Blog Triathlon

Thoughts and Thanks Before Challenge Roth

This is part of a series of posts in my special coverage of Challenge Roth. Check out Challenge Roth (1 of 3), Challenge Roth (2 of 3) and Challenge Roth (3 of 3).

I fly out tonight bound for a little town called Roth to participate with 5,500 athletes in the greatest triathlon in the world. Challenge Roth is the European triathlon mecca, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the first triathlon held in Roth.

30 Years of Triathlon in Roth

Challenge has pulled out all the stops for this year’s race, and it’s certainly attracted the cream of the crop. This is the strongest pro field ever to contend for the title.

If you scroll down the list of pros, though, you may find a pro representing the Philippines…
of course it’s not me! It’s Arland Macasieb, the first Filipino man to compete as a pro on the long-course circuit.

This year, we make history because this is the first time Filipinos are participating at Challenge Roth. As I mentioned earlier, Arland is doing it as a pro. For the age groupers, it’s Pinay Power because Coach Ani de Leon-Brown and I will take on the fast Bavarian course. We are unofficially Team Philippines, and I’m proud to be racing alongside (well, on race day I’ll be a few hours behind) these two giants of Philippine triathlon. I am the rookie in this group, and this is my first full distance race.

If you had asked me when I started on this triathlon lark whether I would bite the bullet and attempt an ironman, I would have shuddered, then laughed at the idea. I would have said, “I’m not that crazy.”

I didn’t know I would get to do it this early; I’ve been doing triathlon since 2010, really just taking my time and enjoying the challenge of each step up in distance. As a sport, even for an age grouper, it really takes a lot of time, energy, commitment, as well as resources. The addiction feeds itself; you suffer, but you soon start to look for that feeling of having pushed yourself to go farther or faster than you have before. You can now say I’ve gone off the deep end — and I love it.

All these months of training are soon coming to a head. The question, “Was it enough?” will be asked and I will have to come up with the answer. When I did my first marathon, there was a feeling of uncertainty about whether or not I would finish it. I have that same feeling now about this first ironman; anything can happen out there on the course.

Truth be told, it will be a great relief for it all to be over; during this taper period I’ve had so much time to reconnect with friends I’ve been neglecting and enjoy some time where I’m not just waiting for my next training session to start. I don’t think I will miss those long afternoons at a pool swimming until I logged 4,000 meters or my arms fell off, whichever came sooner. While my long solitary rides were great for some “me” time, I did feel like a loon every time the security guards manning the gates at Nuvali would tell me, “Ma’am, mainit na! — It’s gotten hot!” and I still had four more hours to do. As for running, I did a bare minimum because of all the time devoted to the two other disciplines, but it did become a matter of ticking off miles because I had to, not because I loved to run.

I did almost give up; a few weeks ago I actually decided not to push through with the trip and the race just because I felt so alone in my efforts. The training, the travel, the race, the expenses… But I didn’t know so many people were standing behind me and rooting for me, and all I needed to do was ask for help.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some of those who have been with me on this #roadtoRoth. I may be doing this race as an individual, but it’s taken a great team to get me to this point.

Team Endure — words aren’t enough to thank you for everything. Thank you for believing in me, thank you for being there for me, thank you for being not just friends, but family.

Mizuno Philippines — thank you for the continued support. Never Settle!

Jerry Santos, Ceepo — I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my triathlon journey has progressed by leaps and bounds since we started working together. Thank you for the opportunity to use this amazing Mamba frame. I really hope to maximize its potential and mine on Sunday!

Maiqui and Gianina Dayrit, Cascos — you’ve given me access to some amazing brands that have helped immensely during my training and racing. Thank you especially for all my new pink stuff I will be wearing on race day.

Greg Banzon, Century Tuna — thank you for allowing me to share my dream with you, and thank you for being a part of my journey.

Dave Voth, Challenge Philippines — without your hand in all this, I wouldn’t even have considered going to Roth in the first place.

Raymund Magdaluyo — I really don’t know how I can ever repay you for all you’ve done. Thank you for taking me on my first few triathlons overseas, for valuing my input, for being a friend. :)

Primo Cycles and Sabak — thank you for, among other things, keeping my bike in tiptop shape and being staffed full of triathlon nuts in their own right so I could spend hours just chatting away about this sport I love.

Anthony Kierulf, Tenkie Box — who would have known that day we did our first sprint triathlon at Subic that we’d still be in this sport years later? Thanks always for your ready smile and for all the gear!

Chris McCormack and Aaron Franklin, MaccaX — thanks for the writing gigs that have helped fund all my training expenses for Roth! And to Chris, thank you for saying these four words: “You have to come.”

Ani and Arland — You both paved the way for the rest of us and have set such high standards. Coach Ani, thank you for always being a positive presence and thank you for encouraging me not to give up on Roth.

my family — Mama, Papa, Marielle, Michael, thank you for always being supportive about my sporty endeavors from my first marathon up to now. I hope to make you even prouder than you already are about me.

Let me also thank you, dear readers, for continuing to read and follow my journey.

Onwards to Roth!

Blog Training

My #RoadtoRoth Spotify Playlist

I promised in my previous post about Spotify to share a playlist of songs that have helped me through the hours and hours of training on my road to Roth. While I don’t play music when I’m on the road riding or running, when I’m hamstering away on a stationary bike or a treadmill I just can’t get through without some hard driving beats or my favorite tunes. This Spotify playlist has also helped keep me awake or entertained during the long hours of driving to training venues like Pico de Loro or race venues like Subic Bay.

So, my dear readers, let me present to you my #RoadtoRoth playlist on Spotify.

#RoadtoRoth playlist on Spotify
#RoadtoRoth Spotify playlist (click to listen)

This is what my playlist looks like on the Spotify desktop/laptop app. If you also have the app installed on your computer or your mobile, you’ll be able to play it right in your app. Or you can play it right here on my website while you keep reading…

Read more »

Blog FYI

Fun at Palarong Nuffies Sportsfest

As I’ve slowly and gently begun my taper towards Challenge Roth, I find this has freed up my schedule for a lot more activity outside triathlon training. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the Palarong Nuffies, a sportsfest for Nuffnang’s blogger talents, employees, and executives.

It wasn’t a hardcore workout for sure, but it was a lot of good fun and I got to hang out with my blogger buddies whom I haven’t seen in a while due to the amount of time I’ve spent training.

I was assigned to the purple team, which also included Jinoe Gavan from Takbo.PH, Jeff Lo from Pinoy Fitness, Jane Chua of Between Bites, and musician, activist, and professor Jim Paredes as well as our Nuffie friends MC and Celine.

Palarong Nuffies
photo by Tippy Go of Googly Gooeys

The first game was an impromptu cheering competition, and it was definitely an advantage having a talented lyricist on our side (thanks Jim!). He came up with our chant, and then he and I worked on the choreography. We ended up with this:

Palarong Nuffies
Twerking it!

Palarong Nuffies
Big finish

The next games were anybody’s to take, and all my endurance work didn’t count toward anything because they were about strategy, flexibility, and being nimble.

Palarong Nuffies
calamansi relay

Palarong Nuffies
sack race

Palarong Nuffies
limbo rock

Palarong Nuffies
egg toss

We also had patintero, “The Boat Cannot Sink”, and this game we had to dig through a mountain of flour with our mouths to get at chocolate gold coins. That made for some very interesting photos!

Palarong Nuffies
*cough* *cough* *spit* *sputter*

Palarong Nuffies
I’m ready for my close-up.

Palarong Nuffies
“foundation” day

Even though my team didn’t end up winning overall, I enjoyed myself immensely and it was a good mental break to do something other than swimming, biking, or running on a weekend. Heaven knows I’m going to get my fill of that in a little less than two weeks’ time.

Palarong Nuffies
We won the cheering competition!

This was a welcome break in all the “serious training” I’d been doing, and it was nice to have a social life even for just a day. ;)

Thanks to Nuffnang for organizing this sportsfest and bringing bloggers from different genres together. Despite our varied interests, a common thread runs through us all. We love to have fun, and we love writing about it! Check out the Nuffnang wrap-up post about the Palarong Nuffies and see what the other teams got up to.

Palarong Nuffies
hooray for blogging and social media!

Blog FYI

Cordillera Great Traverse 2015: Longest Trail Expedition in PH

I’ve got a number of runner friends who are heavily involved in ultramarathons and trail running, so I don’t often see them at road or tri events. It came as a very pleasant surprise to find out they have a huge expedition brewing for 2015!

Cordillera Great Traverse 2015
The Cordillera Great Traverse 2015

It began as one Facebook post inquiring whether there were connecting trails or natural pathways for the 6 provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region to make it the ultimate venue for the longest trail expedition in the Philippines. The idea, both being novel and challenging, stoked the interest of almost everyone especially those who are nature lovers and have solid athletic background.

The Cordillera Great Traverse (CGT) 2015 is an expedition aiming to establish the longest and the most scenic hiking/trekking destination in the Philippines by connecting the six provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Philippines. Read more »

Blog Race Report Triathlon

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon 2014

As my last race before Challenge Roth, the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon was supposed to be the perfect tune-up: not too long, so recovery would be fast, but a significant hit-out to make sure all systems are GO.

I kind of got what I wanted from this race, and then some!

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon

It was a pretty easy drive from Manila to Subic on Saturday, about 2.5 hours from the time I left my home to the time I got to race central, the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC).

Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon
You know you’re at a triathlon when…

Inside, the place was already abuzz Read more »

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX
Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

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