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Lessons of a Future Superstar: IM CDA 2010 « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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Lessons of a Future Superstar: IM CDA 2010

Well, Coeur d’Alene was not a spectacular race for me–I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a bad race, because like all races it was a great learning experience. So what do you do after a not-so-spectacular race? You learn from your mistakes and move on to the next race. I guess for me, the moving on part is really complete after I write up my race report.

So I learned during the bike that I actually have hot male fans who are my age. One of them told me that the highlight of his week is reading my blog. So sorry, random hottie for not posting anything for 2 weeks now. I am sure it was a sad 2 weeks for you. I’ve been stuck in blogger purgatory because I refuse to write a new blog until I’ve done the race report…and it’s always hard writing up a race that wasn’t so great. More fun to write about, say, online dating shenanigans.

Since I’m not too motivated to go over every blow-by-blow per usual, instead you are getting the “concise” version of everything the Wongstar learned during Ironman CDA. If you are easily offended by references to #1 and #2 you can skip this one. (If you are clueless, go on Urban Dictionary.)

ready set go pros!

ready set go pros!

The swim:

I learned that a 35-minute headstart on the age groupers was not enough for me. It was pretty devastating to come out from my first lap and see that the age groupers had already gone off.

I learned that my swim fitness has gone kaput and the swim experiment of the last 4 months hasn’t been working. So now back to doing whatever got me down to a 1:05 last year…because a 1:22 is just WRONG. I know I have it in me to go faster.

at least I look good in my blueseventy Axis?

at least I look good in my blueseventy Axis?

In T1:

I learned that I had a Wongstar fan volunteering in the change tent, she was awesome, thank you. :D

I also learned you get the whole tent to yourself when you are a slow pro swimmer with a 35-minute headstart on the amateurs.

ironically some people yelled great swim! because 47mins would be SMOKIN for an age grouper!

ironically some people yelled "great swim!" because 47mins would be SMOKIN' for an age grouper!

On the bike…

I learned that there are hot boys my age who are Wongstar fans. Wait I said that already. ;)

maybe Hello Pandas in the back pockets arent so aero but bonking is even worse.

maybe Hello Pandas in the back pockets aren't so aero but bonking is even worse.

I learned that if you are biking so slow that it feels like the brakes are on…you might want to check your brakes.

Yep, 4.5 hours into the ride I learned that my rear brake was rubbing. I had diligently checked them on race morning and I think the whole rear caliper was side-shifted when I hit a bump on the bike. I wasn’t sure why I was going slower than I had expected (first loop took 2:50) and it finally started squeaking as I trudged up a hill around mile 80. ARGHHHH

Unfortunately the way the rear calipers are set up on the P3 required me to remove the whole thing to fine-tune the adjustment. Sooo…I had to hang out on the side of the road and get that adjusted. On one hand, I was somewhat relieved there was an explanation on why I was going so slow…on the other hand I was so far behind the other pro women by that point.

Well, I learned the hard way to make sure all my bolts are tightened before a race–even if things seem like they are lined up okay, they might be loose.

going nowhere fast--check your brakes!

going nowhere fast--check your brakes!

One of the big highlights of my day: I learned how to do a #1 on the bike for the first (and second!!) time ever!!!

I am so proud of that moment that it deserves to be a superstar step…I felt so “pro.” Yep, How to Become An International Triathlon Superstar, Step #12: Learn to “go” on the bike.

I am sure many of you are surprised I have never done this before…I mean, even age groupers do this all the time. But you see, as an overachiever since birth, I was potty-trained at an extremely early age–before I turned a year old. Google tells me that the average age of potty training for girls is 2 to 3 years. Slackers. So it’s been hard for me to reverse 27 years of self-control and mentally allowing myself to just let go while biking (or running, and heck even going in my wetsuit took a while). We all remember the shame of having “an accident” at preschool or kindergarten. I tend to get stage fright with people around me too.

If you are wondering how, because you haven’t, and of course you want to be a superstar too: it was easier when going downhill. Stand up on the pedals and relax. You won’t splash the bike bottle on your downtube thanks to Newton’s First Law of Motion.

no, I wasnt going in this picture.

no, I wasn't "going" in this picture.

In T2:

I learned not to panic about how far behind I was. I was freaking out and rushing through and asking the volunteers “How far behind am I?!?!” and my Wongstar fan/change tent volunteer told me not to worry about it and that I was doing great. That was a total lie, but whoever you are, thank you for the kind words and support. It did mean a lot to me and I’m sorry I didn’t get to thank you in person as I was pretty frazzled. :)

I learned that Wongstar fans will still love you and root for you no matter how far behind you are starting the marathon–this proved to be true during most of the run. Thank you for everyone that cheered for me. It is pretty cool when people you don’t know yell “Go Jocelyn!” when your bib number says “Wongstar.” So like I always say, obviously I am the most recognizable pro out there. :)

Onto the run:

I learned that I can run 7:40/mile pace and feel under control.

holding steady for the marathon

holding steady for the marathon

I learned that I should really race in a 2-piece outfit because as much as I love my one-piece race kit, like T-Mac once asked me “but what happens if you have to use the washroom?” (That’s Canadian-speak for taking a #2.)

Yes, after a great first half-marathon, I learned that having the urge to drop off the kids at the pool is very uncomfortable for 13 miles.

the dont crap yourself face

the "don't crap yourself" face

I learned (in hindsight) it is probably better to stop and spend some time in the “washroom” instead of slowing down to avoid soiling yourself. Dropping the kids off at home was never an option because that is House Rule #1 for staying with the Lee’s. (I told them the only exception should be if I was winning the race but Susan says no exceptions.) I was wearing my one-piece though with the Camelbak strapped on and it didn’t occur to me that stopping to lose a pound or two would make me go faster.

I learned that I can have a not-spectacular run and still break 3.5 hours in the marathon. So, that is definitely PROGRESS!

I learned that no matter how far behind I am hitting T2, I can mentally pull myself together and focus on running a strong marathon as a great training session. I will never drop out of a race just because I am lightyears from winning prize money and many more lightyears from winning the race.

I learned that even with a mechanical on the bike and slowing down significantly on the second half of my run, I still almost managed to run myself up to top 10 in the pro ranks. Maybe given another mile or two…for my efforts I ended up in 12th. I never actually caught anyone but 5 women dropped out. So uh, technically I beat them. ;)

I learned that no matter what, running through the finish chute of an Ironman is still one of the BEST feelings ever:

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Post-race:

I learned that these random hot boys my age are probably a figment of my imagination as they seem to disappear post-race, probably to the comfort of their girlfriends and wives who are playing sherpa for them (vomit!).

a smile for the finish, 5 seconds before the Christmas tree allergies kicked in.

a smile for the finish, 5 seconds before the Christmas tree allergies kicked in.

I shall live to fight another day.

Thank you to all my sponsors for your continued support!

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