I wrote the following letter to a friend of mine who was disappointed with his time at the recently-concluded IM 70.3 at Camsur. Reading through the letter again, I realized that I might as well have written it to myself instead. (Edited some portions to capture moments that were reflective of my race last Sunday)
Why the long face? I thought I saw you smiling at the finish. I guess now that the crowds are gone, you can be perfectly honest with yourself and assess what happened out there. Anyways, I’m gonna tell it you straight. Go ahead wallow in disappointment. Feel its bitter aftertaste. I feel you. After all the training and the hours you’ve put in, the results just doesn’t sit well right? Cayetano and Zobel kicked your butt two years in a row. “On your left” was ringing in your ears throughout the bike course. And is that what you call a run? Damn right you should feel bad. Kasi kung ok lang ito sa iyo, I would really be pissed because that would only mean that you don’t even care at all in the first place.
But after giving yourself some grieving time, please don’t hang your head Levy. Remember WRT 2006 when you joined the relay? How can I forget your screaming red Dolce Gabbana trunks. And that you were the only participant who swam without goggles. Yeah, you were still a greenhorn then. You’ve fumbled through some of your initial races at Lakeshore and Subit. But look at you now, you’ve come a long, long way. From your initial goal of simply checking triathlon off the bucket list, you are now competing in some of them races. Heck, there were even times you dared to even gate crash the podium list. (So long as the resident ‘monsters’ of the sport don’t show up)
Levy, races aren’t about setting PB’s all the time. There are more valuable lessons to be learned if you fail, only if you care to listen. Had you succeeded in reaching your targets last Sunday, would you have realized that you: 1. violated a cardinal rule on nutrition by experimenting on race day? 2. failed to account for the extreme heat at Camsur and just conveniently left of f salt tabs among the nutrition which you should bring, etc.
Still, let me say that I am proud of the way you raced last Sunday. While the times you posted may seem like nothing has changed since last year, they tell a different story altogether. For one, you yourself admitted that last year you checked out mentally from the race remember? You said somewhere in the middle of those hills during the run, “Ah, fuck this race. I’m just going to enjoy the view. Mamamasyal na lang ako.” Hence, the friendship that was forged with your fellow-walkers like Makoy and Carlo. This time though, there was no such thing. While cramping on the bike, you were already preparing on how to manage the run. There was a plan in place and you stuck with it. “Run between aid stations and walk the hills.” Yes, it was nothing great. But you were on survival mode already and soldiered on even though the hammies and calves were about to lock up throughout the second loop. I don’t know but it takes a bit of mental fortitude to do that. If only for that, you should be proud of your race. Also, you didn’t draft off any of the participants. Only because your puny GTS wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the machines of the other racers. (Hehe, just had to stick that in there. Theme of the weekend huh)
But seriously Levy, hold your chin up because nothing is ever wasted. While the most recent result may not reflect the hard work and training that you’ve logged in, you certainly cannot deny that what you are now in 2010 is no longer the same Levy in 2009. (Yes even that Levy from WRT 2009). You are much more stronger mentally, athletically,….well, you get the picture.
Remember, you’re in this journey for the long haul. Years from now, IM 70.3 2010 Philippines will just be a blip in the radar. You’ve got what it takes Levy. I believe in you.
So there. The letter to my friend which was, in reality, a letter to myself. Didn’t want to be a party-pooper last Sunday so I had the look of a ‘happy camper’. But in all honesty, the preceding letter was how I felt. But I’m ok now. Someone inside of me believes in me.