Thursday, May 28, 2009

Buoy Swim Thursday...

Audrey, my lovely Lifesport team mate is here from Canada. Our coaches gave us a "Thursday Buoy Swim". It's short and sweet for race week. To make it even more fun we gathered up some Kona locals to play with us...

JUST in case you need a Thursday swim set for race week, we are lending you ours. It's short enough to not poop you out, long enough to help loosen you up, and just the right amount of speed to fire up the engine and let the body know a race is coming. If you can gather some friends it's fun getting in some drafting practice and pre-race commotion fun too!

Warm up: 5 min. easy swim (or to buoy 6)
12x50 as DPS/race pace (from one buoy to the next), 20 rest
4x 25hard/25easy (turn over, holding water practice).
Cool down: 5 min. easy (back to shore)

In other news... I just hung up with Delta. To everyone that was so kind and giving, he says mahalo! He is so positive it's hard not to smile talking to him. He said he has made the choice to only listen to the positive things and ignore the negative ones the doctors and others say. It's working!

When he was diagnosed he was given 3weeks. He has now survived 4 months! Only 2 people in Hawaii and less than 100 in the US have survived 4th stage small oat cell cancer of the lungs. I'm pretty sure it's because of his attitude!! This week he silenced the doctors who thought he would never walk again as he took 30 steps!

Almost show time and cheers to another 30 steps!!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh Yeah, A Race is Coming...

Training has been so much fun lately! Most of it has been in the company of some friends in town for Hawaii 70.3. We had 7 of us on my last long ride (I have never had 6 people wanting to ride long all at one time!). We had more jokes fueling us than gels! I've had run partners, ride partners, and most of Kona Aquatics swim open water yesterday! I even got Kate-O to run with me today!

I've learned a couple things...

If you say, "I'll bring the fuel", "I'll bake", "I promise, it's any easy day", "I found a new trail", "There is a really good beach you can swim at post workout", or "I gotta tell you about this...", then you can pretty much convince anyone to join you on a training session or two!

This morning Kainoa was helping me change my bar tape. AND it hit me... Honu is Saturday! Kate-O and I were doing some short intervals this morning and she was telling me she doesn't even know where her race belt is. AND it hit us, HONU IS SATURDAY! We discovered when the race is in your back yard you don't get that "pre race anxiety-must pack-check list" thing that happens when you travel to a race. When you travel to a race you pack all your racing things and they are all there pre-race. When you don't have to travel you just expect them to be there, in your house somewhere, and you go from there...

I'm not sure if I like this, it might be even a little too much chillaxin' for me. I made a pack-list and am going to set it all out as if I am getting ready to leave for a race. Kate-O, I dedicate this pack list to you too, since you are chillaxin' tooooooooo much!


  • Cap and goggles (emergency goggles too)
  • Vaseline
  • Sunscreen
  • Blue Seventy
  • Race Suit
  • Timing chip strap
  • HR monitor
  • Black permanent marker
  • Bike (tuned up & cleaned)
  • Bike helmet (Thanks Bruce!)
  • Bike shoes (Thanks Jackie!!!!!)
  • Aero bottle/favorite water bottle
  • Gels, salts, carbo pro
  • Shades
  • Race belt
  • Race Wheels
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip ties
  • K-Swiss bubble shoes
  • Hat
  • Race belt (if we don't have to wear it on the bike)
  • gels/salts

Okay, GOT IT! Now I just need to wake up, eat breakfast, and drive to the race... I can do that. It's already Tuesday! I can hardly wait...after having to miss HONU last year, then thinking I would not be racing it this year, (because it's a week before REV3), I was bummed beyond words! Just getting to that start line in one piece is making me excited!

Happy Training!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

FBI...From Big Island...

Delta surviving another day in the hospital...

I've been wanting to write about FBI (From Big Island) for a little while now, but I was at a loss for words, partly because I didn't really know the whole story. AND I still don't. I just know it a little better today. I talked to Loki (Big Island's hot surfer/triathlete/super model chick), because I need a hat from her, an FBI one to wear at Honu....

I know I am supposed to wear my Lifesport visor, but Honu is close to home (my back yard) and Delta (the founder of FBI) is close to home, a Big Island local boy, and I feel the need to support him...

Delta is one of those ALOOOOOOOHAAAAA kind of guys, the kind that just loves on everyone, gives to everyone, shares with everyone, talks to everyone, is kind to everyone. The Kona community is his whole life. Paddling, surfing, running, a local life guard, giving back to the keiki of Hawaii, and any other way to keep our little town little and the vibe friendly is always his mission. If you run down Ali'i and hear a hoooooot or holler it might be him, stoked that you are doing good to your body. Being so stoked on the Big Island he created FBI clothing a few years ago. Really fun stuff to let all us locals have a brand that sets us apart. He tried to do good to his body too, in fact he might be one of few people that can handle more smooooooothies than me.

January 28, 2009 Delta was diagnosed with lung cancer. It runs in his family and took the life of his father and brother. Since late January he has been undergoing chemo and recently he was put in a wheel chair. Today I called him, he sounded so good, I suppose somethings just can't knock a really good person down. He is fighting daily for his life and all that he believes in totally hit home to me this week.

Even though I am fine, having a cancer scare wakes you up just a bit. I mean, I already thought I was living life to the fullest! ALMOST everything on my "To do before I die" list has been checked off. He might not be so lucky and it's a darn shame because he is so awesome! Anyways, all week I dedicated to him. I surfed a couple sessions because I love the ocean and because I get to (he can't), I ran my hardest, biked as good as I could, swam my tail off, and made sure to hang out with friends, because I get too...

This week I also had a small, too short, chat with my local buddy Brown Bear, you all have heard about him. His wife Sunny recently lost her battle to breast cancer. And today I got to hang out briefly with my friend Michelle. She is fighting for her life too. Man that girl can ride! When I first got into biking she scared me! Cancer is keeping her off her bike these days. Today she had hair though and looked as beautiful as ever! Today hurt a lot, talking to 2 friends dying, another great friend who lost the love of his life and is dealing with it every waking moment, and then I just get to skip right on over it all with a warning... I felt so bad...

I never dedicated a race to anyone. So in a week from today, I will not race for me. I am going to race for Delta, Michelle, and Brown Bear. 3 of the greatest locals on the Big Island! I'm pretty excited about it too. Just to recognize something bigger. It already takes away my pre-race fear of Belinda Granger, (believe me on this one, I've seen her around town this week training and she is pretty scary).

Kainoa's first outfit! He wore this home from the hospital a couple years ago...

Playing bike mechanic in my FBI...

Happy Holiday Weekend! Go find a BIG adventure!
AND be sure to LOVE on the people in your life...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Aussie Train & The Ocean...

My entire day was one of those, "What would coach say?" kind of days. An early solo pool swim. Just me, some chlorine, and coach in my head telling me to "Do a good job." I did the warm up sets. Then I looked around, again, and again, and again... nobody...not a single person to swim the 6x400's on 5 minutes with me.

Round 1...actually pretty easy, today might be a good solo swim day. Round 2....I like that too. Round 3 and 4 weren't too shabby, actually getting some rest (by Bree Wee standards that is). Then round 5 and 6 coach would not get out of my head! Hold form, pick it up, imagine getting a draft off feet you want, reach, roll your hips, this and that... SILENCE please! It would not let up... I won't complain though, it got me moving my booty and before long I was done! Solo pool swims are getting more fun, WAIT, still can't use FUN to describe them, they are getting more "manageable".

Just like in a LONG race day you have to be able to bring yourself back, bring back the focus when you day dream, drift off, and zone out... it's still a work in progress for me, solo pool swims are my way to defeat it...

Now for a ride. ONCE was in my ear . I could hear him telling me to put on the HR monitor, not wear the IPOD, and to take my nutrition seriously. Honestly, it was so loud and clear, I thought he was there...Please God no...

The warm up is lovely. Nice and steady, me and Jerry Ewing (he is the run director for Honu/Hawaii 70.3, of course I am inquiring about the changes they made for this year). Jerry turns and I am left to start my intervals. Main set 10x5 minutes at pace/HR goal. Yes, you guessed it, coach in my ear telling me to take it seriously, focus, and make it a good ride. The entire first hour went pretty good. Found some rhythm, enjoyed all the sunscreen burning my eyes, and the winds were pretty calm. After some pooped legs and a smile of satisfaction about a swim & a ride well done, I begin the recovery ride.

THEN a train came! Yes! A real live train on the Queen K! I am cruising along (this time fully enjoying the IPOD because I am done with my intervals and rolling back to town). At first I think it's a semi truck about to blow me over. No, it's Luke Mckenzie. Then I think the cross winds are flaring up, no, it's Belinda Granger, then I mistake Justin Granger for a sports car... it was the Aussie Train!

They are flying like I have never seen a pack fly down the Queen K. They get a bike or 2 length ahead of me, my heart is still pounding from the pace they blew by on. AND you guessed it, I hear coach Paul, "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!" He must know my every move or be reading my mind all the way from Canada... without hesitation I move as fast as I can to try and grab that train!

Imagine a pack of wild horses, running SO fast in a field, the kind of horses with beautiful legs that look so powerful. That is the view I had from behind the Aussie Train. I could not believe the quads on those 3. I was like a little mouse in the corner hoping they don't notice I am trying to draft off them. This was the kind of thing that had me just pinching myself. About 10 minutes later I hear Coach again (I had him slienced pretty good for the first 10 minutes). He was asking, "BREE ARE YOU DOING YOUR OWN WORKOUT? ARE YOU FOLLOWING YOUR PLAN?" Clearly that train was not my recovery pace. Not even close. I tried to reason with coach (in my head of course). My reasoning was, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! I mean, this was not a little cruise ride, they were moving, not even talking to eachother, they were focused and flying! I don't know if Lance Armstrong rides that fast when he is in town...

Check out the view! 3 flying Aussie's on the Queen K!

I hang on some more. We get to the little climb before Vets and the HR is so far beyond cool down pace, I am pretty sure the Aussies could hear it beating out of my chest. I just keep hanging on. I hear coach, yelling of course, and I don't know what to do. I hold on a little longer... a little longer... a few more minutes won't kill I enjoy the Aussie Pain Train some more. About 15 minutes from my stop point I decide maybe I should do the recovery thing now. I would be lying if I said it was an easy choice. It wasn't. I wanted to ride all the way back with them. In stead I turned up the tunes and pulled out my camera (of course). I had to snap a shot of the Aussie Train before it was too far out of sight. It's not every day a Kona girl gets to chase kangaroos!

That was fun., however my day is not over just yet. I still have to run (today was a full on triathlon day). After hearing Jerry say they changed the run to 6.5 miles of grass I did something really boring. I ran loops in the grass for my entire run! It felt like a hamster in a wheel. Coach was in my head telling me, "Good, at least you are running in conditions similar to race conditions, and at least you got into your run shoes in less time than it takes you to open your big mouth, and I'm glad you are still in your HR monitor, and NOT using the IPOD". That is correct! I ran over and over and over and over in a small grassy field for too long to count with no music to save my life. THAT is called "finding focus".

After the wonderful news that Dr. Scheel cut out the precancer in time & everything will be okay if I keep up with my check ups and gallons of sunscreen, I REALLY needed to celebrate! Take a deep breath-yes-coach Paul was in my head! He must have felt salt water running through his blood just as I was thinking about surfing.

After logging out my training to coach I did a little surf check, small but fun looking. I waxed up the board, put on 3 layers of sunscreen, then thought about it. Just thought about it. Dr. Scheels says I can get into the ocean, coach wants me to wait on the ocean till after the stitches come out. I never disobey my coach, I respect him too much and he has done a world of good for my life. But this one thing I doubt he would understand...I really needed in the ocean. Some people celebrate with a beer or some kind of fiesta, I need the ocean.

I paddled out, took a deep breath, duck dove under a little set, then smiled to be in the ocean, on my board, with some friends. My first wave was pretty ugly. BUT the second one had me smiling so big my face hurt. A couple little turns, back over the top, and paddle for more. Ahhhhh, that is living! The ocean has given me so much joy I simply can't resit returning to it for more. I stayed out till almost sunset, completely refreshed from the training, refreshed from waiting for results, refreshed from the little things in daily life...

Driving home from the beach I was reflecting on the day... Happy about my solo swim, spiking my HR on the Aussie train, making myself run around a small grass field with no distractions, then getting to enjoy the ocean. Nice day to say the least. Of course I still hear coach in my head, then I check my emails, sure enough, he had a simple response for the swim/bike/run...

Hi Bree, Looks like a great day for you. 178HR on the bike. That’s high for you! Recover well. How are your stitches healing?


Dear Coach, The stitches are just fine, a little salty, but I covered them with that infection medicine...I'm stoked on the swim/bike/run! Yeah, the bike HR was crazy high for me, I was chasing kangaroo's. Oh, I took a little surf, that was the best recovery I could do for myself, you'd be proud I didn't hit the reef at all today!


Monday, May 18, 2009

New To Do In Kona...

When you live on an island you soon find each and every nook and cranny. Before long you know the "secret" beaches, the popular spots, the more affordable grocery stores (or the ones that always have what you need), the gals that give you free veggies at the markets, the safest cliffs to jump off, and almost each and every run or ride. When something new comes to town it's the "talk of the town" for weeks! Kind of like when Taco Del Mar opened or the new little taco shop on Kaiwe.

Recently the "talk of the town" has been the new little pottery place that opened next to Sumo's. last week Kainoa and I had to check it out and it was WELL WORTH the visit! You can choose your own plate, rice bowl, mug, or whatever you like, paint it, then come back in 3 days and claim it!
Highlights include: Making a HUGE mess and not having to clean it up. Letting Kainoa mix all the colors and paint the table, himself, and the side walk as if he's Leonardo Da Vinci! Being able to eat/drink from something you decorated to fit your style. It's really a great recovery activity if you ask me!

It's becoming a little addictive. GOOD thing they have sales! Yep, stop in and check out their discount days. Okay, that's my ramble on "Big Island To Do's". If you want more things to do, places to go, people to see, check out the FBI (from big island) blogs. Damon (from Hilo) linked up all the people that have the savvy on what's happening on all the sides of the island. It's pretty cool being able to find out sport reports, wave reports, days the markets are happening, earth quake drama (like the one that hit yesterday), local recipes, when Mauna Kea has snow, what live shows and concerts are coming. Click the foto below to check it out....

And if you want a new hobby, check out Pele's Pottery, next to Sumo's, near Sack N' save...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17th...

Kinda boring being banned from the ocean/beach for the weekend, to keep from going stir crazy I did lots of 17ish things on May 17th...

I blended a wheat grass smoothie for 17 seconds...

Ran 17 miles along the Kona Coast and accidentally got the stitches sweaty...

I "attempted" to eat 17 papayas, they have a lot of cancer fighting goodness and help with inflammation (great idea post long run).

Read 17 pages and FINALLY finished one of the coolest books ever written! It's the only chick to win 7 World Titles surfing, it took her 8 years to win her first one. The story is all about her ups and downs on becoming successful in her sport, a GREAT read even if you don't enjoy surfing... lots of motivation on becoming a champion. Layne even wrote a message to me in this copy!

Wrote 17 paragraphs in my book!!

Made 17 batches of weezle balls for friends.

Sat in my sisters tub, with ice, for 17 minutes post run

Ate 17 grams of protein on my fish & spinach salad (after stealing 17 stalks of asparagus from Brooke)...

Bought 17 mountain apples from the farmers market- BUY LOCAL!

(check this out, the orange is RED!!) It has nothing to do with 17, but I thought it was so cool the farmers market has red oranges (called blood oranges).

Day dreamed for 17 minutes about being at my favorite beach
(wearing sunscreen of course)

I did some research and discovered 17 of the GREATEST cancer fighting foods:

Tomatoes, broccoli, berries, soybeans/soy nuts & tofu, tea, pumpkin, spinach, ginger, apple, garlic, pineapple, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, red & yellow peppers, squash, and carrots.

That's all I got... think I'll go bug Brooke and Nick for 17 minutes, or till they kick me out.


Friday, May 15, 2009

New Bikini & Rash Guard, 4 Stitches, and 10 Days NO OCEAN!

Sounds like the time I ran head first into the rocks and ended up with staples in my head after a bad surf accident! No, nothing that exciting. May is "Skin Cancer Awareness Month" and I became AWARE of it today...

After morning swim I had a little dermatologist exam, no biggie. Then was my nutrition session (with my same awesome doctor). It felt more like girl chat. As I was about to leave I get called back into Dr. Scheels office. Get naked, time for a full sun-damaged-skin-exam. I wasn't really worried. I wear sunscreen EVERY DAY, I never "tan" (as in just lay on a towel in the sun), and I RARELY eat foods from boxes or cans. The fact I had on ugly underwear scared me more than her possibly finding something other than wrinkles and some sun spots.

This is what I learned:

  • Actinic Keratoses (AK) - the first stage in skin cancer. Small and scaly spots, mostly found on the head, neck, ears, face, lower arms, and hands. Proper use of sunscreen can prevent AK even after sever sun damage
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma- The most common type. They grow very slowly (over months and years), usually in fair skinned people. Left untreated can begin to bleed and spread to the bone and nerves.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma- The second most common skin cancer. Typically found on the ear, face, mouth, lips. Sometimes bumpy. When found early there is a 95% chance of curing.
  • Malignant Melanoma-The most deadly of all skin cancers. estimated 8,000 Americans a year die from melanoma. Usually appears in mixed shades of tan, brown, and black. Sometimes red or white. Usually begin near a mole, moles serve as markers for increased risk.
My beautiful, perfect skinned, no sun damaged doctor found the black one, the melanoma one (bullet number 4) on me. She said we need to get it out now. In my typical chill, laid back fashion, I am not at all nervous. I let her know I have to talk to Coach Paul about a good day to have the little operation because he might kill me if I miss 10 days of swimming.

Her response, "No Bree, now. We have to do it right now." I was kind of shocked, don't people make plans for these things and take a day off to come in and have this sort of thing done. Before long I was numb under my left collar bone and asking my doctor if she is serious. What a tom boy she is, I told her to her face she was being a real tom boy just cutting into me right then and there dressed in nice clothes. Then she gave me 4 stitches and asked if I was surprised she can sew. Yes, I was.

Now what's a girl to do? On not-so-good-days I ALWAYS go to the ocean and now I can't. Today I was told to stay out of the water for 10 days and all I really needed to do after a morning like this was go in the ocean and swim out really far to find dolphins. With the help of some water proof band aids, plastic sticker thingy's to cover the water proof band aids, and some cream stuff (to prevent infection on open wounds) to put on after I swim, I am allowed back in the pool on Monday. The ocean has a bunch of staff, I guess pools are cleaner (doubt it, everyone on my team pees in it).

Tuesday I get the low-down if I'm in big sunny trouble or not. I'm feeling optimistic, as usual. In fact I celebrated that every little thing is going to be okay by hitting the surf shop and buying a NEW BIKINI! I know what you are thinking, that I did not learn my lesson yet, I did, but I'm not allowing myself to be scared, and bikini's make me smile, besides I have to have a new one to wear at Honu under my K-Swiss top!

My doctor hooked me up with all sorts of preventatives too, just wearing sunscreen is not enough. My long swims in the ocean will now be swam or swum (whatever the word is) with a rash guard on (those have SPF of 50!), I have to wear sunscreen even to 6:15 am masters swim, and I have to bring a stick of it on all long rides so I can RE-APPLY...

Look at this! Another cloudless day! Being Skin-Cancer-Awareness-Month I figured I better leave you with some pointers I learned (and check those 4 bullets above on yourself every now and then so you can catch anything early).

  1. Use SPF of at least 15 everyday before you leave the house
  2. Wear hats, visors, long sleeves when possible
  3. Find shade when possible, 10am-4pm are DANGER HOURS in the sun.
  4. Water, snow, and sand reflect the sun rays, use caution around these places!
  5. Make your children wear sunscreen/hats outside playing
  6. Get vitamin D from your diet, not tanning
  7. Use spray sunscreen on your back if nobody is near to reach it for you
  8. Avoid tanning beds & use fake tanners if you must tan for special occasions.

If you live in Kona I HIGHLY recommend you take a little trip to Ho'o Lokahi and get checked out. AND even more fun... Kona's very own #1 ranked in the world big wave free surfer, Shane Dorian (watch his big ride) endorses one of the greatest SPF sticks ever! You can put it in your bento box, on your shorts, stuff it in your sports bra, and reapply whenever-where ever! Check it out here and buy it at local Big Island surf shops!

Happy Skin-Cancer-Awareness-Month! Go get checked out!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All For Papayas!

Equipped with my bike, swim stuff, run stuff, and a lunch box, it was time for a hilly ride, a swim at Hapuna Beach, an easy run, then a bit of recovery, followed up with masters swim...

I love these days, they prepare me for long Ironman moments. I need them too. A lack of long distance race experience and not having several years of training have revealed to me time and time again that days like this belong in the bank, added up they will result in a good race, lots of good races, given patience and time...

45 minute drive North to Hapuna Beach, it was a BEAUTIFUL morning! My ride went really, really, really good till the last mile or so. Up and over some hills, into some wind, blown into the road by some wind, it was all fun and games and I was loving every minute of it. With 5 minutes to go before meeting a couple friends for a swim of the Hawaii 70.3 loop I decided to play on the rollers. There is a really fun little trail from Puako to Hapuna (the old Peaman International Biathlon run). As soon as I hit the trail my bike locks up, no forward movement and I hold on for dear life trying not to launch over my bars. Not sure what happened and unable to fix it (I tried and ended up a greasy mess), me and Antonio are walking the mile to the beach...

A few fishermen wondered why I wasn't riding. Wish I knew... just happy to have made all the ride but a mile of it...(foto courtesy of a local fisherman, glad I could humor him).

Post fight with Antonio, he won...

I took this foto for you Nick, this is how to play in the shore break without busting your arm...

To Hapuna. The water is as blue as blue can be, as calm as can be, and as warm as can be. Perfect conditions. The boys tease me about my the fight with my bike and how I clearly lost. Fun and games are over... into the sea...

We swim the Hawaii 70.3 loop, no bikes hidden in the coral, no fish, not a single distraction, however, lovely and beautiful. Days like this make me so thankful for where I live and what I do.

After the swim Randy and I set out on a recovery run. We ran the rollers from Hapuna to Puako. No shade, no Hawaiian sea breeze, no cloud cover, it was probably the most ideal conditions if your focus is HOT and you enjoy eating salt, lots of it.

Today was a really good day for me. Since focusing my attention on "getting good" I have made it a mission to train smart and in the company of others better than me in hopes of gaining some experience and confidence. For sure I have kept the balance to reward hard efforts with beautiful sunset swims, sandy days at the beach with Kainoa, and cliff jumping with friends. But rarely do I train with my friends who's mission is just to finish or to "maybe" one day get an Ironman slot in their age group. In no way do I think I am better or above those friends, it's just that sometimes our missions for training greatly differ.

Today I was able to train with my mello friends (except for the ride), and they were able to remind me of so many of the things I love about sport. They had me talking story in the parking lot rather than rushing through a parking lot transition, they had me laughing about how the Hawi winds scare them, about taking a minute off last seasons time, or how last year they swam Hawaii 70.3 slow because it would be their longest ever swim. The little things, the things you think about when you first start sport, or how sport is life changing were all things we rambled about. It brought back such sweet memories of just loving sport for what it is and not what it gets made out to be, feeling challenged trying to explain it but it makes sense to me & I'm so grateful for the people in my life who remind me of my first taste of triathlon and the boys today who help me keep it real...

After the run it was time to drive South to Kona to get my bike fixed (long ride tomorrow and I need it). J-Dog told me to smile, he would have it good as new in a minute or 2, and he did. Bike mechanics amaze me. I blame the SRM sensor for lodging itself between my crank and frame and busting up my chain...

It's almost time for masters, I LOVE SWIMMING! Tomorrow is a long ride/short run brick, anyone game??? I'll bring the papayas!