Tin is relatively rare, making up only about 2 parts per million of the Earth’s crust, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey. Iron on the other hand is the fourth most common element in Earth’s crust by weight and much of Earth’s core is thought to be composed of iron. This is according to http://www.livescience.com.
Nothing significant really. Its just that I signed up for Tin Man and not Iron Man this year. Why? Nothing to do with how abundant they are in the earth’s crust really. No, I didn’t even consider atomic number and atomic weight. I did check the melting point though and found out that Iron requires really high temperature to melt.
So yeah this post is not about metals. This is about the Tin Man triathlon that I did around two weeks ago in Ilocos Norte. So this year, I wanted to be HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER (I got the power – Daft Punk) hence the decision to use Iron Man registration money to getting my numbers and improving them. But since team mates are talking about joining Tin Man and it is cheap anyway, I signed up for it.
Yeah I am cheap. Here’s an equation to illustrate: x = 3.6y (where x=Iron Man 70.3; y=Tin Man 70.3). The dates also worked well with my work as I was anticipating having leave credits by February hence I can go on leave. So there I was registered, transportation covered, hotel booked and paid. I did train but I did not really train as hard because the target for the year in terms of races is really more on the standard distance races, so training was not that hard.
I asked for a training program from our team captain who was also registered but I just tried to do them. I did not feel the need to strictly follow the program. It was really hard so, I skipped some days. Then I got lower back pains so I had to stop and even considered downgrading to the standard distance instead. I emailed organizers and did not get a positive response so yeah, will just do the thing, enjoy the route, but at the back of my mind, I made a note to try downgrading during race kit claiming.
Leave filed, I was ready to go. We drove to Ilocos, ate Empanadas, enjoyed the Miki, and had fun with team mates. I forgot to downgrade! We even had a chance to do a short swim bike and run the day before the race where I realized that the placement of the water bottles (behind my saddle) isn’t really good so I had to summon my inner mechanic to transfer the bottle cages.
We were in the transition area early in the morning. Strangely, I felt confident that I will be able to finish the race. No currents reported on the swim, relatively flat bike route, then the run was expected to be real hot.
Swim was great! I think it was low tide so you need to walk for a bit before swimming. No current as expected, no strings from sea creatures experienced. Finished the swim in 48 minutes, 58 seconds. Not bad, my best time was 47:12 in Cebu (Cobra Iron Man 2016).
Bike was promised to be “relatively flat” well yeah, it was that. but the course was challenging as well. There was this really scary downhill curve followed by a climb then right turn. I was still recovering from the downhill curve and was surprised to see that I needed to turn right. I panicked. I fell. Scraped my knees. Why did I put my knees out? Couldn’t unclip my shoes for a bit. Marshall helped. Stood up, washed the wound. Then I rode again.
Traffic was expected and it was difficult to race with jeepneys, cars, tricycles, and motorcycles sharing the road with you. I managed. I was happily cycling back to the transition then we had to pass by a cobble stone street. I panicked a bit but was able to do it.
Quitting thoughts… yes I did consider quitting during the bike as I felt like I was the last one and didn’t want team mates to wait for me. But I can’t. I travelled far. I used 2 days leave and will see a result saying DNF? Hell no! I will finish this! I did finish after 3:31:41 my slowest bike for the distance.
Expecting a hot run route, I applied sun block in the transition area. Walked ran a bit, walked, saw the team’s support crew and asked for the time of day. “10:37 Kap,” they said and I was positive that I will be able to finish between 13:00-13:30. A team mate apologized as he did not finish the race (had a bike accident) and I started running.
It was difficult to run. Way too hot! so I did my usual run-walk intervals counting lamp posts. 20 posts running, 5 posts walking. Overtook people. Felt great, ran longer where possible but the cramps were really terrible. Stopped in every water station to drink and pour water on my body. Tried running longer and just forget the cramps. I was surprised there was a trail part in the run course!
I was on my last stretch. Cramps were getting even worse! Bless the soul of that team who decided to give away salty chips! Chippy tasted like lechon! Water was getting low. Kids offering water to cool you down either got tired, had their lunch, or are already having siesta. Saw a team mate sitting in a shed being fanned by locals. Checked if he was okay and if he wanted to walk with me. He was okay but wanted more time to rest so I went on. After 2:41:44, I crossed the finish line. Another slowest run for the distance.
And that was how I spent 18 March 2018. Seven Hours, two minutes, twenty-two seconds of the day was spent racing, getting a Tin Man medal and finisher’s shirt!