Swimming, losing 11 pounds, and 2 concerns with La Mesa EcoPark

With fellow Triton paddler - Bench Grande.
After finishing my FITFIL program last July, I got worried on what activity shall I get into next in order not to lose the physical momentum gained in that 5 week program. Dragonboat paddling (thanks to Nick Fontanilla) caught my interest and joined the Triton Dragonboat Racing Team.

The group is very dynamic and competitive. What I also like about it is the discipline expected from each team member that also compels you to focus during practice - giving all you got.

Also got the chance to experience my first Cobra Dragonboat Regatta last September.

I realized though that to become an effective paddler, one must have a lot of endurance. Otherwise, one can become a liability in the team and may result to not winning the race at the time it is needed the most.

MILO-APEX Running Clinic
Last September, I joined the MILO-APEX Running Clinic and signed up in the 10k group.

MILO-APEX Running Clinic strengthening sessions
We have 3 sessions in a week. The first two is more focused on improving strength while the Saturday sessions are intended for long distance run.

I have not been that diligent in attending the past 2 weeks though and hope to get back on track this week.

Will also need to make time to join the long distance runs on Saturday or replace it with actual runs.

Swimming lessons at La Mesa EcoPark

With Coach Paul.
I first visited La Mesa EcoPark thinking it would be the venue of Immuvit Trail Run Challenge. It wasn't. But fortunately, I end up discovering their swimming pool area and inquired if there's anyone who can also teach how to swim. That's where I met my current swimming coach, Paul.

Target swimming goal at 8000 meters
On my 7th session last week, finally got some confidence as I was able to swim (breast stroke) 500 meters in a 2 hour session. For my last 3 remaining sessions, I hope to achieve reaching 1500 meters in one session and increase that as I learn other techniques in my 11th to 40th session. My end goal for the 40th session is to be able to swim 8000 meters continuously and be able to do an open sea swim before the year ends.

Got the 8000 meters goal swim when I saw this open sea race and hope to be able to join one like this next year.

Improve overall goals
The strength gains I got in swimming got me motivated further in calibrating my goals to the point that I want to do the following from this post onwards:

1. Join runs alternating 5k, 10k, and 21k. I decided to do the 10k and 21k this year especially if my strength in swimming continuously improves.

2. Get a triathlon bike before the year ends. Sign-up with a triathlon trainer who can do bike refitting and train me on how to bike right. I guess when you reach a specific age, you can't just mess around with this kind of stuff.

3. Improve my dragonboat paddling strength and performance. My hectic sched and late sleeping hours the past two weeks made me missed the practice sessions but hope to get back on track this coming week onwards.

Improving endurance = weight loss
When I hardly lose weight up to the end of August since I started the MetaFit challenge last April (although I became one clothing size smaller), my goals became more endurance based and completing milestones. But this morning, I weigh in at a clinic and realized that I was able to finally break a weight plateau. Losing a total of 11 pounds since April maybe too small for some but I guess that is still better with the strength gained in the process.

2 concerns with La Mesa EcoPark

I really consider discovering the La Mesa EcoPark as a heaven sent. But as I frequent the place, one can't help but spot the problems there too. This includes:

1. FEVHAI vehicle security donation fee.
Before you can get inside La Mesa EcoPark, you will often pass the FEVHAI subdivision gate where the security guards will ask for 20 pesos. If you don't wait or ask, more often than not, they won't give you a ticket that says FEVHAI security donation.

But the problem there is that P20 is not stated in that ticket at all. Then you pay the La Mesa EcoPark entrance at P40 for Quezon City residents or P50 for non-QC residents. If you swim, there is another P80. I have no issue on the La Mesa EcoPark rates.

But I have an issue on the FEVHAI security donation which is equivalent to 50% of the La Mesa EcoPark entrance rates. I can't help but ask, doesn't La Mesa EcoPark have a right of way? FEVHAI does not issue any official receipt as well.

2. Smoking inside La Mesa EcoPark
I think it defeats the purpose of having an ecopark if you will allow visitors to smoke while they are inside. Worst, I saw smokers not disposing their cigarette butts properly and just throwing it anywhere in the park.

I hope they improve soon.

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