Monday, December 31, 2007

The best of 2007...

Playing at the beach and watching Kainoa grow and learn...

All the beautiful places my feet have taken me, especially"secret" beaches that you can't get to by car...

Every breath spent with my husband and son... even the ones where Kainoa was crying and gave me headaches and Jim was griping that I was burning dinner or washed his light clothes with my dark clothes...

And new adventures to come!

Hope everyone has a GREAT 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chasing Cotter...

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Today was my last race of 2007 (a swim/run biathlon) ...and all I did was chase James Cotter! James is Big Islands only pro triathlete and one of the reasons I ever started triathlon. I met James in 2003 where I watched him win the Lavaman Triathlon. I was instantly fascinated by the sport and James too... anyways, James comes and goes between Hawaii and Texas. BUT today, he was here! YES! HELL yes! Less than four years after first watching him race I was going to try and race him!

I know, I know, we are not even in the same league... but we have to dream big right!? And shoots, last race of the season, what do I have to lose?

So, yep, I line up in the front and center- because James did... and when the count down got to one I swam way too hard, way too fast, for way too long! I was about to die but I wanted to race Cotter. So, I did and let me tell you he is a BAD sighter! We were so off course, but that's okay, I was trying to hang on for dear life! Oh, let me remind you... Cotter is here for his wedding and family vacation, not racing. I was racing him. So, as we get near the swim exit he rolls over and does back stroke!!!! See, he is NOT racing, that was only me, BUT darn, back stroke and I can't even keep up! So, I pull the old "oooh let me pass him up the beach" and as we both hit the bottom I run up the swim exit just so I can say I beat James Cotter out of the water! But remember, he was not racing! ha ha ha

So, a four mile run... here we go! My legs have not been running since the marathon recovery I am on... I hope they feel speedy! I put on my shoes and never looked back! I was dying like a dog! I peeked at my watch, OH MY GOSH... 11:30 for the first 2 miles... the last 2 are going to kill me! AND they did! Cotter caught me just as we went through the turn around (I know you are wondering what took him so long... I was wondering too, but when he passed me I noticed he must have taken a LONG time in transition because he had on run shorts, socks, and a shirt! I put on the shoes and went!).

So, there I am, "chasing Cotter". I was holding on as best as I could but through the final 2 miles he only grew further into the distance. I wanted to go with him, I tried to hang on, but I didn't quiet make it... In fact I was on survival mode!

And that was what I call "chasing Cotter". I gave it my all, I went too hard from the start and tried to hold on and MAN it was worth it! Despite the fact the race was just a local fun race and Cotter was on "la la getting married next weekend mode" I pretended it was more and I had a blast... BUT I don't know my time! Bummers that we have to wait till tomorrows newspaper for the final results... I am curious what his mile splits were... sub 5:30's??? That darn Cotter!

PS: to add to the fun Kevin Motes and his hot little girlfriend (Laura Sophia) raced too! AND my son finished the race with his daddy's help pulling him through the swim and running with him!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I finally took a yoga class!

For the past year and a half I have been making fun of my sister for being a"yogi". I have been teasing her about getting her "chakra's" in balance and how is her "shraddah" from within doing? I ask her if she wants to come clean my bathroom because it could count as part of her "seva"... I think I spelled it right. I know it means to suffer in order to heal from within...! WEIRD, I know! She spent all this time in a yoga ashram doing "seva" and she had to scrub toilets! AND PAY for it! yep, I made fun of that one and told her she can clean my bathroom for FREE!

Anyways, over the past year and a half my sister has become one of the most regarded, requested, well liked "yogi's". When the Japanese health retreat group comes from Japan they request her! (she can't even speak Japanese! They have to get a translator!) I am not just saying this because she is my sister... BELIEVE me... until last night I have never even taken one of her classes! We live in a small town and word about her gets around and I sometimes have to laugh because she is my sister!

I REALLY dislike anything that requires me to sit still, breathe, focus, and be bored like that... So why did I finally take a yoga class after a year and a half of hearing all the "this and that" about Brooke...BECAUSE it was on my workout plan. My coach sent me my macro plan (you know the year broken down into phases/focuses). He put during my active recovery phase to maybe try a yoga class! If he never put it I would never take it!

How was it? Well, I tried to be serious, I even wore pants and no shoes or socks! I had a yoga mat too! I went right to the front of the class and near the mirror (that was a mistake). I laid a huge beach towel over my mat. (mistake number 2, my feet kept getting tangled!) Lights off, gentle music, yogi instructor speaking in a soft voice... I then started thinking about the episode of Hope and Faith where Faith took a yoga class and was farting... so I started to laugh out loud! Then I couldn't stop giggling to myself! Then, I got a few peeks at myself in the mirror and I laughed some more! My legs were so crooked and I was shaking trying to hold whatever pose it was! I felt straight! Well, after checking my watch 3 times in the hour and making a mental-to-do-list class was over. The Yogi instructor said Namaste and we did some hands to heart thing and I was the only one in class that said it back! I felt like a nerd!

Then, walking out of the gym I was caught! Yep, some of the Kona triathletes caught me (girl who swore against yoga) carrying a yoga mat! They teased me... then told me, "told you so" and how yoga will make me so focused, so strong, so good at breathing for next season...

All the "this and that" about her class was true! She was amazing, everyone in the room was in awe of her body moving in these various positions with ease, and everyone had to say good bye to her and compliment the class. I suppose I am fortunate to have free access to my own yogi instructor! AND a darn good one at that!

Will I take another class... yea, if it's partner yoga and I can get my husband to come! ha ha

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 Reflection #8 and #9 Spin Class & the time I was in front of Sam Mcglone

With the new year around the corner I better finish my 2007 favorite reflections! Okay, numbers 8-9 are wrapped into one. #8 was the time I was in front of Sam Mcglone long enough for someone to get a photo! I was lucky enough to beat her out of the water and have an okay bike ride... she passed me on mile 55 of the bike and I never saw her again! Her run was more like a 5k and mine was slower miles than my marathon mile splits! It was pretty ugly! BUT, I will never forget the excitement of being near the front of a race where the announcers are going nuts over Sam and M. Jones! It was pure craziness to say the least!

#9 My spin class! I had some really fun spin classes and this was my favorite! My Honu (or Hawaii 70.3) class. Prior to all the races I always try to make my spin classes mimic the bike course of whatever race is coming. So, one Monday at Pacific Island Fitness I made the noon spin class and all the riders pretend to race the Honu course! It was so much fun! Here is my play list:

Honu Hits: Hawaii 70.3 Bike course focus

  • 3:40 Let’s get it started- Welcome to class! Focus today is the Honu bike course…warm up nice and easy…here we go!
  • 2:33 I always get what I want- on chorus stand and fire up the legs with “quick cadence-easy resistance”
  • 3:30 One way or another- Okay, gets get up! We are going to stand this entire song. On the chorus work it, find a nice relaxed rhythm on the non chorus
  • 4:40 Feel the noise-40/30 (4x) challenging resistance/easy
  • 4:51 Don’t say good bye- Now it’s time to get serious! Time to climb up to Kawaihae. We will gradually add resistance for about 5 minutes. (seated)
  • 2:31 I wanna be sedated- Let’s hydrate! Remember we are in a race, no stopping, keep the legs moving! We are up the hill now. Find a steady rhythem.
  • 3:00 Dance Dance- 15/15 easy/all out Mini sprints! 3x
  • 6:15 Free your mind- sprints 30/30 easy/all out sprints! 6x
  • 3:54 Butterfly- 1/1 easy/almost about to puke! 4x
  • 3:05 96 quite bitter beings- Hydrate, recover, then hold pace…
  • 3:01 Cut the crap- 3 min time trial- RACE YOUR SELF! Pick up some time now! Last big push!
  • 3:20 Volcano girls-mini recharge (45 seconds rec.) running hill repeats...3sprints/2hills 30 each
  • 4:01 Move along- hill climb, seated… let’s get up this hill! I can see the Hawi turn around now! MOVE IT LADIES! LOOKIN’ STRONG!
  • 3:42 We’re not gonna take it- Load up the resistance so you are BARELY pedaling (VERY challenging) and as the song progresses we will lighten our load and get into a down hill sprint! Yep, down Hawi, headed to Mauna Lani!
  • 1:10 Music- recover here… drink… LAST SONG coming… be ready to go ALL out!
  • 2:22 Uptown girl(punk version)-Standing position 3- GO GO GO! Bring it home here! SAVE nothing!
  • :30 Muvee Theme: Okay, only 30 seconds left… what do you have left!?
  • 3:31 Over the rainbow-recovery/warm down on bike-breathe, hydrate...
  • 3:44 True colors- off bike stretch, GREAT job! You are ready to race!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snowy Hawaii

Talk about cold! We got snow on top of Mauna Kea! Mauna Kea is 13,700 ft above sea and when we get snow up there it YOU KNOW IT! It is beautiful and amazing...but man it's cold!

We took a 3hr bike ride this morning on good old Queen K and once we got near Waikoloa the winds came like usual...but this morning they froze me! We are 1/2 mile from the ocean on our left and about 4 miles from Mauna Kea on our right! It was awesome looking up to see a snow covered volcano while riding near the ocean with surfers and beach goers in bikinis! BUT I was freezing! When that wind turned on & blew the cool air I felt like I was in Michigan (I used to live there- I know it is cold!) I wanted out of my little tank top and bike shorties and into long sleeves and long pants!

Are you wondering how wimpy I am??? It was 72*-76* !!!!


A snowboarder enjoyed riding down snow at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island last weekend. One of the mountain's observatory telescopes is seen in the distance in this image from video taken by KITV.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Love it! Love it!

This was the hi-light of the Christmas gifts in our family! Kainoa got this shirt and Jim loved it... He thinks triathletes are "freaks" and I like it because it's not "Baby Nike" or "Iron Baby"! ect. ect. !!!

After Kainoa crossed the finish line of Ironman with me in the Hooters shirt we were literally harassed about it from nearly everyone! Of course Jim who dislikes triathlon chose the Hooters shirt-on purpose. When that photo was published in several news papers (including Germany's 2.5 million read news paper) we had swarms of offers for Kainoa to wear "other" brands! Iron Baby even gave us hats for his next finish line photo-nope... not happening with Jim in charge! Even the tri mag (which I still have not seen) was contemplating whiting out his Hooters shirt...!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka!

Just wanted to wish all you bloggers the Happiest of Holidays! It has been a blast reading so many cool stories and gaining some new blog buddies & motivation along the way!

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007 Reflection #7 WeeBee's

You already know this story, in 2006 my friend Lauren "Bee" and me, Bree "Wee" started making these little organic, raw food balls. We wanted something really good-for-you but also was packed with fuel for racing, training, and recovery...

Well, we made these little balls and named them WeeBee's (my last name and her last name combined). We fell in love with them and started sharing them will the town of Kona. We made them for friends, for athletes, for parties...

LAST night was a different story though... We had a "launching of the WeeBee's meeting". Today the little yummy balls go on sale and we already had our first order! That photo is the first order! 7 different flavors for our first "paying" customer...

So, this little fun project hopefully will rack in the dough! The only problem is... we still give too many of them away because we are too good at sharing!

PS: Shirley, don't worry... yours are STILL free :) See ya at the pool!!!
PSS: Marit, I wish I could send you some for your Ironman training! They were my favorite post-workout fuel!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2007 Reflection #6 Nice & Naughty!

Yes, that is Amanda Beard (Olympic Gold medal swimmer) but NO, NO, NO,... the title of this post is not "Nice & Naughty" because of Amanda and her lovely magazine photos from a certain magazine a couple months ago...

It's because that chick on the right is Jen "Naughty" Nottage. I gave Jen that nickname but I won't tell you why!

This is a top 2007 reflection for me because it was more of a lesson-learned. When I first met Jen I will be honest, I didn't really like her but didn't know I went through the list of questions to ask myself..."Am I jealous of her because she bikes faster than most women and I wish I swam as fast as her?" "Is it because when we met she was always giving me advice and I was not used to girls other than my older sister telling me what to do and how to do it". hmmm, she was as nice as could be but for some reason I had a challenging time becoming friends with her...

BUT this year that all changed! 2007 started out much of the same... but this year I wasn't new to triathlon and she wasn't giving me "tri" tips, I was new to motherhood and she was giving me "motherhood" tips. So, once again, stubborn old Bree Wee who thinks she knows it all, can handle it all, and can do it all wonders why someone is giving me tips and making me NOT feel like I can handle it all, know it all, and can do it all...??

I will tell you why, Because I know very little, I can not do it all, and I most certainly am unable to handle it all by myself. Jen caused me to have a BIG wake up call. She was the first person who put me in my place and taught me what it really means to be humble, to accept help, to appreciate, and that I need her.

In my darkest moments it was her helping me through the trials I faced and making me walk through them not around (like most of my friends do). When I dreamed big she never laughed but she also never said, "Yeah Bree, you can do that! No problem". Instead she said, "I believe in you and with hard work you can and I got your back". Few friends look you in the face and let you know that it will be a challenge and that it is a challenge...she sugar coats nothing. Maybe that is why I struggled to become friends... I was used to "easy" friendships.

Jen has challenged me to be the best me I can be. She has pushed me so darn hard that I wanted to dislike her but I only grew to love her. I have truly found that every person that has a "Jen" in their life will no doubt be forced out of their comfort zone, be kept on their toes, have a cheerleader ALL day during Ironman (even 5 weeks after she gave birth) rooting for you as if they are your biggest fan. And you will never ever be able to second guess yourself or your dreams- they won't let you...

I really hope everyone has the opportunity to have a "Jen" in their life... Thanks to the one I got I know 2008 is going to be Naughty!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 Reflection #5 Road rash!

When I first got my bike I was told, "Bree, it's not if you fall, its when you fall". The guys at the bike shop were trying to warn me that everyone will have a bike accident at least once... but most likely a few times. I always had this in the back of my mind but never really paid attention to it. Roughly 3 years on the bike and no wipe-outs.

Tinman Triathlon this year was a different story. I would have my first bike wreck and this is definetly a 2007 reflection I will never forget! (I wish I had a photo)

The roads were wet, it was raining, and I knew Rachel Ross was ready to kick my butt if I made any mistakes. There has been this long-time rival with the Oahu girls vs the Big Island girls. I LOVE Rachel, despite being rivals from opposite islands I respected her and owe a lot of my race improvements and support I have to her. BUT of course it is always good to bring the win back to your island. Rachel and I are very similar bike and run speeds... but I get lucky on the swim. Tinman is a weird distance though... a sprint distance swim and the regular Olympic distance bike and run. That meant I would be racing scared out of my mind...that little swim would give me no luck today!

So on the bike the rain starts but I ignore it. I am warned the roads are slippery and that the down hill turn is wicked sharp...slow down, slow down, slow down the volunteers are yelling at me. YA RIGHT! Do you know who is behind me?! So, I let my competative side take over my "be smart" side and sure enough, coming down hill I go for the turn only to find myself sliding across the road into the other lane and seeing my bike flying the other way! There is a man right behind me watching the entire thing and luckily didn't run me over! I lay on the ground for about 15 seconds not really sure what just happened. Then I start to cry. My hip hurts like I was just beat with a bat.

I stand up and realize my helmet is cracked and covering over my view. But my bike is okay, a bit scratched up and a smashed derailer but ridable. I have some ugly road rash and a bloody mess that the rain would wash away... I think I see Rachel coming down the hill and my body goes into that flight-or-fight mode. I ride as fast as I can knowing that running with this hip pain would be slow going... I needed to get any lead I could. Ouch, ouch, ouch, I can not believe I had my first bike wreck!

Into T2 I was asked if I need medical and to see the med tent... Ya RIGHT ! I once again say, "Do you know Rachel is behind me!?" I wobble through the transition, I think I am more sore from riding too hard than the accident! By mile 3 I am okay and I shake it off. I can smell her coming though, I can sense the fear I hold for the "gazelle". (Rachel's nickname in Hawaii is the "gazelle"). I finally see the finish line but don't dare to peek back, because I know she is right there! Yes, I won that day and my fear of the gazelle even caused me to set a new womans course record...but that is not what I think of when I remember Tinman Triathlon. I think about that stinkin' competative drive I had and that wipe-out that cost me over $600. to fix my bike! Oh, and that helmet... it is still cracked and I wore it in Ironman with clear tape holding the strap together! (what can I say, it's my lucky helmet!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2007 Training Reflection #3

Ha ha ha! This cracks me up more than you will ever know! My 2007 reflection number 3 is top on the "funny" list for me! I called my sister over and told her to bring her bike... ha ha, this is where it gets good... I set up a spin room and told her to take off her clothes! We were doing one of my favorite spin workouts! (did I tell you I used to teach spin classes?!). My sister was fairly new to biking at this point and a little "sensitive" to my husbands REALLY LOUD-NOT-SO-NICE ENCOURAGEMENT! So I had her going and Jim was in her face telling her to "hang on Brookie!", "move it", "oh is that all you got?!", "are you gonna quit now?", ""nice going in your granny panny's".... the list goes on!

My poor sister is sweating, about to pass out, wanting to slow down, aching, nearly puking, and all she can do is keep going or get harassed by the spin witch or the jerk shouting out wise cracks! I am trying to be serious and give my sister a good work out but the laughter takes over! I am cracking up, about to fall off my bike, then I start to laugh so hard I cry, then I wet my pants (I know- too much information)! Here I am trying to make this spin serious and trying to pump my sister up, Jim is going nuts making fun of us, and poor Brooke doesn't know if she should cry or go home!

Put this in the "funny bank". I know you've had those awesome training sessions that only you would understand... this is mine and I hope to have many more in 2008!

Hey Brooke, wanna come over? Bring your bike!.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

2007 Training Reflection #2

Hmm, I have so many moments to reflect on before heading into 2008... but I will have to put my second 2007 reflection as my swim with Jamie Moracci. This was one of those "suck it up and get over your intimidations" workouts. You know those people that are pretty darn fast and when you get invited to do a work out with them you are thinking..."I am not even in their time zone?" But you go anyways... This was my "go anyways" workout of the year...

Jamie swims pretty darn fast. I heard about his low 50 min. swims for 2.4 miles. So, here I am in the middle of Kailua Bay with Coach Paul and Jamie. Coach Paul says for me to just draft Jamie. (easy for coach to say- he is in a kayak!) Work on my drafting skills, practice a few drafting drills, and hold on. He then furthers to tell me that Jamie will easily be under one hour for the Ironman swim... hmm, that sounds nice...

Jamie is easily maintaining a 56-57 min. pace during the practice. I am working on those drafting skills thinking I wish I could feel this good and effortless on race day! I am then shocked to be hanging on and loving the pull. This day gives me all the confidence I need for the Ironman swim. I still can't believe I was hanging on his feet...

I did get my sub one hour Ironman swim (56 something). I am thinking maybe I was physically able to swim that... but mentally I know I was.

Lesson learned... just go. So for 2008 anytime I get the opportunity to train with some intimidating fast person I am going! COUNT ME IN! It really is a confidence booster.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reflecting on Canada... #1

Aloha! As 2007 season winds down (and hopefully my sore leg pains too) I have been reflecting on all the great experiences I had, all the struggles, and all the fun. From here I will move forward into 2008. So, with the season ending I will post some "flash backs" and high-lights of 2007.

Top on the list was my trip to Canada to actually work with my coach for the first time ever. I cried the entire flight! I wanted to see what traveling to races alone was like (pretending to be a professional triathlete). BUT it was VERY challenging leaving behind my family! Way more difficult than I imagined and the pros that do it I have a new found appreciation for.

Below is my Canada Journal from the Lifesport Website: Enjoy!
Bree Wee is an exceptional age group triathlete from Hawaii. Bree finished 3rdoverall at the Honu 70.3 this year (behind World Champions Samantha McGlone and Michellie Jones) and had carved out a 6 minute lead at the Subaru Vancouver International Half Iron on September 16th. Her next race is the World Ironman Championships in Kona. Here is an account of her visit to Vancouver and her training camp with coach Paul Regensburg in Victoria afterwards. More...

September 14, 2007: On the plane my head is filled with thoughts of home and things going on in my personal life. It was as if my dream of becoming a professional triathlete and traveling were coming true but the reality of not being near my son and husband was starting to pull at my heart. I told myself that I needed this experience to see if this is truly the future I want to have and the dream I want to chase.

September 16, 2007: RACE DAY! I woke up with the perfect balance of “ready to race” and “calmness”. Whenever I feel like that I know I am going to have a great race! Vancouver is the most beautiful city I have ever seen and I was so excited to be a part of the race! After a little jog I get in my wet suit and have a chat with Coach Paul. “Okay coach, what’s my plan for this race?” I love getting my plan of attack! Paul says to have a strong swim and gives me the green light on the bike! Oh ya! Green light on the bike is the best news I have ever heard!!

Throughout the swim I focus on staying with the feet in

front of me… this ocean is nothing like the giant aquarium I swim in back home and not seeing the bottom was a bit scary! I swam my heart out and ended up first female out of the water! After fighting to get my wet suit off (I need some practice with this) I find my bike and am smiling ear to ear knowing I get to go hard! Just as I head out of transition

I see Coach Paul and I give him this look that was saying “thank you so much for the green light and now I am going

to show you just how strong you have made me on the

bike”. 3 loop bike course with a hill at the beginning of each loop- hills are my favorite! I get up the hill no problem and

ignore how my toes are frozen and fingers are numb. Then I hear this clink sound and turn back to see my spare tire and co2’s lying on the ground. With little thought I decide to keep going… Heading back to the 2nd loop I see 2 women and get an even bigger boost of confidence because they are pretty far back. As I come out of an out and back course one of the men on the course tells me I am 5 minutes up! That

got me even more fired up and I made certain to continue to stay focused, take my nutrition, and be strong. Up the hill on

my 2nd loop I start to feel even stronger so I try and pick it up even more! About ½ way through the second loop my bike feels sort of heavy. I keep going. Then my bike feels really heavy so I take a peek at my wheels only to discover my front wheel is losing air. I try to keep going hoping I might make it back to where I lost my spare! No such luck!

There I am on the side of the road- no spare and freezing! So the cop and I decide to time how long it takes the next girl to get to me. I am about to cry but decide it might be fun. As we watch the 2nd female pass he tells me it was 6 minutes and 2 seconds later. I felt pretty empty at that point… I think the cold froze my tears too!

I get escorted off the course by the police and taken back to the race start. Seeing Coach Paul is bitter-sweet. I knew I needed a hug but I was so scared to tell him I lost my spare. Paul tells me that I did the right thing leaving it behind, I was going for it, and he tells me there is nothing I can do about bad luck. Still pretty sad he continues with some motivational thoughts… I had a GREAT swim… I am really fit heading into Ironman… I did a good job following my plan…

Champions are the ones that can take a bad race or workout and move on- use it for motivation for something to come. Others dwell on it and let it bring them down. I decided to be a champ and let what happened fuel my hunger to race well at Ironman… I want that feeling of a great race back and am eager to get it!

September 17-23, 2007: Victoria, BC is BEAUTIFUL! I never thought I would love some place as much as I love Kona until I started to bike through Victoria!

My training camp was unbelievable! I was fortunate to have an amazing home stay with a couple who are so excited about triathlon! After every workout they wanted to know every detail and were so supportive of my training! Good food, warm bed, amazing conversation, what more could I ask for!? Oh, one of Paul’s other athletes was also part of my home stay… we became really good friends and luckily I had her to face Paul’s challenging workouts with me!

Every workout was a challenge for me, some mentally, most of them physically. I was really forced out of my comfort zone as I wanted to give 110%. Each workout had a purpose and as I completed my runs, bikes, and swims I felt a bit more confident about my abilities. I was challenged and enjoyed seeing myself reach goals and set higher ones. Every workout was worth remembering but to save you hours of reading I will share my favorites with you:

3:30HR base ride with Lucy Smith. If you aren’t familiar with Lucy Google her! At this point in my life I am torn between chasing my triathlon dream and family situations. I sometimes am discouraged. Lucy is a mom and one heck of an athlete to say the least! Throughout our ride she gave me advice on how to do and be the best at both. She shared her wisdom and personal experiences. She helped me realize that in this short life we have to go hard after the things we want and not second guess our choices.

Long Brick- 6hr bike/10k run: I loved this workout the most of all! On a 6 hour ride I saw the most amazing sights and gained such a boost of endurance confidence! I was fortunate enough to ride with a really strong girl so we were able to keep a strong pace and see a lot of Victoria! I wish I could take the hills home with me, the little town, and the beautiful beaches we rode beside. On this ride I also gained the much needed confidence in my nutrition/hydration plan for Ironman. Okay, now for the best part… the run! We had to do one loop around the lake (10k). We ran around that lake in 40.30! I could not believe it… and I felt strong too! No, that was not my Ironman goal pace… but it was one heck of a fast run after 185k on the bike!

Short intervals swim at The Commonwealth Center: Okay, so swimming is usually not my best sport and I already know my stroke needs some work. But today was about holding a strong pace and making my send-offs. Let me tell you this main set consisted of 4x 50’s, 2x 100’s 1x 200 (3x through it). Paul gave me the goal pace to hold and I decided I was going to make every part of that workout even if I ended up puking! Yes, I made it and I felt awesome after it… 2 highlights to this story… 1) Watching Paul run along the pool deck yelling at me to get moving- I was holding in laughter (but I was focusing) and 2) Rick Say! Yes, we got to meet Canada’s super swimmer and Olympian! He actually watched me swim and asked for some pointers! (JUST KIDDING). He gave me some pointers and even jumped in and swam for us!

Treadmill run (5x5): Okay, this set I loved because the last time I did it I was falling off the back of my treadmill and puking in the grass! This time was different, Paul was there helping me to work through the pain and giving me focus points and mental images. I also got some technique work (think fast cadence). This time I made all of the intervals and even felt like I could do another round! Nice to see my hard work paying off!

Swim in Thetis Lake: I just loved this swim… in the middle of the lake were 2 little islands we swam around (3x) … it was simply beautiful!

30k run: WOW! Victoria has this awesome 10k trail that goes around a lake! It is filled with runners, some horses, dogs, and scenery that makes you forget you are running! Coach Paul ran the first 20k with me and helped me with more focus points, mental images, technique, pacing, and we set up my run nutrition plan. I know what you’re thinking… Yes, Paul kept up and made it that far! The final 10k I got lost- but- I felt really strong throughout the run and I figured out I like Power gel!

Icing: Yes, we honestly had to go icing! We stood for 5 minutes in 10* water. I think I felt my internal organs freezing up- but it worked because I felt like a new woman afterwards!

September 24, 2007: Debriefing. I left Canada with this new boost of confidence. I needed to experience my dream and I got a little taste of it. On the flight home I had loads of time to think (and read an entire SRM manual). I realized that you can never really know what you are fully capable of until you try-really honestly, without holding back, give it your best shot! Coach Paul taught me that you have to find ways to make things happen. You can’t accept “no” for something you can make possible with hard work.

I am definitely feeling really strong on my own 2 feet after my trip. Heading into Ironman I have no fear of what the day holds. I just know that if I follow my plan, use what I have learned, and embrace the day I will finish like a champ…

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Linsey Corbin...Professional Triathlete
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Okay, Okay, so you know that going from an amateur to a professional triathlete is a change. It's a change that many triathletes only dream of. I wanted to know for myself just what it is like being a professional...SO...I was lucky enough to get some answers from Linsey Corbin. Linsey just finished up her first season as a professional triathlete and has some answers for those of us that want to know what pro life is like, her pro life:

How/when did you know you were ready to make the jump from amateur to pro?
I actually swore I was never going to race professional because I was having too much fun as an age grouper! I started winning my age group in races and was looking for a new challenge, so I started to put racing professionally on the radar. My next race, Wildflower, I raced as an age grouper and would have finished 3rd overall. I decided go big or go home and to take some risks, so I got my pro license in June of 2006. I have no regrets either!

What was the most challenging part of racing pro compared to amateur? What was the most exciting part?
There have been two challenging parts. Initially, getting used to racing alone and without tons of age groupers around was tough. Pro fields are pretty small with 10-50 people (except for Kona/Clearwater), and since we generally get head start often you don't see many people for alot of the race; that was really bizarre my first few races, and almost lonely. Also, I have come to realize how improtant it is to be a top-notch swimmer. If you don't come out of the water in the first pack, you race alone, and that can be tough. The most exciting thing was racing pro! I looked (and still do) up to so many pros and to be on the starting line next to them was pretty cool. In the end though, age grouper or pro, we are all the same with the same goals: to do the best that we can. Other exciting things include not having to pay for race entries, getting all-star treatment at races like Wildflower, traveling to new places and meeting new people. I really live a dream!

What was your first race as a pro and what thoughts were going through your head leading up to the race and during it?
My first pro race was Ironman Coeur D'Alene in 2006. This was also my first Ironman. I think I was more jazzed about doing an Ironman for the first time than racing as a pro. Throughout the race it would hit me that I was doing two things I had once dreamed of, and that was a great feeling.

Any great training or racing tips you can share? ...but NOT your "top secret" ones.
Training tips: I am a big fan of staying injury free (ha! who isn't?) so I include core work and weights this time of year to prepare me for a full race schedule. I think biking up big hills helps build strength and toughness, and I think it is fun, so that is a big part of my training regimen. I ride the trainer a lot, too... I think it builds mental fortitude and allows a controlled training environment. I also think riding with people that are a bit faster than you causes you to train outside of your comfort zone, which is great. I love to run, I think varying the pace is key. I see a lot of people that run different distances but always the same pace. I am not afraid to run on the track hard, run hills repeats fast, or do tempo work on long runs.

Confidence in your racing abilities is something learned over time. What parts of your racing are you confident in? How can athletes gain more confidence?
Confidence in racing is huge. If you don't believe in yourself, then when the going gets tough (on race or training days) it is going to be hard to keep going. I feel confident in all three events + my transitions... I try as hard as I can in training and when I get to the start line I generally feel as if I am as prepared as I am going to be to race to the best of my abilities on that given day. According to the stats, I usually run and bike pretty darn fast. I think you can build confidence in training. By setting small attainable goals (even if it is getting to the top of the hill as fast as possible) you will begin to believe in yourself. I think this then carries over to racing, and when I race, I like to set mini goals throughout the race. One of my favorites is worrying about the here and now, riding as hard as possible for 5 minutes then re-evaluating and setting a new goal. I also like to say something positive each time a goal is attained.

Heading to Hawaii you were ready to have a break through performance. Unfortunately an injury took you out at mile 12 of the run. What is your best advice for handling a setback and moving forward?
I think it is important to take a look at what went wrong and caused the setback so you can learn from your mistake. My mistake in Kona was that I was so busy training I forgot to take care of myself (stretching, yoga, strength work) and ended up injured. However, I think it is important to not keep the pity party going for too long and move on. I dealt with Kona, and within 24 hours of the race was in vacation mode and enjoying my off season, albeit pretty sore!

Any "behind the scenes" pro moments you can share with us?
I went to one of my first pro meetings, and I am a pretty outgoing person. Every other pro had on there game face and it felt as if nobody would look or talk to me. I was so scared!!! It was so bizarre to not be talking to one another and be so serious. However, after the race everyone was laughing and reminiscing about there day. In the end, I have come to learn that 90% of the pro triathletes out there are just like me: hard working, friendly yet competitive, and looking to have a good time.

What is your fuel of choice for training, racing, recovery?
Training- I like to eat Clif Bars: lemon poppy seed, peanut toffee buzz, and Carmel Brownie Luna bars Racing- gels and gatorade, cola after mile 16 of the marathon in the Ironman Recovery- Smoothies with yogurt, bananas, fruit and protein powder. Chocolate milk/hot coco. Tuna salad.

Can you leave us with any final advice, opinions, or thoughts on being a professional triathlete?
When deciding if I should "make the leap" I figured that I am only 26 years old, and that I could work a real job when I was 40 years old. About a year ago I quit my job and decided to race full time. I think that was a big risk. I look back at some of the great/successful races I had, and all of them involved taking some risks. I think if you don't take a risk, you will never really know. Yes, not attaining goals is tough, but you will never know unless you try!
I also think I under-estimated how hard you have to work to be a successful professional triathlete... I worked pretty hard last year, but I don't think I worked hard enough. I have met some pretty successful athletes this past year and all of them are extremely disciplined and work VERY hard. I am not surprised they are winners.

Last, can you make up a question and answer it. Something you think is worth asking a first year pro that will help us picture your year more vividly.

What was your favorite part of your year?
I look back on 2007, and winning a few races was great. I think my favorite past though has been the memories, I met some great people (Bree Wee!!) and got to see some great places. I think these memories will last much longer than any medal or trophy I have in my house. I now know people from all over (Hawaii, Australia, New York) and to have those connections and new places to train and people to cheer for is great.

Awesome Linsey Corbin- YOU ROCK! Best of luck in your 2008 season and we will be rooting for you! Just in case you have never met Linsey Corbin in real life, she truly is one-of-a-kind! At the start of the Vancouver Triathlon I was crying because I was far from home and missed my Kainoa- she gave me a hug and loads of encouragement... even let the freezing Hawaii girl borrow her toe warmers!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shoe choices

Lessons in Charley horses and shoe choices!
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The one and ONLY time in my triathlon life since having Coach Paul that I don't ask him a major question I find out the hard-painful way!

I wanted to break 3hours in my I pretended to be an "elite" runner girl. I studied a bit about them... they are very tiny and wear very little shoes. Hmm, I don't have the very tiny "elite" runner girl genetics BUT I do have the shoes... RACING FLATS! So, I wore them!

Today I can barely walk around my house. My calves are screaming at me! My legs are wondering why I didn't support the impact of my "not elite runner girl frame" on my legs, MY CALVES! I am paying the price in pain for not asking Coach Paul what shoes to wear...

I just had a chat with coach. I found out that:

1. Racing flats are for 1/2 marathons and shorter
2. Elite marathoners that run in racing flats have built up the ability to race in them for that distance and they aren't my size...
3. Down hills are not "racing flat friendly" ewww, no wonder that down hill at mile 24 killed!
4. I should be in more supportive shoes for that distance... not necessarily trainers, but "light weight trainers" for a marathon. (I knew I should have worn the DS Trainers!)

Monday, December 10, 2007


These are my muddy shoes, yep, I saved em!
3:15 am wake-up call! I am not kidding! Lana wanted to get up super early. I am one of those that wake up with just enough time to get ready to race, get to the race, then do the race. No extra time. Waiting around to race makes me nervous.

I wasn't nervous this morning though. The Honolulu Marathon is one of the most exciting races I have ever done! Over 20,000 people, fire works, a BEAUTIFUL course, a FUN course too, and loads of friends! (there was roughly 30 of us Kona runners that made the trip to Oahu!)

Normal breakfast...Almond Butter and Wee Bee honey on raisin bread and a Cliff bar. I did get to watch Tila Tequila on MTV since we were up so early. As we head out to the race we are welcomed with buckets of rain. I am not kidding! The last of the "worst storm to hit Hawaii in 20 years" was wrapping up it's business!

So, we didn't have the heat & humidity but we had some nice mud puddles and rain. It was pretty funny to tell ya the truth. You could not help but laugh at all the wet people standing in down pours of rain waiting to start. Running around puddles wasn't always an option either-I just ran right through them and was thankful not to endure too many blisters!

Okay, so the race. I really wanted to break 3 hours. I really tried to break 3 hours. And I have no excuses for not breaking it. I gave it my best shot on the day & under the situations. I was only fast enough for a 3:03. I am very happy and despite not getting my goal time I still came across the finish line, threw my arms in the air, smiled, waved, hugged some friends, then wobbled around to wait for my sister to finish her race.

My little sister was running her first marathon. I saw her on one of the out & backs. She was on mile 13 and I was on mile 18. When we passed we shouted to eachother, gave eachother high-fives, then kept on going. But me... I also started crying after she went by. Nearly 4 years ago to this day she was not even conscious. I got the horrible phone call that my sister may not make it to see tomorrow. That her head was swollen, her brain was a bit shook up, her pelvis was broke, her lungs were collapsed, her teeth & face was smashed, she also about bit off her tongue and could not breath on her own. The list went on. Months later she started to get better and eventually ended up in a wheel chair- but doctors were uncertain if she would ever run... When she passed by me I had to cry. My sister was running, and not just around the block, but in the Honolulu Marathon! I could have sworn when she went by I saw some angels holding her up too. It was unreal, like she had help running it...

So, unlike any race before, this was so awesome to experience it with my sister and to see her smiling and laughing all through it! Maybe if I didn't high-five all 30 or so Kona people and goof with my sister I could have saved 3 minutes and broke 3hrs... but the fun I had more than made up for settling with a 3:03.

Thanks to everyone for all the encouraging emails, fun notes, & great laughs, To the Kona people out on the course... meet you there next December!

Mahalo for reading :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Honolulu Marathon

I will write a report tomorrow... till then...

Bree Wee #56

Kailua Kona, HI
Age: 27 Gender: F
Clock Time03:03:21
Chip Time03:03:10
Overall Place50
Gender Place6
Division Place2
Age Grade73.9%

Friday, December 7, 2007


Doing the right thing, In the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, for the right reason, with the right feeling. The first time.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I wasn't goofing off!

If there is one thing I really dislike it is miscounting during swimming! ESPECIALLY when you are being "focused" and not even goofing off! Usually, I am that girl on the left in the photo above- the one goofing off. The one Coach Steve makes repeat the workout after he just told us what to do because he thinks I am goofing off. I admit, I like to leave 5 seconds early and tickle the feet of the person in front, I like to swim under the lane ropes and into my friends lane, I like to make faces and pinch the other swimmers under water, and I LOVE to pull wedgies on my friends, and I like to make Coach Steve laugh. I am his worst nightmare and my own worst enemy when it comes to swimming.

Today I was FOCUSED though. Coach Paul gave me a nice little swim. Very short, very easy, just a swim to get my blood moving as I stay off my legs in preparation for the marathon. I was determined to do it good, do it right, and do it without goofing off. But I didn't. And I am mad...

My little mini set was only 3x 300. The first one aerobic, the second one steady, and the last one strong. My goal was to actually follow the instructions and not have them all the same speed (like I usually do) and to actually try and find my pace for each one.

1st 300: 3:30 Good, I am happy with that. I can build on that.
2nd 300: 3:18 Nice Job Bree I think to myself. I can build on that. I actually saved something for my strong one. I was so excited to do the last one. For once I am not goofing off during swimming, I am pacing, and I was almost done... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...go....

I am swimming the last one and I feel so good. I just know I am going to have a decent time. I am AWESOME at not goofing off today! I should be like this more often and I might really learn how to swim fast! Alright, 250 complete, coming into the wall for a flip turn, push off the wall, one more 50 to go, or is it another 100? Oh my gosh... I forgot! Have I done 200 or 250...? NO WAY did I miss count. Calm down Bree, you have one more 100. You feel too "fresh" to be nearly done. Do another 100...

3rd 300: 3:45 NO WAY, NO WAY DID I MISS COUNT! I cannot believe I did an extra 50! I knew it, something told me to stop that last 50! I swam a 350! What a goof ball!

I wanted to swim it over. I wanted to do it again. I wanted to have someone count with the mile counter for me. The one day I wasn't goofing off I goofed up! Sadly, I reported my times, 3:30, 3:18, 3:45. I am a goof ball. I thought for once I could have really paced correctly, followed instructions for 3 little things... nope...not today...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's Amanda Lovato...

GREAT compliment... but it's not me!
Yes, I ride Scott Bikes (same bike), and I race in a Splish swim suit (no bike shorts). However, this is not me. This is Amanda Lovato.

A good friend of mine calls me and tells me, "Bree, you are in the magazine this month!". I remember reading the magazine and never saw me... I don't think so. Then she goes on, "Bree, your bike, your Splish suit with no bike shorts, it's you!" Then I got the magazine page... BEST COMPLIMENT EVER! But it's not me. It's Amanda Lovato.

I don't own a sperm looking helmet, I wear Sidi bike shoes, and I'm about 15 pounds bigger... but, again, one of the best compliments ever! Maybe next year for Halloween I can pretend to be Amanda. Enough of that jazz...

Yesterday I took my last good run prior to Honolulu Marathon. It was about an hour and had lots of speed play, I had a blast! I love running when my legs feel like the juice is starting to come around. I love running knowing that all I have left is an easy 15 minute tune up run and then the whole 26.2 miles. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE running when I know it is not an A, B, C, or even Z race for me. Just a marathon because I love running marathons.

Last night I was so excited thinking and dreaming about my 26.2 miles of beautiful scenery around the island of Oahu. I felt like a little girl at Christmas that can't sleep the night Santa comes because I am excitedly waiting for my Easy-Bake-Oven or Snoopy slushy machine! I hope tonight is better sleeping or Sunday could be one LONG day for me!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hawaiian Winter Weather

The past week we have had a small earthquake (3.9), mudslides, rain, giant surf, wind, floods, and cooler than usual temperatures (73*). This is our winter. . .