12 mi swim, 560 mi bike, 131 mi run. 1 Ironman distance every day in 5 days.
Just finishing quintuple took so much effort not only for the athlete but for our support crews too. I had trouble with the cold temperature of water for the entire 5 days of the race. I encountered challenges that I had never encountered in my previous races, e.g. goggles breaking, almost hypothermic stage that I ended up screaming out for help from Spanish-speaking people up at the bridge, breaking in tears in the middle of the swim, etc. I felt like my head would explode.It was just too cold. I treated hot water like treasure. I kept on telling Vineta, “Let’s save the hot water for my last laps. I need it.” Bike was fine but got dramatic when I couldn’t even sit on my saddle. I was desperate for help for my aching butt, while I still had another 100 miles to ride.
Then the run part, my body felt different kind of things that as the day went by, I had just accepted them as “normal.” After the race, I couldn’t eat at times as my body refused to do so. I’d be relieved to just be able to drink my full bottle of protein with carbopro nutrition. There were times that I just felt nauseated that I ended up not drinking at all. Lack of sleep was also unavoidable. The longer I stayed on the race course, the less sleep I got. My alarm controlled the time I got up every morning. I just got up and accepted the fact that I was there to finish the race. There was no way that I was going home with DNF.
It was tough. Even on the last day, Friday, I got up a little earlier just because I kept on coughing uncontrollably. All I had to do was take medicine and everything was sweet and dandy and back to normal… but just by doing that I pretty much lost 30 minutes precious sleep. Yes, I was on TheraFlu, Mucinex and Ibuprofen for the entire week as I had lingering sore throat. For some reason, I don’t feel it during the race. No worries. I’m fine and not sick at all. My dad prayed over me every morning. I took anything that would help me for the race. Anything. I asked Vineta to read FB messages during my dark times to give me a boost to continue. So thank you very much to those who reached out.
The race was a lot of mental. A lot of people told and thanked me for my smiles. I shared my smile because I was happy and felt privileged to have an able body to be at the race. Plus, I wanted to send a positive message to fellow athletes and support crews. There were only very few daring females who dared to compete in this race. Hence, I had no other goal besides finishing the race and beating the men to the finish line. Nevertheless, I felt so honored to be racing with all of them. They are all experienced while I had started my ultra triathlon exactly a year ago. I just took a giant leap and big risk… With hard work during training, I made it through. For these reasons, I feel very happy and proud to be Filipino.