These past few years have been such a rollercoaster of emotions , of good and not so good things, but they have also been years of hard core learning experiences and I won’t go here about them, as some of you already know about them and my struggles through them and it will just seem like the same repetitive sh!t and I won’t bore you with them.
One of the first things I did when these things where on their peak, Was to start running and doing yoga, which allowed me to look at myself in a new and different light, a beacon I hadn’t seen in such a long time. I started to take conciousness into what I was eating and how I looked physically, but it also allowed me to shift perspectives in the way that I saw life, it allowed me to be more free of chains that I had created and deamons that I had harvested . At first doing these things just moved me from day to day, as I wasn’t much living the day as I was just surviving it to get to the next one, but one of the cool things about life and resilliance is that one day a switch changes and you start to enjoy life in ways that you hadn’t done before, it has permitted me to be more free of my previous self and allowed me to mature ways I would have thought impossible to do insuch a short timespan.
During the past year I have done several 21k runs and even one Olympic Duathlon (Run-Bike), but in late June at an Oracle conference a very good friend challenged me to do a half Ironman in 2017, and after not giving it much thought I took the challenge, but to tell you the truth I didn’t know what I had just accepted, so I looked up the distances and yelled “WTF!!!!” (1.9k swim,90k bike and 21k run), but I wasn’t going to back down now, but also I wasn’t going to jump to the deep end , so I searched for an Olympic Triathlon (1.5k swim,40k bike and 10k run) to see what it feels like to do a triathlon. So I found one in Cozumel and decided that it was a good one to do, it was 1.5 months away and gave me enough time to train, or so I thought 😬.
So I joined the gym and started training for it, so that I can also train for the swim part which was my biggest concern as I hadn’t done it in such a long time.Suddenly I realized that it was going to be harder than I thought after the first week of training, also the time that I started dedicating to it was way more than at first planned , but all of it was ok as I was super excited for it.
Flash forward to the triathlon in Cozumel, and just to give you an idea, this wasn’t just any triathlon, this was the final race of the ITU World Championship, meaning that all the pros were in the Island, and you could feel that in the environment, everyone had something to say or was in some sort of way involved with the race. As I arrived to the transition zone that morning , I was really nervous as I had seen a lot of people training days before in the hotel, in way much better shape than I was and with much much better equipment than I had. But still my goal was just to finish in under the 4 hrs established for the full race, I didn’t care even if it was in 3:59:59 .
At 6:50 my category jumped into the water in beautiful Cozumel and at 6:55 the starting gun was shot,and we were off, and as soon as I started my first strokes , I knew that I was in a race like never before and don’t know if I ever will. The water in Cozumel is crystal clear , it was like swimming in one of the most beautiful pools in the world , around the 500 mt mark I got to see a stingray swimming very close by, and thoughout the course I saw several school of fish of different types,sizes and colors. I was so mesmerized that even at some point I forgot that I was in a race, but my mind found itself back in the race and I just kept enjoying the sight and my strokes.I finished the swim part in 00:34:33, 18/54 in my age category, which was waaaay better than what I had thought I was going to acomplish.
The first transition was a bit difficult as I had never trained for a proper transition , and it took me 6 mins to do it. As I started to pedal on my bike and get on the road and seeing the Island, I was just in awe of the beauty of it, and as I had expected several athletes with a much better equipment and training passed me by with such ease in this section, but Once I got to the mid mark, I started to push and started passing several athletes with my R4-DTri (Name of my bike 😉) , I was also very careful of drinking water all throughout the course , as I didnt want to get cramps or dehidrated. I finished the race in 1:20:43 and 28/54 in my age category.
And at last I had started phase 3 of the race, which is where I thought I was going to excel in it, and boy was I wrong, I knew my pace was going to be higher than a normal 21k due to the weather , humidity and tear and wear of the previous two phases, so the first 5k I had a rythm of about 5:30 per km, but the second 5km were just brutal, and it is where the name of this post comes from, my pace went to 7:39 per km in the second 5k, and it is where I learned the most out of this race. As a Triathlete I learned that never ever you should skip a hydration station, keep drinking water throughout the course and also use it to cool yourself off.
But I also learned of what my mind is capable of, as I had mentioned at the beginning of the post , during the last year there was a point of my depression that I came so close to giving up on life that it was fucking scary, luckily I’m still here and writing this post. This resilliance is what helped me alot through the second part of the 5k run, as there wasn’t a time throughout those last kilometers that my body was aching, and was just saying quit, you have already done more, much more than what you have raced in your whole lifetime, but I couldn’t, if I Would have quit , I wasn’t going to be able to forgive myself so easily, I kept thinking of the tattoo that I have in my right arm that says “La Macchina Va Dove Vano Gli Occhi” (The machine goes where the eyes goes), so instead of quitting, I reduced my pace as much as I could, I took care of my breath, and I finished in 1:04:28, 30/54 in my age category.
I finished my first Triathlon in 3:06:40 , 30/54 Overall in my age category, and the best of all , I finished 54 mins before of what I had planned, and even better I finished and now I can call myself a Triathlete and in love with this great sport and can’t wait for my half Ironman in 2017 with the new challenges that it will bring with it!
I leave you with this thought for whoever is going to jump head first into this sport:
“I believe in destiny, in my history,in my steps and in my experience.I believe what I want to give and in a wonderful world that awaits to receive every ounce of my love…” – Charles Chaplin