We "participated" (would like to say 'competed' but we really participated...) in TriYas this past Friday at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. Since we signed up too late, we were at first unable to enter the race. However, an email to the race director resulted in ActiveLife sponsoring us. Since there was not enough women competing in the Olympic distance (1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run), I had no choice but to enter for the Olympic distance. The opposite was true, I guess, for men so my husband was sponsored for the Sprint distance (750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run).
This was my transition area with my new bike Quintanaroo tribike, cycling shoes, helmet, sunglasses, running shoes, race belt with a race number and protein bars and choco dates!
I finally registered for the Spring distance for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Even though I am doing the Olympic distance for the Yas Tri, I cannot imagine cycling for 100 km in the midday heat in Abu Dhabi. Will require one more year of full training for that! Next year, I will do the "Short" distance (aka 100km cycle at Abu Dhabi).
My husband got me a new tribike! According to him, it is the combination of our 10th year wedding anniversary, my 2013 birthday and Christmas presents. Regardless of what it is, thank you. Since I am barely 5'1, we measured my body and send the measurements along pictures of me on my current road bike to the experts at Trisports.com in order for them to recommend me a bike. They came up with Quintanaroo. Since we bought the last year's model, we saved a lot of money. For the husband whose is body is the total opposite of me (at 6'7 around 202 cm), they recommended the brand Guru from Canada. They put together a custom bike for him.
This Friday, we are both doing the TriYas 2014 taken place in Yas Marina. Last year, my husband did it alone since I was heavily pregnant. This year, I am competing in the Olympic distance race where my husband was only able to register for the Sprint distance. I wanted to do the Sprint since this is my FIRST race in more than 2 years and since my last pregnancy!!! Oh, well. The key word here is "SURVIVAL".
うちに新しいトライアスロンのタイムトライアルバイクがやってきた。アメリカのブランドであるクゥイタナルー（QUINTANAROO)のカスタムバイク。去年のモデルであるため安くゲット。私は身長１５０cmのちっちゃい日本人なので、とにかく自分の体に合うバイクやらトライスーツやら靴やらを探すのが大変。ドバイに住んでいるとチョイスも限られてくるので、メジャーで足の長さやら、手の長さ、身長などを測り、自分が今持っているバイクに乗ってる写真をとり、Trisport.com のバイクエクスパーと話し合いどのブランドがいいか推薦してもらいました。ちなみに家の旦那は２メートル２センチという私と正反対の人なので、グル（Guru Cycle) というカナダの会社にカスタムオーダーでつくってもらいました。それでアラメックすショップアンドシップ（Aramex Shop and Ship）というサービスで送ってもらってもこっちで買うより安かったです。
We took my new bike for a 85km test run. No drafting for 85 km in the desert. Tough but felt good afterwords.
The first Flag to Flag (hopefully, it will be an annual event) cycling "marathon" took place on the 41st UAE National Day on December 1st, 2013 and we of course wanted to be a part of it! Around 800 people took part in this historic event riding on major roads from the flag pole in Dubai to the flag pole in Abu Dhabi.
One of my favorite activities in Dubai is cycling. I have been cycling with Cycle Safe Dubai (CSD) since I moved here in November 2011 and cycled through Ramadan, Dubai summers and last year through my pregnancy up until I was 7 months pregnant*. With my first pregnancy, I also exercised through training for two triathlons and I ran and swam until the day of the birth. With this pregnancy, I felt bigger and I was more uncomfortable so swimming and biking felt so much better than running (due to weight distribution, I think). I am not recommending that pregnant women cycle because I believe (based on my own experience) that exercise during pregnancy depends on the 'baseline' (the level of fitness and activity pre-pregnancy) and whether or not the women have any complications or have risk pregnancy. but for me, cycling on a road bike felt comfortable because it put my protruding belly forward and down and removed the pressure from the tip of the spine, aka lower-back. (*I cycled with my physician's ok and support)
Post my all natural vaginal birth though, I could not even imagine cycling. Though I missed cycling, I could not even imagine sitting on a saddle, if you know what I mean. So, after the birth of our daughter the end of April, I took time to heal. After 8 weeks postpartum, I started swimming and by mid August, I was back on my bike again thanks to CSD. I started out with the 45 km group on Friday mornings and quickly regained strength to join the 65 km group. Stewart and Des from CSD always talk about muscle memory but I was honestly surprised at how fast I regained my strength and got back into shape.
My journey back into being back in cycling shape was not without its challenges, however. After I started cycling again, I started to experience knee, shoulder, back and lower back pains. Fearful of injury, I took my self to UpandRunning to see Dr. Gus (awesome guy, highly recommend him). He told me that the back pain was most likely from the delivery itself where the joints are still soft and loose and they still needed time to heal. He also told me that feeding the baby all hours of the day in weird positions (I have been lazy to use a feeding pillow) put a lot of strain on my shoulders and back. After some assessments (feeling my muscles and watching me exercise), he told me that my knee and lower back pain came from the weakened traverse adnominis (TVA - the muscle that you contract to hold the pee) which resulted from the pregnancy and delivery. So, he prescribed some physical therapy to isolate and retrain this particular muscle as well as my gluteal muscles.
To tell the truth, I never 'isolated' muscles and exercised them. Not that I did not believe in these types of exercises but I just never took time to do this when I preferred to be outside, cycling, swimming or running. But after seeing and feeling the result of strengthening my TVA and glutes in how strong I felt when cycling, I was forever changed. Not only did my knee pain go away but I felt much stronger cycling. I also asked my physical therapist to send me scientific articles about the relationship between TVA and lower back pain (me being a public health professional...) and I attached them below.
We live in the Arabian Ranches South of Dubai which is conveniently located to....the Hamdan bin Hamdan Sports Complex on the old bypass road. It is the region's fully-integrated, ultra-modern aquatic, track and field stadium. We started going there in the evenings mainly to swim in the gorgeous 50 m Olympic size pool. I have never swam in the nicer pool before. The facility is currently open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (I wish it was open longer given my work schedule...) and you need a medical certificate from your GP to be able to swim in the pool. You can obtain the medical form from the pool office (Natalya at
+971 4 306 2674 Natalya@hamdansc.ae). You then pay 20 Dhs each time to swim to your heart's content....
ハムダンビンハムダンのスポーツコンプレックス行ってきました！アラビアンランチーズに住んでるのでとても便利：ー） この地域では初めてのウルトラモダンな水泳と陸上のスタジアムです。産後２ヶ月くらいから、トライアスロンのトレーニングを再開してからやっと時間を見つけてハムダンの５０メートルのプールで泳ぐ事ができました。気持ち〜。ちなみにプールは朝の８時から夜の８時まで開いています。かかりつけのお医者さんに”私は健康です！”というMedical Certificateをもらってからじゃないと泳げませんが、そのあとは一回２０Dhsで気の済むまで泳げます。Medical Certificateのフォームはプールオフィスのナタリアさんからもらって下さい。
I have been trying to go swimming at least twice a week. This week, I was successful in swimming two days in a row! I think the menu of the last practice was something like: 200 m warmup, 4x150 m, 6x100 m, 6x75 m, 6x 50 m, and 6x 25 m. We might have swam more at the end but I cannot remember. Coach Seth is the best coach ever and I recommend anyone who used to swim or is learning to swim to join the club!
I cannot believe it's been 7 weeks since our daughter was born. Time really does fly! She is still waking up twice at night for feeding so it's been tiring but I recently went back to exercising again. Running and biking are still uncomfortable for obvious reasons and Dubai is getting really hot nowadays but swimming is doable. My husband and I have been swimming with the Dubai Masters Swimming Club since March 2011 and love it. So far, I have gone back 4 times since 2 weeks ago. One Saturday, I left my husband with two kids and went swimming in the morning but for the evening sessions from 7-8 p.m., we bring her along. She slept soundly in her car seat once but for the last two times my husband had to rock her in her stroller while I swam. It definitely feels great to be back in the pool!!
I am drinking the Sanbazon Acai shake every morning in preparation for our first Half Ironman! We promised to each other that when I am done with this pregnancy, we will sign up to do our first Half Ironman. Training has began....
My husband continues to challenge himself to improve his physical and mental fitness and he signed up to participate in the short distance of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon on March 2nd. He loves the sports and tries to enjoy the race as much as possible. I think that is a good attitude to have!
This race is a unique and challenging one with the ''short"' distance being 1.5 km (0.93 mile) swim, 100 km (62 mile) bike ride and 10 km (6.2 mile) running. The normal Olympic distance has the same swim and run leg but only 40 km bike ride.