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the Swiss track marathon championships « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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the Swiss track marathon championships

The end of August and thus the end of Swiss training camp approaches.  All of my roommates–Bean, LC, and recently Manny–have abandoned me to clean out the Swiss penthouse to Swiss standards.  A very daunting task and I’m not sure if I am up to it!  I tossed out the half jar of Nutella one of them left as I am learning to think more like a champion, a nice side effect from hanging out with Coco.  Which means I need to eat more like a champion.  And champions don’t eat Nutella.  Or chocolate croissants.  Or chocolate cereal.  Or chocolate cookies.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a guy or one of them skinny-ass vegetarian girls!

I land in Korea for our September training camp on Friday, and with just 2 weeks out from my next ironman race, the GreatMan in central Korea, learned that the race has been cancelled.  The official reason is the H1N1 flu hype–my initial reaction was “but I’ve already had swine flu and it wasn’t that bad!”  But now rumors have been circulating that my competition (both the pro women AND men) heard I was racing and were totally scared off.  Apparently I was ready to whack the living daylights out of them after training and racing for 6 weeks in the Swiss and French Alps.  Who knew the Wongstar was so damn intimidating?

Well, I like nothing better to vent out my disappointment than a monster marathon run on the track.  No teammates and no Coach would be there; just me, my Avias, the two Camelbaks, a fully-charged ipod, and the Swiss Alps surrounding me.  I decided that this would be my own championship race.  The Swiss track marathon championships!  Nobody to whack the living crap out of except for myself.  Because it is what you do when nobody is watching that makes the difference.

where champions are made

where champions are made

My support crew consisted of Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, Good Charlotte, ATB, the Killers, Kelly Clarkson and even some Avril and Britney.  This new playlist was only 3hr 37min long, so of course I had to finish before the last song ended.  3:39 was my fastest track marathon over 4 months ago in Subic, and 3:33 was my best marathon ever at Embrun 2 weeks ago.  Maybe now I could go under 3.5 hours!

The night before I made the dinner of champions:  a big liver and onion salad.  Most people find eating liver to be really gross but being Chinese I don’t find it unusual and actually…like it.  I finally figured out how to cook it myself after Bean left.  It is also chock full of all kinds of magical nutritional goodness, and bonus, it’s also the cheapest meat here ;)  Don’t tell my competition, but eating liver is going to make me faster than them!

food for champions, bon appetit!

food for champions, bon appetit!

I also filled up my Camelbaks and put them in the fridge so I could roll out of bed and get an early start.  Below is a picture from my Jeju race; see, I really did use Starbucks!  I couldn’t find a Starbucks or even bottled Starbucks here in Leysin, so I used the local iced coffee: 3 servings with 80mg of caffeine in each.  Is that a lot?  I also threw in 3 tabs of Kona Cola Nuun for electrolytes, before realizing each tab also has 20mg of caffeine.  So 300mg of caffeine for someone who rarely has any…now that’s rocket fuel.

There is a reason they look like IV bags...they provide a constant drip of hydration and electrolytes!  and caffeine in the 2nd one!

There is a reason they look like IV bags...they provide a constant drip of hydration and electrolytes! and caffeine in the 2nd one!

Well I biked down to the track Sunday morning, an early start meant brr was it cold.  Not yet September and already getting cold in Switzerland!  I wore my Scody one-piece racing kit, it’s always good to practice training in what you race in.  At least the sun was out and I would warm up soon enough.  Off I went; it always takes me a couple miles to settle in and soon I was comfortably shuffling along.  A few guys were out for their regular Sunday stroll around the track.  One of them was speedwalking in Lane 1, but always moved aside when I approached and would call out “Bravo!” to me.  His technique reminded me to go heel-toe, heel-toe.  My legs and feet are finally starting to cooperate after Coach said this was the only way to get under 3:20.  No more silly toe-running, I want to go under 3:20!

The miles began to fly by almost effortlessly and my legs seemed to go into auto-pilot.  Is this “the zone?” because I think I’m “in the zone!”  Track marathons are not for the mentally weak.  Before I knew it, I had hit halfway and switched to the iced coffee rocket fuel.  Delicious!  Cappuccino flavor.  Not sure if anybody else drinks coffee during their marathons, but you are all missing out.  :)  I went back to holding pace and soon the legs told me they wanted to go faster.  Well, ok legs, but don’t go crazy, keep it under control, ok?!

With 10k to go I granted full permission to flog myself and brought the mile splits down further…7:20…7:16…  Nothing like a good negative split to finish off a track marathon!  Wow that seemed to go by a lot quicker than the last time…  oh, because I did actually go a lot quicker than last time…faster than I ever have before!  I didn’t see my final marathon time until I hit “stop”:

a little bit salty despite my electrolyte drips

a little bit salty despite my electrolyte drips

3:26:04, a new marathon PR!

I relaxed, rehydrated, and refueled, then headed back up the mountain on Blue Steel.  The hardest part about biking home was actually swinging my leg over the top tube…a little bit sore!  I don’t see why anybody would pay 13 francs to take the train up when you have a perfectly working bike with a full set of gears.  ;)

Champions don’t take the easy way home.

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