Archive for August, 2009



August 31, 2009


It is the number of Heart Beats per Minute; the times per minute that your heart contracts.

The Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR) is the highest number of times your heart can contract in one minute. The maximum heart rate (%) is the most useful tool to determine the intensity of your training.

For men: 220 – Your Age
Example: A 35 years old man’s maximum heart rate will be equal to 185

For women: 226 – Your Age
Example: A 45 years old woman’s maximum heart rate will be equal to 181

Slower pace (from 65% to 79% of your maximum heart frequency) used for your warm ups and recovery after longer runs.

Intermediate pace (from 80% to 88-90% of your maximum heart frequency) used during training sessions lasting about 15 to 30 minutes to build your speed and allow to run longer at a faster pace during a competition.

Intensive pace (95% of your max HR) used during short speed training sessions. Such work outs are destined to improve your lungs capacity to absorb oxygen and recovery process.

HBM* 70% 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100%
200 140 150 160 170 180 190 200
199 139.3 149.25 159.2 169.15 179.1 189.05 199
198 138.6 148.5 158.4 168.3 178.2 188.1 198
197 137.9 147.75 157.6 167.45 177.3 187.15 197
196 137.2 147 156.8 166.6 176.4 186.2 196
195 136.5 146.25 156 165.75 175.5 185.25 195
194 135.8 145.5 155.2 164.9 174.6 184.3 194
193 135.1 144.75 154.4 164.05 173.7 183.35 193
192 134.4 144 153.6 163.2 172.8 182.4 192
191 133.7 143.25 152.8 162.35 171.9 181.45 191
190 133 142.5 152 161.5 171 180.5 190
189 132.3 141.75 151.2 160.65 170.1 179.55 189
188 131.6 141 150.4 159.8 169.2 178.6 188
187 130.9 140.25 149.6 158.95 168.3 177.65 187
186 130.2 139.5 148.8 158.1 167.4 176.7 186
185 129.5 138.75 148 157.25 166.5 175.75 185
184 128.8 138 147.2 156.4 165.6 174.8 184
183 128.1 137.25 146.4 155.55 164.7 173.85 183
182 127.4 136.5 145.6 154.7 163.8 172.9 182
181 126.7 135.75 144.8 153.85 162.9 171.95 181
180 126 135 144 153 162 171 180
179 125.3 134.25 143.2 152.15 161.1 170.05 179
178 124.6 133.5 142.4 151.3 160.2 169.1 178
177 123.9 132.75 141.6 150.45 159.3 168.15 177
176 123.2 132 140.8 149.6 158.4 167.2 176
175 122.5 131.25 140 148.75 157.5 166.25 175
174 121.8 130.5 139.2 147.9 156.6 165.3 174
173 121.1 129.75 138.4 147.05 155.7 164.35 173
172 120.4 129 137.6 146.2 154.8 163.4 172
171 119.7 128.25 136.8 145.35 153.9 162.45 171
170 119 127.5 136 144.5 153 161.5 170
169 118.3 126.75 135.2 143.65 152.1 160.55 169
168 117.6 126 134.4 142.8 151.2 159.6 168
167 116.9 125.25 133.6 141.95 150.3 158.65 167
166 116.2 124.5 132.8 141.1 149.4 157.7 166
165 115.5 123.75 132 140.25 148.5 156.75 165
164 114.8 123 131.2 139.4 147.6 155.8 164
163 114.1 122.25 130.4 138.55 146.7 154.85 163
162 113.4 121.5 129.6 137.7 145.8 153.9 162
161 112.7 120.75 128.8 136.85 144.9 152.95 161
160 112 120 128 136 144 152 160
159 111.3 119.25 127.2 135.15 143.1 151.05 159
158 110.6 118.5 126.4 134.3 142.2 150.1 158
157 109.9 117.75 125.6 133.45 141.3 149.15 157
156 109.2 117 124.8 132.6 140.4 148.2 156
155 108.5 116.25 124 131.75 139.5 147.25 155
154 107.8 115.5 123.2 130.9 138.6 146.3 154
153 107.1 114.75 122.4 130.05 137.7 145.35 153
152 106.4 114 121.6 129.2 136.8 144.4 152
151 105.7 113.25 120.8 128.35 135.9 143.45 151
150 105 112.5 120 127.5 135 142.5 150
* Heart Beat Per Minute

Things you did not know about “Sugar”:

August 29, 2009


By Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.

2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.

3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).

6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.

7. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.

8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.

9. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.

10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.


11. Sugar causes copper deficiency.

12. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

13. Sugar can weaken eyesight.

14. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

15. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.

16. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.

17. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.

18. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.

19. Sugar can cause premature aging.

20. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.


21. Sugar can cause tooth decay.

22. Sugar contributes to obesity

23. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

24. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

25. Sugar can cause arthritis.

26. Sugar can cause asthma.

27. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).

28. Sugar can cause gallstones.

29. Sugar can cause heart disease.

30. Sugar can cause appendicitis.


31. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.

32. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.

33. Sugar can cause varicose veins.

34. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

35. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.

36. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

37. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.

38. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

39. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol in the blood.

40. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.


41. Sugar can increase cholesterol.

42. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.

43. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

44. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)

45. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.

46. Sugar causes food allergies.

47. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.

48. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

49. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

50. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.


51. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA

52. Sugar can change the structure of protein.

53. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

54. Sugar can cause cataracts.

55. Sugar can cause emphysema.

56. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.

57. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).

58. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.

59. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.

60. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.


61. Sugar can cause a permanent altering the way the proteins act in the body.

62. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.

63. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.

64. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.

65. Sugar can damage the pancreas.

66. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.

67. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.

68. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).

69. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.

70. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.


71. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.

72. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.

73. Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders..

74. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.

75. Sugar can cause depression.

76. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.

77. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).

78. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.

79. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.

80. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.


81. High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.

82. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.

83. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

84. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.

85. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.

86. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

87. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus to become highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.

88. Sugar can lead to dizziness.

89. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.

90. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.


91. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.

92. Sugar feeds cancer.

93. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.

94. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.

95. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.

96. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.

97. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.

98. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.

99. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.

100. Sugar is an addictive substance.


101. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

102. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.

103. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.

104. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.

105. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.

106. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.

107. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

108. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.

109. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.

110. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.


111. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.

112. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.

113. Sugar increases the risk of polio.

114. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.

115. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.

116. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.

117. Sugar may induce cell death.

118. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.

119. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.

120. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.


121. Sugar dehydrates newborns.

122. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.

123. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.

124. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia

125. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream.

126. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer.

127. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine.

128. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.

129. Sugar induces salt and water retention.

130. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.


131. As sugar increases in the diet of 10 years olds, there is a linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients.

132. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.

133. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.

134. Sugar causes constipation.

135. Sugar causes varicous veins.

136. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.

137. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

138. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.

139. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.

140. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.


141. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.

142. Sugar could affect central reward systems.

143. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.

144. Sugar can cause endometrial cancer.

145. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.

146. Sugar can cause liver tumors.




Dou suru? Aizu! From David Motozo

August 24, 2009

Beautiful Aizu was the venue for my latest triathlon exploit, appropriately named “Utsukushi Triathlon in Aizu” on Lake Inawashiroko. Despite the hot and humid conditions of mid-August Tokyo, we had near perfect conditions with overcast skies at the start of the freshwater swim.

Run Motozo

Swim: Dave Sims, Tony, and me lined up at the “floating start”, wondering how far we would actually swim. The shallowness of the lake was quite apparent, although the swim course had been altered this year to reduce porpoising and increase actual swimming. I had a decent swim time, but was unprepared for the wading and porpoising. Although porpoising increases your speed, it is harder to do than swim, and my legs felt like bricks. I guessed Dave was having a tough time also, as I was only a minute or so behind his powerful strokes after the first loop. 2 loops of 750 meters and I was on the beach in 26 minutes, close to my best swim effort.

Bike: It was a long run to the bike area and rather slow transition. My bike training had gone fairly well and I looked forward to a ripper on the gentle downhill course. I averaged 35.9 kph. I rode with Tony for a while, but at about 20k, the downhill steepened, and Hillary de Cervelo topped 55 kph. I should have kept on pedaling hard, but the high speed spooked me, so I held off and lost Tony and his 6 friends. The rest of the ride was rather uneventful. My bike time including both transitions was 1:10:24, so about 1:07 or 1:08 net time.

Run: Run time was disappointing. I felt moments of strength and would surge as much as I could, only to feel the stomach cramps, hamstring aches, and general fatigue force me to slow down. It didn’t help that there were no distance markers throughout the course, so I had no idea of pacing. Perhaps I would have picked it up had I seen a 23 minute 5k split. Who can say? Total 10k split was 46:22 for 103rd place in the run. For an experienced runner with a recent 1:36 half marathon time in July, unforgivable.

Swim: 26:11 (70th place)
Bike: 1:10:24 (53rd place)
Run: 46:22 (103rd place)

Total time was 2:22:59, 60th place out of 400 participants, a PB by almost 3 minutes, despite the slow run.

Congrats to Dave and Tony, who both had PBs also. Next month is my last tri race of this year most likely, in Hasaki, Chiba. It should be a fast course with cooler weather. Time to hit the track and get those run times down!


Five Lessons Ironman Triathlon Can Teach Us About Owning a Business

August 19, 2009

timex_800x6001Written by David Criswell (USA)

On July 26th your Direct Capital blogger will be competing in Ironman Lake Placid for the 2nd time.  The Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run and has been called the toughest single day endurance event.

Before joining DC, I started and owned a couple of businesses which gave me a first hand understanding of the challenges involved with such a venture.  Much like the Ironman, you need to have great endurance to handle the ups and downs of owning your own business. Having spent many hours on the road training, my mind has many times reflected on the similarities between these two situations. I decided to put “pen to paper” and share with you five lessons I learned while training for Ironman that are just as applicable to the business owner.


For a lot of people their goal is their “why”.  It’s why you take on the risks and challenges you do. It’s why you get up every morning.  Whether your business is struggling in our current economy, or you’ve found a way to thrive, what is it that drives you to push forward? Signing up for the Ironman (or probably any type of endurance event) crystallized this effect for me.  With a full work week in addition to a family at home, finding time to train for an event like this is challenging, but not impossible. It means getting up at 4 AM most mornings to fit my training in so I can be at the office by 8 AM.  I can almost guarantee that if I didn’t have the goal of finishing the Ironman, I wouldn’t have been up at 4 AM.

If you haven’t already done so, develop your business goals. Once they are defined, it is inevitable that they will help get you out of bed on those tough mornings.


I’m passionate about triathlons. Some combination of characteristics drew me into the sport.  There is something about the business you built that you are passionate about. Identify what that is.  Is it the industry? Your customers? Your products? What your products do for your customers? Once you have developed a goal, identify what inspired you in the first place and why you are passionate about it. Being passionate about a clear goal is an unstoppable combination.


I remember when completing a 5k road race seemed like a huge challenge to me. My perspective has changed and I believe that virtually anyone can complete an Ironman.  Whether you are old, young, able-bodied or disabled, everyone that chooses to attempt the event can find out the basic principles of what it takes to finish the race. Once you know the principles then all it takes is the discipline to execute. The secrets to becoming a successful business owner are not all that secret.  Once you have your idea, the principles of sales, marketing, financial management, etc. are well documented. Just like training for Ironman, what makes the difference is the discipline to follow the plan. Attention for our time is constantly being pulled in several directions.  Discipline is what keeps us moving in the right direction.


Even though I’m pretty strict about my triathlon training plan, there have been several occasions in which the pool was closed, the weather kept me from a bike ride or a family obligation took priority.  Just because I had to miss a workout or shorten a training session, the goal of finishing the Ironman never changed. I made adjustments and kept moving forward.  If you are currently a business owner, you probably already understand that adjustments are virtually always required even with the most well thought out plans.  Business owners need the discipline just mentioned to keep focused on the end goal and the flexibility to adjust to the roadblocks and challenges that inevitably will get in the way.


My idea of endurance sports before the triathlon was 5k road races, meaning, when I signed up for Ironman, I didn’t have any idea how I was going to do it but knew I needed help.  So, I went out and got a coach.  There are several examples of people who excel, or are the best in their field, and still have coaches and teams supporting their efforts.  Even if you are a 1-person business you may already have a team around you in the form of an accountant, attorney, etc.

Our Finance Managers are part of their clients’ teams.  Before recommending one of our financing, capital and credit products, or setting up a vendor financing program for a customer we first have a conversation about their business and base our advice on what will serve them best.

What business lessons have you learned from your latest athletic endeavor?

This article was provided to you by:


Ironman U.K. – August 2nd 2009 – Race Report From Sumie Kawakami

August 17, 2009


“I’ve done many Ironman races before,” I kept telling myself, but that didn’t make me feel any better. Experience does tell you how much you need to train beforehand, and how hard it is to finish another one. But, an Ironman race will never get any easier, no matter how many times you do it. I knew this from my experience.

The Ironman U.K. 2009 took place in Bolton, Manchester — a beautiful northwestern English town, surrounded by the hilly landscape of woods, meadows, and moors. We were in the heart of Emily Jane Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. (Well, some people may argue about this, but the landscape did remind me of the novel).


But, this was the first time that the city of Bolton hosted the event, and there were a lot of uncertainties. At the official race briefing, the event organizer told us that some people in the city weren’t very happy about the city’s plan to host the event, so some may attempt to move road signs or lead athletes to wrong ways (I’d never dreamt of such a thing as sabotage at such an honest event as an Ironman). There had been some confusions about courses and the way the race was organized. The courses were changed several times and there weren’t proper maps of the courses or of the transition area. Also, the weather was unfavorable. The city had been hit by heavy rain prior to the race, so the entire transition area was covered with mud making it difficult for us to walk around. The rain also lowered the water temperature — the Ironman U.K. website says the average water temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.6 degrees Celsius, but we don’t know for sure because there was no official announcement.

I don’t want to sound too critical of the event organizer. All staff and volunteers were very kind and attentive. I appreciated their sincere efforts very much. I am just stating that my pre-race anxiety was reaching to an unprecedented level, due to these uncertainties and confusions.


August 2nd:
We woke up at 2:30 AM, finished our pre-race meal by 3:00 AM, and left the inn by 3:45 AM, so we get to the shuttle bus stop by 4:00 AM.

(Swim: Rivington Reservoir)
The transition was pitch dark when we got there. And, it is always the coldest before dawn. We covered our feet with socks and plastic bags to keep them warm until the start and to keep them free of mud. Fortunately, it was going to be sunny/cloudy.

2009_0730_Bolton 010The swim start area was narrow, so it took a while until everybody reached the water. The start was delayed by 6 or 7 minutes. I was one of the last persons to get into the water (just to keep myself dry and warm until the last minute). Luckily, the water felt a lot warmer than the previous days. I wore my long-sleeve wet suit for the first time, which really helped.

It was a straight line course of two laps. Really, this was the coldest water I ever swam in and being weak on swimming, I was not sure I could survive the swim. I told myself that I would make a brave decision of quiting any time if I felt uncomfortable. I started with breast-stokes and moved very slowly, and after a while, to my surprise, I found myself getting used to the temperature! I was almost laughing when I finished the first lap. Yes, anything is possible, after all!

But, the blissful feeling was gradually wearing out as I went on. I no longer felt cold, but my arms and hands went numb. I was moving my arms like a robot repeating the same task over and over, in my desperate attempt to keep myself going. I was so happy to have made it back! I did my PB in the swim section in Niijima Triathlon this season, so I was hoping to do better in the swim, but my swim time was 1:40, which was 10 minutes slower than last year (I didn’t see any clock so I didn’t know about my time until later).

(Bike: 3 laps)

We had to climb up a 200 meter concrete hill to reach the transition area. I was shivering so hard that I had a hard time changing my cloth. I grabbed a chair and sat for a while until I felt better. The transition was muddy and by the time I reached the bike course, my bike shoes were soaked in mud. I had to stop several time so shake the mud off my shoes, so I could click the cleats into the pedals.

The bike course was three laps. We rode through woods, moors and meadows. The landscape was totally wonderful!

The course map told us that there is only one major hill. The highest point was about 335 meters, but the reservoir was already 120 meters, so the 3-km climb was supposed to be only 115 meters. The climb starts immediately after the start. It goes through woods and meadows, and the first time around , I felt totally OK. Of course, what I thought was an easy piece of cake initially became a hell as I climbed for the second and the third time.

I occasionally spotted some sheep, cows, and horses, and enjoyed the scenery very much. The first half of the course was windy and cold, and the rest of the course was hot. It was interesting to feel how the weather changes in accordance with geography.

The bike course was filled with rolling hills. Hills are not very steep, but the constance ups and downs wore me out. But, what really bothered me was not the course but a lack of bathrooms. My stomach began to run after the first lap, perhaps because of being in the cold water so long during the swim section (People say slower swimmers suffer the more from cold waters). I had to stop at the aid stations, but every aid station I stopped, there was a lineup of people. As I resumed riding, I passed a few riders, but then again, I had to line up for a cue. I had always been boasting how strong my stomach was and how I was able to consume foods during my bike, but I guess I cannot be lucky all the time.

I was so worn out when I reached the transition. I looked at my watch for the first time, and it was already 3:45 PM. I tried to do a mental calculation to make sense of the time. Was it 9 hours or 10 hours since the start? Does this mean that I rode more than 8 hours? When was the cut off time anyway? But, I was just too tired (or too dumb?) to do the simple calculation. I decided not to care. The important thing was that I survived the bike section and all I had to do now was to run the 42.129 km.

(Run: one and half laps into the town center)
At the transition, I met Numata-san, the only one Japanese female other than me participating the event, who also said the bike section was hard. I also met Mary, from the United States, who was staying at the same inn. We congratulated each other for surviving the tough course, and hurried to the run course.

It was a little before 4:00 PM, but the sun was still high. The course was again kind of hilly (not very steep, but constant ups and downs). The most scary thing of all was the absence of the kilometer marks. Throughout the 42 km, there was not even a single kilometer mark. We knew it was one and a half laps( going into downtown, coming back once, and finishing at downtown); we knew that the course was almost straight except for two detours, but other than that, we were not sure of where we were and how much longer we had to go.

I trained very hard in running, and I wanted to go faster than last year. But I figured that I should save my energy instead of push myself for a PB in the run section. Firstly, I was already too slow by the end of the Bike section to do my Ironman PB, and doing the PB in the running section would not make up for it.

That turned out to be a good strategy. After first one hour, my stomach began hurting and I was even sure if I could finish the race. I was worried about going out of energy, so I took a power gel to compensate for my bowel movements, but to my surprise, I suddenly felt so sick that I threw up (Luckily, I managed to make it to the bathroom, to avoid a public embarrassment). This was the first time it had ever happened to me during a race and it scared me a bit).

At this point, I did think about quitting. In fact, I was thinking of every reason I should quit. Well, the water was too cold, the bike course was too hard, my stomach is running, and I even threw up. Give me more reasons why I should not quit??? Then, I thought about the faces of friends, teammates, and colleagues who supported me during my training. This year, I’m doing a fund raising for an charity organization. So, I did think about all those who pledged donations in support for me. I told myself, well, they will forgive me… Now, I could quit now…

Well, to be totally honest with you, this phase of finding reasons to quit does not happen to me all the time, but happens occasionally during Ironman or marathon races. I admit I am a weakling! But, luckily, I brought anti-acid pills and pain-killer with me when I left the transition. And, that helped me immensely. The medicine began to kick off after 30 minutes.

After I passed the last turning point, people told me I have 9 more miles to go (without a kilometer sign, we could not be 100 percent sure, but I figured it was about right). By then, I felt totally OK and I knew for the first time that I WILL survive for the rest of the race (Amazing how the body can recover so quickly). Part of me was ashamed of being so slow (by this point, I knew that I would not even make even 14 hours, or even 14 hours and a half. This would be the slowest Ironman I ever this). But, part of me said I should be proud of myself no matter how miserable I looked. I told myself to accept myself as who I am. Let’s face it I am an ordinary athlete, who could barely make an Ironman, but at least I am doing it. I decided to smile, instead. I smiled and cheered every fellow runner as he or she passed by, just as people on the streets cheered for me. Some of them smiled back, some were in too much pain that they didn’t even seem to notice. It didn’t matter.

The hardest part of the run course was Queens Park, where the course goes up and down inside the course. We had to do this twice. The park was beautiful, but the idea of going around and around itself was tiring. I walked the last few uphills in the park. We were told at the end of the park that we only had three more kilometers to go.

The rest of the three (which felt more like two kilometers) was the most wonderful moment of all. I almost cried when I saw the finish gate and a crowd of people cheering from both sides. It was the toughest, muddiest, and coldest Ironman I ever did, but I thought of all the people who supported and cheered for me as I crossed the finish-line. I clocked 14 hours, 40 minutes and 42 seconds. Happily.

Thank you everybody, for your support and encouragement. Special thanks to Peter, who had to wait for me at the finish-line for four or five hours!!! I guess waiting for somebody at the finish is harder than doing an Ironman yourself, since you never know whether the person is really coming or not.



Need some inspiration?

August 7, 2009

If you are lacking inspiration, need a little motivation to stick to your training program or even get in the mood before a race, try watching those videos! It should do it.