpose of passion is a good reminder that there is something totally wrong with what we do if we don't enjoy it. So he just swims and swims, for fun.


That's about it, town filling up with Ironman just around the corner, excitement all over the place, and I've seriously dehydrated about a million little stars!  They are my "food reminders" to keep on reaching for my goals, as long as I enjoy the journey that is, and right now I am loving it...

Night!
Bree
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Be Tough...

Today I am so tired and it feels AMAZING.  It feels to me like 2007, the year I learned how much we can actually take on in life and manage to rise above being just being mediocre.  Honestly, I thought I'd get really good at sport having "just sport" to focus on, things like training camps, not working, and nice funding.  But I really didn't do justice to that season.  Today I was talking to a mom friend during our kids swim practice and it hit me, I was better.  Maybe not faster, but better!  Back then lacked excuses, ridiculous complaints, I just found ways, I was my own super cheerleader every single day (often a million times a day)...

Yesterday I taught all day in the 1st grade, then got Kainoa to his swim squad, and finally his dads.  After that I felt like the 90% of triathletes that have day jobs and family...I did my swim and run in the late afternoon right into the dark! AND I loved it!  I was running in the dark, under stars, with a smile on my face that could light up the street.  Woke up this morning to 6am swim squad to do it all again!  But today I had off teaching and ran-bike-ran.  My key word on the second run was "tough".  Mike sent it to me and I said it 78 million times during that short 30 minute second run.  No need to be fast or anything fancy, just tough it out. 

I'm convinced that life just works better for me when I live life so full like this, because at the end of the day, it's all I have ever wanted out of life.  A family, to live out a dream, and to give back (teaching is my giving back).  It feels so good, even if I can barely keep my eyes open right now...


My day finished with a nice note for the pocket too.  It's the little things.  That said, I do indeed have a plan for the remainder of the season.  You ready for this?  The Halloween run on Halloween (told you it's exciting!).  For real though, who can resist the urge to dress up and race down Alii Drive trying to out run the reaper??  Count me in.  Then, Novemeber Lavaman Keahou, nothing like a back yard race and something to "tune up" before the big one.  Drum roll please.... Ironman Cozumel.  I am so excited.  It was Arizona, but I decided against an unknown course with a wetsuit. Australia sounded perfect as I LOVED it last year and want to return without a broken foot. seriously that is one of the best races in the world, but the thought of Pinatas ruled over.  The timing was right, 10 weeks leaves me with a good block to sit on the island making $$, train without travel, be home with family, then return to a race I've been at 3 other times without a wetsuit.  Nice. 

Alright, I should be heading to bed soon, another big day awaits.  Not to mention all the Ironman Peeps are on island right now and have extended some training invitations, have me motivated, and continually remind me that they are in a position I want to land...so my 2014 goals are never out of sight. Oh, check it out, I got to meet the owner of my last years bike!  She is taking really good care of it.  Soon I'll be having to let go of this seasons Swift Carbon too, so if you are interested let me know.  It's size XS with SRAM red, used a very full season, but taken care of.  And please, no ridiculous emails asking me to just give it away.  I wish I was in that financial position, but the bike always pays for my first race travel of the new season.  So unlike shoes, wetsuits, and swimsuits I am not able to just give it away...sorry.

My pillows now call, good night!!
Bree
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Back On The Horse...


It is very, very easy for me to relate anything in life, love, or sport to horses.  When I was 4 our horse was named Lucky Charms (my favorite kid cereal).  Horses are big, like dreams.  They can scare you, buck you off, and need a lot of attention.  Sound similar to your life, love, or sport?  When horses get running though, it's the most exhilarating feeling, freeing and safe.  It's actually more calm compared to the trotting that can feel bouncy.  Maybe that's why I love horses so much, the faster and bigger the less fear for me. Maybe since I was 4 life has always felt better to be up and running.  Forgive my rambles, getting to my point...

2013 season has not exactly ended, yet it is now officially the start of 2014 season for triathletes.  In other words, time to get back on the horse.  Or maybe keep running the horse... in any case I'm on the horse. This girl is officially training for another race before calling the season a wrap.

 

The thing that's different this time is that I have help.  Someone smarter than me is helping me to actually follow a plan.  It's very different than I'm used to, it has numbers involved and it means I wake up knowing what to do after these past few months of following my own route.  Friday was easy, just a swim and the dolphins tagged along. Today was where the change from "going with the flow" to "following a plan" actually caught up to me.  Woke up early for a short little ride on the hills.  After that I'd most likely have called it a day. But way later, just before dinner time, I went for a 30 minute chill run.  That's where I am hoping my body finds some much needed escape from this plateau it feels I've hit and maybe the hole I dig into or the lack of challenge I give myself.  In any case, change is good, I believe in it, and it feels like I'm back on the horse...

 It sort of feels like I took a 5 week break.  After Mont Tremblant I did nothing over 40 minutes or so going into Vegas, then I did nothing after Vegas other than the 57 minute Na Wahine Triathlon.  In a way I feel refreshed, in another way I feel lazy and today actually took mental strength to move later in the day rather than call it beach day, all day...

To do one more race this season that is a good place to feel.  Recovered, refreshed, and lazy.  Lazy is a good sign for a triathlete, it means you actually chilled out.  Of course my little sister has been helping me get going again.  Her yoga-ness, juicing with me, and making me pretty salads has been more than appreciated for my um, you know, laziness.  Don't get me wrong, I'm far from lazy, I get up everyday and play in the garden or teach and tackle life as a mom, but you know what I mean, the bike hung up and the run shoes sat footless...that lazy.


 Oh, I played at the beach a little too. As the training ramps up I know all too well this will be the first of my "favorite hobbies" to take a back seat.  Then again, this is my families favorite way to spend time together, so it's never too far away...


Well, that's pretty much it.  Back on a horse yesterday sent me into a full fledged joy that I was wanting to feel while getting back on the bike.  

Have a good weekend.
Bree
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don't Wait To Be Happy...

Life, the one I am used to (and like a lot) is back in full force.  You know, car load of boys, youth swim practices, late to school (not on purpose), and trying to find what to wear to work (better known as teaching, since most my clothes are spandex). It's going really good, a repeated quote on the good ol' Hawaiian radio station, "Don't Wait to be Happy", has been a driving force for this week.  Why wait?!   I know, seriously, that has been me plenty of times, thinking it's gonna get easier or happier,   "When I get into Kona, when bills are paid, when Kainoa stops complaining about homework, when I'm married, when...when...when".  Pfffff...not even the case.  And so, this has been a really, really good week despite being late to parent pick up, the high schooler missing the bus, working, (but not in the spandex I love), and unpaid bills...

I'm just appreciating the day. 
On Monday I was teaching 3rd and enjoying it, for some reason I always think I make a good teacher, perhaps I like seeing kids catch on or maybe within the walls of a class I become more childlike and ways to teach so they understand come easy.  Not sure.  But I did peek out the window a time or ten and think about triathlon.  Then I got all sorts of guts & courage & determination.  I am happy right now and I like the very full plate that tends to mimic my life.  I can do it, we are never given more than we can handle, right?


I'm eating lots of ice cream this week.  Oh, don't be ridiculous, too much dairy makes me fart nonstop, its just frozen bananas, fresh ginger, and a bunch of guavas all put in the food processor for 30 seconds.  It whips up so perfectly and can be left in a Tupperware in the freezer for a week or so.  That's my "mom" mode on full swing...

I am taking it easy though, a "late season" mini break.  I needed it, just a small battery-recharge.  Soon I'll be working with a coach though, I do believe I have found one after too much self-coaching, and there is a good chance that I'll wrap up the season with something very fun (fun to me that is).  Till then, the plan is to just teach as much as needed in the class, save some $$ to support next seasons tri-life & family bills, and bust out my crayons for the drawing board, I am always "back to the drawing board", just never been good at giving up...


Having a little "R&R" means I've been at the gym with the men in their 70's, totally inspiring me and showing me up.  AND FINALLY took my sisters Buti Yoga class!  Oh my gosh, I do believe every mom in the world should be required to take it.  It will get you out of those ugly granny-panties, respark the "sexy" you maybe felt before saggy post-baby boobs happened, and all of a sudden you are shaking it like a girl in Vegas!  It was so much fun, I sweat more than an hour bike ride, and I'm secretly addicted.  It made me really sore though, bet it has to be an "off season" activity for how sore it makes me!  Tomorrow I plan to go again...and why not?  The funny thing that has happened is with teaching, actually making money, I feel like it's okay to do some things.  It's an odd feeling, with triathlon you always feel like you have to save your body, energy, and calories. It would such to be 80 in my rocking chair one day and say, "Sorry sis, I always meant to take your Buti Yoga class, but I was saving my body for that long run"...you get my point.  Breaks are gooooooood...take one!


Oh, I got this fortune cookie,  of course it reminded me of my triathlon love life.  So I penned and penciled a "2014" plan of attack.  Um, it will have a race this season though, as with all things, sometimes you just can't wait to start them.  I feel like sharing it now, but I first have to work more to save $ and chat it out with someone smarter than me when it comes to organizing a race map.  Soon.


Till then, I'm flashing back to Vegas (not the high heels and too small dresses), I just feel like racing for a good reason this race proved to me just how much I enjoy it.  The challenge, the opportunity, the way it reminded me to never give up. Alright amigos, time to get ready for swim practice...

Bree
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Na Wahine, Koko Head, Happy, in that order...


There is something really special about having a bucket list, or wanting to do a bunch of things that mean something to you.  These things, our bucket list desires, have such a pretty way of keeping us feeling alive inside.  For oh, 10, maybe 11 years I have wanted to go up Koko Head.  Not really sure why it has taken so long to live out this thing on my list, since I find a way to land on Oahu at least a few times a year, but it has.  I chalk it up to the "perfect timing".  Sometimes these moment just happen and for me they are nearly impossible to believe they could happen any better...


Sunday after Na Wahine Triathlon (more on that in a second) I had something that I just had to do, climb up Koko, I mean why not.  I'm not racing Kona, I am not entirely sure of my race plan at the moment, I'm teaching a bunch so it at least feels like I'm being a responsible working adult, so just do it right now was basically my mission.  With Mike and two of my favorite friends in the entire world at my side, we just decided to eat eggs on bagels then go climb an old train track to the top of a crater, all for a view..

 


It felt like the world just wrapped it's arms around me to do something as simple as tackle another something off the good ol' bucket list.  Once up there I was in absolutely no mood to come down, I wanted that moment with those friends to last for way longer than it did.  So I of course told them of another thing on the list, this dock, and we went back down in search of that only to not find it.  No problem, one day, the next perfect timing.  Anyways, the lead up to Koko Head has been a lot of soul searching my inner gut & heart.  I'm crazy passionate about so many things in this life it almost freaks me out to think we only get 100 or so good years to make it all happen.  Maybe that is why I love triathlon so much, it just never really runs out  of possibly goals and challenges to chase down. That said, I have been just a little busy wondering about 2014 year and exactly how to make it all happen for sport.  Ahhh, deep breath,  I am just going to chill out and keep making dollars subbing right now, then put it all together when I am calm enough to be sensible, not just run all over the world like a girl on a mission forgetting to smell some flowers on the journey.



Back to Na Wahine Triathlon...
Saturday morning I swam in bait balls, played underwater with Kainoa, and took a 10 minute jog.  My bike was on Oahu, left it there last Sunday after Vegas to save the $100 bucks it cost to fly it over from Kona.  Kind of weird not having my bike for a week, a race week nonetheless.  It worked out okay, this race was entirely for fun and to support women triathlon in the islands...

Masuda and me cruised over late Saturday afternoon. I was of course giddy to finally see him after all the travel and his work in Hilo.  Races are forever and always better when shared.  We stayed in the city, so prefect for a little change of pace from the calm Kona life (that I adore).  For the first time in maybe forever, the honking cars, bright city lights, and ruckus in the streets made me feel happy.  I could appreciate it, something I never imagined I'd like.  We went to dinner at 9pm, very late for me, especially on a race night that starts at 6:30am!  But I rolled with it, the race intentions (fun and supporting women in sport) had to stay more meaningful than to "Go, fight, win".  Part of me really wanted to just race for fun too, without pressure of points and a pay day.  That said, late dinner was perfect.

Finally got my bike together and I must thank Jeff at ITB Bike Shop of Oahu.  My front wheel was flat from Vegas so he let me borrow one for the race, THANK YOU JEFF, you saved the day!  Off to bed, finally...


We woke up to little sprinkles that you all know means one thing on an island, a rainbow!  I was so happy, it was the morning of my 10 year anniversary in sport!!Exactly 10 years ago yesterday morning I was in that same swim peeing my pants, scared!  Now I was the girl on the beach with my friends laughing & knowing it only hurts for an hour.   KC (The race director) of Na Wahine puts on one of the best races in the world, honest!  Take it from a woman that has raced all over the world!  When someone is so enthusiastic about what they care about it just shines right through in all they do.  This race is beautiful! It brings together women of all shapes and sizes, all races, all kinds of jobs, all fitness levels from pro to 1st timers, and then it has all the men that love us there to support what we mean in this world.  Not to mention the  friendships we make standing on that beach and crossing the finish line. 

The race.  It was a 500 yard swim where I clung to Leahi's feet.  Yes, the super swimmer of Hawaii, who just swam the 26 miles from Molokai to Maui did her first triathlon!  She gave me a nice ride and then I was just going for it on the bike.  My legs were burning so much from Vegas the previous Sunday, but I know how to shut them up having done these things for 10 years now.  The run had just one goal, to run anything in the 17 minutes for the 5k.  Um....15 steps into the run I was wanting to crawl.  My legs were way more toasted than anticipated.  We did okay though, 5:55 pace landing 18:26.  It had to be the great crowd support and just feeling so happy to be racing that made me keep moving forward so fried.  You know, I was highly considering racing an Ironman in November but I am thinking to rethink that.  let you know...

Oh that gorgeous finish line, my first one, felt it all over again.  KC, seriously, thank you so much for being the start to this life that I am leading.  One of the things on my bucket list "do a triathlon" 10 years ago, actually transformed my entire life.  I love that woman for what she has done for me!


I also have a HUGE mahalo to Rick and Lori Keene for helping make the trip happen and holding my bike on Oahu for me so I could save $100 bucks!  You both are such beautiful people, xoxox!


AND you know, one of the great reasons to do this race, to support women in triathlon, absolutely landed worthwhile!  Two of the great high school swimmer girls from the Big Island came over too and did their first ever triathlon!  They did amazing, had a blast, and perhaps have gotten bit by the tri-bug too!  Finally, the good news, when you win a local race on Oahu you get your own bike caddy...see....
Oh, the answers to the questions (by the way, we have the winners so no more emails :)
1.  Splish
2. Hawaii 70.3 and Ironman Louisville
3.  Philippines
4.  Spam Musubi
5.  Kona Aquatics
6.  Na Wahine & Vegas 70.3
7.  Ironman Hawaii 07
8.  Ironman Australia
9.  Masuda
10.  Surfing.

Okay, Bed time...
Bree
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Na Wahine...

2008 Na Wahine, I went back to race it as a 1st year pro...

Sunday officially marks 10 years since my very first triathlon, The Na Wahine Sprint,  over on Oahu.  So much for taking a little breather after that point chasing all over the world & Vegas 70.3 last weekend, I am returning to Oahu Sunday to CELEBRATE!  All week has been pretty special to me, the floods of memories since that first race up to this moment now have been somewhat surreal.  I'm a late bloomer, leaving me with no doubt that the best is still yet to come...

That day back in September 2003 was pretty hilarious, a surfer girl in a 2 piece, over sized bike helmet, and enough nutrition to fuel an Ironman.  Of course it was like most all other "firsts" in life, a little awkward, then awesome, and before long you're hooked...

Who in the world (not me) knew that a little sprint race would impact my life so greatly.  I of course took a break before eventually doing another triathlon, spent more time surfing and teaching than lacing run shoes, and also took time out to bring Kainoa into this world, but above & beyond, my life is so much better for that first morning I racked a bike (in the wrong direction), and became a triathlete.

Triathlon has given me courage to face challenges beyond swimbikerun, it keeps me inspired to live life rather than let it pass me by, it makes me feel better about eating too many burritos, it has led me to meet some of the most amazing people in the world that have become lifelong friends, and it has taken me to lands so far away & beautiful that I will forever be changed for what I have experienced...


In honor of my 10 year anniversary I think it's only fair to celebrate with the people that have been reading & supporting me through this blog too, so I have 2 give aways from 2 of my favorite supporters.  A bikini from Splish (size small) and a pair of shoes (size 8.5) from Zoot. If you win I will send them to you, heres how you win... first two people to answer 10 questions that would be pretty obvious from reading this blog.  Email me your answers, breesy4@yahoo.com.  I'll let you know if you won!  Good luck...

1.  Who was my very first sponsor ever? (hint, they are still with me)
2.  What were my first Half Ironman and first Ironman wins?
3.  My very favorite country to race in is....?
4.  My favorite LONG ride fuel?  (hint, it's a local favorite)
5.  What is the name of our swim team here on the Big Island?
6.  Name the first triathlon I ever did & the last one...
7.  What race did Kainoa cross the finish line with me when he was 1 years old?
8.  I broke my foot during what Ironman?
9.  The man I think is the most handsome in the world?
10.  The other sport I love?


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Monday, September 9, 2013

World Champs...

70.3 World Champs in Vegas was by far one of the most thrilling races of my entire career.  Part of me felt so overwhelmed being on the start line, looking to the left and right were women from the Olympics & the best distance women in our sport, that must be what makes it a Championship race, no slow pokes arrived in Vegas.  AS you know I was ranked pretty much last, but thrilled to know a couple hundred women in the world would have loved to be in my position, last is better than not being in the race, right?! Anyways, I was still a little overwhelmed, even filled my goggles with tears at the swim start.  It was an honor, humbling, and very exciting to hear the cannon go off...

The swim was really good for me.  Second pack, not too far from the front.  I can honestly say if you have yet to race a championship race (as it was my first 70.3 Champs), it is very different.  Its as if the women just want to get from point A to point B as quick as possible and not mess around with the goggle snatching, feet grabbing, position defending that happens in many other pro races.  It was almost classy if that's possible.  That said, I was happy with my swim and thankful to have a giant pack to swim with, not fight with...



Of course, I battled with the speed suit running into T1 and tore it right off my back, unable to get if off any other way than ripping it off.  A note to self:  Bikinis should be used more for surfing and less for "training days at the office", as this season has taught me I need more practice with the wetsuit & speed suits & less with Hawaii beach attire.

Onto the bike.  At first I felt like a rock star, in fact I started to make bets on myself that I would surprise myself this race, it was Vegas after all.  Halfway through I lost all the girls I had in view and landed lonely in the desert of Vegas.  I'll be honest, it was far from being one of the beautiful race courses I've been fortunate to see this season, it was boring, lonely, and not that gorgeous.  That is perhaps what makes it a very challenging course, you have to keep your head in the game and focused 100% of the time, or you look up and everyone is gone.  Everyone was gone.  Toward the end I caught up to one of the first pack swimmer girls and thankfully had someone to pass and get passed by then repass, repeat till T2. Not one to make excuses for myself, but truly I could tell I did not have the homework done for this bike race, no speed work, just plenty of Iron distance miles.  Of course I knew this coming into the race and knew it would mean I'd just have to be really tuff out there and find a way to push through the lackluster pace that my legs would most likely rely on.  Kind of bummed but what can a girl expect when she signs up to a Championship race just 2 weeks before?  What you train for you get out on race day...honestly.

Off the bike and onto the run, instantly awesome crowd support! It was a massively lined street of people all jumping into the road to move us along as we run up and down these Vegas hills. My legs, heart, and every part of me from head to toe felt amazing out there.  It was perhaps a very welcome feeling to know that all season long I've been trying to improve that run of mine and possibly found ways to gut out faster miles than "just finishing".  That said, it was a similar story to the bike, I lacked any speed work in my run, but I had plenty of miles from the 3 Ironman Marathons I've done in the past 5 or 6 months.  Top secretly, a sub 1:30 was my goal on that course, my legs landed a 1:33.00 and I was proud of them for even managing that off that poor bike ride.  However the best part was using lessons that I learned the hard way during my previous 7 races of the season.  One of them was not giving up, ever.  The woman that finished just in front of me was 1:45 ahead, then 1:30 ahead, then 1 minute ahead, at the last mile she was 38 seconds ahead, slowly reeling her in. I seriously ran as hard as I could the last mile hoping to catch her, she made it to the finish 12 seconds in front of me.  I think that was my most proud moment of the day, never giving up even when it looks over.  Yeah, I didn't catch her, but I learned to work really hard even when it might not make a difference in the outcome...


This was a very good day in my life, one I will never forget.  It won't be remembered for a big paycheck or a top 10, but more as the day I crossed a finish line of a "big deal" race and felt like I belonged.   I am home and really happy about the experience, it feels so good to come home happy from a race and not in tears (like after Ironman Mont Tremblant 3 weeks ago).  But of course those hard days of racing are never too far behind.


As with all big races, one of the best parts is catching up with friends from all over the world  And while I already know this dream job won't last forever, it really is a special thing to share such a cool opportunity with people that have inspired me to always live life bravely on the edge of my seat.  With that, ZOOT SPORTS, Splish, Bike Works, Breakthrough Nutrition, Swift Carbon Bikes, Odin Wilmont "Chiro", Junko Sheilds massage, Kona Aquatics, and Rolf Prima Wheels, you made this entire season possible for me and I am SO THANKFUL for you each day that I get to wake up and swim, bike, and run towards my dreams.

I also have another "mahalo" to James Cotter.  He was the first person I ever met that did triathlon, watched him win the local Lavaman back in 2003 and have looked up to him as the first pro from Big Island ever since. Anyways, after Ironman Mont Tremblant I was smashed and done for the season. But of course I got into Vegas & changed my mind. I didn't know who to ask for help, how to take my body that wanted only to hibernate and could barely walk to my mailbox and make it get up and go in just 2 weeks, much less for a championship race. He helped me first believe it was even possible to have a decent race after being tapped out, then got me to the start in one piece, for that I am so very thankful, thankful he helped me land amongst the top 20 in the world yesterday and actually enjoy 70.3 miles at the end of a very long season...


Now I am home and the run shoes will be exchanged for work shoes to wear into the classroom tomorrow where I will get to sub 1st grade, you know, make money to pay some bills. This season has taught me just how rewarding it can be to run after all you want in life, but it also means you might be seriously broke, and so I also thank my family and friends that run with me and keep me humble & grounded while the pro-triathlete life can sometimes carry me all over the world with my head in the clouds.

To the McCary Family, thank you so much for letting my stinky shoes stay at your Vegas home too!  It was the perfect spot to rest away from the casinos and desert.  Wendy, thank you too, for driving Miss Lazy (that would be me resting my legs) and making me endure that Michigan game.  You guys were perfect company...




As for the "Vegas Experience", it was my very first trip to Vegas and all I can say is that it totally overwhelmed & entertained me!  I was so lost, so out of place, and felt like a naughty kid seeing and hearing things that my parents would wash my mouth out with soap if they knew!  The night should have been caught on tape as it would have made a great comedy!  I wanted to be one of the dancing girls in crazy outfits and will keep some secrets, but I did indeed try on something a little outrageous and top secretly wish I owned it! As for gambling, I found absolutely no enjoyment what so ever putting money in a machine and getting nothing from it. In fact, I played only $7 bucks and was so angry that not even a sand which came out of it like a vending machine would have done. To top the night off, we rode the big roller coaster at New York, New York and I nearly puked up all my gels from the race, it was so much fun you must try it if you have yet to ride it!


I have one more thing to say, being a professional athlete is indeed incredible, but for me, family will always be the most incredible part of my life.  It has been such a great season, one that would never have been possible without Mike.  At the start of the year when I told him my dream to qualify for Ironman Hawaii, even with my broken foot, he stood next to me, helped pave the way many times when I had no way, picked me up every fall, and even believed when I let go of hope.  Now my season of chasing points around the world for 2013 has come to an end and every single finish line, all year long, all added up, could never make me as happy as it feels to have somebody believe in me like he has.  Thank you so much to my best friend, and I know you don't read these reports so I'll call you after work and tell you in person.

As for 2014, well, you know me, I'm not one for giving up.  Yesterday was the start of collecting points for Ironman Hawaii 2014, so I'll do that.  The details, like race plan of action, sponsorship, coaching, funding, and side jobs have yet to be figured out. As for this week, I just want to be home and enjoy this moment...

Thanks for reading :)
Bree

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