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Sense of Accomplishment in finishing a Triathlon

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Sense of Accomplishment in finishing a Triathlon – Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon
by: Anthony Fusingan

The very first race I have ever joined in my life had been filled with lots of memorable new experiences. Everything was new to me starting from the Athlete Registration, race briefing, body marking, the final walk to the swim start, the actual race and reaching the finish line.

I am overwhelmed with the cheers of the people watching the race giving some encouraging words to further push myself and to some friendly athletes while in the race who gave me a pat in the back. Though I am one of the last finishers (Rank 413th) I am proud that I am part of the first Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon, completed the race and finish it knowing that I bested even a few fellow athletes on the swim, bike and the run leg.

I was one of those who were wearing the “white swim cap”, those individual who for some reason wanted to have special attention for the watchers during the swim leg. We were asked to jump from the barge 90 seconds before the gun start. I am a new to this so I am bothered by the other swimmers bumping me during the swim. I plan to swim beside it so I can just follow the rope till the finish line, but when submerge in the water I can’t see the rope clearly so I kept on hitting the rope with my arm. Looking around I saw some swimmers doing the breaststroke so I decided to try breast stroke instead of freestyle. But since this is not the stroke I practiced in my training I was slow and I got a leg cramp. I grab the rope and relaxed my leg for 1 minute or so and I start swimming again using freestyle to avoid the cramp. After several minutes I got leg cramp again in the upper leg so I started to swim breastroke again. I started to worry about the cut-off time. My time to complete 1.5km in the swimming pool is 45minutes but because I spent several minutes resting I am worried that I might not have made the cutoff. At last I saw the end of the line, still worrying about the time I tried to listen to the announcer if he was saying something about the time or maybe doing the countdown already. I tried to swim faster and I as reach the shore I heard the announcer saying that number 136, “Toni” had made the swim cutoff, I saw then the Timex time and it is past 53 minutes. I am happy, congratulate myself, thank the lord that I made it and I will get to experience the bike leg which I expect to be a very nice ride. I was moved by the people watching in the beach, giving encouragement.

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I may say that the bike course was challenging enough for someone like me who is new to this. I liked the experience of cycling through the airport. For me the best part of the bike route was the experience of riding down the hill at a speed I never did before. There were a few of us who were just starting the bike leg, I was one third on the bike route when I started to see the group of bikers leading the race going back already. Other strong bikers also started to rush downhill while I move slowly climbing. I can’t forced my legs to go on any faster since my legs still hurt because of the cramp during the swim. I pass several climbs and had enjoyed downhill and my bike’s speedometer indicates that I am few km away the end of the bike route when I saw another uphill ahead of me. My legs started to hurt again as I climb slowly. A fellow biker speeding up behind me greeted me and said that his bike gears were having trouble so he could no longer change gear and he climb fast as if it was just a flat road leaving me behind. Finally, I was few kms away to the Convention center, I pedal as fast as I can to the wide paved road to transition 2 and I pass RK hotel where my family was waiting to see me. They were happy to see that I am still in the race. Near the Convention center, a group of young musicians was playing nice music which adds to my spirit to keep on going. As I slow down, the lady in the transition two smiled, greeted me, and said “Good job, what a piece of cake”.

I parked my bike, grab my run-gear bag and drank the Red Bull energy drink I reserve for this moment for one more burst of energy to complete the last leg of the race. I learned that it is a little difficult to run after biking for 2 hours so I started to just walk fast for the first km. I was approaching the RK hotel when my 7 year old son saw me and shouted happily, he handed me the mineral water he was carrying and I continue to run. I like nature so I enjoyed running inside the Golf course. There were few of us running slow back to the finish line. I decided to run a little faster to overtake just a few of them so that I will not end up last. As I run to the finish line, I am feeling happy, proud that I did it even without much training, feeling a sense of accomplishment and thankful also that I did not quit when I was cramping in the swim :)

– Number 136

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12 comments on “Sense of Accomplishment in finishing a Triathlon

  1. inspiring story #136 :) you made it happen without quitting. most of us haven’t been in triathlon.

  2. A very inspiring story. :)

    I wish i could also join a Triathlon. Ang problema lang is I cant swim. Hayyyss. Duathlon na lang siguro :)

  3. Thanks for the nice comments. I am not a good swimmer also, and i do not have a coach who can give me professional advice but I somehow manage to complete the race though in a not so good time. I am 1 hour below the average in this particular race. I heard a fellow participant after the race saying that she was not that tired as if she just did her regular training and she emphasized that it is because of their coach who was so very good. Information is already available in the internet but I think there is something with the coaches that can greatly help individuals that are new to the sport. Anyway, listed below are the things that helped me during training for the swim.

    1. When I registered the 5150 end of February, I can barely complete the 1.5km distance. I just tell my self that I still have a couple of months to practice my swimming skills. I started with 20m or 25m pools since I get tired easily when doing it in 50meter pool.
    2. I discipline myself everyday religiously to exercise my abs. I found that doing just the jackknife abs exercise I can somehow simulate how I suppose to breathe while swimming. I think this helped me develop endurance in swimming.
    3. Since I am not confident with my swimming come june. Plan to do regular training for the swim did not happen during the previous months. So I tell myself if I wanted to proceed with this race I need to swim everyday 1 week before the race completing 2km for an hour or so . I tried to limit the time that I will rest to catch my breath. I followed the advice from good swimmers not to hold your breath so I grab air every arm cycle.
    4. When practicing the swimming I noticed that the first 15minutes of swimming my breathing is not so comfortable yet, past 15minutes I can feel that I am can already breathe better. I think this is the reason why swimmers do the warm up for several laps before they train.
    I tell myself I just need to complete this race, I don’t want all my effort, money to be wasted for nothing. Not completing the race would not be so bad at all at least you can tell yourself that you were there to try It.
    I continue to train my swimming and cycling skills and I hope to join another 5150 soon and the Ironman 70.3 next year. See you all at finish line

    Cheers,
    #136

  4. “There’s a lot more to racing than just winning”. One of those memorable quotes from the move – Cars and this came in to my mind suddenly upon reading this article. I couldn’t agree more, and how I wish I could also experience what 136 has accomplished while I’m still capable. I’m also not getting any younger, plus the fact that during my younger years, I used to smoke (for 15 years) and drink a lot that I believe had somehow weaken my stamina and made me only half the man I should have been. This would make me think twice whether or not I am still fit in completing such race. But then again, this story is a bit inspiring and I admire the support shown by his family which I believe had been one of his motivations in finishing the race. I suddenly recall my activities with my brother during my college years and early working years, wherein my brother and I were always together. We were side by side during those times and we were together hiking mountains like Mount Pulag, Bahanaw and Daguldol. And even in our younger years, we used to go biking across towns using our BMX and later using our mountain bikes. We were almost competitive with each other and recalling those days, I couldn’t wait for my turn to feel what 136 has felt before, during and after the race. ‘Leave No Regrets’. That’s one of my favorite quotes and I learned it from the book that my brother and I have read. The title of the book is this –‘5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die’. Such an odd title for a book, but believe me, this book is life changing. I wouldn’t want myself full of regrets when I reached the age of 60’s looking back and telling myself that I could have tried joining such race during my early years. Wise and old people would say that no one would regret the risks they took that did not work out, and most said they wished they had risked more… I promise myself that I will also have my turn to complete such race with all of these as my source of my motivation in my mind and in my heart. I will also tell one great story of such pride in completing the race one day. Congratulations 136 and I’m proud to say to everybody that my twin brother had joined and had completed such race and hope that we will be side by side again one last time just like the old days!!!!

  5. Thanks for sharing your triathlon experience. It gives encouragement to someone like me to try something different and see what i am made of. I will start enhancing myself in swimming first since i can already ride a bike and run. Who knows we can see each other in future triathlon races or maybe in Ironman Kona in Hawaii.

  6. Bro your the man.

    It’s my dream too to join and finish that Triathlon and make “Yabang” to you guys but you already done it.

    Wait me next year.

  7. 413th? not bad..this is my friend Anthony,, altough we are not seeing eah other..pero 4 years ago we leave once company and we meet at Singapore for a couple of days with his family…he is simple man pero sporty pala ehheeh since photography session di ko expect na finishing a Triathlon he can do it? All the best Tony sa sports activities…ow about Rowing naman hehehe.nice photos

  8. Nice story and experience Bro… Good job. You never give up and that’s the spirit of sportsmanship.

  9. An interesting story, i can somehow feel what it could be like in joining this kind of race. Triathlon is also what i would also like to do soon but i am still saving moneyfor the bike. Keep it up and thanks for sharing.

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