Journey of becoming a Duathlete

It always seems impossible until it is done, until you are crossing the finish line. 

I was so nervous when the day of Powerman Duathlon race is approaching. After i finished my first Aquathlon race in Singapore last week, i caught a flu, a heavy one, left me so helpless and weak. Can’t sleep for most of the nights as i suffered from endlessly cough, i ended up to pay those lack of sleep by sleeping early and waking up late. So, no trainings. Until the D-day. 

My last training of running was about two weeks ago, while it was three weeks ago for the cycling as Jakarta was filled with heavy rain in the morning. So yeah, lack of trainings of moments before the Duathlon event. I was so worried i couldn’t be strong enough to finish the course because my weakness was the bike. 

Anyway, i joined this Duathlon race because it is a part of training plan before my first 70.3 event in April. I chose long distance course because i need to know how my body would react after certain distance.

Every long distance races is not merely a physical game. It is a mental game. 

I ran my first 10k at my own usual pace. I knew it would be too fast at the beginning, but i couldn’t keep my feet slower. I guess i had so much energy inside of me during the one week resting of recovering from the flu. 

I will normally put earphones during long distance courses, to keep me distracted from the bored that will attack me. As i got an announcement that no earphones during the race, i left myself off of them, making me more nervous because i was afraid that i would get bored and slowing down. 

But it turned out that i enjoy my first 2 laps of 5k running. My big brother told me what will he do during his Full Marathon races if he gets boring: take out your list of prayers, and start praying for them. I did that (while i was thinking, what will i do during the bike and the last run). 

I started to pray about him, who came into my life with some reasons. I explored myself, what i feel about him. I asked God if i don’t understand what i found, what’s the meaning of it. I confessed to God what i felt about him if i understand the kind of feelings i feel for him. No denying, i just tried to be honest with God, and myself. So i remember of my (other) brother told me: at the end of the day, it is the story between you and God, and you and you, not you and him. He is right. I told God, if this meant to happen, if me and him meant to happen, it will happen eventually. But not forgetting the boundaries: take care of my heart so i don’t step in into the area i shouldn’t touch before You give me the green light – love. Then i was lighten up, how the journey between me and him is giving me the chance to talk to God often. Maybe this is the meaning of what my brother once told me.

I kept telling God the feeling i found out during the first running, while i told myself: don’t be influenced by other people’s pace, embrace your pace, your own speed.

You define yourself not by what other people are saying or put the perspective into.

As i approached the transition area in few hundred meters, my heart was pounding really fast, how i was worried for doing a 60k bike (with no earphones as well). It was raining heavily. I was soaked, my shoes were too. And another worry came, running with wet shoes. 

I wasn’t fast, but i managed to maintain my speed. I did not know that BSD would be that beautiful. So i just enjoyed the scenery while fighting with the wind. The course was flat. It made a little bit harder to do recovery from the free-wheeling. We must keep pedalling to stay on the speed. 

The bike leg was my very moment to seek what was within me, about life, about dream, about wishes, about everything. Even though every 10k i kept looking at my watch, wishing the bike session will be finishing soon. Then i was thinking about process. Even process takes time, could be long, could be short. Embrace time, because it is the place where changes could occur, or even a miracle. Don’t rush anything. 

I dismounted my bike at the entrance of transition area, and found myself barely could stand. I walked slowly towards the bike rack. Did a little stretching before i do my last run laps. I thank God i had regular few brick sessions for two months, so i managed to get my legs muscles switch easily: from bike to run (but never tried doing brick from run to bike). Now i know the important thing about brick training. Your legs get easily used to do multiple sports in one time. 

When i was out from the transition area to running laps, i met my friend. He screamed from afar: go Irene, keep going!. I replied to him: finally it’s one more!. I think my injured calf was going to have cramps.

I still had my energy inside of me to run with my first running pace. But i chose to slowing down because, yes, i can feel the cramps attacked my injured right calf, going up to the right knee. But i managed to keep going without taking a walk. “Go slow, Irene, your own pace, embrace your pace”. I looked down to the pavement so i won’t get dragged with the faster runner. I embraced my own steps. 
That was when i was thinking about the post i wrote last night: about how love needs time and space. I wondered (and still now) why he is different from the others i had known before. And so many questions right in my mind. But i kept telling myself to give him time and space. Because love may grow between those phase. Give him a time to think, and a space to process. And let God process him too. I teach myself to be patience, because love is (patience). 

It was 200 meters away to the finish line, i can see my friends were waiting for me. As i entered the finish line, they opened their arms widely to welcome me, and hugged me tightly, with so much warm and congratulations in order. Among them, i was the only female taking long distance course. I say this not to be proud, but to proof myself that i am capable of something bigger than i thought. Most of the times it was fears that brought my confidence down. I should’ve trusted myself better than the others. 

You define yourself, not by other people. 

I finished within 4 hours 39 minutes 45 seconds. 

And almost could not believe myself that God had given me the opportunity to win the prize as a second winner in my age category: 18-29 years old. It was God’s favor, to win a prize for a long distance course such this. I couldn’t thank God enough for the blessing He gave upon me.

God had granted us the cloudy (and rainy) day for the race, so all of us won’t suffer the heat as most of us finish between 9.30 am-11.30 am range of time. Can’t imagine how hard this will be if it was sunny. 

I thought that i wont’t survive the race. But i was wrong, i finished and i survived, i am a survivor, a hero to myself. It’s not about the prize. Prize was just a reward. It’s about the process i had gone through along the way. They made me stronger. 

This race was not about me and my physical ability. But through that 4:39:45 hours, was my best moment with God.

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Author: Irene A.K.A Irin

I am just an ordinary girl who lives in the extraordinary world.. I'm not used with the talking thingy, so I'd prefer to write all my thoughts and my feelings.. I dream a lot, I imagine a lot.. I love to sing, I love to dance, and I love to smile.. It's not a perfect world, but imagination has brought me to enjoy the perfect world.. Know me well from my writings, not my talking.. I speak through fingers, not mouth.. And the most important thing is, the truth that I am my Big Daddy's daughter.. "I am broken and lost, but by God's grace, I have found"

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