Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reality Check!

In 60 days I will be competing in the 2012 Sprint Triahtlon World Championship … wow I am starting to freak out. I keep on telling myself that I am in for the experience and the journey more than actually competing. I know deep down that competing at the World Championship level is a long shot. I keep on telling myself that the race is not that important mainly because I am an extremely competitive person and also so terribly afraid of disappointments.
Tri 2 One had a 3 K test this morning. The purpose of a 3 K test is to set training goals and zones. We had an easy swim set on Monday, rested on Tuesday in order to be rested and perform our best. No excuses.
My excuse: Not only I have not been sleeping well lately; unfortunately, I went to bed late last night and woke up exhausted. I tried to motivate myself to wake up and be ready to complete this 3K test with pride. But it was a complete failure. I thought I would have been able to pump myself up considering today starts the 60 days countdown to the championship. I started my first lap too fast in under 1:27. After completing it, I felt amazing. I tried to keep my pace constant and was actually successful for the following lap and a half. It was a downfall from there. I completely bunked. I could barely hold an eight minute per mile pace. My endurance was fine. My legs were fine (besides my hip hurting a bit). It was just impossible to run fast. I body could not do it. I had no energy. No need to share my time. I felt so disappointed in myself. Here I am supposed to feel fast and excited as the “once in a lifetime” race is approaching but I felt the complete opposite.
Once I arrived home, I started stretching and thought to myself of how much of a loser I was, thinking about how much of a stupid idea it was to spend so much money going across the globe for an hour and so race. I am far from being at the world’s top athlete level. Why would I set up myself for failure?  Why would I would I even have hope to somewhat come close to compete at that level.
Just like any time I have a mood variation, I posted on facebook how disappointed I was and how awful this morning felt. As soon as my post went live, I started receiving messages from fellow triathletes.

Stephanie Hartmann It's good to have a bad day now, not later.
Cynthia Morales I don't like your disappointment, i liked because I feel your pain. This just proves you're human! Even rock stars have bad days...
Christina Starr MontesdeOca One day of training does not make a champion. You have put in many many days of hard work, it will pay off!

Karen Garcia Super Juju, in the eight months I have known you, I have never seen you have a low day...your are consistently awesome! So I say, in the game of endurance you are ROCK strong! 60 days to another super race!! Go Juju, go!!!!!!!
Cristina De Molina Ramirez Ditto on what everyone said. To savor success you must taste failure. Keep on and you will reach the skies
Dirk Smeets What race?
Amrei Smit We all have bad days...better now than at Worlds. You will rock it, I have no doubt!
Caryn Vogel Lubetsky You are my hero and inspiration - you'll pull it out. Rehab that injury now - today you were smart, you felt it and didn't push it. That's the true sign of a champion, knowing your body.
Jose Manny Garcia Juju relax your a superstar.... You'll shine bright when it counts!!


I am so thankful for their comments. I do need to snap out of this negative and dragging feeling. I have the opportunity to compete among the world’s greatest. Many would love the chance to travel the world to compete at this level. So what if I am not in the top finishers. I need to keep my eyes on the goal which is to do my absolute best.

Moral of this post: Not everyday can be a win and only with failure we learn tough lessons. It is time to get over it and get mentally and physically strong. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me but I have 60 days, the race is not tomorrow. Anything is possible! Especially thanks to the moral support I have.
On this note, I am excited to share the the actual course of the race - courtesy of Tri Auckland.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 National Championship Report!!

This weekend was the 2012 Triathlon National Championship – that same event a year ago that destined me to go to the World Championship. I am so proud of all my teammates – Joey, Ola, Mickey, Oriana, Amrei, Andrew, Gene, and Nico for competing. It is a tough race among the top triathletes of the nation. Five of them have qualified for the 2013 World Triathlon Championship. I am so proud of them. Somehow, I feel like I have inspired And motivated them to compete. I look forward to sharing my experience with them! Congrats to all who competed!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Art of Motivation

About 50 of my co-workers will experience their first triathlon as part of a relay at Escape to Miami triathlon. Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to motivate them to train. I have offered my own time to share my experience, guide them through swim survival, how to hammer the bridge on the bike and how to push through the hot and humid run. However, for some reason, I have not been able to fully motivate this group. Most do not know me personally. They do not know that all I want to do is inspire them to be active and enjoy a nice day out doing their body well. I supposed that some might be intimated. Some might not want to get up so early. Some might suppose that it is a piece of cake and might simply not understand what a triathlon entails. Whatever the reason (or excuse), I will continue to encourage them, one at a time, because even the slight change in one’s lifestyle is worth it.

This weekend turn out:
Terry and Michelle competed in a relay last year and are now going to compete in a full sprint triathlon. This weekend they decided to drive 45 minutes south to take advantage of the group workout. It was day and night to see him swim a nonstop 800 meter swim. Last year, he could barely swim 150 meters without having to turn on his back to rest. The best part is that he was able inspire his wife to join him to train and complete a full triathlon. I am very proud of them for making their goal into a habit!

Jimmy has been showing up to almost every workout for the past four weeks. He thought he would only compete in the swim portion of the triathlon. Unfortunately, his cyclist has a knee injury. Consequently, he might need to do the bike portion as well.  I think it is a surprise in disguise. Last week he stated that he hates running but yesterday he decided to arrive prior to the group workout meeting time and run with me and my group. I have no doubt that this is the beginning of a new journey for him and that he will one day complete a full triathlon.
Inspiring Michelle, Terry and Jimmy makes it a successful group training session in my book!
Out of 50, only a handful of them are coming to the group workouts I am organizing.  If only I could motivate a few more to come… There is still time. I have hope!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Riding hills just for fun!!

I talk about triathlon being a lifestyle. This weekend was exemplary. A much needed weekend spent with amazing athletes and most importantly incredible people, all sharing the same joy of playing with our bicycles! 

After a two hour bike ride, thirty minutes run, and a fifteen minutes swim, seven of us drove about four hours from Miami to Clermont to ride our bicycles in the hills of SFL. Unfortunately, Florida is not known for hills. We only have the ridiculous so called Miami Mountain known as the Key Biscayne Bridge. A few of my teammates are competing at the Triathlon Nationals in less than two weeks in Vermont, so it was time to explore what real hills feel like.

That's how you fit 7 bikes in a car!

We are ready to kill those hills! (look at Gene's guns!)

Our journey started as expected, not even after driving 30 miles we stopped to have lunch and purchase snacks for the ride. Once we arrived to destination, we did not go check in the hotel but rather went straight to have dinner. It is amazing how important food is in the life of a triathete.
After a nice meal and a refreshing shower we all went straight to bed with no complaining. We woke up bright and early energized and excited to start our adventure. Are you starting to understand why I refer to triathlon a lifestyle?! :)

We went to Clermont with the purpose of experiencing rolling hills as well as build leg power. However, the purpose did not matter. We did not drive four hours to train. We drove four hours to act like kids and play with our bikes. The adventure was thrilling. I was so happy to actually be able to use the gears of my bike. It was a game to try to find the perfect time to be as efficient as possible. Imagine the feeling of going downhill in aero position, refreshing air drying the sweat you just endured climbing to the top of a hill, your core is tight, your forearms and biceps are burning from holding your weight on the aero bars, you legs are barely making any effort to rotate and the momentum takes you through the bottom the hill and right back up. All you are waiting for is the perfect time to change your gear from big to small ring to best use that leftover momentum and be as efficient as possible. And sooner than you are ready for, it is time to get off the saddle and hammer to the top of the hill as hard as possible, no matter how much your quads are burning. One hill at a time. Each hill is as different and challenging as another but the adrenaline keeps flowing and the feeling of exhilaration is revamped one after another.
Hill workout is very important to explore your ability as a cyclist. You have to know your strength, your bike, and follow your intuitions.
Tri 2 One Head Coach Marcelo instructed us to ride Sugarloaf, one of the toughest hills in Clermont and ride through Buckhill which is a series of steep rolling hills. I am happy to report that we rode through the longer and steeper than expected Buckhill and climbed Sugarloaf 3 times!

Yes we are pretty awesome! Suagarloaf x 3... why not?! 

We might be tough, but we are also fun! :D

The whole crew - Mike the Swag, IronBeto, Gene The Rock Star, Andrew the Boss, me (Juju), Oriana (Potata), Ola The Superstar and IronBrenda

We rode just over 47 miles with barely any interruptions (besides from replenishing at the top of sugarloaf) and it was all feasible thanks to our awesome motorcycle swag Mike. Mike is one of my teammate Gene’s friend. Pretty cool guy considering he rides a speed bike and works for Nasa!! Mike was extremely nice to ride his motorcycle for three hours to guide us through the hills. I have to say that he looked like he was having so much fun speeding by us trying to keep all of us together. At each turn, I looked at him and he was smiling. Thinking back, I am not sure he was smiling because he was so happy to ride his bike, just to be nice, or laughing at us seeing how much pain we were in! No matter the reason, I took it as encouraging! I have to say though that I often wanted to steal his speed bike! He was having way too much fun! Thanks Mike for being our guide. We all felt like pros having our own swag! J

Life is good! Such a great weekend with great friends doing what we love!
I am not sure if my abs are sore today because of the tough bike ride or the many laughter but it is a great feeling!!

Photos courtesy of IronBeto - Follow his experience on

Thursday, August 2, 2012

No Opportunity Wasted!

I am very happy to share that I am now part of NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) bars team!

Now bars are gluten-free and dairy free and most importantly all natural and yummy! They contains manuka honey from New Zealand - must be a coincidence! ;) 

If you want to know more check out their website on:

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