Camarines Sur: Ironman 70.3

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ready to swim.
Ironman 70.3 in Camarines Sur was a blast! I did the swim part for the relay which is almost 2kms. The swim is the easy part among the 3 disciplines. Yes, im being biased coz i'm a swimmer but it's true. I can ride a bike even the high bikes. But after i start pedaling, i wouldn't know how to stop and get down. haha pathetic. :P And the run, i can't even finish a 3km fun run, much more a 21km run under the blazing heat of the sun. I got a shirt tan not because of the swim but because i was under the sun too long from watching and cheering my teammates on.

Just before the race starts. The runner, biker and swimmer.
Race Start.

We got our finisher goodies :) Good job Fiona and Kathy!

More goodies from the sponsors :)
Race success!
I joined because a church group called Ligaya needed swimmers to complete their relay teams. A friend of mine is part of that group so they pulled me in. I was blessed enough to be a part of this group even for just a little time. They got sponsors to pay for most of our expenses such as the entry fee, food, lodging, transpo and even uniforms. I got to experience something wild and wonderful (something i'm all up for) while gaining friends along the way. :)

"Karen, I particularly remembered your boyfriend faithfully waving a cloth/towel in circles to cheer for you all throughout the swim at the big lake. But, you were too fast, I think, because he was still waving it while, you were already out of the water. Talk about devotion! :)"

One of the Ligaya members told me that after we got home. My boyfriend was my bellboy, locker, photographer, one-man-cheer-team, feeling-coach and alarm clock (we had to wake up at 4am coz we had to be at the venue by 5am) all at the same time. Lucky!

Sydney: Pacific School Games

Friday, August 6, 2010

I recently found this webpage that showed the results from way back in 2000. I competed in the Pan Pacific School Games in the Olympic Park, Aquatic Center at Sydney, Australia as part of the Philippine National Delegation. It was a fun meet for me though I had to sweat blood in order to get in the team. However, when i got there I felt no pressure at all. It was probably the non-competitive environment we were in. We had fun meeting a lot of people from different nationalities. I was 14years old back then and I couldn't care less if I win or not. I was in a different country and the experience was all that I was after.
The Olympic Stadium, Sydney 2000.
Australia is one of the countries that I absolutely love. It's laid-back but fast-paced at the same time. One of the things I remember about Sydney was that there were a lot of "rotondas'. There was no left turn when you are driving. Mostly, you have to go around a circle to get to the left road. The only downside was that the malls close early. As a Filipino, I was used to having the comfort of the mall until late at night. But there, we had to have our grocery done by 4pm!

Since this was my 2nd time in Sydney and I came for a competition, I did not have much chance to go around the city. As part of the welcoming hospitality of the host country, each athlete was assigned to live with a foster family for the duration of his/her stay. Sad to say that I cannot, for the life of me, remember the names of my foster family. All i remember is that my foster sister is Hannah, who was 15 then, and i had a foster brother named Todd then 13. My foster parents usually drove me to a school, which was converted to a meeting place for the athletes in that area. A bus would fetch us then drive us to the Olympic Park. Then we would proceed to our designated sports venues.
The 2000 Olympic Pool in Sydney, Australia.

The competition was held a few months before the actual Olympics in 2000. Basically, we tested the new pool and got a feel of how it was to swim in an Olympic-venue with FINA standards. Pretty intimidating! The water was kept at a temperature that was standard to the Olympics but it was a little too cold for my taste. Also, it was my first competition where we were provided with laundry baskets beside the starting blocks so we could deposit our non-pool gear such as jogging pants, jackets and slippers. I remember that when we got back to Manila, competitions here adapted in this method so as to lessen the confusion of the gear ownership.

Since i was there for fun, the results of my swim were not that great. However, it was fulfilling to see this after 10years.

Event 42  Girls 13-15  200m Individual Medley

 PL     Name              Age      Team                   Prelims   Finals
  1 Abbott, Jessica        15  New South Wales            2:25.54  2:22.82
  2 Crossingham, Charnelle 15  New South Wales            2:29.14  2:24.98
  3 Stanley, Nicola        14  South Africa               2:26.68  2:25.62
  4 Houghton, Melanie      15  Queensland                 2:27.31  2:26.43
  5 Leane, Karina          15  South Australia            2:28.67  2:27.44
  6 Chen, Junfan           15  Peoples Rep. of China      2:29.63  2:28.59
  7 Kubank, Monique        15  Western Australia          2:32.09  2:30.20
  8 Paton, Sarah Louise    14  A.C.T.                     2:32.18  2:30.23
  9 Chen, Wenjun           15  Peoples Rep. of China      2:31.62  2:30.30
 10 Luker, Simone          14  South Australia            2:32.34  2:35.16

PL     Name              Age      Team                  Seed Time Prelims
  1 Abbott, Jessica        15  New South Wales            2:25.19  2:25.54
  2 Stanley, Nicola        14  South Africa               2:24.32  2:26.68
  3 Houghton, Melanie      15  Queensland                 2:28.51  2:27.31
  4 Leane, Karina          15  South Australia            2:33.80  2:28.67
  5 Crossingham, Charnelle 15  New South Wales            2:30.42  2:29.14
  6 Chen, Junfan           15  Peoples Rep. of China           NT  2:29.63
  7 Taylor, Courtney       14  Queensland                 2:30.86  2:31.23
  8 Chen, Wenjun           15  Peoples Rep. of China           NT  2:31.62
  9 Kubank, Monique        15  Western Australia          2:30.21  2:32.09
 10 Paton, Sarah Louise    14  A.C.T.                     2:33.12  2:32.18
 11 Luker, Simone          14  South Australia            2:34.48  2:32.34
 12 Vance, Stephanie       15  New South Wales            2:30.37  2:32.40
 13 Jingyi, Choo           15  Singapore                  2:31.00  2:32.44
 14 Lam, Cheong Weng       14  Macau                      2:36.00  2:32.71
 15 Cosgrove, Fiona        15  Western Australia          2:30.07  2:33.46
 16 Uren, Tracey           15  A.C.T.                     2:28.48  2:34.31
 17 Lawniczak, Jayne       15  Western Australia          2:33.62  2:34.57
 18 Gale, Victoria         15  Tasmania                   2:34.78  2:34.78
 19 Kotaridis, Elenie      14  Victoria                   2:32.58  2:35.52
 20 Allen, Sarah           15  Victoria                   2:33.59  2:36.30
 21 Howes, Renee           15  A.C.T.                     2:35.67  2:36.75
 22 Buckley, Dawn          15  South Africa               2:31.54  2:36.84
 23 Nisce, Michelle        15  Philippines                2:43.94  2:37.47
 24 Leach, Shannon         15  Queensland                 2:32.00  2:38.33
 25 Autunes, Jade          13  South Africa               2:34.28  2:39.09
 26 Yong, Rebecca          14  Victoria                        NT  2:39.75
 27 Grace, Nicki           15  New Zealand                2:39.32  2:40.16
 28 Allston, Johanna       14  Tasmania                   2:36.46  2:41.77
 29 Pearce, Adele          14  Northern Territory         2:45.03  2:43.81
 30 McKinnon, Hayley       13  Northern Territory         2:42.95  2:44.34
 31 Langit, Lea            14  Philippines                2:52.00  2:44.92
 32 Bereznicki, Hannah     15  Tasmania                   2:39.13  2:45.11
 33 Winkfield, Tamiko      15  Northern Marianas          2:54.75  2:47.43
 34 Rudolph, Amy           15  Northern Territory         2:44.30  2:49.88
 35 Tiambeng, Karen        14  Philippines                2:55.00  2:50.21
 36 Pierce, Jill           15  Northern Marianas          2:51.82  2:51.71
 37 Lassere, Severine      14  New Caledonia              2:52.43  2:57.52
Event 126 Girls 14-15 100m Breaststroke
PL     Name              Age      Team                   Prelims   Finals
  1 Martin, Brooke         15  New South Wales            1:14.21  1:13.52
  2 Chen, Wenjun           15  Peoples Rep. of China      1:15.10  1:13.57
  3 Lam, Cheong Weng       14  Macau                      1:16.24  1:15.14
  4 Watt, Abbey            15  New South Wales            1:15.05  1:15.55
  5 Parker, Lauren         15  South Australia            1:16.51  1:15.68
  6 Connelly, Sunshine     15  New South Wales            1:17.12  1:16.21
  7 Teo, Nicolette         14  Singapore                  1:16.97  1:16.59
  8 Rennie, Dianne         15  Victoria                   1:18.37  1:18.21
  9 Allen, Sarah           15  Victoria                   1:19.16  1:19.82
 10 Hawes, Kate            15  A.C.T.                     1:19.12  1:20.41

PL     Name              Age      Team                  Seed Time Prelims
  1 Martin, Brooke         15  New South Wales                     1:14.21
  2 Watt, Abbey            15  New South Wales                     1:15.05
  3 Chen, Wenjun           15  Peoples Rep. of China               1:15.10
  4 Lam, Cheong Weng       14  Macau                               1:16.24
  5 Parker, Lauren         15  South Australia                     1:16.51
  6 Teo, Nicolette         14  Singapore                           1:16.97
  7 Connelly, Sunshine     15  New South Wales                     1:17.12
  8 Rennie, Dianne         15  Victoria                            1:18.37
  9 Hawes, Kate            15  A.C.T.                              1:19.12
 10 Allen, Sarah           15  Victoria                            1:19.16
 11 Luker, Simone          14  South Australia                     1:19.75
 12 Kubank, Monique        15  Western Australia                   1:20.05
 13 Leach, Shannon         15  Queensland                          1:20.40
 14 Bain, Emily            14  South Australia                     1:20.64
 15 Stabler, Clare         15  Western Australia                   1:20.72
 16 Edwards, Angela        14  A.C.T.                              1:21.39
 17 Karbanenko, Megan      14  Victoria                            1:21.40
 18 Thorpe, Amanda         14  Queensland                          1:21.84
 19 Konijn, Elaine         14  Western Australia                   1:21.88
 20 Pierce, Jill           15  Northern Marianas                   1:22.99
 21 Uren, Tracey           15  A.C.T.                              1:23.04
 22 Eser, Camille          15  Philippines                         1:23.27
 23 Grundy, Marisa         15  Tasmania                            1:24.45
 24 Taylor, Courtney       14  Queensland                          1:24.66
 25 White, Bronwyn         15  Tasmania                            1:25.43
 26 Woods, Claire          14  Tasmania                            1:26.67
 27 Rudolph, Amy           15  Northern Territory                  1:27.77
 28 De Vries, Andrea       15  South Africa                        1:28.43
 29 Altmann, Jessica       14  Northern Territory                  1:28.46
 30 Abueg, Clarisse        15  Philippines                         1:28.63
 31 Tiambeng, Karen        14  Philippines                         1:29.80
 32 Monot, Celine          14  New Caledonia                       1:30.57
 33 Heng, Bee Cheng        14  Malaysia                            1:33.00
 34 Aisi, Penelope         14  Papua New Guinea                    1:36.03
 35 Foo, Woei Wen          14  Malaysia                            1:39.84

Cebu: 6km Open Water Swimming

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I pasted a blog entry that I wrote a year ago. This happened last April 2009 in Olango, Cebu. I found this post in my facebook archives, read thru it again and got reminded that i should stop joining crazy aquatic competitions. But then it's too late. In a few days, i will be competing in the Swim Leg of the Ironman Challenge in Camarines, Sur. Most probably, I will make a blog entry about that but before that happens, read thru this and figure out why I accepted to swim long distance again after all that happened below.

swimming 6kms is no joke.

swimming 6kms in the deep blue sea is crazy.
i am crazy. haha! i joined the event coz doing crazy, impromptu, adventurous stuff is what i do. i just love trying out new things. the crazier, the better. so after being abum for quite a while (really a bum as in sleep 16hours/day then waking up to check facebook and eat then sleep again), i went to cebu to try out this open water swimming thing.

the olango challenge is a fund-raising event for the olango island. the funds will help in the building of a school for the kids and for promoting water cleanliness and anti-drowning. anyway, on the day itself, i was much more focused on surviving the 6km swim and not be a part of the drowning incident statistics. haha!

the race starts at Pacific Cebu Resort and ends at Tambuli Beach Resort. basically we had to swim in parallel with the shore, crossing the different beach resorts to get to the finish line. we were about 250meters away from shore at the starting point. so basically, we were still in the snorkeling area where we can see the corals below us.

KM 0 : at the start, everyone started sprinting out to get away from the pack. being a bum thus with notraining under my belt, i tried to sprint out too but just managed to stay somewhat in the middle of the group.

KM 0.5: long powerful strokes. steady swimming. still can see the corals. saw the milo signs (which they said were in every 250m). wanted to get away from the people that were pacing me. felt a little competitive and wanted to atleast place 3rd in my division. haha!

KM 1: steady swimming. saw the milo signs and saw that they wereplaced in a zigzag pattern following the coral reefs. i realized that swimming in a straight line would save me a few meters but then i would be swimming in the deep blue sea already. still, i decided to save myself a few meters.

KM 2: in the deep blue sea. from my view, i can see blue water, the sun streaming down the water and nothingness. i can't decipher how far the sea bed is anymore. i was then around 500meters or more away from shore already. i can't see any of the swimmers anymore. most of the time i would stop and remove my googles to get a good look at where the next milo sign is. i saw boat #2 and a volunteer swam out to me (since i can't touch the boat coz then i would be disqualified) to give me water (mineral water :P).

KM 2.5: basically i cant find the next milo sign. i was too far out and i bet the sea was too deep already. i kept hoping that there wouldn't be sharks or big fishes around to scare the shit out of me. i felt like they could surprise me and gobble me up whole! i can't see the kayaks, bancas and patrol that were supposed to be watching out for us. :O good thing though i saw one of the swimmers so i decided to just follow him/her.

KM 2.8 or something: i lost the other swimmer. he/she started swimming towards the shore. i felt that the route would be shorter if i stayed in the deeper part of the sea so i decided to go my own way.

KM 3: i saw boat #3. i asked for the my gatorade bottle and got 3 small gulps just so that i won't be dehydrated. left the boat with a smile. i could still joke around with them then. haha!

between KM 3 and 4: struggle part. felt like i am losing my way. i was too far from shore. i can't see any one or anything anymore. i can just see sea. hehe:P i had to stop every 10 strokes just to see if i was going in the right direction. i don't even know where the "right" direction was. just focused my view on the really tiny buildings ahead.
just kept on swimming. but then in that part of the sea, there were a lot of sea things that kept on biting me everywhere. i figured it was the jellyfish stings or the little fishes nibbling at me. couldn't see much din eh. also, in this part, the waves got too big that even if i completely stop and check where i was, i couldn't see a thing. just the wave bump. asar! but then i still had the energy so i decided to go forward.

KM 4: already asking boat 4 which way to go. they told me to go to the orange building and that was it. so i kept on swimming towards the orange building. the water there was seaweed infested. as in! super duper seaweeds galore that i had to either swim below in order to avoid them which i did at first. but then it got tiring so i just swam right through it. no fun! it was very itchy! and also, just the sight of it scared me a lot. but since i cant do anything much, i just closed my eyes and swam ahead. kinda lost my way coz my eyes were closed but then it was better than seeing.

KM 4-ish: death. haha! why did i even think of joining this?! this is crazy! i am crazy. going up a mountain was so much easier than swimming there. felt like crying coz i cant see the goal. thought about my ece barkada and wished that they were there with me and rented a boat that would guide me to where im going. looked around for supporters but they were all gone. i was singing the all american rejects latest album in my head just to put my mind elsewhere.

KM 5: saw a "fun" swimmer on fins. decided to follow him. saw a sea snake, starfishes and a lot of small fishes. couldn't enjoy the view much. just wanted things to be over. i reached the orange building, apparently that wasn't the goal. hahaha! i had to swim on the other side of the island pa pala. it was so hard coz the waves were crashing hard. felt like throwing up already. i remembered that i have motion sickness and am sea-sick. crazy karz for even thinking of joining the event! pasaway!

KM 5-ish: too far still....swim swim...survive...must finish!

KM 5-isher: saw 2 shokoys. haha! redcross people that told me which direction to go to the finish line.

saw the finish line. it had a red banner. thought of just dying there and not finish anymore. felt really sick already. the waves weren't helping with my motion sickness and seasickness. :P

KM 6: as soon as i can reach the sand again, i ran up and crossed the finish line!

things that ran through my mind as i crossed the finish line:

smile for the pictures.

must be beautiful.

do not barf!

whew! haha:P i managed to survive without barfing. had to sit down and rest for a bit lang. grabe. i was never ever so happy to see dry land!!!

crazy crazy...

nga pala, got 2nd place pa :P

death to karz.

if may alam kayong ibang "death trips" pa, don't forget to invite me. kahit walang preparation, im there! haha!

things i learned from the experience:

pool swimming is 100x easier.

being eaten by a shark would be a blessing in disguise.

being alone in the middle of the sea would really test your mental toughness.

i am really seasick.

i am really crazy.

the physical activity will not make my tummy smaller! haha:P


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