Challenge Yourself

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I do not know what possessed me. Weeks back when I first heard that there will be a new half-ironman distance in the form of Challenge Philippines, I was both excited and dismissive. Excited because the Challenge Family seems to present a more laidback, family approach to triathlon; Excited because I missed this year’s Ironman 70.3 race in Cebu. Dismissive because the bike course is in the dreaded hills of Subic and Morong. I hate biking hills! I have to propel my current over 200-pounds self to the top, only to plunge with my balls up my throat as the downward force equals my massive mass times acceleration due to gravity.

But on August 14 on the launch date of Challenge Philippines I found myself registered! Yes, on the first day! It began innocently with me Googling Challenge Philippines and then reading a race brief. The race slogan got into me: Challenge Yourself; Race for a Cause. Sometimes, the best way to conquer one’s fears is to face them head-on. I have already conquered my childhood, drowning-induced fear of water. I have already fallen in love with running. I have yet to be comfortable with plunging down hills on two wheels. In Subit, I will always let others go at least 200meters ahead before I ride over those hills. I suppose this apprehension harks back to a vivid childhood memory of running over – actually hitting a playmate – as I struggle to pedal-brake the grown man’s bike I was riding in my enthusiastic sprint to the finish line. It is about time I slay this demon.

Race for cause: it is a personal crusade actually – a crusade for health and life balance. A war over stress and the pounds it brings. A war to reclaim my life and restore balance. A series of battles to rid my fatty liver of sweets I consume to power through the work day. It is a personal crusade that rings true for many, and I hope to engage my fellow men in this journey. Just like my first marathon in 2009, I want this to be both personal and communal. There is something beautiful and powerful in man and society working together for the good of everyone. I was a witness to that in In my team Endure. I want to re-live that. Once more, I hope that God will reveal His magnificence through us.

Risk taker and risk manager that I am, I have read the fine print and know the risks and rewards. The Challenge Half distance is actually good for slowpokes like me. The swim cut-off is 1:30, laxer than Ironman 70.3. The bike cut-off is more forgiving at 6 hrs after race start. But it remains challenging in that the final race cut-off is 8:30. The message seems to be that you need not be good in all legs, but you have to push more in at least one to make up for your weakness in others. The bike is nothing to sneeze at. This bike course will probably the toughest I will face after Subit, Camsur and Cebu. There is no expressed restriction on mountain bikes or hybrids. While that is a good fall-back, I do hope to race in a road bike.

So here I am all signed up. I am already drafting my weight loss and training plan. The hills and ravines look foreboding, so help us God.
posted from Bloggeroid


Jet Paiso August 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM  

nice one bro! i always look up to you in work-life balance. enjoy your training and see you in subic! i'm not (yet) registered. esep esep muna hehehe

Rico Villanueva August 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM  

Thanks Jet. I better improve on this work-life balance then :-)

kassy August 16, 2013 at 1:33 AM  

Proud of you! Welcome to the challenge family!

kassy August 16, 2013 at 1:34 AM  

Proud of you! Welcome to the challenge family!

Rico Villanueva August 16, 2013 at 7:49 AM  

Thanks kassy

Run Kick Smash August 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM  

I'm sure you can do it Rico. I believe in you. Godspeed! If you need training partners for swim and run, I can help when time permits. Just like the old time :)

Rico Villanueva August 17, 2013 at 1:33 AM  

Thanks Sid. I need a swim drill sergeant and bike pusher :-)

Rico Villanueva August 17, 2013 at 1:34 AM  

Thanks Sid. I need a swim drill sergeant and bike pusher :-)

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