Monday, July 29, 2013

This Journey...


I've been trying to slow down a little, not on the training front, just the vrooming through life's adventures, the hustle and bustle of getting here and there really fast, while tackling this and that at record setting pace.  That lead to a walk with the family through Kaloko, the non-beachy part of the island.  And there I discovered the truth behind that little gem, "It's not about the destination but the journey".  Truth be told, since childhood I have been on a mission.  I want to learn to ride a bike without training wheels, I want to get to 5th grade, I want to be in middle school, I want to graduate high school, I want to hurry and get through college and move, I want to get married, I want children, I want into Ironman Hawaii...pause. 

Dreams and goals definitely give a lot of motivation to life, often times keeping us reaching rather than settling, but every now and then our eyes are so fixated on the outcome that the process (or journey) is barely even tasted.  With 3 races this weekend, changing the KPR points for pros to qualify for Kona, my eyes remained more focused on this journey than ever...


Little things, like walks with Kainoa, family movie night all snuggled on the couch, sunset from the quiet of our lanai, making pretty dinners, enjoying my training partners company. To bigger things, unexpected things that made me thankful my eyes are in the right place.  Things like the boys leaving me food in the truck after my bike ride, to Mike making Sunday family breakfast, and a cooler of ice waiting on the door step after my long run.  To the best things that happen every weekend no matter how many dreams we are chasing at once, like family surf Sunday and Costco trip to eat all the samples...


 


And the moments that remind you that you are never alone on your journeys, so no need to rush through them.  Kainoa has fallen in love with "love notes" and seems to appreciate them more than the time it takes to jot them down quick before I rush off to swim practice.  Perhaps family really is the best group of cheerleaders, the most amazing guides and coaches, and ultimately the best prize...


Speaking of prizes,
With a quick hop, skip, and jump over to Philippines this week, followed up by a mini trip back home to the island long enough to wash laundry and repack before zooming to Canada, this week has been especially concentrated on fuel, the good kind.  Blue and green kind.  Our kitchen has been pumping out smoothie bowls and juiced garden like it's a fast food joint!  And I love it!  I feel so good with this training volume when I eat better. Well, I still sneak in musubi...



Another special part of this journey has been having my family here for Summer.  They have been really cool about supporting the training habits (er, work), and understanding my need to chill out a little more than usual with the horizon of racing staring at me.  Not to mention, some awesome Kainoa sitters and cousin time being very handy!   Alright, now the part of today's journal that I am really excited to talk about...


Jumping for joy with this bit of news to share...

My flight to Ironman Mount Tremblant has been booked!  AS of last night nearly all I need for both Philippines 70.3 and the Ironman in Canada has happened for me, for us! I'm sitting 44 right now, it's still an okay spot according to the KPR Math smarty pants people.  I know how sport goes, sometimes its out of our grip no matter how awesome training has been going!  So I'm just staying patient, hopeful, and ENJOYING THE JOURNEY.   13 races to go, I'm in two of them.  The first race will have little movement, that's why we decided to train right through it, the second race will play a major roll in the qualifying for Ironman Hawaii...

Anyways, let me share quick what happened in the last 2 weeks.  Support began to land in my mail box, I was thankful as it was enough to cover flying my bike to and from Philippines.  Then more mail, now enough to fly my bike to and from Philippines and to and from Canada!  Then little things, like money for a massage, for "Victory dinner meal", I thought that was really cute, and for "airport food", And then...more.  Last night, sitting to do the Math, support was enough to fly me to Canada and back!  I'm so blessed right now, I'm really humbled, and really feel as if this journey is so far from being my own, but truly shared.  Our little family has really pulled together for this, maxing out our Hawaiian miles, taking a break from going to the movies and out to dinner, and of course saving with the garden.  I am so thankful for them, for truly showing me the value of a family.  And to those that have given to me, pretty sure words will lack meaning to show my appreciation, rest assured you will be along with me on the next few races, knowing full well you helped make it possible!   THANK YOU... you know who you are!


Alright, that's about it over here.  It is now raining with Flossie on her way to the island.  We managed swim practice out there since the island shut down all the pools (the beaches too actually, our swim just went anyways).  As for today's ride, it was insane.  Fighting head winds strong enough that if I ever hear anyone complain about Kona winds you can bet I will be giggling inside.  In fact, just shy of an hour out, turned back towards town, and made it in 20 minutes!  That is what the wind was, a fight followed by a flight!  Have a good week...

Bree

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Butterflies and the Beach...

 

Today I got really, really strong butterflies in my belly.  The kind that you want to catch with a net and save for a rainy day, when you need excitement.  I am not sure why this happens to me nearly 10 days out from every race, no matter the distance or location.  But it does.  Why do some athletes have these butterflies so strongly and others breeze through race week without a thought in the world baffles me.  I know butterflies mean you care and mean you are excited.  Mine just seem to be really loud and make me almost sick.  I just want to talk for a long time with training partners or friends who feel like listening to a lot of ramble or I want a hug.  Usually both.  They make it hard to sleep too...

This morning was a favorite kind of training day:  Run intervals and ocean swim.  I'll get to that in a second.  From sweaty to salty sea was pretty much the day.  Having all my family here for Summer sure was a great escape from the butterflies.  Who am I kidding, they followed me...


We floated...


We jumped...
 

We hid under over sized hats from the sunshine...

Back to the butterflies, when mine are really loud they sound like this,

 "Go pack, are you packed?, want to take a run, get out of the sun, you should nap, what gel is your favorite right now, yay back to the Philippines, I love the Philippines, wish Kainoa was coming along, think positive, my shoe laces are so awesome, if I swam the way swimming has been going at practice this will be great, oatmeal for breakfast, I'm not packing a towel, maybe somebody will have a bike pump I can borrow, passport, I want a new book for the flight"...

Its still going, they have more parading going on than that.  One thing I have discovered though, through many races of learning to "embrace the butterflies" is that it's nearly all stuff that is okay and within control.  Anyways, if you are at all like me and have a flock of butterflies that go wild in your belly before any race, here is a little something I learned-Write it down.  Seriously, write down everything that you are hearing, the soft and the loud.  Make a list and look it over.  If it is stuff like training worries calm yourself by reminding yourself of the work you put in and results you have seen in training (if you haven't done squat use that as a warning to do work next race).  If you are hearing stuff like, flat tires, the competition, heat, cold, hills, ect-that is not in your control.  You can only worry about your attitude to each of those things, like having a wetsuit, wearing sunscreen, your pace, and being prepared in case of a flat.  My point is, check out your list, deal with it, use it as a tool to better prepare or a reminder (like pack the passport in my list).  You got this...



Back to this morning, Fernanda Keller and a bunch of other legends were all at the pier this morning, including Hines Ward.  It was awesome.  Having people slowly begin the trickle into town for October has me all the more excited for my next two races, just wanting good days so I can grab my points to race at home, here, with all of them.  My swim was recovery from the morning run intervals.  With some smarter than usual thinking, we are training right on through Philippines.  So I am not really having a big rest, like I plan to take for Canada.  This is good news for me, I love training and am not ready to chill out just yet. I'll share my run workout though, just in case you are in need of a little Summer run from my training plan rather than your own.

Warm up, include some pick ups.  Main set is 10x1k.  I'll be honest, I am not good at thinking in K's, so I actually just called it half-mile repeats.  You make your own call on that.  The goal is to build each one so the 10th is your fastest and each one building into #10 gets faster.  The trick is to be brave enough to start strong and "run interval pace", while making sure to knock off time each one.  Then cool down.  Happy running,

Bree

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Light House...


You know what they say about light houses, they bring us home.  They are the whats left standing when we go out on our travels, adventures, and whatever else we go after.  They light the way when we need to find our way back or just guide us when we get closer. 

As October draws closer, it feels like I am more than ever chasing my dreams out to sea.  With travel to Philippines a week away then Canada right after that, more than ever I am finding just how much those sailors must have appreciated the light houses.  Its a big deal to go way, way out to sea in search of what you are looking for.  I'm not scared, truth is, sometimes it takes a big travel into the unknown to really see all the light you have keeping you on your path.  


This weekend Mike had to work a 12 hour shift at Relay For Life.  It's for a good cause, I've never actually even been to one till Sunday.  I promised him I'd keep him company for the last 2 hours of his shift, 4am-6am.  And so I did...my long run around a track with tons of others all walking/running for a purpose.  It was by far one of my best long runs, ever.  SO much motivation and encouragement.  If you have yet to support the cause, do it...

At first I felt bad, just showing up to do my long run at the event.  But after a few miles, it was more awesome than expected.  Little kids were running with me, others walking decided to jog, I met so many people.  Some felt motivated to keep going because a crazy girl was running circles for 2 hours non stop, and you know what else, you forget all about yourself.  I needed that.  


Another great light house so to speak, has been Leahi.  Maybe you know her, probably heard of her.  She is the Islands best, fastest, most incredible long distance swimmer.  On the same day as Ironman Mount T. she is swimming the Kaiwi Channel.  Do you know about that?!  It's 26 miles from Molokai to Oahu...no kidding.  She is swimming a marathon! I keep using her as my light, "if she can swim that far gosh darn, I can run that far".  Yesterday she was my swim partner in the middle of the day, ocean chop and all.  I think thats what great people are on Earth for, to be our light houses.  Some of them just stand tall and bright for us as we venture out, helping us find our way home.  Others go light the path challenging us to follow the foot steps of our own dreams.  So I swam my booty off with her...


And then I got these girls...
My sisters.  We have been having dance parties like we are still 12.  We even film the action and dress up, like we have done all our lives, entertaining nobody but ourselves.  Family has got to be your greatest light house when you set off in the dark.  And of course those friends that are family, like Wenders who lets me go for long rides while she pals around with Kainoa.


Training on the island has been going good.  This morning I swam a :58 for one of my 100's, that was a first.  Ever.  Then I tried to be a light to the High School Triathlon team, riding intervals with them over 3 hours.  It was pretty exciting as they prepare to be the youngest in Ironman Hawaii this October, to be the girl on the bike next to them, telling them to "Find a way, to hold on, to keep going", even caused me to do the same.  Kainoa is playing me a song on the ukulele right now, it's pretty awesome, if I lose sight of the light this kid will always have a song to sing me home...


Have a good week!
Bree

Friday, July 19, 2013

God on a Wednesday...


My fair warning, if you are not a fan of God, maybe stop reading, 'cause my ramble is mostly about Wednesday through this morning when a little faith was restored...in people.

On Tuesday, I rode my bike right into a couple of the high school boys who will be the youngest in Ironman Hawaii this October.  We got to talking story about the race and the "bigger picture", which of course lead to Philippines 70.3 and how I always see God there, peeking through the faces of the children.  Pretty sure I have them convinced to sign up next year!  Anyways, that lead to other stuff, like Keoni's mission trip to South Africa, appreciation, respect, faith, love, life... you know, nice things.  Then we planned to meet up in the morning after my run, I wanted to join them on their first ever 2.4 Iron Buoy swim.  (I'm so proud of these 18 year olds!!) 

I'd been arm wrestling God lately.  Maybe just not being a good listener, or forgetting to trust.  I don't listen or speak.  I argue.  I run away, I ignore.  It's been annoying for a girl who fell hard for God  and let go of all doubts, but after a bunch of moments where you just don't understand why life happens the way it does, you just sort of...arm wrestle.   Anyways, that lead me to just being brave all on my own, trusting myself, figuring life out on my own, super independent, push people away so I wouldn't get hurt, give and give but never ever expect anything in return (not even good stuff), it was weird.  And dangerous...it is never safe to rely on yourself, bad move.  Selfish place to be, unsafe even if it feels safe.



So where is this going?  Wednesday afternoon, Kainoa grabbed my board and paddled out into some fun size waves.  He was ripping it up, I was so proud, it was incredible.  But then a big wave came, threw him just in front of the reef (see above) and he was just about to glide across the shelf, right into a very harmful situation.  Like any mom would do, I stood up, wanting to run and rescue, but watched calm as I could, giving him a moment to try and escape danger on his own.  He screamed, had the look of terror, then he takes off paddling parallel to the reef with a smile.

He comes to shore, hugs me, then goes and plays in the water with his cousins.  I tell him how proud I was of the waves he caught and asked if he is okay, he just smiled.  Later that night, his dad meets us at the swimming pool to pick him up for pizza.  He was telling his dad all about the surf, his dad asked how he avoided the reef.  Kainoa said he didn't want to tell his dad (he freaks about God stuff with his dad), he then said he was ready to tell me.  So he grabbed my hand, pulled me close, whispered in my ear, "Mom, I just prayed God would help me, and he did, don't tell dad". 

I thought about that all night.  Children are awesome how they just trust, believe, and hold this big faith (in God and/or people), that it's all good.  It's painstakingly annoying to me, how as we grow up we let go of all that childlike faith, hope, and belief in God or people just because bad things happen.  Wednesday was good like that, I needed that, to have Kainoa remind me to never let go of what I believe, even if big waves crash me into reefs...


Yesterday was a little more encouraging on my mission to restore my faith.  I rode bike, really far.   Every long ride somehow lands me at a church.  Maybe it's just because our island is covered with a church on every block, cute little ones, or maybe my brain needs constant reminders.  118 miles went really well, really strong, really focused...goals feel closer.

Now this gets a little more personal...
When I was 13 I wrote a love letter to my future husband, I know, crazy.  I still have it.  I decided on that day to pray for him every single day of his life.  Old news, yeah I am divorced and I wrestled with love, very much, gave up all together on people really holding strong together, but then I lost a lot of my happiness.  Its weird how that works, when you live in such a way you let go of what you believe to be true, you lose your happy.  SO I decided to believe all over again in a second chance.  Now I'm getting off track, but I got off track and this morning Masuda got me back on track.

After swim practice I was still so confused on some things, on second chances, having that solid faith in peoples intentions.  And you know what he told me, he said how is it I believe in God with all things I wrestle with in life, things not understood and sour.  I of course said, how could I not, even when its horrible and I feel let down or whatever, I see Kainoa, I see flowers bloom, sunsets, a big list of things that reflect what I believed when my faith was awesome as Kainoa's.  Then he told me, people are like that too.  If you look around, they also leave you reflections that they are still right there, still with you, even if they aren't reminding you with an easy life.  (Bet I have you so confused).  My point is, there are so many amazing people in this life and somehow, no matter how hard moments with people, life, or God become, it is always better to believe as if we are children who never have been hurt, like the kids who always see the bright side.


I am finally learning to see that every rainstorm will eventually make a rainbow, not just an ugly mud puddle to ruin pretty shoes.  And with that, time to head over to Hilo.  Have a good weekend...

Bree

Monday, July 15, 2013

Some Love Notes...


...And training is in full swing.

As of yesterday, 3 weeks and 5 weeks till the next two races on my "Ironman Hawaii Journey".  I have a motivating training plan in my little hand, notes all over the house from near and far, and of course an IPOD full of Summer jams to keep the pedals pushed, shoes laced, and goggles on.  It's pretty sweet having Summer motivation.  Today and tomorrow are my "triathlon" days.  Perhaps a little more running off the bike will bring the run results I get without a bike into place on race day, worth a shot and so far I am loving more brick work...

2 races happened over the weekend and my KPR placing did not move, phew.  Holding on tight folks, holding on.  It really feels like a gamble running all over the world, watching races and results, and plugging away everyday towards a goal.  At the same time, it's not such a gamble if you are smart, hold focus always, and plan-then execute the plan.  Sometimes it works out and other times not. Mike is trying to get me to just focus on myself these next couple weeks and not be held hostage to checking in on the KPR movement every weekend.  Maybe he is right.  It's not like staring at a computer will change the results or anything.  All I can do is set the intentions for every workout, go make them happen, keep going forward. It's just so close, I'm so close.  And I am so far from giving up.






With Summer in full swing, there has been plenty of  "field trips" for Kainoa being out of school, my older sister and nephews are in town, and it has been a blessing in disguise to save me from fully speeding into these next two races like a chicken with my head cut off.  A little more balance, a lot more stopping to smell flowers, it is working like a charm...

Of course I am also learning that sometimes on the journey to a dream we have to "pass up good, for great".  The family has been all over the island, at the volcano, under the ocean with fish, and exploring like they discovered lost treasures!  AS much as I want to be the tour guide and take them jumping off every cliff, hiking down every mountain, and rushing into sea caves, I have to say, "no", sometimes.  Then I sit on my butt. Or eat.  Or ride my bike more.  Or swim.  Or even run, again. It's a fine line we walk when our bodies are our greatest tool in that job we do...


Yesterday, after an ice bath (I'd rather have 1,000 seagulls poop on my head than endure those freezing things), that came after an 18 mile run, was another run-underwater.  Or more of a mission!  Sometimes we get lucky and land people in our lives that challenge us to be better, in everything.  Mike has been that for me beyond words this past weekend.  He is knee, or maybe waist deep, in his fireman PT program and has this brick challenge he has to pass to pass the class.   So he spends the weekend watching these motivating documentaries, doing all this work to pass the brick portion of the class, meanwhile making me get up-get out-and get going.  Anyways, like any good family would do, we share dreams.  That landed us at the pool with him.  He has to tread water for 45 minutes and hold a brick above water for 2 minutes during that 45 minutes.  Then swim these bricks (you know, practice like swimming bodies to shore), and run them underwater.  He also has a 6 mile swim in the ocean, a helicopter to jump out of over the Pacific-then swim to shore, and some other swimmy things that are so exciting to me, so fun to watch, and cool to see him tackle.  I'm his biggest fan :)

Well, one thing he did was run this brick underwater for 50 yards, no breath.  The treading water I can do all day, I even held the brick above water for 2 minutes, but the underwater run thing was kicking my okole!  It took me so many tries to his "one try".  I can hold my breath and I can run, instantly the challenge seemed easy.  Stubborn as could be, there was no way we were leaving the pool till I made it.  Plenty of tries later, we finally got to leave the pool, hungry, and happy...

Running rocks in the ocean has always been fun, but running bricks in the pool takes on a new level of "If you want it you might lose your breath to get it". 
 This is a love note too...


...and this.  
...This too.  I came home after today's swim, bike, run "triathlon day" and Breakthrough Nutrition was sitting on the door step, in a box, with a love note, to keep going...

Here's to another week on the way to chasing down a dream...
Keep going,

Bree

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Respecting Ironman

Just had to throw back a snapshot of my very first Ironman, ever.  It's amazing the change in mind, attitude, and just about everything else that happens when you progress from "first time" to "been there, done that".  Quiet possibly it relates to more than sport too...

The first 140.6 time around for me was incredible.  I showed up with a massive amount of respect for the distance, all knowing the day had every intention of kicking my @$$ if I even pretended in the slightest to have it figured out.  I also knew I had to be true to myself.  That meant showing up to transition in just my swim suit, slippers, & board shorts, (it is Hawaii after all).  There was no pretending that having fancy logos or a great bike meant the day would be great.  The only way confidence of any sort would prevail was trusting I did all the miles needed in training to survive all the miles needed for racing.

Memories of laughing and smiling with my friends in transition far out sang the noise of a loud speaker, athletes parading nervous butterflies, and of course my own heads cluster of emotions.  It was simply a day of going really long and really wanting to go long. 

So much has happened over the years of now finishing 15 Ironmans.  Some really good races, some really bad races.  Some where I gave up, held on, held respect for the distance, raced without respect to the distance, took chances, came out victorious, fell apart, threw up, broke a foot, earned pay days, got swim bonuses, flattened a tire or two, posted best bike splits, landed PR's, crossed finished lines...the list is long.  But only one thing really shines through in this list, that of "respecting the distance".  My best races have always, always, always been when I kept humble and respected the 140.6 miles.  The moments where I felt good, but held patience.  The times where I hurt good, but trusted training miles.  The times where humbleness needed to remain greater than knowing it all...

And so, I am training for my 3rd Ironman of this year.  Monday I felt awesome, thought this is cake and I can eat it too.  Yesterday I felt terrible.  Ironman is big, long, and takes a lot out of you.  And so, with all due respect, two Ironmans this year on the road to #3, I am reminded to respect the distance, have patience, keep humble, and trust my miles (not do more or less than what's needed).  With that, every intention is set to have October be Ironman #4 of the year and without a doubt, like I would have said in 2007, the above photo, "That is friggen crazy!".  The girl in me that loves a challenge, seeks an adventure, is going to admit, "That is crazy, but I enjoy crazy".  I keep getting knocked over when I approach Ironman Mount Tremblant training as if it's just another race, because it's not.  It's long and far and it's an Ironman...

140.6 miles on the horizon, it's going to be nothing shy of gorgeous and painful...
Bree

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lessons From a Boat...






The weekend appeared to be super normal, Kainoa at his dad's landing me plenty of training time, Mike home for the weekend, the King's Swim 1.2, and mow the lawn.  The swim race went well, feeling nearly recovered from the Ironman 2 Sundays ago. Oh you know me, I made the usual moves paying the usual price, but I LOVE taking risks in local races.  That is what open water swim racing is all about anyways, just go-no bike to ride afterwards.  Except I rode bike and pretended it was Philippines 70.3, jumping on my bike right away for 60 miles.  It feels so good to be back in action. 

My head mostly filled with thoughts about triathlon, as I try really hard not to think it, speak it, and be all about it during weekend family time.  On the bike or with training partners is where I leave it, you know, coworkers.  I really want to race Kona, I know the challenge of it and the heart break when you go for something with the potential to miss the mark.  18 races left in our series, 2 happened this weekend, moving me out of 34th place and to 41st.  I'm still hanging on though, its so close. With 2 races to go for me, each race a shift in points happen...

Just as I was pulling into the parking lot to finish my ride, fully leaving my race, training, and KPR point chasing thoughts at "work" so I could go home to family, I saw Mike and Sammy (his younger son) waiting on me.  They had green tea and eggs.  A little smile happened, without having to make my triathlon known to the max around our home, they still find ways to be a big part of it.  It made me feel like a million bucks.  More lessons then seemed to roll right through the day, from a boat...

  • Lesson 1.  Sometimes the best moments are the ones that simply happen, without any planning at all.
  • Lesson 2.  Have a little patience
  • Lesson 3.  It's always too soon to give up
You know what happened?  Mike had 3 of his recruit firemen in town, on a boat!  Never was I expecting to jump off my bike after a big morning of "work" and be taken to a boat!  No plan at all, not even a bikini packed for the trip, yet...it was perhaps a best day in my life! (I happened to have a bikini in my bag anyways, because every girl from an island has one laying around at all times).

From the boat we cruised along looking at all the beautiful cliffs and beaches that can be a mystery to find from land.  We of course stopped at one cliff, swam over, climbed up, jumped off, then back on the boat to load up some poles to catch dinner...


 A day under the Kona sun, with Mike, Sammy, and 3 firemen recruits was a girls dream day come true!  Well, almost, Kainoa would have loved this adventure!  We trolled for a little bit, caught nothing, decided to find some caves that are really impossible to find from a car ride!  We moored for a little bit and snorkeled around to check in underwater caves, finding hundreds of fish and a white tip reef shark.  It was truly surreal, leaving me so captivated by a day like this happening all without ever knowing firemen were even in town with a boat!  I really should stop being such a "planner" and welcome more of the unknown, it really can be a sweet surprise.




And just when we were about to pull in the lines, another lesson, always too soon to give up.  We caught an ono!  It was so incredible getting that fish on boat, knowing dinner was going to be fresh!  With that, we extended the adventure of this day and decided to have the firemen back to our home, cook up the fish into tacos, and share our home for sleep so they didn't have to drive back to Hilo at midnight!  Of course that meant wake up and cook more rice, fish, and eggs for breakfast for these guys...





 My other lesson, that of patience happened on the boat too!  A surf board, one of the guys happened to have brought a board on the boat!  Everyone took a turn (and more) and finally...my turn!!  Seriously, a day could not have gone any more incredible if it were planned!  I called this my seconds swim workout and before I knew it, the sun was about to set into a painted sky of all colors happy!

I did wake up to tackle my run, the fish made me feel fast, or maybe I was just so amazed that a weekend that appeared to be normal was anything but.  It's Sunday night now, the lawn is mowed, a new week starts tomorrow, and Summer keeps sending me some surprises...



And not that you asked, but I'll tell you anyways, our garden is up to something too.  It needs some major attention because whatever seeds we planted, (I think they are Japanese cucumbers), seem to be taking on odd shapes.  I told my self not till after Ironman Mount Tremblant can I redo the garden, it's a project that needs back ups, as you can see by whatever that green vegetable is!

Alright, have a nice week and thanks for reading!
Bree




Friday, July 5, 2013

Post Cards From The Journey...

One day in the Philippines, with a new friend...
 
With America's Birthday, Kainoa's Birthday, getting back to work, mailing out wetsuits I promised to give away, and family on the island, the plate has been full of mostly good stuff.  Amongst all the good n' busy, almost to the point of exhaustion, I was sent into a sincere appreciation.  That this is my life and I appreciate it very, very much.  My home, my family and friends, Kainoa and Mike, and my job.  Right now, this is the ride of my life, though it may not always be smooth...

11 years ago when I graduated college, there is no part in my mind or heart that would have ever believed that one day I would be a professional athlete.  Ever.  Not just because I didn't even know what triathlon really was, but I had the white picket fence dream. Where I stay put, have a horse, plan family vacations, and work 7am-3pm as a teacher.  But life happens and dreams grow, doors open, and before you know it, where you imagined you would be in 10 years, you are far beyond what you ever thought possible. Because sometimes life happens better than imagined. So here I am.

While many nights are spent shuffling through plans to make dreams reality and days are spent on the bike, in the pool, running, or teaching, it has all been an experience of a lifetime to call this my job.  I've had highs, like good pay days, sponsors giving me salary and free gear, all the bills paid and money in the bank. I've had lows, loosing all my sponsors, injury, sour races, going back into the classroom and side jobs.  It really has been the people in my life, not the things or outcomes of races, that have helped me stick to my guns.  It really has been support from unknown places, far away places, and new faces, that have made a lot of it possible for me.  And while I always try to give back and share the journey, it was Monday that it hit me...people care.  We find inspiration in each other, we find hope and even lessons from others.  And of course, there are a dozen saved emails of those reaching out to help me with this dream to make it into Kona.  That is where I keep stumbling...

Humbled, how to just say, "Thank you!" and accept the support. I read the emails, save them, then move on.  But on Monday, it hit me, people would not be writing to help if they couldn't help or if they didn't want in on this journey.  Monday, on a bike ride, the idea to share the journey even more personally came into some what of an action.  If you want to help, thank you, I need the help.  Phew, got that out, humbled but refreshed.  And here is how I can give back...

Wherever I race over the season, I'll send you a post card from that race destination, so you can see what my eyes see, and read what I'm feeling.  I know this is such an opportunity to race amongst the best, line up with great athletes, and be in places some only dream of seeing, now you can come along on the journey more closely with me!  And, with any support, great or small, I'll also send a monthly newsletter to your house with what my favorite workouts have been, a recipe, and pictures of the training going on.  I just want to make it more personal since people are caring more personally about me.  That's all I can offer now.

The next two races are the Philippines 70.3 and Ironman Mount Tremblant.  They are my last races to collect points into Ironman Hawaii.  I'll take you with me, write you from there, and keep you in the loop on the way to October.  If you are interested, even in a small way, you can write me here:

Bree Wee
Po Box 1033
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745

AND...be sure to send your mailing address to me for those post cards and letters!




Above are 3 of my most precious moments from my journeys, I take these pictures with me always as they impacted my life a little deeper than some others.   On that note, I should head to the pool and take Sammy to get his braces off today!  Life, love, and sport...beautiful.


Shoes on the left for Philippines, shoes on the right for Canada, Zoot is another reason I can keep running!  Thank you Zoot for showing up on my door today, I'd be running in my slippers without you!

Aloha,
Bree