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boot camp update « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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boot camp update

How to Become an Asian Triathlon Superstar, Step #7: Train your @$$ off. (simple, really. and yet oh so difficult!)

Here goes, the post you’ve all been waiting for…how is boot camp, you ask?

Well, let me tell you, boot camp is really effing hard. We just began the second week and I can’t believe it’s already the middle of October. WTF. My days have become a blur of brutal training sessions, counting the minutes until the next session to refuel and sometimes recharge with a nap, trips to the grocery (almost every other day with the amount we need to eat), and over to the laundry to drop off another load of sweaty spandex. Remember how I thought surely I had overpacked? No, I didn’t actually. I definitely need and use all the training clothes I brought! before camp began, going to the laundry was necessitated when I ran out of underwear. Now the lowest common denominator is when I run out of bike shorts. And this includes two pairs of pretty sweet tri shorts I acquired during my trip, made by Transition One, a local brand owned and operated by Pinoy triathlete Miguel Lopez. The soreness and fatigue is never ending. My arms are so sore from the swim sessions that I have trouble carrying the grocery basket when shopping for my next meal.

But you know what? I am absolutely loving it. I <3 boot camp! None of us would want to do it if it was EASY. I am learning a lot about myself as an athlete and person and we are getting a lot of individual attention from Coach here. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and of course varying levels of talent. I’d say I’m pretty low on the talent scale but I’m working hard to make up for it. What’s that quote… “Hard work closes the gap to the more talented.” Coach’s strategy with me is to rebuild me from scratch as an athlete because I’ve just been doing a lot of things WRONG. hahaha. The one thing he says I have going for me is that I’m naturally very strong…I just have never been taught to utilize it properly.

I don’t come from a swimming background at all…I learned the very minimal basics of how not to drown in high school P.E. and didn’t attempt to learn proper swimming until I decided to become a triathlete at 18. Needless to say swimming is my worst leg of triathlon but we are making some leaps and bounds in this area already! I am learning to hurt in the water. Apparently the key to going faster is learning to hurt…A LOT. My run form is also getting completely reworked, which is funny as this is the discipline I’ve done the longest. Yes, Coach, I was a “competitive” runner from junior high to my 2nd year in college, but all those years of coaches telling me to try running more on my toes hasn’t helped. I’m now on strict orders to strike the ground heel first, or I get my butt kicked by Coach’s toe first. :)

I’ve learned to take boot camp just one session at a time and try not to think about all that we’ve done earlier in the day already, what we did the day before, and definitely not what’s coming up next. Otherwise my brain my explode. HAHA! I am definitely becoming a stronger athlete every day and am constantly being pushed to both my physical and mental limits. What I’m learning in just one month from Coach is going to be so much more than in that whole year we spent doing the online thing. You won’t even recognize me when I go home in November! ;)

The most disturbing and foul part of training camp is that we get so sweaty running on the track that we end up with soggy shoes and socks when it is not even raining. I guess this is good practice for when you are racing a hot Ironman and throw water over yourself to keep cool and end up running with soggy socks. To keep from stinking up my room (I am adamant about not having my room stink like a boy’s) and make sure shoes are dry for the next run, there is the “stuff with newspapers trick”:

smelly-shoes

Here the bike shoes are also getting dried because it was a little rainy. Still, it is essential to have 2 pairs of run shoes as it can be hard to dry them out quick enough for the next run. I was happy to hunt down this pair of yellow New Balance 903′s at one of the many mega malls in Manila, in a department store of all places. What did I learn? That I do not fit any women’s shoes here in the Philippines. I’m a 10.5 women’s and they only stock up to size 9.5! (At home 11 is the biggest size for chicks.) Instead I have to go with men’s size 9.0, which is fine since I usually need a wider size anyway. They actually only sold the 2E width. So I’m stomping ’round the track in 9.0EE men’s shoes, and they fit great. Big wide feet should help me in the swim, right??

We watched the live video of the Ironman World Championships-Kona broadcast in the lobby with Coach and his family on Sunday. pretty intense! I’m super proud of all my teammates–1st, 4th, and 7th in the women’s race is just AMAZING and a total inspiration. Really, I’m a part of this program? It just reiterates that all I need to do is shut up, listen to what Coach says, work hard, and the improvements will come.

f@ck, I’m tired.

To close off, here is a picture of…MONKEYS!!! It’s a mommy and her baby. A bit blurry from my camera phone. I didn’t want to get too close and scare them away or make the daddy monkey angry and bite me… Where I’m from, we only have monkeys in the zoo, so I still get tickled seeing monkeys on the side of the road when we are biking. My first week here went without any monkey sightings, only many signs on the side of the road saying “Feeding of Monkeys is Prohibited” and “SLOW DOWN…Monkey Crossing” and the sound of monkeys screeching in the forest. I tried to take a photo during my second monkey sighting but he got really mad and lunged at me and I thought “never mind, buh-bye!” So here we are, Caroline took some as well with her real camera so maybe I can get those posted up later.

monkeys

The Mommy monkey of course also reminds me of my own Mommy. I would like to say how proud I am of you, Mom, for learning to use the internet to check emails, read my blog and do your math homework! Love you and miss you! Dad too. :)

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