Yesterday morning, thick, gray clouds temporarily parted and allowed the sleepy sun to shine through for a brief but fulfilling swim-run training session in the south. Finally, the weather cooperated and allowed me to get some outdoor training in before the Animo Tri next week.
For this session, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Paolo, gym friend and member of newly-created South Tri team, to join a swim workout coached by no less than the Ironwoman herself Coach Ani de Leon. I met other members of the team, tri couple, Glenn and Yvette, and Jay. We were around 10 in the pool as the Sabak Tri team was there too.
Standing outside of the pool as we all stared at her from the water, Coach Ani explained technique and form articulately and demonstrated what she wanted us to do. After a few minutes, she jumped into the pool with us, which had Paolo saying in the most awestruck manner “Woah, Ani de Leon is swimming with us!” Admittedly, I felt the same way. After all, how often do you get to share the pool with the first Filipina Ironman Kona finisher? I made sure that I listened intently to her every word.
The drills she asked of us looked a lot easier when she demonstrated them, and even when the Sabak Tri teams, who were in “Group 1” did it. When it was our turn, I struggled with the fins (which I never used until that day), got overwhelmed with all the info, and drank a lot of water trying to experiment with all the new tips. Oh boy, I felt like a kid on my first day of swim class.
Thankfully, my newfound friends in the South Tri are a great bunch of people who share the same eagerness to learn and improve matched with a great sense of humor. We all basically learned at our own pace, laughing along at our mistakes and flaws, and enjoying every minute. Of course, we all hope to become better triathletes at the same time.
After the 1.5 hour swim session, Paolo and I jumped into our running shoes and ran a quick 5k around the Club at a 6-minute pace. I insisted we include the uphill climb along Country Club Drive as it was my last road run before Mizuno 15k. Under the 9 a.m. heat, we were complaining of the heat and how out of shape we were, but at the same time we were enjoying the workout. We were done in a little over 30 minutes.
I got home feeling more exhilarated than exhausted. It’s felt like forever since I had a fulfilling session outdoors. I hope there will be many more to come!