My Third Triathlon: Speedo NAGT Oct 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was not supposed to be in this triathlon. I was supposed to be resting a day after my 10K Adidas KOTR. But crazy man that I am, I called up the TRAP office the afternoon before the race to register. I would do the mini-sprint again, to redeem myself. I felt good completing the Animo Sprint (well, mini for me) last September, which was supposed to be a fun event for my group of friends, but minutes after crossing the finish line I was already castigating myself for taking the legs too lightly and not aiming for better times. Surely I could have done better.

And so there I was in AAV setting up my stuff inside the transition area at 5:30am while my fellow try-hard athlete friends are still on their beds. It was a bummer for me that on the rare occasion that I was early, my wave had to start the last at 7:30 am. I had to wait for 2 hrs! Of the 40 or so males in the mini-sprint, there are probably just 5 people I recognise from previous ANIMO sprint. There seem to be a lot of newcomers or new faces, something which I actually welcome as I still am a newbie myself.

I may be a leisure swimmer, but I still fancy myself as a water baby and I badly wanted to improve my swim time. I promised myself I would be more aggressive, but apparently the others are more determined than I am. Everyone it seemed sprinted from the time the race signal was given. I thought I was already good at swimming through tight spaces, but it was real challenge to go past the swarm, especially with the kids (13-15) and the breaststrokers swimming alongside. I thought the swarm will end after 2 laps, but I had to fight my way through 5 laps. At least 3 times I had to stop or slow down; otherwise, I will hit other people or some breaststroker will kick me in the face. In my mind I was screaming, "Can you please make me pass through and not hog the whole lane!!!" Despite the struggle, I finished with a decent 10:55, partly carried away by the fast ones some of whom finished the swim within 7 minutes.

Transition 1: I learned my lesson and brought my slippers near the pool for the walk/run back into transition area. I saw one put shoes near the pool site, an idea I may copy next time (unless I consider using bike cleats instead, err, I may be getting too far ahead on this idea).

My weekly practices seemed to have helped. I have had enough of the scenery during practices that I did not look at dogs and houses this time around. I was amazed myself, but I did overtake at least 2-3 people during the bike leg. In true triathlon tradition I tried to greet or encourage these people, my simple way of paying it forward for encouragements I have received in the past. I got cheap thrills from the occasional overtakes, but later in the run one of the persons I overtook confided to me that it was his first time to ride a road bike and that he was not familiar with the gears. Bummer. Overall it was a good ride and I managed to pare down my time by 8 minutes including the transition.

Transition 2 was quick and uneventful. I felt good coming from the bike ride, but I fared below expectations during the run. To start with, my legs are not yet fully recovered from my Adidas run the previous day. Worse, I brought the wrong pair of running shoes. I should have brought the pair with more cushioning as my legs are already beat up by the third leg. So my legs were like bricks for almost the whole run duration. It was a bit disheartening to see 2-3 people overtaking me this time. To add to my misery, the race course was slightly altered with the last part being an uphill-downhill trip along University Avenue. My time was about 3 minutes more than my last mini-sprint.

Overall, it was an 12 minute improvement from my last race. It was not bad considering I had a 10K run the previous day. I believe other triathletes did the same double-race booking. We are addicts all. The best part for me is the shirt. I like what it says in the back. When I finish my first real sprint, I will wear it with pride.


The foreign runner October 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM  

Hi Rico, thanks for popping by my blog. Wow congrats on so many achievements. I dont know where to start, the weight loss, the excellent time on the swim and also the cut on the overall time. Especially after finnishing a 10k run the day before. Keep it up and soon you will be cometition for the full sprint triathlons. I think I actually saw you at Alabang. All the best and keep fit.

Rico Villanueva October 24, 2008 at 1:16 PM  

Thanks for dropping by, Philip. I have been silently reading your blog, but I just have blurt out my amazement on your transformation. I was also a heart attack waiting to happen, but thank goodness my erratic blood pressure has normalized. Keep blogging. Your running exploits give me hope that I can run faster. See you in future triathlons.

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