Monday, June 3, 2013

Honu, My Race to Lose...



Saturday morning I believed with all my heart the race was mine to win or lose.  And I lost it.  Around mile 9 of the run, holding a precious little lead over a couple girls I knew wanted to win as much as me, I was directed in the wrong direction and landed at mile 12 not 10. They told me I was now 4th guy behind Luke Bell.  My heart sank.  I had to run back to mile 9 and get back on course in the same way I got off course to stay fair in the race. In a quick moment of confusion, on a course I have run before, I lost the race, for myself...

I have never felt so disappointed at a finish line.  I just cried to Mike, "Why did this happen to me, why was I sent that direction?".  And the tuff bald guy he is, gave it to me straight, "You still have to be in your head out there, that one split second you lose focus, you lose".  

And so, from winning to third place...


The night before the race I read something my friend Cedes wrote, "A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot". The race just felt so pressure-less, I was so excited sleep was impossible for me.  My foot was good, training had been brilliant, and a seriously awesome blessing happened earlier that week. A good friend in the community paid for my flight to the Ironman in a couple weeks!  Tammy's kindness took away the usual stress I race with, that huge push and tug for a payday to keep financially a float was no longer on my shoulders...

I was about to race the way I train, with all my heart, enjoying every mile of it...


Hapuna greeted us with the usual winds & chop that happen up North, to me, it was a welcomed feeling.  The swim was about as perfect as a swim could go, never got punched, kicked, or dragged under water.  Two guys and I made a little chase group and swam strong enough to get me out of the water as first girl.  The high light, other than not getting the usual under water wrestling match, was seeing Mike out there working water patrol!  There was even time to wave to him between breaths!




I absolutely loved running up the beach as the first girl, it is a feeling that is indescribable.  It sets you up feeling strong and eager to stay that way.  First girl out doesn't happen as much as I wish it would, so these moments are really special to me.  It also leaves you time to see and hear your friends and family cheering you on. 

The first turn of the bike they announced a 2 minute lead.  The bike only got stronger and stronger for me.  In Hawi they announced almost a 5 minute lead.  Honestly, I was in shock Belinda hadn't caught me, she always catches me on the bike and I know her reputation is for being one of the best cyclists in our sport.  She's brilliant and scary on 2-wheels. 

I just put my head down and pushed over the pedals with all my heart.  "Bree, you got this, remember you rode bike to Hilo!"  That was pretty much my mantra...the time I rode to Hilo! 


Off the bike I felt like a little kid just out to recess! It got even better when they announced an almost 8 minute lead.  No friggen way, "there is just no way", was all I could think.   Belinda & Julia can bike, I know this because I have ridden with them and suffered doing it.

I ran the first mile as easy as I could, my new plan to go "slow" off the bike has been helping to go "faster" in the end.  It made settling my stomach into run mode with the water/coke/sports drink combination a little easier to handle too.  It was weird though, eventually seeing the chase girls, even far enough behind that I could relax, I never felt like I was the winner.  It just felt like winning on this day would be too easy, and as any athlete knows, winning just never comes easy...



The entire run I was happy.  My friends and little Kona town were all over the course!  I got my butt slapped by the naughtiest girl I know, Kainoa chased me, Mike popped up from who knows where all over out there, my sister was waiting on top of a hill, all of them made it feel like a long Sunday run...

And then...

I got to mile 12, not 10.  Had to run back the other way.  My 5 minute lead became 4 minutes and 30 seconds behind.  My heart sank, I walked an aid station with tears rolling down my face, just sad as can be.  Mike found me and told me to move my @$$ because 4th place girl is on her way.  SO I ran, and ran, and ran...

A 15 mile half marathon in one hour and 48 minutes. 

Took third pro girl, cried.  Never cussed, never wanted too.  The finish line support really helped keep my chin up and the confidence of feeling strong all day I can take with me.  Of course the points and payday loss hurt worse than not holding first place.  Don't get me wrong, first place is a goal, but I really wanted those Kona points as each of them seem to matter when you are amongst a huge field of pro women triathletes and only 35 of us get a ticket to the big show in October.









It was a honor to still land amongst the top 3 and share podium with Belinda and Julia, who both raced strong and smarter than me. Congrats girls, sucks being blonde sometimes...

Mike and Kainoa, my promise is to not let my attitude about this stink worse than my shoes you deal with.  Love you both dearly for each moment you gave to me in the lead up to this race. I have a giant list of friends/family worth mentioning too, and a little handful of sponsors that have been wonderful in my triathlon journey, thank you...

Wendy, Brooke, & Tricia for help with Kainoa and SO MUCH MORE, Kona Aquatics and Coach Steve, Chandler and the high school girls for swim company that hurts. Sal and your run squad for hurting me so good while running fast. Bike Works and Nick for all the love you give to the AWESOME Swift Carbon!  To Zoot for the beautiful shoes and training clothes, you know I love the bright stuff!  Rolf for the wheels that LOVE playing in cross wind. Splish forever and always the most motivating swim suits! The kind family at Breakthrough Nutrition for all the fuel love you give. To Junko and The Club in Kona for great massages and treadmills!  And of course Coach Jimmy...you do a good job of handling the athlete in me!

And to the incredible pro girls out there, thank you for pushing me everyday to be better than I am today.  And of course, for swim practice this morning!!  We are such a blessed bunch to work in bikini's :)

So much love,
Bree

ps... 3 weeks till Ironman, maybe those extra miles will come in handy!

12 comments:

ltlindian said...

I don't know why that stuff happens either. That sucks so much. You know you had it and they know you had it. You will live and learn and do better next time.

btw you look like a ROCK in those pictures! tough as nails! Great shots.

Kir said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. Try to keep your chin up - we still think you're a rock star! Wishing you your best race ever in 3 weeks.

- Kirsten

MaryMaryMyers said...

Bree you did NOT lose, you could never lose...you are BREE MYERS WEE; and you, chica, are a winner everyday of your life!!!

Whitney Sutherland said...

Wow...3rd place after an extra detour is still awesome. I'm so glad that you share the human side of being a pro with us. Chin up and keep on pursuing your passion and dream. We're all here for you!

Lucy Francis said...

Bree taking a wrong turn during a course happens to the best of them so don't beat yourself about it (and it usually happens in courses we've done before....happened to me). I know you wanted to win but 3rd in a podium that includes Belinda is pretty impressive. Go recharge your batteries

Living Maria said...

You are an inspiration. Next race for you is the book race. You need to write a memoir and publish it.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

2:30 and change on that course? Sweet. Remember, the CDA course changed since the last time you did it and now there are a total of (8) 2 mile long climbs. Nothing steep but might be worthy of some hill repeats in training.

Adrian said...

Love those pics of your friends and son running and cheering after you! That will happen again @ Kona in Oct! You are in damn fine form!! IMCDA, you will rock in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tina Marie Parker said...

You rock! Great pics & keep the chin up :)

Xocas said...

¡Ánimo! Be quiet and confident, you will achieve your goal. Sure!

Robin said...

Congrats on a fantastic race. Bummer on the wrong turn, but your positive attitude is awesome. To appreciate the pay off of your training and know that you can and will do more is great to read. You're an inspiration; 1st or 3rd. Cheers!

Kathy said...

I've been reading your blog for ages and at 20 years younger, you keep teaching me more (and none of it about triathlon). But this day you gave us an Amazing example of triathlete.

I was recently on a ride with my husband and I had a number in my head I wanted. He wasn't doing well and I kept dropping him. Every time I'd go back and pick him up I'd lose on my magic number but i'd figure out a way to justify it until the very last time. I was So Pissed in my head that i wasn't going to get my number and just sat up, behind him and gave up, spinning in the last 7 km.

On Sunday, you had a number in your head (payday, Kona points, etc.) and you let yourself get really down. And then you did something that I think is harder than any physical accomplishment; you picked up your mental self and raced. You went from despair and loss to attacking.

And that is the lesson I have taken away from this and a tool you now have in your toolbox for the next time it gets tough. i think it takes a LOT of mental fortitude to go from despair and loss to attacking those demons and finishing strong. Your heart. It is amazing.