Friday, March 30, 2012

Stacking Coconuts...

Alright, I'm going to attempt using coconuts as an example for my training at the moment. It all began yesterday with a bike ride that coach put down as 1.5-3hrs long. I did that eye thing where you wonder if you read it wrong then sort of crossed my eyes in confusion. "One and half hours if I feel junky, 3 hours if I feel great"... I went for 3. A little over actually, because the wind poured on good and caught me out in the middle of the lava fields face first, I truly intended to stop at 3, even 2:57 if I found tailwind...
Sunday will be the 4th race of the season in less than 3 months already, that means since February I have raced, catch my breath, race, catch my breath, race, catch my breath, not to mention losing a day each direction in flying and losing sleep habits like a crazy girl. Oh yes, training "happens" in there, but since January my blocks have been broken with a lot of travel-race-repeat. I'm home now till the first weekend in May. THAT MEANS I can stack some coconuts. It excites me to have my feet planted firmly on the island for a good 6 weeks! I'm on week 2 of pretty consistent training since the return of 21hrs travel from Costa Rica, IT FEELS GREAT!
That said, Sunday is a race and I plan to race as hard as I can on the day, but I will not drop 90 minutes from a ride to have a little fresher legs, this block is a serious coconut stacking opportunity to me! Once May lands, its 3 races in 4 weeks, do you see my desire to pile coconuts high now? Got to love a coach that gives you a choice to stack your coconuts in hopes of making gains for a race you are day dreaming and night dreaming about having your best day on (Honu), or take coconuts... Don't take the coconuts YET Bree...
I've just been training, happy to be home swimbikerunning around the island I am so blessed to call home. There have been some amazing sunsets, lots of growing going on in the garden, and Kainoa is working his way across the pool a little stronger everyday. Next week is his first swim meet and I had a dream he was very last place. I know, that's a pretty mean dream to have, but last night in my sleep he got out of the water and started cheering and smiling, as if he won. He sincerely thought he won in my dream, finishing is winning for him at this point in his sport life. It was a pretty cool dream and it got me fired up to see just how a child with so much passion for life will handle his first big deal of a race, as the littlest kid in the meet with only a month of swim practice under his belt. Just love that perfect approach he has for all things he ever attempts...

Alright friends, have a good weekend racing and training, keep piling the coconuts, don't worry if some fall a little or you use a couple here and there. But build them up so when you want them most you have them...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All My Lavamans...

Do you know what Sunday is? Lavaman Triathlon!! SO AWESOME, it was my first Olympic distance triathlon, the first triathlon I ever saw in real life, and the day I fell in love with swimbikerun. You never forget your first love of sport, right? This Sunday will celebrate the 15th year of Lavaman existence and it will be my #10. Lucky 10, top 10, special 10, bring it!
All 10 of my Lavaman's were not raced, 2003 I watched Jill Savage and James Cotter win, met them, loved them, got inspired, and said, "Next year I am totally racing Lavaman". SO I did. And I've done it every year since, (except 2006 when I was 7 months pregnant), that year I passed out awards and leis with big boobs and belly. Lavaman holds some of my GREATEST memories in sport, in honor of the 10th time I've been at the race I'll share my memories...
Since Lavaman triathlon is in my back yard it means a few very important things.
1. My son can be at the finish line
2. My training partners, town, & best friends are all on the start line
3. I get to sleep in my own bed
Let's start from today and take a walk down memory "Lavaman" lane...
2012: I get to wear bib #1!! How fun is that?! Chris McCormick will line up with the pro men again this year, AND Masuda is doing his first Lavaman! Having someone training for their first big race alongside you really spikes the motivation, refreshes the passion for sport, and of course this race will be raced for others.
Sadly, last week 4 friends all ready to race lavaman had bike accidents, thankfully survived, but are sidelined. Our towns dear friend Mike Woodbury was hit and sent to the hospital, now home with a long road of recovery. Amber Stull, an Elite buddy of mine has landed a broken arm and 22 stitches, Dr. Traub & Ridge both have mangled themselves as well, home from the hospital but in no shape to swimbikerun. SO to those 4 friends, I'll have some fun for you and think of you out there with all of us...heal well, we love you!
2011: This was a record setting day for me. Got my name added to the list of top 5 best female times on this course. I was so happy to be amongst women I'd always looked up too. Women who have paved the way for us girls. Lavaman never has a huge pro field but over the 15 years it has had many, many great men and women. Last year even included Dave Scott and my sister (see above)...
Jill Savage 2:03.34
Jodi Jackson 2:04.21
Bree Wee 2:04.28
Tina Walter 2:06.38
Lori Bowden 2:09.58
My very first triathlon partners ever, they got me started, dragged me out of paddle practice while skipping themselves, and we rode bikes...
2010 was a cool day, it was wetsuit legal believe it or not, here in Hawaii! It was also the day I really became aware of how much I love this sport and all that it has brought to my life.
2010 felt special lining up with 2 of Hawaii's pro boys (well, Cotter moved but we still know him as an island boy). Remember Cotter from 2003, the first time I ever saw a triathlon and met a real live professional! I think I even asked for his autograph and a photo with him, having my bike racked with them was so cool this year.
2010 Chris "Macca" the man beat me by 16 minutes, standing on the #1 spot of the podium next to him was pretty darn cool too.
2009-that was a FAST year. Lisa Mensink, a former team mate from Canada came over and pretty much proved why she was in the 2008 Olympics. It was one heck of a race with her. She crushed the swim, I biked past her and held the lead till mile 3. Then all I saw was her butt for the final 3 miles...loved that day...
2008: I was super sick this race, my old coach looked at my eyes and told me, "Bree you look like you want to race, that means you should". So under the most rotten conditions I ever felt I raced. Tyler Stewart showed up this year and set the womens bike record on this course with a 1:01.32! My best is a 1:02 change and knew I'd have to swim like a fish to keep her from winning...thankfully the swim was fish-like. It was one of my toughest Lavaman wins having to race sick and with Tyler!
2008 was also pretty unique as I got to help with a training camp. It was during this camp that I realized I want to be a coach one day. I met so many great athletes, felt like I could truly help others balance sport with life, and I was part of a team...
Katya Meyers, Lisa Mensink, Heather Gollnick, and local boy Jimmy cruising with the girls that just crushed him, it was pretty fun times in 2008...
2008 was also my last triathlon as a "married" girl. Yes, all my Lavamans have some memory attached to them, this was a hard one in the direction my life was about to take. But it turned out all good for all of us.
My best trophy in 2008, the best part of me, he held me up when life was falling down...
2007-I got to win with Cotter! I felt like Jill Savage this year as the first time I saw the race she won with Cotter. I also thought this year I wanted to go to the Olympics-until I found out you really have to be a fish to race ITU. It was also the year of my first ever sponsor!! SPLISH suits! Don't you love my first Splish??!! I miss that suit, it was so fast!
2006-pregnant, no photos, my boobs were popping out too much at that race to post any. I passed out awards, cheered, and had morning sickness all day long in the Kona heat...
2005: This was back before speed suits. That suit was a hand-me down from Karlyn Pipes Neilson. You know her, she has like 300 world Masters records and swims faster than anyone I know. I felt so cool racing in her suit. It was my second Lavaman triathlon and the first time racing pros. I wasn't a pro, at all, only in year 2 of sport but 5 pro girls showed up and I got to oooh and ahhhhhh at them...
2:14 was my time in 2005. A whopping 10 minutes slower than last year. Jill Savage, Gillian Moody, Tina Walter, Carolyn Murray, Lauren Groves I think all signed my shirt. Yes, I was such a dork. AND that bike, my first for real triathlon bike, guess who rode it before me?! Dede Griesbaur. I know, what a great Lavaman!!
AND NOW... 2004! My first Lavaman! That suit embarrasses me! EVERYONE in Kona wore Zoot back then and I wanted to be like all the other triathletes on the island. The zipper was so not my style and all I'd known prior to this day was a sprint race in a bikini.
I survived Lavaman and actually won for the first time! 2:16.21, sheesh, over the years I've thankfully managed to improve. Sunday I'd really like to smash that time even more! It will be fun, I'll be in a Splish just like 2007, my first sponsor, wake up in my own bed, and race all my favorite people in the world, the little town of Kona!
See you all out there, 1500 people on the 15th year!

Monday, March 26, 2012

How Sunday Looked...

Today didn't look like yesterday, well I ran in the same shoes, and landed in the ocean, but it was a really different day. Mondays have a good way of forgetting all about "soaking up sand n' sunsets" and pouring on a new week. That said, I take my Sunday's serious...
As for Monday, survived another ocean swim without any shark attacks and that Great White everyone is talking about never showed teeth. Joined the garden club at Home Depot after my run, a very cool woman taught me all about helping my tomatoes with a simple bamboo and I discovered my garden is looking a lot like a salad bar!! Tomorrow will be my adventure of the week-Booty Yoga Class.
The girls talked me into it and having a swim/bike on the plan didn't stop them from reminding me I can get them both done before the chickens wake up and make it in time for the Booty Yoga (seriously can't believe I am going). The rest of the week is more of the life I am so very blessed to call mine (even the days I feel would be fun to trade for sake of tears and other things), but for the most part, it looks like a good week is on tap and of course, it will roll into a Sunday.
Sunday is Lavaman, my first ever Olympic Distance race-2004! Have I really been in sport that many years already!? I am pretty excited thinking about another sand n' sun fill Sunday, and race #4 of the season...
Happy Training and see you Lava peeps soon!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kainoa's Green Machine...

After those bike rides you might want this smoothie:
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protien powder
  • 2 teaspoons Hawaiian spirulina
  • Small chunk of ginger root


...and if you are curious what was in the bike water bottles during that trainer ride, freezing cold green tea with sea salt! Seriously refreshing (I learned that one from the Kenyans).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Like my momma...

My mother was (is) a rock star, seriously. That woman was so cool to watch growing up because she was given 34 hours worth of stuff to tackle in 24 hours AND she ALWAYS managed to make it 35 hours! Effortlessly, tirelessly, selflessly, she flowed through her days. Who knew as a pigtailed girl on my grandpas farm I would one day be facing my own 34 hours and crave so much to be her reflection.
That awesome sunrise was the start of my 34 hours. It's Maui, no I wasn't there, at 5am it was getting Masuda to the airport so he could be there for work at sunrise. From there I pretended to be my mother. She raised 3 girls and survived, girls are trouble if you ask me. The house was 3 sleeping boys when I got home from the airport, all needing to get up and around for school-3 different schools! Here is where I give MAJOR props to all the parents out there that have more than one child. THIS IS A WHOLE NEW WORLD FOR ME and I love what you all conquer in a day as today, I tasted your life!
After making the loudest blended smoothies ever (in hopes of waking them), some how 3 boys were ready and out the door for school in 29 minutes-flat! Boy 1 to middle school, boy 2 to high school, and boy 3 to elementary school (they all made it on time, barely). This momma took a deep breath, smiled pretty big because it's the best life I have EVER known to have this much love in my life!!Now off to tackle a fully loaded training day. I made swim squad with 2 minutes to spare! After the Tiger Shark roaming our shores at the moment, there was ZERO intention of being the bait. With Pete and Lieto in the mix I knew the front group would be 2 miles of ocean "racing", I wanted in on that so I wore tiny blue fins and raced along with them. Thankfully Robin lead the rest of the group safely through the shark zone to Kahaluu and back to Magics. As for the race, I'm pretty sure those boys would have had me singing Jaws theme song solo in the ocean without those blue-life-saving-fins!
This was the next view of my 34 hour day. I started my ride 9 minutes after the original goal (yes, I literally had to map out this day if I was going to be at all like my momma). It all worked out though, the headwind slowed me up and the tailwind helped me make up the difference x2 with enough time to land back to business a minute ahead of schedule!
It felt so good to be back on the bike, in the ocean to start the day, and prepared to run. 3 sports in a single day has been a while (other than race days), so this day had me fired up! The run was perfectly paced between the bike ride and Kindergarten pick up, where I finally sat still long enough to catch my breath and discover how ridiculous I look/am. Purple shoes, orange shorts, pink top, with coral reef colored nail polish! It may or may not have embarrassed Kainoa...
Family time was up next! Who am I kidding, the quick trip to my sisters was not totally to let our boys have some after school play time, I wanted to EAT! I cleaned out her fridge and with a face full of food it was off to the pool! During the keiki swim practice I discovered all the kids can do more, way more, push ups than me-including Kainoa! This was a smooth part of the day, ahh, catching my breath, girl talk on the bleachers, seeing my son so thrilled to swim, and of course trying to plan out dinner ideas!
The moment we got home I had one thing on my mind-garden! After sitting in soil, touching the Earth, and finding an entire head of Romain lettuce stolen from the garden, I was finally breathing like a normal human. Gardening makes me smile. AND look at this, pineapple mint! Not even kidding, this stuff tastes AWESOME as a dressing!! I'm still counting the days till we can make an entire meal from food grown by our own hands...
The day is not over yet, Kainoa is working on homework next to me, (we call writing you all my homework), together we tackle homework and stink like chlorine and swimbikerun! It's all good, it's just us tonight as the boys are with their mom and Masuda is on Maui. Not really a big fan of this chill evening, in fact I prefer all the boys chasing each other down the hall, picking on each other just because kids do that, and fussing over who knows what. Laughing, making giant dinners, and of course the quiet of all of us watching a movie while we all fall asleep youngest to oldest. This is such a good life, all 34 hours a day of it!
Okay, time to pack Kainoas lunch, prepare his breakfast for 6am swim squad, and get dinner on. If you girls with long hair wonder how I do it all without hair in my face, see above! Those are the BEST hair ties in the entire world! And you guessed it, Masuda gave them to me knowing if there is one thing that will hold me back from making my entire day happening, it would be hair in my face!
Thank you momma, you are such a rock star and these lessons in time management finally make sense!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life at HOME...

The Kindergartners getting ready, bet you can spot Kainoa...
Up and at 'em at 4:30am! That is not usual for me, it's the time change goofing me up, but I went with it and tackled the laundry, the unpacking, and packing bags for a full day. Off to Kindergarten!! Today was the Ho'ike at Kahakai Elementary and that meant a good 2 hours of watching hula and chanting. It was the perfect way to ease back into life on the island. As soon as the leis are put on and the children begin to sway with the rhythm of the island its so easy to just be happy...

From there it was time for a swim, solo in the pool thanks to a tiger shark scaring half the island. Thought about oceaning it but by the time the hula at Kainoa's school was pau there was just no way I wanted lunch to be me. Not sure it was a good call or not as the pool and I don't really like each other, especially solo...
Then Kainoa swam. Less than 3wks till his first swim meet! hahahaha, watching him swim is hilarious, I'm laughing in the best possible way, it pretty much is incredible to see him get from one end of the pool to the other! He is so excited and that has me so excited!
The most relaxing part of the day was the garden. I missed getting my hands all dirty while in Costa Rica. Everything has grown so much and a few things were ready to put in dinner tonight. I'm pretty much hooked on this months issue of "Vegetable Gardens". It has ways to help me bring my tomatoes back to life!! AND.... while I was gone Masuda brought in a bundle of bananas! You know what that meant....
Tonight Kainoa and I turned 24 bananas into breads and muffins! Eating from your backyard never tasted so good!! Okay, Kainoa is snoring and I'm getting a little envious hearing it out here in the kitchen. Time to tuck in. Thankful to be home, thankful next weekend is another race (just 30 minutes North), and thankful to have caught up with some friends and family today...
Good Night and thanks for all the support and nice messages from Sunday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

REV3 Costa Rica...

Chances are you saw this photo already, but it deserves a replay as it was truly a highlight of my day. 5 cows cross the street and thankfully there is just enough time to dodge between cow 4 and cow 5. This momma almost brought beef home with the bacon...
Another REV3 race has successfully landed in the triathlon world as a favorite of mine, again. The crew does such a wonderful job of keeping the events athlete minded, athlete focused, and family functionable, (as this is another great destination to enjoy a race with family).
The alarm was set to go off 30 minutes before we planned to head to transition, that is the way I like it and usually do it. However, Jesse Thomas was making what smelled like breakfast fit for a king and woke the house up with amazing smells of just toast. That was at 3am or something like 2 hours before my alarm. I've never been up that early prerace but I went with it, I mean if the fast roomies do it maybe I should try it...
Malaika Homo and I ran to transition in the darkest dark you ever saw, like 3 miles later we safely land in transition and get the show on the road. I have always loved the vibe at REV3 events, its super mello despite having some fiesty competition. Of course 2 hours early leaves me missing a water bottle (which is VERY bad on a hot course like this for a big sweater like me). No worries, Teresa Nelso totally gives me her Power Perform filled water bottle! SUPER score of the day as she even lets me keep it! (Thanks TN). It truly saved me as I used both bottles on the bike and wanted a third in this heat.
After the bike was set it was time to get to the ocean. It looked beautiful, inviting even. I swam a full loop of the course, felt like swimming another as in the water is such a safe spot for me to avoid prerace jitters. I got out with about 3 minutes till start and had just enough time to find a spot on the line and wish the girls a great race. This was the first time meeting most the girls as a lot of short course girls I've never met/raced with until today, let me tell you, each of them were like new best friends and I was instantly put at ease.
3, 2, 1...SWIM! Not sure how but all those dolphin swim sessions back home landed me with some great dolphin dives and I actually was at the front of the swim till the first buoy! Then I was on the feet of the first 2 girls, literally out of breath trying to keep up, exploded pretty good, and almost fell on my face running through the sand for lap 2. I understand why ITU racing and I never happened in that first loop. Loop 2 was a little better as Malaika kept me company pulling the chase pack. Having her was good help keeping my focus and I was super thrilled with my swim this morning, I mean VERY happy to be where I was going on the bike...
The bike began with me catching my breath from the swim explosion. Top of the hill I was almost up front of the race and patiently moved to the front and found the cows. I felt really strong on the bike, not fast but strong. I could tell the running has helped my legs keep busy but taking a big bike break made the one-more-gear I wanted a bit challenging. Once up front though the smile just took over my face. Its such a cool feeling to be leading a race and feel strong doing it. The lead eventually ended near the end of the 24 miles and I was like 40 seconds off the bike behind the Nicole (race winner).
I knew Kate Major and some of the girls behind me could run so I called them all Kenyans and pretended I was back in Hapalua like last weekend and didnt want them to catch me. The chase game worked really good but it was not fast enough to catch Nicole and she outran me in convincing fashion, patiently waited at the finish line, and then Sarah Gray came in and us 3 celebrated with coconuts and soon after landed in ice bath tubs with the rest of the womens feild.
...Another load of beautiful moments have been lived out here in beautiful Costa Rica. These memories will forever be part of the many I have along the beaches in this part of the world. I am happy about this race, this trip, and of course happy that where I go next is my favorite spot on Earth-home.
I look really scared in my post race didn't miss much, it might have said, "WHAT A FUN DAY", that "HURT", Thank you REV3, Splish, Bike Works, Swift Carbon Bikes, Coach Steve & Coach Jimmy, Coconut Girls, Pearl Izumi, my awesome family, Kainoa,Masuda, and friends!!!

Race #3 is now in the books. Next stop, back yard local style racing at the Lavaman in 2 weeks! That means sleeping in my own bed, no travel, and no break in training...oh, bragging rights will of course be up for grabs with the local training buddies. Buenos noches mi amigos, gracias por TODO! I will be leaving for the aeropuerto at 3am so I should maybe pack and sleep real quick!!
Congrats again to everyone who raced today, we survived a scorcher of a race!! And of course all the girls in the race, awesome to meet you, be challenged by you, and glad we shared this day!
ps. Thank you for the photos Diego and Mauricio!