Monday, August 5, 2013

Philippines Down, Canada to go...

The Philippines 70.3 Bridesmaid, again. In my 4 years here I've been 4th, 3rd, 2nd last year, and 2nd again this year.  It would have been so nice to keep the momentum going, but 2nd to Caroline I can be proud of.  And I am proud.  The game plan was to go into this race and get as much out of it as I could on the way to Ironman Mont Tremblant (where a lot of those precious KPR points await me).

The lead up to the race (once I got over that 22 hours of travel) was perfect, it is always perfect race week here for me.  The incredible Filipino family I have made over the years, the race directors that have become friends, all the inspiration I find in the streets of Cebu, and just being in a really pretty place.  It makes for a pressure free environment for a girl who just wants to prepare to do something she loves.  Not every "day at the office" can be this smooth so I take full advantage of the yearly Philippines business trip...

The race itself went like this...

Got goofed up on the swim, ran over,  punched in the back, held under, and had the $h!t kicked out of me.  It was ugly.  I dropped back and took a ride, then took a pull, pulled a guy with me too far on the inside, had to swim back to the outside to make it around the turn buoy, finally to shore as 2nd girl out of the water.  I don't think Caroline has ever beaten me in a swim and gosh darn it that underwater wrestling match gave up too much time that I could not afford to give a woman that rides her bike better than most men!

Onto the bike.  This is one of my favorite bike courses ever.  The streets are lined with every single person that lives on the island.  Children are reaching out to touch you, dogs are running wild, goats are on the side lines, those cute little jeepnys are nowhere to be found!  I have to admit it is so much nicer racing without dodging jeepny traffic.  I felt instantly awesome on the bike, up and over the bridge, riding through rain puddles, and trying to be smart about getting away from the girls behind me without riding like a crazy girl and blowing up.  Well, as luck would have it, the pot holes helped me with this.  I ran into a rather large pothole that jammed my rear break into my wheel.  It wasn't completely locked up, it was just annoying hearing the squeal of carbon fiber on the break pads every few seconds.  Then I would hit another pot hole and it would throw the breaks back to center.  It was like I would have great speed, hit a pothole, get slowed up, repeat.  As ridiculous as this sounds, when it would lock up the breaks I would purposely hit a pothole hoping to unlock them.  One of the pro guys noticed the lovely squeaks and squeals while trying to pass him.  He must have found it utterly ridiculous too because he brought it up to me at bike check out like I need serious help...

The bike ride was just that, one I had to deal with.  As with any race, sometimes the problems are more annoying than detrimental to the race.  Even if the breaks were 100% open, Caroline was out of my league.  I was just worried if having to push the weight of break pad on wheel would hurt my legs for the run. 

Onto the run, I got into transition 10 minutes after Caroline!  That my friends is pretty much a smack down.  As I was running out of T2 I heard the announcer say Belinda and Jackie were coming in. But then it all went silent in my head, it felt as if I was out there running all by myself.  And I ran free. The crowds here take up every inch of the 13.1 miles.  Marshall's are literally pushing them back so we could run through some areas.  I love it, its beautiful to me how the town is so passionate about the race, just wanting to be in the thick of it.  But there was one thing in particular that really made me feel happy.  It was my bike escort.  If you are in top 3 they give you a personal bike escort to lead your way and clear the crowds.  Mine looked like Mike.  Not just because they are both Filipino, it was the big smiles.  I kept telling my biker to wait for me and he would just laugh and ride further away.  During the most important runs of my training Mike would come out on a bike with me and be my bike escort, he would smile like that too.  It was as if Mike was with me, so proud of me, wanting me to make my goals. Somehow it felt like a perfect run day with my best friend...

It has been a few years since I broke a 1:30 on a half marathon off the bike, Philippines is not a place where fast runs usually happen.  But I managed to break a 1:30, nearly 5 minutes faster than last year on the same course.  And it felt effortless.  Once I realized Caroline was too far gone and Belinda wasn't going to catch me, I just saved it up for the Ironman in 2 weeks, enjoyed the crowds and cheered for runners on my way towards the finish line.


This is what it felt like...


This is what it looked like...

If you're trying to count it, I'll save you the trouble.  2nd place took $2,000.  This isn't golf or football, it's triathlon!  I'm still happy, I made $$ doing what I absolutely love and  it is a month worth of bills paid!  It felt so amazing to know I can go home and pay up the bills before heading off to the next race. 

I'm going to take a second here to give thanks.  THANK YOU FRED, CHING, PRINCESS, SHANGRI-LA, and DAVIDS SALON for such a GREAT race experience, again.  The crew puts on the best triathlon I have personally ever been to, the hotel is beautiful and hosts the most wonderful crew, and David lets all of us girls get our hair done!  And to the beautiful people of Cebu, thank you for being out there all day long with us, your cheers make us reach goals....






Today I spent time just trying to soak up all the hope that this little island holds.  It is so humbling to me, seeing so many happy people who have only the clothes on their back.  It makes me almost feel ugly.  I get sad about things like my boyfriend missing my phone call. Like I told you in the last post, I hide clothes under the bed.  Almost every ridiculous thing I say or do somehow surfaces when I'm here and reminds me to find a way to be better, understand more, and see truth.  Philippines is so special like that, it sends you off on your way better than you were when you arrived...


 
Today was another dip to look at those blue starfish, again.  It was also Day #1 of recovery into the Ironman.  I really have to nail the next 2 weeks with some perfect recovery, salt water just happens to be the best medicine for that.  And...massage.  There is the most beautiful massage house my eyes have ever seen right here at the finish line.  Today they gave me ginger tea and put my legs back together.  Tomorrow morning I get on the plane, home for a week, then off to Ironman Canada.  It is so exciting to be so close to qualifying.  It is also challenging me to stay calm and patient...



A very big thankful to my beautiful family for sharing Summer with us, you kept me so balanced.  The biggest hug in the world to Mike for being with me through every single mood (good and bad) that I seemed to find while swim, bike, running.  To Kainoa, you remind me to keep my faith, when you chase a dream that is something I am learning you can not go without.  Thank you to Zoot Sports for keeping run shoes on my feet, Swift Bikes for that black beauty of 2 wheels, to Breakthrough Nutrition for making sure I always have fuel for training and racing, to Splish for making pretty swim suits and giving them to me, to Rolf Prima for some slick wheels that like to move fast, to Bike Works, Odin, Junko, and Kona Aquatics for being the best local support on an island that a girl could possibly have!  Love you guys...

Big travel day back home tomorrow, better sleep!  Good night from Cebu,
Bree

13 comments:

Nibbles said...

CONGRATULATIONS!

miles99999 said...

Congrats Bree....now keep it going to Canada!!!

JC said...

Awesome day at the office Chica. Simply AWESOME just like you. Your outlook on life is a constant reminder of appreciation of all things we are given in this world. Thank you xoxox

Beth said...

YEAH BREE!!!! So great to see you have an awesome race. Perfect confidence booster for Mt. Tremblant!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

So happy for you and that your time in the Philippines is so much more than just a race. Our cat is happy for you, too. Get well rested up for the next one.
Bruce

Karl Jansen Tubo said...

Hello, i am a Filipino American Triathlete. I like how you mentioned that being in the Philippines keeps you humble and brings things into perspective. I share the same thoughts, and every time I come home I feel thankful of everything in my life. Every visit home has been somewhat of a saving grace. Goodluck and Godspeed with the rest of the season! See you on TV during the World Championships in Kona =)

Ordinarylife said...

Oh Bree - Awesome!!!! I saw that photo on FB and love how happy you look. Well done on a great race. Travel safe and recover well.

Ordinarylife said...

Oh Bree - Awesome!!!! I saw that photo on FB and love how happy you look. Well done on a great race. Travel safe and recover well.

Meredith said...

Congratulations Bree! I love seeing you so happy.

Charisa said...

Awesome work - go get that kona slot!!

Musings said...

Congratulations Bree! You're such an inspiration--best of luck to you in Tremblant. Cheers from Canada!

Lucy Francis said...

You can't imagine how happy I was when I found out you got second. It seems like the perfect lead up to your next Ironman. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures of the Philipines and your thoughts on the country. I hope you have a quicker flight home

Dawn said...

Bree! Yeah, sooo happy for you!! I haven't commented in a while but have been following you... your perseverance and energy is so inspiring, along with your humbleness and love for life! CoNgRaTs on your awesome race!!! Happy recovery and kick some booty in Mt Tremblant! :)