Saturday, June 21, 2014

Deep Within...

Maybe this has a little to do with triathlon, maybe not.  Life has been teaching me so much about, well, life. Lately I'm understanding there doesn't always have to be a reason for doing every thing we do.  (I used to think without a purpose there is no purpose).  But now, and not just because I saw a man having a heart attack today, I believe that sometimes the only reason we need to have is because it makes us happy.  Life is short.  Don't read this wrong, I'm not saying I believe it's okay to go do bad things and say it was because it makes you happy, that just makes you a bad person.  Deep within, sometimes, just doing what truly makes you happy makes everything else in life that much better.  I was once a girl on a beach making a million wishes on stars, mostly dreaming of all the possibilities, since slowly learning sometimes the only reason I need to do something is because it makes me happy, I find myself making fewer wishes and more time smiling about what I just experienced...

...And I think it makes you better.  I love running, always have.  Haven't always been good at it, but more and more I find myself out there mostly because it makes me happy.  That...I making me run better.  Sometimes searching for this huge reason for doing something or trying to find some sensational purpose makes it all too complicated.  That has been a huge struggle of mine with racing triathlon professionally.  I would lay in bed and wonder how in the world it had a purpose to either better other people's lives or the world.  I'd search for that answer, with teaching it came easy, you see children learn to read and BOOM, there is all the reason and purpose you need. Deep within, I love what I do, so much, and lately I just count my blessings with all sport has given to my life, allowing myself to be happy without needing some big bright and shiny reason.

So where are we?  Tonight we have 5 weeks until Ironman Canada.  Being the 3rd Ironman of the year already (yikes) and the 4th one in roughly 8 months, I am still very mentally motivated, excited, and happy to be heading to another 140.6 mile race.  This week I was super fortunate to test out a sleeveless wetsuit, THANK YOU Zoot Sports so much! It was amazing to feel all the luxuries of a wetsuit but have my arms free.  At the moment the lake is really cold, but I am hoping it warms up enough to not need sleeves.  Being my goal race into the final KPR points ranking, I am actually spending time in a wetsuit.  Let's hope it lands a more efficient swim than previous wetsuit swims!

After literally hundreds of training sessions I am not sure why it took so long to see the value in taking an egg with me to all my workouts!  It is the absolute most awesome little power packed pick me up, protein, and affordable little ball...maybe ever.  Hard boil them all week and try for's easy and amazing how much better you feel instantly having one.  PS...I like to add sea salt on mine.

I've been reading a lot too.  I have to make time for it.  My Bible, mental training books, whatever makes me happy to read, it has forced me to sit still.  To put feet up.  To calm down.  To not think (and over think).  I know, it's hard to find a minute, but just a couple minutes a day instead of FB, Instagram, or rummaging through the fridge to eat when you aren't hungry, helps.  It has been a saving grace for me with full training and Summer happening all at once.  Good luck with it...

As for paddling...

It is Summer in Hawaii after all.  I am still landing in a canoe on Saturdays and sometimes at sunset.  I call it my recovery.  It is a huge part of "making me happy" so I do it.  The girls are my sisters.  It is amazing to fly across the water and our boat is doing really good right now. We won today, getting lei'd feels nice.  And in some explainable way it is carrying over into triathlon, here is where I will absolutely not try to explain it, find a reason, or search for some big meaningful truth behind doing just makes me really happy.  And, that it reason enough...

Oh... Great news.  See these two?  Kainoa and my mom, they are going to Ironman Canada with me.  I am beyond words grateful!!   Good night, got some miles to tackle tomorrow and some stretching tonight.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

How's it going?

My updates have seriously been slacking, but life has been good. Mostly, just trying to get back on the healthy wagon.  I do a good job of being a regular girl after a big race.  Stay up a little later, clean Kainoa's plate (including kid food with ingredients I can't pronounce), drink a beer, sleep in a little (very challenging for me), and indulge in plenty of other sporty things.  The indulging in "plenty of other sporty things"" is thanks to coach.  Mentally refreshing?  Yes.  Ignite motivation?  Yes.  Renew the muscles?  Yes.  So he writes plans that say, "low HR, try yoga, surf, paddle, no CF yet, family time activities".  It's so easy to get out, be active, and follow that plan. I think it makes it easier to get back to work too, when the time is right. Because the season is long and I want to keep "fresh" mentally and physically as best as I can.

That said...
About 7 weeks till Ironman Canada.  I feel good.  I feel recovered.  I am ready to dive back in.  I've been drinking all the green drinks in abundance once again, starting to see sunrise more frequently, and dipping back into the pool.  Minimal lacing of the shoes.  I take that back last night I played basketball, 2 on 2.  It was awesome, much needed competition all for the bragging rights and not a payday or point. (However, I confess to greatly liking working/racing for both). And I've been paddling...a little.

Kainoa started paddling this season.  Watching him had me recalling some of my favorite moments on the ocean.  Being at his practices (on the sidelines) was very fun.  Being at his races on the side lines, not as much fun.  Oh, never get me wrong, it is so much fun watching your child, cheering, supporting, loving, its wonderful.  But...have you ever been to a regatta?  They are SO LONG.  You are there literally all day, unlike any sport I know.  In fact, the past few Saturdays we got there by 7 and left around 4.  It's like an Ironman, except the actual race is less than 10 minutes.  A few regattas ago, I took a swim and a run between races!  And got me thinking...maybe...I should paddle...since I am here... all day...cheering...waiting....waiting...and Mike and his boys paddle I'm literally  A few weeks ago to be legit, I went to some practices. Oh it was amazing.

...and I volunteered (as the rice serving girl).  That was amazing too.  And then...I raced.  I jumped back into the canoe, paddled my heart out, and you know what?

Our boat won.  It was a good day. So that's what I've been doing.  And back into 40 minute bike rides, a couple swims, and a couple runs.  I am patiently awaiting the day I get to swim, bike, or/and run more than 40 minutes.  Till then, active recovery in the form of other sporty things.  And it feels like life is being totally lived out loud.  I even got to surf yesterday, right into a sunset.  Okay, that's all I got for now.  Bed time is calling, swim practice in the morning, wooohooo, I see triathlon training about to ramp up!!

Good night,
Bree xo
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hawaii 70.3 "Just Go With It"

This will be a quick race wrap up, mostly because a lack of pictures, I'm like a kid, I like pictures. Race week arrived and I was struggling to get into race week mode.  So much focus had been spent on Ironman Texas that Hawaii 70.3 never crossed my mind. Soon after Texas we put Ironman Canada on the map so any sporting thoughts instantly went towards Whistler.  2 days before the race coach told me I can pull out of Hawaii 70.3.  If I'm still feeling the Ironman during the race pull the plug, call it a day, keep recovering from Texas so we can have a good build into Canada.  Honestly, I did not like the thought of not racing at home.  Mike is usually my brain when I struggle to think realistically and reminded me there is only 500 points on the line for Hawaii, 2000 for Canada and risking injury and a lackluster day would maybe be a setback to Canada.  Maybe his Japanese side is better at Math and non emotional thinking than me, I tried to trust his thinking. My heart always overrides every single thing (I know, ridiculously passionate). We made a deal, if he saw me looking like hell out on the race course he would yank me off, I am not good at pulling myself out of races…

Race morning came.  Woke up at 5, got to transition at 5:50 (clearly I am not one of those that get up 4hrs pre race).  There was little pep in me despite being a major morning person.  No butterflies, no pre-race feeling of pooping my pants 'cause I'm so nervous, and I didn't cry (I always cry on the start lines of my races).  All I knew (and figured mattered) was that I still love racing and trust that my body would just get to work when the gun went off.  Kissed Mike good bye, swam out to the start line, and lined up deep water.  I felt at home in the ocean and knew it was the best way to start a day, whatever the day may bring...

I managed to snag my career slowest half ironman swim.  I held tight the mantra Mike gave me on the drive to the race, "Just go with it".  He said whatever my body is doing, go with it.  So I went with it.  Ran up the beach not letting the humbling swim entertain me, just ride my bike.  I was 6th girl at the Mauna Lani turn and not gaining on any girls.  Finally to the climbs of Hawi where a little heat and wind kept us company I was making a move.  Still not feeling perky or fast or like any sign of  "race day magic" would soon accompany me, I just "kept going with it".  I was giving my legs pep talks, "Good job girls, just do what we can, I know we have an Ironman in our legs but we can do this, you like this, keep moving forward".  Passed two girls by the turn around in Hawi and kept looking out to the ocean.  My entire heart was filling with emotions now, how dearly I want to race in Kona this October, how I want back in the race that opened the doors initially for me to become a pro triathlete and live this life I love so much.  I put my head down and just pushed on despite feeling like I was weak and tired.  

As with most races I was so happy to reach the final miles of the bike.  I wanted to run, finally butterflies were filling me.  This was what I had been waiting to feel since the drive out to Hapuna at 5am.  I could hardly wait to see Mike, Kainoa, Brooke, Wendy, and all my friends all over the course and working the aid stations.  Off the bike and into T2, over 5 minutes behind the leaders, I was 4th with another girl just 2 seconds behind me.  That bike ride felt like a stationary bike ride, if I didn't actually see the scenery change I would almost swear I never moved…time to move…run.

This run course is one of my absolute favorites, the heat fills me in a such a happy way that I never even entertained thoughts of having a marathon in my legs or how crappy the swim and bike felt.  I just wanted to catch girls.  You know when you really love your shoes?  I was loving mine like Dorthy loves her ruby red slippers!  The Zoot Kiawe 2.0 were my non-ruby neon green slippers!!  I just stayed happy and focused out there, ran my way into 2nd place and thanked God Mike never yanked me off the course after he saw me looking like a rag down thrown from her bike into T2. Or maybe it's, "Thank you Mike for believing in me" that I could still find a way to turn the race around...

The day held two new records for me:  My slowest ever swim in a 70.3 and the first time I've ever ran the fastest female run split of the day in an Ironman race.  I guess it balances out, maybe, not really.  I'm going to take a week easy (per coaches orders) and keep my focus on Canada.  Above and beyond, thank you Zoot Sports, Ceepo Bikes, Bike Works, Bioastin Hawaii, Coach Cotter,  Odin Chiro, Junko Sheilds Massage, Rolf Prima, and Splish, for making sure I have all I need to keep training and racing towards October. Hawaii 70.3 race directors, volunteers, and competitors, THANK YOU for such a great Saturday morning, well done!!  And I did get to celebrate, one of our friends got married so we hurried back to town for a beautiful wedding...

Thanks for the lovely support,
Bree xo

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