Happy Hour

August 29, 2008

My First Triathlon

Filed under: Races,Uncategorized — levyang @ 2:51 am

A lot of people are thinking of doing their first Tri this 14th of September at Alabang.  Perhaps to assuage the fears of the first timers, I just thought of sharing my own experience when I did my first triathlon last 22 October 2006, also at Alabang which covered a distance of 950m swim, 27k bike and 6.5k run 🙂  

The sport of triathlon has always intrigued me.  It’s right there in the list of things-to-do before I die.  So, I thought have to get this one out of the way while I’m still healthy and spry 🙂  While those that do triathlons usually have a strong background in at least one of the three disciplines, the closest background that I can speak of is that I do jog for 20 minutes 3x a week.  Last time I biked?  Well, I was about 10 years old and I remember I held myself up pretty well then….yup, without training wheels, dig that 🙂  Swimming?  I guess I’m lucky enough to say that I do know the rudiments of swimming….leisurely swimming that is.  So far, these are stuff going for me.   

As far as the other equally important stuff are concerned….well, let’s just say it’s anything goes at this point.  For example:

1.  Tri-suit:  What’s that?  For the swim, I used my ever reliable skimpy swimming trunks for the race.  For the bike leg, why? Cycling shorts, of course…..without the padding though.  It was those cycling shorts that basketball players wear underneath their shorts 🙂  

2.  Mountain Bike/Road Bike:  Ummm, what is the difference?  My friend Junie was kind enough to lend me her road bike as well as her helmet the day before the race so I can give it a test ride.  How did it go?  It didn’t take me too long to find out she got longer legs than mine.  After only minutes of biking around, my crotch (R-13) hurt like hell 😦  

3.  Gearing:  Huh?  Bikes have gears?!!!  The hell with the gears…it’s all so confusing.  Operation Pedal to the Max, here I come!!!!!

3.  Where do I change?  I remember asking this question to one of the marshalls and he gave me a strange look.  Well, it turned out that the transition area = dressing room.  Being the modest Filipino that I am, what I did after the swim was to put on the ‘cycling’ shorts on top of the swimming trunks I was wearing.  Undressing at the transition area is only reserved for sexy guys like Dingdong Dantes.  

4.  What to do with the painful crotch?  I had to have a lot of padding to ease the pain.  Well, back in college, I used to collect bandanas.  Let’s just say I finally got some use for them other than as a handkerchief or as a head accessory.  Mind you, I needed A LOT of bandanas to ease the pain.  I’m glad to say, it did work though…enough to endure an hour and a half of biking 🙂  

How did the race go?  Here are my official times courtesy of triathlon.org.ph:

Swim:  23:38………….Told you I knew how to swim ha! 🙂

Bike:  1:19:12……….. Just like it was when I was 10 years old, without training wheels….but killer hills 🙂  

Run:  50:53………….. More like walk, crawl, stagger just to reach the finish line.

But yup, I did eventually finish with a total time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 43 seconds.  But you know what’s the best part?  My family surprising me at the finish line with my one-month old daughter in tow 🙂  Didn’t bother to wake them up for the race because I didn’t know what time I will finish and truth be told, triathlon isn’t exactly a spectator sport for the uninitiated.  So, this was a real pleasant surprise for me.  Yup, I could probably die right about then with a smile on my face 🙂  Never knew so much suffering could bring so much joy at the same time.

Thing to remember is HAVE FUN, yes, even amidst all the blunders and embarassing questions.  As you can see, I did and still am having fun 🙂  Don’t be too serious or self-conscious, those are reserved for the elites/halimaws.  Eh, may ambisyon ka ba maging halimaw?  Kung meron, tsaka na yan, first time muna di ba?  Just have fun racing till the end and then muster a smile at the finish line 🙂 Who knows?  There might also be a surprise waiting for you at the finish line 🙂  

So that pretty much sums up my triathlon story.  What about you?  There’s a story to be made on September 14 🙂  Hope to see you there.




  1. virginiaaaa! this is such a nice entry. parang may awww nostalgic fuzzy feeling akong naramdaman while reading it.

    kita kits tayo!!! ready na akong lampasuhin ng mga halimaw!

    Comment by marga — August 29, 2008 @ 3:59 am | Reply

  2. hey levy!

    whaddayaknow, that event at AAV happened to be my
    very 1st race too! and looking back, yeah i surely
    have this fuzzy nostalgic feeling recalling my
    race bloopers hehe.

    one of em im not embarrassed to tell (ok, konti
    lang) is that i raced a road bike i bought used
    for P3k just the nite before the race! it was so
    old, 1980’s steelie, that i was afraid the bike
    might disintegrate if i shifted gears, so the
    entire race i rode the rolling terrain of AAV in
    that same gear ratio i found it in! haha!

    i got the same advice too, “just have fun on ur
    1st”… been having fun ever since 🙂

    btw, that lady above me dito sa comments section,
    she happens to be one of em halimaws 😀


    Comment by butch — August 29, 2008 @ 4:21 am | Reply

  3. Hey I was also there Oct 2006 Alabang. Not really my first, but still counts as my first as my only other tri was 2 years before that but wasn’t able to follow it up. For my first tri, I used a mountain bike, which I got 3 weeks before the race. I distinctly remember my feet wobbling as I got off the bike to run, I would have collapsed under my feet except that a lot of people were looking on! But finishing my first tri was definitely a new high, showing what’s possible if you set your mind on it (even if the body is not prepared for it!)

    Comment by groundhogdude — August 29, 2008 @ 6:26 am | Reply

  4. butch, i’m far off from becoming a halimaw. kanina i just conked out on the puerto azul uphill. my shoulder has become the bane of my existence. sob.

    Comment by marga — August 30, 2008 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  5. Marga,

    Halimawrga nga di ba? nuff said 🙂

    Butch and Joma,

    What a coincidence 🙂 That’s why if there’s a race at Alabang, I make it a point to be there. Hope to see you guys there this 14th of September.
    Yup, I concur with you Butch (see above).

    Comment by levyang — August 31, 2008 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  6. Thanks for this Virginia! It’s nice to know that other people have made a fool of themselves before I make a fool of myself on Sep14. Sana nandoon si Dingdong Dantes…

    Comment by thebullrunner — September 1, 2008 @ 10:14 am | Reply

  7. Jaymie, yuck! He is so not hot! :p

    Comment by marga — September 1, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  8. TBR,
    If you think about it, triathletes are really just a bunch of fools having a good time 🙂

    Si Toni kaya, kailan mag taTRI?

    Comment by levyang — September 2, 2008 @ 1:14 am | Reply

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