Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Are you ready to be a triathlete’s girlfriend?


Ladies, are you sure you really want an Iron Boy of your own? Here are a few things you may want to consider, enjoy! =)

- Most of your quality time with him will be while he's carbo-loading.

- You will be privy to more information about his bodily functions than you ever cared to know.

- He can spend 10 hours on his bike. Don't be jealous ok?

- Be prepared to consider doing a long run followed by a yoga session as a "date"

- His legs will often be smoother than yours.

- You'll have to at least pretend to like swimming, biking or running if you ever want to see him on the weekends.

- He'll only be able to take you dancing on one of his "rest weeks."

- We either smell like sweat or smell like chlorine

- If you can't beat him, JOIN him!

- Tights... hahaha Yeah

- The fastest way to a triathlete's heart is through his stomach. Thus race day breakfast!

- You'll have to start sex early or settle for a "quickie,' so that he can get to bed by 10pm.

- The correlations between regular exercise and sex are true.

Endurance.

- Dates are usually done in between lunch and early dinner til 9pm.

- Don't make it such a big issue if he has a smaller waist line than you.

- Don't worry about saddle issues - if he gets numb, you get numb. (numb, numb, numb)

- No matter how much you or he wants to snuggle in the morning, you'll have to kick him out of bed by 5:45am.

- You'll have to learn all the words to Eye of The Tiger.

- Rest Days.

- Yes. His body will have stripes like a zebra!!

- You'l have to learn how to make a protein shake.

- If he say's he's tired. He probably really is.

- Start learning the jargons. T1, intervals, long ride, GU, etc.

- You'll help him choose his race calendar based on where you'll get to travel ("You should definitely race in Monaco!")

- On race day, you'll have to get up early, stand out in the chilly morning to watch his wave start, keep your eyes peeled to see him exit the water and cheer your head off for him, take actions shots of him leaving transition on the bike, then find something to do for 2-3 hours before any stores are open, but get back in time to get more pictures of him running out of transition and wait another couple hours before you get to watch him finish. AKA Personal Assistant!

- Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen.

- Long weekends = Longer training days

- No matter how fast or how slow he is, ALWAYS make him feel like a Champion.

- Be prepared to get hooked on the sport yourself...

AND

-When the going gets tough, the race is long and digging deep for that last push of energy is at it's hardest, know that the thing that keeps him going is the thought of you waiting for him at the finish line.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Training Log # 23 - Learning from a Team Mate - The Cobra 70.3 Ironman Experience

After having my wall blasted full of people's congratulations, the hype and the feeling of the 70.3 Ironman has now settled. It's now the perfect moment  that I begin to finally contemplate on the experience that may shape me to becoming a much more focused and persevering athlete.

I'd like to finally say that I am dissapointed. At who? Well the only person I can point the finger is at me. I finished with a time of 5:38, but this was for from an ideal time. As I had a feeling of shame and discontent for the few days I kept thinking back over and over again where things may have gone wrong.

I was telling myself I did the training, so why did I not hit my mark? What could have gone wrong? Looking back, I have realized that I have been the laziest athlete during this whole training season. Some people would say, but you did the training! How could you be lazy? The truth is, at times it got tough I paused, when it got really tough I just stopped and thought to myself "ehh maybe next workout will be better lets call it a day". This mentality kept playing in my head and it went on from one workout to another til it somehow developed into a habit.

Then I look at one my team mates "Mamita". Now this woman nailed everything she was told to. If we were told to bike 3hr and run 2hrs, she would do it to the very last milisecond and even sometimes go for more saying "ehh sayang 13.89km gawin na nating 14k" When she had to do two heavy workouts in a day, she still went on and did it. Never did I hear her say, I'm too tired I'll just rest.. And now look at the fruits of her labor, she just won 2nd place in her age group during her first 70.3 taking down veterans of the sport. Impossible? Nothing seems to be as long as you keep the work ethic. Now I'd like to say that I am honored to have trained right side by her learning what it takes to reach for something you really want to achieve.

People begin to think all this comes easy and we just go out there with our happy faces on and don't feel pain. But no, its hard, every single day its hard. It hurts, we're tired, and want to just go home. But each day we choose to push.

As with this "failure", it may have just refueled my intensity to bring it to a higher level. Let me put it on record now,

"Be ready for next year's Ironman 70.3 cause I will make something special happen on that day!"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Training Log # 22 - 92 Days & 2580kms - The Road I paved for the 70.3 Ironman

Today marks the last day of heavy workouts and I officially enter taper week for the upcoming 70.3 Ironman Philippines. Its such an accomplishing feeling just knowing I am here right now and am ready to do this battle.

The journey though to this point has been tough. On average I was knocking down 220kms of training mileage per week, a mixture of swim, bike, and run. Not everyday was such an easy day, or should I say most days just felt really hard. There were days where in you just felt lazy and tired but knew you had to get a workout in. On other days things just don't seem to fall into place and you feel like your struggling so much through out the set. But each time I finish these tough sessions I know it always brings me one step closer to my goal.

The drama though did not stop there, other challenges like injuries, work responsibilities, and alike were a few of the things that you need to handle each and everyday and it does get stressful and tiring at times. One of my normal days would usually look like this, wake up at 5am to run - eat right after - then rush to work for my 7AM class - work work work - go to the pool to swim - eat - sleep. It seems monotonic and repetitive at times but well that's what you gotta do.

Sacrifices too were one of the biggest things I had to make in preparation for this event. Countless night outs passed me by, just so that I had the strength to wake up early next morning in order to train, train, and train some more. Through out this whole experience I always did ask myself why over and over again? Why am I doing this right now? Why should I keep going? Why is it so hard? For each time, I always reminded myself of THE DREAM I promised myself I would do, and from there I am able to quiet my thoughts.


Today I would like say I am very proud just being here and I am ready for the last task ahead and this will be the race. I wish everyone the best of luck and see you all on the starting line!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Training Log # 21- Burn Out and Recovery

As of the moment I am almost at the end of my 70.3 Iron Man training and the word TIRED has been something that has been on my mind for the past few days. Fatigue has been something I have been carrying from workout to workout due to the high volume and loading we have been doing. I can somehow already feel the difference between being plain lazy and the need to for some recovery. I have finally learned to read and listen to my body.

During workouts you can already feel that you have no focus or power to be backing up your activity and this I think is the biggest sign for me that I should take a few steps back. Usually swimming laps for example, feels like a normal lap one after the other, while yesterday I was just struggling to do 50 meters. (its really funny when I think about it)

To be honest my last workout was already practically a 70.3 Iron Man distance bike and run cause I just finished off a 93km bike then went onwards for a 15km run. In the next two weeks I'm looking to surpass that and then finally start tapering. Our swim workouts on the other hand are already averaging a minimum of 5kms per sessions, and this is mixed with intervals and paddles which are not the easiest things to do in the world.

Overall I'm not depressed or anything that at this point that I'm starting to bonk. I see it as a positive sign that my body is taking in all the training. Once I get some rest and then taper properly this will only make me much stronger for race day.

Wuhoooo! 2 days off!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Training Log # 20 - 6 weeks out from IM 70.3 Philippines

I've got to say that I hate the position I am in right now. Injury six weeks out, from my biggest race in the year. Lets give a moment and let me shout.

AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I'm currently suffering from a "weird" tendinitis on my iliotibial band. I termed it weird cause it has the symptoms of the ITBS but it only seems to come out during my bike rides and is totally gone when I start running. Anyways what ever it is, it's been really bothering me a lot psychologically. I consider myself a workaholic in terms of the training I put in, and when I miss workouts or I'm not able to perform properly during them I really hate it. My mind set is that these workouts are essential to pulling off a great performance on race day, missing them will jeopardize that.

Thankfully though I am still able to train somehow by working on the lighter gears on my bike. Hopefully it does get better soon, race day is so close and i can't help but feel really nervous right now if this does not get any better soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Training Log # 19 - The Present and The Future

As of the moment, I am a month and a half away from my first 70.3 Iron Man. My training has been good and quite frankly been really long. I take pride in saying that I have been working 18-20 hours per week in preparation for this event. Over the course of these last few months I have recognized and realized how much time, dedication and heart it takes to train for one of these events properly. You can enter the 70.3 with improper training and heck maybe even finish it, but your only hurting yourself in doing so.When I do this, I wanna do this the right way and give myself what I deserve.

Looking through this though, its quite funny that I don't see myself doing this type of long distance races again for a while after this event. I've come to the realization that I want to focus on short-middle distance races and from there build up again to long distance after a  few years or so. For one thing, I get bored easily when training for endurance. Its just way too long! Another thing is that when training for long distances, I feel that my speed is suffering a lot because I'm not able to train it as much anymore. At this early age I believe I should focus on building a solid speed base and then later in my life I can work on endurance. As science has it, it would be much harder for me to gain more speed when I hit my 30's.

This has still all still been a very rough idea for me as of late but we'll see what happens after this 70.3.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Triathlon, a rich man's sport with a poor man's mentality.

As a spectator, you've heard it or probably have seen it for yourself. Triathlon as an expensive type of sport. From spending on pool fees every week, buying an inexplicably light bike, and wearing and tearing running shoes every few hundred of kilometers, it can't be denied that it does take a bit of green to get into the sport. Heck its three sports rolled into one! But this I believe could be the wrong co-notion for this growing sport. You don't need a 150,000 peso super bike nor 10,000 peso shades which glisters in the sun while you run. Simplicity may have been lost in this once uncomplicated sport that I love.

What does it really mean to do a triathlon? For me it has always been a test on what my limits are and how much dedication I can be able to put into one certain thing in hopes that I achieve my goal. I'm not out there to win. Don't get me wrong, I would be the happiest person in winning the race, but what can I do if another guy is faster than me? It's not like this is basketball and I can play defense to stop him from passing me. Triathlon is always about you and nobody else. It's about surpassing your own limits and pushing yourself to reaching the best that you can be. If that leads you to winning the race then its great and all the better!

If there is one thing I've learned through all this. It must have been simplicity. Life could not be any simpler and happier in finishing a triathlon event. Material things which seem to be the basis of happiness these days don't come close to the feeling of finishing this event. It lasts even longer than most possessions. These are the real intangible experiences and joys that makes me feel alive.

Which brings me to do most important lesson I may have for the rest of my life. I don't need any of these so called "things" like expensive phones, designer wear, nice cars, and what not. All I need are things that work, things that can get me to where I wanna be and things that will help me do the things I need to do. At the end of the day they still get me what I need and that's what matters. Have the simplest life so you can live it to the fullest.

So is triathlon a rich man's sport? Well yes and no! It's up to you if you want to be spending on these unnecessary things which aren't anything more than fashion statements and sometimes not even really the basis if you will go any faster in the sport or not. Live your life and attack triathlon with the poor man's mentality. Simplicity is the key and use and only buy the things that you utmost need to reach your full potential.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Training Log # 18 - Base Building

23 Kilometers. If you asked me to run this a two months ago, it would have been a breeze and I would have gladly done the mileage with a smile on my face. Today though is a different story. During my run I simply felt like HELL. The first 13kms were a good strong pace, but after that I found myself struggling with heavy legs and foot pain. Thankfully though I was still able to finish my workout, but still I was left questioning what could be wrong.

Last months workouts were low volume to high intensity, meaning 13-14km runs were termed as "long runs" but then these would usually be done at 5:00min/km pac. Other than that, short distance intervals and tempo workouts were the main stay of the run workouts.

Two months ago, long runs and rides where there main focus of our workouts. Having 15kms be barely the warm up of our workouts.

Looking back I begin to see how the transition of condition has changed, moving from the base and speeding up things to peak performance. Now though as we begin to return to the base it feels kinda hard cause our body became somehow accustomed to the fast painful, but short spurts. I think by this week though we'll probably be able to fully transition back into these long distances.

Well I just hope it does workout like that cause the mileage from here on just keeps getting higher and higher.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Training Log # 17 - Returning back to the training grounds

Coming off training for the standard distance triathlon, I already felt the training to have been quite long and strenuous. We were averaging 230kms weeks mixed with high intensity for four weeks. Now that base building has returned, and now having it be for a half ironman, the distance has now increased to almost double. It's just plain out scary.

But after seeing how much the training has paid off during the last race. I think I'm more motivated to work harder during these next three months. I'm trying to get mentally prepared as I know this will be a tough three months for me. I know I'll be lazy, I'll sometimes want to cut my workouts short. But focus and discipline have to be the first things on my mind.

I know what I want and I know how to get it. It's now all a matter of putting in the work.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pit Stop #1 Road To Camsur Half Iron Man - Subic International Triathlon

The Subic International Triathlon (SUBIT) was a major race scheduled for the year. This was basically an assessment race to see where we were in terms of training and preparation for the upcoming Cobra Half Iroman. Truthfully, I was quite nervous for this race. I had big expectations for myself, I've put in the workload doing about 220kms of training mileage per week. And not reaching the goals I had for myself may leave me discouraged and broken.

Race day was on Sunday and we've had a lot of rest since we were there since Friday.

During this time we took the chance to do the swim leg of the race since it was infamous for having a "deep abyss" which can scare swimmers if you weren't ready for it.

At first I was confident swimming out to the booey thinking,

"hey now where is that abyss their talking about? is this it? all i can see if the floor moving away. This is easy!"

Then out of now where like a swift wind, the floor went black. PITCH BLACK. You could not see anything and you were left to your imagination. At this point I first stopped and had hold on to the booey as if to ask my team mates  

"are we really doing this?"

But then of course we ended up doing it. It's time to MAN UP! Eventually we finished the swim and finished off our day with a sumptuous dinner.

Race Day

As it always is, I had the hardest time sleeping the night before the race and waking up even before the alarm goes off. Talk about the adrenaline right? That morning I was trying to keep calm as much as possible. Solemnity was the only thing in my mind. All I kept telling myself was,

"you've done all the work and the only one who seems to be doubting you is you"


As we started to make our way on to the starting line I positioned myself at the very left side. This way I wouldn't get eaten up by the faster swimmers since I knew whole heartedly that I'm a pretty terrible swimmer. Through the swim I was pacing quite alright, problem was I forgot to sight and I kept losing track on where I was. For two laps this kept happening so I eventually exited the water at 35 minutes. Taking into account, this wasn't too bad but I think I wasted way too much time sight seeing the under water wild life. haha

Coming up into transition one, I was shocked to see that there were no more bikes by my side. I was second to the last to finish the swim leg in our age group. DAMN was I heck a slow! I told myself though, hey this is a triathlon and not a swimming race, so lets focus on executing the bike and run stages properly now.

As I began my ascent through the hilly bike course I found myself passing biker after biker. I think this is where my weekly hill rides have started to pay off. Through out this part of the bike no one was able to overtake me and that helped boost my confidence a bit. Although, as we reached the flat part of the course three tri bikes were able to pass me. I was at awe at the majestic speed of these bikes in the flat (which really makes me want to start saving up for one).

Overall I think I had a really good ride. I finished off the 40km bike course at 1:16 minutes.

Once I started with the run. My legs felt a little heavy but I told myself to trust in them and they will turn themselves around. After about 400 meters I found myself swiftly running with a pretty good pace and bouncy legs. I was  averaging about 4:44min/km. At this point I knew I was home bound and just enjoyed the run. It was all smiles especially as I passed through the cheering crowds.My 10km time was at 46 minutes.

My final time was 2:41:35. I'm pretty happy with my finish time, taking into consideration that this way my first Olympic distance triathlon and barely my third official triathlon race. But as it always is, I know I can do much much better. There is still a lot of room for improvement and these will be the things I will focus on in preparation for next year's subit race.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Race Less. PR More!

Reading through my Facebook Feed I tend to read about people's cries on missing out on a PR (personal record) or not being able to to establish one during a certain race that they did. Weirdly though this seems to become a trend and that same cry is being shouted out every week or every month. Question now is ,why? Why is it so hard to have a better PR? Here are my two cents on this subject:

1. Preparation - Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.


- Remember how when we first started running or training, we usually had this online program that we would follow to help us achieve that goal? Some of you may be familiar with the couch to 5k program, this is a 9 week program to help beginners run their first 5k. Imagine that , 9 weeks preparation to run a 5k! Why so long? Well because the body needs to gradually be prepared for the distance or the intensity that it will be undertaking during the run.

Now as we become more atoned to running these distances we sometimes become reliant and think, oh hey I can practically run a 5k or a 10k any day. So why can't I just go and race one then hope to PR. See, that would be our first mistake. Yes we can run a 10k but don't hope to PR cause you were not able to prepare properly for that certain race. What I suggest is go back to the basics, follow a program and stick with it. There are programs out there which you can search for which are for more advanced runners seeking to get a better PR. Set a date to race and only race on that day. This way you not only prepare for a specific race and save your energy for it, but you actually save more money on registration fees.

2. Quality Training - Quality over Quantity


- For all you know you can be killing yourself running everyday and you still in no way don't get any faster. Quality is the key to getting the results you want. I've talked about this in a previous entry, so you can check it out here:

Training Log #11 - Training Quantity vs. Training Quality


3. Research - Knowledge is Power

- How many times have you asked yourself the following:
  • Why do I keep getting a side stitch?
  • How should I pace during my runs?
  • What should I be eating before a race?
  • I get so hungry and weak while running, why?
  • My knee hurts when I go downhill, why?
There a lot of factors which can happen during the run. Things can get unpredictable and it can mess up your race. So when these things happen what do you do? Some people just suck it up while others give up. Both of which aren't the wisest things to do, thats why you have to research. Read running articles, search for questions you may have or ask other friends who run. With the knowledge in hand, you will know what to do the next time something happens.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Training Log # 16 - Falling off the Wagon

I didn't fall off a wagon perse but I did fall off the nutritional band wagon. I sometimes get stuck with this notion that:
"hey, I workout a lot. I'm out there doing my training for hours on end, so that should probably equalize to me being able to eat anything I want" 
During lunch today I ate 4 slices of pizza, 2 pieces of fried chicken, 1 serving of spaghetti, and few dozen pieces of mojos.While, last Sunday, I ate everything from lumpia, lechon, chicharon, tuna, pork barbeque, rice and chicken. This was all in one sitting if I may add.

Everyday, I burn about 1,800 - 2,000 calories cumulatively during just my workouts. This makes my calorie needs at about 3000 calories  per day or even more. Now you'd think, so why all this  mumbo jumbo then? You burn alot so why not eat alot too? Yes I think eat a lot is correct. But in part, eat the a lot of the right food is even better.

Food is the fuel that we burn during our workouts. Now just imagine putting in this type of garbage into your system and using that to fuel you during your workouts? It would most likely not give you the optimum performance that you would want.

So this is me promising to eat wiser and better.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Training Log # 15 - Coming into Terms with Strengths and Weaknesses

Within the three sports in triathlon I think it would be easy to say that running is my strength. Although in my journey to reaching better race times and in my overall dream to possibly win as an age grouper, I have come to terms that this will not be enough. 

I have been working both on swimming and cycling for past six months and I will have to say that I am terrible at swimming. For one reason or another I struggle and I have the hardest time during training in this sport. I'm not sure if its because I've only learned how to swim last year or maybe I'm just not for the water. What ever the case may be, I don't think that swimming will be my next strongest point.

Cycling on the other hand feels a lot more comfortable for me. I am not at all the fastest cyclist but I feel that I have an easier time pushing and digging deeper during training days for this sport.

I am not one to give up on a weakness, but I think at this early into the sport it would be best to help enhance another possible strength that I can hopefully have one day. So next up on my agenda is to try and become a better cyclist!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Training Log #14 - Brick Workouts, The Key to The Triathlon

A brick is a workout usually done by duathletes or triathletes where they do one sport after the other. Some people like to swim then bike or bike then run. Usually its in the same order as the sport will be on race day.

Now in the midst of my training I have began realizing that brick workouts are the mainstay or the very key component in triathlon. Kinda like how long runs are the lifeline of doing a successful half marathon or marathon, the same goes with brick and triathlons. For some time I have been neglecting this part of my training and only been doing it once every other week or so. Now though that I have finally finished marathon training, I'm coming around to doing a full time triathlete training once again. I have a hard time mixing the two, now I can finally focus on that one event.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Realization of a Dream - Running My First Marathon

The Bull Runner, Dream Marathon 2011 

Marathon Morning

Relaxed, this the only emotion I was allowing myself to feel once I arrived on race day. Apart from barely having two hours of sleep, I think everything else was finely tuned at that moment. I walked around to see a lot of my other friends ready to run and support us. This is what gave me a feeling of reassurance that we are finally taking this on.

Gun Start
I remember the very fast countdown which started from 10 seconds backwards. I felt like this was happening all so fast. Then out of no where, PANG! I found myself running.


The First Loop (21kms)

I was pacing with a friend Aileen Breen (who finished 1st in the womens category and 4th overall) for the first 5kms. We were doing good time, but I chose to go ahead after that. At this point it was still so dark and it was getting really lonely. I was at the lead pack and all I could see were the dark open roads.There weren't any cheerful cheerers and too early to be passing by other runners. So it was as if there was no race happening and just me running on my own.

A few kilometers later I noticed a head lamp's light frolicking from behind me, I was then joined by Francis Facultad, it was nice to have someone with me. We had a short chat. But after a while I bid goodbye to him and went on my way.

I reached the turn around point a few minutes later which signaled the first 10kms were done. I was feeling really good and these hills didn't even feel like they existed. (but this would be a different story the second time we meet)

As I started to make my way back to the starting point I was greeted by the other marathon dreamers and were being given words of encouragement. Sorry I wasn't able to reply to all of you, I was in the "zone" lol

Up to this point, my run has been flawless, I even got a boost as I passed by these fellas who looked really familiar as they cheered for the runners. haha

I clocked in at 1:50 in doing the first full  loop of the run. 




The Second Loop (21kms)

As I started with my second loop, it hit me. This is the start of the real race. I was telling myself its all heart from here. I know that I will bonk one way or another, it will now depend on how much I want this and how much am I willing to keep pushing.


Once I arrived at 23kms I stopped for a while at a med station to ask for some of omega pain ointment to help heat my legs and relax my muscles. I was not yet cramping at this point but  prevention is better than a cure right? I again want to say sorry to the medical teams who I may have seemed like an"ass hole" to. Every time I got them to put omega pain, I was always telling them to hurry up cause I was chasing a time after all. But as I left I always told them I'm sorry for being rude. So much love and thanks!


Now remember when I said that I felt like the hills did not exist during the first loop of the run? Coming back I felt each single one of them. I felt the pain of going up, but I still strive to keep an even pace and to not walk in any of the hills. I always kept telling myself that an uphill always has a downhill and we'll make up more time when we descend.

Up until the u turn point, this mantra seemed to keep working. I was also relieved that I was feeling quite alright with only 10kms to go. But this wouldn't be a dramatic story if we didn't have an antagonist right? So let me present to you my enemy during this race, CRAMPS.

I was hit by a really bad case of cramps with 10kms to go into the race. This was the toughest thing to happen to me. It was also the first time I have ever experienced it this bad. My legs and calves were so tight they were locked in rock solid.

I told myself though, this cannot be it. I will not lose to this. So after a short stretch I tried to keep running onwards, again it kept coming back. Still, I did the same thing, stretch then slowly run again. This seemed to keep working but I was slowly losing both time and energy. Good thing at about 5kms left to go, I was greeted by a familiar face, Chang Hitalia and Craig Logan who was there to pace me and give me strength for the last few kms.

This was honestly the longest 5km of my life. It felt like it would never end. I am really thankful that they paced me, they kept giving me encouraging words and Craig's music was just so groovy!

The Finish Line

It was the most surreal experience I've ever had. Crossing that line made me really proud of myself, finishing something so tough that only 1% of the world would ever do it in their lifetime. This was my marathon finish and I loved each second of it!

Looking Back
  
After the race I still could not imagine what it is that we just did. It was one crazy experience that I would give anything to relieve again. The journey may have been painful but finishing it gives you all this positive energy of fulfillment and joy. 


They say runners have such a hard time explaining to non runners why they run. Well its cause, the journey is indescribable and words can not paint the feelings that come to us during the run. Its an expression of inner thoughts and emotions, and the only way you will understand it is by trying it out for yourself.

 A special thanks to the support team that helped us all through this, from the banners, the food, and the moral support. Each single deed will not be forgotten nor returned. Thank you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Year Goal #2 - The Failure that Made Me Smile



My New Year Goals

  1. Sub 1:50 21k
  2. Sub 4hr 42k
  3. Sub 6hr Half Iron Man
So just to recap, I set out three major goal for this year as you can see above. I hit goal #1 last February during the Condura Marathon with a time of 1:46. Last Sunday I went on to try and reach my goal #2.

Well, lets start out this entry by pointing out the elephant in the room, and this is that I failed to reach my goal #2. I clocked in officially at 4:05. This was 5 minutes away from a sub 4hr finish. But to be honest, I was targeting a time around 3:55, so I was really 10 minutes off from my target time. Now, I would be lying if I told you I wasn't dissapointed, I actually am and if the circumstance were better, I knew I could have nagged my target time or even better.

But then, the circumstances weren't there and things didn't go my way, and as bizarre as this may sound, this is actually what has made me smile. Failing is always connoted with getting depressed and disheartened, people seemingly give up after not getting what they worked so hard for. What I have learned though in my short time in this sport is that failure is just another step to your success. Each time I fail, it just makes me more hungry and lights up a fire inside of me to work that much harder to get it. Hey if its that hard than it must be that good right?

So this is a celebration of what we have learned during that marathon. 42 kilometers was a long way to go and I loved each single part of it. From the pain, excitement, and joy, this will always be a very memorable experience for me.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Triathlon Gear Wish List

All of us "eye" some sort of gear when it comes to our sport. For triathlon this is multiplied three folds because of the three sports we are doing. Here is a wishlist of things I hope to get one day:

Swimming:


Cycling:








Running:








Miscellaneous:




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Training Log #13 - Mentally Ready, Physically Able

Coming into marathon week. I feel like it was a blessing of some sort that I am somehow almost fully recovered from what happen to me two weeks ago. It was a scary feeling of not being able to do things at the condition I have worked hard for.

Now barely 5 days away from the big day I have realized that I should have nothing to fear. I know the work I have put in for this, I know the long hours that I ran under the heat of the sun, I know the breathless sprints I did in each interval I ran. I did all this and I should remember that I deserve every bit of this marathon.

So on race day I won't think about PR's, racing or what not. I will run this race the way I should be doing it. I will do it with a smile on my face and a care free feeling regarding anything else. I have been putting too much pressure on myself the very day I started training for this. Now it's time to put that all behind and enjoy the run.

As the Kenyan way: "Train hard; Race easy!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Training Log #12 - Pluck Down to Zero

Last week I went through quite a scare when I fainted due to dehydration and fatigue. This all happen because of a bacteria infection which led me to bed rest for 5 days while having to endure diarrhea, fever, and head aches.

Coming back I was really scared of the conditioning I will be in. I have my marathon in ten days time and I am in the worst condition possible. I have a hard time doing any workouts and finishing them. I lack strength and power to reach the training speed I plan to do on race day. Basically I'm living on a prayer now, I hope things turn out better next week.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Leftovers!


My uncle came over a few days ago and he actually had some leftovers for me. In the bunch there were two energy bars, these Dole Real Fruit, and a whole lot of G2 Gatorade! The G2 Gatorade was what I was most excited about. With what I heard, this was a formulation specific for endurance athletes and I would like to back up this sales pitch.

I have used the G2 formulation twice already. Once was for a 83km bike ride, while the other for a 33km run. Both in which I felt the energy and zap coming from the drink. It has this weird feeling of numbness in your tounge which seems to hold back the thirst. I don't specifically know what its doing but what ever it is doing, its doing it right for me!

The G2 formulation is also a very sweet type of drink and the label shows that most of its carbs are from the sugar content of it. I have a feeling I'l have diabetes cause of the sweets I keep eating during long races, but I just can't help it. Sugar is one of the best and fastest carbs known to man, which is perfect in trying to get some fast energy back especially while on the go.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Training Log #11 - Training Quantity vs. Training Quality

Training as a triathlete, we have so little time, but so much to do. It's no joke having to train for three different sports in one week, this plus having our own lives to deal with can be tasking sometimes. So I've began to think that quality workouts are really whats important as to quantity of workouts.

I've noticed that just swimming/biking/running without any direction on your workout will give you minimal gains on your overall conditioning. 

So if I were to compare just running five times a week to running three times a week with the proper workouts being done, I would more favorably say so that you will get more benefits with only those three runs per week. 

What I usually like to do in those three workouts are the following.

  1. Intervals
  2. Tempo
  3. Long Run/Swim/Ride
These for me work best since I am able to work on my lactate threshold and aerobic endurance. 

Lactate threshold is the point in the exercise where your body produces more blood lactate than it can reabsorb, you know that tingly weird pain when you go really fast? Thats basically lactate building up, so you can actually train that so you can keep going.

Aerobic endurance on the other hand is the ability to continue to exercise for longer periods of time. Remember how when you started doing exercises, 30 minutes felt like a drag? But then as you further progress and start doing this type of exercise 2-3 times per week, your body adapts to it and thus it gets easier. This whole concept lies around what we call as aerobic endurance, and this can be improved during our long workouts.


Now if you will be leaving yourself to plainly running or biking five times per week, you lose the benefits of getting more out of your workouts. Well my two cents are that since we are already out there working our butts off, lets integrate these certain workouts so we can maximize our improvements and minimize the work hours.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Training Log #10 - The Questions and the Doubts

During my last two sessions of training, doubts seem to fly around quite easily. Questions that make me think if my dream is every something that is possible? Or am I just overly excited not knowing how much work this all means.

Sometimes through the pain you get discouraged and ask yourself, when does it ever get easy? Truth be told, I don't think it ever does. Even though we get faster or stronger, it will never be easy. It will still hurt and you will still be going through that pain at which ever level you are in.

So when does the pain end? Well I guess its when you stop! lol But in that stopping or finishing of your workout, you get another rush. Its that sense of accomplishment, going through something which you thought you couldn't finish. It's really a mind game sometimes, you play games with yourself. Don't tell yourself you can't do it cause you can!

This is to blocking out those voices in my head (I hope I'm not crazy haha) I will reach my dream. They may keep doubting and questioning, but lets just keep moving forward from here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Training Log #9 - Poor Man's Energy Gell

Over the weekend I ran another 30kms in preparation for our upcoming marathon on March 20. As I learned from last week's long run, nutrition must not be taken lightly in such long distance runs. So this week I came prepared.

At first I was thinking of purchasing a few pieces of Hammer Gels, but then these things are quite costly. At about 85 pesos a piece, I usually tend to leave these types of luxuries for race day.

So I innovated! I brought with me a banana, Cloud 9 chocolates, and a Hanny Choco Nut. After last week's great recovery after eating chocolates, I opted to test this out further.

Shockingly they seem to work really good for me. I ate one at 15kms, 25kms, and 27kms. They were a tasty treat under the scorching heat of the sun and I felt that the sugar was a really good way replenish the depletion in my body. As you would know, sugar is what we call as fast carbs so these are easily broken down and is able to replenish the body at once. Weakness of it is that it does not help fill you for long.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Training Log #8 - A Sari-Sari Store Can Save Your Life

I did a 30km run today and, I would have to say that these are one of the things that are easier said than done. As with my usual long run training, I integrate rolling hills and steep inclines during my workouts. (If you'r wondering why, check out my former entry on training in the worst condition to race at your best condition)

Today I returned to my old playground which is at Nuvali. I wouldn't say I've missed it, since I always get so wrecked when I do my long runs here, and today was no exception. We were out there at 5am and started running by 5:30am.

As I usually do, I bring two flasks filled with Gatorade and nothing else. So as I began my long run and felt the usual rush of starting out really good and wishing for a strong finish. About half the time I do long runs above 17kms I usually gamble if it will be a "feel good" run or one those "draggy" runs. At 20kms it finally hit me, that dreaded heaviness of both legs and body. My mind wanted to go on but my body just wanted to end this.

From here on out til 27kms it was the worst feeling of running-walking and taking breaks. I keep thinking to myself why this happens, is 30km too much for me? Funny enough I realize that the answer I was looking for was staring right back at me. Who in the right mind goes out to run 30kms with only 2 flasks of gatorade and nothing else.

My body was shutting down since it could not go any further with improper nutrition. Its almost a no brainer when you think of it, but that seems to have been my mistakes for so long. I keep doing these long runs with minimal nutrition and even water. That's pretty dumb when you think about it.

At 27kms I was lucky, I found this sari-sari store and was able to replenish. In an instant I bought 2 pieces of this bite size milk chocolate called Hanny and 2 packs of Tomi.

Here I was also able to refill my flasks with water and finally drink some for myself. My this was the best ever tasting Tomi and Hany I have in my life! lol

On the last 3kms I finally regained my energy back and was able to pace properly through out the run. So the basically I just answered the question I've been asking myself for so long.

Why are long runs so hard for me?

Answer: Cause Elmer you've been a dumb ass! lol

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Training Log #7 - The Work that Lies Ahead

I look at race results, heck you probably do to. It gives you a glimpse of what to expect in a race and what sort of standards you should put yourself in these types of races. You get to imagine how hard the race course could be and even be able to average where in this list you will probably finish in.

In looking at these results it humbles me think of how much work is needed to be able to reach the goal I am setting for myself. There are a few athletes whom I have noticed would run a 41:38 10km distance after already doing a 1.5km swim and 40km bike. Wow. It's just crazy right? I'm not even sure I can put up a pace like that with just running.

The numbers right now honestly scare me. They make me doubt and fear this certain path I'm venturing on to. But deep inside me there is this fire that wants to conquer just that. For every obstacle I see a new goal to conquer, if we must quote Miley Cyrus then here goes

"There's always going to be another mountain. I'm always gonna wanna make it move"


So I say, let the numbers be, cause one day those numbers will be my own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Training Log #6 - Train in the worst conditions to race at your best condition

 Train in the worst conditions to race at your best condition

This was the exact phrase going through my mind today while I was running under the heat of the sun. If you were to train in the worst type of possible conditions, then won't that make you both physically and mentally prepared to attack any race route come race day?

I for example believe in the saying that "hills make you stronger on flats while flats don't make you stronger on hills". I'm not sure if anyone ever does this too, but I actually plan and do my long runs on hills and I make it a point that it really is exaggeratedly a hill. My favorite route has this 4km straight inclined road which just keeps going and going. We usually go up and down this "hill" twice.

Well basically what am I saying here is that this could be a good training ground since, when I see a hill in a race course I just imagine I'm back in my training ground and its all good. So I guess this will be my new mantra for now. Let's see how it works!



Worst Possible Condition I can imagine are as follows:
  • Hills
  • Heat
  • Minimal Water - Wouldn't recommend to do this in a test run though, very dangerous

Monday, February 7, 2011

Training Log #5 - Walking, who knew?

Woke up bright and early today planning to do a short 5km run. As I stepped out the door I did my usual warm up and then began walking. Usually at this point I would start to open my strides and begin to transition into a run. Today though was different, some may say its listening to your body. But I felt this urge to just keep walking.

I have been running for two years now and I have never gone out in the morning for a walk. Everyday since I started, I must have been following some sort of program that told me how far to run. It was a whole new world to say the least. It felt relaxing and peaceful.

I realized that I sometimes tend to forget the peace of such a simple activity. Yes running does give you peace too, but nothing does it like walking. I'll be honest and say yes I push myself a lot in most of my training days. This simple active recovery exercise though feels like a breath of fresh air. I really have a hard time explaining it but it really felt good, I think too that my body loved it. It finally got a break for himself lol

So I learned something today. Walk! I'l try and integrate this once or twice a month into my training.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Training as a Triathlete

Triathlon as we know is three sports rolled into on. Its the swim, bike, and run. Question I usually get is how do people roll it into one whole week?

Well I try and keep a balance of the three sports every week. I work on my weak sport a lot while maintaining a quality level of training on my strengths. Sometimes it feels like a circus act having the juggle all these three sports all at once.

A Breakdown of my Training Week

The best thing though about training for the triathlon, is that you always have something new to look forward to on the next training day. It never gets old cause its always changing.

The hard part though is the dedication and time you gotta give for the sport. I won't lie, I barely have any time for anything else. With having to juggle office work, teaching, MBA, and other household duties. I have to give up a lot of things. Although I believe all of these things are worth it if you want to reach your dreams.

New Year Goal #1 - Done!

At the start of this year I had 3 major goals. Here's a recap of them:

  1. Sub 1:50 21k
  2. Sub 4hr 42k
  3. Sub 6hr Half Iron Man
Each of these goals are kinda like a pre-requisite of the other since they would be a sort of test to see if I can be able to do the next. The very last one in there would be the Half Iron Man, which is basically what I will be preparing for in the next six months.

The setting for this half marathon was done today in the Condura Run for the Dolphins Marathon. I was honestly very nervous cause I know how the result of this race would set the tone for my up coming goals. But none the less I know how much work and training I put into this and that this will be my strength in conquering my goals. 

The race started early morning at 4:30am in Makati Ave. The race route will be bringing us up the skyway then there will be a turning point, from there we would then make our way back to Makati and finish of the race at The Fort.

I was greeted by a lot of familiar faces in the crowd from our running group the Alabang Snail Runners. Where our motto is to "run with passion and precision" lol 

As I started to walk up to the starting line I couldn't help but breathe in the race atmosphere. I honestly missed this! The last time I ran a major race was last year during the 32km Run United 2 event. There is something different about being in a crowd of thousands of people, all sweaty and are roaring to get the run started. There really is no other feeling.

Once the race started, I was giving it all on the line from here. The skyway route was fairly alright for me, people usually talk about it being hilly and would have lots of slopes and all, but I didn't really mind. I think what helped me were my LSD runs which I do on hills. Just like the saying goes "hills make you fast on flats, but flats don't make you fast on hills".

Moving on, the turning point came quite early at 8kms. I actually shouted and asked the marshal three times if it really was the turning point, I guess medyo "bitin" pa ako sa skyway haha At this point I also realized that I was doing good time. I was about 5 minutes ahead of my goal time which was a 1:49:59. Yes I literally was targeting a SUB 1:50 time. I also saw that I was beginning to start running alone cause I was moving away from the main pack. So I became a lone ranger.

I tried as much as possible to keep pace with different runners. It's very hard to pace to alone. Hearing someone else's footsteps and breathing keeps me calm and lets me gage how fast I'm going. And well it also reminds me of the Iron War between Mark Allen & Dave Scott. 


By the time I got off the Skyway and was at Buendia Ave, I was approximately 5 kilometers away from the finish line. This was by far, my most favorite part of the race. I was practically alone at this point and all I could here were my footsteps. It was just me and this pitch black road in the middle of soaring buildings which just went on and on. From time to time I would see marshalls but it was just dark. I felt like I had the roads of Makati just for me lol

This little enjoyment though was short lived when I just started to feel out of it at km 18. My legs were heavy, my breathing pattern was wrong, and I felt like I just wanted to stop. I really just wanted to stop right there. If I could hit a pause button I would have. But this was a race so I had to deal with it.

I walked about three time until the finish line and had about five people pass me in those last few kilometers. That really killed me in the inside. I worked hard to gain that lead and it just dissapeared in an instant. I guess they just worked harder right? By the last kilometer I was cramping and had nothing else to do but walk. I really wanted to push it but my body couldn't.

By the end I finished with a time of 1:46:07. It was way better than my projected time but I knew I could have done even better if things went my way. But hey thats the beauty of it right? Things don't always go your way. Even in life this statement stands true. All you can ever do is just keep working hard and try over and over again. Only you can say when you will give up.

Overall it was a great race indeed. Lost of high emotions and experiences I won't soon forget.

Before I end this entry I just want to make a shout out to the following people for an extra ordinary effort today.
  •  Ding Cabanero for a crazy sub 4hr marathon finish. 
  •  Donna Segunial for finishing her first half marathon and will be attacking the FULL Marathon next month (Yes I meant to make the FULL in all caps haha).
  • John Jacob, my co triathlete for finishing his first Full Marathon
  • David Oting for a sub 2hr finish on his FIRST half marathon, WAW!
  • Paula Plaza the woman who in my mind can do everything (Law school, social life, marathon, its all in a days work) for finishing her first Full Marathon
Congrats everyone!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Training Log #4 - Training for the Half-Ironman. Really?

I've finally been able to register for this year's Cobra Ironman 70.3 and I've talked to coach about what plans and preparations we are going to be doing and what expectations should I have about the event.

Well one thing he pointed out is that right now we are building our base, as of now and will be moving into the next phases of our training. Some of the few things he told me that I should expect is a swim session that will be lasting for 6kms long and a brick session which includes a 100km bike - 18km run. WHEW.

Am I ready for this? Well I sure hope so. Damn, it feels like I'm going to be studying for the board exams or something lol But after hearing these challenges though, I've become even more determined to do this. I love this sport, it challenges you with something new everyday.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Training Log #3 - The Side Stitch

I had quite a gruesome run yesterday. I had no program or goal in my head. It was more of a feeling run, if I was feeling good then we go on. If I was feeling bad then we head home. Well I was feeling it alright. I had a side stitch which painfully made me stop my workout a few times.

I have a feeling this was because of me running too fast without the proper warm up. Reason behind this was because I tried out my new Addidas Tech fit shirt. With these really short running shorts, you can just imagine how speedy you feel on this.

I was probably overly excited and started running way too fast. I averaged a 5:24 pace for that 4.39km run. Hmmm.. Just another lesson in this very beautiful sport.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

1km

One kilometer. That was the the race distance that I entered into during last Sunday's Adination 5th Week Race. It was a relay event which featured 5 members who have to run 1km each while passing a baton to signify that the next runner will go next.

To a novice runner they would think, hey that ain't too far. It will be easy! But easy was something that was far from it. These short races like the 3k and 5k are actually tests of speed and pain management. It hurts a lot to be going so fast, but you need to since the distance is so short.

I entered this race with the Alabang Snail Runners. I believed our team had what it takes to win and I know each one gave it their all during that race.


This picture here signifies the calm before the storm.

I was up first in our relay team. As we got to the starting line your really hear and feel the excitement everywhere.People we cheering so loudly that it began to sound like an orchestra of musicians somehow. All I know is that somehow in those last 20 seconds til gun start I closed my eyes and took in all this energy and focused it on the task at hand.

And finally when I heard the gun fire. It was a strategic all out pace from here. 

If there was something I have learned from all may races its that patience is key to everything. When we went off I noticed that these runners are going way too fast. It was as if they were only going to be doing a 300 meter - 400 meter sprint. So I let them do their thing.
Once we made our first turn and finally go to the straight portion of the route. I made my move. At this point I was actually in last place. But this was the time that I saw these people exhausted everything they had over the first 400 meters and those last 600 meters, I knew would feel like an eternity with the energy they had left in the tank. So now it was my turn.

I shifted into 5th gear at this point and actually made it to a top speed of 28kph. I am still in shock up to now that I got to go that fast. I zoomed by all the participants, but all that one who was in front of me. He was a UP varsity player of some sorts but I was never sure. All I knew is he looked like running was something he must have done EVERYDAY since he was born.

I was actually gaining up on him but noticed that I too was fading a bit from this 1km sprint. Good thing though I had my team mates pace me through this run and cheer me on. It really does do help having people push your further. I must have had 5 guys screaming at me while I was in such pain while running. But I knew I had to this and this is something I have trained for.

I finished with a time of 3:09 and was actually able to catch up to the first guy who only had a split of about +3 secs ahead of me. Not bad I think for a triathlete chasing after a varsity runner right? lol

Overall our team finished at third and we are proud to say that yes we did our best and yes we are ANR Alabang Snail Runners

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Training log # 2 - Training Longer Distances on the Run

Long distance running is something that I believe I have not yet fully conquered. My farthest run was only about 32kms and this was only done once. Now in my journey to doing my first marathon on (March 20, 2011) I am seeking out to become much more comfortable running in these long distances.

I have always been a short distance guy. When I started running , I realized early on that I was very strong at 5kms and 10kms, and each time I get past the 10km mark I started to die down. Thankfully though as time has progressed I have strengthened this part of my game but now only til 21kms. Again after this mark, I feel like I am entering no man's land.

Today though I have been working on improving this as I set out to do a 27km run. These long runs are really long and sometimes I still don't know what to expect from them. I'm scared that if I bonk out I might not get home or get too lazy and just walk back. While on other times I feel like I zoom past them like a breeze. Luckily today was one of those "breezy" days.

I did my long run at one of the most steepest and hilliest routes there are here in the south of Manila. Trucks and tricycles have the hardest times climbing these hills and well I'm proud to have survived them especially during a long run.

Basically today was a good day. Cheers to that! Lets hope for the sub 1:50 Half-Marathon next week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Training Log #1 - Regaining my legs back.

I'm pretty happy today cause I feel like I'm finally beginning to gain my legs back. After last Saturday's horrific 7km run where I was really draggy, this made me feel so much better. I've been fretting a bit since the Condura 21km race is coming up and I was hoping to do a sub 1:50 here.

I just hope I can get into great condition for these last two weeks. I've really been working hard and I'd really hate to waste this opportunity because I got sick last week. But well what ever happens it will always be a lesson, may it be good or bad. But for today, I am just glad I have my legs back.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The First Century Bike Ride, KM Version

My team and I had a long bike ride over the weekend from Muntinlupa until Ternate. This was about a 140km ride back and forth. When I began thinking about it, the 70kms going there and back isn't really that far. Last year I already went for an 80km bike ride so it wasn't that daunting when I looked back at that experience.



Our bike ride started at 6AM. Through out our ride I popped two interior tires and pierced one exterior tire due to the rocks that were on the road. But besides that, everything went quite fine.

The hardest part of the bike ride were the last 20kms. At this point we were to climb a mountain called Mt. Palay Palay and then after descend our way down to the beach.

We reached a peak elevation of 340 Meters above sea level. Those roads will not soon be forgotten from my memories for they were treacherous. At one point we were barely going 10km/h and I climbed that mountain with the lowest gears I had.

Once we got down and finally reached our destination. We had a picturesque beach to relax in and had lunch. Funniest thing, lunch was more like a no talking zone cause everyone was just so hungry already.

After lunch we had a short swim and then we were off again to do our bike ride back home. We started at around 3pm which was not ideal at all since we had a lot of road to cover. The ride back up that mountain too was still as unforgiving as the first time we did it, it left us breathless the same way J-lo would if she gave me a kiss. lol

At about 6pm we were about 20kms to our starting point but then it was already pitch black. This night bike ride experience was one of the most dangerous experiences I have ever had. We were biking at pitch black and the only light that we get is if a car passes by about a two feet beside us, since we were in such a small road. It was honestly crazy, but at this point we were already in survival mode just to get back. Those last few kilometers, I believe we were being taken cared of by someone up above cause I honestly believe I shouldn't have survived that.

Thankfully, at the end of the day everyone was home safe. Next time though I'm planning to have a much more organized and prepared bike ride with the team. This should be something we take into consideration the next time around