Aloha!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I like Bo.



We are watching the Bo Jackson documentary at the moment, it's making me really thankful for all the great people that have ever come into my life (even if only through News papers and TV).  The inspiration, the motivation, and the wonderful lessons that I have learned from them.  It includes people like my mom too, teachers, and friends that I swim with.  (I just got side tracked, Bo Jacksons thighs are on TV, I sort of want to hug them, they look like tree trunks).  Anyways, Bo Jackson is my hero right now, at this stage of my life.  Of course, I am no Bo, but Bo knows best…

I think when you are truly passionate about something you can't help but want to do it, be part of it, or endure it.  And sometimes you put it aside, waiting for the time to be right, some sort of perfect timing.  That never lasts long for me, waiting to act on something, I believe that if you wait for the time to be right then it will eventually pass you by, if you feel it you better listen to your heart.  Back to my post, I love Bo right now.  He is making me feel like it's okay to be crazily, wildly, passionate about more than one thing at a time.  Like two sports for example.  The problem I am struggling with is outside voices.  "Focus on one, but…".  And I know, certain things in life have to be sacrificed to reach the ultimate goal.  But what about a couple goals at once?

Friday I did my 8hr triathlon day.  Saturday I woke up and raced a 4 mile TT in the boat, because I want to fight for a seat to possibly paddle Molokai.  Sunday I woke up and rode my bike, then did my long run.  I did it all in a single weekend and I loved it all.  It was the best weekend of sports training that I know, in a long time.  Maybe better if I rested Saturday to prepare for Sunday, I know.  Again, I am no Bo, but I am a girl who has known all about Bo since she was a little girl and has found inspiration from him that…sometimes…in life…we can…do more.


This is the life, this is my life.  I am more appreciative everyday for these moments that make my heart feel awake and alive.  I have only one dream that has not happened for me or maybe it did but I failed at it, I am not really sure, whatever the case, I will not let it become two things and so, I am paddling my heart out when I am not running my ass off…


Other than my sport life, gardening is still my sanctuary.  It's better than a glass of wine to me.  More calming than a nap.  And it always makes me get this faithful feeling about life, love, and sport.  You plant a seed, you take care of it, it grows, you reap the reward.  Enough said.  Gardening is good for you.




Alright, that's about it for me.  Tomorrow is a few hours of hills on my bike and a little swim.  Maybe I am starting taper, sounds good to me.  I am looking forward to getting to Canada and have heard reports that it is getting warmer!   I found this picture of Kainoa at Ironman Louisville with me, he may be more excited than me…nah, we call it a tie!  One thing is certain, to have family at a finish line means everything to me.  Good night!

Bree
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ironman Canada, T-2 Weeks...


Here we are, 2 weeks away.  This is the window I most enjoy during each build up to an Ironman.  Just the right amount of time to maintain my focus but not yet into the week of butterflies.  Once again, this Ironman has been unique. It feels as if I have done a little less volume, or maybe the load just feels easier because it's round #4 this season.  As always, I've stuck to routine (because I am a firm believer in sticking to what works) but I have also been sure to add some variety (because I am a firm believer in living life to the fullest and enjoy my adventures).

I've really fallen in love with this little trail a couple miles from our house.  It's my beautiful escape from the heat, the traffic, and people (even though I love people).  I find it easy to get lost in my dreams and goals when it's just me out there, and I love getting wrapped up in everything that causes my heart to feel alive-like dreams and goals.  My dog joined me yesterday and did not keep up.  Rather than just call the dog lazy, I'll chalk it up to "I'm in Ironman shape", that's my positive thinking taking over...


Swim:  I am not truly feeling where I hope to be in 2 weeks.  A couple more good workouts with the Kona Aquatics masters and I am sure it will happen.  Some days I'm surprising myself like a little dolphin and other days I feel like a beached whale. Race confidence has a lot to do with our heads, for me I like to have a handful of swims out to the Ironman buoy to feel confident. Wednesday I had a great escort with my friend Wendy paddling next to me, pretty sure I can sweet talk her into another couple and then...mermaid status will be reached and I will be ready to toe the start line.

As for the wetsuit?  Still working on the "love/dislike" relationship I have with it. AND hoping everyday till race day that the Canadian water is warm enough to use the Zoot sleeveless...please.


Side track, as with my ever so explorative life, I love to take detours you know...my garden.  The garden has been seriously dishing up and serving some of the most beautiful "better than the grocery store" produce!  I'm talking, beautiful.  My little picket fence dream has never included a big house, but it definitely includes a nice size lanai so I can have a bed on it and A GIANT GARDEN.  I am talking, BIG.  Well, at the moment our gardens (we have 2 of them) are the size of a twin bed, but they are amazing and perhaps it's good practice with a little one before we get the big one, one day...


Back to the bike, back on track.  I am taking my easy, recover rides very easy.  They are just held as "enjoyable moments on 2 wheels".  I try to stop off to neat little views, invite a friend, or just keep it in the little ring so my legs truly get flushed out.  As for the bigger rides, they are happening and I admit to doing one of them without an IPOD!  It was hard.  It was long.  It was lonely.  But I made it.  

Yesterday was my biggest day of the block.  It wasn't as challenging as other big days have been, again I'm trusting that it's because I'm more fit or maybe I just don't need something so exhausting because this is round #4 and we are avoiding injury or burnout.


Side track again, but I like this part, Kainoa turned 8!  Wow.  He's looking as forward to Canada as I am, it will be our second international Ironman together and the 5th Ironman finish line we share.  Happy Birthday son, you are more wonderful than I ever dreamed.


As for life, you know, it's something I am very passionate about so I have been back in a canoe since Ironman Texas.  Cross training?  Training partners?  It just makes me happy, you know.  And our boat is still doing absolutely amazing.  Mike has been truly patient, enduring, and genuine in this part of my world.  He daily, sometimes moment by moment, keeps my focus on triathlon and reels me in when I start to get overly excited about our boat winning States, paddling between islands, and a bucket list goal of paddling Molokai solo.  One day.   He is perfect.  Just perfect for me with this, to realize my biggest dreams and never undermine my other hearts desires...


Oh, cooking.  Take this EASY recipe and recreate it to refuel your big days, it's my egg special.

Take 6 eggs, beat them well, add in any ingredients you want.  I put bacon (cooked), spinach or kale, other veggies, and some spices or cheese.  Bake in a greased pan for 30 minutes on *350.  THAT EASY!  It does not have a crust, I suck at making crusts so I just put mine into tortillas or on top of rice.  Prep time is roughly 10 minutes.  See, even busy mornings have time to refuel.  It was mine after today's long run...

And...one more thing....Thank you Masuda again and again for believing in me (not that he ever reads these blogs of mine), but thank you.  He has been the one following the KPR point race and helping me understand it, he knows most all the pro women by name now too, then gives me their race results He reminds me to keep doing my thing as best as I can...and so I do.  MUAH!

Good night, I'll try not to be such a blog slacker...but no promises.
Bree
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Deep Within...


Maybe this has a little to do with triathlon, maybe not.  Life has been teaching me so much about, well, life. Lately I'm understanding there doesn't always have to be a reason for doing every thing we do.  (I used to think without a purpose there is no purpose).  But now, and not just because I saw a man having a heart attack today, I believe that sometimes the only reason we need to have is because it makes us happy.  Life is short.  Don't read this wrong, I'm not saying I believe it's okay to go do bad things and say it was because it makes you happy, that just makes you a bad person.  Deep within, sometimes, just doing what truly makes you happy makes everything else in life that much better.  I was once a girl on a beach making a million wishes on stars, mostly dreaming of all the possibilities, since slowly learning sometimes the only reason I need to do something is because it makes me happy, I find myself making fewer wishes and more time smiling about what I just experienced...


...And I think it makes you better.  I love running, always have.  Haven't always been good at it, but more and more I find myself out there mostly because it makes me happy.  That...I believe...is making me run better.  Sometimes searching for this huge reason for doing something or trying to find some sensational purpose makes it all too complicated.  That has been a huge struggle of mine with racing triathlon professionally.  I would lay in bed and wonder how in the world it had a purpose to either better other people's lives or the world.  I'd search for that answer, with teaching it came easy, you see children learn to read and BOOM, there is all the reason and purpose you need. Deep within, I love what I do, so much, and lately I just count my blessings with all sport has given to my life, allowing myself to be happy without needing some big bright and shiny reason.


So where are we?  Tonight we have 5 weeks until Ironman Canada.  Being the 3rd Ironman of the year already (yikes) and the 4th one in roughly 8 months, I am still very mentally motivated, excited, and happy to be heading to another 140.6 mile race.  This week I was super fortunate to test out a sleeveless wetsuit, THANK YOU Zoot Sports so much! It was amazing to feel all the luxuries of a wetsuit but have my arms free.  At the moment the lake is really cold, but I am hoping it warms up enough to not need sleeves.  Being my goal race into the final KPR points ranking, I am actually spending time in a wetsuit.  Let's hope it lands a more efficient swim than previous wetsuit swims!


After literally hundreds of training sessions I am not sure why it took so long to see the value in taking an egg with me to all my workouts!  It is the absolute most awesome little power packed pick me up, protein, and affordable little ball...maybe ever.  Hard boil them all week and try for yourself...it's easy and amazing how much better you feel instantly having one.  PS...I like to add sea salt on mine.

 
I've been reading a lot too.  I have to make time for it.  My Bible, mental training books, whatever makes me happy to read, it has forced me to sit still.  To put feet up.  To calm down.  To not think (and over think).  I know, it's hard to find a minute, but just a couple minutes a day instead of FB, Instagram, or rummaging through the fridge to eat when you aren't hungry, helps.  It has been a saving grace for me with full training and Summer happening all at once.  Good luck with it...


As for paddling...

It is Summer in Hawaii after all.  I am still landing in a canoe on Saturdays and sometimes at sunset.  I call it my recovery.  It is a huge part of "making me happy" so I do it.  The girls are my sisters.  It is amazing to fly across the water and our boat is doing really good right now. We won today, getting lei'd feels nice.  And in some explainable way it is carrying over into triathlon, here is where I will absolutely not try to explain it, find a reason, or search for some big meaningful truth behind doing it...it just makes me really happy.  And, that it reason enough...


Oh... Great news.  See these two?  Kainoa and my mom, they are going to Ironman Canada with me.  I am beyond words grateful!!   Good night, got some miles to tackle tomorrow and some stretching tonight.

Bree
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Monday, June 9, 2014

How's it going?


My updates have seriously been slacking, but life has been good. Mostly, just trying to get back on the healthy wagon.  I do a good job of being a regular girl after a big race.  Stay up a little later, clean Kainoa's plate (including kid food with ingredients I can't pronounce), drink a beer, sleep in a little (very challenging for me), and indulge in plenty of other sporty things.  The indulging in "plenty of other sporty things"" is thanks to coach.  Mentally refreshing?  Yes.  Ignite motivation?  Yes.  Renew the muscles?  Yes.  So he writes plans that say, "low HR, try yoga, surf, paddle, no CF yet, family time activities".  It's so easy to get out, be active, and follow that plan. I think it makes it easier to get back to work too, when the time is right. Because the season is long and I want to keep "fresh" mentally and physically as best as I can.

That said...
About 7 weeks till Ironman Canada.  I feel good.  I feel recovered.  I am ready to dive back in.  I've been drinking all the green drinks in abundance once again, starting to see sunrise more frequently, and dipping back into the pool.  Minimal lacing of the shoes.  I take that back last night I played basketball, 2 on 2.  It was awesome, much needed competition all for the bragging rights and not a payday or point. (However, I confess to greatly liking working/racing for both). And I've been paddling...a little.

 
 
Kainoa started paddling this season.  Watching him had me recalling some of my favorite moments on the ocean.  Being at his practices (on the sidelines) was very fun.  Being at his races on the side lines, not as much fun.  Oh, never get me wrong, it is so much fun watching your child, cheering, supporting, loving, its wonderful.  But...have you ever been to a regatta?  They are SO LONG.  You are there literally all day, unlike any sport I know.  In fact, the past few Saturdays we got there by 7 and left around 4.  It's like an Ironman, except the actual race is less than 10 minutes.  A few regattas ago, I took a swim and a run between races!  And then...it got me thinking...maybe...I should paddle...since I am here... all day...cheering...waiting....waiting...and Mike and his boys paddle too...so I'm literally here...all....day.  A few weeks ago to be legit, I went to some practices. Oh it was amazing.


...and I volunteered (as the rice serving girl).  That was amazing too.  And then...I raced.  I jumped back into the canoe, paddled my heart out, and you know what?


Our boat won.  It was a good day. So that's what I've been doing.  And back into 40 minute bike rides, a couple swims, and a couple runs.  I am patiently awaiting the day I get to swim, bike, or/and run more than 40 minutes.  Till then, active recovery in the form of other sporty things.  And it feels like life is being totally lived out loud.  I even got to surf yesterday, right into a sunset.  Okay, that's all I got for now.  Bed time is calling, swim practice in the morning, wooohooo, I see triathlon training about to ramp up!!

Good night,
Bree xo
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hawaii 70.3 "Just Go With It"



This will be a quick race wrap up, mostly because a lack of pictures, I'm like a kid, I like pictures. Race week arrived and I was struggling to get into race week mode.  So much focus had been spent on Ironman Texas that Hawaii 70.3 never crossed my mind. Soon after Texas we put Ironman Canada on the map so any sporting thoughts instantly went towards Whistler.  2 days before the race coach told me I can pull out of Hawaii 70.3.  If I'm still feeling the Ironman during the race pull the plug, call it a day, keep recovering from Texas so we can have a good build into Canada.  Honestly, I did not like the thought of not racing at home.  Mike is usually my brain when I struggle to think realistically and reminded me there is only 500 points on the line for Hawaii, 2000 for Canada and risking injury and a lackluster day would maybe be a setback to Canada.  Maybe his Japanese side is better at Math and non emotional thinking than me, I tried to trust his thinking. My heart always overrides every single thing (I know, ridiculously passionate). We made a deal, if he saw me looking like hell out on the race course he would yank me off, I am not good at pulling myself out of races…

Race morning came.  Woke up at 5, got to transition at 5:50 (clearly I am not one of those that get up 4hrs pre race).  There was little pep in me despite being a major morning person.  No butterflies, no pre-race feeling of pooping my pants 'cause I'm so nervous, and I didn't cry (I always cry on the start lines of my races).  All I knew (and figured mattered) was that I still love racing and trust that my body would just get to work when the gun went off.  Kissed Mike good bye, swam out to the start line, and lined up deep water.  I felt at home in the ocean and knew it was the best way to start a day, whatever the day may bring...


I managed to snag my career slowest half ironman swim.  I held tight the mantra Mike gave me on the drive to the race, "Just go with it".  He said whatever my body is doing, go with it.  So I went with it.  Ran up the beach not letting the humbling swim entertain me, just ride my bike.  I was 6th girl at the Mauna Lani turn and not gaining on any girls.  Finally to the climbs of Hawi where a little heat and wind kept us company I was making a move.  Still not feeling perky or fast or like any sign of  "race day magic" would soon accompany me, I just "kept going with it".  I was giving my legs pep talks, "Good job girls, just do what we can, I know we have an Ironman in our legs but we can do this, you like this, keep moving forward".  Passed two girls by the turn around in Hawi and kept looking out to the ocean.  My entire heart was filling with emotions now, how dearly I want to race in Kona this October, how I want back in the race that opened the doors initially for me to become a pro triathlete and live this life I love so much.  I put my head down and just pushed on despite feeling like I was weak and tired.  


As with most races I was so happy to reach the final miles of the bike.  I wanted to run, finally butterflies were filling me.  This was what I had been waiting to feel since the drive out to Hapuna at 5am.  I could hardly wait to see Mike, Kainoa, Brooke, Wendy, and all my friends all over the course and working the aid stations.  Off the bike and into T2, over 5 minutes behind the leaders, I was 4th with another girl just 2 seconds behind me.  That bike ride felt like a stationary bike ride, if I didn't actually see the scenery change I would almost swear I never moved…time to move…run.

This run course is one of my absolute favorites, the heat fills me in a such a happy way that I never even entertained thoughts of having a marathon in my legs or how crappy the swim and bike felt.  I just wanted to catch girls.  You know when you really love your shoes?  I was loving mine like Dorthy loves her ruby red slippers!  The Zoot Kiawe 2.0 were my non-ruby neon green slippers!!  I just stayed happy and focused out there, ran my way into 2nd place and thanked God Mike never yanked me off the course after he saw me looking like a rag down thrown from her bike into T2. Or maybe it's, "Thank you Mike for believing in me" that I could still find a way to turn the race around...


The day held two new records for me:  My slowest ever swim in a 70.3 and the first time I've ever ran the fastest female run split of the day in an Ironman race.  I guess it balances out, maybe, not really.  I'm going to take a week easy (per coaches orders) and keep my focus on Canada.  Above and beyond, thank you Zoot Sports, Ceepo Bikes, Bike Works, Bioastin Hawaii, Coach Cotter,  Odin Chiro, Junko Sheilds Massage, Rolf Prima, and Splish, for making sure I have all I need to keep training and racing towards October. Hawaii 70.3 race directors, volunteers, and competitors, THANK YOU for such a great Saturday morning, well done!!  And I did get to celebrate, one of our friends got married so we hurried back to town for a beautiful wedding...


Thanks for the lovely support,
Bree xo

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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


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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
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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...

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