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Archive for February, 2010

SE Asia – Contrasts

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

So, I posted some first and second impressions and another blog or two.  Today wraps up 3 FULL weeks of training.  The 48 steps that we take up to the rooftop to cook our meals have become a challenge.  Sutto said today “when you are dead you are dead” meaning, when you are as tired as we are, you need to rest a bit…so maybe tomorrow is an easier day.

Anyhoo, 3 weeks is about enough time to settle in, get your bearings, and really kind of figure things out.  This is the first time that I have been in one place for that length of time besides home.  There are definitely some contrasts between attitudes and life here in Thailand when compared to those in the US…and these are generalizations, so yes, it is not always the case, but more often than not it is…

- Out on long rides, we are typically greeted by the “beep beep” of a horn followed by a scooter with smiling faces and a wave.  Or the “beep beep” of a horn followed by the pass of a passenger car or truck or a large truck carrying logs or Palm Fruit.  In the US we are greeted with a blaring horn, someone shouting get off the road, and many times a single finger salute.

- Amy and I live near a school at home.  Daily we see kids walking to school, torn jeans, messy shirts, and generally pretty unkept looking.  Here, kids come out of what would amount to shacks at home wearing crisp clean uniforms.  It was the same in Jamaica when I visited for work years ago.  Kids came out of shacks dressed like they were going to church, but instead it was school.

- People here seem very happy.  A quick hi or wave generally gets you a smile in return.  For a very poor country, happiness seems everywhere.  Now I know why a friend of mine from Vietnam says that we always look angry…we do not smile enough.

Those are kind of my third impressions, and ones that I will definitely take home with me.

TeamTBB Training Camp Week #2 – Be a Pro

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Today wraps up the 2nd full week that I have been in Krabi, Thailand for the Team TBB training camp.  Actually, Monday will mark 3 weeks in Asia, and 2.5 in Thailand, but we kind of had a few days to settle in…so today closed the 2nd full week.  It is actually my first ever training camp for triathlon, and the first time that I have been around other professional triathletes from around the world for more than a day or two.  Sutto has challenged us with more than just workouts…

Be a Pro.  Coming from the corporate world for almost 10 years of my life, it is an interesting transition to being a true professional triathlete.  Team TBB has the goal of providing professional triathletes a way to be just that, professional triathletes.  There are other goals of the team, but “being a pro” is one of the first challenges that Sutto gave us.  It goes beyond the workouts.  Sutto challenged us to change our way of thinking to that of a professional in every sense of the word.

- It is seldom that you can just show up to work in the corporate world whenever you want.  Same with our workouts…get up and get to work.  Some sessions are on our own, relatively.  Others are with a group.  Oddly enough, people are seldom late to the group sessions.  Sutto has challenged us to make the on your own sessions the same way, get up early and get going.

- Know your numbers.  Want to run a 4:00, 3:30, 3:15, 3:00, 2:45, or whatever marathon?  What pace is that for a 400 repeat, a 1k repeat, a 1 mile repeat?  Can you do it in training…if not, a re-think might be in order.  What does it take to ride a 4:40, 4:50, 5:00, 5:30, or whatever for the 112 mile (or 180k) bike leg.  Honestly, it is easier to figure using the metric system in this case!!

- Certainly not last, but another example is that you have to enjoy it.  It certainly is NOT easy, nor glamorous, or highly lucrative.  It is hard, very hard, and if you do not wake up each day looking forward to the challenge, then it is time to do somehting else.  As someone who has been on both sides…the corporate side longer than the professional athlete side…I can say that this is true in both cases.

I blogged before on BrandonMarsh.com that I seldom make New Year’s resolutions.  But, one un-written resolution this year was to “Be a Pro”.  Committing to racing with TeamTBB and coming to camp was just one of the many steps in moving that direction!

What’s That You’re Eating

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I took this video a couple of days ago.  The days kind of run together.  I posted that breakfast, lunch, and dinner all look similar.  Generally rice or noodles with some meat and token chopped veggies.  Sometimes spicey, sometimes not.  Mostly chicken…all parts…and pork…all parts too.  I have had fish 2 times, it was very salty and fishy.

But, sometimes you get something that you just are not sure of what it is.  This is one of those times!!

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SE Asia, Second Impressions

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Well, it has been about 5 days or so here in Krabi, Thailand.  We have done the big loop on the bike, a few runs, a few swims, a trip to the beach, a few trips to the grocery store, and just some random things as well.  A few things about Krabi…

- breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be found at one of the many little food stands along the side of the road.  A lot of it kind of looks the same…the food that is.  I had a curry this evening that just about set my mouth on fire, but it was good.

- apparently, eggs need no refrigeration.  I may have posted that about singapore too.

- we get a lot of “hellos” while running or cycling…usually I give a wave to them.  And a lot of smiles by passers by on scooters.

- the 2 big grocery stores are kind of like a super super Wal-Mart for those in the US.  2 stories with a food court, grocery, housewares, beauty salon, cinema, and more.

- there are more, but that will do for now.

We went to Ao Nang (I think) yesterday.  It is a resort type area.  I personally am glad we are staying where we are.  I shot a little video to post.

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SE Asia, First Impressions

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I thought I would give some first impressions.  I have not been to SouthEast Asia before.  I did a world up in Ishigaki, Japan, but I do not know if that counts or not.  And, this will be my first time to be here for more than a week or so.  It took three flight legs from Austin to get to Singapore and about 25 or so hours in planes not counting the layovers.

Singapore, or at least what I saw of it, was a very nice and modern city.  Some might say manufactured even.  You can definitely tell that it is a financial capital of sorts.  Kind of like Dallas, TX only it is a country unto itself.  Actually, probably like a combo of Dallas, Chicago, and New York.  I did a couple of runs along the waterfront where there were probably 100 or more ships lined up to port…either waiting on a load or had probably just dropped off a load.  We did a couple of swims in one of the many pools in the country.  The 2nd was a 3k or so swim in the Katong pool, which was actually 2 50m pools.  One had 8 lanes and was between about 4 and 6 feet deep.  The other might have had 8 lanes, but was probably 6 lanes, and it was between about 2.5 and 3.5 feet deep.

We ate at a few places while there.  The first night we walked over to East Coast Park and went to the Food Rendezvous or something like that.  There were probably 50 or more “hawkers” there trying to convince us that their food was the best.  We kind of went the safe route and went with some Chicken wings, chicken and pork satay, and rice.  We did try some type of “dessert”, but I use that term loosely because it was a shaved ice with corn and beans in it as well as chocolate syrup and peanuts.  I am not sure what the corn and beans were all about.

After a visit to the Bike Boutique store the next day it was a food court.  Very similar to the night before.  Everything had a picture of what you could order, and honestly it all kind of looked the same.  We played it safe again with some chicken and rice dishes.  Mine was pretty spicy.  Amys was not as much.

Amy took some pictures that I hope she posts.

That is enough for now, off to bed as tomorrow is the first day of camp for us.  Second impressions tomorrow…Krabi.