Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tigger punches out Eeyore, huzzah!

I was out Christmas shopping after work today and some Tiggers caught my eye...

It was then I realized I haven't felt like an Eeyore for over two weeks now.

And that's a good thing. A happy feeling, literally.

I was grouchy right after the bike crash when I couldn't train. When I got better, I was frustrated I couldn't do very much training while trying to work a full-time job again. I was so upset that I was getting fat and out of shape. When I was able to manage my time better, I was miserable that some days I didn't feel like training anyway. I fluctuated between not wanting to train, and mad at my body for not being 100% healed. Then I was sad that I didn't enjoy training any more. I got depressed realizing that triathlon was no longer fun, and that I didn't want to do it any more. Then I got more sad at the thought of never doing triathlon again.

Triathlon + Wongstar = love-hate relationship.

I know that there are some people out there who are disappointed in my decision to walk away from triathlon, but I ultimately realized that if I kept doing something that made me such a miserable, negative, dark & twisty Eeyore, the person who would be most disappointed would be... myself.

I haven't randomly felt like crying or bursting into tears for over 2 weeks now. FINALLY.

In related news, I watched the Winnie the Pooh movie in the theater with my friend Steph when it first came out over the summer. We were the only "big kids" in the audience...meaning, sure there were people our age there, but they brought their kids. I highly recommend it if you are ever feeling like an Eeyore. It is the most fun and hilarious movie ever! I vowed to buy the DVD when it came out and to watch it whenever I needed cheering up. Sherpa got me it for my birthday. But I haven't felt like an Eeyore since then!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

whispering the loudest and talking at the top of your lungs

Yesterday my favorite Hungarian/Canadian/Jewish fan (you know who you are) sent me a message saying, "we runners used to say that race walking is like seeing who can whisper the loudest."

Well, I told him that we Chinese people are well known for talking at the top of our lungs, but it's not considered screaming. (Just go into any Chinatown tea house. You just step in and there's this ROAR all around you.)

No coincidence, the best racewalkers in the world hail from Russia and CHINA. That's what Wikipedia tells me anyway, and everyone knows that Wikipedia is like the Magic Eight Ball and has all the answers to life's biggest questions. (42!)

And check it out, the fastest two Chinese are Wang's. That's a close cousin to Wong, of course.

Clearly this is my destiny.

Even trippier, 3+ years ago, after Brett watched me run for the first time at teamTBB training camp in fall of 2008, he promptly instructed me to go on YouTube and watch racewalkers. I was supposed to run like a racewalker who was cheating. (They aren't allowed to have both feet off the ground at the same time.) The emphasis was on the heel strike, and high cadence.

Another year later, we were at the training camp in Jeju, South Korea, where it seems many significant events in my life have taken place (spooky?), and we trained on the same track as the national team's racewalking unit. I actually blogged about it in my little spoof "Making the Grade at Sutto's Triathlon Academy." They were really quite amazing to watch, one guy was walking circles around some of our guys!

This was the first time I really did my racewalking "homework," and learned through my Google research that Chinese girls can indeed have six-pack abs. The Abzilla pictured above is the 3rd fastest girl on the all-time list, Liu Hongyu, who took 4th in the last Olympics and got 2nd last year at the world championships. (If you watched the video I posted up on Monday, you will recognize her as 2nd across the line. But yeah, I know, we all look the same, eh?)

Back then (2+ years ago), I believed that if I ate "right" (inadvertently starving myself) and kept up the ridiculous hours of Ironman training, those six-pack abs would be mine. Wrong! I will have to racewalk like a maniac to get them!

Anyway, other than getting distracted once again by the awesomeness that is racewalkers' abdominal muscles, I think I meant to say that Chinese people are really good at two things:

  1. racewalking.
  2. talking super loud (but below the scream threshold), which is like being able to whisper the loudest, which is like racewalking.
Therefore: because I'm full-blooded Chinese, then: I should be really good at this new sport too. Right.

In similar news, I had Lesson #2 today and it went well! I am holding my form even when increasing speed. This first month is all about getting the technique down. Details next time!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ninja rubber duckies and Chinese Christmas tree angels

random Tuesday ramblings:

1. Glee has gone downhill. Tonight's Christmas special...whew.

2. I just ordered some art! From, where else.

3. I heard a rumor there is a 10-day super cold going around.

4. I found two more ninja rubber ducks today!

Last weekend, the Sherpa hid a bunch of ninja rubber duckies all around the house while I was out practicing my new sport. He did not warn me and the sneaky ninjas started launching their stealth attack on me. Next to my shampoo in the shower, buried in my underwear drawer, beside the K-cup's in the coffee drawer, chillin' in the refrigerator, and hiding deep in my SHOE!!!

The most hilarious part is that the Chinese Christmas angel tree topper I ordered had come in. I was pretty excited, because it's our first Christmas living together. We just had an ugly sparkly silver star, but I wanted an angel, and it was NOT going to be some blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl angel. Not in this household!

Isn't she adorable?? I got her from this website that Google magically found for me when I googled "Chinese Christmas angel": They even have Korean and Vietnamese ones!

Ok that part wasn't the hilarious part yet. The hilarious part is that I put the angel up over the weekend and the ninja duck was staring right at me. I didn't notice him there until just now, when I went to take a picture of the tree with the angel on top. Can you see him masquerading as a Christmas ornament? Crazy ninja rubber duckies!

Monday, December 12, 2011

introducing: the Wongstar's new sport!

So I mentioned I was on the hunt for a new sport.

I've always been the kind of person who focuses on what I can do instead of dwelling on the can't. Since I started to take the knee injury more seriously (instead of ignoring it and being A Big Giant Denial-Head), I had to face the fact that if I wanted it to heal up, I couldn't bike or run on it. For an indefinite amount of time...crappy little ligaments have poor blood supply and just take time to heal. Who knows how long.

I realized that dwelling on not being able to bike or run was making me into a very bitter, angry, depressed and dejected sourpuss. Not very like me at all. Sure I could swim...with a pull buoy, or just light kicking...but the last two winters I've focused on swimming hard-core, and doing something that is my least favorite sport all winter makes me grumpy and bitter too.

Still, I needed to do something. My original plan was to get into ultramarathons, when I first thought I could still run and not bike. But running over 70 minutes made my knee swell up a little. So back to the drawing board. I figured I needed to find a sport that I could enjoy and also be competitive in. It also had to be low-impact and not bother my knee. And tap into my ginormous endurance base and burn lots of calories and provide a nice endorphin high. And probably nothing to do with throwing and catching things, of which I'm not so coordinated. I'm not much of a team player either. hahaha! "Doesn't play well with others."

So no team sports or ball sports and low impact and endurance-ish.

Enter one of the most obscure Olympic events known to Americans:


Yeah, did you know it's an official track & field event? The 20km is the standard distance at the Olympics. Here is a clip from last year's track & field world championships in Daegu:

The world record is 1:25:08. You know, when I ran the Penn Relays 20km and won it earlier this year, I did it in 1:28:20. Holy crap, they can walk faster than I can run!


So yes, it does look really funny but abs, people, ABS. I had my first technique lesson last Wednesday. The weirdest part is not how it looks but learning how to "walk" all over again. I'd liken it to being a freestyle swimmer and learning how to do butterfly or breaststroke after years and years of doing freestyle only. Something like that.

And it is an Olympic event! And they have killer abs! Sign me up!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Buzz Lightyear kicks out White Tiger

I updated my header image. If you are using a blog reader and can't see it, open up in a new browser.

I was tired of looking at myself riding White Tiger. (I know...poor White Tiger has been relegated to the basement. Heart stickers and all.) I haven't mentioned the post-traumatic-car-crash syndrome (like PTSS but specifically from car crashes), maybe it'll be another blog another day.

Anyway, making my Buzz Lightyear costume and running around in it for Halloween was a big highlight this crazy year. I can relate to him because we are both really obnoxious, totally awesome, and slightly out of touch with reality. ("I can fly!!!") Unfortunately the best photo of myself as Buzz is in front of ugly furniture in a messy living room. Anyone a Photoshop whiz out there? Then again, Space Rangers have to make do with the strange planets they land on. :)

I've been inundated with all kinds of messages since announcing that I don't want to race as a pro triathlete any more. For the most part, true friends and fans that have followed me the past years have been overwhelmingly supportive, and I'm so appreciative beyond words. I feel like I've been out of racing form for such a long time (oh, a whole year), that I guess I was surprised so many people still followed me and read this blog. I haven't had time to respond to everyone's messages but am hoping to get to all of them soon.

In the meantime, I renamed the blog. Oh, there will still be shenanigans, always, but I liked the idea of "To infinity, and beyond triathlon..." because what also sorta-not-really surprised me, was the responses on the Slowtwitch forum on my retirement thread. (And I stand by my statement, nothing says "triathlon superstar" like your very own retirement thread on Slowtwitch!) I've definitely learned to not take any negativity directed towards me personally because people tend to be jackasses when they can hide behind their computers. I once even had some marathon girl send me hatemail calling me a "fuckin' loser." WOW.

The general tone from a lot of Slowtwitch folks was that if I was retiring from triathlon, I was saying good-bye to competitive athletics completely. Of course, this is coming from triathletes only, and I guess to a triathlete, if you're not doing triathlon, you're not doing anything. Mm-hmm. You know there are other sports out there, right guys?

Somewhere in the middle of the decision process, I started to think of my pro triathlon career not as the end goal, but thought "maybe I have yet to find out what I'm really good at." And maybe this whole tri thing was merely a stepping stone to something even bigger and better.

So here we after triathlon. Fasten your seat belts, because yes, I plan to keep blogging. I was a blogger long before I was a pro triathlete and I will continue to blog about my new adventures. Whatever I do, wherever I go. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it's not about the knee.

I can blame the knee, the car accident, the stupid Korean driver all I want, but what it came down to, was this:

I don't want to do it any more. I am so burnt out.

There was this small voice in my mind that had been saying this for longer than I care to admit. It wasn't about being poor, it wasn't about the knee damage, although those were definitely some of the straws that broke the camel's back.

It took me a long time to even admit this to myself, and once I did, I finally started to feel better. But for a long time, I had a lot of guilt associated with feeling this way. Because why should I feel this way? Everyone kept saying they wish they had my "job". Oh, how wonderful it must be, to do this for a "living"! Gosh I wish I could get paid to just train all day! You are the luckiest girl in the whole world!

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and I do appreciate all the support and encouragement from everyone.


I just wasn't happy any more.

Somewhere along the line, something that I loved to do and wanted to do became something I had to do, was obligated to do. It became something I resented and even hated at times.

I have had enough triathlon stuffed down my throat to last several lifetimes.

I am proud of everything I have done, and of course reserve the right to get over being burnt out and gimp'ed out and change my mind to come crawling back to triathlons and Ironman someday, but in the meantime, I am walking away.

Please respect my decision because this is finally MY OWN decision after letting myself be influenced by too many other people for far too long.

Which means, I don't want to hear you telling me:

  • you'll get over it
  • oh, you can't quit now! you were on the verge of a breakthrough!
  • just do this (fill in the blank) race with me!
  • (or any variations of the above)

In the meantime...I have a new sporting adventure planned. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 5, 2011

doors of happiness

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens,
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

I will neither confirm nor deny the rumors of my triathlon retirement.

Let's just say:

  1. I am starting to see another open door.
  2. 2012 is the last year of eligibility for my triathlon pro license.
  3. I have no intention to sign up for any triathlons next year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

30 things to do before 30

In early 2009 (in between my first and second teamTBB training camps), I made a list of "30 things I want to do before I turn 30." I was 27, so I had almost 3 years, since I have a late birthday. Over Thanksgiving and the birthday weekend, I got to ruminate over "the list" and have no regrets on how it all panned out.

Here are things I accomplished on the list:
  • Go to a shooting range.
  • Break 10 hours in an Ironman.
  • Break 3:15 in an open marathon.
  • Visit two new continents.
  • Win a triathlon.
  • Land a major individual sponsor.
  • Get a six-pack.
  • Get pro triathlon license.
  • Do a prosthetic mission in Southeast Asia.
  • Find true love. (I actually crossed this off early on.)
  • Go XC skiing or snowshoeing at Tahoe.
  • Break a record.

Here are things I sorta did or sorta almost:
  • Make cover of a magazine.
  • Run a beer mile.  FAST!
  • Lead a GT MSPO class on an international mission.

Things I didn't even come close to doing:
  • Become semi-fluent in Mandarin.
  • Take Qigong classes.
  • Take surf lessons.
  • Pay off student loans. (hahahaha!)
  • Run my sister through her first marathon.
  • Host karaoke night at the Seahorse Saloon.
  • Learn to drive stick shift.
  • Get out of credit card debt.
  • Do 100 manly push-ups.
  • Do a P&O career talk at a college or university.
  • Get my FAAOP.

Learned a few're not entirely responsible for making a goal happen if it heavily depends on another person (like the sister's marathon or true love). It's good to be ambitious and dream big. Some things are arbitrary--the "major individual sponsor" that I landed is Haamonii Smooth Shochu, a liquor company based in San Francisco. How many pro triathletes do you know who have their own liquor sponsor? :D

Some things I didn't quite accomplish, and still want to do. Some things I didn't quite accomplish and don't care to do any more. Then there are all those things that I experienced and accomplished, that I didn't even think to put on the list (like ride in a hot air balloon in the Philippines!).

Now I get to come up with a new list. 40 things before 40? That'll give me 10 years to do a bunch of stuff. Or maybe 35 things before 35...I don't want to think about turning 40 yet!

Friday, November 25, 2011

burying Wongstar 1.0

Ok, this is it. I turned 30 today. Hello, Dirty 30's! I'm hanging out in an airport...WITHOUT A BIKE BOX, on my way to chill for four days at a beach in Florida, where temps will be in the 70's (both highs AND lows!) while Delaware's impending winter looms and I try to figure out what to do next.

People keep asking what I'm doing next year, regarding races. I don't know. They tell me once I get over this injury, I'll be motivated again. That if I still had the passion and desire, the best is yet to come.

Confession #1: I never ordered the Wongstar fan club stickers. My knee hurts right now and it felt wrong to a) promote "make pain your bitch" and also b) take your money when I don't know if there is anything worthwhile I'll be doing that would require fans or a fan club.

Confession #2: My knee still hurts. (Wait I said that already.) Maybe I've been downplaying it because I'm from the school of "having a good sense of denial to achieve things you're not destined for" but I honestly can't tell if it's getting any better. There's the questions of "will it ever get completely healed?" and "how long until it gets better?"

So in the meantime, I stopped doing things that kept hurting the knee.

I put White Tiger away in the garage. And put all my biking things away.

I stopped running too, since that even flared up the knee. How did I get through a marathon on this? Was it because I took ibuprofen during the race?

And I don't see the point of swimming if it's not followed by biking and running. What, did you ever think I actually swam because I enjoyed it, or even wanted to?

Sometimes I feel like I went through what Buffy the Vampire Slayer did, when she died in season 5 and her friends brought her back in season 6...against her will and back into a new world strange and unfamiliar to her. Sometimes I think too much about my bike accident and how close it was to being fatal. How I swerved into the glass at the last moment, which probably saved me.

How maybe I got the option to return, but the trade-off was to return in a body with a bum knee. My new life is so different from the one the previous Wongstar knew before. I did go through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

It's been a strange year. I'm not one to just sit around and get fat. I'm looking for another sport to do, that doesn't hurt the knee. So that's what's next. I just don't know what.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy Muppet Thanksgiving!

I saw the new Muppet movie yesterday. It was hilarious! and awesome! I grew up on the Muppet Babies cartoon TV is a link to their Saturday Night Live hosting intro with Jason Segal. There is even a cameo with Sheldon from Big Bang Theory! (in the movie, not the clip.)

One of my favorite quotes towards the end was: "Growing up is becoming who you wanna be." Good advice for my upcoming birthday tomorrow, entering the Dirty 30's!

Happy Thanksgiving! eat lots and don't feel guilty about it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

an eventful 2011

This weekend is Ironman Arizona weekend--last year, it was my season finale. Next weekend is Ironman Cozumel, which I originally planned to do, and was 2009's season finale. The daylight savings time change has come and gone too...all signs point to the end of the 2011 triathlon season.

On Friday I am turning 30 years old. Just like that, it's the end of an era in the life of the Wongstar, and the beginning of a new one. But more on that later.

So 2011 in terms of triathlon turned out to be rather eventful despite being lacking in events, if you know what I mean. Let's have a quick overview:

April: Samui Triathlon in Thailand is cancelled due to severe flooding.

May: Ironman China has its swim cancelled allegedly due to some permit fiasco...then the entire thing is called off just DAYS before I'm supposed to fly there. Instead I get a last-minute entry into Ironman Texas.

June: I decide to split from teamTBB, get a job offer to return to my career as a CPO, and start working with Beck Preston as my new coach.

July: Ironman Korea was supposed to be my last race as a TBB'er and BAM! I swam a 1:02! then BAM! I smashed into a minivan on the bike course!

So I decided to skip Full Vineman.

August: still recovering...Ironman Louisville is out too.

September: I finish ChesapeakeMan on very little training and super sleep deprived going straight from a medical mission in El Salvador.

October: My health insurance kicks in so I finally get an MRI on the knee that got bashed up in Korea. I learn that I've been training on a torn quad muscle, partially torn knee ligament, and bone bruise on my femur. Beach2Battleship is a no-go then.

November: Decided to call it a season and focus on healing up. Ironman Cozumel is out.

Really not the triathlon season I was looking to have: two races cancelled, hit by a car in one, 4 races skipped because of the injury and one of them completed without knowing how injured I was...well...surely there is something in all this that I can be somewhat proud of or happy with???

Being annoyingly positive at times, I figured I should at least make a list of my favorite performances that I'm most proud of for 2011. Here goes nothing!

2011 Highlights

  1. Winning the 20km road race at the Penn Relays (back in April), and winning a gold watch just like the sprinters get!
  2. Swimming a 1:02 at Ironman Korea!
  3. Running a 3:56 marathon at ChesapeakeMan--even with walking a mile and having two long potty stops, not to mention being WAY undertrained AND unprepared and well, injured.
Honorable mention: my 5:17 bike split at Ironman Texas off very little outdoor training and 200+ hours of  indoor riding on the trainer over winter. I was crying for the first hour too because I was so upset that I swam like crap.

What a mind trip. Just goes to show Ironman is not just about your physical health and preparation...there is the mental and emotional side too.

Anyway, good riddance to 2011. There were ups, there were downs (well mostly downs), and you will go down, hands-down, as my worst triathlon season in all my 12 years of triathlon.

We can only go up from here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter = cute hats

My first winter in the first state left me grumpy and hateful. I decided to have an attitude adjustment this year and EMBRACE winter. First cute warm hats. Happy early birthday to me! This one has a unicorn, a castle, a kitty, TWO fairies, magic mushrooms and butterflies! Who could resist?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Park Place & the Boardwalk

Last week I was in Atlantic City for the first time for a work conference. Our host hotel was at Park Place and the Boardwalk...sound familiar???

When I played Monopoly as a kid, I was always the sister was the top hat...and my brother was the race car. What were you?

My sister wasn't there, but I took a photo in case she wanted to photoshop herself into it.

I did in fact find the shoe!

and the race car!

I thought it was really cool actually. I've been to Vegas several times (and lived there one summer)...this was like a more condensed version right next to the beach. Another hotel we were at was decorated all Roaring 20's like...just like being in Boardwalk Empire!

I did lots of learning on this trip. (Aside from all the work stuff, obviously.) I learned you can actually win $1,246.88 on the penny slots (!!!)--wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. I blew a whole $7 on those stupid penny slots before I womanned up and starting betting some of my big girl money. This was NEW & EXCITING since I've never really been into the whole gambling thing.

This was the new-ish game "Blackjack Switch". I liked it because I doubled my money one time (from $50 to $100!) and also because there are two wizards on the is Dumbledore and one is Gandalf. They are twin brothers, didn't you know?

I also learned that there are certain rules in the women's bathroom (but reportedly not the men's):

Also, there were a ton of Asians and they are the best at gambling. Because we are super good at math. I ended up winning because I made sure to sit next to other Asians and they were happy to help a sister out. In fact there is a whole marketing department devoted to us:

I did start to get tired of my blood pressure staying up so high from betting $20 per two hands (Blackjack Switch makes you play 2 hands at a time for a minimum $10 bet each, but you're allowed to switch the top cards if you want), and I wondered why they don't have a casino where you get to play fun games like Connect Four or Chutes & Ladders or Operation for money. I heard a rumor that some casinos have UNO tables. Reverse! Skip! Wild card DRAW FOUR! If I opened up a Casino, I'd totally have a Connect Four table!

So instead my coworker took me to an arcade where we got to play with quarters. So many games and fun for under $5!!! I played Skeeball and other silly games (there was punch-the-alligator-heads too) and won enough tickets to trade them in for a rubber ducky.

I was pretty excited.

Monday, November 7, 2011

bigger My Little Ponies!

Yesterday's Operation T-NET adventure was...horseback riding! I rode this gorgeous horse. His name is Ace!

I borrowed Woody's cowboy hat...which threatened to fly off my head whenever Ace went too fast. (And yes, I totally yelled "Whoa, horsey!") Apparently foam hats do not stay on very well. And I wore the cowboy boots I bought when I was in Cozumel two years ago to race Ironman. I also learned the real purpose of spurs. I didn't wear spurs.

The "new & exciting" was in full force as I have NEVER ridden a horse before...unless you count that one time, at summer camp, when I sat on a horse for a few minutes while the horse handler person led us around the ring. (This was actually when I was 23 years old and volunteering as a counselor at a kids' camp.)

The cowboy in charge handed me a brush to brush out Ace before we saddled him up. I said "oh yes, I had a whole stable of My Little Ponies when I was a little girl, so I am very experienced in brushing horses." The only difference was that his eyeball was as big as my head, and ok...he wasn't blue or purple.

Someone else took pictures of me actually ON the horse, with my hat and cowboy boots on, I promise! but I'll have to acquire those and upload them later.

In other news, I realized I am suffering from a combination of "injury brain" (arguably different than brain injury) and "impending 30th birthday brain" (similar to quarter-life crisis). I was watching last week's episode of How I Met Your Mother and there was this sideplot on Lily and Marshall being given a house in the suburbs...but they determined Lily wasn't allowed to make any big decisions, because she was suffering from "pregnancy brain," which affects her judgement on EVERYTHING.

I've been trying to make some big decisions on the triathlon career recently, and have decided to chill out for now. The combination of being injured and turning 30 this month has me changing my mind every other week. The best advice I've gotten from people (you know who you are!) is to heal up first, and then figure it out.

In the meantime, doing new and exciting things is pretty fun. And exciting. On the horizon next for Operation T-NET is Atlantic City on Wednesday! Monopoly here we come!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Operation T-NET" is under way

After a decade of triathlon, 21 ironmans and many more shorter tris, the whole swim/bike/run thing is not very new or exciting for me any more.

One of my favorite greetings whenever I see a friend is to ask them "soooo, what's new and exciting?"

Sooooo I asked myself the same question and came to the conclusion I needed to inject a gigantic dose of "new and exciting" into my own life. Enter Operation T-NET: Try New & Exciting Things!

The first thing I did was head to Zeke and Tory's store, Out There Outfitters, in Wayne, PA and buy my first pair of toe shoes. (Uh oh, I said "first pair"! That means I might get another!!!)

I couldn't decide between the red or white. In the end I went with the white...because the tie-up laces felt nicer and snugglier than the elastic laces (silly enough after the whole triathlon E-Z laces thingy). Also Zeke told me that I can just throw them in the washing machine (but air dry) if they get dirty or I felt all right going with the white pair!

Zeke and Tory both train with Mac (coach and owner of the Bike Boutique here) and I used to swim with them all the time up at Mac's pool. Zeke just did his first IM at Lake Placid in July, and I hadn't seen them in a while! I made sure to bring them an autographed magazine of course. ;)

Obviously (or maybe not obviously), I'm not planning to actually RUN in these. I just wanted some because they look cool, in a creepy Ninja Turtle kinda way, and I like the idea that they will strengthen the instrinsic muscles in my feet. Walking has gotten boring (since that's one of the activities I can do now) so I thought I'd throw in the barefoot element to it, and hit the trails.

I also plan to do other new & exciting things while wearing my new ninja toe shoes! Stay tuned for the next phase of Operation T-NET!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Be true to who you are.

I bought this giant canvas print at Target. I kept walking away, because it was sort of expensive, but I kept coming back. I probably did this like 5 times while I was there.

Pretty much every line in there goes along with what I believe in. This injury has really forced me to step back and re-evaluate what I want to do next, after being on autopilot with triathlon for so many years. I was surprised at what the voice inside of me said, once I started listening...

I've definitely been doing the whole "DREAM BIG" thing with "FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS" and "NEVER GIVE UP" ...but....

...right now I am having some trouble with "BE HAPPY".

The "DO WHAT YOU LOVE" has become a challenge, as well as "BE TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE".

But, this is my life, and I only get one. I would very much like to "MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT".

It might be time to "TRY NEW THINGS" and "EMBRACE CHANGE".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ironman lottery's new Legacy Program

The Ironman Lottery just opened today! New this year is the "Legacy Program" to reward... frequent customers. Am I eligible?

What is the Ironman Lottery Program?
Beginning in 2012 the Ironman Lottery will select 100 general Age Group athletes, 100 Legacy athletes plus five Physically Challenged athletes, to compete in the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. Winners will be announced on April 15, 2012 at 12 p.m. ET on One entry per athlete, duplicate entries will not be valid.

When does the Ironman Lottery open?
Registration for the 2012 Ironman Lottery and Legacy Program will open at 12 p.m. EDT on November 1, 2011.

What are the eligibility requirements for the 2012 Ironman Legacy Program?
To enroll athletes must meet all four of the following requirements*:
1. Athlete must have completed a minimum of twelve (12) full-distance Ironman-branded** races (includes existing and past events) by December 31, 2011
2. Athlete has never participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i
3. Athlete must have completed at least one Ironman event in 2010 and 2011
4. Athlete must be registered for an Ironman event in 2012
*Legacy athletes will be required to submit their information during online registration.
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Soooo, am I eligible? Let's see....

1. I've done 17 Ironman-branded "full-distance" events.
2. I've NEVER raced the world championships in Kona.
3. I did 8 Ironman events in 2010... I did ONE this year (IM TX...and more than half of IM Korea!) in 2011.
4. Hmm. I'm not yet registered for an event in 2012, but I could be...

There's no rule that says pros can't apply to the Legacy program. I mean, there are the 100 spots specifically for "general age group" and 100 spots for "Legacy athletes". But it doesn't say Legacy athletes have to be age group. Maybe they assume pros wouldn't want a lottery slot? :)

I was always against the idea of going to Kona (personally, for myself!) by random selection and kept trying to go on performance merits. Well, that hasn't happened yet. Of course, I could always go back to racing age group and snag a spot. With my current injury, by the time I start training again, half the year of points-chasing will be gone to qualify as a pro, and to be honest, I don't feel like racing as frequently as I have in the past any more.

I'm kind of curious as to how many Legacy athletes are out there in the selection pool...

Part of me is just tempted to sign up for this to see if I get a slot and find a sneaky sneaky loophole in this whole "qualify for Kona" thing. It would be totally hilarious, no?

Monday, October 31, 2011

a Toy Story Halloween

Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!!!

And what is Buzz Lightyear if he didn't have Sheriff Woody to throw him out a window?

I made sure there was a snake in his boot.

I made all the parts of my costume except the jetpack (wings) for $12 and the gloves for $6, both at Amazon. I painted my shoes, which were leftovers from my cheerleader outfit last year. We went out to the Halloween Loop...even thought it was actually SNOWING (!!!) and I met two other Buzz Lightyears, but no one else had a space helmet but me!

The space helmet was made out of clear vinyl from the fabric store (half yard for $2), beading wire ($4), and a $3 plastic embroidery loop. It was essential that it was super lightweight and that I could breathe (and drink) with it on. The space helmet totally protected me from the elements (rain, snow, and drunk boys that stepped a little too close). Oh, and I was the only girl who was dressed as Buzz Lightyear. Come to think of it, I was the most covered up girl (and definitely the warmest!) all night!

I'd have to say, this definitely shows why I ended up as a prosthetist-orthotist. I like making stuff.

You've got a friend in me! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Shocker & Cheetara: Halloween 2011, Part 1

Since Halloween is on a Monday this year, technically we have the opportunity to celebrate it 4 nights in a row, starting Friday! (Or heck, if you partake in Thirsty Thursdays, make it five.) Ok, notice I said "technically," which really means after going out the past two nights til wee crazy hours and NOT feeling guilty about it (perks of the "being injured off season," hey-o!), I am pretty tired tonight and will be hitting the sack early!

I did however, manage to double book me and the Sherpa on Friday night. I know you are excited to see how awesome my Buzz Lightyear outfit turned out, but remember that the first of my 5 off-season goals was to make TWO Halloween costumes. I've always loved Halloween because my mom would make us our costumes from scratch. Dressing up is fun but making your own costume is half of it!

Let the shenanigans begin!

First up was the Bone Bash, a fancy charity gala at a local country club benefiting the Arthritis Foundation. My boss at Independence P&O had bought a table as a corporate sponsor, so it was important we at least swing by before we went to the Delaware Ultimate house party. We weren't about to do wardrobe yes, for the fancy fundraiser party at the fancy country club, the Sherpa went as this:

I'd say only maybe 10% of the guests were in costume. There were a lot of orthopaedic surgeons that we work with, since they were the primary sponsor of the event. They had this cool photo booth, with extra props in case you didn't have a costume, so we put some hats on the Sherpa's "big hand" and so they were finger puppets!

A lot of people asked what he was supposed to be. The ones that could tell they knew. I was not quite as inappropriate, but I was running around in tights and a leotard, and a big stick. I was the original Cheetara from Thundercats...the original series, circa the 1980's! I've seen the new reboot of it on the Cartoon Network and it's radically just not the same. It's a "reimagining" of the 80's version, and is just too weird and different. This picture is from the next party, where more people were dressed up:

Obviously we didn't stick around all the fancy people at the country club long enough to cause too much trouble, despite the Sherpa being approached by one of the costume contest judges and trying to explain what "The Shocker" is. At the ultimate frisbee party, there were other inappropriately dressed guests. Such as a pussy kitty magnet and cock chicken magnet. heh heh

The Sherpa was more comfortable playing beer pong:

There were also adorable twins. If I had an identical twin, we'd get in all sorts of trouble!

Some Terminator action...I'm still not done with Sarah Connor Chronicles but am sad I only have 2 more discs left!

and the inevitable, costume prop switcharoo. My favorite Ninja Turtle was actually Michelangelo, not Leonardo:

I mugged the chef and Cheetara became a deadly kitchen assassin. Wait, is that a bottle of Haamonii Shochu by the sink? I just noticed that. It totally wasn't staged!

But I totally deny spanking innocent bystanders with the spatula, or being the source of the occasional outburst of "I'M NOT WEARING ANY PANTS!"

Next up, Buzz and Woody hit up a strange new planet, covered in snow. Stay tuned!!!