Sunday, August 5, 2012

Philippines 70.3 Race Reflection...

Philippines has captured my heart, again.  It's special what happens when you land in a place so touched by love and appreciation.  I took those very words that make up part of what the Philippines rest on, love and appreciation, and made it my race day plan.  Just went out there loving and appreciating every moment from start to finish.

It was indeed the most simple race plan of my career.  The only thing I did was love what I was doing and appreciate being able to do it. I didn't have my bike computer, never wore the Garmin on the run, setting myself free to enjoy a race to it's entirety-the digging deep, the unknowns, and the pushing of myself all the way till the finish line.  It worked really well too, landing myself 2nd female.  That now puts my Philippines 70.3 finishes as 4th, 3rd, and 2nd...Next year I am already calling a WIN because Kainoa will be here!  (Like that super positive thinking?!).  His dad wrote me before the race with a thumbs up to my, "Kainoa in the Philippines Plan".  Time to $ave!

After massive amounts of sunscreen and water bottles set on the bike it was go time.  The blue ocean, warm water, and coral covered sea floor had me feeling right at home.  I felt really good on the swim, just too easy of an effort.  With the likes of Pete Jacobs and Amanda Stevens the swim had that "way out of reach" fast pack then the "couple minutes behind chase pack".  Between the 2 packs were a few of us all scattered out doing our own pace solo.  I did that for a while then dropped into the chase pack for a free ride.  I never know what to do in this situation and always find myself in it.  Is it better to save a lot of energy and be a minute slower?  Or work and put a minute time in?  I'm thinking save a lot of energy, so I just cruised looking at blue star fish, turtles, coral, jelly fish, and you know, the feet in front of me. A handful of times I went to the side and helped pull our little pack, then I figured that was dumb because it only made elbows collide and everyone get feisty for feet and position, so I figure if no help is wanted I'll settle for the ride and enjoy the views...

Onto the bike.  I think I cried three times on the bike.  There is this spot we pass after the 2nd bridge that looks as if the homes were blown away years ago and never set back into proper living conditions yet they are lived in.  It was breaking my heart and it had me pushing so hard in that area out of complete pain worse than the pain a bike ride gives me.  Belinda "bike bad ass" Granger told me after the race there were a couple parts out there that I impressed her, that I took off and she couldn't reel me in.  I know it was in those parts, where tears just stained my face.  The ride was so much better without my bike clock or HR monitor, it was so nice not seeing any numbers telling me I'm going to hard or too easy.  That ride was a pretty bold and brave attempt to just love and appreciate 56 miles. 

The run was the best part.  Of course it was hot and humid, as expected in this part of the world, but there was still a refreshing feel to the oven we were cooking in.  The entire town lined the streets, in one area it was so thick with children that we had to make a single file line to run through them and a race Marshall had to spread the crowd up.  I smiled through that section, high fiving every hand and using it as my energy, like a million Kainoa's on the course. By the time the finish line was reached my head and heart felt so completely thrilled to have experienced a race so naturally.  It was also a huge honor to have finished in front of Belinda Granger as she has always been a hero of mine in sport and I think that was my first time landing in front of her.  The woman just fights so brave and demands so much of herself, it's contagious.  It was also exciting to race with Caroline Steffen as we haven't been together since Africa, I told her my money is on her to win Kona this year, her humble self just blushes, but she is in a league of her own...

The final morning in the Philippines has now found me on the Lanai soaking up the bird chirps and fresh air.  I'm really thankful to have been part of Philippines 70.3 again.  Each year this race just finds a way to make sport tourism open the flood gates of opportunity and huge financial gains for the poor surrounding towns and locals.  I like being a part of that help in some small way.  A big mahalo belongs to Fred, Guia, Princess, Ching, and the rest of the Philippines 70.3 race staff and volunteers, amazing!  To Swift Carbon for giving a girl on an island a beautiful bike to ride all over the world and believing in me.  To Bike Works, Mauna Lani, and Coconut Girls, the local spots that also make some of what I do possible.  To Rev3 & Splish for being the first support I ever landed and still opening doors for me to race.  To Blue Seventy and Pearl Izumi for the swim skin and the shoes on my feet. Mostly though to my beautiful family, Brooke for helping pay for my flight so I could be here, Kainoa for your precious cheers, Masuda for going through the past month of sport whirlwind with me and wanting to be a big part of it.  And of course my training partners and friends that continue to let me just be me...

Next stop, home.
Bree

15 comments:

Daph said...

Congratulations on finishing 2nd this year and so glad to see you have improved every year you have competed. I just love your passion and love for the sport of triathlon and your family.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Great job! Congrats.
Funny thing about your bike computer. I took mine off for IMNYC this weekend before sending it off on TriBikeTransport..... so does that mean there's a chance I could finish 2nd?

JC said...

SO AWESOME! Like your Olympics today:) Congrats again Chica. You are AMAZING in ALL aspects of life - so beautiful!

The Donkey Pit said...

Congrats on a fantastic finish Bree. Always enjoy your RR, reminds me I need to finish up mine from Honu. :)

Safe travels and wishing you the best always!!

Jimmy & Pammy

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

Great story of the your race, Bree! Very glad you are coming back (with Kainoa, too!) next year. I believe you will win, too.

Nibbles said...

Congratulations Bree! I'm so proud of you!

Christy said...

Congratulations on a job well done!!!!

Kathy said...

THIS is what brings me to triathlon. The joy you find shines so brightly. So happy for you!

Lucy Francis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy Francis said...

Congratulations on your great result Bree, I'm so pleased everything went well and that you had a great race. That's where you belong.
Loved reading your description of the swim...soudns gorgeous. I'm sure I would have gotten distracted with all that beautiful sealife :-)
Caroline steffen is so fast at the moment so your second place is really gutsy. I hope you made it back home safely too.

Shawna Barlette said...

Well done Bree! Congratulations!

Whitney said...

Whoohoo! Congrats Bree! Glad to hear your race went well!

Ruby Fastinista said...

Congratulations! You're amazing.

Juanito Imperial said...

Congratulations on a great race Bree! And thanks for your many heartwarming posts about the country. I got to speak with you in the hotel (along with my wife and sleepy little boy), and you're just as nice in person as in your blog. Bless you, and see you and your son back in Cebu next year!

Christy said...

Really enjoyed this race report. It's awesome that your focus on love and appreciation got you 2nd. Congratulations!!