We all have our reasons why we race. Last Tri United 2, most raced out of pure competitiveness, others raced for a worthy cause, to beat diabetes, to inspire other people, to fulfill a promise. Some raced, well, just because they love the pain.
For me? I just want to finish the damn thing.
Unknown to many, I got really emotional when I crossed the finished line. Did I cry? Of course not. But I was riding an emotional roller coaster high.
Tri United 2 will always have a special place in my heart. Not only because it’s my favorite race distance, but last year, Tri United 2 was my last race before I succumbed to Anemia. 3 days after the race, I got confined and was forced to DNS Ironman 70.3 Cebu 2012, my first ever major race DNS. As well as shut down the rest of my 2012 season. Honestly? That traumatized me.
Yeah, it may look like I was having fun while I was cheering on the sidelines doing my SBR.ph duties. Heckling other racers sure is fun. But deep inside? I was hurting. I want to be out there racing. But no, I have to be careful. I can’t red line as much as I used to and have to make sure I don’t over train as well. Anemia is a nasty son of a gun. It took me almost a year to strike the perfect balance and with the help of iron supplements (yep, I just started taking them), I started feeling better.
So enough of the prelude. Let’s get on with the race report.
Since I wasn’t able to train that much anyway, the game plan was really simple. Be conservative and attack when I feel like it, and back off when I start to feel light-headed. (Anemia sufferers would know this).
SWIM – Target : 40-45 mins.
I struggled a bit in the shallow portion of the swim start. I didn’t know if I should swim, walk, or dolphin dive the damn thing. I knew the fastest way was to dolphin dive, but I didn’t know how. How I wished, I read just add water’s swimjunkie blog sooner! That would’ve helped a lot! So I mixed swimming, walking, and heckling (yep, we need to have a lil fun too right? :) ) and was able to finish the 3 loop swim in 43:53. “Not bad.” I said to myself.
T1 and T2 :
Carrying my shoe out of T2.
As I was racking my bike the day before the race, I noticed that the path going to the mount/dismount section was wet and really muddy. If I’ll stick to my preferred style of putting my cycling / running shoes on in transition and running all the way to the mounting area, that would’ve been a disaster as my shoe will definitely be covered with mud and sand. A no-no to someone, who likes to keep his feet squeaky clean while racing :) So what I did, I ran barefooted all the way till the end and just slipped my shoes on when I got to the mounting area. Problem solved. Not to mention, there’s TRAP head chief Tom Carrasco helping the athletes hose the mud off. SCORE. I did the same thing in T2.
BIKE – Target : 1:50 – 2 hours
After trying a new bike for 5150, I switched back to my trusty CEEPO Katana, aka “Lovelyness” and just put my head down and mashed the damn pedals. It was liberating actually, as I finally felt strong once again on the bike. Last year, I was pounding my legs because it just wouldn’t generate power. I raced blind this time (no computers), and just based my pace on feel. I made sure I got my nutrition in and prepare myself for the upcoming 15k run. Last 5150, I got so smashed on the bike I had no more strength left for the run. LOL. My legs felt light and loose this time after the bike which meant I paced myself just right. The ride was interesting as I got to pace with a couple of riders. I still have to practice working with a group though. Being someone who couldn’t even draft in the swim, I usually ride alone. Group dynamics is tough as you need to avoid staying too close (to avoid drafting) and pushing too hard trying to overtake (and then they’ll just overtake you again). I ended up with a 1:50:55 bike split which was exactly my target.
RUN – Target : 1:30
Not to sandbag, but before TU2, my last run was 5150. Before that? Subit. =) I gotta start taking my run training a little seriously because “race day training” just wont cut it for I.M. 70.3 Cebu! I ran on stock power which wad exactly what I wanted to do. As my prep for Ironman Melbourne 2014, I need a gauge as to where I am now physically when it comes to my run fitness. It didn’t take long to find out how bad I suck at it now lol. I couldn’t train after Subit because, I was having bouts with anemia again. Well, I don’t know exactly if that was anemia as I didn’t get myself checked but the symptoms are there definitely. When someone mentions that you look pale and you had anemia before, that’s a very big red flag. So I skipped training totally and just rested. I went with my strategy of keeping my run cadence up to 90 and walking at the aid stations. That worked during the 1st loop but all else failed during the 2nd and 3rd. My lack of run fitness kicked in as I ended up walking a lot. (Damn those hills!). There was even one time I tried to run with a chubby girl, “Ha! She won’t outrun me!” So I ran with her for at least a kilometer before I walked again. Talk about getting chicked :P My run time was 1:36:53 which meant I definitely need to run more. I should be able to hit 1:30 easily.
NUTRITION – Target : Run without cramping and avoid using saltsticks.
Here’s the interesting part. As they always say, don’t try anything new on race day right? Well, oops, I did it again. My usual triathlon nutrition is just flat coke and mars bar. That powered me thru 4 Ironman’s already and works perfectly fine. This time, I tried the Powerbar chewy things called energy blasts and man, those things really work! I also tried GU chomps before but didn’t like the flavor. I feel like I can eat the Powerbar energy blasts all day! Though I think I over ate as I was on the verge of puking as we were heading back to t2. That’s where flat coke comes in. If you’re feeling bloated, don’t bother sipping water or any electrolyte drink. Just chug the magic elixir and it will help sort out your stomach. Trust me on this one.
For TU2, I took 4 gels in total, 1 red bull, 1 mars bar, lots of coke, and on course nutrition.
So did I achieve my target? Pretty much. I started to feel cramps 14k into the run. I felt a little cramp in my calf but nothing serious. Thanks to SLS3 calf sleeves of course! (Shameless plug) :) Back on topic, I’m happy to say that I didn’t take a single pill of salt stick at all. That’s an achievement.
TU2 TARGET TIME: 4:00 or high sub 4. | FINISH TIME – 4:11:41 : My personal worst. But definitely one of the most satisfying.
Sad to say, if I only nailed my target run time, sub 4 was easily within reach. But it is what it is. I also took my time in transition which cost me a lot of time. Anyway, my goal was just to have fun and finish the race healthy enough for me to say that I’ll be at the starting line of this years Ironman 70.3 Philippines. I’m glad to say, I accomplished that.
See you in Cebu :)
We all have our reasons why we race. What’s yours?
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team and our sponsors, TIMEX, Golds Gym, Gatorade, SLS3 Compression Gear (for the SLS3 calf sleeves) and of course, SBR.ph.
Thanks also to everyone who visited the SBR.ph booth! Special mention to my s.o. luckymermaid for always being there.
Thanks for reading. :)