Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hilo or Bust...


...And once again, I rode my bike across (er, around the Hamakua Coast line) of the island to Hilo. By far, it is my favorite ride, maybe ever.  What was once a "bucket list" item became my Friday reality several times over the past few months and it has served as a much needed long ride to practice long race nutrition plans and break of the monotony of my regular routes.  The only part that ever scares me are the gulches, mostly for trippy traffic navigation and falling rocks.  I lucked out this time, traffic control only let one lane go at a time and the nice cops gave me a 2 minute head start-that became my time trial piece and served me well!!


Other than the halfway pit stop for an egg and spam musubi, I did exactly what I plan to do at Ironman Texas.  Got the plan, worked the plan, liked the plan.  Now if they served up some fresh Hawaiian musubi around mile 56 I would be in for the ride of my life...


 As for recovery once landing in Hilo (and running around town in my Zoots at "off the bike" pace), a massive burrito.  AND a must share, green tea has become a staple in place of anything and everything that asks for milk (whatever kind, Almond, cow, soy, goat), try green tea.  Really.


Sunday's run was repeats of 1k.  It was pretty dang hot out there.  I had company, that was helpful, even if he was mostly just hanging on the back of his truck with fuel.  I dragged Veeks to run with me, he was the friend that got me into running in the first place, figured he would like a few 1k's at noon, up a little hill, for fun.  I'll be honest, the aftermath was amazing, felt like a rockstar, pat on the back putting that workout in the bank.  The next day was ugly.  The heat and effort must have caught me...burnt toast.  But I chugged through Monday like any highly motivated girl training for an Ironman would do...swim, little ride, run.


Mike ran Monday with me, those runs always make life a little better.  Easier pace, nice chats, and the views are good too (wink, wink).  By nightfall, I wanted to fall.  And hello Tuesday.  Ugh.  Not feeling so peppy and you would guess the next move...

Rest. 
Now I have a couple days to chill out and recover.  Skipped my ride today, I'll be honest, I was super sad about it.  But a hole is not a place to climb, so what can often be more challenging to take than a long ride,  I was served an off day...


A rainbow did fill the sky though!  Sorry folks, when you live on an island you start to really believe in these things.  Pretty reminders that life is rolling just as it should...

 

One more thing, last but not least, Huma Gels.  I was really fortunate to get my hands on a couple of these babies and I love them!  You know how you start to get board with your gels after a while?  Well, I looked forward to these, it's like baby food simplicity with the athlete in mind.  It also helps that the ingredients are all natural and I'm a huge chia seed fan.  Check them out here if you need to mix up your nutrition and wake up your taste buds on a long ride or run.  Huma Gels.

Okay folks, gonna turn in.  Night!
Bree

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Swimming Sucks.



Swimming Sucks. Forgive my lousy attitude, but that's just what it was.  Wednesday I knew coach had a "swim test set" on the plan.  I've actually never had one (that I remember). Only run and bike tests.  I think of myself as a very accomplished ocean dweller.  Safe, at home, in love.  When it comes to pools, racing swim, and places in the water where you have to go fast, I get scared.  I can go deep, hold my breath for a while, swim with sharks and whales, and tackle waves bigger than me, but swimming fast scares me.  Maybe because I've convinced myself I'm not that good at it and when it looks good it's luck.  Sheer luck. 

The test set was 2x100 at 1:10, 1x100 at 1:05, repeat 8x on 1:20.  If you are a pool swimmer that might sound like your native language, not to mention simple.  I've never held that.  I can "make 1:20" pace for bunches and bunches of 100's but holding 10's and 5's scared me and I set myself up for failure with my attitude.  Well, first I set myself up for success, I called in some fast friends that find that set very, very easy, to keep me company. 



 

This morning I backed out of the driveway then pulled back in. Got out, grabbed paddles & a buoy, then headed to the pool.  There goes my second time attempt at "predicting failure", a crutch, just in case.  What a pretty pool and a lane with the company already warming up.  Yikes.  Karylnn asked if I was ready, "Ugh, no, been dreading this all week, I'm just not a swimmer". Could I possibly be anymore of a Debbie Downer?  Third statement of failure lingering from my mouth.  She told me to jump in and just see what the body can do.  The set arrived and what do you know?  It was easy.  Ok, not easy like a warm up, but it was honestly not hard.  Perhaps having been so horrified by it set me up to believe it would be a nightmare, yet the company provided motivation and swim speed that I have never experienced.  That said, "Just because you have yet to do it does not mean you can't do it".  Frank, the leader of it all and one hell of a fast man asked me after if I was a swimmer, "No", I told him.  He made me change me mind, a little...



Pat on the back.  No, I'm not afraid to fail or try, that's why I love this sport so much.  I just forget to believe.  Anyways, I took this entire week off work to have a focused training week on just swimbikerun.  Everything in me knew I had to make it count.  If I wasn't going to be in the class making money I had better be banking some dollars in training...


...And today I wore this shirt Zoot sent me last year, for the first time ever.  Because today, it counted.


Next up was my run.  It was another test set.  No sea breeze.  No shade.  Nothing but "hot like Texas".  3x4miles at my goal pace.  I'll make this part quick, I was not in class today SO this had to be WORK.  I worked.  It was beautiful.  Until I puked at round 3.  Yet that was pretty in some ugly way, must have given it my all.  Over the moon with this day.  Over the moon with the support I have been given.  And over the moon that today I was given an opportunity to make the most of...


Good book.  Feet up.  Tomorrow I am riding my bike to Hilo.  Across the island we will go,
XO

Bree

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday.


I am running out motivation to blog, my apologies if you are a returning picture looker or reader and find nothing.  Thankfully the desire to train, work, and live out all my courageous moments is still full bloom.  It seems life has me in a spot where listening is taking over my usual desire to speak.  Perhaps I am really enjoying learning these days, often easier done when a big mouth is silent...

Tuesday, it's been 5.5 hours of training all before lunch.  I feel good.  My body feels good.  My head and heart feel even better.  I keep silencing the mind and it has been helping my heart to keep positive and focused.  Less than 4wks till Ironman Texas and the usual parade of emotions tried to entertain me..."Am I ready?  Have I ridden enough long rides?  Have I been in the class too much more than at practice?  What if I have a bad race and don't get Kona points?  What if I spend $ to get there and come home without any $?".  Shhhh.... live the moment.  "Control what you can control, Bree"...

So I've been doing that, focusing on what I can do as best as I can do it. At the moment, I've worked enough to pay all the bills on time, I've been super blessed by a few friends in the community to help afford the trip, my family is super healthy, and I get my @$$ out the door every time coach says to get out there.  Not saying the training has been perfect, but mostly good to very good. 


Yesterday I had a bike time trial and it was pretty ugly.  Maybe lingering fatigue from long runs last week? It made me a little sad but I knew one thing was certain, it was done, best to let it go.  At sunset coach gave me a run time trial.  The plan for these was to practice my "race day pacing".  Get the legs, heart, and mind, locked into my goals.  I did what any driven, motivated, "pick yourself up and dust yourself off" kind of girl would do for the run, (after a poor bike ride), I called in for back ups.  Nobody wanted to run the run with me (not sure I blame them), I got Veeks to ride it with me, yell at me, cheer to me, pace me.  It worked to brilliantly and the day was salvaged.


Hmmm, not much more to report on.  I did discover kiwi tastes really good on kale and cabbage.  And thankfully our little garden is still providing.  You have no idea how happy that makes me.  We must save $50 bucks a week on veggies when that thing is going off.  


Um, oh yeah.  Station #14.  This is Masudas new "second home".  It's the fire station up North on the Queen K.  I love it, I pass it weekly on my bike rides, including today.  It makes me feel so safe out on the roads knowing he is just an ambulance away!  Not to mention I can stop in for drinks!!




That's it.  Sorry I'm at a loss for words.  Maybe I should make a post of all life is teaching me by listening.  Have a nice day,

Bree

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Training and Stuff...


You know those weeks that look a bit exhausting on paper?  That is how my week was looking Sunday night.  Plenty of training, some teaching, motherhood (insert: taxi, chef, nurse, dog walker, maid, ect), a holiday on the horizon, and somehow try to fit sleep in there.  Taking a step back, it would best be approached a day at a time (unusual for me, I like to know what to expect and how it will all unfold).  Here we are hump day and I can say with full confidence, this week is brilliant!  Today I swam a solo 2.4 and felt like a fish not the damn coral just sitting there on the bottom (that was last week).  THEN... I ran 20 miles and it was perfect.  This day had me a tiny baffled as it's an early release day for the kiddos, to fit an Ironman swim and a 20 miler into 4hrs would mean absolutely no room to stop and sniff any plumerias.  I started the run right out of the ocean and made it back to the school 9 minutes late.  Super mom had a belly flop, I was literally running late.  Thankfully the school holds the kids safe for 30 minutes after the bell, but man I was trying so hard to nail the week and missed it by just over a mile...


I believe....


Back to Monday...

It was a better Monday than almost an entire year of Mondays.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Mike graduated recruit training and school to become a fireman this past weekend, that means only 2 more Mondays that he would drive to the other side of the island and spend a week in Hilo.  Nearly a year of only seeing him on the weekends is coming to a beautiful finish line. Thank God!!  I am so excited to have his hugs, his help, his handsomeness Kona side...




Hawaii Fire Department class 42, congratulations!  I have loved getting to know each of these amazing new firemen (and one woman).  They are the going to truly make Big Island an even better, safer place to live.  Mostly to Mike, thank you for letting me be part of your journey, I love what you do and your amazing heart.  PS...anyone that ordered a t-shirt, thank you for your support and if you have yet to get yours in the mail (and ordered one) please send me an email so I can make sure yours gets to you.


 As for the mini-wee, he is still very much loving paddling.  That was one of my sports before triathlon, now I am living through him as many days I find myself missing the canoe.  It'll always be there, of that I'm sure, and that bucket list dream to paddle across the islands will happen, who knows, maybe Kainoa and I will do it together.  The best part is seeing him so happy.  It only makes sense to me that we should actually enjoy the things we spend our timing doing, right?


This also happened this week... my sunflowers grew as tall as my heart.  These babies took so long, but so worth the wait.  Once again life has shown me that most things worthwhile take a little time to bloom.   That's about it around here.  Life, love, and sport.  It truly is a pretty special life and one that I still pinch myself to experience.  Less than 5wks till Ironman Texas so that means there will be some training on the agenda through the holiday weekend.  I'm not one for battling sport time with family time, I just toss the workout out and hang with my family when it looks like a time issue, but I'm finding my family is beyond supportive of my goals going into Texas.  Looks like I will find a way to get the miles in, in the dark, while they sleep, or with them along for the ride...So thankful.


Alright, my pillow is absolutely calling.  AS if the day wasn't long enough, Kainoa made sure we soaked up every last drop of the day under a sunset, running, shell picking, and tide pooling.  Good night,

Bree

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Going Green.


For the love of a challenge, I am doing that April Green Challenge that is going around.  April is Earth Month, Earth Day, and all that other "do gooder for the planet and body stuff".  I just wanted the challenge to add to my already full list of challenges that daily arise.  Anyways, the deal is to add a giant jar of green juiced veggies or all green smoothie to your day, everyday, for all of April. It's so easy at the moment because our kale is going off, spinach has sprung, and I'm pretty darn motivated for Ironman Texas that my day could use more green to fuel these miles...

I have a secret confession, it's a dream of mine to one day have a big, big yard to make a really giant garden. My dad & grandpa are farmers, it's in my blood.  Everyday I'm thankful for the little patches of garden that Mike has dug up for me, but one day...just maybe...I'll have a giant garden and some of those fun watering boots. 


Today's smoothie juice weirdness turned a greenish blue vomit color.  A lot of Spirulina will do that I guess.  This concoction had to be amazing because it needed to fuel a full day of life.  4:30 wake up to hit the trainer under the moon & stars, get to 3rd grade on time and teach all day.  Got a love note from a kid, bet it was because my skirt was so awesome.  From there it was homework with Kainoa, get the boys to paddling practice and leave them there, then jump in the pool with kids half my age and hold on for dear life.  It was really hard for me, honestly I wanted to barf green in the pool.  The last set was sort of a break through for me though, 6x200's on 2:30.  It was far from impossible but it was far from floating effort, if that makes sense.  Because it was at the end of such a long day for me and my brain wanted to just stop for sleep on the pool deck I had to dig deep, be serious about having only 6wks to go before Texas.  Man I love working for something...


Came home and saw all the lettuce has popped up too!  Honestly, this is a great example of how possible it is to grow anything, anywhere, no excuse about your yard size (that's what I tell myself anyways).  Sadly I did not eat any of it yet...I wanted pancakes after that day.  Not that I had them, but something similarly yummy.

 Cheers! 
Back to training...
The weekend held a pretty long day, one where only lava rocks would do for a restroom and the sun gave the most ridiculous tan lines in the world.  The company was perfect, no IPOD, actual humans to ride with and work hard with.  Lately I'm so thankful for the people in my life, just having another person to sweat with and push me, pull me, chase me, humble me.  Slowly run miles are coming back too, that means home to family egg burritos on a Sunday.  Those are forever my favorite moments in the week...family meal time after totally getting the most out of my body.


Girls on two wheels.  Not to mention, my pick for Ironman Hawaii female winner dressed in red and white above.  A bunch of goofballs, man I love this sport.  Speaking of, three races went down over the weekend and I actually followed them.  Motivated by Corbin's great win, encouraged by others hard work paying off, and inspired to keep going on my journey to my race. Chipping away at the point collecting has really kept me focused, but man it's not easy when I need to be in the class every now and then to support my sport.  BUT...some truly amazing people have helped me and my trip to Texas is in full bloom thanks to them.  AND, a massage tomorrow after some mile repeats has been booked thanks again to them.  I pinch myself when this kind of blessing happens, it makes me want to do good to others even more, maybe that's why I really do find pleasure on the days I land in the classroom. 


In other sporty news...
Kainoa has officially told me he does not want to swim anymore on a team.  At first I was totally cool with it, no pressure, he is so young and it will always be there.  But today, when I jumped into practice after his little team was finishing up, it kind of broke my heart not seeing him get out of the pool.  Swimming was something we shared.  I have every belief he will return to it, for now he just wants everything to do with the ocean and I can't blame him.  He has taken up paddling and just loves it.  Seeing him have a passion makes it all worthwhile , I hold that passion still for triathlon, so I get it.  He really is my best gift, he reminds me to live my day to the fullest and not just drudge through it without care. So here we are, another sport added to our mix...

Oh, please try this.  It was horrible.  I mean insane pain last Friday.  Crossfit Kona has these Filthy Friday challenges that I've found help my brain.  As you know, sport is more than physical training, you have to work your brain too.  I've read dozens of sports psychology books looking for advice, secrets, help with the mental side of sport, then I got into a few days here & there with the CF crew to build a little strength and injury prevention stuff and found that my brain hurts almost as much as my body.  These challenges seem impossible, mentally break me, crush me, intimidate me, make me touch the line of failure and success, and somehow make me a better person.  This particular one had me doing a single pull up at a time, it broke my spirit, had me last girl hanging on the bar, defeated me.  But somehow you find a way, it was like the closing mile of a marathon or being alone on the swim behind a chase pack.  You want to cry and whine, but you hold on and find a way...

If you have time this weekend, get to a park with a few crazy friends and do this.  You can take as much time as you need, but get it done, start from top to bottom and chip away.  You can thank me later...
That pretty much sums it up around here.  Training, teaching, motherhood, family, little time with friends, green stuff, and working out my brain.  This spot in life is good, having a goal feel pretty close to reality and good people to share it with is more than I could ask for.  Well, I've got mile repeats tomorrow so my pillow is calling.  Night!

Bree

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Racing Happy.


So.... Sunday, I raced Lavaman Triathlon.  I will not lie, it was a long 2 hours and 4 minutes of my life.  But I really, passionately enjoyed all of it and that was the goal.  The only goal.  You see, my main goal is to qualify for Ironman Hawaii in October, in my backyard to be exact, most of you already knew that.  It's very easy to have your sights set on something, much like a race horse with blinders on, allowing your focus to be forward only.   However, when you're a mom, a girlfriend, a sister, a teacher, a daughter, a friend, amongst other things, you don't exactly live with your eyeballs on just one single thing.  That said, it takes help.  My eyeballs are on so many things, because I'm a highly motivated and extremely passionate person...

Loosing my point, forgive me.
Back to my point.  I wanted to race, I mean really race Lavaman.  I'm like a 5x champ on this gorgeous race.  My apologies if that sounds cocky, I just felt like if we "went for it" we could get it.  And that's where my help came in.  No Ironman points.  No payday.  No stop-drop-and roll everything for Lavaman. Lavaman would be just another day on a bike, in a swimsuit, with run shoes....and.... Ironman Texas training continued.

A quick wrap up...
Each of the 3 sports felt strong, yet flat, good, just not faster.  I thought I'd secretly feel like a machine, but the 4th gear was missing.  It wasn't my PR on the course nor my worst. It landed me 2nd, chasing Magali Tisseyre all over lava rocks and through sand.  And all in all, maybe that is expected after an Ironman, a little recovery, then more Ironman focused stuff.  I'm just thankful that I still feel madly in love with racing even if it means the day is more about "another race" than the actual race I'm racing at the moment...

And the best part...
I got to race in a bikini surrounded by friends and family. 

Thanks so much to all the support from Bike Works Kona, Ceepo Bikes, Zoot, Splish, Bioastin Hawaii, Coach Cotter, Rolf Prima, Crossfit Kona, Odin Chiropractic, and Junko.  A girl with big dreams is lucky to have you guys along for the journey.  And....Masuda & Spammers for being out there all day, Kainoa for reminding me to keep my childlike passion ALWAYS, and my family & friends.  Next race, Ironman Texas.  Just shy of 7 weeks to go.  Feeling good, feeling happy, feeling like a nap...

xo
Bree