I’m writing you to bid you goodbye and let you know how different you are from the other years of my life.
I’m writing you to bid you goodbye and let you know how different you are from the other years of my life.
Two days to go before my supposed revenge in Filinvest at the Powerade Duathlon’s second leg, I find myself out of shape. And that goes beyond feeling the extra weight: I got a sore throat and I’ve been sneezing myself in and out of the office.
I didn’t clock in a sub-2 at the first duathlon; I was hoping to have a faster bike leg and a stronger last run leg this time around. Will revenge be mine?
I used an MTB at my first Powerade Duathlon (Speaking of which, I haven’t concluded my blog series on it yet). At this leg, I’ll be using my new roadie I dubbed Falcon.
Turning a month old on July 18, Falcon hasn’t been spending much time on the road. The last time I bricked around my playground, the white-framed bike gave me a lower back pain that I ran the last leg looking like I had braces. On other times, though, we seemed to be ok.
This morning–yes, just this Friday morning–I tried it on after I adjusted the seat post and stem. And Falcon’s creaking from these adjustments. It went well, but I’m kinda imagining pain in my lower back. Is that due to the 30-minute ride? Or as suspected, am I just imagining it?
With my last brick session done weeks ago and tempo run done ages ago, I am reprimanding myself for giving up training in the name of the social life I missed. I’ve been clocking in more hours of zzz’s than saddle time. I’ve been logging in more office hours than gym time.
Will revenge be mine?
Duathlon events in the country are known to be dominated by mamaws (roughly defined in this entry as n: elites, speedsters and multisport veterans). I checked out the results of previous Powerade Duathlon events, and I knew that if I were in that list, I’d be in the last pack, if not the last finisher. They bike fast and they run even faster.
For my first sprint duathlon (but second dua, the first being the cross country duathlon where I ended up as a dirt ball), I had a very simple goal: finish in one piece—unscathed (read: no semplang moment) and injury-free, as I had another “diabolical” plan the week after. Little did I know that I would have to add another goal on race day.
Friday morning—just two days before D-day—the first tweet on my TwitterGadget’s friends was from Gerard, fellow duathlete-newbie: “kasali sa duathlon si Piolo Pascual sa Sunday?”
While this breaking news shook the multisport scene (especially the ego of the male athletes), it did nothing but brighten my day. At least there’s something exciting to look forward to on Sunday. It also somehow made me forget about the hills of the course and how daunting it is to rack an MTB alongside the beautiful bikes of professional athletes in my age category. Hence, another goal on race day: Have a photo with Papa Piolo.
Jitters and japorm
Race day came. I woke up with eyes red from lack of sleep. Blame it on pre-race jitters and diabolical plans crammed in two weeks. The busy week also robbed me of shuteye time.
While japorm should be my mantra at this duathlon, it’s a term that rarely crosses my vocabulary—even in everyday life. As a newbie for this duathlon, I did try my best, though.
However, Bike King had been out of stock of my size of its Transition One full-length tights. I had been in and out of R.O.X. for an orientation and the hunt for a lightweight jacket suitable for an upcoming race, but had forgotten to scout for a pair of duathlon shorts and buy one in time for a “dress rehearsal.”
So I chose to wear what I’m most comfortable with when training and competing: running gear. And that’s from top to bottom: shirt, shorts, socks and shoes.
So much for my japorm.
At the transition area, all I brought was my Deuter multipurpose Bounty bag containing my GU gels and one hydration bottle.
At about 5:30am, I lined up at the bodymarking with a nearly cramping lower abdomen and a queasy stomach due to acid reflux. In front of me was a guy with his handsome tri-bike, while I lined up with my dad’s full suspension bike.
I was hoping to see familiar faces to ease my troubled nerves. Then came Ian, who also lined up for the body marking. Rico had already instructed me where to put the stickers, but the sprint duathlete newbie has brain cells frozen with fear: I couldn’t figure out how to put them on the bike seat post.
Thankfully, Ian was nice enough to demo and put the stickers neatly. He even adjusted the seat accordingly and removed the blinker to make way for a tidy “03” sticker on the seat post. We racked the bike along with winsome roadies. When I took a bathroom break later, I even spotted Monica Torres, duathlon champ and National team. I was awestruck—my eyes would’ve sparkled with stars at the sight of a speedster and professional. Haha.
Pretty soon, more familiar, friendly faces were visible. Rico, Pio, Gerard, RJ and the rest of the mamaws have arrived. I relaxed a bit. Support/cheerers Chelly and Ellen were also in the transition area, ready with their cameras for a sight of Piolo. I also kept looking around. Isn’t he supposed to be here by now? I wondered.
More Papa P duathlon details in the next entry.
Photos courtesy of Brando Losaria
“If you can’t perform, japorm!”
—Anonymous, on maintaining grace and dignity on any race.
Don’t give me a lecture about fidelity. Or about loyalty.
Don’t tell me “You gotta have one and only one.”
You gotta be kidding me. Where’s the thrill in that? It’s boring to have only one. Moreover, what if that “one and only one” hurts you? What do you do?
You’ll have no one else. And then you’ll lock yourself up in your room, stare at the idiot box all day, and wallow yourself in self pity. Tsk tsk tsk.
So you see, it pays to not stick to one.
Operation: MTB relocation
I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did when I joined my first duathlon: On a whim, I signed up even though it’s been almost a year since I rode, and I only trained indoors for a week.
In an attempt to somehow do better on my second (but first sprint), I decided to bring the MTB to Makati for more riding practice. Hence, Sunday was supposed to be MTB transport day. And since it’s no off-road race, I thought of borrowing my dad’s, which was more light-weight than the hardtail one.
But getting a bike to Makati wasn’t a breeze, as my folks would probably do everything to prevent me from taking my calorie-burning activities outside the gym. Here’s how I got my way, albeit some mini conflicts (which I think and hope could be resolved) and why doing this duathlon is worth all the trouble.
The mystery of the fluid brakes
For the nth time last Friday, I’ve sent out my “press release” that I’ll be borrowing my dad’s MTB for the sprint duathlon. Two hours before reaching home, however, my mom told me the MTB’s fluid brakes needed repair.
Over the phone:
“Sira ‘yung brakes, eh,” my dad echoed.
“Oh, ipapa-repair ko,” I offered.
He went on that he tried having the fluid brake checked at Sabak and other bike shops, but the “part” couldn’t be replaced.
“Bike King? The one in Alabang? In BHS?” I asked.
Oh ok, I thought. That’s kinda weird. The fluid brakes acting up and no one could have it fixed?! Isn’t that a DIY thing?
For some reason, I thought my father was just making excuses for me to pass. But then again, I may be wrong—these fluid brakes could really be sensitive (I remember him using the hardtail MTB during one of his Nuvali rides).
So when I got home, I checked on the full-suspension MTB myself. I was surprised to find it tied and locked. That’s odd. This tells me my brewing theory of no-duathlon-for-Tracy is right.
I slowly pushed the MTB forward and hit the brakes; it’s working. I pulled it backwards, hit the brakes, and both seemed to be working. But then again, I could be mistaken because I’m no bike expert.
So to find out if my theory was right, I approached my dad, and told him nonchalantly that I checked on the MTB and “hindi naman sira ‘yung fluid brakes, eh.”
“It is,” he said in a similar, casual tone.
Instincts: I smell something fishy…
For some reason, I wasn’t convinced. I’m no MTB expert; I’m no fortune teller nor mind-reader; but I just felt like my parents were ganging up on me. I never trusted my instincts, but this weekend proved me that I should sometimes pay attention to that tiny, doubting voice inside me.
Saturday night, and we were talking about a totally different thing when my father blurted out “The one who lies…” and his voice trailed off.
“So tell me, are the brakes really busted?”
My dad looked at my mom. And the truth was out.
Full-suspension MTB is in top condition. All they wanted was for me to stop toasting myself under the sun.
You’re beginning to look like a boy, yaddi yaddi yadda.
Look at you, you’re getting darker and darker, blah blah blah.
After their monologue, I simply said that I use sunscreen and whitening lotion, which apparently aren’t doing their promised magic.
Sunday came and I loaded the hardtail bike onto the MPUV. That would end the debate, I thought.
When we got to Makati, my father voiced out his fears of me losing the bike and the dangers of sharing the road with vehicles. The fear, of course, rubbed in on me.
Worth all the trouble
The bike, they’ve always known, was my first love. When my brother and I were kids, we quarreled because I attempted to ride his BMX. And because back then I didn’t know how to ride yet, I fell and sustained wounds. I thought that was the first and last of my biking attempt. But on my next birthday, I got a red bike with training wheels.
And when I finally learned how to bike, my brother and I would ride and race together—one of my fondest childhood memories, aligned with playing in the garden and backyard, playing with our dogs and afternoon summer nap time that we kids hated (but now would love to get some). That was, until we both outgrew our bikes.
Now who wouldn’t fall in love again with biking and dare go through all the trouble if it reminds you of your carefree and fun childhood, of chasing butterflies and family bonding? Of course the recent mini conflict made me feel bad. But the duathlon excitement and anxiety are much more powerful, and I don’t want to worry about family issues that can be resolved by proving that there’s nothing to fear.
For two nights now, I’ve taken the bike for a ride for a total of 33km. The MTB is locked safe and sound, and I’ve been riding it with impeccable balance (Ang yabang! Well, I hope and I should! :-P).
So I guess that settles it: Dump the doubts; forget the fears. Keep riding and running—look back at fond memories of the past, but stay on the present and relish the joy of today. And enjoy the best of both worlds! 🙂