Life in the Fast Lane


Aquathlon: Take Two!

By 2:55 PM , , , , , , , ,

I realize that this blog is slowly turning into a sports blog, and I do apologize for this (especially to those who actually read this blog but aren't into sports).

The thing is, aside from work — which has taken up most of my time this year; more so than in the first quarters of previous years — there's nothing else that I've been able to get into/do yet. Sadly, I haven't even traveled (not even a road trip) since the year started.

So, really, the highlights of my year so far have been mostly sports-related.

Anyway, moving on!

Yesterday, I joined my second aquathlon (refresher: it's a multisport event consisting of a swim leg and a run leg). And just like the first one I joined last month, I was a bundle of nerves right before I had to leave the house at six in the morning.

This was the first installment of the Splash n' Dash Aquathlon, and it was held in a relatively new resort/events place called La Stanza in Marikina. Upon my arrival, the first things I saw were the finish line a few feet away, a bunch of marshals and photographers, and an Aquasphere booth set up outside the resort's restaurant.

My mini-entourage, consisting of my mom and youngest brother, CJ, waited with me in the restaurant. It was pretty convenient, since they were able to order breakfast and relax comfortably. Also, we were able to watch the swim leg from indoors, since the glass sliding doors of the restaurant opened up to the lap pool area.

First, I got myself registered and body marked, then waited for about an hour before being briefed together with the rest of my age group.

After registering, I opened my race kit. It consisted of a swim cap that we were required to use, a race bib that I attached to my race belt, and a finisher's shirt (which I forgot to take a photo of).

The organizers let the kids' waves go first because they were shorter distances. Amazingly, one boy did the butterfly stroke instead of the freestyle (which is the most common stroke for multisport events, especially since it's the most efficient one to use).

The adults were then divided by waves, according to age group and by gender, of course. The women's waves followed the kids', then the men's waves competed last.

After thirty minutes or so of watching the kids and other women's waves, my race number was called and it was time to be briefed on the race course and rules together with the other women in our group. Then we were asked to ready our run gear at the transition area. This time, I decided to bring my Newton Energy NR; their first time to race.

Finally, I was able to meet a longtime-Instagram-friend-but-never-before-met-in-person friend, Vanessa (@mama_prito on Instagram). She's a gym instructor, a full-fledged triathlete, a mom to a multisport athlete in the making, and one of the people who inspire me (along with the other athletes I follow and interact with online). To my pleasant surprise, we were grouped together!

The ladies in my group were really supportive. Some of them were triathletes who probably wanted to keep themselves fit (ergo, they regularly look for events to join); some were swimmers who wanted to push themselves further (like me); and some were runners who wanted to learn and master a new sport. Together, we encouraged one another and wished each other the best.

Before I knew it, it was time to swim. My strategy this time was to let the other women go ahead, lest I be kicked in the face again (really, that part wasn't fun the first time around). In the picture below, I'm the one with the black V-shaped strapped swimsuit and red goggles.

I hadn't realized it 'til my mom and brother told me much later, but after about two laps, I had managed to lead the pack (and catch up with the women from the earlier wave). Thank You, Lord, for this unexpected surprise.

Just like the previous aquathlon, every time we'd touch the wall at the end of one lap, we had to go underneath the lane divider/wave runner, then swim back 'til the end of the lap, go underneath the lane divider/wave runner, and so on, and so forth. Upon finishing the very last lap, we had to climb out of the pool, run back to the very first lane, and repeat the whole process.

Again, surprise of all surprises, I was the first one who completed the swim leg! By God's grace alone, I have to say. While I've always been a swimmer, I never considered myself to be an exceptional one (the last time I remember medalling was in grade school; I simply trained for and joined swim meets in high school without expecting to medal). So to learn about this was, to be quite honest, a shock.

Once I got out of the water, I quickly ran to my basket in the transition area where my run gear waited for me. I struggled with my socks this time around because my feet were dripping wet. On hindsight, maybe I could have afforded to run without socks since the run distance wasn't a blister-inducing one anyway.

I only have this photo of the run leg since I left my camera with CJ. This was taken with my iPod, which I finally remembered to bring so I could track my run pace. Here's Vanessa quickly overtaking me; that woman's a beast!

For whatever reason (and I really don't know why random things happen to me during races when nothing eventful happens during training), I experienced stomach cramps during the run. Lactic acid build-up? No idea. All I knew was that I would run a few meters, stop to catch my breath and clutch my stomach, walk a few meters, then attempt to run again.

Somehow, though, I managed to finish the race (though I look spent in this shot that CJ took).

I was just happy to receive this finisher's medal, at the end of the day. #CheapThrills

Another photo opp with Vanessa, who was the first placer of our group (and fifth of all women). Idol! Her daughter also won fifth place in the female kids' category!

One more before leaving the place. You might notice that I didn't use my tri suit from the last race. For no particular reason, I felt like using this TYR swimsuit (worn over a longer pair of cycling shorts) instead.

Thanks to my family for supporting their adrenaline-fueled daughter/sister, to the women in my group for the instant camaraderie and boosts of encouragement, to the organizers of this event for making it fun and worthwhile to join, and to the Lord for everything.

Looking forward to the second installment of this race (on June 8th), as well as similar future events — multisport or not!

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  1. Wow, Tins! What a feat! Are you planning to joining Ironman triathlon soon? :)

  2. Oops, I meant "planning to join." Haha! *self-edit* :)

  3. Hi, Ives!

    Wow, I wish. Hahaha! That's a dream any triathlete (and triathlete wannabe) wishes to have. But realistically, I can't anytime soon. My fitness level isn't up to speed. But I do hope to join a shorter distance one within the year, if the Lord wills it. :)

    Thanks for dropping by! Please say hi to Timmy for me!

  4. Hahaha! I know how you must've felt! ;) #grammarnaziaswell


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