Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mel The Hero

For the past two days, I have heard nothing but congratulatory remarks from my fellow colleagues, teachers, friends, and family. Without their support, I would not have completed my first triathlon.

1. Family- Thanks for your continued support. Mom and Dad I love you with all my heart. You taught me how to overcome many obstacles. Maricel, my dear sister and BFF, you gave me the tool to defend the challenges I endured. To my aunts, uncles, and cousins, you showed me persistence.

2. Team in Training- The greatest organization!! Sheryl, my "other" Mama, thanks for letting me be part of a team dedicated to help find a cure. Coaches Cathy, Bill McE (a.k.a. Mac Daddy), Bill N., Jim F., John G., Peggy S., Steve and Donna D., TC, Jerry and Katherine F., and Alan K., you transformed a scrawny individual with little pedaling experience to an athlete. For that I am truly grateful. To my teammates, Papa Bob Johnson, Becki R., Bob McK, Brian "My Brother from Another Mother," Erik "Papa John," Amy "First Grade," Mandy "My Sister," Mike "The Chauffeur," Dave "Crazy Legs," Rick "Speedy Gonzales," Doreen "Where are you?,"Andy "My Daddy," Karen McE (Mac Momma), Drew "Squeeky," Marcela, Alison, and Abby to name a few- you are the best! I am glad to have made lasting friendships with all of you!

3. Visalia Triathlon Club- There are endless amount of words to describe. I thank all of you for giving me the tool to achieve greater success. Justin- you're the bomb!! Thanks for helping me trying to become a better athlete. Sharon B. and Mike K- you, along with my aunts and uncles, have taught me that persistence is the key to success. So much for a future RN right? Jen, Carol, and Susan= Thanks for always turning my frown upside down! Connie, and Sam- hearing your inspirational stories about your first Ironman make me want to do one... however NOT IN HAWAII OR FLORIDA WHERE SHARKS ARE INVOLVED OKAY!!! And Janet L., we're next okay?

4. Friends- What can I do without you? Faith- I love you sister! You taught me to fight negative criticism. Maria A.- Kindness words, Maria P- laughter is the best medicine, Isabel- being lovable, Shayna- Put trust in God, Joe- Joe Cool, Char- Living life to the fullest, Kim- Be freespirited, DeAnna- Teach people, live well, and to the rest of you- trust!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SLO Triathlon

My first triathlon was a success! I did very well for the first time. What's amazing to me was the course was not difficult at all! Visalia Triathlon Club President Justin Levine had a friend who served as my personal assistant for the day. Poor thing! He was my lap counter and photographer. I told him to take more pictures of me while swimming, biking, and running, but he was so preoccupied that he totally forgot! Anyways, I'm sure that Justin will send out more pictures to the club later on the week.

The 800 meter/.5mile/36 laps/I don't know how many yards swim was very easy. I remembered what Justin taught me during our group swim practices, 1-2-3 strokes, reach far, count to seven, breathe, and stay one sided. Much to my amazement, I finished the swim in 22 minutes (typically, I average 1 lap per minute, so I thought that I was going to take at least 40 minutes). And for added humor, when Ira said that he was finished, I did one more lap -- I thought that he said "one more" instead of "no more!"

Next was the bike, which was a piece of cake. Although there was some rolling hills along the way. I was averaging 15 to 19 miles per hour flat, 4 to 8 mph climbing. Needless to say, I completed it in a little over an hour.

The toughest part of the course was the run. There were lots of steep hills, especially towards the end of the course. I was never a runner until yesterday. I had never ran a steep hill other than using the treadmill (which I usually trained in). I stopped for at least 10 minutes non consecutively to walk. However, as I reached the last hill, I gave it all, ran to the top, and went downhill. I saw Mike Keller, a fellow member of Visalia Triathlon Club, at the last intersection and we finished together. Oh yes, it took me 40 minutes to finish the run.

As Mike and I approached the finishline, we heard the crowd screaming "Go ____!" or "Way to go #____." It was an overwhelming feeling similar to what I experienced riding my first century in Lake Tahoe as a member of Team in Training. Along the way I heard the announcer saying, "Here comes #414, Melanie Tatco from Lemoore, California! You better watch out! She's charging up a storm!" Meanwhile, I saw the VTC gang (Justin, Stephanie, Ira, Jennifer, Carol, Mark, Susan, Dan, Brian, Scott, Kim, John, and Andi to name a few) and gave them each a hi-5 as I crossed. Once my stomach touched the string, I accomplished a feat that nobody my age or older would ever do.

Afterwards, I called my family. Each of them were extremely proud, including my mommy and daddy.

I did this event on behalf of a friend who died in last month due to leukemia. Last year, I made a promise to her that I would do another sports endurance event in her honor. I know I made her proud!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Almost Here

The day has vastly approaching. After all of the hard work and conditioning, I am in the best shape of my life. Training for a triathlon is very rigorous. Although I did not lose any weight as I anticipated, I gained a lot of muscle strength. Now, I am ready to rest in preparation of my first triathlon. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


My idea of becoming vegan ended yesterday. I couldn't resist the piece of t-bone steak that was lying on my kitchen table! Agh! At least I tried, right?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Swimming the Perfect 10

Today was the first time that I had swimming practice with the Visalia Tri-Club. For weeks I have been wanting to show my skills as a swimmer. Being coached by several members of a local high school swim team, I wanted to display my skills. Boy, was I wrong.

While swimming a the first few laps of an 50 m relay (16 laps), I felt a little disoriented. I began to lose energy and gasped for air. Coach Justin "The Mighty" Levine taught me some viable techniques that would help me finish the course. He told me to have my head one sided and in the water as much as possible. This procedure would allow me to save energy and gain strength. Indeed he was right!

I was able to finish the swim portion of the course in under an hour. I may not be an Olympic swimmer, but I did my best.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July Workout

Though many fitness centers were closed for the holiday, I still made time to exercise. I ran with my nieces and nephews, swam with my father, and biked alone all in 100 degree temperature. In addition, I ate at my favorite restaurant, Fresh Choice, in the Bay Area. Needless to say, I am ready for a triathlon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Not Enough Training

Though there is a few more weeks left of training, my body doesn't fee like it's ready for another event. As any athlete can endure, making time to schedule an exercise is very difficult. Work... Kids... Family... School... To resolve this problem, I have devised a plan that will work. May be... How does a lunchtime workout sound? I'll let you know...