Archive for June, 2008


I am IT!

June 30, 2008

Okay Bree….. here it is!

10 years ago I was:

Graduating from college as a Registered Nurse

5 years ago I was:

The Mom of a 2 year old, preparing for my second Ironman.

1 year ago I was:

Preparing for my third Ironman.

5 things on my to do list today: (other than something to do with Ironman!)

See Wall-E the movie
Go fishing with Luc
Check in with my athletes
Check in with my sister who lives in Paris.

5 snacks I enjoy:

is coffee a snack? I think so…. coffee!
saltine crackers
peanut butter

If I were a billionaire I would:

Find a family who needed to be given a break. Buy them a nice house and help then get back on their feet, set up college education for the children and help the parents find their way.

6 people I want to have lunch with tomorrow:

Julia Butterfly Hill
Luc Van Lierde
Natasha Badmann
The President
Lug Eggers

My Dad.

5 places I have lived:

Orchard Park NY
Stony Brook NY
Laguna Beach California
Buffalo NY
Rochester NY

5 jobs I have had:

Registered Nurse, Orthopedics, pediatric IMCU and now Pediatric Emergency
Career Spinning and Aerobics Instructor
Triathlon Coach
Fitness Director


Victory at Home

June 29, 2008

Ever win something and feel like you didn’t deserve it? That’s how I felt today at the Quakerman Triathlon, which was a 600 yard swim / 22 mile bike and a 4 mile run staged in the town where I grew up, the beach where I lifeguard ed during high school and college and where my parents still live.

It was a bit of a homecoming for me in so many ways. But my performance was less than stellar. I honestly wanted to walk up to the second place woman and give it to her because she deserved it more than I did today!

It wasn’t a complete disaster, I did have a pretty solid week of training this week as we trained and recovered. But today… less than amazing for sure.

I led my wave in the swim, felt pretty strong on the bike but as I see my power files I am not impressed…. but then again I won’t be impressed with myself on the bike until I beat Lance Armstrong….. (in shape or out of shape). My TSS score had me in my tempo ranges. My run….. I wanted to take a nap. I really did! In my aim for T pace I barely held M pace.

My attitude….. just as poor. It was poor from the get go, which is not like me.

Now I know I am tired. I know I am pulling out of a hole, and I know today is not the prize.

Days like these are just as important as the days where the wheels come off because you are hitting the paces. And days like these are just as much a part of the plan as recovery days and long rides.

You can’t feel amazing every day. And I know that.

This win didn’t feel good and it didn’t feel deserved. And I hope that does not sound arrogant or not grateful because believe me that I do realize how lucky I am to be where I am.

So I shall continue to sit tight because I know that in 21 days the day I have been waiting and training for will be upon us. And I will possibly feel worse than I did today. And I will know how to handle it. And I will get to that finish line and believe me I will me smiling.

As I think of it my smile was somewhat absent today. That’s not how I race. That’s not how I exist. So I will put myself in check….. go to sleep right now and await my last big week of training from my awesome Coach, who knows how to pull the very best out of me.


Math Help

June 28, 2008

Okay….. I have been waltzing around thinking I am all that boasting that Placid will be my third IM in 18 months….. but it was pointed out to me today that this will be the 3rd in a year.

Is this true? Is this math correct? Placid 07, Florida 07, Placid 08? I am not all that, trust me, I am just an idiot.

If so….. my goodness please have the men with the white coat meet me at the finish line.


Roll the Ball!

June 28, 2008
Stop squeezing me MOM!

We’ve got a new summer hobby aside from hanging at the beach. We are bona fide…. Bowlers. You see Luc’s Elementary School was given cards for each student from Bowl A Rama, the local bowling alley. It was all part of their “Say no to drugs…. say yes to bowling” campaign.

I thought it was a terrific idea. Inspire our youth to be moving and be active. We don’t own a Wii, we don’t own an…. Atari or a Coleco Vision or even a Nintendo….. and see how far behind I am…. I don’t even know what’s come along next!

Our idea of fun is playing outside. I think every single home in America should come equipped with a basketball net. How many conversations do families have while shooting hoops together. If everyone had one (and used it) I am convinced therapists all over the country would go out of business.

The deal with bowling is that each student received a punch card good for one free game and a pair of shoes. Parents get a game and shoes for $1. Now $2 for a little fun? That’s a deal!

We’re pretty horrid bowlers. Heck I have only once broken 100 and that’s with the bumpers. And until I told someone I bowled a 96, I didn’t know that not breaking 100 was something to laugh at.


What impressed em the most was this…… the other people.

At 9am the lanes are rather empty except for a few. Last week I noticed a guy in his 20’s. iPod was on, he has his own shoes, his own ball, he was in his own little world. It made me smile.

A group came in a bit later with their fancy schmancy bowling bags and all their own gear.

What I noticed was people who love their sport, who are dedicated to it and who love the company of one another.

They were just like me. Just like me but different sport.

I was surprised by the young ages of so many of these people. I was glad about it. Just like I am glad when I see the youths at a kids race or better yet I see the youths grow older and complete a triathlon by the time they are 20.

Our goal for our son is that he lives an active lifestyle. Knowing how to swim was really important to us because too many people…. don’t.

He can shoot hoops, play soccer, bowl. He’s the jack of all traits and as he gets older he will have a variety of ways to be active and live healthy. If he picks triathlon that’s wonderful. If he doesn’t that’s equally as wonderful. Finding what he loves is what is important.

For now he’s excited about the kids races…. and I am excited that he’s excited to be racing his third triathlon at the Quakerman tomorrow. Hometown with my homeboy….. it doesn’t get better than that.

I am sure that over at Bowl A Rama there are equally important things happening. Tournaments, laughing, moving, and being healthy. To me it’s all the same. You’d better believe that we will be back on Monday…. and we’ll be aiming for 100!


Breaking up with Iron

June 26, 2008

I am very proud to announce there was no dropping trou on the long run this week. We moved it to Thursday night this week due to my schedule, due to the heat (we want it hot), humidity and being later in the day.

When you are a morning person running at night is very strange. There were PEOPLE at the ice cream shop form which we begin. Real…. ice cream eating people. Which always is interesting when you are running.

We were soaked to the bone when we were done.


Don’t you hate when all of a sudden too much time magically becomes too little time? I must say that every day … but that’s okay…. with my short term memory it’s new to me every single time. Like a goldfish seeing the little plastic castle. Wow! A castle! (Wait 30 seconds) Wow! A Castle! (rinse and repeat all day long).

Now my husband said something to me yesterday that rocked my entire world. He told me… sit down for this one…. that once you are an Ironman you are always an Ironman. He said that you don’t’ have to keep doing this over and over and over and over!

I know! I know! I said the same thing!

I wish someone had told me this four Ironmans ago!

It’s actually gotten to the point where I don’t want people to know. You’ve done HOW MANY? They look at you sideways, they squint their eyes, and many times they just begin backing up. How many miles is that????? OH MY GAWD! And god forbid they see the back of my car. Worse than a locker room. Trust me. Ask Curt.

Believe me I am well aware of this mental illness. Well aware. To the people I respond “Don’t be impressed… I am sick.”

It’s to the point where I have actually instructed my husband that I am not to leave our Lake Placid home during registration on Saturday. And on Monday morning hide the keys because I am not signing up for 2009.

It’s to the point where I have thought about the races I will do in 2009 to prevent me from returning to 140.6. (Actually we can consider my Ironman 140.8 because I will at some point not run straight). So right now I am planning Gulf Coast, Mooseman, Musselman. That takes me through July.

It’s to the point where I feel like I have to break up with the Ironman. This is not an easy task. It’s been a wonderful relationship. A long one. One that I will return to. The Ironman loves me and I love the Ironman.

I am afraid to break the news to the Ironman. I worry he will be upset with me. I worry he won’t welcome me back. I worry he will find another love.

I envision my final run (for a while) along Mirror Lake drive during that second loop. I will be crying for a thousand reasons. Mostly I will be crying becasue whatever the day may bring I know I won’t have this feeling again for a while. The feeling of being called an Ironman.

But Ironman isn’t like that, I know. Ironman loves me and he knows. He knows that ours is a relationship that is deep and meaningful… so much so that every now and then we have to step away from one another.

Sniff. But once I am an Ironman…. I am always an Ironman!

In other exciting news Coach T surprised me in his decision that I should and will race the Quakerman. It’s a shortie (it’s a freaking warm up.) but in my hometown and best of all…. Luc will be racing.

So let’s hope these distance legs have a little snap in them.

My Secret Aspiration

June 25, 2008

I have a confession to make. I have a secret dream of being a Starbucks Barista.

I know… I know….. this great big college education and entrpreneuer and yoga teacher thing…. I would throw it all away in a second for the chance to work in the Mecca.

Yaddi, Yaddi, Yaddi….. big mean corporate America running small town coffee places, I agree, but I just can’t help it. I love that I visit just about each one in town. I love that I know all the managers, I love that they know me and my family.

So why don’t I just go and work there? I don’t know. I could do it, I know I could! I mean I can start an IV on 2 day old babies and kids who are flailing and kids who don’t even have arms. I can pump blood into someone while standing on their stretcher as they slide through a CT machine. My multitasking skills truly are top notch.

Sometimes when things get rough in the Peds ED I close my eyes and imagine….

What size would you like, tall grande or perhaps Venti?

Extra hot sir?

We have to make three shots anyways…. would you like an extra?

Iced or hot? (even though I believe it to be a SIN to put ice in coffee!)

The best part… if I make the wrong drink… no one dies… well unless they have some raging allergy but ah-ha! I would be right there to swoop into action.

Did I ever tell you that our Emergency Dept Pharmacist once handed me a 200mg vial of caffeine? (it was for a teenager with a migraine!) and I almost flat lined myself.


I told my 17 year old patient as I was giving it to her that I felt jealous. And heck I did.

If I worked at Starbucks I wouldn’t have to put up with people waving guns and people losing limbs and people asking for prescriptions for Tylenol. Sure there would be smaller headaches like I asked for that in a Venti…. or I told you extra whip…. or this doesn’t taste right.

The grass of course is greener on the other side.
If I worked at Starbucks I’d know everything there was to know about coffee, and I already know a lot. The other day however I did run into a big problem. The person in front of me ordered her drink extra wet.

I swear I turned red. Extra wet? What did that mean? I was torn between not knowing what that means and being pretty sure that was code for porn coffee.

If I worked at Starbucks I’d have at least one free drink a day which would help me save on my existing coffee bill. I would be able to identify beans by smell, have access to grinders and I am very sure I would have the inside scoop on the wonderful blend called Pike Place and I bet I’d be able to fill my bathtub with beans…….

But then again what if there were corporate world politics like there are hospital politics and like there is regular business people politics? What if I began a career as a Barista and realized that the place I have come to know and love as the Mecca…. really wasn’t. My entire life would be shattered. My dreams, hopes, aspirations…. gone in the flash of a moment.

It would be like someone telling me there wasn’t a Santa Claus. All my life I have believed! You say he is not real? Pick me up off the floor. Better yet I am a DNR don’t bring me back.

So I think I am okay where I am at. I shall still dream of the Mecca, the green apron, the thousand ways in which I could make coffee taste great. Greater than great. My dream of being Barista of the Century for now will have to remain a dream.

Now I have to go find Dan the pharmacist and see where I can get me some of that straight up caffeine!

Listening to the Tree Girl

June 25, 2008

If I had one wish…. I think I’d pass…. I can’t think of anything I need.
That’s exactly how I felt this morning as I got into the pool. The outdoor 50 meter pool with my Masters Team. Scratch that, with the Homeboys. Masters is on break for a few weeks and swimming just never feels the same without the guys.

The air was warm, the water was perfect, the sun was shining and swimming for 90 minutes felt just awesome. I felt more than lucky, more than privileged and more than grateful. Love this life…. I kept thinking…. love this life.

Last evening I attended a lecture at my yoga studio. The lecture was given by Julia Butterfly Hill. To make it real simple she is the woman who sat eighteen stories high in a Redwood tree…. for 2 years. I expected the lecture to be a story about what it was like to sit in a tree for 2 years in order to save the Redwood Forrest.

But it wasn’t. On the way out I bought her book because now I want to know. And now I realize that sitting in the tree wasn’t as much about actually sitting in a tree as it was about believing in something, including herself, finding strength, courage and fighting from her heart.

The lecture was actually a conversation and if I had to title it, I would not be able to. It might have been about finding spirit, it might have been about understanding that as people the small things we can do can make big differences in the world….. but one point has resonated with me.

When we ask for strength life … or the universe… or whatever… will often give us hardship. It is through hardship that strength is built. It is through hardship that grace arrives. It is through hardship that courage is found…. and we fight through with love.

That point right there can be applied to so many situations in my own life. Like she labeled everything to a T…. and I didn’t know it was laying around unlabeled.

Now we can use the Ironman as a metaphor because it is an easy one to use. The Ironman is also easy because it is gigantic. But take out the word Ironman and insert your word. It’s truly all the same. Ironman is a safe example to use.

It’s really what Randy Pauch would call a “head Fake”, meaning we are learning something really hard…. by thinking we are learning something fun. In our sick way IM is fun. But that’s another study.

Many take the Ironman on because we want to be stronger or find out how strong we really are. We all have our own personal reason. We are faced with the difficulty of it, not necessarily the day itself but the year of preparation. Fatigue, soreness, self doubt, uncertainty, colds, scheduling, balancing….. etc.

So we find ways to balance it all. We get up at 5am so we don’t miss our children’s baseball games. We sometimes get up at 3am for the same reason. We run in the dark. We hang tough through days where our eyes don’t stay open. We feel weak and wonder how this is all supposed to make us stronger.

Through this time we find our own courage. Self doubt starts to become self confidence. Uncertainty begins to become certainty.

I just have to insert here that Ironman is just an example, as we choose to do this, as it is not our right but our privilege, but any word can be replace the word Ironman.

The day of the race comes along and we are not the same people who we were a year ago, but there is still a bit to go. We travel through the day on all the courage, grace and strength we have built up through the past “X” months.

What kept us going was the love for what we were doing and the love of who we were becoming. Love is the biggest and strongest energy force there is an whether it is sport, life, nature it is all the same. It’s the biggest.

So the love for what we believed in was the energy that brought us through. Through something hard we learned how to be strong. Through something hard we found courage and we found grace.

For me that’s really what this is all about. I can apply that to many situations, many much more important than a 140.6 mile race, and I can see it very clearly.

When we ask for strength and we are given something hard…… it is to make us find that strength. Really…. all that we need is inside of us right here and right now. That one more thing really isn’t true…… that when I finish the Ironman… when I get married….. when I get a house….. that when I mentality.

Because again, all we need is within us right now. Uncover it. Strip the bullshit away and look at you. Look what sustains you when everything else falls away.

What would I sit in a tree for? I began to wonder that on my way home. Not that I’d actually sit in a tree…. but what would be the thing that I’d “sit in a tree” for? I thought for a moment and then it came to me. It’s what I have the opportunity to do this fall in Haiti. Defined… it doesn’t matter except that it was very clear to me. That’s a whole separate post. As I identified it though, my heart agreed. Yes, I know what I’d sit in a tree for,

I feel lucky this morning for so many things. Mostly for clarity and for Julia Butterfly Hill making it a lot less complicated and so crystal clear. While we think the changes we can make in this world are small…. they are actually very very big.