Entering the next chapter in my life with a bang!
I never thought I would have done another Ironman since my last full Ironman in Frankfurt, 2012. But 3 months …ago, my desire to do another triathon was fired up after winning the duathlon in Penang & at the same time, thought that it would be a great way to celebrate my big 4-0 during the Ironman Bintan competition. And this time, I m competing in the new age category.
It wasn’t easy preparing for this race, in fact, it was my absolute toughest pre-race training I have ever had to endure. I had to juggle early morning trainings with my work travel and what made it worse was having to nurse a nagging flu & cough for a month just before the race.
6:16am was the flag off for the women participants. No matter how many races I’ve been in, I still get butterflies in my belly at the starting line! We wade through the sea to reach the starting point. My heart starts racing as we await the sound of the horn and then we are off! The sea was a mess of pink caps & I was disorientated for awhile. Instead of my usual 3 strokes 2 breath freestyle, I ended up doing 2 strokes 1 breath. Thankfully, I gained my composure & was gliding like a fish in the sea that was calm. I felt happy with the 41 minutes I took to complete the 1.9km swim as of the 3 disciplines, I trained the least for swimming – probably fortnightly.
I was feeling extremely good coming out of the water, running towards the transition area. I took 2mins :39 to get ready to cycle. Somehow I dread the cycling leg the most, not looking forward to the endless rolling hills. Thank God for cycling buddies like Colleen & Ernest who have been training with me at Mount Faber, I can truly call myself 10 RMF (Rounds Mount Faber) Mel. 3hrs 14 mins to cover a distance of 90km wasn’t what I wanted, however, I can only blame myself for the lack of training, with only once clocking 80km mileage.
With just 4km left to get back to the transition point, I heard a voice from behind, it was Colleen. I was so relieved to hear a familiar voice.
Then I started on my pet event – running. If I wanted to catch up, this discipline was it. Still, the first 2km into the run was so tough with my thighs almost cramping. Perhaps not enough salts, not enough brick training. With super support from friends and family along the way & water stations every km, my legs just kept going, running even faster as I got closer to the end point. I managed to nail the run at just under 2 hrs, 5:38mins per 1km, picking up the pace at the last 5km. I just can’t wait to see them at the finish line!
Thank you for those celebrated earlier with me. It has been a month of spending time with my close friends/family. Also not forgetting the staff at the Elderly Care Centre who made a simple but heartfelt gift for me. A simple gesture that went a long way.
Thank you Advisors Alliance and MR25 for sponsoring my Ironman Bintan participation.
I am indeed grateful to Rita Lim for organizing this special occasion, roping in my close friends & loved ones to celebrate a new decade with me. Trying to keep it as a surprise for me was difficult especially with someone as nosy as I am.
No words can describe how much I appreciate everyone who came. Those who normally don’t wake up till the sun rises but woke up at 4am to see me flag off. Those who have children but took time off their precious weekend to be with me and those who took a ferry to and fro just to come for a few hours – to you all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Not sure what’s my next challenge & this is definitely not the last.