Monday, March 31, 2008

Reflections of Australia...

THE BEST roomies a girl could ever have! Katya Meyers, Eileen Swanson, & Kim Loeffler
Don't I look SO "happy" about the weekly yoga session?! Don't let the look fool you, I loved Monday yoga... (those that know me really well can tell if I am being sarcastic or if I really loved it).
My roomie! Eileen and me... Gosh I miss our chit-chats at night and teasing her about her GREAT cooking skills. Let me tell you, she makes a MEAN piece of bread (ha ha... wanna burger E?!)
This was the ONLY moment of rest I had all 26 days! Not joking... I "embraced" this for all it was worth!
Nothing like a little back ache! Goofing off with the girls was one of the best ways to get the homesick-ness to hide and to unwind after a big training session!
NOT kidding... Katya and I (all of us actually) are in search of some internet access! We had all of us girls sharing ONE dial-up service so emails, blogs, web sites, photo down loading, phone calls home, work, ect. was really minimal! Here we are trying to steal some wireless action from a condo (no luck)!

Post open-water swim. For sure one of the BEST parts of camp were those sessions in the ocean! Something about being in the ocean makes EVERYTHING amazing in this life!

This was the first race we did. It was literally less than a breath after I jumped off the plane from Hawaii... maybe that is why I am in the back running into the ocean! Yeah, I am the one in the pink in the VERY back with the watch that was reading 11pm and all I could do was think about pillows and a bed!

Post race- fueling.

I had so many wonderful moments in OZ! My highlights were VERY high and my lows were my lowest. Through the ups I gained a bunch of strength and through the lows I gained a great deal of patience & perseverance. I once read an interview from Michellie Jones where she was talking about winning and losing. She said winning is GREAT (of course) but when you win you don't learn much. It is in losing & struggling that you learn the most. So my low moments I am realizing I learned more than if I never endured them... it is those moments on the trip that perhaps will help me to have a super season & maybe even the reason that in this moment I am smiling...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

1st Zimbabwe, 2nd Australia, 3rd Hawaii


That's right! My first professional race and I made the podium...3rd.

The 3 week Noosa/Sunshine Beach training camp leading up to the Mooloolaba Triathlon gave me some much needed confidence, a fresh motivation for sport, and a new perspective (racing as a pro is VERY different than age-group). All I learned has helped me develop into a much stronger athlete and person. It was a life experience that changed me for the better in countless ways.

Being a draft-legal race I had to borrow a road bike and get to know it & love it in about 10 minutes (that is how long I played with it prior to checking it in). Coach gave me the low down on gearing & I was good to go. I could hardly believe I was about to race a road bike, a pro race, and in Australia! I was so excited and full of butterflies, much like the day of my first triathlon ever…I had nothing to lose.

Beautiful Mooloolaba, a calm ocean, running beach start, a few dolphin dives and I was off! The swim was such a feeding frenzy but I was determined to hang onto any feet within reach. I came out of the water 6th or 7th, well over a min. back from the leaders. The massive meter swimming with the Aussie’s must have paid off though because I felt “alive” out of the water rather than my usual “dead” feeling.

Once onto the bike I was full on time-trialling to get out front. Luckily there was an Aussie girl who teamed up with me and we swallowed the leaders by 1-2k into the bike. Our little pack soon formed to 6 and I was like a little kid at Christmas! I could not believe I was in a drafting race, in a pack, in the front! It was so amazing for this rookie! (I still am lovin’ the feelings I had out there). On the bike there were 3 of us taking pulls, long hard pulls, and 3 girls sort of “along for the ride”. We tried to drop them but they were strong enough to hang on & must have had a plan to “save legs for the run”. Oh trust me, I was wishing I was on my good ol’ TT bike so I could have tried to make a get-away-escape!

Onto the run… oh my gosh my legs were shook up! Maybe it was from riding in a position I was not used to or maybe from riding so hard. Within a minute of the run I was in 6th but very calm. In camp I practiced running strong after hard rides & on toasted legs. I just needed to relax, breathe, find my rhythm… I caught 3 girls about 2k into the run. THEN, Rina Hill (Australian Olympian) passed me. I was frazzled. Part of me thought, “Oh that stinks, but oh well, she raced in the Olympics & has several World Cup podiums, she has every right to pass me”. Another part of me, the one my coach is helping me believe in, thought “Hold onto her, just tuck in and hold on, you have worked so hard the past few weeks and belong there”. So I held on. About a mile later I got brave and considered to go around her & I did. I was secretly freaking out but proud that I got the confidence thing going. I pulled away from her, pretty far away in fact, and hugged that 3rd place spot for dear life & made some time up on the 2nd place woman.

Then my biggest disaster from The Great Aloha Run came back to haunt me… the 4th place girl was moving in on me & fast! Coach was at the bottom of the hill just near the finish and told me I have to move and I have to go now! He yelled to me, “Bree, your race is up this hill”. I knew he meant I can hold her off if I put time on her up the hill, but if I don’t she will get me. I put about 6 seconds on her up the hill. Running through the finish shoot I quickly turned back to see her near but not close enough to take my position. I was so happy to have not lost another sprint finish. That hill saved me! Coach saved me! I also set a new off-the bike 10k PR (36:16) AND… I got a pay check for my day at the office!

All in all I have to say my time in OZ was beyond my wildest dreams and surpassed my expectations. BUT it’s not quiet over… the scooter that haunted me nearly every workout in Australia has not left me yet… Ya, you guessed it… I have another 2 weeks with my coach chasing me down on a scooter. At least this time it is in my back yard and I know ALL the best routes to hide from him! (I am partly joking…. I am SO GLAD he his sticking with me for a couple more weeks of training with the Lavacamp).

CALLING ALL KONA GIRLS: You are invited! The Club at 5am Wednesday if you want to run on the tready’s with me and “SURPRISE-SURPRISE “Coach Paul will be there to lead the session! Lana, Brooke, Wendy, Rani, & Naughty I hope you can make it!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Still in OZ....

Training has officially taken over my life. But I am alive & well. It hit me yesterday that I am a "professional". Not just a pro-triatlete... that is just a label or title, but I have a job and triathlon is it! My coach is always telling me to be a "pro". To think and act like a "pro". It wasn't until last night I understood. Lucky me I have a job I love. I don't dread going to work, I don't hate what I do... BUT it is a job and to do it well I need to be "pro" about it treat it like my job.

Basically it has been a challenging week for me. I was slacking about my nutrition, not showing up 15 minutes early to "work", grumpy, using a bad tire that was just asking for flats, & leaving my swim equipment behind... and of course the HR monitor. SO, coach pulled me aside and put it all into view for me. As as teacher I was there 40 hrs a week (at least), an hour before my students, I had the class ready, school suplies on hand, dressed for the job, and ready to go even on days I didn't feel like it. NOW that triathlon is my job (since I agreed to take the year off teaching and chase this dream) I have to be committed to it as if I was working a non-sporty job.

After this little (over 2 hour chat) I felt refreshed. Motivated. I understood. It is all clear to me now... there will be days like the week I had but I have to get down to business and be professional about it... it is my job after all.

In other news... we had 2 photo shoots and 2 news interviews! This part of my "job" is my least favorite... my smile is so dorky and I can hardly stand still long enough! As for the interviews... WHAT A NERD! Yesterdays I had to laugh at myself... and the the one earlier in the week I have no idea what I am even talking about! The earlier one was on YOU-TUBE so if you want to see me in all out dorkiness check it out here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cd1nYQHDUA

I have 3 days till Mooloolaba Triathlon. The race has 3 races going on. An ITU event for those going for their Olympic spots, the Elite race (a drafting pro race not going for the Olympics... thats the race I am in), and an age group race. I am pretty excited to race this season & see just how ALL this training has helped me become a better athlete. Now... remember how the day before the local triathlon in Kona coach had me run 15 miles, and the day before the 5 miler I had to run 90 minutes of intervals... looks like another race of "not an "A" race for me" and I have to ride my bike to the race! I am not kidding... but, like a "pro" I will LOVE my job and still give it my best effort and race with all my heart!

Cheers and Aloha!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Finally saw a Kangaroo...


We have been in OZ just over 2 weeks and I have been bumming about not seeing any roo's yet. Well Happy Easter to me! This morning I saw one! BUT... it looked nothing like I thought they would...
...
For Easter we were served up a 5k and 3x 1k's. The goal: PUSH through any mental blocks that stand in our way. No excuses about the volume we just endured all week, no crying about being homesick on Easter, no wimping out about pains in the hammy or being trashed from close to 30hrs of training... the motto for camp is "confidence" and that was ALL we were allowed to have. A big dish of confidence...
...
The 5k. Our out & back is a nice dirt trail under an umbrella of trees and some kangaroo's in the fields... our mission: to push hard through the "stuff" that fills our heads. Lucky for me Lisa Mensink was with us. I knew if I could hang onto her I would be doing really well. I knew I had to hang onto her if I really wanted to have any sort of amazing running this morning.
...
3...2...1...go! Like normal Bree Wee fashion I go out a bit too hard and on the turn around Lisa is hot on my heals and ready to let her smart pacing punish me. I needed her and she needed me. She is racing at the world cup level and knows women will be in front-she has to learn to let the "bad pacers" go and do her thing, she also knows she needs to hurt to pull in the strong ones that are getting away from her. So, she totally was in control and used me to push herself to a new 5k PR. I used her too when she flew by me. I hung on for my life. I was hurting like never before but did not want to let her go...she pulled me to my new 5k PR too. It was so amazing! Just the 2 of us pushing, pulling, aching, hurting, motivating eachother to a new run pace...a new confidence. Her PR she will have to publish on her own... it was a nice bit faster than mine is all I can tell you and if I was racing ITU this weekend I would be scared of her! I ended up with a 17:28, about 40 seconds faster than my old PR. YES I am stoked about it! It hurt to get after 2 challenging weeks...
...
Now to the 1k's. We all line up and it becomes another "Mensink push Wee" challenge. We are both hurting after that 5k... but no excuses.... (oh, a 1k in American is 2 and a half laps around a track or 1200)
First 1k: 3:20
Second 1k: 3:16
Third 1k: 3:19
...
I am telling you (no joke) I ended in the bushes after all 3 of the 1k's just holding onto my breakfast and my life! I was nearly seeing stars... I have never had such an amazing girl to train with in my life! Lisa truly showed me how to hurt as we ran those 1k's together just torturing eachother worse than if we were to run alone.
...
Lisa will be racing Mooloolaba the ITU World Cup race one week from today... GO LISA GO! I will be in the pro race (non ITU) pretending I am running with her on the same day.
Oh, after the run coach tells us we have one more to go: it ended up being an Easter hunt! It was pretty funny hunting for treats & and even more funny our coach actually gave us treats!
...
Run hard... I am off to swim!
Bree

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hanging Tough...

Just 9 days to go... I am still hanging tough in OZ. Getting my bum kicked and kickin' some at the same time. I have endured my highest volume, most challenging intensitites, and wicked mental games that have me on a roller coaster of highs and lows. In 9 days it will all be over...

I remember coach telling me during Ironman (or any race for that matter) it is really normal to have some high points and great thoughts and some low moments & blahs. I learned that we just have to push through the lows knowing a high is just a moment away. I had a 90 minute stepping run that must have had 72 lows and 73 highs. I went from "I want to walk" to "I am kicking some serious @$$", to "This is riduculous, I could be surfing in OZ", to "I must be running a 5 min. mile"... It was the most insane mental roller coaster ever in my life in sport. Honestly every few strides I went from a high to a low.

Hmm... Oh, I had my first motor pacing too! We had a Friday Group ride that included some studs like Greg & Laura Bennet, Brent Mcmahon, Lisa Mensink, Kim Loeffler, Maki & Hiro from Japan, the Swiss tri team, and a few dozen others. Once the pace picked up I was so excited to be sucking their wheels and taking a nice speedy ride, I even took one pull at the front with Brent. It was exhilorating to be in the mix, feeling strong, confident, and going more speedy than I ever have ridden in my bike life. BUT then we get to a round-about (a turn thingy in OZ) and I hit my brakes (all the ITU studs never hit the breaks and fully sped around the corners) so I got dropped, time trialed and got back on, then we get to another turn and I again slow since I confess I am a bit scared to take a corner at 28-30 mph, so I get dropped, try to get back on... and as I am suffering a scooter (coach Paul) comes to the rescue and I motor pace to the group. It was so much fun! I was feeling my lungs explode and my heart try to jump out of my body as I rode as hard as I could. It pretty much took everything I had to make it... but we finally got to the lead pack! Talk about OUCH! I wish I could down load a watts file or the HR's and speed because it was by far the most ridiculous riding done by my legs!

Oh... after the ride we had to jump off our bikes and run 5 min. full blast, whatever you had left (nothing in my case), then 15 min. easy. I toss my bike, see coach on the scooter, run towards the trail knowing NO SCOOTERS allowed (I was pretty tired of being chased by coach all week), anyways, I ran that 5 min. so hard I bet I out ran all the kangaroos! As soon as my watch hit 5 min. I fell to the ground! I hung onto my knees in pain so bad I thought I just popped out another baby! That was it, that was all I had left in me! The next couple min. I just laid in the dirt, no need to do my 15 min. easy just yet. The couple minutes I laid there felt like 3weeks and 8 elephants ran me over! And when I finally did start my 15 min. easy run I was passed by a woman walking her dog!

Other new stuff for me is swimming. I think I am finally getting a bit more used to the meter thing and the volume "Aussie" swimmers do in one day. This morning was speed morning. We laned up so the fastest people were leading lanes and so forth so you could race the people in the lanes next to you. Of course Greg Bennet, Hiro, Aussie wonder boy 1, and Aussie wonder boy 2, lead, then were the stud women such as Laura Bennet, Lisa Mensink, some other Aussie studs. Okay, now me! I get next to a 14 year old Aussie girl and Aeysha Rollins (my ITU teamate) and some other Aussie boy... Of course I love a good challenge and I have yet to have a GREAT swim here in OZ so I pretty much told myself I have to keep up. AND I raced so hard Max the coach opened the drain and told me that is my puke bucket. Here is the good part... I finally was hitting some respectable 100 meter times... I had a 1:10, and 1:11 in the mix. For me that is AMAZING... I suffer in the swim, I hurt, I cry, I dislike the pool... so I was pretty much calling today my swim day of the year. Luckily for this girl tomorrows swim will be in the surf!

And that is how I have been hanging in OZ the past couple days. Well, I am off to eat! I just got home from ANOTHER swim (yes I had to see that pool 2x today) so I need to eat & sleep and hope the Easter Bunny visits me in OZ tomorrow!

Cheers everyone! Happy Easter...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stepping up & Blocking it out...

What a day! I woke up and had to block out the STIFF & HEAVY feeling in my legs from the nearly 8 hr training day yesterday! I knew if I even thought about the way my legs felt as if an elephant sat on them I would never make it through today...

Our day started out at 4:45am with a "wake up" jog in the dark through Noosa Town near the ocean. Then we hit the beach for another open-water surf/swim session with Max and the Aussie studs. I am really falling in love with these workouts! I find myself dreaming about them. Just maybe in a next life or something I think I want to be a surf-rescue athlete! Okay, back to the swim... we had 3x in & outs, 3x ocean race, 2x in & outs, 2x ocean race, 1x in & out, 1x ocean race. I just love it! It is such a challenge to dive through the waves after nearly being out of breath from running in the sand then chasing Lisa or Molly out to the buoys. I made my challenge of the morning to be "hang the heck on to Lisa Mensink or Aussie Molly no matter what". Talk about OUCH! For sure they are way better swimmers but I want to be a better swimmer so I stepped it up a gear and fought through the waves and through the loss of oxygen and through the pain in my legs and arms... I would have to say mission accomplished on this effort. NO I did not hang onto their feet every meter of the way but I swam WAY better than if I never gave myself that challenge.

Next up... the tready session. I have seen this before. 5x5 sub-threash-hold or threash-hold pace. Once again I had to block out something. Just what I did NOT want: the treadmill with the darn TV attached! So my challenge was looking beyond that darn thing! Okay okay to the session. Lisa Mensink and Aeysha Rollins (my ITU stud teammates) and me had to hammer out 5x5 and not piss off coach Paul. So, he gave us our paces and to his amazement he WAS WRONG! I think the energy in the room and having such positive chicks to run with carried us faster than his expectations of us. I started off on a pace that was my fastest effort the last time I did the workout. Then he spiced it up for me to 18! (in "American" as I would say that was 5:20 miles). I was really loving the challenge to hold on and not fly off and I was loving the fact Lisa (on her way to the Olympics) was just going balls-to-the-wall on 18.5! I have no idea what that is "American". I think it is 5 or 5:10 miles. Whatever it was her pushing made me want to push and made me step it up...

I am really finding that setting the bar higher than you imagine you can go is your best bet to reach new peaks in sport. You just might make it & if you don't most likely you went beyond what you would have done if you set the bar less challenging...

Monday, March 17, 2008

27,450...

That is my swim total! 27,450 yards/meters is the distance my body swam (maybe even floated and drowned) across the pool & ocean! Back home it usually takes me about 3 weeks to reach that much swimming... The swims were mostly meters in a pool with a couple open ocean sessions in waves that looked like I should be surfing rather than swimming. The final training session of the week was a 2,000 meter base swim with the tempo trainer that I "accidently" left back in Hawaii.

We topped off our week at 30 hours (give or take a minute or two). Good news is I made it out in one piece. The week was all quality and lacked any junk miles so I am actually feeling pretty frisky and not beat to a pulp. I have never seen that many hours of training in my 3-4 years of being an athete & at home with the life I lead I am not sure when I will see that many again so I really dug deep to push the home sick tears aside and focus on training.

The bikes were made up of some hill repeats in a big gear (probably my favorite session of the week) where coach followed us up on a scooter & had me day dreaming of Ironman Japan hills. (note to self: I need more than an 11/21 gearing for St. Croix & Japan). We had a nice long rolling base ride, a group ride chasing being world cup ITU athletes and Brent Mcmahon's bum, a couple recovery rides, and every pool swim we had to ride our bikes to & from practice.

Running was my favorite... a run in the Kangaroo forrest (I got so lost and never did see any kangas!), an 8x1 mile grass track session, a tempo brick run off the bike hauling bum to hang with Loeffler, a recovery run (I still don't know how a run can be considered recovery but I am uninjured so maybe it works), and yeterdays long base run along a coastal trail that took me over 2 beautiful white sandy beaches, along a path called "Hells Kitchen" & "Devil's Trail" you can imagine the path for yourself, along cliffs over looking the coast and surfers having more fun than me, & finally next to a naked beach... (of course I stopped to tan naked too)... just kidding...

The week truly was a good one. And today, Monday, is recovery for me. Next week looks a bit different but much of the same if that makes any sense. Then ONE MORE week and I get to hug my Kainoa!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mahalo...

Yesterday my coach gave me some news...news I was happy about, thankful about, and appreciative to recieve. News that is special to me because it goes beyond me alone. It is a ripple effect from those involved in my life & sport.

I was awarded the 2007 Amatuer Female Triathlete of the Year Award. SO, as much as I would like to say it is an honor- it is more of blessing to me to have amazing people in my life that made it happen, that made my 2007 happen. Cheers to you- this is for you!

Many Mahalo's to my amazing Tri-coach Paul- I would have probably killed me by now but you stuck with me, pushed me, believed in me, and kept me focused, I am so thankful for you! To Coach Steve for holding my hand and heart since the day I moved to Kona & jumped in the pool. To Dawn at Splish for my swim suits...you made swimming FUN! To Bike Works Crew for being my family away from home & making racing possible for me. To Brooke for being my biggest cheerleader and helping me with Kainoa and becoming a mom. To Nick for putting the VROOM in my bike. To Jim for loving me-most days that is all I really need. To Kainoa for your smile and helping me remember there is WAY more to life than triathlon. To my family for riding this tri-dream with me. To my under-cover supporters for helping me in ways beyond anything within my means & believing in me enough to support me. To my training partners, Reiko for the rub downs, and Kona community THIS IS FOR YOU!

Okay, off to swim... Ready for 2008? I hope so because I need you again this year and am bringing you along for the ride!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

No loafing with Loeffler...

I got busted, so busted! Today was a 3HR ride with a 60 min. Zone 3 run instantly after dropping off the bikes...

The group ride started off really nice, nice with a great view... the ocean on one side and in front of me was Greg Bennet & Brent MacMon... pretty cool to draft them even if it was the EASY warm up... Just after the pace picked up I rolled over the glass and so did Kim "Loeffler". That meant it was me following her back to town. HOLY crap talk about a ride! I was holding on for dear life! For one I had no idea how to make it back to town (I am directionally challenged here in Noosa) and for two, she is a STRONG cyclist & I wanted to hold on. Darn me, she never let off the gas and I nearly passed out sucking her wheel!

Now to the run... here is where I really got busted. The goal was to run in zone 3 for 60 minutes. I started off following the plan BUT then good ol' Loeffler came running on by (you know her, marathon maniac with a twin sister that runs a 2:33) so of COURSE I let the HR jump to zone 4. Now Lisa Mensink is also in the mix, no way was I going to pass up an opportunity to run with these super stars. SO I hung tuff. We ran a 6:48, 6:09 the first 2 miles, I was running tuff till coach rode by on a scooter and told me to run my OWN pace. SO, the next 45 min. I did my own zone 3. It hurt, it was hot, I was going for it...

Today was certainly a non-loafing day for me chasing Loeffler!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Training in the moment...


I’m sitting on the lanai listening to the sounds of the ocean. It brings back familiar sounds of listening in Costa Rica. The smells are different, the people, and the moods are different. Most of the days are different too. Australia is a place I once wanted to visit as a professional surfer. Now almost 10 years later I am here as a pro triathlete. Swimming in the waves rather than surfing in them has really made me reflect on my life & how every path I once planned is one completely different than the life I live today.

Yesterday I had my first walk on the sandy white beaches of Australia. I was in much need of a little quiet time. Surprisingly I feel less alone and less homesick when I am by myself. Staring out over the ocean and watching the sun dance in the shore break I felt as if I was back in my little town of Kona and Jim & Kainoa were only a breath away.

The sacrifices you make and the things in life you go without in order to reach a goal sure change you as a person. Almost as if you become your very own dream. From a distance I have been watching my team mate Lisa Mensink. Her fiancé and her both gave up their jobs to be here chasing her 2008 Olympic dream. Everything she does in training is a step closer. I saw her at the track shed a few tears as if each lap she ran was a step closer or a step in questioning yourself as an athlete… it is a beautiful thing to see someone’s passion put to the test.

During our hill repeats yesterday I was in awe as Kim Loeffler raced up the hills knowing each climb was a step closer to all that she wants out of sport. By the time she returns home to her husband it will almost 2 months she has been away chasing dreams. But she knows this is what it takes…

Swimming is my struggle, especially long course meters and 5,000 of them at a time. Knowing I gave up time with Kainoa to be here I make each stroke count or for me it is just another day away and closer to nothing. It is like that here… now that we are all tired and knee deep in intense training 2 or 3 sessions a day everything has to count or we are just far from home & closer to nothing.

From the beach running I have caused both my calves to tighten so painfully that it feels as if I have a constant Charley Horse. During the hill repeats yesterday and being encouraged by my team mates chasing their own dreams it was as if the pain hid for a few hours so I could ride my bike like I know how. The goal is to be so focused on your dreams during these training sessions that the pain has no room to hide. And maybe to become your best that is what it takes, pushing aside pain and leaving only room enough for a dream…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Surf's up!

No surfing yet... BUT we had an AWESOME surf swim this morning...
5:30am to the ocean we went to swim and beach run (9x through). It was my most FUN training session in my whole entire life of being a triathlete. I really think this workout was made for a surfer with all the battling of the waves. Not tiny beach break waves, I am talking you could surf these waves if you wanted to. My entire swim suit was filled to the top with sand and my swim cap nearly came off 3 times (my goggles did but I saved them). It is truly a challenge having to swim-run-swim and repeat. When you get back in the water after running and your breath is already gone swimming is a bit of an @$$ kicker, but I was smiling and laughing and cussing in 12 languages through it. My kind of swim for sure!

Next up...eat & nap (yeah life is hard here in Australia)

Then to the track. This was by far the coolest track I have ever seen! It was a grass track! Incredible! The workout was 8x1 mile repeats at off-the-bike half marathon goal pace. We ran in the 1:30pm heat so I felt right at home in the sunshine. I loved this too- I don't do much track training so this had me fired up! THANKFULLY my only problem was pacing... I was making all my goal repeat paces but a little faster than I was supposed to. My biggest challenge is running off the bike & coach is working really hard with me to not push the pace from the start and die a few minutes or miles later. SO I was again pushing my pace... Too bad too because coach was going to buy me a reward (and I had a koala in mind) if I could actaully make the darn pacing!

Next up...eat some lunch

Then a 45 minute core/strength/flexibility session.

And finally... eat dinner & now I am about to hit the sheets!

I would LOVE to post photos BUT we aren't able to with this slow dial-up connection we have going on. I will try to get some pix up soon...

Night!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On the right side...

Today was my kind of day...

Swim practice was way better this morning, I only pushed off on the wrong side maybe 3 times this morning. I also hung tuff and kicked, pulled, swam, drilled, and held my breath for 7 strokes at a time TOO many times all morning-all 5,100 meters & I LOVED it!

Next up, a nice 4:30 hr. ride with the girls up and over & through the hills, woods, farms, fields, and coast. The ride was pretty mello except for 4x20 min. time trial sections to break it up and add some VROOOOM (you know I love that). Having cool chicks to ride with is certainly a blast too. Just when you get a little mentally drained they push the pace and keep you on your pedals... and when you get a little too zippy they reel you in. I was pretty excited about the ride and even more stoked about the company.

Okay, the high-light... a massage! Actually it was more like a pain-fest with a lot of oil and some cuss words about to fly outta my mouth! I have never hurt that bad in all my life...I threw fists and legs and squirms & even jerks. Truly it was an unreal day in the life of a triathlete livin' her dreams in OZ. Did I mention who the massage man was? It was Laura and Greg Bennets "personal" massage guru and dinner chef! Yes, he lives with them in OZ & massages and makes daily dinners for them. I think THAT sounds like a next goal of mine in sport! Ladies... are you interested in seeing the massage man? If so, check him out here... TOBY

Cheers to everyone and I am so thankful for all your super emails & hang-tuff comments! Train hard & smile through it if you can!
Wee

Monday, March 10, 2008

Left Side...

Did you know even in swimming the Aussies swim on the left side of the lane??? I found that out crashing into my lane mates a couple times this morning after pushing off the wrong side of the pool. As for biking... I am not sure how long it will take me to figure out that I have to bike on the left side of the road. After my long ride tomorrow I hope I got it under control!

I have been feeling a bit on the "wrong side" all day today. I know I have lingering home sickness I have been bottling up but today I found out just how much. 5:30am on the pool deck I stood and in a moments time the thoughts of my life in Kona, seeing coach Steve at the edge of my lane, my lane mates, Hualalai Volcano in the back ground, my short course pool, Kainoa running on the pool deck were all of a sudden so far away. I am far away. It felt wrong. Swimming felt wrong too. I could not get my mind or heart to pull myself together. Poor coach Paul, I know him seeing a crying home sick me is not exactly a good sight at that hour of the day. Pretty much he gave me some tuff-love and told me to get my $h!t together.

Here I am now, almost bed time and I think I have my $h!t together... at least I hope so because I have to face that pool tomorrow morning and I am in no mood for being on the wrong side again all day tomorrow...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reporting from Noosa...

G'day mates!!
Talk about spectacular! EVERYTHING is spectacular! Australia is just beautiful & full of life and my roomies are super! I am rooming with Kim Loeffler, Eileen Swanson, & Katya Meyers. The training is off to a good start and looks like it should become an adventure in the days ahead. Tonight we have a "training" meeting with coach to discuss the sessions we are about to embark on. Let's just say next week I have 7 swims in 7 days! (I have never in my life swam that much in 7 days). I swim roughly 3x a week 3,000 yards a workout. I am about to swim "Aussie" style...5,000 METERS 7x!

Let's talk about that race yesterday (today is Sunday so it was yesterday) thanks for all the well wishes... it was silly going from a full day travel-4hrs sleep-to a race all in 24 hours. BUT I embraced the challenge and feel that much better for it. To my surprise I hung tuff on the first swim and came out of the water just a few seconds back from the lead pack. BUT that swim also was a bit speedy for me or maybe my run legs were still on the plane because that run HURT! I slowly faded from 3rd to 6th. Then back for the second swim I was doing all I could to keep from drowning. Now to the second run I think the "Irongirl" in me was holding tuff but the legs weren't wanting to go anything faster than a 6 min. mile pace, so I got passed "again" and finished 7th. I have a ton of valuable lessons to take from this race, A TON! But I will save those for me to use as training weapons for my next race... BUT here is the coolest part, the girls! The girls in the race were so cool, it was like being in the mix with a ton of lighting bolts flying around!
ITU studs Rina Hill, Lisa Norton, Lisa Mensink (team mate and 2nd place), & a few other Olympians and Aussie animals were just amazing to see race that up close! I wanted to ask for aurographs and the girl that I am was actually cheering for my competition! When Smith passed me I was going nuts for her (I know I need to work on this prom queen cheering thing I have going on). And that was the race... in a nut shell. I left out the part of smacking Eileen's @$$ in transition and yelling at her in the swim (during a dolphin dive).

Okay... Sunday. The swim this morning was an Aussie-style surf swim with Max the Aussie. Max leads all the swims here and is so amazing. He may have been a dolphin in a past life or something. We arrive at this BEAUTIFUL huge white sandy beach with head high surf (no joke- big waves) . Max teaches us some cool tricks about dolphin diving, making it out in the surf, riding waves, and other skills that give the Aussies the swim edge in ocean swimming. It was so much fun! A couple times I wondrered why in the world I was swimming & not surfing! Hawaii has not had waves like we swam in this morning in months!!

Now livin' the life, resting before a 2 hr base run through the kangaroo forest! I wish you all were here. Heather Graham-Kim say's "hi". We have been talking about you. Jes-Paul and Lisa say "hi" and we miss you! And Jamie, we all wish you were here! I thought about you swimming this morning & how much more fun it would be than freezing in Canada.

Cheers to you all! Happy training...
Wee

Friday, March 7, 2008

Australia...

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What if your fears and dreams existed in the same place? What if to get to heaven you had to brave hell? What if everything you ever wanted cost you everything you ever achieved?
Would you still go there?

I only cried once. Then I pulled myself together and got my butt on a long flight across the Pacific. 169 miles to Oahu, 5,060 miles to Sydney Australia, then a long delay in Sydney airport due to lightning storms, and finally an hour flight up to Brisbane where I spent my first night in OZ.

4am Hawaii time... I finally arrived to my hotel and the most tired I have ever been in my life. Tired from travel & missing my family. But I did it... I made it by myself.

I just returned from a nice little jog- my wake up call after 4hrs of sleep. I was hoping to shake most of the jet-lag out of my legs. I need to be ready to race. Yes, less than 16 hours after landing I will have my first of 2 races on this trip. One the first day & one the last day. (Today is Saturday-we are a day ahead).

Purely and surely the race will be a suffer-fest. But I love to hurt… the race is swim-run-swim-run. Yeah, I know, I am jumping into a slow death racing the Aussies in a double swim race. My biggest challenge in sport I get to do twice in one race. I like that though, I enjoy being humbled and I enjoy having to work hard. Besides, if this trip to OZ doesn’t hurt Jim will call it “vacation”.

After the race we will head to Noosa area and start the training camp…

So I ask myself, am I ready for my season to start? Am I ready to set more challenging goals for myself? What will it take to be a better me this season than I was last season and will I go to that place to find out?

I am going…