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…


Eileen said...

Awesome blog! What an amazing year!

I am so excited, can't wait til March! This is going to be amazing!


Brooke Myers said...

I remember the tears, well the sound of them as I talked to ya... But hey you are much stronger than you can imagine and you are not only fulfilling your dreams, you are aiming towards providing for your family as well. You should be proud of your hard work and all you do to get to where you are and will be going... I am proud of you as my sister and friend...

ShirleyPerly said...

I have goosebumps after reading this! What a great year you've had and obviously it's the result of really hard work and good coaching. Congrats!

Speed Racer said...

It's so exciting reading about your achievements and imagining I'm right there with you. Thanks especially for the training porn.

I think that it MIGHT be possible that SOMEONE would think of doing a training camp in Kona so that you wouldn't have to leave the family behind. It's just a guess. Nevertheless, your training camp sounds like the best way to see any new place. I'm so jealous that people are going to PAY you to do things like that!

BreeWee said...

PAY ME! I wish!!! Would be nice though...