Saturday, August 7, 2010

From Sea to Stars...

Riding bike to the top of a volcano is seriously one of the most cool things ever done in my life. Ever. Of course this volcano (Mauna Kea) would happen to be the most crazy ride in all of the state of Hawaii and land you so far above sea level it takes your breath away. Sea to Stars, and I love it. After over dosing on poke yesterday I was ready to climb Mauna Kea today. So were my legs.
Yesterday was a feisty run, one that honestly I was considering to "skip" because I wanted to ride well in the race. After reminding myself that "this race (and tomorrow's) train-through till Ironman Kentucky I WILL NOT skip anything that is MEANT TO be for IM KY success." Needless to say, during the warm up this morning my legs were my legs, my legs on "Ironman training" that is. However, I also knew the ride had opportunities to get in a LONG hard effort ride, work strong on trained legs, that always important long ride nutrition practice, and for me putting all the "mental training practice" to work.
Here we go, after 3weeks without the IPOD I used it. Love it. CRAVED it like candy and after training without it for that long it was better than candy! The ride started in Waikoloa and we had to stay as a group for a single mile behind the escort truck. My heart was pounding, I rode next to Tim Marr just talking IM KY, he is racing too and knowing he was using both today and tomorrow as "training races" for the big one was real encouragement for me.
After the mile the horn blew and my heart went nuts, literally nuts, the race was on! It began with an instant 13 mile climb and I wanted to stay with the guys for as long as possible. I hung with the pack most that climb then it got speedy and I knew that pacing smart is my weakness and today was an opportunity to practice. I let them go. 14 men all left me. Then there was a pack with the other men and women behind me. For the rest of that big climb and the upper highway section I thought of how cool it would have been to "fight and hang on" so I would have them to block my wind. Then I thought of the women behind me getting wind blockers but I didn't want to slow for that I cruised on.
Slowly I caught a guy, then another, then a few miles later another. The entire ride is up hill if you are wondering, from sea level to the tallest mountain top in the world from the ocean floor. This pacing thing was paying off, still feeling strong I could see the 14 all spread out and some coming back to me. The final 6 miles is the most difficult, its mostly 17% grade and just cold as can be and no breathing room. My head got so dizzy I saw stars! But I also saw more men...I fought with whatever my legs had left and by the time all was pau I brought back 7 of the 14 that left me on the first 13 miles.
This race hurts so good. 50 miles of climbing through wind, heat, cold, rain, you name it we endure it. It takes your breath away, literally. It also makes you so thankful your body allows you do something so radical. The miles we were between Mauna Kea to the left and Mauna Loa to the right I could not stop smiling, I was in paradise above the clouds. By the way, this is where the IPOD stopped working and I was thankful, I could appreciate all I was seeing all the better.

Between the two volcanos just before taking the left turn up Mauna Kea.

Once to the finish line it feels like finishing an Ironman to me, my heart skips a beat. Today I was so happy and proud I was laughing and crying tears of joy at the same time! Of course all the amazing guys that supported me racing with them and my friend Wendy who took support crew control for the Kona crew also made me feel beyond blessed to share the day with people I love so much.

After that I ate some meat, to recover. Then I got ice so tomorrow I can race all over again. Ahhh, love this life, really love it!

Thank you Gary, Junko, Paula, Luis, Jason, and all the other volunteers/race directors for giving us a reason to climb a volcano... loved every painful minute of it!


Night from one very tired girl! Oooooh, make that a tired girl with a payday, free hotel nights, and a massage:)



rachel said...

Congrats Bree! This race sounds amazing!!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Way to go Bree! Reeling them back in - I love it.


Good job!! I think this is one race I will just have to live vicariously through you... being a flatlander and all.

Christi said...

Awesome job!

Caroline said...

Great job, that sounds like so much fun!
You should come do Savageman one year - granted, it's not like biking up a volcano, but you DO get your name engraved in a brick that's put into the "Westernport Wall."

Chris said...

I was trying to find the posted results and I came across this. Great job! I was the red jersey you nearly reeled in! It was smart of you to bring an ipod. I Could have used some Eminem in the last 3 miles or so. Good luck in the Kentucky IM. You're one bad ass chick.

CoachLiz said...

That sounds like awesome fun. I just came off of a training week in Breckenridge so I am sure that I could have handled the altitude and the steep climbing. I probably would have been dead last, but it would have been a blast.

Congratulations for reeling in those guys!

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