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
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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!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday 20 Miler...

I am back. Life feels as if I'm in the right place at the right time more so than it has in too long.  Its funny, things could be going amazing but then something tiny happens and everything is out of whack, its as if deep down, as genuine as life can be, it is not right.  And in the same way, you can be on the right track doing the right thing, with the right people, at the right place and something sour happens but you are hardly derailed, you just dust off and continue to carry that genuine, deep down, for real joy.  I had that so strong yesterday, like a girl in love, in love so deeply with the life she has been given...

Im back training today.  2 weeks of nearly breaking a sweat other than yoga and fish watching. To wrap up my incredible time off we took a long, long, long hike back into the Wai'ilikahi waterfall.  It took us longer than it took me to race Ironman Hawaii.  It took took my breath away and inspired me to keep tight all the energy, life, and love I was feeling for the 20 miles we took to paradise...

In love. 

Lunch break, cold plunge, relax.  

The easy part. Seeing 11 mini waterfalls along the way was pretty easy too.

Coconut water pit stop.

Friends that have become family. The training partners for the day.

Back in the valley.

Surfers in the most uncrowded wave of the day.  

And finally sunset.  You know how sometimes you just have to experience something to remind you how truly alive this life can be?  Thats what happens to me everytime I take an adventure of any kind.  Its like the fuel to keep me living fully.  Now that training is picking up a little, as in swim practice and a 45 minute run today, I am also finding a major tugging on my heart to "dream a little bigger darling".  More on that another day...

Ok, time to sleep, pool is calling me bright and early tomorrow morning.
Good night!
Bree xo

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raw Pumpkin Pie.

I have finally landed a lot of time on my hands, while I'm not going stir crazy, I am still the girl that likes to indulge in my moments.  Perhaps I should nap, sleep, do much of nothing.  But it's too hard.  I have yet to run or bike since Ironman, that's good-I think.  I did hike, twice.  Walk my dog. And have fallen in love with baking, er, not baking, all over again...

My first pumpkin pie of the season is all done. It was marvelous darling, according to my sisters.  It's easy, according to my son.  You should try it, if you want a raw food pumpkin pie, says me...

You need:
Dates, pecans, cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil (optional), 1can unsweetened pumpkin, 1 banana, oats. 

You do: 
In the food processor, mix pecans, cinnamon, & dates. I measured by look, about equal parts of each and plenty of cinnamon for flavor. Make enough to cover your pie dish according to your desired thickness.  I put coconut oil in mine to soften the nuts.  Next, combine banana, more cinnamon-to taste, the pumpkin, and oats.  Add oats slowly, too much and your pie will taste dry.  Too little you'll have a very soft pie that won't hold when you cut it.  For sweetness, add maple syrup.  As much or little as you like.  Keep in fridge or freezer.  

The pie is roughly a 1/4 of the calories of a regular pumpkin pie.  It is of course the holidays, so top with whipped cream, Kainoa used yogurt.  Cheers!!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Return to Ironman Hawaii...

The last three years have delicately shown me that taking a chance is winning the battle against your fears. The truth is, no matter the outcome, it is always worth the risk.  

In the case of triathlon...
It took 3 years and nearly a dozen Ironmans to return to The World Championships. All together it has been nothing short of an amazing journey that I will remember forever.  Triathlon has definitely shaped me, changed me, and provided for me in ways never expected.  It has taken me to sunsets in New Zealand, burritoes in Mexico, snow in Canada, beautiful dancing in the Philippines, and has gifted me with many new friendships that will forever be special to me...

The last season especially, has given me wings & courage in sport where I once felt sidelined.  I've always felt like the rookie despite having had the pro-card for a few years.  It was difficult to be known for anything other than, "That one time I raced the World Championships as an amateur and set the record." Not qualifying for Hawaii over and over and over again never helped with the situation, the sponsorship, or my confidence.  But it did develope my courage and ability to work hard despite the circumstances.  It also helped beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had Masuda backing my every move and Coach Cotter quiding my every move.  Most days, they gave me strength. Most races, they gave me motivation. Always, it was what I believed worked for me.  And so, this season has become the best season of my career.

Ironman Mexico, 5th.  Ironman New Zealand, 4th.  Ironman Texas, 4th.  Hawaii 70.3, 2nd. Ironman Whistler, 1st.  We silenced the voices that kept saying I could not. That I would not.  And I learned to believe.  And with every race we kept getting stronger, faster, and more confident.  Add that up and we finally landed back into the World Championships.  To be on the start line with 35 of the fastest women in the world was an honor and a gift.  And the most beautiful part of it all, I believe the best is still yet to come...

Friday finally arrived, the day before is always my favorite day.  Once we check in our bags and bike it feels as if the moment we have been commiting to has finally allowed us to catch our breath and begin what we set out to do.  All the work has been done, details have been checked off, and breathing it all in is the easy part.  This Friday had just one difference that the last 3 years of Ironman racing held.  No prerace pep talks with Masuda.  No secrets just for me. And of course my run shoes that I checked in without his name.  Ugh.  But I was doing so much better, feeling as if my broken heart was beating again, and I felt as if making it through the Ironman without him would somehow be a gentle reminder that I would make it on my own in the other places of my life that he took up. 

Every Friday before the race I eat the biggest subway I can stomach.  So I went there, grabbed the goods, and followed the routine I've done every Ironman before.  This time it was better though, Masuda just happened to have been on my plan and beat me to Subway to buy my Subway.  He was always so good at prerace support in the way of little things that made me feel like a princess. I had no clue I'd see him, we really haven't seen or spoken to each other much (or at all) since.  It ended up being nothing but laughter, happiness, and perhaps the closure I needed heading into the race.  To know I'd have a friend out there that once knew my race plans and goals more than me felt almost like an accountability partner for the 140.6 miles.  Keeping me in check, because he had to read the numbers I wrote on the bathroom mirror every single day.  And there I had it...Masuda was my friend.  I maybe cried for a moment, it's that risk thing I'm talking about.  When you take it, no matter the outcome, you are always glad you did.  Back to the Ironman...

Race morning finally arrived and it felt exactly like every other morning of my life.  Off to the pier with Wendy, for a swim.  I warmed up, swam to the seawall to see Coach Steve, swam to the canoes to see my paddling friends who were helping guide the race, swam to all the volunteers on boards, most of them my friends, and I just let myself feel as if it was a regular day in my life despite being surrounded by the fastest women in the entire world.  When you are on the stage or in the arena of the biggest day in your sport you can't help but feel some sense of pride and a bit of being humbled.  I needed to keep busy focusing on all the things that are familiar to me.  

The cannon finally went off and I felt amazing from the get-go.  It was my favorite swim conditions, warm, salty, fishy, wavey.  Hearing the crowd roars as we came to the swim finish had my heart pounding, there is something special about racing in the World Championships that you just don't find in any other race.   When I got out of the water I heard them calling names of women I have never swam with, I knew my swim must have been a keeper.  

Once to the bikes I discovered only a few were gone and surprisingly a few women's bikes who I've never out swam were still racked.  It was perhaps the swim of my career or maybe having everything to do with knowing the swim conditions so well.  Either way, I was in a good position to start the race.  My goal, as you maybe knew, was top 10.  Onto the bike and instantly I was alone.  The few women who beat me out of the water were already gone.  I rode the first 47 miles of the race alone.  Usually I'm not a big fan of that, but being a big deal of a race where it seems the unexpected always happens amongst the field, I knew it would help me stick to my goals and focus on my riding.  The chase pack finally caught me, it was pretty beautiful actually.  Like a fine line of speed and determination.  They had the draft buster with them so it was also a very honest line, I hooked to the end of it but felt nothing but fear.  I've never been good at riding with others out of fear of a penalty.  My first ever penalty was for passing on the right.  My second one was for staggering.  And i've been too scared ever since to ride near other girls.  Eventually being at the back and way at the back so you are far, far, far from the 12 meter rule, you get left. 

I learned a really good lesson in all of it.  If you ride alone you lose valuable momentum and motivation. That said, the race is somewhat of a game and you have to play it.  I know I need to learn how to ride near other girls, for the mile or two that I kept near them it felt like I was part of the race, not chasing the race.  That may be one of the two biggest take-aways I will keep from the race for future racing.  

The rest of the ride was more of the same, me alone back to town.  It did feel pretty awesome to know I can finally ride 112 miles strong, by myself, nail nutrition, and nail pacing.  The rest coach and me have some work to do.  

Onto the run, the part of the day I was most eager for.  I waited 3ys to race on Ali'i Drive, to run along the Queen K with the best people in the world and to finally put together a solid marathon at home.  I went on pretty smooth, held pretty smooth, and felt good for the first 10 miles.  Once up Palani I was settling into my rhythm and finding my focus.  The one where you block out the crowds and just get the job done.  By mile 14 I had run my way from 18th to 12th.  I was feeling pretty good and soaking up each and every minute of my return to this race.  About this time I found out another woman was roughly 38 seconds up and 2 minutes up was 10th place.  You'd think I would have just kept my pace and patience, but i didn't.  

I put my head down and ran as hard as I could.  It works really well for some girls.  Not for me.  I landed in a ditch.  Literally curled over in my gut like the wind was knocked out of me.  There was no way I would end my day like that, if sport has taught me anything it was that 99.9% of the time it is our heads being lazy, weak, or just plain wrong.  The other percent was an actual physical problem.  It felt like an actual problem because even taking a step forward hurt, but if by chance it was my head I had to find out.  So I put ice on the muscle just below my rib on the right side and started to run easy.  It never went away but it got manageable. 

A few women passed me during my moment of misery. About mile 24 I was about to pass back a couple.  One of them I got at the bottom of Palani.  I'm thinking the hill helped me, being heavier than Leanda I had a little advantage rolling down the hill.  Heather W. was just up the road and I wanted her too.  I put my head down one more time knowing that it would be worth it to catch up one more girl. My mile 26 was a 5:28 mile trying to get her.  She put up such a good fight to stay ahead.  I didn't make top 10, but I landed a great race.  9:34, 16th fastest girl in the world, and a reminder that it's okay to take a chance.  I played the "what if" game, like would I have landed top 10 if I would have stayed my pace and not ran myself into a ditch? Part of me thinks it would have been more likely than my other approach that gave me 3:16 marathon, not exactly competitive for a top 10. But having found a second gear near the end of the race helps me to believe that the speed is there, I just have to figure out when to use it...and mile 14 maybe wasn't the best time.  

That was that.  A day I will remember for many, many years to come.  It is always refreshing to finish an Ironman.  But also a little sad.  I truly loved this journey, the friends I got to train and share it with, learning to breathe again, and just being part of something that I find so much joy in.  As for now, I am on holiday.  Of course I wanted to return to Ironman Mexico in November, but 5 Ironmans in a season is good for me.  My body could use a break, I've got my life heading in a new direction, and I was able to pick up some points for next season by landing 16th.  

My first biggest thanks goes to my family and friends.  It never felt like I was alone in any of this, what a wonderful thing to share life, love, and sport with such amazing people.  Wendy, Veeks, and Staci for being the call I can make anytime day or night.  Brooke and Nick for always helping with Kainoa so I could train and letting me stay with you the last couple weeks.  Masuda, it would take up 3 pages to thank you for everything, maybe more.  But I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being brave enough to be my best friend for the last few years, perhaps I raced the Ironman but "we did it", thank you for believing in me. My training partners for never being soft with me and reminding me how lucky we are to have the ability to do this and the health, too!  I will never forget a single mile we shared or joke we laughed at over the season, xo.

My sponsors:  Bike Works & Splish, you were my very first support in 2007 when it all began for me and you are still here!  You are my family!  My bike caretakers and my sexy swim suit makers!  Ceepo Bikes, you took a chance on me & have believed with me every single race.  Thank you giving me wheels to make it all happen.  Zoot Sports, you were the first run shoe I ever ran in, so long ago.  It is no surprise I found my way back to the best.  Thank you for giving me everything I need to run and race in, train and play in all season long!  Bioastin Hawaii, you are my little green energy ball!  To train, be a mom, teach, and live life all to the fullest would be so much more challenging without you helping my body recover and stay healthy, THANK YOU!  Odin, hands down the best chiro/ART ever.  I feel like Humpty Dumpty when I visit, you always put me back together.  Junko, thank you for all the massages this season, you are my favorite healer with those precious hands of yours!  Denice, you have been there from the start with your little herbs, needles, and words of wisdom, thank you for looking after me like only a mom can do.  Rolf Prima Wheels, thank you for keeping me rolling, they are amazing in the winds of Kona!! Coach Steve & Kona Aquactics, seriously the pool and you remind me of the bar on Cheers!  It is nothing but fun and everybody does know you name, what a great family.  And last but not least, Coach Cotter, you have been the feather that has helped me believe I can fly, like Dumbo.  I was about to hand in my pro-card before you came along and taught me to keep believing in my goals and myself.  Thank you for guiding me along in this sport and helping make dreams a reality.  I am so excited for 2015!

As for now, back to reality.  It really has been surreal racing at home again and I'd be lying if I said I'm not already thinking about qualifying for next season.  Hmmm... I'll just work on ridding my horrible tan lines and robbing the neighbors trees for fruits till January.  Thank you to those that read this blog for the cheers as well, it has been pretty fun reading the notes and having the encouragement from countries I could only dream of visiting and also those right next door.  

Bree xo 

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Journey to 140.6

Before I get this show on the road, let me begin with directing traffic.  If you are looking for some "prerace, game face, how's it going for a pro triathlete 2 sleeps away, tips for race day" turn to the next blog you read. Oh the show must go on, I am madly in love with the fact it will still go on, but dear friends (who I assume have read this far) my journey into race day has been nothing short of a surprise for me.  And while not all pleasant, it has still been special, and thats whats so great about it. The journey is so unique to each of us and how we handle it is what life is all about...I think.

Here we go...
2 sleeps away and I am excited.  I am here (take that back, we are here) as I have had so much support in the way of kind words, notes, gifts, and shoes to get here.  Being a pro in the race I've tried to be more "pro" about the big day.  In fact, I skipped running down Ali'i Drive in my underwear this morning, I'm not usually one to skip the Underpants Run prerace, but I did. It has taken 3ys to qualify, that tells me it will take all my efforts, focus, and energy to make it a strong day till the finish line.  Well worth post-phoning my panty party.  I also made sure to attend the launch for Ceepo's 2015 bike with my hair brushed and a clean Zoot shirt.  Until the picture was taken I had no idea I drank water like a 3yr old and had a wet shirt all evening...but the attempt to be more pro was there.  After all, in some capacity it is my job and a part of the journey life has me on.

The more difficult part has been my heart.  For the most part, after the initial sting and getting the breath knocked out of me, I have found a lot of peace in the new paths Masuda & me are taking.  I'm sleeping fine and eating just fine and training fine.  Some things are terribly hard, like fixing this Garmin for the bike.  He was always amazing at all my gigets and gadets & explaining them to me.  My sister and I are like two blondes (literally) trying to get it programmed how I want it for race day.  Its the little things, (I'm a little things matter most kind of girl), that make me really wish he was still part of my journey.  Undoubtably he had so much to do, perhaps the most, with me even being on the start line.  Oh but Dear Bree, life goes on and journeys take us through surprising moments.

My mom, bless her heart, called to remind me, (I think she was actually reminding herself I am fine), of the beginning of my life in Hawaii.  Ahh, 2wks out of college, the coin flip (heads Hawaii, tails Costa Rica), and that was that.  The journey to Hawaii with $900 & my surf board.  Truly, sincerly, that was it. Oh, and my journal. "And look at you now, Bree!", she said.  That's kind of how the journey goes, unknown, maybe afraid, but you go anyways.  And you live and learn.  Maybe in some wonderful way, my broken heart prerace will be the strength and courage this Ironman requires me to race with.  That said, embracing it...

As for all the fun stuff, there is no shortage.  Crowie at the swim pool, UK friends on bike rides, Japanese training partners at sunrise, Coach Steve, the prerace movie date with the girls (compression socks of course), meeting up with sponsors (Mr. Tanaka of Ceepo has me convinced I need to race Thailand and Japan next year), Zoot and the amazing new race kit they gave me, Wendy taking terrific care of my nails, Staci's millions of texts of Bible verses for me to read, Kainoa's singing, and my sister doing my laundry. Beyond thankful that at this moment in life, all the good people, and moments are happening on the way to the start line...

...And of course this.  My most favorite Ironman Hawaii moment, ever.  Kainoa was 1, I was certain of just one thing, stick to my plan.  And the day unfolded better than ever imagined.  So much like a race day plan, this fragile position my journey has taken me through, I know the outcome will be better than I imagined.  I want to have as much fun as I had in my first Ironman, it was a blast.  I want to love it all, leave it all out on the course, appreciate every mile, keep humble, keep calm, keep focused, keep moving, and of course trust the journey I have been on, that it has equipped me for all I need on race day.  

A massive thank you for the lovely notes, texts, emails, and such that I've been reading this week.  I'll let you know how Saturday goes.  And one more thing, when my surf board and I landed here I thought I'd end up like this guy, Sunny.  He's one of the most amazing big wave surfers in the world.  Never did a girl with pro surfing dreams think she would end up riding her bike 112 miles rather than riding waves.  But I did, and thats what life is showing me.  Dream away, work for them, and trust that giving up is never an option, because sometimes the journey we are on will take us away from what we wanted but deliver us something far beyond what we ever dreamed possible.

2 more sleeps.
Bree xo

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

These Moments.

I am a sucker for day dreaming, for remembering, AND...for being in the moment.  Perhaps the day dreams happen because I am so goal oriented, driven, and optiistic.  It just comes with the territory, to plan & focus.  I like it.  And the memories, I love being able to hear a song or see a picture and let it take me back to some laughter & probably equally important-lessons.

As for the moment...

This week I am especially living in it.  I have to.  It has taken nearly 3 years to realize this dream and there is no place I'd rather be than right here, right now, exactly as is, sharing it with those around me.  It has been an absolute blast.  Everyone kept saying time would heal me, but it just feels like God has yelled at me so loud and so clear, "Quit crying over spilt milk!  That glass still has plenty left to dip your cookies in!"  So after my pep talk from the Big Guy I am feeling rather well equiped for the days to come.  Including 140.6 miles...

Today was the highlight for Big Island athletes, our mini moment of pride.  The day we all put on our over sized, pajama style, mens t-shirts, that say, "Team Kona".  Ahhhh, ooooooh, yahhhhh!!  It is such an honor to have that shirt (even better I got kid-size this year!)  Every year the qualified Big Island athletes share this moment, a reminder of sorts, that together we got here.  Reminiscing in the races & training we shared, its such a perfect moment.  Honestly, the last 3 years of watching them all gather was a little painful for me, I wanted that shirt!  Those are my training partners!  I wanted to race with them!  Now I got the shirt...yes! And I get to be out there with them Saturday...yes!  How can I not live in this moment?!  How dare I ever let this moment be taken?  

Here we are, the Kona locals...
Happy and proud of my friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, team...

This past week has also brought in a bunch of my friends from all over the world...that means many, many, many of them in Speedos.  Perhaps the only time in Hawaii when the men wear less clothing than us girls in tiny bikinis.  It has been a huge blessing to have them here, talking about memories in other states and countries we raced, talking about our goals for the race to come, and just making some new moments.  Like my friend Fiona, letting me borrow her man to pull me though a final swim test set, in his speedo of course.  I love it, I love this sport and how it brings people from all over the world together.  

Not to mention, suffering feels so much better together.  Last week I managed to scramble a few buddies together to push, pull, and pace me on my final longish-goal pace run.  It was so perfect, hot and gross out.  Some hard work and impossible to resist jokes are now sprinkled all over Ali'i Drive for those moments during the race we need a little inspiration.  Clearly, it was also brilliant timing to ditch the Ipod and run without my jams pacing me (I do wish we could race with an Ipod though). 

Oh, speaking of being in the moment, you know, "Right place at the right time", Kainoa and I happened to be in Bike Works, our second home, and landed a ride in our friends little plane!  An actual cruise over the Ironman course.  It was such perfect timing for Kainoa, it made his day and truly taught him that good stuff is always surprising us when we least expect it.  Anyways, check out the bike course to Hawi.  It just looks hot, long, lonely, and windy.  I'm trying to keep it humble and remind myself that it really is a long day, patience required, and respect the distance.  One of my best lessons this season has been to respect the distance, just because you have survived it before doesn't mean it's easy.  And I think being my home course it makes it easier to forget because I do it all the time, every day.  So it was special seeing the above view and being reminded to still respect the heat, wind, and lonely  sections of the course no matter how familiar it is.

In other sporty news, Kainoa might just be getting the hang of soccer.  Last weeks game he had me in sheer laughter, just sort of being on the field.  Yesterdays game he was on a mission, as if he understood just what needs to be done and the satisfaction of perhaps doing it well.  I am loving being a soccer mom, well I have yet to take my turn on snack duty, but I'm sure I can handle.  It's just really nice seeing my son have some motivation and enjoy something that makes him feel good.  Today he declared he does not want to do triathlon, that's find son...

6 more sleeps till the big dance.  But I am in no rush, these days are some of my favorite and it feels nice being in the moment...

Bree xo
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