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pre-race in Jeju, fat-loading on ice cream « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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pre-race in Jeju, fat-loading on ice cream

The Wongstar loves race week because she hears Coach’s voice back in Subic (before Ironman China) saying “Now is not the time to start starving yourself.  Make sure you eat!!”  And my travel companion Donna in China…”this is the week to eat!”  “this is the day to eat!”  “this is the dinner to eat!”  “this is the lunch to eat!”  MMM, race week.  I even met a cute guy in the dessert line at the carbo-loading dinner when I was getting seconds for chocolate cake.  ;)

That was in China.  Now I’m in Korea.  This is probably the most foreign country I’ve ever been to thus far, which is kind of fun if a little confusing at times.  In China at least the writing looked familiar (from those torturous memories of Chinese school on many a childhood weekend), and I could understand and speak some.  Here hardly anyone speaks any English and they’ll speak Korean to me.  I’m using the desktop computer that each of our rooms at the Bluehill House comes equipped in, and I was really weirded out that I couldn’t figure out how to get the keyboard to type in English.  Cam showed me the special “slash” button that I had to press.

Ever since Ironman Korea lost its M-Dot, the international field has gotten smaller and smaller.  There will still be 600 athletes starting tomorrow morning, most of them Korean, and that’s twice the size of Ironman China this year!  I am actually the one and only American racing, and there are no Chinese people either, so I will do double duty and represent both very well.  :)   I took a picture of the Warrior Horse all clean and shiny with his new USA, China, and California flag stickers, and lots of other cool photos but can’t upload them to this computer now.  Give me a few days, I’ll have plenty of time in the airports during some long layovers.  I’ve been hanging out with bodyguard Cam, Jan Rehula (hilarious Czech fellow who used to train with Sutto and now helps coach the Korean national team), and Dan Brown who is another Aussie.  I think the 4 of us make up half of the English-speaking participants of the whole race.  And I know this because there were about 8 of us at the race briefing held in English.

Cam and I had a lunchtime adventure today which culminated in the whole “ordering from the picture menu” backfiring on us.  We ordered some hot soup dish that was supposed to be pork and rice.  Except the pork bits in the soup were all fat chunks.  We ended up having two bowls of rice each and mixing it with the kim-chee.  Then we went to a bakery straight after because we were still hungry, and it’s race week, can’t starve yourself during race week!  Going to the grocery store was more successful because you can at least see what you are buying.  I figured out which milk was soy milk because of the pictures of the soybeans all over it.  Cam got ice cream which had pictures of pistachios and I had the ice cream with the pictures of Oreo cookies and chocolate bars on it.

I decided to go with some Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino drinks in my Camelbak during the last lap of the marathon instead of Coke this time, as I don’t really like Coke and if you don’t completely defizz it, your Camelbak turns into a balloon.  I’m gonna freeze it tonight, cuz our awesome accommodations (where our team stayed last year at the Jeju training camp) has a fridge and freezer.  Then hopefully by the time I get it at special needs tomorrow, it’ll still be nice cold coffee.  If not, at least warm or hot coffee is ok too…hahaha…better than warm or hot Coke right!!  and yes, I have practiced with it in training, gosh, go read my Monster Run blog if you don’t remember.

Jeju is in fact, really gorgeous and I can see how it would be a great place to train.  I’ll be back for the whole month of September for the pre-Kona training camp.  No, not going to Kona, but I am going to learn to swim during this next block of training camps after tomorrow’s ironman.  Tomorrow, the swim is wetsuit legal (hip hip hooray!) and we are going the direction with the buoys on the side I breathe on (double yay).  It’s a mass start so I think I’ll have some good age groupers to swim with.  Or maybe some bad pro guys, who knows ;)   I have been swimming with Duncan the Donut practically every swim session, so swimming 4k’s without him should seem easy, right?

The weather here is a bit sketch, it’s been pouring down rain, then clearing up, but it’s foggy and overcast like at home in Pacifica yet crazy humid.  I got drenched running 20mins this morning and that was without the rain.  :D   So I’m mentally prepared for a wet day, or maybe it’ll “pull a China,” dry up, and get crazy hot.  In all cases, I’m going to see how many men I can “chick” as the pro field is a little bit sparse.  The race organizers must have read my last blog because they put me in the transition area right next to the men’s 18-24 age group.  ;)

I can definitely feel my Asian Triathlon Superstar status rising here in Korea, as some of the racers recognized me from Ironman China, and I got an introduction with a spotlight on me at the carbo dinner.  :)   After dinner some fans even wanted to get their picture taken with me!  Racing in Asia is the best :)

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