Sunday, July 06, 2008

47 is the new 30 = O3

How strange it feels to get into one's late 40's. A few days ago, I could still legitimately call myself "mid-40's." But now a new plateau has been reached and my math skills tell me I should be rounding up rather than down.

One consoling text was received from my bro, Robin, who noted that "47 is the new 30." Well, let's just hope I can continue to keep up with the many tireless thirtysomethings in the underwater hockey games.

Perhaps in "celebration" of this latest milestone, I started training today for the upcoming O3 triathlon. The official race name is the ITU O3 Asian Long Distance Triathlon and it is scheduled for August 2, 2008 in Subic Bay, just 27 days away.

All this is to help T with her preparations for the New York Marathon in November. As part of her training for that 42k run, today she ran 21k in the Manila Half Marathon, finishing in a strong 2:13. Her coach, Ani, says she should be scaling up to the 30k level by August, so the O3 is perfectly timed.

Unfortunately for me, the O3 is a triathlon, so for T to run the 30k leg, she first needs teammates to do the 4k swim and the 120k bike. Robin is a very good biker and has been pressed to duty to take care of the 120k bike.

That leaves the challenging swim leg, which is described as:

O3: Two 2km loops (Cut-off: 2 hours & 45 minutes, 8:45AM )
Description: Clockwise direction with a surf-run each loop. The swim course will be marked with buoy lines. Kayaks will be deployed to guide some of the swimmers or provide safety assistance. A C-shaped buoy line will be located offshore. The distance from swim exit to transition is 50m, beaches and path with shower.

Today I swam 1.5k at the Polo pool, with no waves and with 30-sec breathers every 500m. I'm quite far from getting to 4k. But I guess that's what goals are for.

Robin, of course, quipped that he and Tessa may not even get to start their races in the event I don't finish the 4k! Ah, now that's a consoling thought!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Long Time Ago in a Tunnel Far Far Away

During our HavItAll scuba weekend, Ichay B and I were reminiscing about our scuba diving days in the eighties. We remembered one near accident we had inside the Mapating Cave, which is a tough cave dive complicated by its deep depth.

Not surprisingly, we had different recollections of the near-25-year-old event. The third person in the cave, Jingjing T, couldn't be reached by cellphone but we all did get to contact each other weeks later.

Here are the e-mails and the three versions:

To: Jingjing
From: Dennis

As I recall that dive from 20 years ago, we were all in the short tunnel in Mapating - me in front, followed by you and Ichay. Somehow, I remember looking back (for what reason I cannot recall) and then seeing Ichay and you moving into a buddy-breathing position.

However, you couldn't get your reg into her mouth. When I looked closer, I saw that her reg's mouthpiece was still in her mouth! Somehow, her reg and mouthpiece had separated in the cave! I remember sticking my finger into the mouthpiece hole, still in Ichay's mouth, and flicking it off with my finger. Then I gave her my reg and I went for my octopus.

Once we were both breathing again, we moved to the cave mouth, I gave her the octopus and I got my own reg back, then we made our ascent with you following closely behind.

In Ichay's version, she recalls that she started buddy breathing with you in the short tunnel and that I took over for some (unrecalled) reason.


To: Dennis
From: Jingjing

Well, for my version of the story...
Before the dive, Ichay and I had an agreement that since we were buddies, that we would do the buddy breathe just in case anyone was low on air during the deco stop.

What I remember is that we just got out of the cave and before our ascent, Ichay pulls my reg from my mouth. I obliged because I had expected it. But I wondered why it came a bit too soon. Anyway, so we calmly moved into the buddy breathing position. I didn't notice she had her other mouthpiece still in her mouth. That's why she had water every time she inhaled and couldn't get enough air. I thought she was breathing well. After she took two breaths, I was expecting my reg back but she wouldn't give it back yet. I waited another 2 breaths and before the situation got worse, you came along. You saved both our lives from damage at that point. We never thanked you. Thanks!


To: Jingjing
From: Dennis

How galing your memory. My recollection has got to be wrong then since I must've sensed you both struggling with the reg - that's the reason I must've looked back. The only question is whether we were still in the short tunnel or already in the entrance.

And, of course, the craziest question of all - how did Ichay's reg get separated from her mouthpiece in the first place???


To: Dennis
From: Ichay

My and Jing's versions match. Dennis, you're not much older than us ha! :)

To add on to Jing's version- we were in the short tunnel, Dennis was ahead, I was next, then Jing. I started breathing water and immediately, there was a sharp and intense pain - must be the lack of air at 150 feet. When I was at the verge of blacking out from the pain, I just had enough sense to think that I needed air so I turned around because Dennis was too far ahead and saw Jing's silhouette (the light from end of the tunnel was several meters behind her). I grabbed for the general direction of her mouth. At this point, everything was a blur and luckily, my hand landed on her reg. Until now I wonder what would have happened if my hand missed Jing's reg.

I must have not been thinking well anymore because I realized after the dive that I never gave Jing back her reg. Sorry Jing!!! That's when Dennis came.

So Dennis, yes. Thanks for saving Jing and I! :)

And as to why my mouthpiece came off, I have no idea.


Funny how a single event can have multiple shades of memory. Very Rashomon.

The reason Ichay never got into any trouble, of course, had nothing to do with me. It's because she has six toes! (As blogged by her sister here.)

Her Dad once told me that because of this, "maswerte si Ichay." And true enough, she has always been a lucky person.

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