Saturday, January 30, 2010

Growing Up In Hawaii....

Early on I knew deep in my heart that my life belongs in a world of blue colors. I'd never be content elsewhere and thoughts of a sun drenched life of all shades blue would haunt me forever if I didn't follow. After my morning run and setting my legs free for miles after miles along the Kona coast, Kainoa and I were in swim suits and sunscreen. Off to meet our friend Jason, he works on a boat and we were invited to his job. The entire time I couldn't stop smiling that Kainoa is growing up in Hawaii, in all shades blue and most days wearing a giant smile. My earliest childhood memories were on a farm, shades of green, fields of gold wheat, and powder snow in the winter. Beautiful colors, but not ones that set me free...

Having Kainoa has caused me to grow up in so many ways and in some small way we are both growing up in Hawaii. Together. Today we embraced our youth in the far flung adventures offered down at Kealakekua Bay, complete with swimming, dolphins, and a whale. Tomorrow is more running, more training, more of the life I love, gently surrounded by the colors I always dreamt of.





Italic
May all your trails be crooked, winding, a bit lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view...where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you. Edward Abbey
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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Buoys...

It was a good morning because it started in the ocean. I also did something good for me that rarely happens, okay, first time ever, I had my feet worked on. They are fine, it's just prevention. The feet, especially those that run, jump, and are used a lot, often get neglected for all the work they do. A little circulation is needed more than we give.

Did you know every time we run while landing on our feet its equal to using a hammer to hit ourselves in the heal/foot with 1.5 to 3 times our body weight!? Poor little feet. Usually one to laugh when getting a massage anywhere near my feet, today was no laughing matter. The "ART Nancy Wonder Woman specialist" had me in tears while digging, rubbing, and stretching out my feet muscles/joints. That was the good of the day, along with the swim...bike...

The bad...well, I owe a few people that helped me move something bad, very bad. None of my healthy smealthy crapola, they wanted bad. Here is really bad if you are into that sort of thing:
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Bad Bars
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
(mix the 2 on medium heat in a large pan)
3 cups peanut butter
(stir it into sugar/syrup mix)
7 cups Special K Cereal
1/2 bag butter scotch chips
(stir into mixture then spoon into your serving pan)
1/2 bag butter scotch chips
1 bag chocolate chips
(melt over medium heat then spread over cereal mix)
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These things are so rich they make your belly ache! They have been a big hit that I try to avoid making. If you want to try a bit healthier option (unless the people that helped you move like it bad), we use carob chips and peanut butter chips, we use almond butter, and we trade corn syrup for agave and the regular sugar we use rich maple chunks. Then add in a few berries, dried blueberries are amazing in there!
As for the buoys... whales have been hanging out at the Ironman buoy all week, Wendy and I mustered up the balls to look for them out in the deep blue sea today. All we found were fish!
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The whale hunting will continue tomorrow!
Bree
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuff Miles...

The riding has been unbelievable, its really hard not to be happy when the sun is shining and the skies are almost cloudless. From our bikes we counted 7 whales playing in the ocean. I'm on my 8th year of living on the island and it still captures my heart, radiates some of the biggest smiles I've known, and makes me more than thankful for having a wild heart.
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The plan was a 6 month job at Kahakai Elementary, i'd never even been to Hawaii when I agreed. On the plane I jumped and I never went back, life works so much better for me when I grab a goal, get on the path, but never fear taking detours. Those detours are where so many undiscovered opportunities await...like this life that I just love.
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Back to my post title, tuff miles. Darn Thursdays are begining to grab a painful routine, running hard, running fast. Today in the middle of my speed session I had a mile for time. With the given load my legs are enduring it wasn't expected to be a PR, just a "where are we" kind of mile. The girl that I am tried to remember the only mile for time I ever ran. Two came to mind. Once in 6th grade gym class and the other time in 2007, almost a year after giving birth I did that Kona Coffee Mile. I will never forget that mile. The very moment I crossed the finish line I peed my pants. Thankfully the women at the finish were moms and understood-running hard within a year after a baby pops out things are a little broke and well, somethings you can't control. Anways, other than the pee I got a 5:02 and was really happy because it was a PR, I beat my time from 6th grade.
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Today I knew would hurt because all warm up hurt. When the mile came I wanted to run from it. I like the challenge and understand it was just a "lets see where we are" kind of thing, but darn I wanted more time to prepare. Well, the mile came and went, it was over before I knew it and sadly it was not even close to my pee-pants mile. Part of me wanted to grunt and moan the other part got fired up and motivated to keep pushing hard in my training. It was a very tuff mile, not so much the mile it's self but being able to accept where I am at this point in the season and having the patience to believe that I am where I am supposed to be-not too fast, not too slow, just here.

Other than loads of swimbikerun, a hard mile, whale encounters, and motherhood, life is going well. I'm still keeping to a path but never fearing a detour...in fact, I think I'll stick to the path (swim practice tomorrow) but detour it to the ocean rather than the pool so I can catch more whale tales. Enjoy the training :)
Bree

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sun Kissed...

The ocean is full of whales this time of year! Coach Steve was pretty much side swiped by one and from the beach you can see them breaching! Its beautiful seeing something so big so close! The day began in the ocean and I'm highly convinced it's one of the best ways to start a day. Salt water soaked, washed to shore with the swell, and arms lingering with that happy-tired feeling, it was a good morning.

From the beach to the bike. Today was South Loop, maybe my favorite Big Island ride. The ocean was still lingering on my skin, reminding me of how just moments ago I was in the water with those crazy whales that were now visible from the bike. The South Loop is just one hilly mess smothered in coffee farms, hot chunks of old lava, and very much sun soaked! The lower road from bay to beach is maybe the most heated place I know other than standing on the lava. Air does not move down there and shade is nonexistent. Perhaps it is beautiful only because it takes you from one amazing view to another gorgeous spot on Earth with nothing much between the two.
Coach warned me after the swim/ride I would be feeling a little "pooooooped". With about 45 minutes to refuel, refresh, recover it was time for a run. His words, "You won't feel like doing this, but make it happen". OH MY GOSH, it really felt like I jumped off an Ironman swim/ride and began running. That same feeling was mimicked. "Push through Bree, push through Bree, push through Bree", was replaying over and over in my mind. The thoughts of South Africa in 3 months was filling every muscle reminding me that THIS is how I will feel so discover ways to deal with it now.
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Sure enough, within a few moments of bitter sweet battle with the flumsy clumsy tired body I was in that zone where you forget about being a little tired, a little hungry, and a little thirsty and you realize only commitment to conquering the workout will get you through. The excitement of finishing a good day of training was near to that of finishing a good day of racing, I was famished and happy all wrapped into one triathlete.
From there it was time to get Kainoa. The instant he ran to hug me he backed away from his sweat drenched smelly momma...oh life is sweet. At that moment I was needing food and all I wanted was roasted wasabi seaweed (must have lacked a few pounds of sodium in this sun filled day). Again, leave it to a 3 year old to make everything better. After mouth fulls of seaweed he says, "mom, don't worry, you can brush your teeth before bed". I was all smiles with that innocent truth he shared with me...
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I think there is just enough time to catch a sunset today, happy training!
Bree

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventures In Moving...

The happy couple with baby in belly moved a couple weeks ago. It was perhaps the most challenging couple weeks ever in Kona life. The luxury of walking in my pajamas to my sisters was gone. The ability to be at her house in 13 seconds (we were neighbors) was gone. She moved 2 miles down the road-by Kona standards that's nearly the other side of town.
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When I went to University at PBA she followed, when I moved to Hawaii she came. When she moved to Kalani Kai I followed, now she moved 2 miles away, and Kainoa and I followed! Over the weekend I made my sister and I neighbors again! We are 49 seconds away from each other again, life is really good again, ahhhh...the simple things that mean so much to me! Of course part of the reason is I want our boys to grow up playing together as neighbors and I like having uncle Nick within reach of my bike! ha ha.... Our family grill outs are back in action! Our baking days are full swing ahead, and movie nights are scheduled. Back in Florida my parents, grandma, aunt/uncle, and cousins, sister, all live within walking distance of each other, Brooke and I have to keep that distance here too. It's tradition.
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As for the new neighbors, the woman next to me is pretty chill. I think we will get along well. Lots of kids in the neighborhood. AND one of my favorite people, Cody, lives about 200 meters away! Jhan and his family are in here, across the lanai is my friend Isabella and Nico (he was in my class a few years ago), and below is a family that chats on the lanai almost all day long, so that means no complaints from them about Kainoa because they are loud too. Perfect.
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One of the men already smelt me baking and asked to be invited, looks like I might have future help with broken things in exchange for baking-nice. Other neighbors aren't fans of the baking! I've already set the smoke alarm off twice. By the way, if you set a smoke alarm off beating it with a broom only makes matters worse because the battery drops out and without a battery it continues to beep to remind you your alarm is broke.

For the most part we are almost all moved in and my legs feel like I have ridden 400 miles from all the moving, lifting, carrying! THANK YOU SO MUCH to my friends that helped, couldn't have done it without you all! Of course somethings will never change, like the fact 5 years of college could not help me follow a step-by-step books shelf for a 3 year old! Brooke did it, leave it to a pregnant girl, she didn't even use the directions! Truly I believe the directions make things more difficult-never follow them.

Plant shopping was also fun! CHECK it out, finally a double colored hibiscus! You better believe we bought it, no promises it lives, I've killed every plant I've ever owned...this one says, "little care needed", so it should be fine for me.

Tonight Kainoa promises to sleep in his own bed, that would be nice. After the move and today's swim/ride combo I could use a sleep without legs and arms clobbering me! Training is back in full swing, this week looks like a heaps of fun if you love swimbikerun, I see a training load full!
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Live it up!
Bree

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beautiful Belly........

Look at my beautiful sister, she is going to smash me up when she discovers I posted this and some other things we have planning around the belly! Oh it's good to be the "older sister" .
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Today I don't feel my legs. They are at last nights track. Seeing a track was something I was not envisioning this early in a season...but it came sooner than expected. It wasn't a horrible hard session, it was a "welcome back" to running in circles and feeling some speed, some belly aching, and a bit of "hold on", just a bit to remind me what happens at a track.
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Main set, in case you want to borrow mine, was 12x400 descending 1-3 each time, and all under 90 seconds with a 30 second rest (or 200 easy jog between). It goes in the books as a favorite track session. It wasn't "cake" but is was far from "digging a well". It was the beautiful balance between "I love running and I like to feel my breath while doing it". For me, not being a track kind of girl it was probably a good thing to start me in with something challenging yet possible with some effort. Now I'm ready to embrace these kind of workouts a little less intimidated...
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I'm discovering after a hard season of learning it's important to remember success, even if it is just a little thing like managing 12 loops around a track. We kind of need that as athletes, to know what it feels like to complete a goal and finish something with a smiley face sticker rather than another painful lesson learned, even if in time the lessons make us better.
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Enjoy your weekend!! Cheers to big belly's and feeling a bit of success!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

7.5...

Big 7.5. I'm not talking about the size of the waves around here, I'm talking about my training week....a whopping 7.5 hours! Coach said it would be challenging and I would struggle with this more than having 40 hours a week (which has never happened swimbikerun), and midweek-he is right! Monday was the Ironman swim, nap, nap, movie. Tuesday was a ride. Today was a run and soon I'll go swim. The rest of the week is similar, including a FULL day off.
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I'm not sick, burned out, injured, or unmotivated, thankfully none of the above...I'm on "RECOVERY WEEK". Feels like a taper since I don't get to fill my time with adventures, instead I'm doing the exact opposite of training, I'm recovering, rebuilding. Coach is teaching me this season to focus on this "other equally as important" area of sport.
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The feet have been up, not even experimenting in the kitchen this week! Movies are my friend, I've been watching a lot of Tim Curran (the man in the foto) and Kalani Robb flicks (they are my favorite surfers). I've slept during the day too! Truthfully I feel lazy and this is discipline if ever I met discipline. Tomorrow my training partners are riding my favorite South Loop, 3-4 hours, I get to spin easy for 1 hour of it.... oh boy!
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Here are some recovery links I've discovered while "recovering" , I just skimmed and scammed them, some useful info, I'm just trusting coach on this one.
Exercise Recovery
Sports Performance Recovery
Enhancing Recovery
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The bright side, I've gotten to see the whales breach, catch up with my mom on the phone, organize Kainoa's baby book (finally!), and I'm learning to chill out. Hope your training and your recovery is going well!
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Bree

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tossing Starfish...


I've got nothing to write, so I copied a story I read this morning while eating papaya... it's cool and it sort of fits yesterdays Ironman swim fotos...
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Once upon a time, there was a wise kupuna (elder), who went to the sea to contemplate. One day while walking along the shore, the kupuna looked down the beach, and saw a gracefully dancing human figure. The kupuna wondered out loud, "who would so joyfully greet this day with hula?" and began to walk faster to catch up. Getting closer ...the kupuna saw that the dancer was a keiki (child), who was not dancing at all. The keiki was reaching down to the sand to pick up something, and was gently throwing it into the sea.
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The kupuna called out to the keiki, "Aloha! What are you doing?"The keiki paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the sea." Surprised, the kupuna sputtered, "I guess I should have asked, "Why are you throwing starfish into the sea?" The keiki smiled brightly, pointed upward and, with exquisite simplicity, replied "The sun is up, the tide is going out, if I don't throw them in they will die." "But don't you realize," asked the kupuna, "that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You can't possibly make a difference!" The keiki listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it gently into the sea, just beyond the breaking waves, and exuberantly declared, "It made a difference for that one."
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In each and every one of us, there is something very special. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a positive difference. If we are fortunate enough to fully accept and acknowledge that gift, we gain the "mana", the power to shape the future. Like the starfish, you have been chosen out of the multitude, to surf upon this cyber-shore and be inspired by a child's wisdom. Become the wise keiki. "The sun is up, the tide is going out. If you don't throw them in, they will die." Return the aloha spirit back into your Sea of Life. Find your starfish. Throw them gently and wisely back into the sea so they may live. Making a difference, you will Live!
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Told by: Kaimana Nakamura

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Sunday...

Talk about a super Sunday. Not only did I run, coach gave me 2 runs today. The first was long enough to unravel all the mystery's that seem to pop into mind when you are running long enough to escape into that "zone". The sun was rising, the surfers were just paddling out, and the day had that fresh smell of plumerias and farmers markets. The second run was as the sun was going down, it was short enough to go barefoot, but of course I didn't, you know what I mean though, some runs you wonder why even put on shoes. It was perfect though, like a second breath of fresh air.
Between the runs was of course more running with Kainoa at the beach, farmers markets, and all the little things that make a little boy happy. Today we even skipped nap time to make sure we didn't miss a single moment of this Sunday. My friend Leahi caught us enjoying a walk too, we had no idea she was watching us from across the way with a camera, but I love this foto, just me and my boy hand in hand all day long...
For today's kitchen adventure we made empanadas. They are so easy, that little idea that it takes all day in the cocina is not true...well, not for this gringa. Here is the recipe simplified:
Get corn flour (Maseca is BEST!!) Really, no need for measuring cups, just combine water (we use the liquid that our beans soak in or chicken/veggie broth and combine it with the Maseca until it turns to a "play dough" thickness, not too runny, not too dry. Then add in all the flavors you like. We put hot Mexican seasoning, garlic powder, a bit of sea salt, onion powder, and some Hawaiian seasoning for that zippy veggie flavor. Roll it into a ball, let it sit while you prepare your fillings. Anything goes, beans, rice, chicken, beef, refried beans, cheese, cheese and spinach.
2 options when filling... spray a plate with non-stick cooking spray or use flour. Flatten out your Maseca into a large circle. On one half top with your filling. Fold over the other half and press the edges together with your fingers, simple.
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For cooking you have some options too. Fill a fry pan with oil, enough to totally soak the empanada, this is how it's done in Central America. It cooks faster this way but I am not big on full-fried. The other option is to lightly coat the fry pan with oil and keep flipping the thing over till it gets cooked. The inside filling should all be cooked before so no worries on completely frying the thing. Just "gentle" fry... it saves a lot of calories but takes more time.
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A little something I learned too, when frying choose your oil wisely. Olive oil is great, but NOT on high heat, it loses all its nutrients. You have to choose an oil that is made to be on high heat (because you fry them on HIGH). The coconut oil is my favorite as it takes on high heat really well.
Finally, find a 3 year old to do your dishes, add some veggies and enjoy!
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NIGHT!!
Bree

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Week of Sport...

Somewhere behind the athlete you've become, the hours of practice, and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back...Play for her.

Mia Hamm
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This has been a funny week. Everyone thinks I'm in love. All my friends have asked who the boy is because I have a new glow. It's not a boy, its TRIATHLON! You know when you first discovered triathlon and you were so excited to ride your bike and wear that goofy helmet? I feel like that. You know when you liked putting on that cap and those goggles and jumping into the pool with some speedo-wearing people, it's like that. Remember when you loved running and didn't stare at your watch or worry that you are a few seconds (or minutes) slower on your favorite loop than usual, or you would dream all day about that run? That's how I am feeling. Sport is love at first sight all over again. It might have something to do with Coach Jimmy acting like a kid and reminding me that we have to do things out of love if we are going to be good at them, or maybe it's the way he tells me not to stress when I can't make a workout because I am on mom-patrol or that if I feel like a truck ran me over to shorten it or skip it and go surf.
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I'm a little girl again! I've been caught on my bike smiling with braids playing in the Kona winds. I have been the one making a splash, and I have been the girl that jumps in the puddles on my runs. This morning at the pool Kainoa ran up and down the lane racing me. Every breath I would breathe to his side and see a little boy so exctited to race his mom while she swims back and forth. He watched all of the masters team swimming back and forth and raced us all, he was loving it as if it were the Olympics and he raced as if he would beat us even if he is the smallest one there. It reminded me of being a little girl when sport was so much fun no matter what!
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Do you remember when you and all the neighborhood kids would meet and race bikes around the block? At the start line or corner it was GO and you went. You just gave it your whole heart and never gave up and believed you would make it. Remember when you would play at your friends back yard pool and race to the other end thinking you would win. And sometimes you did and other times you didn't, but you raced really hard and loved it win or lose. Remember running in PE and looking at your friends thinking of how fun the race was about to be? Yes, I remember those days. I would always think I would win the run races and sometimes I did and everyone would laugh. Other times I would lose and we would clap hands or spank the winner on the butt. It was good times for sure. That was sport at it's best. Racing your heart out, believing you could win no matter who was in the race, loving it no matter what, and win or lose wanting to play again, and again, and again.
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That is how sport feels to me, the reason I am happy with my dorky helmet, swim cap, and my run shoes all drenched from puddles. This week we had college swimmer girls jump in with us, the really fast girls, and I felt like that little girl from my youth who actually thought I was going to swim with them and hold on and maybe even beat them. It never phased me that I was out of my league, I just wanted to play. I had one hard hill ride that I was actually thinking I would kick Dave's bum, so what if he was a boy, that just means he has cooties. And on a run, well, nobody was around, but if they were I would have tried to play tag or chase with them like the old days.
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It's all coming back... the love of sport at it's finest. Enjoy your sport this weekend!
Tag anyone???
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Bree

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100 Days Away...

Goals are my friends. I love them, they keep me motivated, give me some purpose, excite me, and make little things worth doing. 100 days till Ironman South Africa, that goal has me motivated, gives some purpose for the training today, excites me, and makes the sacrifices worth it. Coach gave me hills today so I hit my most favorite loop, the South loop. It is paradise in so many ways! The hills are such a mix of gentle climbs and challenging quad busters. The descents always cause me to stay focused and be brave. The little towns, the views, and all the coffee shacks make riding so much fun.

Blake digging the hole for my post-ride collapse
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I'll be honest, today hurt the most training has hurt so far this year. My long base rides took on a challenge that had me close to seeing a pit in the ground with my name on it. A couple "hill climbing efforts" were on the plan. Everything was screaming, sweat was flying, teeth were chattering, huffing and puffing was happening...it wasn't nearly as attractive as the sites surrounding me. The thing I love about that type of effort is when you are done-you are done! Nothing left. Rolling back easy through town the best part is how you "suddenly" feel recovered.
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Coach has now given me long rides, base rides, recovery rides, and hill rides. The intervals have yet to happen, but I know they are coming, I feel it. Till then no complaints, I'm madly in love with riding around the island lately just embracing the views and enjoying the bike a mile at a time.
Down by the bay today
On the ride home I stopped for a dip in the ocean and shaved ice. Just kidding, it was home just in time for a run before rescuing Kainoa from school and a lunch break. Lately I love running. "Run weather" is happening right now. It's nice compared to the usual Kona scorchers, not to mention all those Nicaragua runs are still so vivid in my memory that it feels like I am running through San Juan Del Sur. I'm really happy about that trip, I think it set me up for a good year.
Little grass shack in Kona.
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The only thing left on the plan is swim practice this evening, ooops, in less than 30 minutes now, a bed time story with Kainoa, and sleep so I can wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.
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Happy training & goal chasing!
Bree
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Day In My Office...

These are the views from my office. I overlook the world. This morning I woke up and thought..."today I'm going to ride my bike, this is my job", I really love my job, what a gift. It's one thing to enjoy what you do and another to appreciate it and never take it for granted, this view I never take for granted, this life and the people who make it possible I never take for granted. When I am 80 and in my rocking chair looking back on my life I will smile at the life I am enduring.

My office has no walls. I'm free. There is no phone, in fact I missed a call from my boss (coach Jimmy) and one from the MAN-ager. My co-workers are some of the best friends a girl could have, they are training partners, cyclists, runners, swimmers, even dolphins on my good days. The dress code is always KSwiss or Splish, simple. There is no "time clock" or "punch card", I just have to get the work done around Kainoa's schooling. There is also no "Friday pay day", that part is up to me, to work hard and hope for my best days on race days. It's worth it living race to race at this moment in my life. I'm young, healthy, and the opportunities are happening now.
These are my work shoes today. Very classy, I know. Sometimes they match my outfit, other times not. My other work shoes are made for running and the others are bare feet.
My office has a vending machine unlike other offices, it's outside, in the sunshine or rain on rainey days. It's always stocked full of fruits, veggies, and happy people. 50 cents later I am fueled and back to work. This is the restroom. It's pretty clean as long as the boys don't use it first. On more important days at the office, like meetings (race day), I just go in my pants. This job is not known to be totally clean and fresh. My perfume is usually sunscreen. My hair is mostly a mess. And I have bad tan lines. Today I loved life in my office. Today I loved my job more than I have in a really long time. My boss has me fired up to get my work done, to value my work, and to be responsible with deadlines. He has also helped me find balance with with motherhood and is helping me be patient. I'm just like most other people holding down a job... I like a drink after work too. Today's drink was cold and green. It's now time for a bed time story with my favorite 3 year old, this is my favorite job. Good night from Kona.
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Bree
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