Journey to that 600m swim 

Swimming in a tri event was the furthest thing from my mind. I swim to relax. I find it very soothing and calming. That is not the case when you join a tri event. Washing machine… No!!! 

Meshelle jumpstarted this journey. Sleepless and dehydrated from RU3 where we cheered and celebrated Bechay’s first marathon, I think I mentioned how I’ve finally managed to log a 1km and I think Mesh said we should join the TU 4 relay and  I think I said yes. Note : When I am dehydrated, I am very susceptible to crazy ideas. I did get confirmation that the swim will only be in the pool before saying yes.

A few days later, the water gods rescued me. I got a text from Mesh saying she can’t do TU4 because it’s on the same day as her Fujisan Marathon. Whew! Thank you water gods!!! 

Fairy Godmother kept it going. Refocused on running, I joined a coaching session  through  the AHC app with Coach Bhen Alacar.  

 It was a great session with focus on drills and efficient running form. My inner running geek was very satisfied. We also did a few walk/run loops. 

And again, I was dehydrated.

After breakfast, while waiting for our ride. I think  fairy godmother Zen said she is training to do the run leg for TU4 relay where I think  I added I almost did it too and Allan added something about wanting to join a relay event to experience a tri event. 

Lightbulbs,  flashes … Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! 

Allan and I  needed a biker for our own relay team! 

D@rn it Bards, you gotta learn how to rehydrate before things like these happen.

I.Needed.A.Plan. I can finish the 600m distance. Fact. How long it would take me? What’s the decent time? Unknown.

I did not worry too much. I’ve done the worrying bit. I just needed to swim more. I did not panic again until I had a pleasant catch up with AHC Mentor Jet and Mentor Rhina. They regularly do tri events and my most pressing question, “What do I wear?” Tips were exchanged and then I had to ask, “What’s a decent time for 600m?” 

Jet said about 3mins per 100m is an average pace.

And panic washed all over me once more. I just did a 1km swim and it took me over 45mins. How in the world am I going to shave off minutes from my swim time. Waah!

I went home and regrouped. I recalled AHC Mentor Jody’s tip for newbies. He highlighted the importance of getting your form right and working with a coach so you know your doing it right. I googled away for drills and training programs and fired SOS text messages. I had a nasty vision of still swimming while the rest of the world are already having their post race breakfast. 

ActiveHealth Community to the rescue! AHC, what? ActiveHealth Community, is? The remainder of this post will be peppered with references to  AHC Mentors. 

Let me backtrack, the ActiveHealth Community app is the latest offering from Unilab. The same group that brought us the amazing RunUnited and TriUnited events seeks to help progressive athletes by providing an app that will assist us in our #exceedyourself goals.   AHCommunity users have access to Mentoring Sessions, Coaching Session, training programs, feature articles to inspir, instructional videosetc.  Full disclosure : 1) I coordinate for the AHC mentors but this is not a sponsored post, 2) I did take full advantage of what app had to offer, 3) I’m very satisfied user. Download now from Google play or log in via

Through the AHC app, I selected mentoring sessions that suited my training needs. 

Braving the long scary pool with Mentor Kit. A session with Mentor Kit gave me confidence to cross the scary 50m pool.  I think  I could do it but to a newbie like me the thought of even swimming in a 50m was very intimidating. Going with Mentor Kit made it easier. Thanks Kit and to Team Marquez for letting me tampisaw with you guys. 


Drills and Plans with Mentor Chance. He used to be  my PT.  My first SOS text went out to him. I was looking for swim coach but luckily he had an upcoming session on refining skills and techniques for SBR. We also caught up a couple of times at MASA so he could checkout my progress. And he even gave me a program to build my endurance. Lifesaver! tenchumucho!

The blurry floating blobs are screengrabs from the video we took during the mentoring session. 

I plotted and counted. 12 swims to race day. I followed the program from Mentor Chance. Focussed on my pyramids to build enduance. Using the videos, I tried to improve my form and timing  by practicing the drills I learned during the mentoring sessions. Goodness, before this whole thing, I didn’t even know that there is timing chevers to swimming!

Lastly, I attended Coach Ani’s AHC Pre-Race Talk. My take away from that race. Prepare to get clobbered. Not very reassuring but it helped with the mindset. 

Geared up with Mentor Allan and teammate Marky. As a runner, I am well aware of the importance of having good gear. When it comes to swimming, I knew zilch! Luckily, Allan and Marky accompanied me when I went shopping for new goggles. Oh, the things we had to look for. I would just normally grab the cheapest speedos in the color I wanted. 

And what a difference those new goggles made! I didn’t realise till I got the new ones that my leaky speedos added to my time coz I needed to periodically flip them up to remove the water.  

Just one more swim! I believe that I was the biggest newbie in that ginormous pool. This probably accounted for the lerd-dont-let-me-hurl (again) look. I had the biggest panic attack before the race. The thought of doing something new, different is always scary.   

I did manage to regroup. I had a plan. I trained. I got my gear on. I got game! I was there to tick off one of my #exceedyourself goals. My AHC TriMNL team is relying on me. I have friends rooting for me. Booyeah! And that was why I was smiling bravely (okay there was still a healthy dose of jitters) at the TU4 starting line last Nov 27.


And I swam! I did not get clobbered. Swimmers streaked by but I stayed focused. I focused on my strokes, my hand entry, the water … Very fine tricks I learned from Coach Ani’s session. And most of all, I kept an ear out for my friends cheers. They powered me on. 

600m in 20:53! I was not the last one out. I shaved of precious seconds from my swim.  I finished my first ever swim race! I hit my #exceedyourself goal.


Our little that team could, did! ❤️❤️❤️ to my teammates. I will train for a sub-Ali next year.  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s