Category Archives: Pico de Loro

Presenting my 2012 Ride: The Quintana Roo CDO.1

I just realized I never had the chance to post a picture of my sweet new bike on my website… well here it is! I am a happy owner of the Team Timex Issue Quintana Roo CDO.1. It came with a PRO bar, Shimano Cycling components and Challenge tires as well! We are going to cover lots and lots of miles with this baby 🙂

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Race Report: Ironman Australia 2012

I was always going to do Ironman Australia. My sister Sinag did it twice in the early 2000s, and during one of her races I was able to watch the first Ironman of Chris Mc Cormack in Forster. This place was special to me, its athletes always inspired me to work harder, and I gained a lot of my triathlon knowledge under the tutelage of Australian coaches (what do you know, I ended up marrying one, funnily enough 🙂 )

So when I was around two months pregnant last year, I coerced my friends to register for the 2012 staging of the Ironman in Port Macquarie.  It would be David, Tyrone and Belle’s first ever attempt at the distance and I knew they were more than ready. As for Dan and I, we made a quick computation, and our baby would be 5months and 1week old (which he was, as I gave birth exactly on my due date!) and would be due for a visit with Dan’s family in Sydney anyway.

Fast forward to May 6, 2012. Everything I had visualized the year before was about to take place! We had just spent a lovely week in Sydney and Nelson Bay and now we were up at 4am for the race start.

Was I seriously going to do this? I asked myself once again as I breastfed my baby one last time before the gun went off at 6:45am.  I was wearing my wetsuit halfway and was holding Dash who looked so cuddly wrapped in a warm cover. I was amazingly relaxed too…since I had such a small window to start training properly for an event of this magnitude, I had decided long ago to treat it as a very long training day. No time pressure, no worries. My bike computer had even conked out a few days before and it didn’t even worry me one bit!

Fifteen minutes before the start I kissed my baby goodbye and handed him to Dan’s parents and sister Anna. The only reason I was able to race at all in Australia was because I trusted them to take care of Dash during race day. We were so lucky to have their full support!

My swim training leading up to the race was virtually nil so I was happy enough with my swim time 0f 1:11. I had organized for my electronic breast pump to be at T1 and T2, and also bought two small portable ones for carrying in my pocket throughout the bike and run. I decided to skip pumping at T1 and do so later. I was still on a high from having a decent enough swim!

My bike was very ordinary as expected with my combined lack of fitness and the hilly terrain of Port Mac, Bonny Hills, and Laurieton. Yes, I confess to dismounting and walking my bike on Matthew Flinders Drive. But I had to preserve my legs for the 42k!

I got into T2 and I DEFINITELY needed to express my milk then. I used up about 20min doing that. The volunteers in the Female Changing Tent told me, “wow, you are really an Ironwoman!” and did their best to accommodate my strange request.

Australian spectators are the best in the world. The marathon was a big unknown for me as my longest run during training had only been 22km! But the cheerers on the road were amazing–I never heard so many different variations of “Keep Going” in my life! Some examples: You’re a legend mate! Good on ya! You’re doing so well!

By a twist of fate and good fortune, I ended up running 2 and a quarter of my four laps with David, and our shared energy helped us run better. We walked all the aid stations but I made sure we were disciplined enough to start running again every time we did. It was getting harder and harder every lap but I just stayed positive. When he went into the finish chute I still had 1 lap to go. I missed him immediately but I took advantage of my alone time and expressed some milk again for a few short minutes this time. I was good to go and as I started my last lap I knew I was home free.  Not even tripping and falling flat on my knees dampened my spirits. I would see my baby soon! I missed him so much from not being with him the whole day.

It was a painful day but as I ran on the red carpet and looked up at the finish time, I saw that I went under the arch at 13:36:22. Not bad. I had another teary-eyed finish line photo, even though I was trying really hard not to cry. Every race is very special to me in a different way. This one was hard, because it was my first Ironman so soon after giving birth. But I made it and I am so thankful for that.

My husband, his family, my friends, and baby Dash were all waiting for me at the finish line. There were hugs all around.

It had been more than two years since my last Ironman and I had almost forgotten how great it feels.  I love this sport and am glad that it loves me back 🙂

…………………………………

Special thanks to family, friends, and sponsors. The Sarabias, de Leons, the Rules, and the Browns. Jenny and Ian from Lake Cathie. My athletes and training partners Belle, David and Tyrone- you are all Ironmen!!! My husband Dan and baby Dash, who keep me going every single day.

Unilab Active Health, Pico de Loro, Hamilo Coast, Timex, Adidas, Quintana Roo, Shimano, Rudy Project, Challenge Tires, Fitness First, Pinay In Action, Gatorade.

Thank you to my fellow mom athletes who taught me how to manage nursing and training at the same time, and who always inspire me! Pia Cayetano, Maricel Pangilinan, and my sister Sinag.

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Transitioning from Arts to Triathlon

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/355499/transitioning-from-arts-triathlon

Transitioning From Arts to Triathlon

Coach Ani de Leon-Brown’s multi-faceted journey in life
By EUGENE Y. SANTOS
March 27, 2012, 3:09am

Manila, Philippines – Life sometimes brings us unexpected surprises—whether it’s in the career we choose to take or the lifestyle we pursue that we think suits us best. For Ani De Leon-Brown, it seemed serendipitous that she grew up surrounded by art, yet she found a more fulfilling calling in coaching people and training athletes for triathlon.

“As a kid, my siblings and I are trained to be artists,” she shares. Turns out, her father is Felipe De Leon (Jr.), a humanities and arts professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) and the current chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and her grandfather is National Artist for Music, Felipe Padilla De Leon (Sr.).

De Leon-Brown was trained mostly in visual arts. Her hands are adept in drawing and painting as an artist. However, the athletic call was quite hard to ignore.

Inspired by acclaimed gymnast Bea Lucero on Milo ads, De Leon-Brown pursued gymnastics in her later years in grade school. Then, she started swimming back in her high school sophomore year.

De Leon-Brown accompanied her elder sister, who was suffering from asthma, to swimming training sessions. “I just accompanied her and I was like, ‘Ok, I don’t know how to swim.’ The doctor told my sister to try out swimming to cure her asthma and she became quite good at the sport.” Ditto for De Leon-Brown.

In college, De Leon-Brown took up Interior Design in UP. She joined the university’s varsity swim team, where she even became team captain.

After graduating from college, De Leon-Brown worked as in-house designer for a private brand (which no longer exists). She even had her own art gallery. But, it seemed that her body and mindset missed the physical competitiveness of triathlon. “I’m very competitive. At the start, I wanted to be good at it. At that time, we (a group of athletes) were the pioneers in coaching [for triathlon in the Philippines.] There were no coaches yet at that time.” De Leon-Brown would go to Australia, and through her own funds, would enroll herself in training camps there to improve her skills.

She would stay in Australia from two to three months for training. “I also like traveling around. If you’re somebody who’s adventurous like me, doing training camps abroad is ok. You have to do everything yourself. Even if you have friends in Australia, you can’t always depend on them.”

The training itself was manageable, but other aspects, like living expenses and lodging, were a different story. “You have to be resourceful,” says De Leon-Brown. “I looked for a house that would allow for housemates. It’s really about being strategic, otherwise it’s expensive.”

“When people found out that I was going out to these high-performance camps, they asked me for some help and I said, ‘Sure, sure.’ And when it became too time-consuming, I started charging. Then it started from there,” De Leon-Brown says. With training sessions and triathlon commitments, De Leon-Brown figured out that she had to give up her designing career for practical reasons. “Triathlon took over my life and I had to quit my day job as an interior designer. But I’m very happy. You never know what life brings you. I still paint on the side. It’s very minimal, though.”

Finding fulfillment

De Leon-Brown shares that her foray into triathlon was at a time when running events were not in vogue yet in the Philippines. “In a way, I prefer how I got into the sport when there wasn’t all the hype yet,” she says. “When [some fellow athletes and I] were starting, it’s quite amusing. Like on my part, I would even borrow a bike and the equipment we used were not that advanced. But I feel more satisfied in doing it that way, old school. It was trial and error before but we enjoyed it.” She even recalls how she and 12 other athletes went to Subic one time. They were in one van, with their bikes crammed over together.

Nowadays, De Leon-Brown shares that hi-tech gadgets and equipment are readily available for aspiring triathletes. She is glad to be able to see triathlon’s development in the Philippines.

As a coach, De Leon-Brown prefers to be friendly and encouraging. “I’ve had different kinds of coaches, and I had one coach who terrorized everyone so I vowed to myself that I would never be like that.” It helped that one of her mentors was relaxed in contrast. “So I said to myself that I’m going to be like that. But when I have to be hard and firm on someone, I can also toughen up if I know that an athlete can still manage to do it despite complaining. If you’re too nice, an athlete won’t be able to improve.”

It’s about having the right balance of attitude toward her trainees. “An athlete is also a person,” she relates. “It’s not only the physical side that you have to take care of, especially for younger groups. You have to take care of their emotional wellbeing because it can affect their performance. You have to find what makes them tick. Others need someone who’s nurturing while others don’t like it.” Seeing her trainees win (and even beat her) empowers her as a coach. “It means that I did a good job. To help somebody achieve their goals is more satisfying.”

De Leon-Brown was recently appointed as a Sports & Recreation (S&R) consultant for the Pico De Loro Beach & Country Club in Nasugbu, Batangas together with her husband Dan. As S&R consultants, they want to further promote it as an ideal sports venue, with marathon and triathlon events in the pipeline.

These days, De Leon-Brown observes that Filipinos are getting less intimidated by triathlon. “It has become more popular, like everyone knows somebody who’s into the sport.” It’s a matter of positive influence, where triathlon’s different race levels and distances encourage more Filipinos to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Triathlon works out different muscle groups through swimming, biking and running. “Triathlon is [more fun] if you do it with friends,” De Leon-Brown advises.

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