Thursday, March 31, 2022

Q1 MomStar WongStar Update: Ebbs and Flows

It’s the last day of March, which means we are a quarter of the way through 2022 already! It’s not my usual blogging day, but I realized I could salvage my broken blogging streak and at least have 3 March posts to add to the 3 in February and 4 in January. Not terrible for a retired/un-retired blogger!

After my epic 23-miler, I was starting to finally feel like I was getting into the groove again, running 3 times per week, when BOOM another daycare cold (or series of colds) hit me and baby girl. She likes to make those cute little coughs RIGHT INTO MY FACE so it is hard to avoid her germs.

It’s hard to be mad when she’s
so stinkin’ cute

Suffice it to say, my original training thoughts I formulated back in December for the first couple races of the season have already gotten thrown out the window. I didn’t end up signing up for the half marathon, partially because I couldn’t justify paying $100 to run 13 miles through my neighborhood when I had just run 23 for free (well, for the price of a boba drink). It made me realize that I am, in fact, intrinsically motivated. I don’t need to sign up for races to be motivated to run, I don’t need the swag and medal (already way too many race shirts and medals), and I definitely wasn’t in PR shape. I’d consider it if I felt I could PR or have a shot at going under 1:30 (I think my PR is a 1:32? I honestly can’t remember). 

We had fun cheering for the runners
during our morning walk instead!

Next up, the Bear Triathlon is in 6 weeks, my bike is still at the shop and I haven’t gotten in the pool yet. The weather has been super strange where we go from winter to spring to summer to winter and I definitely don’t get the itch to swim or bike when the weather is gross! Haha, see previous post on being a “fair weather” triathlete. Yesterday morning was in the low 20’s. This morning is in the 50’s. WTF?!

So I may be pivoting my season opener to be a local trail race. TBD. I don’t like to commit until I’ve had more consistent training and tend to sign up for most races last minute as #MomLife can be unpredictable and I’m willing to pay a premium for the higher cost (race fees generally go up as the race gets closer) rather than sign up for a bunch of things early and then no-show.

Hugs, love, and cooties
for everyone!

Stay tuned! I also have enough training ADHD that I’ve found I like to space out races about 6-8 weeks apart, because I can typically focus for about that many weeks before getting distracted or losing momentum. Daycare germs notwithstanding.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Confessions of a 40yo Working Triathlete Mom

1. I haven't biked in over 6 months. That was when I did the Dewey Beach Sprint Triathlon (September 18th), and I didn't bother getting my race wheels swapped out back to training wheels (I can do the wheel swap myself, but my BMC bike frame is aerodynamically awesome which means also very weird--switching out the brake pads is a PITA). I did finally drop my bike off at our local bike shop (Wooden Wheels) so I will probably not be starting my weekly ride this month as originally planned.

Rocking the shirt from the 2017
Dewey Beach Tri

I have also become that fair-weather triathlete that doesn't bike or swim until the weather is nice! I haven't been wanting to get on the trainer to ride, and I don't like to swim unless I'm training for something. Ha!

2. I go to bed way too late. I know sleep is good for you and I need to sleep more...but sometimes the only time you have "me time" is when everyone else in the household is asleep! I have tried to think of my bedtime as an Ironman PR, where "breaking 10" is going to bed before 10pm, and somehow that doesn't help at all. I did go to bed at 9:50 last night! That was really early for me but it should be standard.

3. I don't actually work 40 hours a week. I'm now at 29 hours (technically straddling that part-time/full-time bubble) as that seems to be the sweet spot after returning to work from maternity leave just over a year ago (March 2nd of last year). It took a while to figure out that sweet spot. I don't want to give the illusion that I have figured out how to "do it all" or "have it all" because that only makes other moms feel bad if they can't balance it all. Balancing it all without help, or without cutting back in other parts of your life, is a lie.

4. I've been asked by several people recently if I would "go pro again" since retiring in 2011, but in the past year after becoming a mom it's popped up numerous times in conversations or interviews. It's very flattering but also makes me laugh. The short answer is "no", the long answer--you will have to wait for my next podcast interview. ;)

5. I love my kid but I have zero mom guilt dropping her off at daycare on Mondays when I don't work. (See note above about having "me time".) We pay for full-time daycare anyway, and no, there's not a part-time option unless you find a family whose schedule is the EXACT opposite of yours. I used to feel a little guilty dropping her off in my workout clothes (like if I was about to go on a long bike ride) and had actually considered putting on my work clothes to drop her off, before I realized how silly that was.

Plus, they send the cutest and happiest pictures of her through the daycare app, so she is obviously having a blast with her friends there!

With a smile like this,
who wouldn't want to go to daycare?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Random Long & Epic Miles

It’s now been 2 weeks since I pulled a 23-mile long run out of my butt after taking 14 months postpartum to get to double digits. I had only hit 10 miles as my long run 3 weeks prior…then increased that by 230%!

I did not get catastrophically injured, so I have lived to tell the tale. As legend has it, Team RWB has the Taji 100 mile challenge every February—where we are challenged to run/walk 100 miles during the shortest month, when morale is also low because of less daylight. I have also had my eye on returning to the JFK 50 this coming November, and registration would open up at midnight on March 1st.

Great! If I could complete my Taji 100 by the end of February, I was signing up. I was also motivated by my plan to put together an Asian-American dream team for JFK—I’ve always wanted to captain an all-Asian-American women’s team for the team competition.

But with 3 days left, I had only hit 64 miles. And that was counting all my half-mile dog walks too. EEEE. I was lamenting to Kevin that “I guess I can’t do it this year. Maybe I’ll do the 100 miles in March instead.” And he jokingly said “or you try to do it all in the last days…” but oof, you never joke like that to an ex-pro Ironman triathlete and out-of-shape ultramarathoner.

Challenge accepted! He clarified that he was joking… but I was not.

I meant to run 5 easy treadmill miles, then maybe a 13- to 15-mile long run, and maybe some longer dog + stroller walks and a dog jog if needed.

Hello Pandas, always.

But I loaded up my trusty ole Camelbak (after pulling it out of storage—thank goodness I didn’t have moldy bladders and straws), filled it up with Skratch and snacks, and planned to go super slow and easy. “13 to 15” turned into “maybe 3 hours, or 18 miles”, which turned into “well if I’m going to turn around at 9, I might as well turn around at 10 and get in 20”.

I motivated myself with the prospect of getting a boba drink at one of the many in downtown Newark, which was on the way home. For motivation and accountability, I posted some sporadic updates on my Instagram story, which was kind of fun because I hardly do that sort of thing (and personally believe I would’ve killed it as a pro triathlete influencer back in my day if we had IG!). 

I got my boba around mile 19 and it was mile 20.5 when I got home. And I had 30 minutes before I needed to pick up Ainsley from daycare….SOOOO I figured “F*** it, let’s GET ‘ER DONE!” I didn’t really want to have to go out again for a 3-mile stroller walk.

This was the motto at the boba shop.
Brave as a tiger, assuming I didn't injure myself doing this!

And I didn’t die. I got the “I did something epic” soreness in my legs for the next 2 days and it was amazing. I caught a glimmer of the athlete within me that had existed before becoming a Mom, and it was so nice to see her again. It was fun! I have really missed my long run adventures that I used to go on back when I was a pro Ironman triathlete—all I did was marathon-distance runs. 

Proudly rocking the Taji 100 shirt 3 days after my epic long run...
Yes, I was actually able to run again 3 days later!

More importantly, I can start wrapping my head around training longer distances, because I feel like I am actually CAPABLE of it now. Apparently I’ve missed “new blog Tuesday” 4 weeks in a row because it was literally just my last post a month ago, where I said I “can’t quite wrap my head around” training for a half ironman or 50-miler.

So of course I was excited to sign up for the JFK 50 later that night! Yep, I set my alarm for midnight. And then I thought "nothing says you're ready to sign up for a 50-miler like randomly pulling a 23-mile run out of your butt!"

Best team name ever!

And by International Women’s Day last week, we got our Crazy Fit Asians team all registered and kinda made a press release about it! So BOOM! Here we go!