What’s Next? Challenge Barcelona Half with MaccaX

    

I returned to triathlon training this week. After a week of nothing but dancing and doing yoga (with a little aquathlon on the weekend), it was a real shock to my body to do 50 minutes of work on an indoor trainer. I think I nursed a headache for hours after that!

Challenge Philippines bike
I want to get stronger and faster on the bike (photo by Mary Ann Saquing)

People ask me how I stay committed to training and how I motivate myself to do it day after day. One reason is… I’m afraid of gaining weight. Hehehe! After years of struggling with my weight and my waistline, I’m finally where I want to be. Even though I look much taller than my height (I’m 5 foot 3) I’m actually a small or an extra-small in clothing, and the “kikay” fashionista side of me is thrilled I can finally pull off some looks that used to make me feel dumpy.

All dressed up
and it only took two half-ironmans to look like this…

However, I’m not one of those people who go out and swim, bike, and run just for fitness. Then that would be just exercising, and I could probably get away with doing much less than what I currently do if I only wanted to stay fit and not flab out. Coach Andy Leuterio once said to me, “You know the difference between exercising and training? Exercise doesn’t hurt.” We’re not talking about the kind of hurt from injuries. We’re talking about the kind of hurt you feel when you’ve pushed your body to its limits so your lungs are gasping for air and every muscle fiber is screaming at you to stop. That’s the kind of hurt that’s addictive, because when you get through it to “the other side” when the training session or race ends, there’s euphoria (thanks to the endorphins). There’s nothing quite like it, and it makes you forget just enough of the agony you went through so that you end up doing it all over again.

So another major reason I keep training the way I do is that these days I always have a race on the horizon. I’ve written before about how asking “What’s your next race?” was equivalent to a “How are you?” in this community and is a way we each spur one another onwards and upwards.

If you’ll notice the right side of my blog it has a section for 2014 Events. There aren’t any pure running events there because these usually come in on short notice or I register for them in preparation for other races. This year, I’m focusing on triathlon because I’d like to accomplish one big thing (the clue is in the list of events I’m planning to do!).

I think that compared to last year I’m a much better triathlete. The only way to know for sure, though, is to race again. My next race is the 21st Subic Bay International Triathlon. I keep coming back to this race simply because it keeps stumping me. I hope to crack its code this year.

K•Swiss Subic Bay ASTC Asian Triathlon Championships 2013 from The Lighthouse Marina Resort on Vimeo.

After SuBIT is when my race year gets interesting. I’ve been given the opportunity to go to Barcelona, Spain for the Challenge Barcelona half.

This race is where Javier Gomez made his debut in the half-ironman distance last year, and where he won and was light years ahead of his nearest competitor. Chris “Macca” McCormack is on the start list for this year’s race, and he’s holding a MaccaX training camp leading up to it. (Sign up for the camp here, and read about the MaccaX Phuket camp I attended last year.)

Chris McCormack in Challenge Barcelona half
Macca

I’m the global ambassador for the MaccaX camps and have been helping coordinate things. Since this is the first camp of the year, I’m being sent to make sure it all goes smoothly. So because I’m there anyway, I might as well join the race! Check out the course:

It’s approximately 5,000 feet of climbing on the bike course, but I do think I can handle it based on my experience at Challenge Philippines (which was reportedly 3,000 meters of climbing). The run is dead flat though, which should make it relatively easier.

Hopefully this race is preparatory to an even bigger Challenge, too. :) What an exciting year ahead!

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