Monday, January 30, 2012

joining the coaching circus

Just like many triathletes I know (including many current and retired pros), I have decided to get in on the coaching side of things.

Exhibit A:

Right after my last blog post, we met the Christmas puppy at the tail end of my trip to the west coast, where she was hanging out in Las Vegas with the Sherpa's sister. We got our first very good looking family portrait together!

Then on Friday we picked her up from Newark, NJ, where she flew first class with tigers and orangutans. And baboons; let's not forget those. She is only 12 weeks old and already a delightful terror. I realized quickly that my new favorite type of puppy is a tired sleeping one...

Oh yes, and puppies that don't stink are another favorite... (yes that's Rocktape on my knee!)

So about the first video--Socks hasn't ever lived anywhere with staircases so I had to teach her to go down them. Going up was easy but she would get stuck upstairs! Lots of encouragement and treats required. I'm an awesome coach! haha. People have asked before why I didn't want to be a coach. It just never appealed to me. I'm happy to give random advice to those who ask, coach my sister through her first marathon, or give a very loose training plan to a friend doing his first 100km bike ride, but as a job? Nah.

Maybe because I don't want to deal with people like this:

(If I had any free time not taken up by having, oh a real life, I could totally come up with videos of "Sh*t the Wongstar Says" or "Sh*t Triathletes Say to the Wongstar.")

Heh heh. Anyway...BAZINGA! I'm totally not about to be a triathlon coach or anything. For now I'll be a puppy coach, but only for my little Socks.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Becoming who you want to be.

This may come as a surprise to some of you who don't know me in real life, or I guess in my previous real life. My online persona has always been more confident and outspoken than I really am, and definitely much more than I used to be.

Being home this week, I've been catching up with friends who knew me when I was in residency (pre-teamTBB 4 years ago), in college, and all the way back to high school, middle school, and elementary school. Oh, and let's not stop there--my family members that really knew me when I was an awkward and gangly pre-teen, and a chubby little toddler. I've also tapped into my old laptop (actually my first laptop) from post-college as I never backed up those files. (Somewhere in the world, the Sherpa is screaming and he's not sure why...) These days kids get laptops in elementary schools. CRAZY.

Suffice it to say, I've unintentionally had some time to reflect on who I used to be and how much I've changed and grown up. It's never been as striking as when I read through some private journal entries I wrote over 8 years ago, at the ripe old age of 22. I was in my "year off" in between finishing college and applying to graduate schools, trying to figure out what I wanted to do next.

How did I change? I made myself. A little bit of a time capsule from...

12:10am, Friday, December 19, 2003 (more like Thursday night)

I realized today as I ordered a hamburger and fries at Elephant Bar…
“I want to be the girl that can order a hamburger and fries whenever she damn well pleases.”  Why shouldn’t I be able to order a hamburger and fries whenever I damn well please?  It’s just that I’ve been so neurotic and obsessive about…everything I guess, from stuff I eat, to wondering too much what a certain guy is thinking, and reading too much into things.

I realized…
The Girl That I Want to Become and
The Girl That I Am Right Now are two different people.

The Girl That I Want to Become is very independent, doesn’t care much for what others think, is not easily manipulated, is very adventurous and goes on a lot of adventures by herself and with others, isn’t afraid of making mistakes, eats whatever she wants, is beautiful on the inside and out, isn’t afraid to ask for help, is very strong physically-mentally-and-emotionally, and is very happy.  The happiest she ever is, is the happiness she feels every day.  She’s got life figured out, isn’t so anal about everything, always does her best and hopes for the best.

The Girl That I Am Right Now can’t really get around by herself, depends on others (especially mommy), has eating issues and obsessions, is scared of a lot of things, sometimes gets too needy (yech), isn’t happy with the current state of affairs, is often wishing she were somewhere else, and feels lost, like she needs to find herself.  Wonders too much about what a certain guy thinks, reads into things and obsesses way too much, has her whole day revolve around things she can’t control.  Sometimes she feels she can’t even control her own life, hasn’t figured it out yet.

Another year begins in a week and a half; my goal for the coming year is to become The Girl That I Want to Become.  I believe thinking about this Girl every day, and striving to become her, will help me improve myself bit by bit, so that I become basically a whole different person by the time I leave for graduate school.  Of course, the two Girls aren’t completely so different--there is definitely some overlap.  Maybe it sounds a bit materialistic, but this new laptop and finally acquiring my own car (it’s beautiful!) will be helping me forge the path to my independence at last.  At 22, I wouldn’t say it’s about damn time, but it is about a rather damn good time and as good a time as any.

The hilarious part is that 8+ years ago, that "new laptop" is now a total dinosaur. It's sooo heavy and slow! The battery is so dead that it can only be powered up with the cord plugged in, and it overheats easily so the very noisy fan is going full blast. I actually took this with me to my first teamTBB camp in fall of 2008, so it lasted me a good 5 years. Similarly, that beautiful new car (it was a '93 Chevy Lumina Z34 coupe, pictured above during spring break 2005) lasted me through my adventures in Atlanta and Dallas before it went kaput. One of the side mirrors was held up with duct tape and the radiator kept leaking, so I'd refill it before I drove anywhere. I wasn't able to scam anyone on Craigslist into buying it, and really excited that CarMax gave me $500 for it!

We did in fact go on many adventures together, me, that laptop, and my first car. (I didn't get my driver's license until I was 21.) Have I become The Girl That I Want to Become? It took me much more than those 8 months in between that journal entry and when I left for graduate school. Some of those things I've even struggled with very recently--not obsessing over everything that I eat, and being very happy. I wouldn't say I've got my life figured out, but I'm pretty close.

For the most part, when I re-read that post 8 years later, I wanted to go back in time and hug my 22-year-old self. Tell her things would get better, but I think she knew that. Because she was on the right track, and she had a plan. She knew who she wanted to become, and she went after it fervently.

Friday, January 20, 2012

the new rules of race scheduling

My comments form is acting out, so I apologize if you've left a comment and I haven't been able to say thanks or anything. Thanks! The best part of being at home is all the delicious Asian restaurants everywhere. I had bibimbap at the K. Grill and Tofu House in San Bruno the other day:

Delicious! I may hold a grudge against Korean drivers (or just one in particular), but not against their bibimbap. Or bulgogi.

Anyway, now that I've established the new rules of training, I've given some thought to my race schedule for 2012 and most of it is TBD. It kind of depends on how my race walk progress goes and how my knee is feeling for running.

1. Race walking: There's a whole Race Walk Grand Prix that USA Track & Field puts on with national championships in distances from 1 mile to 50km, even a one-hour championships. I would LOVE to get up to the 20km distance to see how I stack up with the Olympic Trials qualifying times, but not sure when I'll be ready. Right now my training is capped at one hour or 5 miles per session. A 20km would take 2+ hours. But one thing's for sure, I want to start racing in this. There's a reason it's called RACE walking. ;)

2. Running races: 5km or less. There were always these fun crazy 5km's I've wanted to do, but haven't. Because I was too much of a "hard-core" pro triathlete to do something fun that might get me injured. (And sure enough I get injured from an Ironman race, go figure.)

Here are some I'm thinking of for 2012:
a) The Barathon. 5 beers in 5km. Hosted by some of our friends who are ultramarathoners/frisbee plaers, it's a small grassroots "race" but we get real T-shirts. Did this last year in 24-ish minutes and took 2nd OA (the first two of us were both women!).
b) Zombie Run--"Run For Your Lives" right before Halloween near Baltimore. I want to go as a Zombie. Sherpa wants to go as a human. We really like The Walking Dead, what can I say? :)
c) some sort of Doggie Dash. We'll see if Socks can be trained up to run a 5km, or maybe there will be a one-mile version.
d) one of the city scavenger hunts. There are a few in Philadelphia: the Scavenger Dash (5/6/2012), Great Urban Race (9/15/2012), CitySolve Urban Race (7/7/2012). You get to do it in teams and it's like the Amazing Race on a much smaller scale. With costumes.
e) maaaaybe the Mud Run. (end of September) There are all kinds of obstacles and the hard-core athlete in me is still wary of getting hurt, but it sounds fun and I've always wanted to do one since college. (There was the Mud Run at Camp Pendleton I never made it to.)

3. Travel restrictions: with having a puppy and trying to minimize the credit card debt, all of the races are local, or at least within driving distance. (I'll make an exception for the Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR, but for now that's a bit of a stretch.) It will be cool to get Socks trained as a service dog so she can come on airplanes with us in the future. Cuz she's already too big to be chihuahua travel size! Despite being much smaller than...a horse.

4. Sherpa-ing or spectating: I'll be sherpa-ing at Ironman Louisville for the Food Coach, and being my own Sherpa's #1 cheerleader at some of his tournaments. Well, me and Socks will be tied for #1, I think. But it will definitely be nice to support my besties and not always be so me, me, me in terms of racing.

5. Triathloning: I was going to JUST SAY NO, but Mac informed me of a unique local "triathlon" here that involves no swimming or running. And includes RACE WALKING. Which is pretty wild. It's the Marshalton Triathlon and it's a tiny little local race that's been going on for almost 40 years now. It even advertises itself as "the country's oldest triathlon". Not the traditional swim/bike/run at all, but something like a 2.3-mile bike, 3.0-mile canoe, 2.5-mile walk, and 2.3-mile bike. HMMMM. How could I resist that? I can bike, race walk, and rowed for Georgia Tech. It's not til October. Let's keep our eyes posted on this one!

That is all. I'm excited.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Wongstar presents: the New Rules of Training

I'm home in the 94044 for Chinese New Year and wrote a batch of blog drafts while on the 6-hour flight. So let's see how this "batch blogging" goes in terms of update frequency. When you're inspired, you're inspired!

This particular post was inspired by a variety of things, including self-reflection, a comment from the mentor and friend formerly known as Coach Beck, and my current reading of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. Beck had mentioned regarding one of my last posts: "the novelty of being lazy/not training wears off, then you truly (re)discover how to enjoy your exercise..."

As you know, one of the reasons I decided to stop racing triathlons, or even swim/bike/running was that it became a source of unhappiness for me. A combination of my knee injury, frustrations with the sport, and it's evolution into an obligation. I had once set out goals for myself in the sport, which I had achieved and surpassed, and then later on, let too many other people influence what I had originally wanted out of triathlon.

So I had a nice break from an exercise regimen. And like the hoards of "normal people," starting working out again practically every day when 2012 struck. I was surprised how much I enjoyed going to Fusion Fitness before work every morning. I think most triathletes can't stand being on "cardio machines"--the elliptical or the treadmill--but I'm kind of liking it. Maybe it's because it's pretty cold outside in the mornings. I do the elliptical sort of as my easy days as an alternative to spinning on the bike. And I really like race walking on the treadmill, it's like having a push from a friend to help me get a higher turnover.

Yeah, nothing beats starting your morning before work than a nice sweaty workout. And I always make sure I stretch afterwards, something I neglected in the TBB years because Brett wasn't a fan. But I've noticed I'm pretty tight in the right hamstring (the side my knee was hurt) and so I'm back to doing the full line of stretches we did in high school track, minus the Westmoor Rams jumping jacks.

So without further ado, my new rules of training:

1. Only swim with friends. I won't swim by myself, because I don't feel like it. But I might start swimming again with Mac's squad when that starts up on Wednesday mornings.

2. Racewalk lessons once (maybe even twice) a week--depending on me and Mr. Miyagi's schedules.

3. Racewalk 5x/week. This includes the 2x/week on the treadmill at Fusion.

4. Strength training: assisted pull-ups twice a week, core stuff twice a week.

5. Only bike when the weather is nice outside. By spring time, my knee should feel better and I can venture outdoors again. See how the PTSD is doing.

6. Daily walks with the puppy and a dedicated trip to the dog park on the weekend. She comes home next Friday!!! The hard-core athletes may sneer at me for including easy walks and fun playtime in my "training" but I think of it as active recovery and exercise for the soul.

Yup, that's it. When it gets warmer again, I want to do my easy walks in my Vibrams and maybe do a longer hike on the trails with them. For now, it's cold and I'm not keen to get frostbite in my feet.

There are still those who don't understand why I want to get into race walking instead of tris or just running. I actually find it insulting that people are still asking me, "Why don't you just run?" Firstly, my knee got effed up and I haven't able to run more than an hour without it flaring up (I feel like such a broken record sometimes). Nextly, I just don't want to run and I don't really care what you think I should or shouldn't do. I know race walking is completely unglamorous compared to triathlon or even running. So what. I'm liking it and I'll do what I want.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

race walk PROGRESS

Progress is slow but steady. I got my first pair of shoes specifically for race walking at Delaware Running Company last week, the Saucony Fastwitch 5, and these shoes have ATTITUDE:

Love 'em! Turns out my standard running shoe size (10's and 10.5's) that I've worn for over 15 years are a touch too loose and contributed to my heel blisters. Now I'm in a 9.5 and my feet are so much happier!

I'm figuring out little ways to kickstart the fast walker in me, because as a trained runner, walking is by default slow and steady. I've incorporated a couple treadmill runs twice a week in the morning at Fusion Fitness, and it's actually kind of fun. Almost like a game to me: see how high I can get the speed up without breaking form and going into a trot/jog. I remember learning about that transition point when I was in college, exercise physiology class--there is a preferred walk-to-run transition speed, the point where it is actually easier and more efficient to run at a certain speed than to walk that fast. Right now I'm capping myself at 5mph and seeing how long I can hold that speed for.

What else is fun is that when I go at 7am, it is quiet enough that I get to watch Curious George on PBS. Yep, while the cardio machines next to me are tuned into the boring news or overpaid pro sports, I always switch the channel to cartoons. :)

On Saturdays I've been doing a 1km marked loop at a nearby park. Then I see how far I can walk in an hour, and take splits for each 1km. Without fail, I negative split every single lap. I guess I just need to get warmed up and get a rhythm going! I've been tracking my best 5km, which is always the last 5 laps since I'm a stud negative-splitter. 2 weeks ago was 43:50, last weekend was 39:04 and yesterday was 36:09! All unofficial times without judges of course, but I am pretty focused on staying "legal."

Before I can start real training, I need to be able to race walk 5 days a week for an hour without my shins screaming at me. They are much better than a week ago. I got in all 5 days, two of them were 30-min treadmill sessions and the others were all one hour. PROGRESS.

I don't plan to enter any races until I get myself under 10-min miles. (Still nowhere near elite level, but hopefully fast enough to not embarrass myself.) Which means a 30-min 5km, and if I can do that, it's just a matter of tapping into my endurance for a sub-hour 10km and sub-2hr 20km. Qualifying for the Olympic Trials means a 1:48 20km. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. A 30-min 5km is the first goal!

In other news, I also saw my chiropractor Dr. Jannelli, my "Body Mechanic", for the first time since I retired from triathlon. He always checks that my pelvis is balanced and was SHOCKED when I came in on Wednesday. In a good way too! I've seen him for over a year now and when I lie face-down, my pelvis has always been uneven. My racewalk coach "Mr. Miyagi" has me doing all these hip mobility drills every day and apparently they are magic. Dr. J concluded that my body has been more balanced than he's ever seen it, and by far (he had to check at least 3 times because he couldn't believe it). Then he said the same thing I had been thinking this whole time--being a race walker is so much better for me than being a triathlete.

Maybe I was meant for this.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

false start, restart, let's begin again.

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" the ultimate answer in fixing all problems, technology-related or not, courtesy of the I.T. Crowd.

So I must have at least 7 unpublished drafts of blog posts in the last two or so months, where I begin writing something, don't quite finish it, and when I come back to it the next day(s), I'm just not inspired any more. Or maybe I'm afraid that what I want to write isn't suitable for others to read. Come to think of it, feels sort of like a metaphor for my life the last few months.

I've been rather enjoying working again. I do actually like my job, interacting with patients, having cool co-workers I get along with, and it's definitely nice getting a regular paycheck with benefits too. Come to think of it, with the 6-month anniversary of the car crash, tomorrow would be the 6-month anniversary of my first day at work. (I remember because it was 7-11 day and I blogged about it.)

No doubt my life has become so much different than a year ago. The last time I went swimming was on November 16th. This doesn't bother me. I'm probably 10lbs heavier than my regular Ironman racing weight (not to be confused with the anorexic racing weight I once achieved--another 10lbs less), but I'm not freaking out about it. I don't even feel fat, because I know I'm not, which is a really nice breakthrough after being haunted by the feeling of never being skinny enough throughout my pro triathlon career.

My knee was feeling much better over the weekend when I called my mother, who immediately wondered if this meant I was thinking about triathlons again. I could honestly answer her, "Not really." At this point, I'm pretty happy not having triathlon in my life. I've unsubscribed from a lot of triathlon blogs and removed myself from that world. There had been a few forums with "Wongstar retirement" threads and strangers talking about me, both good and obnoxious, that I had intended to chime in on, but I never did find the time or energy to come up with anything thanking the nice people and giving the mean ones the middle finger. Sometimes it's just best to walk away and disappear.

Although I don't understand why there are still at least a couple of my Twitter followers who insist on putting my blog posts as part of their Twitter "triathlon newsletters". I am so un-triathlon right now. But I appreciate the shout-outs. I think.

I'm amazed at how much more free time I have when I'm not trying to squeeze triathlon training into every last second of my crammed life. I'm not tired and stressed out all the time, and I have more energy at work. I'm able to better tolerate the more irritating patients, and be extra nice to the ones who are already a pleasure to work with. I'm not overwhelmed at the prospect of getting groceries or making dinner.

It's been nice to put training on the back burner as I really begin to adjust to life as a "normal person", and although I've been taking racewalking lessons and doing some kangaroo pull-ups, I really haven't had a regular training routine since early October--3 months ago. If I wanted to stay up late and sleep in, I did. It got dark, and if I didn't want to do a training session after work, I didn't. (Although I did do some night time walks checking out the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.)

I just gave my body and mind some time to heal up, and didn't write down every single detail of every thing I did in a training log, nor did I have to put big X's through the days I didn't do anything. But like the former Coach Beck had foreseen, being lazy gets old. I do miss the feeling of getting up early every morning and breaking a sweat before strolling into the office (and not because I'm running late to work!).

My YMCA membership expired somewhere in those last few months, and I didn't notice when because I had stopped swimming every day. I didn't bother renewing it, because I had only paid $15/month when I qualified for having "economic hardship." After Christmas, a local gym in downtown Newark, Fusion Fitness Center, sponsored me (being the Wongstar, albeit retired from triathlon, apparently still has its perks) and I went in two mornings in a row, yesterday and today! So proud of myself. :)

Which reminds me, I need to update this website. In just 3 months, everything is completely outdated. Anyway, I'm putting together a weekly training program together and logging my workouts again. But I'm being reasonable about it. I don't expect myself to exercise more than an hour on the mornings I have to go to work, and am leaving my evenings free (for housework, dinner, happy hour!, or just decompressing by doing nothing). This will probably change when the Christmas puppy comes home, but we can decompress with puppy playtime!

Even on the blogging front, I'm kind of going back to my roots and just writing the way I used to back when I started blogging in college. Not as a "look at me! look at me!" method of self-promotion and shameless marketing that is necessary as a pro triathlete, but just somewhere I'm allowed to write whatever I want, at whatever frequency I feel like. It used to be a place I could get my thoughts down in public (yet sort of anonymously) to help me sort through the jibber-jabber of life. I don't know when it became a place where I was sometimes afraid to hit "PUBLISH" and worried too much about what other people would think. But I'm taking it back.

So here we go again. A few false starts and rocky moments, but at least if I'm stumbling, it's in the right direction.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

new musics for the new year

So when they first started putting music players on phones, I thought it was dumb and unnecessary. I mean, who would listen to music on their phone, when they could just listen to their ipod?

Then I started working a Big Girl job again, and now I'm on call about once a month, on the weekends. Which means, the emergency line gets forwarded to my cell phone, which is usually the local hospital calling to say they have a patient that needs a spinal brace or fracture boot.

So I was on call this weekend, and made sure to upload a new playlist so that I could go on a walk with music on and not miss a call. It stops the music for a couple seconds, and then the phone starts ringing. GENIUS. (And yes, I did have to field a call mid-workout yesterday.)

I figured I would share some of my new favorite songs. I'm really not sure who still reads this not-very-exciting blog of mine, I mean, I still have a steady influx of new followers on Twitter every week, which I don't really understand. I'm really quite a boring normal person now. ;) Anyway, here are some of my new favorite songs:

I linked to their YouTube videos, but haven't actually checked out all the links, so I shall not be held responsible if they lead you astray. Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to get up before work and hit the gym...for like the first time since I was still swimming at the Y. Erm, at least 3 months ago? Stay tuned!

Friday, January 6, 2012

post-triathlon dreams.

Last night I had a dream I was in Thailand. I was hungry, and I saw some golden arches in the distance. McDonald's. I headed towards McDonald's, and it was on the second floor of the building. The only way to get up there would be to jump really high and grab ahold of this ladder attached to this ceiling.

I looked up and thought "No chance in hell. I really need to keep doing my pull-ups."

There was a kitchen and restaurant on the first floor, and I ordered local food instead. It was wheat-free, but it wasn't soy-free.

Then I was at home, and I realized I had signed up for an Ironman probably the year before. The race was in San Diego. It was 3 weeks away, and I didn't want to do it. I hadn't been training, and I didn't want to do it. We started to weigh out the cost of the entry fee I already put down, with how much it would cost to fly out to San Diego, with the bike and everything, and hotels and food etc etc etc.

I actually started to contemplate if I could do the ironman on basically ZERO training.

But even in my dream, I knew I wasn't going to go. I didn't want to do the Ironman. I don't even know how I signed up, and paid for the entry fee too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

shins on fire

I am still very much in the newbie stage as a racewalker, learning the technique and limited by the strength of my shins, actually. I was pretty excited to time my first 5km under 44 minutes, woohoo, which is slow as molasses, but it was LEGAL. For any of you who are like "pssh, I can walk 15-minute miles without even training," you probably don't know rule #2 of racewalking: we don't talk about racewalking.

Just kidding. There are only two rules in the sport.

When I first contemplate trying the sport, my sister insisted I had to watch a Malcolm in the Middle episode where the dad gets into racewalking. LMFAO...they have AERO HELMETS!!!! Youtube did not dissapoint:

Most people are familiar with the first rule, that you can't have more than one foot of the ground at a time. That would constitute a "flight phase" i.e. you would be running. And thus disqualified.

Rule #2: your front leg has to land on the ground straight, i.e. you can't bend the knee until it passes under you.

Weird, right? that's why those elite walkers look like they have no knee joints. Anyway, you land on your heels with your toes pointing up to enhance the kinetic chain. toes up =>> straight knee.

So apparently I have weak shins, and walking easy for an hour (LEGALLY) would be like doing bicep curls for a whole hour with wimpy arms. The training priorities are technique first, which at this point involves primarily anterior tibialis muscle building, before I can really start training.

In conclusion, it looks like I will not be Quadzilla, or Abzilla, but at this point...SHINZILLA.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012...a year like no other will be.

And if it's true about the impending Zombie Apocalypse, make that less than a year!

I just realized that today is January 3rd. Do you know the significance of this date? It's my half-anniversary of crashing into a car at Ironman Korea! And no...I'm still not healed up. I did get a second ultrasound like a week or two ago. Things are at least more healed than last time. Patience.

So am I gonna be one of those self-righteous people who is like "I don't make resolutions because that implies I'm not gonna keep them" ??? Nah. Resolutions are like making a 30 before 30 list (which reminds me, I need to make a 35 before 35). You set out goals with the intent to get 'em done, but if life happens, there's not really a set deadline.

anywhere, here are some 2012 goals...or "resolutions" if you must:

1. Be less selfish.
2. Keep in touch more.
3. Pay off another credit card.
4. Do my first race walking event.
5. Resolve some health issues.
6. Be a good mom to the Christmas puppy.

What I didn't like about triathlon, and being a pro triathlete, was how selfish and megalomaniac it felt. Sure, I tried offsetting that feeling with various O&P missions, but it was always "I can't do this, can't do that" because I had to train all day, every day, and go to so many racing events. I missed multiple weddings and other big occasions, I hardly saw my family and lost contact with friends. (True and meaningful contact...Facebook doesn't count.) My original Wonderpup, Guinness, was adopted by my own parents when I started traveling overseas. He liked it there, and my very transient lifestyle wasn't compatible with having G-dog as my sidekick.

Anyway, the biggest news this year will see me bringing home a NEW PUPPY--me and the Sherpa are about to become parents to this cutie patootie!

Her name is Socks the Christmas Puppy. I love her already, but we won't get her for a few more weeks. I'm kinda scared how big she will be by then! Talk about Operation T-NET. She is about as new and exciting as it gets!

My sister has also signed up for a marathon in Alaska, and I am to coach her...the last time I coached her was for her first half marathon in 2007. She didn't listen, but hey, we finished!

She is the smaller one, by like 4 inches. I ate all her food when we were kids. She had a 20-month head start, but I caught up to her by the time I was 5 and she was 7. This photo is from when we were like 1 and 3...

Speaking of food, I'm also planning to go to IRONMAN LOUISVILLE!!! Not to compete, but to sherpa one of my best friends, Food Coach Amy, who will be racing. She has supported me at multiple IM events and I am excited to have the chance to watch and cheer at the top of my Chinese lungs for her this time!

She was actually here last week for her first time in the first state. I made sure to take her to all the exciting places Delaware had to the Giant grocery store, where you can scan your own groceries. Most exciting thing ever:

She also insisted on having to go to Wawa (I once wrote a pretty exciting blog about it). Then we made pepperoni and bacon "meatza" and a crapton of roasted veggies, because what's a visit from the Food Coach without making some delicious good-for-you food? And yes, I'm still eating mostly Paleo-ish.

Well, any and all of these topics can be further expounded upon, but that's a good dose o' 2012 Wongstar for y'alls, for now. Happy new year!