Friday, November 28, 2014


Maybe yesterday was too forced, but it didn't come as naturally to be wildly, surprisingly, hugely thankful as I am today.  (Insert: yes, everyday I count blessings).  You know what I mean.  It was a good day, good people, good sunset with my son, good food that I am SO THANKFUL for, a home, work, transportation, opportunity, all the American possibilities & privileges.  But today, in the midst of lunch with Kainoa, at a red light, and home reading a book...I was more thankful today than yesterday.

I've always been that way, a bit of a late bloomer.  Life, events, holidays, ect, have to happen naturally for me to understand them. Not that Thanksgiving isn't natural, its special and I love it, but it just didn't hit me yesterday as big as it hit me today, all that I am truly thankful for.  Maybe it's because today is a day closer to Monday (when I fly to OZ) homesick is starting to hit a tiny, tiny bit.  I just look around and am so appreciative today, knowing full well how this life is the accumulation of hard work, good people that have blessed me, a family that gave me strong roots, having had opportunities find me, finding my own paths, and of course the challenges and messes that have taught me to pick myself up and learn the lesson.  We all have our stories, I am just finding it easy to be thankful for mine today.  While not perfect, it is special...

Being close to race day, next weekend, yikes!  I had better keep up with "sharing the training".  I have had the pleasure, honor, and complete humbleness of swimming with Coach Steve & the Kona Aquatics youth a time or three each week leading up to Australia.  The amount of hard work and discipline is something I've tried very hard to carry over into my bike & run.  The attitude itself has been such a key to this teams success and has truly helped me in more ways than piling on yardage in the pool.  That said, we did sets that challenged me, broke me, and strengthened me.  But we did fun ones too.  On my last day with the crew we did a set that I fell in love with.  Its not too fancy or flashy, it's perfect.  

30x50 as 25 stroke/25 free.  The first ten are fly, second ten are back, and the final ten are breast.  Truly, I loved it.  I loved swimming, I wanted to keep swimming.  You make it what you need for the goals you have.  You can swim the stroke moderate effort (as you know stroke gets the HR up no matter what) then race back the free while a little fatiqued.  Or race the stroke and recover on the free.  Make the send off challenging enough that you aren't fully recovered but not too short that your stroke is sloppy and ugly.  Add that into your holiday swim for a different kind of mile.  

Ok, time for turkey leftover dinner.  Hope you guys had a great holiday....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Almost to Oz.

44.  I'll be racer number 44.  At the 21st Ironman of my life.  AND I am thrilled.  This time next week my bike and I will be flying over the Pacific Ocean, to Australia.  This journey has once again reminded me that no two Ironman journeys are the same.  It has been nothing like the other 20 Ironman journeys.  With that in mind, I know the Ironman itself will also hold newness and be different from the other Ironmans.  That helps keep me humble for the 140.6 miles, knowing that despite having raced the distance before it will still hold miles of unknown, out of my control, and even moments better than possibly raced before.  I love that little piece of excitement, maybe that's what keeps us coming back for more, knowing it is never the same even when similar...

This time around I have felt like I'm in "off season" mode.  Seriously.  Maybe because I dove into off season mode (and mood) right after Ironman Hawaii.  But you know how us athletes go, once we lace up our shoes we can switch gears and get up and running.  So I did.  But it still feels off-season-ish.  I've been eating holiday foods, enjoying friends more than usual, and I'm just excited differently.  Maybe because it's like I'm getting a gift I wasn't expecting. Or because it is during the holidays we seem to be even more giddy and happy about friendships and I am just so thankful for the people in my life.  It seems that the unfortunate moving out and break up showed me just how strong I still am...and that life is still really good...and I am not alone.  And I've been taking yoga....

It is still a little challenging to stay confinded to my mat, not really moving anywhere for an hour.  But, mentally I am finding a greater strength in it and that moves me...I think.  Last week I took 2 classes and worked on balance.  Wow is all I can say, how I dont trip and fall just walking, much less running, surprises me.

This weekend was that "one more" weekend of some distance and some speed and much focus.  Kawika and his lovely gf joined me on mountain bikes.  It was so, so, so perfect.  Just being out of town, in the country, and with such wonderful people, it felt like Christmas in November.  I guess if I could have just one wish for the holidays, it would be to feel like this forever...thankful.

Cheeeeeeese!  Oh yes, training has been serious, but I've been really, truly enjoying it.  Maybe having more time in the class lately has me just so happy to be outside and sweaty!!  So what are my goals going into Ironman Australia?  The usual.  I wrote them down, hung them up where I look at them everyday, and think about them often.  The times are based on how training is going, of course the outcome will be what it is, but a little faith in your training can result in good stuff if you ask me. The things I can control are my work in progress heading into the final days before the race.  You know, like "embracing my wetsuit".  I'm actually very eager to see how the race unfolds, with so much life stuff and changes going on, it may be a day I just feel so free to be out there away from all that I'm sorting through. 

By the way, I got a new truck.  My dream truck actually.  Never in a million years did I think I'd get a white Tacoma but I've wanted one since high school and many, many years later it happened.   The last 10 years I've been in the 4Runner, liked it a lot, but it was so unreliable and old.  Now that I don't have Mike to help me out with the repairs and what-nots, it was time to exchange.  And luck was on my side with a beautiful hand-me-down! I still forget it's mine. Yesterday at a red light a man was doing the sexy wink, looking hot thing.  I'm so out of the dating life that I mistaked it as him checking me out. He was all over the place smiling, giddy, you would think he had a crush, at least I thought so.  So I finally smiled back.  Then he pulled up and said, "Nice truck!!".  We had the exact same 2004, white 4-door Tacoma!  He had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the truck.  And that is not the first time I have laughed at myself being single again...I could humor you big time.  I don't blame him, the truck is super sexy.

Back with sport.  Like I said a few paragraphs ago, I have indulged more than usual into holiday foods, that "off-season" thing sort of started before I said so.  To help balance it out I've been into the green smoothies more than ever, and for me that is a LOT!  Try this one if you need a little re-charge.

Frozen banana

You don't even need to add liquid, the watermelon is juicy enough.  The bananas frozen are so sweet it helps the kale, and blueberries (if you ask me) could be eating in or on anything!  Okay, that's it.  Have a good evening, or Thanksgiving as I've been slacking on the updates and may not write before then...

Bree xo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Double Rainbow kind of day...

Confession:  I am a rainbow loving girl.  Since my early days of eating Lucky Charms cereal, just for the rainbow on the box, I have loved the things!  Pretty reminders that you are doing the right thing, at the right place, at the right time, with the right one, ect.  Today we scored two!  From the start of my day till the end, it was a rainbow sandwich.  I'm not sure if today is my last Iron distance ride before Australia or not, just in case it was, we made it count!!  My Brazilian training partner is also heading to OZ so her company was much appreciated...

She is one of the strongest girls on a bike in all of Hawaii, so we worked hard when we had to. Enjoyed when we got to.  And finished feeling more ready to race than when we began our ride.  Confidence is key to most all girls, we certainly were beaming with it today.

About 25 miles in we roll into a huge group of over 100 riders pulling out onto the HWY.  Somehow I missed the memo that today was a 112 mile race around the North side of the island?!  Without trying we landed in the race, riding, er racing, 11 miles with the lead guys.  Being a draft legal race we took full advantage of the speed work, having strong company, and taking a couple pulls.  Of course we got into a bit of trouble too, and I admit to feeling bad for being in the mix of a race and possibly interrupting it, but there was little choice on a one road street with hundreds of people all spread out.  During a pull I guess we made an Oahu guy upset, a Kona guy stood up for us, and we figured our best bet for being nice people was to just go to the market and refuel, letting the entire race pass us up the climb to Hawi.  

We refueled.  Gave the racers time to get on their way, then got on ours.  We started to pass back the riders way off the back of the leaders, cheered them on, supported them, and stayed out of the way this time.  Except one guy, we told him to jump on our wheel and we could help him a little, he lasted maybe a mile.  Nonetheless, it made the usual long ride much more exciting and turned into 112 miles of intervals as we raced out of the way, moved out of the way, and slowed to support those walking up the hills...honest.  

Let's go Ceepo bike!!  

This will be my 6th Ironman of the season, I know, I know.  I know...
But I'm healthy, I'm happy, and mentally I want too.  If you ask me, your mind is usually the first place to go when looking for a clue to "to race or not to race".  The training for an Ironman can literally kick the shiz out of you, leaving you with little or no desire to wake up and do it again, and again.  Burn out, bonking, drudgery, all those things are good signs to reward the body with a break.  And even "happy to race more" minds need a rest too, but I think they let us know when.  You know what I'm talking about.  That said, I am enjoying the miles tremendously.  My Brazilian sister and I got to be the samplers of a new gel flavor with 25 miles left to go, it had caffeine in it, I don't even drink coffee, you better believe it had us flying home.  In fact, it was my first ever long ride, ever, ever, ever, that I wasn't getting hot feet, lazy, or starving at mile 80, like usual.  I'm not sure if the entire day was just that good, that well paced, or that gel did something to me.  But we laughed...all....the way...home.

...and then we thanked our legs.  Maybe because last week she was hit by a drunk driver, (thankfully only resulting in 9 stitches to her chin), we felt more appreciative than ever for the fact our legs were strong enough to ride us through a good chunk of the day. That we are so healthy, that we have awesome support, and we get to do something we love.  And just maybe life is showing me even more to be happy with who I am.

An hour after getting home it was off to Kainoas soccer jamboree.  Last game of the season, the big hurrah, and a party on the fields...where an evening rainbow once again flung across the sky! He told me next up would be flag football.  You better believe I am excited for that, I would love to one day see him grow up big and strong and end up with all the pads and gear on playing football!!  But one day at a time, he can do anything he wants too...

Finally, I leave you with beet balls.  As with all recipes I ever whip up, there is nothing written.  But I know there are some amazing ladies in the kitchen that can just be told the ingredients and make something edible and yummy out of it.  This is what I did.  Cooked beets, oats, peanutbutter, mayple syrup, coconut oil, and nothing else.  Mix.  Roll.  Chill.  Eat.  They sound horrible, I admit.  But I was wanting to eat more beets and somehow this happened and I loved them!  

That's all I got for now, have a good Sunday!
Bree xo

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Oh, it is paradise around here.  Sun.  Blue skies.  Ocean.  Good friends.  Farmers market.  Beach.  Plumerias.  Trail runs.  Long rides.  Teaching.  Kainoa.  Soccer practice.  To name a few...

...and then Coach Cotter let me sign up for another Ironman.  Originally the plan was to chill out till January.  Be done with racing for a little bit.  Time out.  Peace out run shoes.  Hike and stuff.  Eat too much, stay up too late, work plenty to save $$ for 2015 triathlon expenses.  I liked the plan, was game for it, and was very content with my 2014 season.  Top 5 in all my Ironmans, a win in Whistler, and 16th fastest girl in the world (still makes me happy) at the World Champs.  I can rest on that.  No need to chase points, finish unfinished business, or get out what I put in. 

...but then I was offered a full time 4th grade position.  Yikes.  Hmm.  Only made sense to consider taking it.  I'm not exactly making ends meet in sport alone.  I asked Coach if I can do one more before I am working 40hrs and training 10hrs  Clearly, without a doubt, I am not ready to hang up my shoes and hand in the pro card.  I dont want to.  It breaks my heart just a little bit more with every thought of that.  But what can a girl do.  Race and work and hope it's enough?  I'm not sure how closely you follow women's triathlon, but the women are not slowing down, in fact they are only getting better and it excites me, all the possibilities.  However, to be at that level you need to put in the time (most all of it) and be able to recover and rest and do it all over again.  Not to mention be a good mom at the same time. I signed up for Ironman Western Australia and will return to OZ.  Over the moon, excited, and very thankful it is all working out to make the trip possible, thanks to some amazing women in the community who have been helping me see the trip through...possible.  

That said, I have been on the treadmill with my little sister (she is training for Honolulu Marathon a week after OZ) at 5am!  In order to make it to class on time we start as soon as the Club opens.  Run, to work, then swim after class.  I have missed just about every single bike ride this week.  Except Saturday. I wanted to cry yesterday during Kainoa's soccer game, I was so exhuasted by the end of the week attempting to do it all 100%.  I wanted a nap.  I wanted food not from a blender or protien shaker cup. To sit and eat a giant meal.  And then I remembered, "I don't need easy, I need possible". 

The beauty of being in class all day also means there is a greater chance for sunset runs.  And so I have found them too.  Of course any girl training for a race in Australia can't help but feel blessed and beautiful.  Its like a dream.  It will be my 4th race in OZ and it still thrills me to know The Land Down Under will once again be a place my feet will land.  People dream their entire life of traveling to far away places, taking it for granted simply seems stupid.  I soak it up, completely let go of insecurities, doubts, fears, and the other things that torment dreams and life.  And run. Just run.  

Speaking of awesome travels.  I've already put one race in place (the rest are all pending based on teaching).  January 18th I've agreed to race Mercury Man.  I am SO EXCITED!  The Cayman Islands are calling my name.  It's a race that the race director holds a massive goal to highlight issues associated with social & gender equalities.  He has a dream of hosting the largest pro womens field to bring more exposure and awareness to the issues.  I couldn't say no.  It's a very early season race after a very long season for me, but I like what he is doing as well as the help he is providing the for me to travel, stay, and eat, even fly my bike!  It's a yes all around...

Hmmm, what else?  Sincerely, maybe purposely, slacking on this blog.  Pehaps not too kind of me, as I recieve a lot of love and support from all over and should be better about updates.  You know how it goes, good days, great ones, and the other.  Just thankful I guess for the opportunities and how I somehow always get out of trouble when I land in this week.  Last night we went car shopping, that broke down too.  Not fun while I was feeling broke down.  But chin up, girl.  Not the end of the world.  And today I felt better...

Exactly a month before Ironman Western Australia.  With my lackluster training hours, minimal rest, but thankfully dollars in the bank from time in the class, I was hoping for a little reminder, "you can do this". Last night I asked coach to jump into this morning's Queen K 20k.  Why not?  He gave me a plan, slower than I liked, but faster than just running a run alone.  I ran, chased, paced, huffed, puffed, felt free, felt alive, and landed some much needed confidence for Dec. 7. My legs work, I'm really healthy, and my motivation & wild passion for sport is still in tact.  

Ok. That's all I have to report on for the moment.  Blessings in disguise.  Have a good Sunday night!