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Top 5 Thoughts on the Royal Wedding.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

I know what you’re thinking!

it's a lie! We all watched it!!!

And I personally didn’t even know when the Royal Wedding was supposed to be either, although I’m sure my mom would’ve told me. She was always a huge Princess Diana fan and I remember how devastated she was and even what we were doing on that fateful day back in 1997. My siblings and I were watching a rerun of Baywatch when they flashed the news of the car crash across the bottom of the screen…underlining some scene with David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson no doubt.

But my main goal in life is to become an international superstar of some sort, and I came to realize there was a lesson to be learned from the Royal Wedding. See, last Friday morning as I was ready to head out the door, the Facebook app on my smartphone started blowing up with everyone’s updates on the Royal Wedding. I turned on the TV and holy crap, it was on every single channel.

the best thing about having a sister is that your girlfriends can't fight over who maid of honor will be

Sure I only pay $10.95/month for the basic channels but still! My first thought was whoa, that has to set a new precedent for international superstardom: having your wedding broadcast on every single channel in a foreign country. I’m not going to even pretend that being a triathlon superstar will let me come anything close to that… :( Although I do recall my cousin Alex remarking a year or two back, that since I was in a different country every other month, he wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up streaming my wedding live on the internets. ha!! :)

Other than that, I do love weddings and doesn’t every girl grow up wanting to be a pretty, pretty princess? So I ended up leaving the TV on whenever I was back at the apartment and without further ado, here were my top 5 thoughts:

#5: Time has not been kind to Prince William’s hairline.

sorry Wills, but please put your hat back on.

It’s unfortunate because as my friend Courtney also mentioned in her blog, what girl who is now 28 (+/- a couple years) didn’t have a crush on Wills when we were all younger? Prince Harry used to be the awkward-looking runt but I’d have to say I’ve officially switched over to Team Harry.

#4: Tiaras are the best!

if only we could all look this lovely when we get married!

I’m currently building up my own collection. I think I’ll pack one when I go to the races to accessorize potential podium outfits. ;)

#3: The silly Brits say “‘Til death us do part” instead of “Til death do us part.”

seriously, compare the two brothers' hair.

#2: Those wedding guests can totally re-wear their hats at the Kentucky Derby this weekend!

I prefer tiaras.

Did anyone else feel like we were back in Louisville?

A visit to the 'Ville isn't complete without trying on derby hats. I'll be returning in August!

#1: Wow, Kate has a hot younger sister with a super cute nickname “Pippa” and quite the perky butt.

the butt that spawned a Facebook fan page

I wasn’t really paying attention until later that night when my older sister messaged me “You are totally the Pippa to my Kate.” Like the Middleton sisters, we are also 20 months apart and have been duking it out for almost 30 years. I thought it was because of the brouhaha I overheard on TV about how Kate’s sister had a maid of honor (ooops, I mean “HONOUR”; they’re British) dress also in a shade of white, as if she were trying to steal Kate’s thunder.

Yes! I would totally do that! Why’s it always gotta be about Marcia Marcia Marcia?

My sister also confirmed it was because I had a perkier butt. Apparently, those rear-end shots of Pippa holding Kate’s train made the rounds on the internet and her butt even has its own Facebook page now, the “Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society” with over 180,000 fans and growing strong! The internets has described Pippa as “Gorgeous, athletic, confident, supportive and totally sisterly” and already “making a splash as a female with some back assets” so I’d have to say yes, that’s me. If by “totally sisterly” they mean “always trying to one-up the big sister,” then yeah! ;)

Yes, I’m totally a fan. Three cheers for younger sisters! And may everyone find true love and happiness, hearts and sunshine and rainbows and all that! :D

These are the legs that winter built.

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

How To Become an International Triathlon Superstar, Step #23: Spend hundreds of hours (i.e. thousands of virtual miles) on your trainer during the winter to grow your bike monster legs.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I officially survived my first East Coast winter and I’m happy to report that I am feeling the positive effects of all my indoor bike miles. Which I just calculated as almost 200 hours worth. And if you do a super low-ball estimate of say 15mph, that’s 3,000 miles!

I'm sure you were expecting a boring picture of me with my massiver quads on the trainer but you get a picture of me racing in Louisville instead. Now imagine my legs are 2x bigger. Then quiver in fear.

Once December hit, I was tired of spending a whole hour putting on so many clothes just to ride outside. And it sketched me out to put on ski gloves so thick that I couldn’t really feel the brakes properly. I told Coach I didn’t actually mind riding the trainer (I have a CycleOps Fluid²) and he agreed that I didn’t have to ride outside any more, pointing out something else scary that manifested on the wintry roads: ICE! Great in cubic form in a fun fizzy drink on a summer day, but freaky and scary and dangerous on a cold winter day. Coach said it wasn’t worth busting my collarbone just to ride outside in the fresh air.

And I really didn’t mind riding inside so much. It was much better than freezing my butt off outside and buying special winter biking layers. For nearly four months (December-January-February-March), I was riding at least 10 hours on the trainer every week. I may have gone outside two or three times, when we got a false alarm early spring in March, but it was a REALLY long winter. I was starting to get cabin fever towards the end of it.

my rain & winter best friend

“Ugh how can you stand to ride on the trainer so much?” everyone always asks. Oh not too bad: that was about 200 hours of TV shows and movies. I became a proud card-carrying member of the public library, where you can borrow DVD’s for 7 days (and renew up to 3 times). For FREE of course! Much better deal than Netflix or Redbox or Blockbuster, eh? It also pays to date a guy with an expansive DVD collection. ;) And for the short 45-min spins on some days, that’s a full episode of Glee or Nikita or Hellcats, or two episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which you can stream online for free. (Yes “FREE” is like a magic word for me.)

Also if you are a cheapo like me, you quickly learn that you don’t need to turn your heater on in the winter if you warm up your little studio apartment by biking inside it. See, I am not only saving the environment but my utilities bill.

So then I waited until it was consistently warm enough for all the ice to completely melt. There were a couple of days back in February when it hit over 50 and people would say “oh, now you can bike outside!” but I still wouldn’t, because cabin fever and all, there were still insidious patches of ice out. So I figured better to have an X-Men movie marathon (Wolverine is my favorite) or watch the Blade trilogy. I even got through the first two complete seasons of The West Wing before I got bored with the third one. A 4-hour ride means two 2-hour movies, and a 3-hr ride is either 2x90min movies or 4x45min TV episodes.

I like to experiment with real food while training.

As an interesting side effect, it seems that my already massive quads grew even larger. (In college, my cycling teammates called me “Quadzilla” because my legs were bigger than theirs. And they were all boys.) At first I was horrified that I got fat and slow over winter, even though my boobs have been shrinking (the surest sign I am getting fit), because my jeans have been tighter in the legs.

Then I started punching out my standard 150km time trial loop every Sunday and was shocked that I have been going faster than I’ve ever been. The same exact loop I had mapped out in October and my ginormous quads just keep going. The Wongstar is pleased. Coach had always said riding on the trainer makes you strong but I guess it took me 200 hours of indoor biking for me to see the light. :)

It is now T-minus 1 month til Ironman China so I’m excited to see what I can do there. So to all of you who bitch and moan and say “I hate riding the trainer!” all I have to say is “You must hate getting faster too.”

The end. :)

how to throw an EGGcellent Easter EGGstravaganza

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

superstars throw the best parties! Here’s how to do it:

1. Order up a bunch of Haamonii Smooth Shochu to “share harmony” with all your friends. That’s the Easter spirit! (haha! that pun wasn’t originally intended and I didn’t catch it until I proof-read!)

Easter is an EGGcellent time to share harmony!

Order your own online at D&M spirits, free shipping! :D

2. Hit up the dollar store and buy $30 worth of Easter eggs (we got 112) and Easter candy. Including green Peeps and Winnie-the-Pooh Pez dispensers.

and I’ve probably said this before, but in Delaware, everything at the dollar store really *is* only a dollar because we have NOOOOO SALES TAX! I will not be getting over how awesome this is any time soon. (and this is EGGzactly why everyone should buy a bike at The Bike Boutique here. fact!)

3. No kids allowed. This is an Easter egg hunt for grown-ups!

4. Fill up the eggs with aforementioned candy, quarters, and hmmm “adult” items that ironically go against certain Easter-celebrating religions. Well, the Easter Bunny wasn’t in the Bible either.

5. Hide the eggs all around the house…our guests were really most EGGcited about finding the eggs with the quarters, go figure.

like a kid at the candy store, but with more money to spend!

6. There were two birthday guests. One of them got a really embarassing birthday gift that we made her open up in front of everyone. The other one was found passed out on top of the dryer with his feet in the washing machine at 3am. Photos will not be posted on this blog to protect the innocent, and instead kept for blackmailing purposes in the near future.

Hope you all had an EGGcellent Easter! For the fans who are concerned I am “socializing” more than I am training, never fear. I EGGzuberantly report that I’ve been having some of my strongest sessions yet (most EGGcellent!), which leave me rather…EGGzausted. No EGGzaggerating. Ok I better end this blog now… before you throw rotten eggs at me. ;)

the 90-minute treadmill playlist

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

We are WAAAAY overdue for a superstar step. Here you go…How To Become an International Triathlon Superstar, Step #22: Prepare the Soundtrack to the Movie of Your Life.

This goes along with “how to stay motivated during winter” and “how to get excited about treadmill sessions.” Yes, I finally succumbed. I tried to put it off for as long as I could, running outside in sub-freezing temps, but then the snow came and then half-melted into icy slush, emphasis on the “icy.” It was then too dangerous to run outside when you could very well slip on ice and pull a muscle or faceplant or break your collarbone or something else dumb and stupid you don’t want to do when it’s your job to exercise for a living.

this is how I feel like on a treadmill.

Now I loooooove track sessions and have no problems going ’round and ’round for hours on end but the treadmill… I’m still learning to love. No fears, here is what I’ve found to help me conquer the “dreadmill”:

  1. Have a plan. I write out exactly what my workout is, what speed I should go for how many minutes, and what pace this correlates to (both mins/mile and marathon time).
  2. Write down your favorite motivational quotes. (One is the Boss’ “Weak desires get weak results.” I also like “Be the best version of yourself.”)
  3. Print out the course map of your next race.
  4. Put those 3 pieces of paper in ziploc sandwich baggies and tape them onto the face of the treadmill. (I sweat a ton especially treadmill running, to the point that I splash over the display…and to neighboring treadmills. AHAHA. Hence the ziploc baggies.)
  5. Make a special new playlist for each particular treadmill session!

I like to grab a treadmill facing a window but unfortunately I usually get stuck in front of the TV that is playing the “Cookie Jar TV” kiddie channel on Saturday mornings. Apparently they used to stream updated versions of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake (from my very own childhood) a year ago but now it’s episodes of Horseland and Busyland Mysteries. Seriously?! So I crank up the tunes as loud as I can to focus on the workout because watching these dumb cartoons is way distracting.

This session is a 90-minute run where I increase my speed every 5 minutes. So I go from warm-up pace to Ironman pace to much faster than Ironman pace by the end. I’ve had friends and fans request what kind of music I listen to, so here’s a peek. The trick is to make sure every song excites you–like if you were to hear EACH SONG on the radio, you would yell “I LOOOOOOOVE THIS SONG!!!!!” and sing along to all the lyrics. The songs start out a bit slower and get faster…relatively.

Now I really don’t care what you think of my taste in music (yes there is some Britney and Paris Hilton and a former Spice Girl), but this is what gets me excited to run on the treadmill. I don’t make fun of your music and I’m not ashamed of mine:

1. Pork and Beans — Weezer
2. Love the Way You Lie — Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. Amnesia — Britney Spears
4. Poker Face — Lady Gaga
5. Don’t Stop Believin’ — Journey
6. Secrets — OneRepublic
7. Sometime Around Midnight — The Airborne Toxic Event
8. Bad Romance — Lady Gaga
9. Not Falling Apart (Tiesto Remix) — Maroon 5
10. Take On Me — a-Ha
11. Hot N Cold — Katy Perry
12. Raise Your Glass — P!nk
13. Spaceman — The Killers
14. In My Arms (Bimbo Jones Club Extended Mix) –Plumb
15. Holding Out for a Hero (Club Remix) — Bonnie Tyler
16. I’m So Sick — Flyleaf
17. Mr. Brightside — The Killers
18. Nothing In This World (Dave Aude Radio Edit) — Paris Hilton
19. Not in Love — Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith
20. I Turn To You (Hex Hector Radio Mix) — Melanie C
21. Papercut — Linkin Park
22. Major Tom (Coming Home) — Shiny Toy Guns

Enjoy and happy treadmill running! :) P.S. What’s REALLY exciting is that temps are supposed to go well over 50*F on Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday!!!! WOOHOOOOO East Coast heat wave!!!

IM Cactus pre-race blog

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

The blog’s gone quiet as I’ve been gearing up for a spectacular season finale here at Ironman Arizona. Hard to believe that it’s already here…I’m already here…and the race is tomorrow. I’m feeling fit and strong. There’s a huge pro field here, probably the biggest I’ve been in. Ironman.com actually referred to it as a “superstar professional field.” Obviously because I’m on the start list. The Wongstar is not too concerned though. I don’t even know who most of them are. None of their names popped up when I googled “triathlon superstar” so what’s there to be worried about? ;)

Serena and White Tiger

I am staying with my high school assistant track coach and his family in Phoenix. “Mr. R” knew me when I was a prepubescent 13-year-old super scrawny runner and he was actually younger than I am now when I was in his U.S. History class my sophomore year. Serena is their bubbly 5-year-old and super excited about everything like I am. :)

Momma Wongstar gets interviewed

Also making her first appearance at one of my pro races is none other than Momma Wongstar herself. She hasn’t seen me race since I did an almost-14-hour day at Ironman Florida…7 years ago. The superstar family has been followed by a camera crew filming “Wongstar: the Documentary” and we did some training footage and interviews today.

girls in pink

I got to catch up with my big sisters Donna and Coco who I hadn’t seen since Thailand in April (Donna) and Korea over a year ago (Coco). Also excited that my little triathlon sister, Amy, also flew in as support crew!

Track me tomorrow on Ironman.com, #73 (see–big field, my biggest bib # this year!). Race begins at 6:50am Arizona time, which is 5:50am in California and 8:50am in Delaware. They don’t do daylight savings here, not sure why, something about all the cactus (cacti?) getting confused.

bustin’ myths about pageants and punkins

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Oh gosh, we are overdue for a superstar step.

How to Become An International Triathlon Superstar, Step #21: Work your superstar persona to get on internationally-broadcasted television with international TV stars.

with Adam of the Mythbusters

So you remember how excited I was about entering this year’s Punkin Chunkin Pageant? Well, the day came today. I’d be working the event for MSN TV to do a story on the Discovery Channel/Science Channel Thanksgiving Day broadcast of the 25th annual Punkin Chunkin World Championship.

I shopped for a cute outfit. I practiced my speech. I watched America’s Next Top Model and worked on my stage walk.

The pageant was at 12:30pm. They said to get there by 11:30am, 12noon at the latest. But “come early to avoid traffic.” Ominous.

We left the hotel (15 miles away) at 10:30. I had to get in my morning workouts before we left, of course. Priorities! At 11:15am we got in a huge line to the parking area. Which was 5 miles away. At 11:55am we were still at least 4 miles away and I realized I was very likely going to miss the competition.

At 1:30pm we were finally in. Yep. I missed the whole damn pageant. Who knew it would take 3 hours to drive 15 miles? I regretted leaving White Tiger in the hotel room because I could’ve easily biked there in time! :(

Ah well. No worries. The pageant director still gave me my pumpkin tiara and contestant sash…because it’s America, where everyone’s a winner. People still congratulated me and wanted to take photos with me.

of course there is pumpkin funnel cake!

For consolation, I went to watch the pumpkin firing machines and hunt down the Mythbusters; we tried the pumpkin pie and of course pumpkin funnel cake. All in the name of journalism of course.

I got to meet Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame (the duo is hosting the Punkin Chunkin TV broadcast), intending to interview him. Instead, they turned the tables around after hearing about my ridiculous pageant-that-never-happened story and interviewed ME for the show. :)

little did they know, I am used to being interviewed. ;)

I guess they know superstar quality when they see it! ;)

I got to show them my pageant queen wave too.

In conclusion, I got air time on TV for actually missing the pageant, whereas the actual winners did not. Who’s the real winner? :D

I am such a cheese. I know.

laser-engraved superstar gadgets

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

How to Become An International Triathlon Superstar, Step #20: Custom laser-engraved (i.e. “WongSTAR-ized”) gadgets!

the new ipod shuffle:

now supports multiple playlists. yay!

it comes with custom laser engraving…

do you want to be better or stay the same?

and the K-Edge Chain Catcher:

yep, they sent it to me like this

I’ll put up a review tomorrow on this sweet little gadget!

red to match the White Tiger's red racing stripes

from fellow internet weirdos to friends in real life

Monday, October 4th, 2010

How to Become An International Triathlon Superstar, Step #19: Don’t just create and cultivate an international fanbase but forge genuine friendships all across the globe.

So I just looked this up. Google Analytics tells me that in the past year, I’ve had thousands of visitors to my official website (theWongstar.com) from 66 different countries and territories. This includes Ukraine, Ecuador, Croatia, Indonesia, Nepal, Chile, Kuwait, Morocco, and Bulgaria. That’s INSANE. How many of you can even name 66 countries off the top of your head? (Cue theme song to “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?“) And how can you argue against statistics that I’m not an international triathlon superstar by now? :D

What I’ve loved most about becoming a professional triathlete on teamTBB is that I’ve been very fortunate to travel internationally and meet people from all over the world. I used to keep a blog on Livejournal since my senior year in college, when I first did an Ironman but didn’t know many other triathletes my age in real life. As a triathlete blogger, I got connected with other LJ bloggers from various places in the USA and also a couple random triathlete girls in Southeast Asia. Ria in the Philippines and Li Ying in Singapore.

I ended up meeting a contingent of these “LJ friends” in Austin, Texas, when I lived in Dallas for a year, and one of them became my travel sponsor. ;) As I started traveling with teamTBB, I even ended up meeting my LJ friends in Singapore and the Philippines. With the advent of Facebook, it’s been even easier to keep in touch with them. They’ve known me since I was a nobody age-group triathlete, trying to write my thesis so I could graduate from college, trying to decide what to do with my life and which graduate school to pick, and of course they were the first to hear when I got in contact with a real pro triathlon team. Back then I guess it was a little weirder to tell people that you “met on the internet,” though it’s not so uncommon any more these days.

I met Li Ying in Singapore when I did Ironman China for the first time in 2008, and half a year later, met Ria at my first Subic triathlon camp. When I’m back on this side of the globe from them, we sometimes have three-way chats online when I’ve come home from a date–late at night when my local friends have already gone to bed, but it’s morning the next day over where they are–so they can get the entire blow-by-blow.

When I first met Li Ying, I also met another blogger, Bernard; the two of them had just started dating and showed me around Singapore. The next time or the time after that, they were engaged. Yesterday, they got MARRIED.

I was sad to have missed the wedding (of course I got an invite!) as originally there was a chance I’d be doing a training camp in Asia at this time, but life changes so much–me moving to Delaware, Ria taking a job in Hong Kong, and Li Ying getting MARRIED to Bernard. But I am soooo happy for my friends (yes, friends in real life now!) and really thankful that my job gave me the opportunity to meet such great people way on the other side of the world.

Congratulations Li Ying and Bernard!!! :)

Wongstar’s New Crib, Day 1

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

How to Become An International Triathlon Superstar, Step #18: Make enough money as a professional triathlete that you can move out of the parents’ house/your suitcase/various generous homestays’ guest bedrooms, to your very own place.

Yes, the rumors in the gossip mags are all true. I have moved to the first state and just signed a 12-month lease on the super cute studio apartment I fell in love with a couple weeks ago!

And yes, I realize that just earlier this month, I was down to $4.32 en route to Madison, Wisconsin. Actually, what was more obnoxious is that I got double-shafted by those m*****f*****’ ATM fees so I was really down to $2.32. Well, we know that Ironman Wisconsin has always been a magical place for my triathlon career: first Ironman, first (and only) AG podium at an Ironman, and now first paycheck at an Ironman on home soil. That together with more sponsorship money coming through and steady freelance work with MSN TV (the perfect job for a triathlon superstar with a crazy training schedule) meant that for the first time in my life since abruptly veering onto the pro triathlon career path over 3 years ago, I can now actually afford to have my very own place!

Obviously I am beyond excited. To commemorate the beginning of my new life here as a grown-up (didn’t I say that the 18th Ironman was like a “coming of age”?) I decided to finally get over my intimidation of the Flip camera Momma Wongstar got me for my birthday last year. Oh yes…the Wongstar is finally stepping up to video blogs. As much of an attention whore I am, it’s still a bit weird to just talk to the camera. But since I may have to step in for Maggie Q and star in the movie of my life as a superstar, I need to practice, so I’ll try my best! Enjoy :D

In the style of MTV’s Cribs… “Hello this is Wongstar, welcome to my crib!”
…and, “This is where the magic happens!”

YouTube Preview Image

More to come soon.

Oh and let’s not forget, this blog is brought to you by a very generous neighbor (whom I have yet to meet) and his or her awesome 54Mbps unsecured wireless connection that I get a “very good” signal for. Did Comcast really think I was going to pay over $30/month for internet? Thank you, whoever you are, friendly new neighbor, for making the easy and quick uploading of new Wongstar video blogs  possible.

San Francisco fans: meet the Wongstar this Saturday!

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Some people laughed at me from the beginning when I said I wanted to become a triathlon superstar. But I took my superstar aspirations very seriously, not just focusing on putting in the training to get faster and go pro and get faster still, but on marketing myself as the image I wanted to become. I wrote fun blogs, answered the occasional fanmail, was very approachable in person, and practiced signing autographs, giving them out when nobody asked for them. I looked for my own sponsors whose goals aligned with mine and somewhere down the line, strange things started happening.

People I didn’t know started coming up to me at various events. They yell for me in races and tell me they love my blog. They scream “Go Jocelyn!” when my bib number only says “Wong(star)”. I actually started getting requests for autographs and offers to pay for postage on autographed photos of me. I still try to act very nonchalant and not shocked when this happens but it’s kind of weird, in this fantastic sort of way. I used my very charming personality and uniqueness as Asian Triathlon Superstar to land my own “post-race re-hydration sponsor.”

Yep, this Saturday, I am going to have a very sore hand signing autographs because my liquor sponsor, Haamonii Smooth Shochu, will be sponsoring a big event in San Francisco: the J-Pop Summit Festival in Japantown. I’ll be helping to “share harmony” at our festival booth and am being billed as the headliner!

Yes, indeed this Saturday in San Francisco, you can meet the world’s first and only Asian-American female professional triathlete and get her autograph. (Gosh, that does make me feel pretty special. ;) ) When James, head of Haamonii, told me he wanted me to sign photos, I mentioned I usually get them done at Costco for 13 cents apiece, that I could pay for them, and how many should I print out? …thinking maybe a hundred… Well apparently over 30,000 people will be coming through the booth and they want to print out “several thousand” photos.

WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Luckily he didn’t take up my incredibly stupid offer to pay for the thousands of prints myself! I’ll be there from 11am until 6pm, and then we are hosting a VIP party from 7pm to 9pm.  You can get on the guest list by signing up for the email list on the Haamonii website. Hope to meet some local fans and make new ones!

Enjoy Haamonii Smooth Shochu…the low calorie, no hangover choice of triathlon superstars! ;)