Monday, April 30, 2012

Garden 101...

This weekend we got to truly, for real, EAT from our garden.  Things were big enough, full enough, and ready enough to land on our plates and satisfy.  I'm talking bok choy, mini carrots, romaine and spinach salads, kale chips, Asian snap peas, green squash, onions, basil, pineapple mint, cilantro, tomatoes, Swiss chard, and daikon for starters.  We have lanai herb boxes, 2 full gardens, a tomato round, and a bamboo flat with "PLEASE GROW" stuff that is sort of experimental.  Pretty much our blue thumbs (because we are more known for our ocean comfort) than our green thumbs, have turned an idea into a mini farmers market! 

Through all of this soil, I am digging up so many sporting lessons!

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant"- Stevenson.

I am LOVING that quote as some days there is NOTHING new emerging from the ground and no sign of even a tiny green anything trying to pop out even though seed packs say I should see action in 7-10 days.  In fact, a big lesson was our watermelons!  After weeks and weeks I pretty much gave up, maybe watermelons don't like to grown in lava rocks?? We put in pumpkin seeds in the watermelons spot, in hopes by October we would have our own pumpkin.  Those hid out for weeks and weeks too, until this evening. (Above is a photo of the pumpkin seed (closest to us) that sprouted!!  Behind it are a ton of watermelon seeds that eventually came up too).  THINGS grow given time...

Like in sport, sometimes the long rides don't begin to feel short when we want them to, the speed work still has us kicking it at the same pace, our stroke has yet to improve in the pool, and just maybe we are struggling to run off the bike, still...

BUT, we have to count on the seeds (our hard work) to eventually pay off, because it will, and we can't judge a single day by the lack of new growth...
The compost is teaching me something too.  This is the first time I've ever collected compost and it has attracted more than bugs, it has caught my total attention!  That junk is making new life better!  The compost is teaching me that the hard days, rough workouts, mental challenges, and other hard sporty lessons eventually make everything better-if of course we use them!
...and to think, all of the garden(s) began just a few months ago with a friends truck at the soil place and a giant bamboo box in the ground Masuda and the boys built! We just have to keep trusting our gardens, er sporting hopes and dreams, will eventually pop out of the ground and grow us some fruits!  That said, one more cool quote from the garden magazine, "There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me".-Jefferson. 
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Happy growing!
Bree

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's Swim!



Swim meet #2 is in the books.  I'm highly convinced life would be so much easier for me had I been put on the swim team at 5.  These lessons of pool induced "fun" are life lessons!  It's really cool being on deck hearing what coaches say to inspire, what team mates do to support, how others cheer despite position, and of course the pile of mini lessons being learned by each child on a personal level.  Things like setting a goal, learning to win and lose and dealing with the outcome, facing fears, growing confidence, being okay with your body and what it can do and, even learning to celebrate what another can do...
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Can you imagine stepping to the start line of a triathlon in the same fashion some of these children stand tall behind dive blocks?  Today I also saw the other end.  There is also a freestyle battle with 2 of the fastest high school girls in the state, the girl who won is the state champ, she stepped up and gave the onlookers the sense that she would win, confidence, a beautiful quiet confidence just shined.  The girl who took second and has most all swims on the island looked around, looked at her competition, then looked down.  I knew going into the event what both girls position were.  Watching I also noticed that the second place girl could win that event, really could, if she would just believe it possible.  But like her, some of us do that, we don't think we have it in us till we actually do it. As if we have to see it to believe it.  She took second by 6 tenths of a second...

Kainoa once again prepared for the back stroke as if it were the Olympics.  He just LOVES it.  That pool and backstroke have become such a happy place in life for him.  Here he has found his confidence, his joy, and something that he reaches for.  He was faster long course this meet than he was short course in the last meet!  Above, him and Coach Wendy were having a pep talk, I try my best to listen and stay on the side lines, but I'm learning too, imagine me as 5!!  However, when Kainoa asked, "Mom are you nervous for me?" Coach Wendy had me step away...I told Kainoa I was excited, and I was.  

That pool was so long but until you know fear you just don't face a fear in the world, he was facing only a race...


Waiting at the other end of a long pool gave me time to think about next weekend, all these kids gave me lessons in sport that you just can't read from a sport-psychology book. These children were rock stars...
...and this too!  Can you imagine stepping up to your next race with your back flashing the confidence you carry!?  This little girl won some lost some, but what I loved was that each race was also an improvement in her time, that's a win right?  To make any sort of improvement you have to just believe and carry that confidence...who knows, it might just one day be the 6 tenths of a second you need...
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Happy Racing,
Bree

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big, Beautiful World...

You know us triathletes, we always have a workout every week that we wait so eagerly for, mine was today!!  For lots of reasons I was excited...it was a long ride to a beautiful place, it would test my brain power as I would be running off the bike for longer than I have all year, most all of it was solo, and it landed the day after a really hard day...but mostly I was excited to get where I was going...
Today I went up a big hill, over 3 bridges, lost count counting cows, flew down a few valleys, climbed up a few rollers, blew over in the wind but not off the bike, smiled so big because THIS is  how I was spending my day.  I finally landed at the valley where onlookers took pictures, smiled, and felt happy to see what I am SO blessed to call home.  It was a pretty thankful moment, and then I rode back.
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Most the ride I was wishing I had my run shoes with me as mile after mile opened up to trail after trail.  The island holds so many treasures and little tucked in and out of the way spots to explore.  Every time I think I have been to each and every spot a new one catches my attention.  The ride was long, rewarding, and quiet possibly a perfect way to spend Thursday...




After the ride it was into T2 where the Bike Works crew and I made sure to test out all the new 1980's looking Oakley shades.  After much laughter it was time to run, truly I was a little nervous about this as my legs felt slightly toasted on this BIG sized training week.  BUT something happened that has not happened in maybe forever, it felt like I hadn't ridden bike!  I'm pretty sure I rode, in fact I know I was on the bike longer than I'd been on a bike all year, my brain was a little tired, my belly was a lot hungry, but the legs-they ran good.   It was a goofy, slap happy smile on my face kind of run.  I'd like to blame the fact I ate nearly an entire loaf of banana bread last night on fueling such an enjoyable run...
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The weekend looks like more swimbikerun, Kainoa's swim meet, some packing for REV3 Knoxville, and I'm thinking to bake up more banana bread, it could become a secret weapon for Thursdays!  Have a good weekend...
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Bree

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

5 hours on Tuesday...

After 5 hours of swimbikerun on a Tuesday I can finally stop to smell some flowers, and that I did. Remember I'm the girl who knows full well this opportunity to call triathlon my job could slam into a full on halt on any given day. I loved this work yesterday, today I love this work, and I will again tomorrow. Today I really loved it though, it just went smooth as butter...
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Except one tiny bike incident. Yesterday I finally got one of those ROAD ID thingys that even dogs wear. Good idea I suppose when you travel all over. Thankfully I've never bumped into any accidents that send me needing back ups and truthfully I'm more nervous of the sharks here than the beautiful big shoulders we have for riding. That said the ROAD ID might be a good idea if a shark eats me and my arm washes to shore. Anyways, today I was actually happy about the ROAD ID. A semi had a blowout and the tire burst into giant pieces and came flying at my friend Kait and I. We road off into the rocks, the truck flew into the shoulder, cars swerved, she about puked, I screamed and cried for Kainoa and Masuda wanting to say I love them one more time, and then we about lost it. We actually closed our eyes and prepared for a tire to hit our heads or a car.
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Thankfully we made it out in one piece, a wet piece as I peed my pants and she nearly puked out fear all over herself. Buy the ROAD ID you guys, you just never know and they make really pretty colors. The rest of the ride went by with nothing more dangerous than some strong winds. And then I ran...that was easy.

The day began here though, Kona Pool. This is usually a trouble in paradise spot for me as I struggle in the pool unless company helps me stay on task. It was a quicky of a workout, you can tackle 3400 in 45minutes to an hour depending on the pace you set. Here, I'll share the workout in case you are anything like me in the pool and need something that goes by really fast so you can get out of the chlorine...
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100 easy
8x200 (build 1-4, repeat)
10x100 (every other one fast)
12x50 as 2 easy, one swim till your arms fall off, repeat for 12
100 cool down
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It felt like we only swam 20 minutes, seriously try it if you are pool challenged.
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I've got a week and 2 more days at home, then off to REV3 Knoxville. I'm so excited to race again and looking forward to being in a place I've never been. It'll be a short trip, a quick race, and then home to keep focus into Hawaii 70.3...
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Happy Training, keep safe :)
Bree

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Lucky One...



Under a cluster of swaying palm trees that really, really good feeling hit home in me.  This has little to do with triathlon and more to do with life at the moment, my life.  I was smiling again, that really big smile that a girl wears when she has no doubt about following her heart, wherever that might lead.  Truly, life takes so many twists and turns for me,  by nature my style is to know what to expect so I know what shoes to have on.  Run shoes, because sometimes I like to run away from it, or slippers for when I bravely want to walk up and face life in the face...

After a week fully loaded of swimbikerun n' Kainoa, (hence the lack of keeping posted for almost a week), Friday landed the Masuda boys, Kainoa, and me at sunset up at Mauna Lani.  It was perhaps the kind of weekend a girl dreams about, a lot like a love story she envisions when she believes in fairy tales.  You know how that goes, girl and boy hold hands on the beach, barefoot of course, talk and walk while waves dance and the sun drops into the ocean...I'll keep it G rated...

Just going with the flow, not in my run shoes despite that bit of nervousness to fully open my heart again and not in slippers despite being beyond brave, this was me happy even though I don't know where I'll land.  Kainoa danced with honu and the older boys wound up hunting down their own entertainment.  From there it was night swimming, but this post is not about triathlon this time, so think of it more as a family in the resort pool at night, make it the jacuzzi actually...




 Being middle of the triathlon season it of course means TRAIN HARD, however, part of that training also means REST hard.  Rather than wake up at 5:30 and leave everyone sleeping I actually let my eyes stay resting too.  I'm sure in little ways that was really good for me, a full day off.   Totally off, except for the belly flop contest in the Mauna Lani pool and launching children from one end to the other. 

And then we biked, all 5 of us.  Refreshingly, I was able to go without looking at pace, miles, or nutrition.  Instead I had Kainoa to race, it was also our first time on single bikes together!  This is a big moment for a mom and I was happy to have known it this weekend!
Just love this bunch.  After bikes and pool it was back home from the mini-staycation.  The really good weekend I'd always wanted to know stayed good, really good.  We went home and made homemade pizzas and had a movie night...again, a good day off!
Sunday morning was back to business, in many ways that was refreshing as I am part of us in the world that loves what I get to do, daily.  An ocean swim with most the masters team started the morning and Kainoa eating giant cinnamon rolls with his nephew and uncle at the pier topped it off.  From the pier to the garden I landed.  The boys mowed, weeded things, trimmed things, and hauled things.  It looked like a massive load of fun, heeeeheeee, but I wouldn't know, I was in the garden playing with seeds, soil, and watering hoses!  Never would have envisioned I'd love a family day like this so much, but I did.  It was the same way I had it growing up, everyone working in the yard together, and it's finally part of my life once again...
 The boys loaded into the truck to haul off everything they trimmed, chopped, dug up, and killed.  This made for the perfect time to get my Sunday run in.  Running in the late afternoon made me feel pretty strong, it was hot, humid, and windy.  Of course that was also the last time I saw my head phones to the little blue IPOD.  And like any woman would do, I bravely searched the boys room for them and found only old pop cans, throw up on a pillow, (don't ask, he said it was a case of too much sugar), socks from 3 weeks ago, Easter candy, and then I called the search off for fear of finding anything else...
 After the run and yard work it was green stuff, I ended up drinking 3 of them and we ended up stuffing our faces with burritos in hopes of making it to a 5pm movie.  We made it!  I'm telling you we jammed in so much family time to a single weekend I don't even remember having a moment to breathe, or maybe this is breathing...
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Okay, I'll let you know what we saw..."The Lucky One".  I know!!  Right?!!  All 4 of the boys, from the 5 year old to the 35 year old all came to the chick flick with me. It wasn't 2 thumbs up despite the previews looking like I would be crying all movie long.  However, the company was awesome. To make the last night we are all together before the new week has us all over the place we went to ice cream and walked to buy crayons because one of the boys (no names) threw 2 boxes of his teachers crayons and broke them or something like that Friday.  I'm telling you, life with 4 boys makes for entertainment all day and night long!
 It's now Monday, the start of a new week.  I miss all the weekend fun and find myself filling the day with plenty of training and of course digging up greens from the garden to take to the sister, not that I need an excuse to land at her house, but it helps to show up with green stuff if I plan to whine about missing the boys...
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Lots of ALOHA,
Bree

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sharing Shorty's....

I am pretty sure a million or more swims in the same ocean, with the same dolphins, under the same sun, will not be enough to have me ever lose my sense of wonder and awe...captivated again today. The "stay in the moment" plan is still working really well for me. It is totally enhancing all that I love in a day, like my longish ride on my beloved Swift bike, watcing Kainoa at swim practice, playing in the garden. Sure, where I live might have plenty to do with it, but I have friends all over the world in spots so different than the island that are equally happy with their surroundings-like the big city and mountains too...
Back to the shorts.... just in case you are longing for the island, (or being in tiny shorts like half the population), here is a MUST share! These little shorty's are hand sewn by a buddy on the swim team. Seriously fun if you are in need of feeling beachy wherever you live, or just wanting to romp around as if you just got out of an ocean swim with dolphins. Here is her link: shipsinthenight. Her bikini's are on there too and everything is super priced...
Sunsets and seashells, yes those still remain as favorites to enjoy in the shorty's...
Happy swimbikerun!!
Bree

Monday, April 16, 2012

Motivation...

"Sometimes a girl just needs a whole bunch of joy in her life, not just to win or lose"
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Monday began before the chickens woke and it looked as if this week was going to be one of those that start bright and early Monday and runs hard and fast right into late Sunday...one of those weeks. So I got fired up about it, happy about it, and kind of eager to tackle it too. Then something happened...
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I realized if I breathe throughout each little thing, sort of enjoy it not just do it, I might actually get more out of it. My motivation for the week is to be "present" in each part of what is happening. So during swim, I swam. Just swam. I thought only on swim, paid attention to swim stuff, talked swimmy things, and even liked being in the pool, drenched in chlorinated lap after lap. Somehow that landed me with actually getting in the warm up and cool down, not just doing the "workout" part.
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Then I had a pretty good sized run. This is the time in my day that I love, thoughts drift all over the place. The grocery list gets mentally made, love notes get written, knots get untangled, and some sort of refreshment happens at the foot step of done. But today, I ran. I only ran. Thinking only running things, like holding back my arms from doing that funky chicken thing they do, breathing, pacing, run only stuff. Shocking how successful of a run that ended up being...
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I think when we were kids it was so easy to live in the moment, to be present. There was no need to think about getting dinner on the table, our parents did that. Tomorrows "stuff" would happen tomorrow, and whatever happened yesterday was long gone...
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Surprisingly, way more got accomplished this Monday just by taking it all in stride and being part of each little part of the entire day. Have you ever watched a child sleep? I'm watching Kainoa now and let me tell you, he is totally in the moment, not thinking about what to wear to school tomorrow, who will show up to recess, what mom will pack in his lunch, how he will get through swim practice, or if it will be sunny out. A single step at a time...
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Alright, time for me to attempt this sleep thing of "just sleep", let the rest fade and handle it a step at a time. Night!!!
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Bree

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lieto in the Line up...

This post doesn't have much to do with Lieto (Chris), but is has a little something. Today, out surfing you would never believe who I saw?? Guesses? Chris Lieto and his son. It's not everyday you see one of the fastest American men on 2 wheels, in triathlon, out surfing pretty good sized waves in Hawaii. Today I saw him though...
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I suppose on Sunday that is a good thing to see, family time. This has been a pretty cool year in sport for me, so far so good, as over the past couple seasons I have been learning more and more about choosing a goal, making a pathway to reach that goal, then actually working my okole off to see that goal through. I have also been learning (still a work in progress) that with most things in life-life happens. You know, ups and downs, hiccups, twists and turns. Those things used to truly set me into a frenzy, a bit of worry would set in that I AM MISSING SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT, as if missing a run means life is out of order. Anyways, it's getting better and sweeter with each passing instance that I am learning to take in stride.
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...and so today, after a beautiful ocean swim with a swell rolling through, I waited at the finish line of the Alii Peaman 10 Miler for my sister. Wanting to race it actually sat on my "must do" list, I love that race, but I didn't even start it, boohooo. A very wise running friend told me after the race, "Bree you won by not running". I didn't really get it, but after seeing Lieto out surfing it made more sense. Sometimes we just can't do every single race, every workout, every adventure that our little hearts desire. Well, we might be able too, but then we might not have the energy, strength, or determination that sometimes happens when we sit one out.
This weekend was a pretty good blend of swimbikerun and family. Life for me just works better that way and with Monday happening tomorrow I am actually eager to tackle a new week rather than enter it ran down or lacking the motivation. The new week will include the planting of garden #2 (as you can see garden #1 has totally turned out better than envisioned). Kainoa will of course take me to a sunset, and I have promised myself no slacking on the bike this new week. Saturday we found a couch in the middle of the lava field during our big hill loop, I had to check it out...no checking anything out this new week-FOCUS!
So tonight, on a beautiful Sunday, I am thankful for all the good moments in sport and beyond thankful for all the good moments shared with those I love. And like so many Sunday's it is bitter sweet. Tomorrow Kainoa returns home from his dads but Masuda flys off to Maui for work...
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Good night!!
Bree

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Green Tea Thoughts...

If you are anything, at all, like me, sitting quiet is a rare and precious luxury. It's not to say we aren't surrounded by beautiful moments during the busy, but to just sit still is a luxury...it is my simple pleasure free of laundry, pick up times, meeting spots, and alarm clocks, dinner dishes, and everything between.
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Today was the first time in weeks I sat all alone with nothing to do but drink green tea. Of course to sit this still I had to leave the house, at home I find at least one chore to tackle between sips. This was a luxury that did not disappoint, and with no company it meant plenty of silence free of any thought, care, or wonder in the world...
Once that tea was empty it was run time with one of the most amazing familys I am so lucky to know and a dear friend that I have had since childhood (not really that long, but it feels like it). We of course ran the beach loop at "family pace". If you wonder what that is, it's where the mom, dad, 2 sisters, younger brother, family friend, and I could all go together. These are the types of runs where you have nothing to prove, the ones that don't define how fast you are or even let sport be the priority. I'm reading Ryan Hall's book right now and this exact run had me feeling like he would enjoy this sunset at our pace...
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If you have yet to read his book, it goes into depth about his depression, when he let race results, paces, and miles define him. Good times had him happy, bad ones had him empty. Running along the waters edge at "family pace", I gave myself that little "check yourself Bree" that I do to make sure I have my balance in sport, life, and love all in harmonized.
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At the waters edge I was so happy, beaming in fact, as I gazed out at the sunset. That told me I was just fine. Life, love, and sport are all in harmony. If I felt that urge to "hurry, get back, don't stop in this run, race back, beat the family, ect" I would have some work to do in life outside of sport. Don't get me wrong, I love a good track session, long runs with no stops, and trying to beat some training partners. On a run like this though, it was all about simply running...
...and when you are not content on the waters edge it is okay to just run right in. That is how I love to live, just get right in...

I even found a little honu floating along sunset...
We did run back, most the way. Then we waited on the younger brother who of course, did almost all the run in his slippers!!!
Sometimes to hold happiness you have to be able to stop and let it land in your hands. That run landed in the most perfect part of my week, the end of a long one after green tea...
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Aloha ahiahi,
Bree

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thinking on my best...

Today I had a single hill to run. It was a good one, it just goes up. Once you land on top you can see Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kohala on a clear day, today was clear and it made for CLEAR THINKING! Laying in the grass my thoughts were all of the parts of my day that really, truly deserve appreciating. I know life gets rough and times get difficult, these moments are the ones worth holding tightly, their glimpse are the best parts of life right now...the rest sucks. Just kidding, but really, these are the good parts...
Our garden. Spending quiet moments there, watching it unfold a day at a time, and being able to take a fork up with me and call it lunch...
Ocean swims...warm, sunny, fish filled.
Being able to wear little bikini's all year round and never worrying about how small they are or if it's up your butt, nobody cares on the island and every body size, shape, color is welcome to grace the shores of Hawaii in hardly anything! These days make me thankful I am a girl...Guava, waterfalls, and him...
Beach runs in the sand, alone on a beach, early morning with just a few birds waking up...Papaya, 7 for $2.00. Of course all the fruit is good and picking from a tree is cool too, but these get me every time!
Sunsets with a little boy who daily reminds me how to find passion in every part life...
Dolphins on swims, in the surf...
Swim practice for 10 and unders and my best friend as the coach...
Sitting on the roof at night after all the boys have gone to sleep, watching the moon rise and the stars beg me to make wishes on them. I'm pretty sure those and some good miles on the bike are the best parts of life right now...
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I once read that what we focus on grows. Focus on the good and more of it will be recognized, focus on your problems and they will get bigger and more vivid. That said, bring on more gardens, sunsets, ocean swims, bikinis, runs on a beach, dolphins, island fruit, Masuda & hikes to cool spots on Earth, Kainoa's priceless passion for life, good friends, and roof top moments!~ Off to write out some bills, sure wish we could pay in sand dollars...
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Bree