Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Day 2 of 101...

Today in 101 I learned all about extending my elbow through the entire pull phase (to my hip), keeping my wrists & hands light, and rolling with my hips so I could get my fingers out of the water and a higher elbow on the recovery. It was really fun to roll around!! I felt so clumsy... then I got to thinking... I wonder if swimming (all the technique) is at all like dancing.

I have about zero dance moves, 2 left feet on the dance floor. I love to dance, don't get me wrong. Anything from Salsa to booty shaking... but I don't look the least bit graceful. Swimming I KNOW for a fact I lack the grace too!

SO, here is my question... do "good technique" swimmers have grace and rhythm on the dance floor? Basically, can Michael Phelps and Amanda Beard dance? I'm not just talking fast swimmers, you could be slow, I am talking about technique...

I am really curious... I wish I could put a Vote thing on this post but I am not computer savvy enough yet to figure it out. SO... pretend you are in school again and answer this please... I just gotta know...

Is grace in the pool and on the dance floor linked? Is there any correlation??

  • A) I am a good dancer and have good swim technique
  • B) I am pretty clumsy on the dance floor and when I swim I am all over the place (but this doesn't mean you are a slow swimmer). This is technique only...
  • C) I am graceful on the dance floor but technically challenged when it comes to swimming
  • D) I have all the technique I need in the pool (doesn't necessarily mean you are fast) but I have two left feet when dancing.
I just got off the phone with my friend Lauren... I told her how at 101 this morning I was watching the swimmers and had to laugh at some of their strokes and imagined them dancing- then I laughed even harder! Then I would think of my sister Brooke, that girl is gifted on the dance floor- she even went to a VPA High School for dance! AND, she looks so graceful in the pool... yes I am jealous of her stroke (but I can beat her-ha ha). Smart as she is Lauren told me that it probably relates to coordination.

Anyways... I am so darn curious... please comment me your answer A, B, C, or D and any explanation would be helpful.

Many Mahalos!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Costa Rica....


I have been day dreaming so much lately about Costa Rica. Maybe because training has started back up and it seems every time you train you need to have all sorts of stuff! Goggles, cap, bike, bike pump, and bike shoes, run shoes, tight sports bra, visor, nutrition... the list goes on and on!

When you surf you just need a suit and your board. Simple. I miss that.

Maybe I am day dreaming so much because we just moved and the new neighborhood we live in reminds me so much of the neighborhood I lived in during Language University in Costa Rica. A million stray cats & dogs, towels strung over lanai's, 10 cars in every driveway and only 1 or 2 actually work! And it smells like everyone is making empanadas here too...


Some of my best friends ever are my tico buddies. Something about their warm hearts and giving ways. I was reminded of them yesterday when my friend Lauren came for a visit. She always brings you a big smile, some yummy food, and has this "something" about her that makes you believe that people really are good and they mean well. She always somehow makes me feel like "Life is Good"...

"The Italian Rookie" calls me later to tell me his fruit trees are all nearly ripe and that I can have as much as I want! He has pineapple, papayas, & 70 bananas for me to dehydrate, (this is VERY similar to everyday life in Costa Rica). Whatever you have you give. Whatever you need someone will give to you. I love that motto...


You know what else I was really missing? Riding horses to la tienda! The best was just untying your horse, riding along the beach to the store, getting only what you need, then riding home with your groceries! That was so much fun to me. Sitting in traffic yesterday I was day dreaming about those rides and the adventures on horse...

Of all the many lessons I learned in my 5 summers and semester of university in Costa Rica the one that stays with me the most is to live in the moment...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Someone to believe in you...

Yes, my swimsuit does say "Coach Steve's worst nightmare"

I think you are truly fortunate if you have that one person (you might even have a handful) that believes in you more than you might believe in yourself...

I was at masters (does that count as doubles if I swam 101 in the morning and then masters at night???) and good old Coach Steve was there just holding back his "oh my, what am I going to do with her?" expressions. And I thought to myself... I am so happy to know Steve and I love him! (not in that way). He is one person that has never let me stop believing in me...

I have been with Coach Steve since 2003. I was pretty darn clueless when I met him and I am not talking about just in the pool. I was fresh out of college, over a 14 hr. flight from home, I had my first "real" career-teaching 2nd grade, I was wanting to try a triathlon, and I was kind of "coming into my own me". He was there for me since the first time I jumped in the pool. He took me under his wing and gave me such a strength I had never known.

I did not grow up with a father and in a sense Coach Steve was the dad I never had growing up. He was there when I met and fell in love with Jim (he actually egged on the relationship), he held my hand and heart all through my bitter/sweet pregnancy, he saved me from depression post baby, and he has always believed in everything I have ever considered doing and full on had my back. This includes the Weebee business Lauren and I started... he was such a promoter for us!

My favorite memory with him was the Friday morning before Ironman as I sat with him on the pool deck crying. You see there was this verbal bet going around Kona that some girls in the community started. They were all giving times on when I would hit the wall and land on my face. It was a bunch of junk talk and I let it get to me. I know I will fall on my face in life, I always do in certain areas, and I humbly admit I am not the best. And yes, I am known in Kona for being a pretty bad pacer- I LOVE to go out too fast and see how long I can hang on (there is the wanna-be ITU girl in me again)... but to bet against me & not in a joking way-OUCH! And the day before Ironman I let it get to me.

Coach Steve was there in the way a little girl needs her daddy. He gave me some tuff love and told me, "Bree, tomorrow, when you race imagine you are in a cocoon. One that you can see out of and enjoy the day and the race, but this cocoon nobody can see in. Nobody can see you, touch you, hurt you. You go do the race as best as you can and remember nobody even sees you". I remembered that. And still when I get scared I put myself back in my cocoon...

I have never looked so forward to swimming as I have these past few years with him. He has this way of making our masters feel like family. We all go through so much together and he makes sure that the time we are in the pool we are each others best friends, biggest rivals (so we can push each other to get better), and he makes sure that we are enjoying life...It is like a breath of fresh air to have somebody just give endlessly and support eagerly.

AND to make it even more exciting he is the master of swimming! (at 60 he can still kick my butt in the pool or ocean)!! He holds world records and used to be the race director for Ironman! He has endless experience and gives little girls big hope! He has helped dozens of poor struggling high schoolers stay out of trouble and earn swim scholarships off the island and to a future on the mainland!

I could go on forever and ever... if you want to know more read here... and to see an old photo (when he was inducted into the hall of fame) LONG AGO! It cracks me up!!

So, to those of you that have someone believing in you-appreciate it, embrace it, and be thankful... unfortunately not everyone has that. Cheers to those that support us and believe in us! AND be on the look out for someone you can believe in... you might just be the person that they need to chase dreams, give hope, and save a life...

Jen, Mary, Liz, now I know why you all have such fun posts to read, as coaches you really do have such an awesome job!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

101...

Well, truth be told... I am no fish. I swim okay, but not good, not good enough. I am not happy with a 20 for Olympic distance especially since I always wanted to be an ITU girl, I am not satisfied with no 26 for 1/2 Iron, and that 56 for Ironman hopefully won't be my PR forever!

So what's a girl to do? Start back at the beginning... maybe if I started swimming at like 5 or 10 or something early like that I would know about arm entry and elbow position and head placement and hip roll. One of my favorite people ever (my swim coach) has this theory he told me a couple years ago as he watched me swim... "Bree, you swim all heart". That was his nice way of telling me I am one ugly-ass swimmer that really makes no sense in the water but my passion to swim well and my dedication to swim fast pulls me along. He could tell I was giving it my all, trying my best. He watches me more than anyone and he noticed that after almost 5 years of being with him I am not giving up.

He took me to the gym and showed me a weight routine to work swim specific muscles, he is helping me with these on-land drills (like one arm opposite leg in the air kind of thing) and some other funny things for swimming. AND then, after seeing my drive to learn to swim better, faster, he said okay... 101.

6:15 am here I am. 101 class. Today's focus is all about rolling your hips. The 101 class is like "learning to swim class". The 101 crew looked at me strangely when I joined them... why Bree? She can swim... but really, honestly, I swim with my heart and not my body... I was going to learn to swim starting this morning!

So how did it go? Oh gosh I felt like a 5 year old! Kainoa should be in class with me! I was drowning as I tried to roll my hips (I was trying to be J Lo as best as I could), I was gasping for air trying to take a breath but not suck air for 10 seconds like I usually do... it was a challenge. It was fun, I enjoyed just learning to swim from scratch and not race the clock at masters or try to keep up with Mike and Jen. I was in this for me, following my heart, to learn to swim with my body.

The entire workout (I call it a workout because it was hard for me) only totaled 500 yards the entire hour! We did so many drills and after each one the "Awesome Coach Steve" corrected, fixed, changed, and said "do it again"! Krista (I told you about her, the super star swimmer) she was there to give us live demonstrations! We watched her under water, above water, you name it! Man, a picture does paint a 1,000 words!

So, add it to my intense training schedule... 101 for Bree Wee... See ya next Wednesday...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Eyes closed...


My favorite feeling is being in the ocean with my eyes closed. This morning to start my recovery week I had a nice swim in the ocean. . .

The only time I truly feel at peace is in the ocean. Not running, I see too many friends and wave and smile and laugh. Not biking, I am always chatting or looking at some cool chunk of lava. Not swimming in a pool, I am too focused on hitting the wall or keeping up with Mike or Jen. But in the ocean EVERYTHING stops for me. My mind turns off the sounds of all the chores to get done. Responsibilities fade away. I can see cars on Ali'i Drive but don't hear them- I am too far out to sea. Maybe being a surfer prior to triathlon I developed some special bond with the ocean. Whatever the case, it is the only time I can stop the world from chasing me and just breathe, smile, relax, unwind.

Today I had the "Italian Rookie" joining me. He was drafting along and I kept flipping to my back and closing my eyes as I swam back stroke. I had no cares of boats, people, sea creatures,
or anything to disturb me. On land when I close my eyes I am so filled with my to-do-list and my mind never shuts off. In the ocean, with my eyes closed I felt as if I were somewhere really far away, really special, and so at peace in the world...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

19:20

19 hours and 20 minutes of training this week and I am PAU! (that's what we say out here in the middle of the Pacific when we are done).

I knew this was going to be a quality week of training so I made sure not to go too hard on the base pace stuff and I made sure to fuel well, get loads of rest (not very possible in my life) but I tried, and I made sure to recover with some good old epson salt or ice baths... and here I am all pau and feeling like a million bucks!

My week ended with what felt like a half Ironman. I woke up and met up with 3 cool guys who I recruited to keep me company on my 66 mile ride (roughly 3 hours). It was such a random bunch but it made for good laughs and even a few tears (by me), and loads of sarcasm. I ate it up! One of the guys is this lightening fast ex-pro skier and we nick named him the Italian Rookie ( I don't know why) but he is so wicked on the bike so I talked him into being my bike partner ALL year... I am laughing even as I write this because he has NO IDEA what he got himself in for but he agreed! Now I have a partner for those long Ironman distance rides!! I am still laughing out loud because he is in trouble with me!!

Okay, so the ride is over and NOW time for ANOTHER brick this week... It is HOT HOT HOT out and one of the guys agrees to go on my run with me... I told him it is WAY easy, base pace, for 1:15. He is stoked and away we go... But 1/2 a mile later I am solo in the Kona afternoon sunshine! In case you are wondering he did not like my 7:15-7:30 easy base pace and jumped in the ocean instead. So, just over 9 miles later I see Doug walking down the road with shoe laces un-tide, sandy feet, soaking wet! He wants to walk my last 5 minutes so we walk and laugh and talk about the steak he is about to go chow down. Poor Doug, when I called him to join me I left out all the details of my workout and just told him to come along... I hope when I call him Tuesday to join me on my Wednesday ride he comes! ha ha ha, LOVE ya Doug!! (no I still won't give him details on Tuesday)...ha ha ha

Ahh... home for a bath, toys with Kainoa, a load of laundry, hit the grocery store, wish I could nap but Kainoa gave up naps so I am having to play play play!

Training session # 3: Swim time! This is so exciting for me... not because I love swimming, but I know that 1:15 minutes later I am going to be DONE with my crash-o-la week! The swim goes better than I was thinking it would go. I still had energy and I was even feeling a little bit fast-vroom! My swim was some 300's and only one 900 so I actually timed that one and it was nice to see that post bike/run/play I can still hold my swim base pace.

Post swim and I am home but my "work" starts now... the Weebee business Lauren and I started has been Booming! I will have to update you later on that... long story short... I had 21 orders to make. Tonight. I am pretty happy that I finally found a fun job that is paying some bills and lets me work from home and train. AND live out my life long dream to be the next Rachel Ray!

Okay, it is 2:o3 minutes past my bed time! I have to sleep NOW! Since tomorrow starts my recovery week I decided to be crazy and stay up late to watch "Duma". Good movie by the way...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

HCC Group Ride...

Every Saturday rain or shine the Hawaii Cycling Club pulls out of the Keiki lot at 7am. About 4 years ago when I first got my bike I would purposely leave WAY before 7am so I would not get swallowed by the massive group of intense roadies. They really intimidated me, freaked me out, and made me promise I would never be like that. Besides, I didn't (still don't) have a road bike so I lacked the coolness...

THEN, I met some of the roadies, actually learned to ride a bike, and wanted to be part of the "cool people" bike ride... so for the past 2 years I have been part of the group.

Let me tell you about this group... they are kinda bitter, a bit too intense, sort of cocky, wicked fast at certain sections of the ride, and you never EVER ever know what to expect. Each Saturday is something new, dramatic, or exciting...

In the past 2 years I have been with them we have had Chris Lieto, TJ Tollakson, Tina Walter, Joanna Zieger, Jo Lawn, Lance Armstrong, Shonny Vanlandingham, and a few other big time riders join us. I have seen fights, crashes, sprint-offs, and more evil attacks than I would ever want to see...

I have come to love it! I just eat that stuff up! I like to try and hang with the studs (like the time I told Chris Lieto he can draft me), I like to go beyond myself and try to take pulls up the hills, I love racing the guys and getting my butt kicked, and I love the fact that no matter what time of the year it is group rides are always like "race day".

Today was the ultimate challenge for me... it was my first group ride of the season and coaches orders were to NOT "race" to NOT get "caught up" to NOT "crash and be nuts". I hate those orders. I always feel like a wuss not going balls to the wall, I get grumpy when I have to hang back, and I really dislike when the guys challenge me and I have to say something goofy like, "I am watching my heart rate" or something. Besides, it is way more fun to try and take a pull only to get your butt spit out the other end and to try and hang with the lead pack-crumble-then get swallowed by the second for blowing too early!

SOOOOO this morning, me and my "orders" are all ready to ride. I would like to tell you how the morning went but it lacks any attacks by me (I never took any). I don't have any funny stories about getting all bonked out because I never went hard enough to crash. I also lack any stories of getting dropped then swallowed because I snuck from wheel to wheel like a sneaky little kid just getting pulled along. The heart rate was in check, I only took a few pulls and none were up hill, a nice ride... felt more like a Sunday drive. AND what do I get in return... just a tiny email from my coach that said, "nice job Bree. Think strong not speed right now".

Man, I avoided all that fun for "nice job"........ wait till I get a green light coach!!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Making it hurt...

5am: The whirl of the tready's start...

Jen and I had no choice but to do our runs pre swim (masters starts at 6:15am). With being moms training time is not always an option... so some nights you have to go to bed at 8pm so you can wake up about 4am and get to the gym by 5am...

We have different coaches so our workouts were very different. She is in the middle of a run block and had a base-type run, I had interval type workout. Fun thing was despite our different runs we were able to run side by side and chat...

She is a former swimmer- you know the "real" ones that swam in college and stuff and have that "technique" thing down and aren't afraid to make it hurt in the water. She was telling me how she gets fired up for the fast stuff and even though she is awesome at distance she can sprint like nothing in the pool. So, here I am doing the intervals (not all out yet in the season, but getting some quicker blood going) and I tell her I have no problem going to the point of pain in running... in running when you hurt you can still breathe and you can stop. In swimming your face is under water and you can't still breathe and I just never take my swimming there... maybe that is why the ITU thing never worked for me and I ended up trying Ironman... I just can't swim fast because I won't try to make it hurt...

So, now to the pool. Yikes we are a bit sore... but the pool. Hawaii's fastest high schooler (Krista) is there to swim with us. She is getting ready for college (on a full swim scholarship of course) and next stop an Olympic hopeful for 2012... I definetly jump in behind her... even though she kicks my butt I LOVE to swim by fast people- they AMAZE me! So, now it comes up... she too takes herself to the point of pain, like Jen does! I get to thinking... I need too, I have too, unless I am content always swimming like I do I need to hurt in the pool even though I can't breathe!

Coach gives us this set of 12x 75's and he looks right at me, knowing I am the worst at pacing and knowing my swim times, knowing I don't make it hurt, and tells me (not the other people in the 2 lanes) me ... what I need to hold... "Bree, you should be at low 50's, like 51-53". Then to Krista... "Krista, 45". I snarl... darn I am a wuss I think to myself! AND in that moment I decide to make it hurt!

Round one... I finish and Krista tells me I did a 51, Coach says good. Now I am REALLY bitter... DARN I WUSSED OUT! So I get fired up and decide if I ever want to be a better swimmer I have to hurt like Krista does and this time I am serious... I am going to hurt... so, my legs ache from my run but I am hurting... I get to the wall... Krista says, 48". YES! I am under 50! Take that coach! He reminds me I have more to go... pace...Bree pace...

Next one I don't care how many more... I am going for it! Krista continues to call out my times each time I finish (and these are on the 1:10 so the rest isn't all day type rest)... all the rest of mine I swam sub 50 and got to a 46 on the last one. Krista and her sub 45's showed me how to swim... I was so excited to make it hurt... I never knew hurting in the pool could feel so good!

Cheers to making it hurt!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Vroooom...

"Coach how do I make it through the season injury free?"

That is the question (emergency) I called my coach for... that is the mystery in our sport...that is one of the "goals" on my 2008 list... that is what I was all 2007 season: Injury Free.

There are loads of recovery, prevention, and technique tips to make it happen... there are also things other than over training, too-much-too-soon, too-fast-too-soon, that can hurt you and aren't really you to blame..."out of your control"...

Here is the answer I got in "Easy for Bree to understand" terms...

Think of your body as an engine. Vroom... are you visualizing a nice shiny engine? The 1st step is to make that engine STRONG! Vroom... strength training, hills, big gears, think POWER stuff. Step 2: Make your engine BIG! Endurance, base pace, low heart rates, volume, more frequent workouts, Vroom... The final step...add some speed! Until the engine is strong and big it is not ready to go fast. Once you got the strength and BIG BASE you are ready... intervals, high heart rates, short and speedy, ouch, near puke pace, burn baby...

It was explained to me a bit more "scientific and coach-like" but being a blond I needed it in more of an elementary school explanation.

Okay, so how is that going to keep me from injury? When something is strong it is less likely to break. When something is more able to handle higher levels of stress it is less likely to wear out.

Be STRONG. Be BIG. Be FAST.

Wishing EVERYONE an injury free 2008!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One person has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the person who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life. Edward B. Butler

I told Merit I was going to race her to see who could snap out of our blahs first... nothing like a little friendly competition to get the attitude back on track. On my mission to smile throughout my trials I searched through my collection of favorite quotes, verses, saying, photos, and journals and this one hit the spot!

Heck yeah! no problem holding on to joy for a short time or a little longer, but holding on for several years is like an Ironman... you gotta keep going and keep going and keep going despite the feelings you endure.

Merit I hope you are having an AWESOME day!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Moving On...

I am so spoiled! I have done several mission trips and even lived in Costa Rica for a while 3rd world style. I wear the same clothes, I only own one bike, I count my blessings, I am thankful, I share and give and donate... I didn't think I was a spoiled brat until I just heard this advertisment about girls in Africa. It said, most high school girls in Africa can't go to school during their periods because they can't afford to buy tampons. I started to cry...

I have been crying all week because we are in the middle of moving. Jim and I are saying good-bye to our first home of our own and moving on. Packing this week has really been rough on me. All the memories we created. Painting Kainoa's room (and every other thing in the house I could get my hands on), tiling with the Bee's and laughing because I am the worst tile picker-outer ever!, tearing down a wall in the kitchen so I could play Rachel Ray and have my own cooking show... the list of laughter and memories is so long!

So why are we moving? The smiles and laughter soon became stress and we became slaves to our OUTRAGEOUS mortgage... so we are starting over to make a long story short. Back to renting and back to a little home. I can't even believe I waisted all that time crying... at least we are still happy and healthy and have a roof over our heads. At least I can leave my house when I have a period because I can afford to buy some tampons...

To all my friends I invite over during vacations you can still stay at our house... but now you have to camp outside... Natasha, sorry about that but I will sleep in the tent with you like old days at Turtle Beach! Moving on... and like my mom always tells me, after every storm is a rainbow...

Here is one last look at Kainoa's room before I say good bye ...
Painting even though everyone says pregnant ladies should not inhale paint...
My under water sea creatures...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mahalo Charles & Team!

After Ironman I was fortunate enough to team up with Charlie Patten & crew. Together they are launching some pretty fun new athletic websites. To be honest, I didn't think much about ever having my own website... I am "computer challenged". Charlie and team are amazing! They got to know me, my personality, who I am, and from there they created a website that blew me away! I had nothing to do with it... after getting to know the athlete (or whoever they are designing for) a bit, they put their imagination to work and create something fun and unique to the athlete (or whoever). They are going to have mine launching soon... click below if you want to see their work...or are interested in one of your own!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

"ACE 2008"

Yes, that is Chris Lieto riding a bike to make the blender mix a smoothie! Lucky me I got to be on his relay team a few years ago and this photo goes with my post...

If you want to be as FAST as Chris Lieto here is what you do... JUST KIDDING... but here are some cool things I learned. I call them "Training Aces". Tonight I have to give a little Tri-Chat at the local bike shop and I thought I would share the aces I learned...


1. Train with new faces! Find some people faster that will push you, that will encourage you. Join a club or team. Don't be intimidated by training with new people... they might have a lot to share! Also, train with people a bit slower than you on your easy or recovery days. Their pace will make sure you are going easy and you can offer some tips to them.

2. Train in new places! Mix it up, hit the trails, the beach, some hills, a track, a treadmill, a different pool, new ocean or lake, anything that is new and can add some excitement or a different view or crowd!

3. Try new races! Go big, sign up for something adventurous or do some local fun races to give back to the community. A new course with a new challenge can help bring your racing to a new level.

4. Let go of the same-old pace! Make sure every workout has a purpose... intervals, a recovery pace, a base pace (you get the idea)... just not the same speed for every swim, bike, and run.

5. Get new laces! Yep, those old "favorite" shoes can become the injury-givers! Get some new shoes.

6. Trade places! If you always draft in swimming or on the bike take some pulls. You will love the new speed and confidence you develop. If you always pull- catch the draft! Save your legs for the bricks and work on your technique. For running, position yourself in that place that is just off another's shoulder and see how long you can hang on.

7. Embrace change! Review last seasons accomplishments and not-so-good moments. From there make a plan to "change" things. Doing the same thing day in and day out will result in the same results...

8. Give some grace! Make sure to let the people you appreciate in your sport know that they matter to you! Tell your coach thank you for all his/her support and those great training plans... let them know you would be lost with out them! Thank the volunteers, race directors, the community for being active in your sport. AND thank your family! Be sure to let them know their love and support is valued and a large cause to your success and enjoyment in sport. Maybe even tip your babysitter a little extra...

9. Make some space! Yep, clean out the fridge & pantry and stock pile up on better-for-you foods. Then, clean out the old training gear/clothes from last season (or last FEW seasons) and donate it! There are tons of new tri rookies out there that can benefit from your old stuff... you might even be able to make a buck!

10. Finally, enjoy the race! The training is hard, the sacrificing is hard, the race is the fun part... you did the work now enjoy what you love to do!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sibling Rivalry...

I was doing a kick set with my friend Karlyn a bit ago and we got to talking about being competative with your brother/sisters. As we kicked and talked, my sister Brooke kept coming up (maybe because of all my sisters she is the one I am compared to most and vice versa). We look very similar, act alike, and stand the same height... but it ends there.

I am drawn to competition, endurance, adventure & she is calm, peaceful, more into helping others succeed. We never have to face being in each others shadow. We are too different in our goals and desires... BUT... this morning after my bike ride that all changed! 26 years of having her as my sister & best friend... she was NOW my competition!

At her house she was showing me some new yoga moves & her new photos of the positions. This one caught my eye!
Wholly crap! How in the? What in the? What the? I was amazed, impressed, astonished, then CHALLENGED! I had to do it too... the sister rivalry was on! I ask her to show me how to do it...within a second she was in this position, comfortable, relaxed, chatting... made it look so easy! So, I tell her to step aside and watch me! (I know what I am doing, I have taken her yoga class once in my life). After falling 45 times, nearly breaking my neck, cracking my back, and not being successful, I tell her I need her yoga bottoms... the cute ones she has on in her photo... I tell her it must be in the outfit! (see, I am NOT giving up, I can do it but I need the right outfit... you wouldn't race a triathlon in normal clothes, well you can't do yoga in normal clothes either... right?)

I try and I try... then I think I got it and I beg for her to take a picture... THEN... I look at it... and think to myself, "Hell ya! I did it!".
BUT, my wonderful sister points out... my arms are not right, my head isn't as high off the ground, my leg isn't in the air very straight, and my back isn't too flexible... WHAT!? But, comparing the photos... she is right... she won this contest!

What do I have to say to that... BRING IT ON SISTA! I'll see you in the water...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Just Juice it!

Today was the "Juice Challenge". I have not done any sort of successful food challenge since college (I went to a Christian College and my Bible study and I were always fasting and praying). Anyways, I tried a couple times to do the "juice challenge" with my friend Reiko (we caved in at 12:38). Then I tried with my friend Jen (caved in at 3:42). I thought I was doomed to never be successful at the "juice challenge".

But yesterday one of my most will-power-tuff friends, Lauren, tells me Sunday she is doing the "juice challenge". I know that if she says she is-she is! So, I say count me in!

I head straight for the farmers market to stock up on EVERYTHING I could possibly need for a Sunday of juice only. All the fresh fruits and veggies looked so bright and yummy I had no problem heading into this adventure!

Sunday morning...
I knew I had a little run and needed some carbs to get me through- Bring on the carrots! (loaded with carbs). My 1:30 run... hmmm.... no gels, no sports drink allowed... what's an athlete to do? Grapes in the juicer and I added some good old Hawaiian sea salt (natures electrolytes)! Oh yea it worked! I had no problem making it through that run with water bottles filled with grapes and sea salt-in fact I was super energized!

Of course I needed to refuel so I had coconut water (all natural IV). I knew this would be GREAT, its what I had in the bike-run transition during Ironman! And then breaky... coconut, banana (yes Brooke you CAN put bananas in the juicer), pine apples! Bring it on!

All day I spent at the juicer inventing flavors. The best was oranges, lemons, ginger and Asian pears. BUT spinach, carrots, and ginger was my close second. Okay... now it is swim time. Yep, another workout on raw fruit/veggie juice... how would it go?

I started out sluggy. I blamed it on the tired legs from my TT and from spending the afternoon in the sun with Kainoa and Jim at the beach. BUT, once I got to the main set I was feeling AWESOME! (of course I was using my home-made sports drink) grapes and sea salt. My second 1,000 I swam a 12:10... that was good for me. I was stoked! This "juice challenge" isn't too bad!

Now for dinner time.. THANK GOD Jim is so supportive. He let me play juice and ate "food" away from me...that smell of Korean BBQ was killing me too... BUT I stayed strong because I knew Lauren was doing AWESOME!

Now it is nearly bed time and I successfully made it through a full day on the "juice challenge". I know, you might think we are nuts! BUT juice challenges have all sorts of AWESOME results and help rid the body of toxins. I feel like a 10 year old from all this juice today! If you are curious about it here are some cool sites:

Why Juice? Check it out HERE.
What's in each fruit & vegetable? Check it out HERE.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

First race of the year & already laughing!

Talk about burn in the legs, a pain in the throat that feels like it is dry as a desert and sand paper is scruffing over it... huffing and puffing, pushing, pulling, aching...OUCH! Trying to shake off the off-season cob webs and wake the body up to "2008 triathlon season". Welcome to the first time trial of the year!

Oh boy, I can tell I have built up a load of endurance post Ironman and marathon... but where is my zip, my zest, my vroooooom?! I must have left it back at the last Olympic distance race of 07... BECAUSE today hurt!

Like any short race (11 mile time trial on the bike) I went out WAY too fast! Instructions were to build the first 3-5 minutes then hold and nearing the finish I can red line... ooops.... I went red line-hold-keep holding-please body hold on-yikes letting go of pace-got it back-finish in pain!

My good lesson learned... I WON'T DO THAT AGAIN THIS SEASON! I WILL PACE-EVEN FOR SHORT RACES! The win and $3,000 later I am hurting worse than the Ironman! (lately everything hurts worse than that stinking Ironman).

Post race recovery ride...easy pace... and LOOK what I did to my bike?! How? I don't know!
But I do know thanks to that I had to ride my friend Lauren's bike back to my truck. No big deal- YEA RIGHT! Her bike is a 52, I ride a 49, her pedals are Look, I am Lolly Pop, so I had to wear her bike shoes too- ha ha ha, a little too big bike and a little too big shoes... that was the longest 6 miles back to my truck EVER! I was wobbling side to side trying to move the pedals, my feet were slipping in her shoes, AND I was scared to death of falling because I could not un-clip those shoes! Did I mention I also had to climb 2 hills? That bike and I were leaning side to side as I tip-toed the pedals... finally I decided to ride the whole way standing since siting on the seat I could barely reach the pedals! And... last thing... it was a rode bike! I am REALLY bad at road bikes! I have only ridden a road bike 2x in my life and I forgot how to change gears! What a morning, a morning well worth the laughter as I ride down Queen K like a little girl on her mom's grown up bike & well worth $3000 bucks!

And Lauren, thank you for everything! You were the BEST support crew a girl could ever have and I will bring you your bike tonight! P.S. Tell "Shorty" he is the BEST... and that you "love" him! He just loves to hear that!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Got Tea?

Living in Hawaii I have fallen in love with tea. Everyone here drinks it in all flavors and temperatures. I was a regular cup a day of green tea girl (I learned that from all my Japanese buddies). Then I went to Canada and my host mom in Vancouver, Angela James (click on her name to check out her tea site) took me over the top!

With NO exaggeration she had tea all day and night! When I met her she poured me a cup, when it was empty she refilled it, before bed she made me more, she even gave me some to take to bed with me! She had about 64 ounces of tea a day (I think). It was a lot! After spending time with her I realized at her age (50's) she had no wrinkles, more energy than my young son, such good moods, and she was also racing Half Ironmans! She credits the tea.

Back home to Hawaii, I am hanging out with my best Japanese buddy Reiko San and we are talking about tea and mac nuts and we are admiring one of her good friends, 83 years old, out picking coffee beans and mac nuts-professional style-with the knee thing! I am way younger and I can not work my knees like that, I have way more wrinkles, and I need a nap after all the works she does! She credits tea.

Then I see a nutritionists and well what does he do to help kick my mid-night snack craving... recommend tea! So, little miss cup-a-day tea is now at 5 cups a day of all kinds! I think it works, I believe in it, and here are some that I have found to do the trick!

  • Green Tea: Contains EGCG, loaded with antioxidants- more potent than 22 fruits and veggies, (helps speed recovery), burns calories, prevents tooth decay and helps prevent cavities, wards off diesese.
  • SPORTea: Endurance builder, stamina enhancer, promotes blood flow and circulation, click to learn more!
  • Egyptian Licorice Tea (Yogi Brand)- helps stop the sweet tooth, taste like a treat...
  • St. Johns Good Mood tea (Yogi Brand)- Helps women on that time of month with bad pms mood and fights fatigue
  • Ginger tea-helps with nausea (WORKED awesome when I was prego), helps settle a sour stomach and aids digestion after a BIG meal!
  • Joint Comfort (Yogi Brand)- help keep cartilage, and bones, and joints doing their thing so you can do yours.
  • Roobios- check the website for all the fun flavors and varieties!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bringing back the bricks...

Oh boy, those brick workouts are already back on my training plans! All last season my tri's suffered when it came to the run. Come reflection time my coach and I sat down and went through my season and realized the need for me to focus on more bricks... and today they are back! And I felt it...

My first tri will be in March, BUT it is not that race that I am focused on, not the lavaman after it and not St. Anthony's following that... those are just for fun... it is St. Croix we are focused on. And the need for me to run better off the bike, the bike that will ride the "Beast". So today was day 1 of St. Croix brick busting!

My ride had me do some intervals in the big ring (a bit hard to push big ring when climbing) and they hurt! It felt like I was lifting weights and I could tell my bike and I were strangers (I hung my bike up after Ironman to train for the marathon). But I gave it my all, every bit of my leg strength, with less than 60 seconds to throw on my shoes I was off and running. OH MY GOSH! This was nothing like the bricks for Ironman where you can take your sweet time and eat a picnic! This was HURRY YOUR @$$ up and get running. The run was an easy run, a short run, but so painful after that bike ride with that intensity and that gear and those couple of hills.

It was very evident that I needed brick work and it was even more evident that this is the time to start it!

Why do bricks:
* It's a different level of stress on the body that must be practiced
*figure out your personal strategy for getting your bike-tired legs to run
*Learn to run fast off a bike, as if you have "fresh" legs
*Practice nutrition & pacing
*Eventually your physiology will adapt to the ride-run sequence the way it does to an individual swim, bike, or run
*Make you mentally tuff!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It reminded me of Ironman...

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last night a huge group of about 35 of us had a major Sugar Bowl party, WHY? Because the Warriors were playing Georgia and they were going into the game 12-0...U-N-D-F-E-A-T-E-D! AND because we wanted to support them... Oh you can imagine the scene... 35 locals all dressed in green with pom-poms to match, more sushi, ceviche, poki, nori & rice, and guacamole from 5 different families avocado trees, some LOUD mouth mixed Asian-Filipino ( a good friend of mine) in control of the remote and she must have been deaf last night because the TV was so loud I can still hear the Warriors chanting their Ha-A chant!!!

And, it reminded me of Ironman! The boys had been working hard all season, they played great in all their prior games-well enough to qualify them for the Sugar Bowl, and they were ready (a little nervous) but ready. Like Ironman, we race good in most of our races-good enough to get our IM slot, we work hard, sacrifice, then show up for the BIG DAY- maybe even a little nervous. Both the Sugar Bowl and Ironman have a much larger field of talent than most of the "other" races/games throughout the season. But hey, we earned the right to be there win-or-lose.

The Warriors lost (10-41) but hey, they played in the Sugar Bowl! Kinda like most of us that do Ironman, unless you are Wellington or McCormack we didn't win either- BUT we made it to the big game! So, today the Warriors come home and YES, we still love them and think nothing less of them...we are proud!

After watching the game with a bunch of really crazy fans I realized that win or lose the people who support you love you no matter your results. Your race/game outcome does not make you any less of an athlete or define who you are. So, heading into 2008 and as I will race as a professional (yes I finally got the elite card), I will know that just because I get my @$$ handed to me on a plate at some races I am not anything less... like the Warriors, at least I showed up to play...