Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Making Peace...

Today is very cool because I finally, FINALLY, finally got a little phrase to stick in my head when I need something stuck there...

"Make Peace"

I am doing my darnedest to become my best at sport, but not lose who I am and the reason I love triathlon, and to keep balance in my life... admittedly, many days my "balance" act tends to lean slightly on the fun side. That's fine until race day when it's not fun getting your bum kicked. Last night I did something brave. I called Luis De La Torre. He is one of the very best athletes in the world not professional. Could have been pro, should have been pro, raced all over the world with Mike Pigg, Mark Allen, and that gang back in the day. He always finished up all the races with them as "top amateur" and still today he does. Then and now he finishes up in position to kick a bunch of the pro's butts too...

Anyways, he lives and trains on the island. I know him pretty good. And when I see him I go the other way. He scares me. I'm absolutely 100% intimidated by him. He drives a HUGE black truck, his bikes are all black (no logo or brand on them), he trains in black, he trains in the middle of the day in secret spots, alone. I'm not making this up. In fact, our local news paper even published an interview with him about his stealth training...

I've been on a few group rides with him, shared a lane with him at masters, I even have his phone number, but any solo time with him scares the living crap out of me. Back to being brave...

With my team all gone, me here wanting to get better and faster, I needed a new approach. One that does not allow IPODS, searching for fish, waving to everyone like I'm in a parade while running down Ali'i Dr. I needed to go hurt and make it count and suffer and find out how to do that. Last night I picked up the phone, dialed Luis (secretly wished I would get his answering machine), and I called him...

"Luis, it's Bree. I need help. I have intervals on the bike tomorrow and I need to make them count. I need to get really fast if I'm going to have any chance at getting better. Can you ride with me?" I almost passed out, I said all that super fast, no breath, with a panic in my voice, much like a boy asking a girl on a date for the first time, and I just waited for his response...waiting...waiting...waiting

"Sure, what's your ride?", he said. Instantly life got really bitter sweet for me. Sweet because this is the road to improvement and I was about to get on it, and bitter because I would not be cruising down Queen K with music in my ears and I might hurt, if I even survive a ride with him...

Drop Kainoa off at school, get to the pool, stand around talking to other riders who enjoy socializing. Laugh and joke and giggle and smile... then the HUGE black truck pulls into the parking lot and IT KEEPS ON GOING. Everyone in Kona parks in the front, EXCEPT Luis. He drove all the way to the back of the pool side, far from the chatter and ruckus that happens in the front of the lot. (again, not making this up, he is a man on a mission at all times and he has the results to back up his training ethics).

Now I am nervous as can be, I slowly pedal back to his truck, he is on a step stool getting ready, he is really professional about this... I break the ice with, "I am really intimidated by you and what brand of bike is that?" Boys like to talk about bikes, I figure this would be good conversations. The easy warm up is actually really enjoyable, he is a nice guy, just fast and focused, but nice.

Now to round 1 of 5 rounds of PAINFUL INTERVALS. I tell him my frustrations with riding and pacing and this and that, he sets off and we are "building" because the job is to finish the 5th one as strong (if not stronger) than the first... nice concept... it still hurt. He asks my HR...um... well... it's not working. Now I really feel like a tool! I'm supposed to be the pro here and know my HR and be using it and my HR monitor is not reading! (honest, it was being fussy). SO I just rode harder and faster and I even moved in front of him, I figured that if I made a move it meant my HR would go up...

Recovery. I am so smashed but so happy to have pushed that hard, no way would I have ridden like that alone and no way did I want him to think he was wasting his time, I was trying to prove myself... Now the HR monitor is working... 162(that's good for me, I struggle getting my HR to the 160's on the bike).

Round 2, no talking, he really does not say a single word during these efforts. Same story, work hard, prove myself... HR 165. Then during recovery he says something... He tells me that the difference between me and the best girls in the sport is that they have made peace with this type of training. Huh? Mmm.... Okay, Huh? At first I didn't get it.

I love my bike, I love riding it, what kind of peace are we talking about here Luis? He explains to me that it's okay not to like it, or enjoy the pain or to go hurt and suffer. I don't have to wake up wanting to go ride myself into the ground. Those feelings of love and passion for intervals don't have to exist to be successful. In fact, you can hate it. But you must make peace with it. You have to know that to get better it has to be done. Not just go ride hard 5x. You have to literally go make 5 rounds (or whatever the challenge is) take you to a place of severe pain that you want out, want nothing to do with it, but you go there anyways and you accept that you are there for a reason, you accept the pain and you do it. All of it.

Bree, make peace with it.

The next 2 rounds are amazing, I feel like I am flying. I tell myself to just go make some peace. Just go accept the fact this is the workout and going around it, changing it, making it even a little easier will never get you to the top... go chica go, I tell myself. I just try to race Luis. My HR now hits 171. The ultimate top HR I have ever seen in my life on a bike. I want to fall over or stop at a wall or just get off the ride... Red light please, anything to save me... nothing... just 2 more minutes of recovery where Luis tells me if he was Coach Paul he would take my IPOD and not give it back to me until the day after Ironman... I, Bree Wee was about to kick his @$$ for even suggesting such a thing!

Last round, the race is on! I kid you not, I was going to race him! Who cares if I ran 18 or 28 miles yesterday, who cares if I want a recovery week, it was time to make peace with intervals on my bike, getting my bum kicked, and learning how to ride my bike the way it was built to be ridden...

HR 174, my legs are pushing so hard there are no more gears! I am not drafting (by the way Luis never let me behind his wheel, he rode next to me so I could not cheat), the race was totally on! He was telling me to make every second count, not just hope the final 90 seconds get over quick, to ride harder for 90 seconds! And that was that! 174, by far my max HR on the bike ever in life! In fact, I waited at a light that wasn't even red just to get my breath, I was falling over and little chunks of breakfast were in my throat. Luis spun easy looking back for me, there was nothing left to prove, I laid it all out there, that was making peace if ever I made peace in my life!

Oh, it gets better. Tuesday swim fun with Coach Eric. Literally, I go from bike to pool and since coach banished all solo swims for me I have to get in the water. I decided today would be a good day to make peace with the pool too... yuck...

Yay swimming! There is nothing peaceful about me in a pool...

Warm up hurt, everything hurt after that ride. Coach Eric moves me into the fast lane with Felix leading. (obviously Coach Eric had no idea I just made peace on my bike) today the fast lane might lead to me getting lapped.

Main set starts with 3x(6x 50's then a 200) as a broken mile. The first of the 50's on the 35! I am not laughing, peace my @$$ I am thinking... Coach Eric looks at me, he knows my passion for the pool (or lack there of) and he knows I need everything made manageable, so he tells me to make the first one and hold that pace, then each 200 build...I love Coach Eric, he makes swimming feel easy... simple, just hold a pace then build...easy... let's go peace, I'm giving peace a chance!

31 seconds...hit the wall go, go again, go more, hold the heck on, I am cussing at myself, now the 200... My plan is to go SO HARD on the first 25 that I catch Amee and draft her for 150. Nice, it works. It felt so easy I am thinking it must have been a 2:40 or something, it was a 2:25...(mind you the next 2 have to be faster and there is no rest before it, it comes right after the fast 50's where I am already pooped from).

30! Nice, maybe I can break that beast with my new plan of peace! I am totally making peace today! ....5 more 50's...then the 200. 2:19, okay moving up in the world... back the 50's that hurt, peace, peace, peace, peace, at this point I am imagining Rachel Ross flashing that peace sign she always does in her fotos...

Last round of 50's go same as the other 2 rounds except I feel better, good in fact, maybe I like 50's after all... then the 200... Not a PR but another 4 seconds better, after that ride I'll take anything!

After dragging my butt out of the pool... there is a new level of appreciation for sport... it was the fact that it hurts so good when you are done and the only way to get that feeling is to go bravely to that place and get it...literally it was like I had to walk to the door of pain, knock on it, and make a peace offering that it wins (as in pain will always come when you work hard).

After that bike/swim peace it was time to get LOUD!! CELEBRATION!!! This foto is from Playa Hermosa April 7, 1998 and today is my 11 year anniversary of my favorite day on Earth (after Kainoa's birth)!! Only 4 friends in Costa Rica, my mom, sisters, and a hanful of friends/family in Florida know about this day and what happened, I love this day so much and that place so much and I like keeping it a secret so much too! Nuff said, me & Kainoa gotta go celebrate more...

It is also "National Thank Your Sponsors Day". Not really, I made that one up, but I'm making it a holiday! Kainoa and I sent "Mahalo' gifts" to every sponsor I have (except the ones in Kona, we just made them cookies and drove them to their shops). Seriously, after this training block I would be lost without my sponsors, THANK YOU GUYS, I LOVE YOU!

Time to go make some more peace...


.



34 comments:

Dolphin Boy said...

Thanks Bree!
I found a "peace" of cookie crumbs today!!LOL

Kiet said...

Great story Bree. Somehow, I thought you were already tough so all this working out harder is news to me. The ART session went well and it wasn't as painful as I thought, maybe he was going easy on me for my first visit so that I'll come back? Looking forward to hearing about the pain sessions to come.

kerrie said...

ugh - good point, i don't necessarily like it, but it's true. i need to remember that next time i'm in the pool.

nice work on the bike!

Teresa said...

Great post! I love how you make every second count!
tn

Ramon Serrano said...

Chica this is a must read for everyone, Happy whatever it is day! See you in a couple of weeks!"The best gift you can give a sponsor is to succeed and be a top contender" Peace!!!!!!!!! luv Ramon.

Oscarjet said...

Hello Bree , thanks for visit my "far away blog".... :)
Your spanish is very good, even down you can translate the blog using the tool on the right side in the middle of the page so far...

I´m glad to know triathlet dudes around the world, i got argentinians, brazilians, portugueses ....a now from Hawaii, i have to say that is a amazing place for us...
I linked you on my blog to be informed about your next goals , and i really like your site...
You got a nice baby and family....we are waitting for a baby on August....we are exiting....
we keep in touch !! :)

Leah said...

Great post. Really inspiring! I am going to think about this next time I have a hard workout that scares me. Like right now!

Chloe said...

Great post! And yes, I would totally find they guy intemidating! But once again, thanks for the inspiration!

miles99999 said...

For someone who is now just starting to get serious about triathlons after three years of racing, I really took a lot from your post today. I have always been a runner who could get by with running hard, but never really push myself beyond my comfort zone. I realize that I can do so much better, so much more if I dig down deep and push myself.

Thanks for the great post and motivational blog.

Jamie

bart said...

inspirational! I'm going to print out that pharagraph and stick it to the fridgge door!

GoBigGreen said...

Bree, good job. The only way i can make peace with the pain locker on the bike is to do alot of TTs. They hurt, but they also help me embrace the discomfort.
Keep at it...you are doing great!

ADC said...

"Making peace" - I like it. Great work on the bike Bree.

bart said...

ust stopped by to read it again... I reckon Luis is a great guy.
Btw a great picture at the top of your post as well.

Marni said...

Great post!
I can tell from your blog that you had a happy day yesterday! I love that pic of you with your bike! Looks intimidating! :)
-marn

Cricket said...

For a while I thought you were going to tell us Luis was Batman! Is his house in a black cave? Lave Tube? Ha! Ha!
Too cool- love your post.

t-odd said...

OMG (I totally feel like a 12 year old girl typing that) you are really developing into a contender. Way to "feel the fear and do it anyway." You are going to be so fricking fast! Keep up the good work and spend more time with Luis. Peace!

Slow Rider said...

as a novice, training for my first 70.3, I loved this post.
Thanks for the true look into your training and mind.
http://loveandtwowheels.blogspot.com/

Rebecca DeWire said...

This post was super motivating. I have intervals scheduled today on the trainer and now you have inspired to go hard, really hard! Assuming my daughter takes her nap as schedule, I am going to make peace with the pain and accept that this type of training is necessary to get better. Thanks for a great post!

Nat said...

Bree-
Love/hate this post. So close to my heart right now...I love my run, love my bike, and I am willing to suffer there. However, I really struggle with swim speed, decided to take off swimming from Oct-Dec last year, started up again in Jan. and almost quit completely last week, but my husband tenderly encouraged me to try swimming with the local university's masters swim team yesterday. The coach is phenomenal. I went, I loved it, I will go back. I never really let myself feel pain in the water, but I now know I need to make my own sorta peace with that kinda pain. Thank you so much for this post! Very inspiring, as always.

Natalie

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

GREAT JOB BREE!!!! Way to really push through and set new heights for yourself! That's great!! keep up the fantastic training and great work!!!

Missy said...

Thank you for the affirmation that "the pain will stop sooner if you just go faster" mantra that I play in my head on a regular basis!

Sounds like you got just the perspective you needed!

LizE said...

I'm going to be quoting that in my head when the pain comes, especially race day!! Awesome write up. Felt like I was there ;)

Roo said...

Great post Bree!

Charisa said...

Awesome bike/swim workouts!! I have trouble getting my HR above 165 on the bike - 160s just HURT. I've got to make peace! :) Thanks for always inspiring me to train harder!

Running~Jordan said...

This post is inspirational. I like, too, that you asked for help from this rogue of a local hero :) Too cool! (what kind of bike was it?).

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Just the motivation I need to make intervals count. Thanks for sharing.

CoachLiz said...

Total inspiration! You have to feel good about the effort that you put out and about over coming your fears about contacting Luis. I think that you will find yourself leaving the iPod at home more often on those workouts. Sometimes you do have to face the voices in your head and give them a stern talking to and let them know who is in charge.

My coach told me a few years ago that I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It took me a while to grasp the concept but when the lightbulb went on and I stepped out of the box, some amazing things happened. I know that amazing things are going to start happening for you this season if you keep this up.

Good on ya!

IronBob (swimming upstream at IMAZ 08) said...

Hey Bree, I'm late because I was at the Masters (no training, darn!)
I think Luis wants you to do what Happy Gilmore does... go to your Happy place.. (I knew you would love some old school inspiration)

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice workouts! Holy crap, girl!

I like your theme too. I think I "made peace" with my run during IM NOLA 70.3 on Sunday. The story will be up tomorrow...

Have a good week!

donna furse said...

you truly wrote what I have been feeling. Thank you for the guidance, hopefully I will follow suit. I need to know I can be better and pushing oneself is part of that. Thanks

Lora said...

I make peace by saying, "Thank you, but I'll pass." Ha ha.

In all seriousness, so glad I stopped by today. I'm at a point where I just need to take it to the next level and I'm going to think of this post next time the going gets rough. I can't keep taking a pass anymore.

Have an awesome day, and thanks for sharing your stories.

Maggs said...

Great post! And I am so up for coming over to Kona for a Lake Placid training weekend. My long training starts the first weekend in May. Though I bet I'll be dying like you were on your ride with Luis!

That's awesome you're doing the race too, now my goal will be to finish the first loop of the run before Bree finishes the whole dang race. It's good to have a race goal now ;-)

Monica Kvas said...

Amazing post! Love how you're always able to add humor in all your posts! Always a fun read! Peace out!

Sherry said...

Best. Post. Ever. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. Thank you!