Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/tbbh/public_html/blogs.teamtbb.com/wp-includes/ms-load.php on line 113
a monster blog about Wongstar’s 1st Monster Run back home « Jocelyn Wong's Blog


a monster blog about Wongstar’s 1st Monster Run back home

I will tell you a secret because you are a faithful blog reader, and faithful blog readers get rewarded with real secrets from real pros. And now that I am a real pro, which I will not cease to brag about any time soon, I can offer “real secrets from a real pro.” My secret is that I am turning into a big run monster. Shh, don’t tell my competition. They probably won’t believe you anyway, because I don’t have very fast top end speed. I’ve never broken 90 minutes in a half marathon or even 42 minutes in a 10k. (Actually there was a time the scrawny teenage Wongstar could run 2:32 for 800 meters and 64 seconds for a 400, but that was a really long time ago and really not that fast by California high school standards.) What I do have is this special bombproof Wongstar shuffle that lets me go on and on forever and not slow down. Perfect for Ironman! So here is a tip:

How to Become an Asian Triathlon Superstar, Step #22: Turn yourself into a run monster by doing monster runs.

Coach had me doing lots of monster runs in Subic. It was great! Sometimes we were lucky enough to get two a week. Marathons on the track AND long runs on the road. Coach would have me run longer than the others, and we wouldn’t tell anybody. Secret training! I would get really excited about monster runs but had to contain myself, because I wanted my new teammates to like me. AHAHAHA :D

Since coming home, I haven’t got to do a monster run yet because first I was recovering from China, then I was out racing Wildflower, then Florida, then the NY trip, then I got sick. Since I was feeling better I asked Coach if I could do my marathon track set…but he said to go do an easy long monster run (on the road) instead to help get the stubborn phlegm out. This is why we have a coach, so he can hold you back when you are raring to go. Since today was the famous Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, practically in my neighborhood, I decided I would run from my front door to somewhere along the course and back.


I haven’t ever done the Alcatraz race because I haven’t always been home in June since becoming a triathlete, and even when I was, it was way too expensive for a sorta-Olympic distance race. So I always said that I will do it when I become a pro, that way I could get in for free! I didn’t really get my pro card in time this year, so maybe next time. :)

So I say I’m from San Francisco when people from far away places ask, because that is the closest big city, but I really live in Pacifica, which is 2 cities down along the coast. So named because of our proximity to the Pacific Ocean, we also call it P-Town or the 94044. Daly City is the next city going up the coast before SF, which has an enormous Pinoy population and is where I went to elementary, middle, and high school. I also have a giant extended family who all pretty much live within a 5-mile radius of P-Town. So today’s monster run was like a tour of where I grew up.


I filled up my Camelbak with my favorite flavor of Gatorade (X-Factor yellow, tastes like Skittles), fully charged up the Ipod, grabbed my magic running sticks (filled with refill money), threw on my Avia visor and Avi-Rhythms, and out the front door I went! I decided to take surface streets until I hit the Great Highway (which has a pedestrian path). In high school our track coach sent us on a similar (though much shorter) route but we would run down the shoulder of the highway, and he would just advise us to please not become hood ornaments…

First I ran by cousin Alvina’s house and my grandma’s house (they live 4 houses apart about 5 blocks away from us). 10mins later I bumped into my aunt, Alv’s mom, who was on a long walk of her own. She asked where I was going, I said Lake Merced (10 miles round-trip) so she wouldn’t think I was too crazy.

I had suited up in full tights and a warm long-sleeve shirt and could already tell I overdressed. Hmm. Well, better to be too warm than too cold, at least it is good practice for Korea to sweat extra.

I ran by my senior prom date’s house.

@25mins, I ran by my alma mater, Westmoor High School, and the Asian supermarket (Ranch 99, great source for Hello Pandas) a block away that they built during my sophomore year. I’m pretty excited that by next summer, Westmoor is getting a brand new swimming pool (I learned to swim…barely…during freshman P.E.) and the dirt track I ran many laps around is getting upgraded to a rubber track!

…I would insert some dorky pictures from high school here but I don’t have any in digital format…if you are lucky I might scan some one of these days. ;)

I ran by my co-valedictorian’s old house.

I ran by the library where I studied for my SAT’s.

I ran by another cousin’s house.

@45mins I was inside San Francisco city limits and running by Lake Merced. This was where the Westmoor cross country team held summer practices, and thus the place I first became an athlete and fell in love with running. Exactly 14 summers ago. When I did the math in my head, I realized I’ve now spent over half my life as a competitive athlete. Wow.


@60mins hit the Great Highway, right next to the San Francisco zoo where that tiger escaped from his little tiger area and killed those boys that were taunting him a couple Christmases ago.


I ran by my college crush’s street.

I ran by my high school crush’s street.

The Great Highway goes along the coast by Ocean Beach, where 5 years ago I had been an extra in a commercial for Wachovia Bank, as a triathlete of course. Easiest $400 I ever made for maybe 40mins of splashing around the Ocean, I wish I could find this commercial on YouTube as I haven’t ever actually seen it.


@75mins I was passing by the west end of Golden Gate Park where I’d run many high school XC races and road races.

@85mins I made it to the Cliff House, where I had celebrated my 17th birthday with my “twin” Patti, my high school cross country teammate who turned 14 the same day. We were a senior and freshman then, yup I graduated 10 years ago and will be missing the 10-year reunion this summer in favor of going to Swiss camp instead.


At this point I hit the GGNRA (Golden Gate National Recreational Area) and Lands End trail, which begins right behind the Cliff House and had been recently renovated. And by “recent” I mean in the last few years, as I don’t actually train in this area very often. So now I was going up and down through the dirt trail with some wooden stairs built in some places, this is in between the ocean and on a cliff side. If you have ever raced Alcatraz or seen videos of the run portion, you will understand.


@105mins it was time to turn around, but I just spotted the most gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Aha! now how cool would that be, I thought, to say I ran all the way from my house to the Golden Gate Bridge…AND BACK??? How far can it be?


@120mins (AKA 2 hours) the bridge did not look that much closer. Uhh Wongstar, just because you can see the bridge doesn’t mean it is that close. It is a pretty big bridge, you know. And it takes you almost an hour to bike there from home… Oh fine. I listened to the logical voice in my head and turned around. The Camelbak was running low.


I stopped by the newish and very clean well-stocked Porta-potties behind the Cliff House, then stopped by a gas station by Golden Gate Park for some refilling. I chugged down a bottled Starbucks mocha frappuccino for some caffeine action and got more yellow Gatorade for the Camelbak. No gels for me, I operate solely on liquid sugar and caffeine.

The caffeine probably kicked in at some point, I felt really good on the way back and probably picked up the pace. I mean, if the 3rd and 4th hour of your monster run doesn’t feel much different (and actually better) than the first two hours, I think that’s a good sign.

Exactly 4 hours later I was back in my neighborhood. About 3hrs 50mins run time. Probably not quite marathon distance as I was going at an easy phlegm-loosening pace, and I was a little disappointed I didn’t get all the way to the GG Bridge (maybe 1-2miles short?) …almost doesn’t count…I’ll get there next time.

I love monster runs.

Please leave your comments on the forum.