Friday, November 30, 2007

What's up with you moms?

What's up with the Hawaii moms?
Wee, mother of 1, Ingrid Rolles (Pro Xterra & mother of 1), Rachel Ross-mother of 3!
What's up with you moms? I have been getting that question (and some similar) a lot since Ironman. "Do women get faster after having babies?" That's another popular one I get. Unfortunately, I just don't have a scientific answer to that. I am not sure what happens with hormones and pain tolerance and how pregnancy effects the body-then how it effects athletic ability. Hmmmm... mystery to this mom.

So what is my answer? How do I respond when people ask how in the world is it that the Hawaii moms (Rachel Ross-mother of 3 & me mother of 1) all of a sudden came out of nowhere as the top female amateurs at Ironman? Was it pregnancy and birth that contributed to some decent race results?

I say yes. Not because of whatever changes my body went through... but because of what changes my life is going through. I no longer have time to run all the time whenever I want. I can't bike and swim as much as I used to. Now, quality workouts outweigh quantity workouts. And all those late nighters and lack of focus have transformed into prioritizing, goal setting, and being responsible. Everything in life now has a purpose-including training and racing. Becoming a mom has also taught me to be well-rounded. TRIATHLON is LIFE-that was the old me. I thought about it, breathed it, dreamed about it, and really spent too much time with it. Family, my husband, and son are now a bigger (the biggest) part of my life- I have learned to balance. This contributes to less burnout and more enjoyment when I actually get to train or race.

So, what's up with us Hawaii moms? We are running, swimming, biking, being wives, being moms, working random side jobs to help our husbands with finances, and doing everything others do... but sometimes we have to change diapers too. Maybe it's the diapers that make moms faster...
Congratulations to ALL the moms AND dads out there that balance life and sport! If you still ask, "What's up with you mom's?" then direct your question to say Heather Gollnick! That is one amazing fast momma!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Today I am starting my New Year's Resolution, no better time than the present right? I am going to live life more like my son Kainoa. FEARLESS.

We have been trying to teach our son to swim since he was 10 days old- when we first put him in the pool. He can blow bubbles, kick, hold his breath under water, and survive his dads crazy bomb throws! He runs into the ocean, gets knocked down-but remains calm and breathes fearlessly. And he loves it- he wants more. Kainoa was even kicked out of the water during a rough swell at Magic Sands Beach for being too young in the ocean. He just loves the water-is fearless of it.
I believe that if we approached his learning to swim differently he would have fears. If we told him about the big scary waves, the dark deep ocean, and what lies beneath he might have fears.

As an adult now I am learning life is like that. I am most fearful of things that could happen because people have told me scary stories about fearful situations. I love the ocean, but I have to confess, sometimes I swim with a giant fear that a big shark is drafting me. That’s because of scary shark stories I hear about. And the dark… I am VERY scared of it even at 27 years old! If my husband doesn’t come to bed at the same time as me I have to sleep with the door open so the light comes in from the hall. I am so envious when I look at Kainoa sleep. He sleeps alone, all night, in a pitch black room! How does he do that? Maybe because I have never told him about monsters under his crib or in the closet. And probably because he has never seen a Friday the 13th movie! I have seen the movies and been told the monster stories… and NOW I am fearful of the dark.

From watching Kainoa grow up I have learned that our fears hold us back from really great moments in life. Or really great sleep in my case. Our fears have so much control over just how far we reach for our dreams, chase goals, and live life.

I have a thought to leave you with… Olympic swimmer Janet Evans! She has severe asthma, to the point that growing up doctors feared if she swam too hard she would stop breathing. Just think… if she had listened to their fears she would have missed out on all those world records and gold medals!

Dive down deep-living your life to the fullest. Let no scary stories of sharks, eel, jelly fish, and the unknown hold you back from something beautiful that might happen...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tri-ing for FUN!

I took this photo of Shanna at the finish line of Ultraman yesterday... she held that position for what seemed like 5 minutes-just laughing and smiling and enjoying triathlon.Living in Kona I was fortunate enough to watch Shanna Armstrong as she raced around the island of Hawaii during the Ultraman. (I think it's a really CRAZY event- but I once thought that about Ironman too). I learned something from watching her though...

After Ironman I was getting all sorts of pressure and opinions that I should maybe think about jumping to race pro with the "big girls". My most common response was that I am not there yet-mentally. I race for fun. I LOVE triathlon and the "fun" of it-I know most triathletes love the fun- but the really good ones have that mental thing going for them too. I am the triathlete that laughs at myself because I have my swim suit riding up my butt on the bike (but refuse to race in bike shorts). I am the one that usually shouts & cheers across the road to Rachel Ross & Amy Bennet at every race we do together (even though they are my biggest competition on the island). I hi-five the kids, still ask for autographs from the pros and just can't toe the start line with that "I am AWESOME" look that a lot of pros have. Believe me, I wish I had that. I admire the women who get to the start and look confident and focused and determined to get to the finish first.

Back to Shanna... this women taught me something... YOU CAN HAVE ALL SORTS OF CRAZY FUN! She was cheering for her competitors, wishing them well, encouraging them, and the HIGHLIGHT... she has a ton of toys with her on race day! Yes, little monkeys, squeaky things, things to keep her race fun and worth laughing about. It was really refreshing.

I know that every athlete has what works for them... maybe focused and quiet, maybe loud and boastful, even friendly & encouraging. After watching Shanna I realized that it is perfectly fine to toe the line with a big smile, wave like you are in a parade, and then pull out toys to make yourself (and others) laugh. I think that saying, "The person having the most fun wins" was written for Shanna yesterday!

Check Shanna out : Shanna Armstrong

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Never underestimate running with a man in his 50's!

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Alarm goes off at 5:15 am... I am so ready to run! Only a 2 hour run (piece of cake compared to 2:30 hour runs). After reading about Lana training for her marathon in such cold weather that her ponytail froze, and my friend Shirley about to do her marathon next weekend after SO MUCH racing & travel this season she is ready for some well deserved time off, and RG who is running a marathon next weekend and is as crazy as me that she runs when she should be sleeping! I felt super motivated! It is warm here in Hawaii (I am taking salt still this time of year) and these 3 womens' marathon training adventures have been so encouraging I could hardly wait to start my run! Or so I thought...

As I get to my take off point I see Dan Hodel. He is in his 50's but can EASILY run a sub 3hr marathon. He has been a runner all his life and still beats the men half his age when it comes to running! Knowing he is also running Honolulu Marathon on the 9th I shyly ask him how long he is running. He tells me to the pit and back and 1x up KAM3. Hmmm... It usually takes me just under 2 hrs to run to the pit and back, I am going to run with him! I kind of invite myself. Secretly I am a bit nervous because my plan was to do 40 min. zone 1, 40 min. zone 2, and 40 min. at marathon goal pace. We get going and instantly I am THINKING his plan must be to run the entire time AT GOAL PACE! We are cruising pretty good from the get-go.

Then he starts to tell me about how great it would be if our town had more run races... for example a 30k today (2weeks out from the marathon) as a sort of "tune-up"race. NOW I am VERY scared... I think we are making our own 30k "tune-up" race right now because I am at what could be race pace! At mile 3 I decide to check the pace 6:55. Oh Bree, hold on I tell myself. Maybe it will be good to run at near race pace for 2 hours- I have never done it but today I might try it thanks to running with Dan...

Mile 5-9 we are about 7-7:05 min. pace. I make sure I am taking my gels and drinking... I check my technique, I try to keep good conversation, I pretend I am in the race since I am darn near race pace, and I remain calm... SHOOT I am running with Dan Hodel... all of Kona admires him for his running! I hope other morning joggers notice I am running with Dan Hodel. It is sort of an honor to run with someone you admire.

Okay, now to this hill. KAM 3. We do about a mile up it then turn down. NOW my quads are on fire! Dan tells me "This is great! it mimics the feeling you get around mile 18 or 19 of the marathon". GREAT I think! But I am loving every mile of this run. I like to challenge myself and I LOVE running with stronger runners. I am in sort of a bitter-sweet spot with this run. I love the fact it is a great workout and good for the bank ( I can hardly wait to withdraw on race day knowing this is in the bank) and at the same time I think my legs are pooped and I just want to finish this run with Dan.

With about 4 miles to go I tell Dan I am so happy I got to run with him, that this was a great run, and that I did not plan on running this strong, I was planning on something easier-but am glad I ran with him & did that hill! He then tells me he also was NOT planning on running that strong this morning. He was planning on the hill (he always does hills) but was just going to cruise. When we finish he tells me it would have taken him another 30 minutes to finish what we did in 2:16!!!

As we stretch out in the parking lot I am so proud I accomplished that run. I am even more proud to see my nutrition plan is working wonders! But I am most proud that when the going got tough I could keep on going all because of who I was running with.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dedicated or Dorky!

I made a promise to my family- after Ironman MORE family time! AND that family time would not include chat of triathlon, nutrition, fun workouts, race results, NOTHING that had to do with the reason I was M.I.A. so much the last few months.

I knew today I had a 6am swim and an hour run. Got the swim done while everyone was sleeping-no problem. BUT as the day went on I got so caught up the run kept fading. I
secretly went by the pier on the way to meet my husband and in-laws for a "family day"...I was secretly watching Ultraman get underway. Still didn't run.

Once with the family we were enjoying a ton of fun ALL day! Some sightseeing, shopping, lunch out, watching the Hawaii vs Boise football game. The fact that Honolulu Marathon is right around the corner my hour tempo run was lingering in my brain-I kept telling it to BE QUITE! I MUST BE WITH FAMILY! Still didn't run.

At 8:30pm we get home. I am the "queen" of going to bed by 9pm. When I announced to my husband I need to do my run he looked at me...dropped his jaw... then nearly messed his pants. I had a run, had not spoke of it all day & now at my bed time I was going to do it!

I fired up the tready like any
DEDICATED woman on a mission would and got to work on my tempo 9pm! I did that run with the moon behind me. I enjoyed every step of it-even my husband making fun of me calling me a DORK! A big dork! To him this may be on the top of my "dork list". I have many dorky moments. He captured a photo to never let it down that I stayed up past my bed time to be dorky! I am going to bed now knowing this was not one of my more dorky moments but one of my most dedicated!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thank You!

Being Thanksgiving week all I have been doing is being thankful! I can hardly help but think of all the awesome people, family, & friends in my life. I am thankful for my good health & abilities. I am thankful for my beautiful island, community, having food & a roof over my head! For work and time...for life. The list goes on and on and on... and on...

As for triathlon... I suppose today is a good day to say "thanks" too!

Thanks first and foremost for my amazing family-for my husband and son for putting up with me and supporting my crazy habits! Thank you to
Coach Paul for EVERYTHING you have done for me, taught me, and beyond. Splish! oh man I would not have made it through all those swims without a fun new suit nearly every week-you kept me motivated to swim! Without my awesome team at Bike Works I would never have been able to change a tire, fix a flat, or even race! Thank you for covering my race entries & teaching me what a bike is!!! Lauren & Brooke you two have been my shining stars and biggest hugs in the world... and of course all the help with Kainoa was huge help! SCOTT bikes... Oh your bikes are too amazing for words! The search for a bike that fits short legs and long torso is finally over... so excited to work with you next season! Kona Community You are FAMILY! Mahalo nui loa! Jenny Naughty You have helped me so much with your wisdom & "mental" coaching... Thank you! ES You know who you are... None of these triathlon goals, dreams, and days would have been so much fun or possible without your support. I am thankful for your flyer miles too! :) Wee Bee Honey... basically, without that honey my almond butter sandwiches would be naked and I would lack the energy I needed to make it through all those long training sessions & Ironman! Triathletes I met over the season at races and on blogs (Liz Fedofosky) your help, tips, advice, and cheers have really made racing fun! Rachel Ross (RR) Where do I start?! First, I was dead lost on nutrition until you told me about those little Shot Bloks, and the emails of encouragement, and of course for working so darn hard and getting so darn fast- you really made all of us local girls step up to the plate! Finally, for being a lightening fast mom... you showed me I can race even after baby too! Karlynn & Eric... I don't want to say thank you because every Tuesday I see my life flash before my eyes and get dizzy as I think I am about to pass out... BUT... THANK YOU! I am so appreciative of Tuesdays & your help... Coach Steve... You have been like the dad I never had! Thank you for always believing me even when I know I see you laughing on the pool deck as I struggle and run out of breath! Thank you for your help during my post pregnancy too & of course all the Kona Swimmers! I love everyone from lane 1-8! Zoot, Eli... I know I would be frozen on the bottom of some ocean or lake in Canada without that wetzoot! Oh man that thing is beyond real! AND the bike shorts... thank you for keeping comfort in mind! Finally, a shoe that lets water out and no need for a sock- LOVE it!! Hope to wear it next year! Asics (Eric) I am really thankful for all... ALL... the shoes! You got me through the Ironman marathon training and through this Honolulu training... thank you! Cody B... you were the best training partner a girl could ever have! And last but certainly NOT least... REIKO San... Thanks for the massages that kept me going & all the fun Japanese help...

I bet a $1.00 I forgot a lot of people and supporters. SO SORRY! I am thankful for you too!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Being Sunday, a good day for church, I ran into a little verse that fit perfect with the way I was feeling yesterday...

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task The Lord has given me. Acts 20:24

I was feeling a bit "pooped" yesterday. But reading this verse I was fully encouraged to just keep going... press on and finish this training-keep going-finish the race.

My long run (2:30) at low heart rate ended up being the perfect medicine. I just enjoyed the easy pace, watching the surfers, waving to other joggers on the road, and being up before the sun. It was so perfect...the best 19.64 miles I have had in a long time...

Happy Sunday... now time to play MORE toys with Kainoa and beg Jim to turn that football game down!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Almost the Off-Season For me...

Today is one of those days... I am so pooped. Motherhood,being a wife, triathlon, side jobs, life... has taken it's toll on me and I can tell that today would be a great day to start my off-season. Today my body is ready to go to bed late tonight after watching movies and sleep in tomorrow (that never happens when you have a child though). BUT... I have my last long run tomorrow. I will get up early and tackle the miles that I love before sun up.

All my friends are fully enjoying the off season. In a small way I am too (my bike is collecting dust and hasn't been cleaned since Ironman-I figure it's okay since I didn't pee on it). But I am in a small way ready to be done with scheduled running workouts, must-commit-to-training plans, and even the anxiety of a race. I never thought I would say that... but I am feeling it right now.

On the bright side... tomorrow is the last long run for a while... then the race... and December 9th after 26.2 miles I can start my off-season...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tag! I'm it!!

Meme!????? I got tagged by Shirley Perly... gosh, something it looks like I can't run from :)

So, my job is to tell 5 RANDOM FACTS about me... hmmm... I got so many! Then tag 5 other people to tell 5 random facts and on and on and on... I guess this is supposed to be a fun way of getting to know blog buddies! Here goes nothing...

5 Random Facts about Bree Wee:

  1. I grew up on a farm in Michigan and used to mush my feet in the cow poop with my sisters. My grandma said it was GOOD moisturizer!
  2. During my high school & college days I spent every summer and one semester of college in Costa Rica. I had a "novio" there, taught some school to the little tico children, and had plans to move there in 2002 (after college graduation) with dreams of becoming a pro surfer.
  3. When I make dinner I pretend I am on my own cooking show. I try to make the dinners really pretty too... watch out Rachel Ray!
  4. I raced Xterra World Championships (Maui) in 2005. It was my first mountain bike race ever... on a borrowed bike... only used it 3x for practice...I was also really sick... found out after the race I was 3 months pregnant.
  5. I never wear matching's my superstition.
Okay... now I am tagging...
Amanda Lovato
Terra Castro
Brooke Myers
Elizabeth Fedofsky
I left a comment to each of you that you have been tagged...when you've written your 5 random facts be sure to tag 5 other people and let them know you tagged them with a comment... looking forward to reading your 5 random facts...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What about Weebee's???

My friend Lauren-last name "Bee" and me, last name "Wee", were on a mission last year to create our own energy bars. We ended up making more of a "ball". We took it so far that we had tons of energy balls! We had peanut butter balls with protein powder, recovery balls for after workouts, bee pollen balls, spirulina balls, coconut balls, fruit balls... the list goes on!

We ended up being so PROUD of our little balls that we made them only from all natural ingredients, organic, no sugar added... you get the idea. They were really good and good for you.

Everyone in the sport community of Kona loved them. They were requested. We gave them as gifts to friends, made some for friends racing, we invented new flavors and had our friends try them out. We eventually got so into it that we created it's own packaging, looking into selling them to our health food store and even gave them a name: Weebee's. My last name and her last name joined. The name fit perfect... little balls-often including bee pollen or honey... and Lauren was the QUEEN of making labels with little bee's on them... we thought our creation would hit the big time! At least it did in Kona town... with the athletes...

UNTIL... this weekend. Lauren was in Maui and at the health food store on that island (MUCH MUCH bigger than our little store) she found honey called "Wee Bee Honey"! In the middle of the store Lauren screamed at the top of her lungs! WEE BEE HONEY! She was partly excited loving this new raw honey discovery with both our names on it & partly in shock that our logo (or nearly our logo) had already been taken.

So what about the Weebee's? We are in the "thinking" process on that one. Since our logo has the name joined we might be okay... and we are energy nutrition balls- not just honey. With the holidays around the corner and knowing everyone will want Weebee's for their healthy Christmas treats we have some brain storming to do!

Hey, if you are ever in Kona and want to try Weebee's we can hook you up! If you are ever at a health food store and see Wee Bee Honey BUY it! It is more amazing than any honey I have ever had... you actually taste the honey comb in it! AND... if you need a pre-work out snack, my favorite recommendation is almond butter & honey on a sea weed rice cake! YUMMY!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Giving Back...

I got a call last week inviting me to be the "grand Marshall" for the Kahakai Elementary School Keiki Triathlon! Every year, just after the BIG Ironman the local school just off Ali'i Drive has a huge keiki (children's) triathlon. Every class is a different country, they get really involved, and the weeks leading up the triathlon all the children spend their PE time practicing the events.

I taught at Kahakai for four years and lead my class through the triathlon, taught them about their country, and encouraged sport and physical activity. It was truly the best part of the school year. The children really love it. Every October they volunteer for Ironman Hawaii so they understand what triathlon is. They see athletes running, walking, puking. They understand it all... for them to take part gives them a hope that one day they too can accomplish something it Ironman or college... or just living a happy life.

Now, each year the Grand Marshall is someone "famous" to the children. When I got the call to be the Grand Marshall I was so excited! Not only was it the school I used to teach at, it was a chance for me to personally thank the children for volunteering during the Ironman!

Today I got to see children who handed me water on the run course, I got to meet children who cheered from their homes for me and the other Ironman athletes. It was so amazing! The children all wanted high-fives and even gave me a marker to sign their water bottles. They wanted hugs and HOPE in them that they would make it through their "big day". I think I lost my voice cheering and laughing! It was wonderful to see them not worrying about nutrition or bonking. They ran full blast from the start and never looked back. They never took nutrition breaks or looked at heart rate monitors. Come to think of it, I never even noticed any of them look for their competition. They knew just finishing makes them a winner.

The thing I learned most from the children today, and that I hope to never lose sight of, is that triathlon is all about having fun...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Got time on your hands? Good book...

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I have been reading this AWESOME book... if you need something to do during your "off season" Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan is super good! She works with a ton of top notch athletes and Team Timex every year. Anyways, I have been reading it cover to cover and am constantly telling myself I wish I read this prior to Ironman! So, if you are like me and have not quiet gotten the nutrition part of triathlon down it just might be the book to give you that bit of an "extra" something next season! Happy Reading!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The mind determines whats possible, the heart surpasses it. Pilar Coolinta

I read this quote in Jamba Juice yesterday and have been thinking about it nonstop! It brought back memories of Ironman. I learned through triathlon, actually any challenge in life, just how amazing the mind is. If we think negative thoughts we limit ourselves. I really think my Ironman day was such a blast because I never had a moment of doubt that I couldn't do it. From the start of the training I was determined to do it. Of course I had my fair share of training bonks and nutrition slumps but in my mind I was determined. I had my mind made up that I was going to have as much fun as I possibly could all day long. I even had fun in the med tent after the race! I had fun falling over and crying, I had fun during the pain, I had fun joking with my coach about my son wearing a Hooters shirt! And my heart surpassed what I thought possible...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Red Rocket Memories...

This morning, on my long run, I was energized with some of the best memories of training for the Honolulu Marathon last year. When I "surprisingly" got pregnant the Kona Aquatics swim team threw this HUGE baby shower and one of the gifts was the "red rocket" or baby jogger!

As soon as Kainoa was born I put him in it. I was so excited to take him for a run. I began by just letting him lay in it. As he got a few weeks older & I started to recover we began to take walks. By the time he was 2 months old I was starting to run again and train for the marathon.

Kainoa LOVED the red rocket! He knew exactly what we were doing when he got in. He would stare at the people we would pass, he would take naps during long runs, and as he got older he started to point and wave. He really grew up in the red rocket. He loved riding in it so much he would cry when we stopped. Long runs became our special bonding time. Me running, him along for the ride.

He ran a few 18-20 milers with me. He loved to hold gels and pass me water bottles. On lookers would stare in amazement as we would pass. Kainoa would cheer when we passed other runners (most runners disliked being passed by a red rocket). Kainoa and I even raced in the Mother's Day biathlon this year. We easily posted sub 7 minute miles for the 5k... together we were the best team!

I really feel it was the red rocket that helped me bond with Kainoa & become the mother I am today. I was not ready to be a mom... I was scared, unprepared, & I didn't feel like I had accomplished all the things I wanted to do in life prior to motherhood. Kainoa's love for running with me helped me grow close to him. I soon began to look forward to running with him. After pushing him over 30 miles a week I fell in love with my son and new life as a mom.

Back to this morning... I was running without Kainoa but WISHING I was pushing him. In fact, I missed him. I was lonely without my little running partner. Every flower and dog I passed would remind me of him pointing and laughing. Every jogger I ran by I would hear his little voice cheering and giggling. This morning I felt really alone... it made me run faster and harder...I felt like I had to be extra fast for him.

Why was I without Kainoa if I missed him so much... pretty funny story actually... about 6 weeks prior to Ironman I loaded all 27 pounds of Kainoa into the jogging stroller and we headed out for a nice little 10 miler. Things started out quite normal. But then within an instant the back right wheel rolled completely off the red rocket! I am not joking!!! It rolled into the bushes and the red rocket holding Kainoa fell on its side. I had to laugh. I could not believe what had happened! Of course the boys at the bike shop told me the red rocket was on it's last ends and my husband told me the spokes are all about to pop... but I refused to listen...

So there we were. Me laughing out loud, Kainoa laughing, and the red rocket dead. I did what any mom would do. I got Kainoa out, shoved the red rocket into the bushes, and we walked back to the car... it was a pretty sad day for me and Kainoa. Reflecting on the miles that thing had I can easily calculate 30-40 miles a week for 3 months during last marathon, about 15 miles a week during off season, and during base training roughly 15-25 miles a week for a few months. Then into the 1/2 Ironman it picked up the miles... literally...
WE RAN THE WHEELS OFF the red rocket!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spam Musubi Butt!

I have never been one to think too much about my weight. I am one of those people that measure my happiness & joy in life by the adventures I have, the people in my life, and the things I am able to do. Not by my body image.

Training for my first Ironman (Kona 07) I KNEW one thing... nutrition matters. So, I made sure to eat all my fruits and veggies, eat lots of protein for recovery, carbs for fuel, and of course stay hydrated & energized during my training sessions. I think I did a darn good job with my nutrition as I was really fired up for my workouts, had loads of energy to train and after 5-6 hours on the bike I could go immediately to playing toys with Kainoa and "out play" him! I recovered pretty good and thankfully stayed injury free...

There I was training for an Ironman, using a ton of energy & knowing that during Ironman training people usually lose a couple pounds. Now, for some reason every time I got on the scale the number goes up. UP...UP...UP... weight gain during Ironman training... 6 POUNDS! Holy smokes I have never worked out that much in my life and BOOM!... I gain 6 pounds.

So, here I am looking through my Ironman recipes, my LONG ride fuel, my recovery snacks... and one thing pops out at me... SPAM! I think I gained 6pounds of SPAM! (Spam Butt as my husband likes to call me). I get made fun of all the time for my love of spam musubi's! I go crazy & get excited thinking about spam fried then covered with rice and wasabi fumi furikake then wrapped in a thick layer of seaweed! I just love it! Must be the life of the islands in me...every local understands...

I KNOW what spam is... stuff they can't even say on the ingredient label. Yes, I am the queen of "if you can't pronounce it don't eat it"... but I have an exception when it comes to spam musubi's. So, what is my plan for these post-Ironman 6lbs... I am going to go all off-season without a single spam musubi!

Here is a SIMPLE recipe so you can eat Spam Musubi's for me!

4 cups "sticky" white rice 1 can Spam (lite or regular... or spicy) 6 sheets nori (dried, seasoned seaweed) 1/4 cup shoyu 1/4 mirin (Japanese rice wine) - optional furikake (Japanese seasoning)

  1. Cook the rice (make is super sticky by adding a bit too much water)
  2. Fry the spam
  3. Form rice into little bricks using mirin to keep your hands moist and from sticking to the rice
  4. Sprinkle rice with furikake
  5. Place a slice of spam on rice and wrap nori around the rice/spam brick
  6. Dip in shoyu & eat!

If in Kona... shop at Matsuyama's... just like this photo... they have choke musubi's made fresh daily and they know me by name... I think I consume more than any other white girl on the island.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Honolulu Marathon...Bring it on!

One Month Till Honolulu Marathon!

I am so excited... I LOVE the Honolulu Marathon. Something about being in Oahu, running next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean, catching glimpses of surfers riding little swells, the 5:30 am start time, the fireworks that light up the dark sky when the start gun sounds, all the people from all over the world (over 20,000 runners!), the Kenyans on the way to the finish while most of us are still heading out, Diamond Head, and of course it's only a 40 minute flight from my island!

I love Honolulu Marathon SO much that last year I begged my baby doctor to give me the release to run it. I bothered him everyday for the "green light" to start running so I could do it. After some giggles and a "yes" I was on my way to the Honolulu Marathon!

Everything was going great...2 miles-I was loving the fire works, 6 miles- I was loving the crowds, 10 miles-I was loving the feeling of running again,13 miles-I was half way! 15 miles-so happy I was going to actually finish this thing, 18 miles- so happy no bonk! 22 miles-oh my gosh my boobs hurt... I can tell I am a new mom with a new set of boobs, 24 miles-oh my gosh! This can not be happening... I think I am about to give birth... my insides are having what feel like contractions... maybe I should slow down or walk or stop... or...I don't know what... but my doctor said I can do it...I should keep going. 25 miles...only a mile to go and my entire body is feeling the effects of having a baby just about 5 months ago! Survival mode sets in...mile 26.2... I did it! I ran the Honolulu Marathon about 5 months after baby and I made it... 3:23! Not my best time but I was so happy to be running again! So happy to be a mom and a runner.

This year's Honolulu Marathon luckily won't be only 5 months after Kainoa was born, but it will be about 7 weeks after Ironman. I still feel lingering Ironman fatigue... but again... I DON"T care... I am so EXCITED for Honolulu Marathon! AND it will be my little sisters first marathon! Oh ya!!! Brooke & Bree running Honolulu together!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My work out with Kainoa....

Being the "off season", minus the fact I am getting ready for a marathon... I spent the day doing Kainoa's workout. His wore me out way more than any of my own work outs! Oh the youth of a 16 month old! We began the day (5:30 am) with chocolate soy milk... most of which went all over the floor, his pajammies, his face, and me. After clean clothes he decided he HAD to have cereal... but not his... he HAD to have his dads! Okay, now we are fueled up for the day! Let's go mom!
Time to chase Kainoa on his little 4 wheeler! I never realized how much sprints in the hallway closely mimicked the feeling I get from 100 yard repeats! (only these were less than 25 yard repeats). Just as I was ready for a recovery nap or a gel or something... it was off to the park! Load em' up and head out!
At the park Kainoa heads straight for the ab work out! Pumping up & down in the swing truly engages your core and after what feels like an hour of swinging you begin to realize why little boys who love swings have such nice toned tummies! Without rehydrating and recovery we go immediately to the hill climb repeats! This is the most slippery hill I have ever been on! (it's a yellow plastic-ish slide). Up and down up and down... no matter if you take the stairs or just climb back up the way you slid down your quads start to feel it! Burn baby burn! LOVE it! LOVE it!

Oh finally, the look of "I'm pooped" comes across Kainoa's face! Just as I think the work out is over he pulls the old "ha ha ha- too fast for you" and the game of chase is on! I think this might have counted as my long-endurance run. It just kept going and going and going, nice and steady.

Now... it really is time to call it a "work out" and recover. We decide to go icing. I did that in Canada and it really helped recover the legs. BUT, this is Hawaii and the coolest water we found was 75*. Cool enough, we hit the beach and pretended to "ice". Now my favorite part... JAMBA JUICE! Oh ya! I am beginning to think I like working out "Kainoa style". It had all the makings of a champion... some breakfast to get you going, some warm up, some hill climbs, a little core strength, sprints, & endurance running, icing, recovery food... now if we can just get home
and take a nap I am sold!

Of course no nap... this is Kainoa's work out... that means ROUND TWO! Building forts with the Costco boxes... I wonder if he ever bonks!???

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Love/Hate Tuesday...

As far back as I can remember Tuesday's have always been love/hate for me. When I was really little I remember my mom dropping me off to Rainbow Station for day care on Tuesdays. In 6th grade I joined the swim team with Coach Mary and we swam TUESDAYS and Thursdays. Then I moved up from the guppy lane to a group that we only had off on Tuesdays. In high school I skipped school on Tuesdays to go to the beach with Melodie Melvin (I actually missed the exact amount of school days allowed before being retained thanks to Tuesdays!). In college I worked on Tuesdays in the campus book store. After I had Kainoa the only day that fit my schedule to have a run with him was Tuesday. So, EVERY Tuesday for the 1st year of his life I ran him in the jogging stroller 8 miles. Come to think of it... after having the baby I was sent home from the hospital on a Tuesday.

Okay, fast forward... every TUESDAY Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen (yes the super swimmer that has over 160 of the masters records, the body of a 25 year old (she is in her 40's), the mental strength & confidence of a seasoned athlete, and the swimmer I look up to most-because if she raced triathlon she could lead the ITU swimmers) has this Tuesday "swim fun" as they call it. It is not fun. So, throughout my Ironman training I once again endured a love/hate relationship with Tuesdays.

The workouts (depending on how much you warm up) range from 3,000-5,000 yards. Not too bad... the part that hurts... is that every workout there is a main set of roughly a mile broken. The send off isn't the kind that when you hear it you already feel defeated so you get an easier send off, it's not the kind that make you hurt temporarily knowing the pain will only last a little bit then you can sit on the wall and rest, and it's not the kind that is so easy that you should just swim it all fly. It is the kind that makes you think...DARN IT! I can make that but it will make me hurt, cry, choke and swallow water, run out of breath, most likely cause a Charley horse in my calf from kicking and pushing of the wall with all my strength, my arms will go numb, I will see stars, and in the end I will pass out and 9 out of 10 times puke. It is the kind that you KNOW in the end will make you faster. The kind that when the swim gets tuff on race day you can remember your Tuesday swims and muster up some more strength. The kind that you know will only last roughly a mile. The kind that you have to do... you just have to. In my case I have to... Coach Paul MAKES me swim with Karlyn.

Post Ironman I had a wonderful little break... no intensity... no TUESDAY swim with Karlyn. Today was different. It was nearly a month since Ironman. Back to the Tuesday "swim fun". (They really need to change that name). On the pool deck stood Karlyn in a 2 piece Speedo, putting on her swim cap, six pack abs showing, smiling, loving the Tuesday "swim fun". There was me... wishing I could say I was tapering or recovering, or needed to get out in 15 minutes to get Kainoa from the baby sitter. Instead I had no excuse. During warm up I did a REALLY GREAT job keeping on her toes (she was swimming back stroke, I was swimming free, and I left early-right on her feet to be exact).

Okay... now comes the fun part.... Coach Eric (Karlyn's husband... another one of those athletes that smile the entire time it hurts) has arrived on the pool deck. We do some "get the heart rate up" stuff, not too bad. Now the moment I have been waiting for... 4 x 250's. (at least it was less than a mile this time). I only had to suffer 4x. Coach Eric gives me the send-off, reassures me I can make it, tells me to do my pace (that means don't try to keep up with Karlynn like I usually do), and before I knew it all that, "
I can make that but it will make me hurt, cry, choke and swallow water, run out of breath, most likely cause a Charley horse in my calf from kicking and pushing of the wall with all my strength, my arms will go numb, I will see stars, and in the end I will pass out and 9 out of 10 times puke" came flooding through my body as I swam round 1. On the wall...3:05, great job! Hold it Bree! 3 more! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go! (yes, I only had 5 seconds rest) or something REALLY short like that. The purpose of these broken mile sets is to keep your race pace, rest for only a breath, then keep on going!

The final one... thanking God Karlynn didn't lap me... I swam as strong as I could. When I hit the wall Coach Eric gives me my splits. 3:05, 3:05, 3:06, 3:06. Mission accomplished... I kept a pretty even pace on a send off that only gave me 5-10 seconds to breathe! After the 4th one I went numb. I think I puked and swallowed it back down. I had to warm down I was in so much pain. (sitting still hurt too bad).

Now at home, after loads of food and some relaxing I am feeling so proud that I made that workout. Come to think of it 4 x 250's sounds pretty darn easy... BUT... if you asked me to get back in that pool with Karlyn and do it again I would tell you not this TUESDAY!!

Check Karlynn & Eric out!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ryan Shay...

You will be missed...
God bless the family & friends of Ryan Shay!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It was our dream...

About 4 years ago I found three of the best friends I will ever have. When we met I didn't know then the impact they would have on my life or just how enriched my life would be by knowing them. Each of us were in different places in our lives... but we shared one common goal... we wanted to do Ironman together! Lauren (at the time, a VERY experienced triathlete... she had done about 2) took me on my first ever bike ride... a 56 miler! We didn't really think about "building up" miles, we just went. She taught me everything I needed to know about nutrition too-just take "cake frosting". That was her cool name for gels. And there was Kawika. He was the BEST runner we knew! He had never run a marathon, a 1/2 marathon, and come to think of it... maybe only a handful of run races... but he was VERY experienced! He ran all sorts of trails, up the Hualalai Volcano, and being a local boy growing up on the island he even chased and caught goats! EVERYONE knows only the fast runners can catch wild goats. A bit like the Kenyans I guess. We would run everywhere, all day together. My biggest goal in life was to beat him. At the end of every run I would try to sprint him to the end of the stop sign near the Kona pool. I always lost. Now Lopaka... He is the coolest! At 55 years old he had done Ironman like 7 times! And he knew everyone in Kona. The ladies would flock to him...he looked about 35...but it was because he was glowing with this shiny oil he would put on (ladies love shiny men I guess). Together we would talk about the day we all do Ironman together. We would train almost every day with eachother. Just laughing hysterically, picking up mongoose on the side of the road, refueling on spam musubi's, talking about all pros Lauren got to meet (she worked in the bike shop they would shop at when in town), sharing dreams of finishing Ironman. Those were some of the best days of my life. Together, training for a dream we shared.

Life happens though... Lauren and her husband moved to the mainland for a year. Then they moved back home to Hawaii and she started working about 60 hours a week. I fell in love, got married, and had a baby. Kawika also fell in love, but also lost his freedom to hang out with his buddies (I call that "______ whipped"). And Lopaka is nearing 60 and decided to work on his own business. Life pulled us each into our own levels of "being REALLY busy". So, for the last year we trained mostly on our own. Lauren fell in love with mountain biking and did Xterra, Kawika spent a lot of time on his relationship and other "Veeks type stuff", Lopaka and I did do Ironman this year. Even though all four of us weren't "in" the race together... we were all out there together. During Ironman Lauren and Kawika were right there with us! Cheering. laughing, crying. At the most difficult part of the day, the only part that hurt for me, when I needed them most, (mile 24 of the run) they were there. Right there on my right hand side they were there on mountain bikes yelling out the same old jokes that carried me through the training days with them, right there reminding me of how bad we all wanted this... they have always been there even when we all got really busy in our lives.

Well, today was the best day I have had since the days when we first met. Us four met up and went mountain biking. Once again, leave it to Lauren to teach us everything we need to know! (she has done all of 2 mountain bike races-the second one Xterra Championships). This time was different though... as we got to the "Lava Launch Pad" I call
it that because it was so scary... she said, "just look where you want to go, keep your legs moving... okay let's go!". I didn't see her again till the end! Anyways, like old training days, we were together, laughing, learning from whoever knew the most or did more races. I hope this is not the start of a new dream of us all wanting to do Xterra World Championships together...

Friday, November 2, 2007

No Swimming, Biking, or Running

This post Ironman-end of season recovery really has me enjoying some old time favorites! With a day of no swim, bike, or run I was stoked that we finally got a bit of fall swell! I nearly forgot just how much I love surfing... the feeling of diving through the waves on the paddle out, waiting in the sun for a set to role in, then making the drop and cruising along a gentle chest-head high wave. There is something about Hawaii's ocean. It is so unpredictable, so alluring, invigorating, and in a way so magical! It's easy to forget
what is happening on shore, what things you need to get done, how bad your blisters hurt, and all the responsibilities in life. For those few hours spent surfing I felt like a child again. It didn't matter that my hair was all snarled, that my suit was nearly falling off, or even what time it was. I got caught up in the moment, my family, and just smiled at my place in life. In a way in reminded me of long runs. The nice long easy ones...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

He'd rather swim than Trick or Treat!

I was so excited for Halloween with Kainoa... finally an excuse to go door to door dressed up, get lots of candy, and play some tricks! Growing up my sisters and I would change costumes over and over and return to the "good" houses as something new. And tricks, I was the queen! Well, Kainoa must not have gotten the love of holidays from me because he would rather swim! He cried in his costume, he tried to rip the costumes off his little friends, and when we went to the swimming pool to visit my swim coach and the masters swim team Kainoa went straight for the pool, not stopping to take off his little shoes, went straight into the kiddie pool fully dressed. Only then did he smile and laugh. No tricks, no treats, only swimming would make him happy. On the bright side... his Halloween costume made a nice swim suit!