Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breathing Blue...

The very moment I stepped on the pool deck this afternoon Coach Steve grabbed my hands and said, "Bree, breathe". He knew, he knows, he sees me almost everyday and can read me better then most. He could tell I was barely catching my breath. Everything is moving so fast, Ironman is getting so close, the tiny town of Kona is so full, it is getting harder to breathe...
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I've been reading that focus book night and day and one of the major points is breathing. In a quiet spot, like the ocean it is easy to breathe. In a more active spot, like a crowded grocery store or traffic, breathing full breaths takes more focus and the ability to calm down. In an event like Ironman, breathing takes even more focus, more ability to control deep within yourself. I was barely breathing on the pool deck, a second home to me, and Coach Steve could see that. I am on a mission to R.E.L.A.X and breathe right through this weekend and race week and then through 140.6 miles.
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My plan is to think of everything blue. Blue is my favorite color and everything I love most in the world is blue. The colors of the ocean, the sky at it's brightest, the shade of my son's eyes, the way the moon sparkles on the sea at night, waterfalls, and the depths of the Pacific... I will breathe blue...
The beach, the local races, and my Hawaiian adventures are all winding down. Before long all I will only be left with crossword puzzles, books, and movies. Today was my last longish hard ride. However, hard was only part of it, the other half was fun! WAY TOO MUCH FUN!Today was the Kona Wahine Bikini Ride! No way could I miss it, not a chance! Whenever the local Kona girls get into Ironman it becomes a celebration, next year all the Big Island girls racing better show up! Today we were five. And I could not stop laughing...we felt like little kids on our bikes playing in the summer time without a care in the world!

The ride wasn't all fun and games. After Vicki and Kym turned it was time for intervals. 3x15 minutes and bikini or not, sweat was flying, hair was blowing, snot was spraying, and the heart rate was maxed out. There really was nothing feminine or pretty about it. The legs screamed, the heart was pounding, and knowing it was my last hard day on the bike I had no choice but to make it count the way I do when chasing the Hawaii Cycling Club boys.
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After the intervals it was one hill, 5 times. This time I was on my own. No girls. No boys. Just me and Kalani (my bike). It was like all the training I did all year long with all my favorite training partners prepared me for what's to come, 140.6 miles by myself, and the hill was warm up for that moment to come. I loved today's ride!
To make the ride even better we ran into Kawika! I have not ridden with Kawika in years! Honestly, years! My first ever bike ride was with him. One day, while skipping paddling practice, he took me on my first ride. We rode all of Alii Drive! ALL 14 MILES OF IT (round trip)! Then, I thought that was SO LONG! He was on a mountain bike and I was determined to keep up. The next day I would take my second ever ride, to Waikoloa (50 miles round trip), so this Alii Drive was practice.
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Today, on the bikini ride, we had a good laugh at how my first ride, skipping paddling practice, turned into an Ironman! What a sweet ride this triathlon life has been!
To make everything even more fantastic... Kate, Kiwi, and me returned to massive side walk chalking! My truck was left with bikini's decorating it...(wonder if the girls drove home topless)... what a celebration! It has been amazing to have such fantastic people to share this triathlon ride with! I just adore the friendships triathlon has brought me...

Just when I was thinking life is really as close to perfect as it can get, a rainbow came up. At that moment I was able to breathe the deepest of deep breaths...big blue breaths!
Coach has landed in Kona.. ALL the Lifesport coaches are here! It's a really good thing. Perfect timing in fact. The first words out of Coaches mouth (after saying how EXCITED he is to see me, of course), is that my sunshine days are done till October 11 and from here on out is is FOCUS ON IRONMAN ONLY. Tomorrow morning we are running together. Well, me running, him on a bike, so if you see a crazy man chasing me don't worry, I'm okay, it's just Coach Paul.
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Good Night from Kona!
Bree
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21 comments:

chr15 said...

Breath Blue. I love it... And I can relate. Blue as got to be the most calming of all colours, except that of an actual rainbow!

You take so many pictures of your adventures, you must take your camera with you everywhere... now on a 'bikini' ride there can't be much storage space (as there is with a bike jersey), what camera do you use??? the reason I ask is that I am gonna start up my blog again, as a photo 'essay' but am trying to work out the best way to take photo's on the go, whilst training, and in impromtu, having to stop riding and 'get the photo' often looses the moment. But you seem to capture it.

chr15

PS 'Bikini ride' I knew there was a reason why I wanted to live in Hawaii :)

ADC said...

I must remember to breathe. It's pretty simple really but noone has actually ever said it like you.

Oscarjet said...

jajaja! definitivamente Kona es el paraiso....!! jajaja vaya sesion en BIKINI ! todas guapas ! :D...
hummmm pero estoy casado !!!!!!!!!!!!jajaja
saludos da spain !

Jamie said...

Whenever I get super stressed, I like the mantra "recognize, allow, investigate." It gets me more focused on the source of the anxiety instead of just being stressed about being stressed. The idea of thinking of everything blue is cool too.

Also, gotta love the bikini/bike/heart rate strap combo. It is a good look on you. Haha.

I can't wait to track you on the big day in a few weeks! GOO BREE!

Christi said...

Wow, you really do take some great photos. If you don't mind me asking what book are you reading? I could use some mental training myself!

Sue said...

Nic pic of you and Haley:) And Coach Paul owes me a favor or two..He needs to be nice to you!!

Jen said...

"This whole world seems to be in a hurry, but darling, we'll just keep on taking our time...we're living such a sweet life..." I have been singing that song all morning!
Life is good, Bree. Breathe blue!!

Charisa said...

We had two rainbows at track the other night - I was in heaven!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Breathing is a good thing. Deep breathing is even better....

t-odd said...

I love that - "Breathe Blue." The next ten days will fly by and you will be ready. Coach Paul needs to "breathe blue." He's on your back like it's his job. Oh, wait, it is.

Regina said...

I wonder if you can breathe green? Since that is my favorite color.

I'm getting excited for Kona just reading your posts! I feel my stomach churning. that is so weird.

You gals all look so buff, but I have to say, you have awesome quads woman. I think I have a girl crush..lol. If I can look like that with year of tri under my belt, I'm sticking with this sport.

Looking forward to reading more!

Sherry said...

Oh gosh, Bree... it's all so close now! I'm sitting here on pins and needles! Can't wait! So excited for you!

LOVE the sidewalk chalk! I'm fairly certain that you live in the best state in the nation... hands down!

Breathe easy, chica... one day at a time! :o)

Coach Liz said...

The bikini ride looked like it was a blast. I used to do all of my triathlons in a bikini bottom. I am not sure why I switched to tri shorts.

Yasi said...

That ride looks like so much fun! And that picture you snapped of the rainbow is perfect, I've never seen a picture capturing the beginning/end of a rainbow! Amazing! Enjoy the next 10 days!

skoshi said...

Just to read "breathe blue" brings me down a notch into calm. Wonder if it can help my swim jitters when I have a bad race.

I LOVE the Wahine Bikini show-'em-your-stuff-and-celebrate-fun-while-doing-it ride.

Good luck with your preparation as you navigate these last days to Kona. You look like you're ready to go.
Pomaika'i.
Breathe blue.

Renee said...

You are going to rock this race Bree! I can't wait to track you on the big day!

Slow Rider said...

wow,
you look fit, ready and happy
Can't imagin the week you are about to have. By the way, those are some hot looking bikes.

Regina said...

comment #2: Imagine my surprise, when I, who has NEVER EVER bought Triathlete magazine, goes into Borders today and buys it without paging through it, goes to pick up my son at school, but am early, sits down and pulls out the magazine and sees a whole story, not only about you, but by you!!!! ha!! I know, run-on sentence, don't tell my Mrs. Carr my HS advanced English teacher.

Maria said...

:o) wow, enjoy these last few days of taper...I am so excited to follow you during your 'big dance'...you rock girl...

MJ said...

I'm surprised you didn't have a peloton of male cyclists hot on your wheels....

Make this last week perfect... you're in the home stretch.

Say hi to Shorter for me...

Heidi Austin said...

go blue! I'm soooo excited for you Bree and will be cheering you on next weekend. The bikini ride looks like a blast! You and your friends know how to have a good time~ Good luck in your final prep week. GO BREE!!!!