Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My first official completed triathlon. UPLB recap

What a beautiful area indeed. I am talking about Los Banos. It is green and clean even though there are a lot of traffic, it is just different in its own way than Manila. I would like someone to explain however, where are all those private pools that the guys are advertising next to the road and if it is advertised, is it still then so private?
Levy and I arrived at UP quite early as we did'nt want to test the faith of the weather and of traffic. After receiving a text from Marga that the traffic is bad on the motorway, we decided to leave early. The race did start a bit later however but I much prefer this. My reasons are as follow:
  • One is able to wake up later in the morning and have a good night sleep before the race.
  • One can have a good meal in advance before the race to build up extra energy.
  • It is easier to remember all your gear as you have the whole morning to prepare.
  • Lastly and the most important reason, I would like to share these events with my wife and children and when it is early in the mornings, it is just impossible to take them along. With this tri, it was great as everyone could enjoy the day with me. It was great!!!


My kids could go with and they enjoyed the day

Let me recap on my experience:

Swim 21:11

I must say the TI lessons is helping, and I will recomend it to anyone. Although I was not able to swim the complete distance without stopping, was it in a way much easier when I swam freestyle. It is definately all about the technique. I felt more refresh when I came out of the water. It was a bit crowded at some times but for me being in the back, I found it much easier. I had to fight for a spot only more so often. It was also to my advantage as it was only 800m and we could dive upon reentering the pool which save some distance. After completing the swim, I had at least 5 minutes disadvantge on Levy (not that we had a bet and not because we are competitive (Yeah right) but just for the fun). My wife also counted the laps for me as I would have gotten confused should I have remembered. She aslo kindly shouted to me (in afrikaans of course so that Levy and his wife would not know she is keeping me up to speed of where he is) my time behind him.

I almost have the technique

Levy before plunging into the water

After this dive my goggles was on the back of my head.

Distances are all according to my garmin 305.

Bike 1:01:09 30.5km

I dont know what happened but I thought I was going at a steady pace but I obviously was mistaken. He is much faster than what I thought, I wont be misled again by his speed on the bike... :) . The bike route was not to bad. It was only the two ends of the lap that was a gradual incline which made it hard in a sense. Overall a relative easy bike route. There were quite a few accidents especially at the turn around point at the start of the loop. Kawawa naman sila.

This is the turning point where there were a few crashes
Run 25:27 5.34km

As I came out of transition, I heard this voice behind me... "Come on Philip, I am going to catch you". As I turned aorund, it was no one other than Mr. Levy Ang. Wow I thought, there goes my chances of beating him. He was a complete 1.5km lap ahead of me and it will cost a lot for me to make that up in 6km. I also knew he had me in the back of his head even though he say he is not competitive where I like to differ, so I knew he will not slow down. I am quite disapointed with my run though as it is a 4:46/km. I know I can go faster but for one or other reason, I gave up quite early. Dont get me wrong, it is still a good time especially after a bike and a swim but I know I can do better as I have better times in my training. So yes, Levy was just to fast for me and I could not catch him. I have still 6 swimming lessons left so be afraid, be very afraid Levy for this foreignrunner is on your heels and ready to overtake you..... Bwah bwah bwah..... No more Mr. nice guy.... :)

Second loop of the run

This is the "I know you won" look but be afraid for next time!!!

Levy on his fast run, and wow did he go!!!! I think it was even a PR for him.

Overall, it was a great triathlon. I did loose out on third in my age group by one place as I was fourth but thirteenth overall is not bad at all. I am happy with that and also the fact that I was not disqualified, so this makes it my first official triathlon....

Even though he beat me, we are still great friends (I hope so) :)

Note the photos as my wife was with me and she could take some pictures......

The route on google earth

So untill the next triathlon at Ayala Alabang, greetings from the foreignrunner and remember to KEEP FIT!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I am hooked!!!

I love this new found sport. Thanks to people like Levy, Marga and others for introducing this sport to me. I even gave up the long awaited Adidas race for triathlon??? I must be hooked. I enjoy the cross training tremendously and it is something different with more challenges.

I went to Alabang with Levy and Marga today to try the bike route and familiarise ourselfs with it. I must say, even after doing the loops four times (total of 40km) I still will have to concentrate come race day next month. The laps works like this.

  • Once leaving the transition area, follow the road. At the first junction, turn left and follow the road. It will make a big loop passing the golf course on the right with quite a steap hill.

  • At the top you get another junction. At this junction, turn left to start the small loop. Follow the road. The road will get to a junction. Turn left. Once you turned left the golf course is again on the right side and you will be on the same steap uphill. At this point you just completed the small lap.

  • Upon arriving at the top of the hill where you will turn left to start the small lap, turn tight to start over. You will start now the second figure eight loop. Note that after turning right at the junction, not far you have to make a right turn (there is a field on the right side). One figure eight loop is a total of 10km and therefore you have to do three of these figure eight loops. In summary, it is three large loops and three small loops. After one large, do a small which makes up one figure eight loop.

  • After doing three figure eight loops, it is off to the finnish. This can be tricky. After you finnished the last small lap and you get to the top of the hill where the golf course is on your right, turn right. Continue with the big lap. Your next turn after the last junction is to the right. Just after you truned right there should be an arrow (there was one at the last race) that will point left stating finnish. Turn left and not right. If you turn right you will continue with the large lap again. After turning left, park your bike and enjoy your run...

I hope this will help those that struggled with the route like I did. I also attached a google pic of the route. The instructions will make more sense if you read it with the map of google earth. (Click on the image to enlarge)

I also signed up for the Los Banos tri and can't wait as I have a bet with another athlete. Don't want to mention names because should I win the challenge, it will be much sweeter to mention this person's name. We did a total of 40km bike and 7km run today at Alabang. I also managed to see Patrick, Jaymie and Anni today. It was a pity I could not chat to them as I would still like to appoligise to Anni for our last nike run. Levy and Marga, thanks for the company, you guys are great!!!

Untill next time... KEEP FIT!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am disappointed!!!

I received the results ogf the animo tri today from my good friend Levy. I am disqualified. What a track record, my first tri and I am disqualified.

It is due to my own neglegence. I should have studied the route beforehand. I don't however know where they got my bike time and distance as I did do 30km according to my garmin but just a different route. I did the small circle two times more and the big eight one time less, so I think that is where my time was not registered. Whatever the reason, I will take full responsibility. That is why we will go on Saturday and familiarize ourselves with the route for next month..... Yeah I am hooked, I already registered for the next tri on 12 October!!!! I want to do the correct route as my running time was quite good. I am planning on taking at least a few classes of total immersion lessons before the next tri to help me with the swimming.

I have a challenge with someone else so I need to improve on my swimming time. 31minutes was just to long for swimming. I must have looked like something between a frightened cat and a hungry chicken in the water. I was the only one that did the backstroke and then it wasn't even done propperly, it looked more like a holiday swim. My garmin regeistered a distance of 29.6 km for my bike at a time of 53 minuntes so I am happy with my bike as well. JUST THE SWIMMING...

So who is coming with next month?!? Don't be scared to do a triathlon if you don't know the techinique of swimming because if I could do it, then so can you.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Animo tri At last my first tri

I still cant believe I did it even though it was just the sprint. I always watch the triathlon's on tv some mornings and it was a dream to one day participate in one myself and thanks to the blogging comunity here and people like Levy, Marga Jaymie and others, I got to TRI my first tri. I trained a while before but not the swimming leg. I always train every Monday a brick fo 1 hour bike and 10km run so I had confidence in those two legs but my fear was the swim..

I went swimming a few times before the race. Every time I was more frightened as I never managed to improve from the previous swim. I tried almost everything. I went on youtube and watched videos, went to our swimming pool tried it but to no avail. I tried all things except the one I should have a while ago and that is a swimming coach. Jaymie told me about this total emerge training and I even met the coach but it was to close to the race and believe me I will contact him for a few lessons before the next race. So let me tell all you guys and few girls how it went.

  • Started with the swim. This was my biggest fear. I stood with Marga and Filipe at the side of the pool trying to not look nervous but I am sure they could see the fear in my eyes. I believe I even made a stupid joke or two in order not to think of the swim. Thanks Marga for laughing at them even though they were not funny. I watched the mini sprint take of and wow some of those guys could swim. I saw Jaymie swim and I thought, wow, I need her coach. She even looked like the guys on tv (just a little bit slower :) but the technique was brilliant. I saw the younger guys of the sprint distance go and that made me even more frightened. It was our turn. I jumped in the pool and waited. Levy walked me through teh complete process before so I knew we start in lane one and two (which was combined) then go from lane to lane until you reached the end and do it all over again. Then if that was not enough, we had to go back to lane 5 and do half of the pool again. Anyway here I was rigth at the back as I knew I would only cause others to slow down or even drown if I was in the middle or I could even drown. I almost died a few times but I forced myself not to stop even if it meant me doing breast strokes and back strokes most of the time. I was so tired when I finally made the end. I was not last, yepee, just third last!

  • Off to the bike. I was so happy to be finnished so now I could catch up. I raced into the transition area, put on my helmet as I remembered Levy said it is important to do that first. I put on my Garmin watch and wanted to take a energy gel but did not know where to put it so I left it for the run. My shoes was clipped into the peddle and I trained two days before the mounting and dismounting of the bike section. It all went smoothly. I jumped on the bike and off I went. As I was going in the beginning I got confused on the route. I also saw the arrows but every time to late to know where to go and the marshalls tried there best to direct but I am still not sure if I went the correct way everytime. After downloading the route from my garmin and studying the route on Marga site, it does not correspond. Anyway I did the bike leg as I thought it should be done, after all I was not doing it to race but more for my first time experience. As I got back to the transition area, I followed another cyclist. He was quite fast on the route and I did most of the route with him. He started to undo his shoes so I knw we must be close so I undid my shoes as well just as I trained.

  • Unto the running leg. The transition went smooth. I was in my running shoes in no time but had to put on socks. Maybe I should leave them in the next race and see how it goes. I grabbed my energy boost gel and my cap and off I went. I felt a little bit heavy but just the same as training and I knew it will only last for about 500m and so it did. I was soon into my rythm and felt more at ease as this was the part of the event I felt the most comfortable with and after all I trained for 10km after cycling and we only had to do 6.5km. The hill next to the golf course slowed me down quite a bit as I never thought it was so long. I overtook quite a few runners but was not sure if it was the same guys of my age group that started with me or the younger guys. I felt still good after the run and did the run in 29 minutes according to my garmin and the distance was spot on. I never had doubts as to the route of the run as it was better organised.

It was great to have so many support and thanks to all the guys that helped and supported us. I dont want to mention names as I might forget someone. To the guys that came all the way just to support, you know who you are, thank you so much, it made a wrold difference to me and made me feel part of the running group. You guys rock and the South African running comunity can only learn from the Philippino people. Sorry I left early but I have some other responsibilties back home.

I always forget my camera but will try and remember it next time. KEEP FIT, heads up and see you around and if I dont see you around, see you God willing at the next tri next month.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Please help if you know anything about swimming

I tried online at youtube, I tried the swimming pool and still I am stressing for Sunday for the swimming leg.

I went to Ultra today and I must say, I can at least swim now one length without stopping which is better than the last time. The problem is I will most probably only go once more for swimming.

What am I doing wrong?

  • I try go slow but still get tired
  • Water keeps going into my nose
  • After how many arm strokes must you breath
  • Every now and then I gulge water while breathing

Will it be possible to take breaks during the swim leg? Can you also change from "freestyle" to another style as long as you go forward?

Please HELP, I cant wait for the swim leg to be done so I can try and catch up on the bike and run.... ANY ADVICE?!?

This foreignrunner really feels foreign in the pool. What is some of the slowest times in the swim for I think 950m? Maybe I will feel better as I think it took me 30 minutes to do about 500m. I know you say OOPS but I hope there is advice after the OOPS and if there is, please share it with me or I will look like the crazy white guy in a funny outfit in a swimming pool which looks like he is drowning. If you know the life savers, please tell them if it is a crazy white funny looking guy, he is not drowning, just trying to finnish the swim leg in a funny way.

Either help me or pray for me coming Sunday. If you are joining the tri, meet up with me at the meal so we can laugh together. Untill then, keep fit.