Road to Vietnam: Race Week

It’s race week and I have to say I am glad I still get to go to Challenge Vietnam, despite my expectations being really low regarding the speed of my performance. Of course despite the health and training setbacks, I still have expectations.

The really odd thing about this past year is that I have probably been swimming more often than I was in the lead-up to my first half-ironman, which shows in the drop in my 100-meter times. Of course, currents in the ocean will have a say in how fast I make it through the 1.9-kilometer swim leg but I have no doubt I’ll be able to finish within cutoff and pass the baton — er, timing chip — to my relay partner Dimitri for his bike leg.

Road to Vietnam: Final Week
While water and I aren’t yet best friends, at least we’re no longer enemies.

I’ll receive the timing chip again three hours later so I can complete the run leg. That one I am less fit for, but I am fitter this year than I was last year, when I embarked on a hilly 21-kilometer race in Ormoc. I have a primary goal: get to the finish line and earn that medal! My secondary goal would be to finish the run leg under 2 hours and 15 minutes, and without a 90-kilometer bike leg to sap my strength this should be pretty doable.

Road to Vietnam Week #13
the Challenge Vietnam medal is based on the design of traditional Vietnamese drums

Unlike previous trips, my stay in Vietnam will be quite short. I hope to make a proper go of the whole thing next year (fingers crossed!) and see more than just Nha Trang and spend more than just an afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City.

By the way, Solenn Heussaff’s new book just dropped. Did you know that, like her brother Erwan, she is a weight-loss success story? Hot Sos reveals how she went from overweight and unhealthy to fit and healthy.

Road to Vietnam: Final Week
Reading Solenn Heussaff’s fitness book

I gave the book a quick read-through and I have to say, I’m inspired. Anyone who’s thinking of getting into a healthy lifestyle or coming back from a long hiatus will take away great learnings from this book. For me, I realized that fitness can be achieved in different ways — and I realized this even more when Solenn took those of us at her book launch through one of her typical workouts. I’m not as well-rounded as I thought! Will write more about this later as well as test some of the mouthwatering recipes in her book.

Some of you who follow my Facebook account may have seen me post about being at a lab getting tests done. Well, I am not sick in the sense that I don’t have a fever, or the flu, or any other acute illness. However, I have been saying that I feel something isn’t right. After much hemming and hawing (and because I don’t want to take a stool sample!), I finally went in for a checkup, which I have never done before.

I hate needles.

I know I can get through the race on Sunday, and every day I feel even better and have more energy. I’m starting to feel like my old self again. But it’s always good to make sure that everything is green for go and that I’m not ignoring anything that needs immediate attention.

Check back here later this week for my tips on packing for a destination race πŸ™‚

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About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in wellness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

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