SUBIT 2011: Perfectly Slow

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Race Account: 2011 Subic International Triathlon (Standard Distance)

 Photo taken by Zinnia Villarin

On race morning I found myself dipped in the seawater absorbing all the sights. In the sea of tri-suit colors I could see the ENDURE blue of my teammates. Finally in the esteemed, longest running triathlon in the country, my friends and I were participating donned in our team colors. My teammates are huddled together about a few meters away on the shore while I continued to submerge myself in the calm Dungaree waters. There was nothing more I could do before the race. I have shared all I knew to first timer friends, and I have trained whenever work load permitted, which wasn’t often. I had wanted this to be an “A” race, but alas, I had ballooned to 20 lbs above my last year weight on account of stress. Heavier but wiser, undertrained but experienced. I would have to race this on guts, heart and smarts.
In the waters I chanced upon a former officemate whom I last saw about 5 years ago. I was surprised he was following my blog. I do not advertise my blog to friends; they just stumble upon it. He was doing his first triathlon, because one day he dreamt crossing the finish line with his son. He knew how to swim, he used to ride a road bike, but he dreaded the run. In a span of few minutes, I shared whatever last minute tips and cheer I could muster. Results would later show he finished. I am sure the wife and son were there at the finish line.
In the same Dungaree water pre-race I found a friend visibly worried and agitated. He told me his heart rate was abnormally high. I worried for him for he is an insulin-dependent diabetic. As someone who occasionally suffers from bouts of hypo and hyperglycemia, I know the how sugar fluctuations can wreck havoc on the body and mind. I calmly suggested we swim together to ease the nerves. Thank goodness things calmed down.

 Photo by Denise Tayag

Calm. That is all I had going into the race. I calmly positioned myself at the back of my wave, about two meters from the right. It would turn out to be wrong decision. I was all calm inside, but the position I was in was chaos from start to almost finish. My heart rate did not shoot up despite the physical commotion, but I did lose momentum and a chance to glide with all the bodies swarming around me. I negotiated the 1.5km swim in about 44minutes,  just about the same as my last training swim, but 7 minutes off my 2010 time. Boy, was I that overweight? Or maybe I was still in my 70.3 swim pace.

Photo taken by Zinnia Villarin

I think I was a bit faster in my transition one time. I rode my bike hoping to be not too far behind, but alas, I was too far behind with my mediocre swim. I promised myself I would not be afraid to overtake when I could – on uphills and downhills – but this time there were really few left to chase. Training rides to Sierra Madre and Subic did improve my climbing skills, and I felt I fared better than last year on the first 20kms of the bike, but I was unprepared for the strong headwinds on the second 20kms of the ride. I was supposed to conserve on the hills and speed up on the second half, but alas, the winds slowed me down tremendously. On what was supposedly slightly downhill on Argonaut highway I barely managed 25kph. I finished the bike ride with just a few bikers behind me. I consoled myself then by saying our age group wave was the last!
Inside transition 2 I still considered myself lucky for I could still run. On the same line where my bike was a triathlete sitted on the ground reeling from cramps and desperately crying for liniment. Unfortunately I do not carry one. If there is one thing I am proud of is that I have learned to prevent cramps due to overreaching or going beyond the pace you trained for. I may be slow, but I am perfectly slow if there is such a thing. Almost perfectly even pacing just below lactate threshold from swim to run. Only very slow…Haay, I wish I could burn those excess pounds soon. With me carrying the equivalent of a fat pug, any faster and my heart rate would shoot up.

 Photo taken by Fatima Sugay
Again, I was hoping to overtake some on the run. But alas, I was too late again. I thought I had my Garmin charged but it died on me less than 50 meters from T2.  I had few people to chase and no gadget to guide my pace. I just ran. I walked only at water stations and did my best to carry myself forward despite three weeks of forced rest from running, but my best at that instance was only 1hr24min for a 10K. A year ago I did about 1:15.

Photo courtesy of Gerard Cinco
Overall I felt good about the race although I was excruciatingly slow. The one good thing I will bring home from this is the even pacing I displayed despite the snail pace. I have my work cut out for me. Lose the excess weight and gradually increase the training instensity. I am thrilled that my former officemate and my diabetic friend finished. I am proud that the “A” performance that I originally hoped for myself was awarded to my teammates. I am prouder still of the camaraderie and support that my teammates displayed in Subit. In my book, in the area of team support we are all podium winners. My “A” race will come, and God willing, it will happen in Camsur this August.
To God be the glory.


daytripper1021 May 22, 2011 at 7:24 AM  

Nice post! Wish u all the best in Camsur!

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