Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Race Week.


It's race week. It does not feel like race week around here, at all.  I'm trying to make it feel that way, wearing compression socks to bed and trying to sit down more than stand up.  But it's real life and I'm at home.  Travel races are super easy to relax, they involve minimal (if any) real life, day-to-day activities...like driving to elementary school, packing lunches, checking the mail box and writing out bills, laundry, feeding the dog, watering the garden, dishes, you know the big list of little things.  It feels really nice to be home, it just feels really normal and I'm trying to get into race-week-mode, like putting race wheels on my bike tomorrow and new hot pink bar wrap...

Speaking of pink, a must-try juice flavor that I fell in love with today:  Beet, lime, ginger.  Promise you it tastes yummy.  And more pink news, flamingos on my socks!  I am loving these so much and decided that every race deserves new socks.  Races are special, like a prom or big dance, we better dress up and go all out!  These babies made me super pumped to run today.  Speaking or running, I feel pretty good.  My butt hurts a little still from Ironman, I mean I felt sore pushing off the wall at swim practice this morning, but I'm sure it will feel less fatigued by Saturday.


$1 for those awesome socks! 


Just for good measure I tried a pull up with the moms after yesterdays treadmill run.  I can still do one.  I miss the gym or Crossfit Kona, you know what I mean, those workouts with company.   After Hawaii 70.3 Saturday Coach has kindly reminded me that I still have nearly 8 days of chill-time before we dig into the miles for an Ironman again.  I'm okay with that, his plans have been working brilliantly for me.  And I like ocean swimming with dolphins rather than the black pool line right now.  But I am missing company in strength training and Kona Aquatics...till then, me, myself, and I will float through recovery with a smile on my face.


This was yesterdays recovery.  Some paddle with the boys.  I wish I had better pictures, it was a near perfect family day that truly has me appreciating my life (mostly these guys).  It is more than swim, bike, run, (and that it almost always nicely involves swim, bike, run), like the ocean.


 Um... that's my kid for ya.  He made some chocolate mess in the blender, he calls it taper to sit in a chair with a cat in his lap.  Oh.... one more piece of great news, my mother has booked a flight to Ironman Canada!  It looks like we have a mother-daughter trip on the horizon! 

xo
Bree


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Relaxing 101


Home from the Woodlands, Ironman Texas in the bank, and next weekend a half ironman to tackle.  That means my relaxation mode is set.  Hawaii 70.3 is one of my favorite races ever  (not to mention in my backyard) so the thought of not racing never crossed my mind.  However I've never raced a half 2 weeks after an Ironman.  My plan is to just recover all the way up until the start line at 6:50 in the morning next weekend, then say, "Go body, go NOW" and hope for the best... it should be good.

I am very passionate about triathlon this season. Maybe it has to do with finally seeing some growth after patiently waiting for some gains.  Glad I never gave up, as I know nothing comes easy, to finally feel like things are clicking feels pretty amazing.  That said, the point chase (annoying as that sounds) but it is what it is, is still on.  I'm sitting #36.  Youch. To fill you in (in case I have clueless readers, "Hi mom") they take only 35 of us pro girls of like a million of us, okay about 300).  Anyways, a couple girls are automatically qualified, a couple are in points for the 70.3 Champs, and a couple for whatever reason aren't going to race.  That means I move up a couple girls, but it's not a safe spot.  Another Ironman will have to be raced.  (And I am hoping and praying that is all it will take).  There are 10 Ironmans left before the first 28 of us are qualified.  That said, we will shuffle as girls race those 10.  I will be racing one of those 10, Ironman Whistler July 27th, in case you are wondering. 

And I am happy and excited about that.  AND, I appreciate all the support that has been written to me from nice people that read this thing, it means a lot and keeps my chin up. Back to that relaxing thing.  I have been spending time doing very little...like sitting on the lanai with a box of mangoes.


 I have also spent plenty of time creating in the kitchen. This is a must share, juice whatever you juice (make extra) and put it in ice cube trays!  Its amazing, then you have juiced cubes to toss in your morning smoothie without having to make a mess with your juicer to start your day!  Beets and blueberries are my favorite right now. 


I am also chilling in the garden.  Secretly wanting more garden space or more seeds or more plant pots to make MORE.  Its a small addiction (as Masuda says, You never just do anything a little bit), no I don't, not really.


I have been chilling with a book (and finished it!).  This might be the 3rd ever nonfiction book I've ever read (I am a fan of real stuff), but I loved it and am counting down for the movie to come out.  Perhaps I can convice Masuda it would be a great date night, hint HINT hint....


I have been chilling with dolphins, see, we swam together yesterday...


I have been chilling with my bike (only one ride so far), but it was easy, in a bikini just to make sure it stayed easy.  We even girl talked and lolly gagged to keep the pace in check...


...and I am chilling with this fireman too.  Well, he sleeps, I just take pictures and try to wake him up.  It has been so nice to be home and now to stay put for nearly two whole months until time to fly again.  Very, very thankful.  Have a nice weekend!!

Bree

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ironman Texas Went Like This...


I'll make this quick at first, then long if you feel like you want more to read on your coffee break.  On the podium at Ironman Texas with a 4th place, it felt like I won the whole dang thing,  Maybe I'm finally learning that racing some of the best brings out your best.  It was the most hard fought 4th place of my career (mostly because of the great women on the start line) it also hurt like hell from the gun and never let up.  Kelly Williamson (the champ) said it best, "All Ironmans are hard, there is no such thing as an easy course".  You can say that again! And with that, I still hold massive amounts of respect being able to push my body 140.6 miles in a single day...

I went into the race wanting/needing a top 3 to seal the deal with my Kona Points (that KPR chase us pro women are on).  Coach Cotter and me set some goal numbers based on training paces I was hitting, knowing they will flow in either direction given the course elements.  52 swim (I got a 53 flat), 4:59 bike (road a 5:03), and 3:10 run (ran a 3:12.12).  Got really close and am pleased to say the day landed me a 9:14 finish time, a 10 minute Ironman distance PB (personal best) and a new off the bike marathon PB.  I was beyond smiles, thrilled is an understatement about the day.  The last 3 Ironmans have all been my best three Ironmans of my career, in a sport that depends on progression I am pleasantly satisfied and trusting the best is yet to come...

Now for the long story...


Tuesday night I flew out to Texas, yeehaw!  But before I flew, one more swim and bike.  Mike kept me company, much needed company to be more honest.  He did a great job moaning and groaning about how the bike was smashing his balls, the laughter was the perfect escape from the race-week nerves that were in full swing.  He's a paddler, a surfer, a water guy.  Not a biker.  It's always so much more fun to ride with non-triathletes when there is no need to be serious...it reminds me to simply enjoy the ride. I fully support the "Get distracted method" on race week. Believe me, we focus plenty, if not daily, on our goals.  They are ingrained in our minds and hearts, taking a little rest from them will not cause them to loose their importance, sparkle, or shine in our lives...




Before that I helped escort a 2.4 mile swim on a relay for that Iron Epic5 day.  Being part of a race helped get my head in the zone to race without the pressure of it being my race.  Did that make sense?  It was all kinds of fun and a great excuse to get in one more iron distance swim.  Just being around a race has a funny way making them seem easier than they are.  I mean, I was watching my friends run the marathon in the middle of the night.  They looked exhausted, we felt amazing, it helped me remember that the horrible pooped feeling that happens racing is only temporary and will fade at the finish line.  Part of me needed that going into Texas, to remember that it is okay to dig deep...


And the day after that, a Time Trial up to Hawi.  I know, it seems like a full weekend the week before an Ironman.  But there is this lesson I'm finding a lot of truth in, no matter how trained the body is, it only matters if the mind is feeling the same "readiness".  And while the past few Ironmans of working with my coach has taught me to trust my training, he has found sometimes this girl needs a workout for her head, and that is what this Time Trial was for me. It was straight up shenanigans at the start line.  Shake out the butterflies, get the legs ready to work hard, it was my actual "practice racing" a week before Ironman Texas.  Hawaii Cycling Club put on a time trial up to Hawi, 16 miles long and nothing but upward climbing.  My bike felt ready, I felt ready, I set out to break 40 minutes and landed 39:56, that pretty much helped my confidence going into the Ironman.  And once again, it was a much needed day to just enjoy sport without any serious pressure such as  a pay day or Kona points...



Mike found me at the finish line, that was cool, as I love having someone to wipe my sports drink and gel barf discustingness on.  It also makes me feel really safe that a fireman is around, not really sure how that has to do with anything, but I always feel like firemen can save the day (just in case I'm having a bad one).  And what the heck, he is handsome...I'll take that at any finish line any day!


...Okay, now really onto Texas!  Kainoa gave me his usual pep talk before my flight, "run 1 or 2 miles everyday mom before your race".  He always says that and it always makes me laugh.  It's nice to remember my first job is "mom". 

I landed in Texas very, very tired.  5 hours time change kicked my butt pretty good since I'm a horrible sleeper on flights.  But...I was greeted by the most amazing Texans.  Kendall and Liz had beautiful yellow Texas roses for me and a giant bag of food and drinks!  I was far from shy, stuffed my face and hydrated from the flight.  I'm pretty sure this was the start of my successful race, instant ease.  Everything was amazing, a comfy bed, a princess bathroom, 2 dogs, and the Gray family.  If I had to sum it up (pros please don't get jello of my home stay), it was like living in Whole Foods or a garden in the fridge.  Honestly, I always get super blessed with the families that take me in, the difference with the Gray family was that they reminded me so much of my parents.  I mean exactly the way it felt living at home in high school (I had a great high school experience).  Even their daughter reminded me of my younger sister, a dancer! 


Now we begin.  The day before the race,  the swim became wetsuit legal and you guessed it, I did not bring mine.  Zoot came to my rescue and I did the thing they say never to do in sport, "try something new on race day".  I swam in a brand new wetsuit!  The good news is, it's Zoot, you can trust it without ever having tried it. THANK YOU ZOOT, one very happy triathlete right here...


Let me just tell you, Texas is awesome...


My swim was good, not bad.  I am still waiting for "great".  I was 4th girl out of what felt like a very long 2.4 miles.  Not sure if I was tired from jet lag, pooped from being in a wetsuit since I never train in one, or swimming in a lake is just more demanding than the floaty ocean water. In any case, I was just so happy to be out of the water...

Onto the bike.  Texas is such a fun bike course.  Nothing too hard, not too easy, it's an honest ride for 112 miles.  I felt amazing instantly, chilled out a little, calmed down, took in fuel.  Passed a couple girls, got passed myself, stayed on my plan knowing it's a long day.  It payed off staying patient but there is a part of me that wonders if I was a little too calm.  I am known for just going wild and hitting a wall, I don't miss those days, but I am looking forward toeing the line even closer on the bike.  So it was a safe ride, well fueled, and smart... now to run.


The run was my favorite part of the day.  I was 5th girl off the bike and a ways back from the leaders yet only inches from the women chasing me.  It's becoming fun to run a little scared, maybe because I am finding my run confidence, where I used to just count steps till I got passed, let them go...

4th place was only a couple minutes ahead and I knew with patient it could happen.  3 loops, a little over 8 miles each.  By the end of the first loop I ran up to Sarah and we ran together for a little bit.  I just kept saying, "It's a Sunday run, a run with friends, it's easier to run with company".  Well you got that right, easy all of a sudden was 6:40 on the Garmin.  Maybe we could keep that, but I wasn't in the mood to try for 2 more loops and fall apart.  But then again, we never know unless we try.  SO I chilled out just a little bit and it paid off.  I was able to take over 4th and in the final mile hold off a fast closing 5th.  Tamara got within 10 seconds of me and thankfully there was a finishing fight left in me, a 5:55 on the Garmin for almost a quarter mile gave me just shy of a minute finish over her.  It was a very exciting run for me.  The women in the race certainly pulled out my courage, my patience, and my best marathon yet.  You know how the story goes, "mean girls break you down, strong women build you up", well, on this day a bunch of really strong women truly built me up and I am very thankful for them.  Huge Congrats to Kelly Williamson for the win and to all the ladies in the pro race...
Yay...
Honestly, this was a best day in my sport life...


And Belinda Granger has taught me that awards are meant to be dolled up, not in our everyday clothes.  So the red boots came out, it was a celebration after all...


A huge mahalo goes out to Zoot Sports, Ceepo Bikes, Bike Works Hawaii, Coach Cotter, Rolf Prima Wheels, Splish, CF Kona, Bioastin Hawaii, Odin Wilmont Chiro, and Junko Sheilds massage.  This day that I finally broke a 9:15 is in huge part thanks to you, we did it!!  And I do believe the best it yet to come!  Of course, thank you to my family and friends too...I am so sorry for the days I am a pain in the ass.  I love you guys.  Also to the Kendall Gray family for making Texas a place to remember! Ps...Mike, I know behind every pro triathlete is her other half that often gets the grunt of her exhaustion and lack of patience, well darling, this is our day and there is nobody I'd rather share it with...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Are We There Yet??


The last long run in prep for Ironman Texas is in the bank. Boom shaka laka.  And the energy level is starting to come up (maybe the reason I can sit and actually bust out a blog post).  The coolest part of the run was finding my little sister out there busting out her 20 miler.  We shared a few miles with our friend Kawika and it set us up for a major thankfulness heading into our races.  Our paces were a tiny bit different so the running man and 1980's jogging in place accompanied anytime we needed to wait up.  I laughed, I cried, I am going to have them with me next weekend...


Lately I've been so thankful for the good support in my life.  Mostly in the means of family and friends.  Little notes, big cheers, paying to fly my bike to Texas (Katie, Tammy, and Marianne), tea and muscle milk.  Also my sporty support, like Coach Cotter making training plans that motivate and challenge me,  Bike Works paying entry fees to local races & taking care of my bike, Zoot giving me great shoes, my Ceepo bike, Bioastin hooking me up with healthy green fuel, Odin Wilmont cracking my back and Junko Sheilds massaging my butt, and Splish always making me feel pretty swimming in pretty suits.   It really is nice having all these little things add up to big help...


Training has been going well.  The pool was closed yesterday (triple fist pumps!!) so I landed in the ocean with some amazing dolphins to chase, draft, and look at.  Today was back to the pool for a pace set of 30x100 where a couple great men in Speedos kept me company and entertained even with a black line and no fish.  Grateful hardly describes the training company help that I have going into an Ironman...


What else?  Oh, I did that Cinco de Mayo swim mile race.  It was pretty amazing.  My weakness is "prerace anxiety" so any opportunity to get in the "start zone" and battle my butterflies and urge to poop my pants or barf is very welcomed.  Funny how it is in full effect even in a race in my backyard equally as strong as in an Ironman!  I feel good swimming, fingers crossed it is an equally good moment next weekend...


Over dosing on Green Tea, as always.  Spoiled myself to this too, see below...


Confidence is beautiful, right!  I think so.  Saw this and had to have it after my swim. Sometimes the hard work needs a pat on the back from ourselves, not just those that believe in us.  I was super proud of myself today.  I am seriously learning to love what talents God gave me and believe in them just a little more.  I just love what I get to do, day in and day out...


Finally... this.  Kainoa is most certainly at the forefront of my heart and soul this week as I train.  It is Mother's Day week after all.  He joins me without any complaints on nearly all my pool swims and makes my after-swim smoothie too.  It's amazing how far family support can take you, especially when it feels like the dreams are shared...  For sure that little boy will be with me all day next Saturday.  Okay, I'm off to walk the dog at sunset with some friends...

Love,
Bree