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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. ;)

first spring in the first state

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

for some odd reason, the number 300 makes me think of super ripped shirtless dudes with capes.

Wow, I signed into wordpress and saw this will be my 300th blog post here. My very first post was in June of 2007 and I just realized something else: with the team roster changing every year…I’m now officially the person who has been on the team the longest. Double WOW. That is something I’m sure nobody would have predicted back in 2007, or even 2008, or 2009…

So instead of being in super rainy Thailand meeting all the newbies, I have the privilege and honor of staying home in the USA and helping to get our first American Bike Boutique store off the ground. Which really means I get to go to parties every weekend to “network” with the community whilst pursuing true love with an all-American boy who is actually smart and cute and tall and has an excellent command of English. (It is honestly amazing how much your standards drop after living at training camps for so many months where a good-looking chap who speaks the same language as you is a rare commodity.)

staying in one place long enough helps increase your odds of finding true love.

Spring officially sprung (sprang?) over a week ago so I could finally say I survived my first East Coast winter. I never actually used the snow shovel I bought for $14 at Lowe’s; it’s still sitting in the backseat of my car and I’m considering returning it (they have a 90-day return policy). I can buy two meals at Chipotle for $14! and Chipotle is actually opening here next week!! It’ll be right by the UD campus, home of the Fighting Blue Hens. (I have an awesome UD shirt that says “FEAR THE BIRD!”) Not the first Chipotle in the first state, but maybe the second.

Um, where was I?

the cherry blossoms are supposed to blossom soon.

Oh, spring. Right. Spring is great–I had mentioned when I came back here after Vegas, the snow and ice was completely gone which meant I could ride my bike outside again. Sure there are some “hard-core” people who try to ride their bikes outside through nasty winter conditions, but as a pro athlete, Coach made it clear that it was an issue of safety, not an issue of HTFU.

You don’t want to ruin your season slipping on a patch of ice and breaking your collarbone or wrist or worse; that’s just dumb. In that same vein, there are lots of things that are too risky to do when being an athlete is your livelihood, like play ultimate frisbee for fun or go to open tryouts for Philly’s Lingerie Football League this weekend. But the frisbee boys are ok if I just go their parties as a groupie and my boobs are probably way too small to make the “Philly Passion” team anyway. You know Michael Phelps’ mom wouldn’t let him even go bowling, right? (I read that in his book.)

it's a pink elephant! spouting out a rainbow!

So I had to wait until every last remnant of ice and snow was completely gone. Then HOORAY! If you have never been through a snowy winter (like I haven’t been), you don’t realize how much you take training outside for granted. I might seem like a “sunshine and rainbows” kinda girl, oozing with an ungodly amount of eternal optimism and spirit fingers, but believe me, I can be all dark and twisty like Meredith on Gray’s Anatomy. I’m sure we all can. I just choose not to blog so much when cavorting with the Dark Side because negativity, like positivity, is contagious. People would much rather read about sunshine and rainbows than misery and angst.

Sunshine and rainbows!

sunshine and rainbows!

I meant for this to be a blog about my latest ipod playlist (I call it “spring mix” like it’s a salad) but I rambled on for too long, so perhaps the next one. :)

the 1st Annual Kona Viewing Party @TBB!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I guess if we’re calling it the first annual, that means we’re obligated to have one next year too, aren’t we? :)

Things have been buzzing at The Bike Boutique in downtown Wilmington and we’re getting ready to kick off the Kona Viewing Party coming up on Saturday. Mac ordered some hot pink and black bean bags and they are SUPER comfy for watching TV on. Of course I tried them myself. Only the best for our customers!

Wongstar-tested and enthusiastically approved!

The hot pink Christmas tree went up weeks ago. We don’t mess around here.

all I want for Christmas is a new Cervelo, baby!

There’s going to be a ginormously awesome mega sale going on Saturday too. It’s ridiculous! I still can’t believe there’s no sales tax in the first state. Just another of many, many reasons to come shopping here! The details on the big one-day promos are in this sweet poster I designed:

It’s gonna be great! Scottie is coming into town too. I can’t wait!

first winter in the first state

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Winter has more or less hit the first state and this California-born-and-bred triathlon superstar is trying not to cry and complain too much about her first winter on the East Coast. Yes, now I know why everyone back home laughed at me when I told them I was leaving California for Delaware. Now I also know why everyone in Delaware laughed at me when I told them I left California to move here. Coach would call this “building character.” I try to keep the whining minimal and am looking forward to building my first snowman complete with a carrot nose.

Check out tomorrow morning’s forecast…scattered flurries!

mmmmm McFlurries....

Makes me think of McDonald’s McFlurries, which makes me think of my favorite Australian teammate who shall remain nameless. ;)

The official IMAZ race report is in draft form at the moment as I have more pressing issues at hand, like organizing The Bike Boutique USA’s very first Kona Viewing Party (Facebook invite is here). I’ve also been working hard on the first edition of the official Bike Boutique USA newsletter, with all kinds of fun stuff including the official party announcement. Here’s a preview, click on it to see the full thing. Pretty snazzy if I shall say so myself!

The NBC broadcast is on December 18th and it’s going to be AWESOME!! Door prizes, raffle drawings during commercials, a super duper ridiculous one-day sale… I also foresee bottles of Haamonii Smooth Shochu being shared, and special drinking games like “take a shot whenever you see a TBB race kit!” :D

the choice of triathlon superstars!

Stay warm kids. Or stay indoors and watch 8 episodes of the West Wing, like I did today. :)

how to swim faster in 5 easy steps!

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

So. It happened. I swam faster. It was awesome. It was glorious. I wasn’t the last pro out of the water. I actually came out in front of 5 pro women. And 2 pro guys. I will write out a full race report within this next week but am home for just the next 36 hours for my birthday, I mean Thanksgiving, so I will blog about what everyone wants to hear about most anyway…my swimming!

Well last year after a lot of hard work, I got my swim down to a 1:05 at Embrun. But I was also training with Coach and the squad, while overseas at training camps for 7 months out of the year. It is easy to be motivated in a group setting with a scary Australian man yelling that you are weak sauce and throwing water bottles at you while stalking you up and down the pool deck every morning. Yup, that is what Coach means when he says he’s got his foot shoved up your arse at training camps. Well, training camps are expensive for a rookie pro and after racking up some good debt last year, we knew that it wasn’t a sustainable option for me. It’s not like I’m a Chrissie or James, where I can keep going into debt for just another year and then break through and start winning races left and right. I’m pretty in touch with reality (while just a bit out of touch, enough to chase the dream) so I know that I still have some years to keep chipping away before I get there.

Now that my season is finally over for 2010, I can look back and get a clearer picture of things. I was initially surprised when Coach had me stay in the USA for the summer, but now I know it was because I needed to learn to do this on my own…without his foot shoved up my arse. The funny thing was that when the year began, Coach told me in Thailand he didn’t care if I didn’t swim faster than 1:05, we should focus on my biking and running as I could make greater gains there.

Unfortunately I never came close to 1:05 all year–2010 began with a 1:18 in Malaysia, then a promising 1:11 in China, but got slower and slower until I hit a low of 1:22 in Coeur d’Alene. My swim had a bumpy summer, I trained mostly on my own since I was moving around so much. My average swim split for the year was about 1:16 for the 7 ironmans going into Arizona. It got to the point where I was losing more time swimming than biking or running. Which is totally dumb when the swim is only 10% of the whole race!

After Wisconsin, I had a very serious Skype talk with Coach to re-evaluate the plan. It was time to really focus on the swim. Otherwise, “next year will be more of the same.” Now, the only question that remained was, do we start the new swimming plan before or after Arizona? He had me give it a think. The swimming plan meant much more swimming and putting the bike and run on the back burner. My conclusion was to dive right into the swim plan, otherwise “Arizona will be more of the same.” I didn’t want to stay the same. I wanted to get better, to be better. I was willing to sacrifice having a worse bike and run and told him that if I came out with an awesome swim and nothing else, I would still be very happy with my race.

Now there have been a lot of you very concerned with my swimming this year and lots of well-meaning fans (as well as ill-willed internet trolls) who have tossed me all kinds of advice, encouragement, and insults. It seems everybody has their 2 cents. It’s been tough trying to cover my ears while navigating all of this but I think after going 1:06 in Arizona I am finally on the right track. So without further ado…

How to Swim Faster in 5 Easy Steps.

1. Have faith in your coach.
We tried some new things both this year and last year, and learned what didn’t work. Which is part of the process in figuring out what does work. I admit that it was frustrating having my technique experimented with and it seemed that we were starting over at every new training camp. There were times when I struggled not to question what we were doing and times when I felt Coach had given up on me as a swimmer, but in the end, I kept on listening. When there are so many other “experts” trying to tell you to do 100 other things, I have learned to just smile and defer back to The Coach.

2. Swim more, swim harder, and swim with others.
There came a point where I felt like I lost a ton of swimming fitness, probably right before Coeur d’Alene. Swimming 2.4 miles alone was actually a struggle. On the new swim plan we embarked on just one month ago, I ended up swimming more than I was biking and running, with more than half of the sessions in a group setting to push me out of my comfort zone. It is hard for me to swim with high intensity when I train on my own. On race day, I ended up just pretending I was swimming with my lanemates Zeke and Mike, and was able to stay on some feet the entire way…without feeling like the swim wore me out!

3. Pray to Grilled Cheesus.
Just like the Genie in Aladdin, He listens. I wonder what my next two wishes should be. I’m thinking true love and the ability to eat whatever I want without getting fat.

4. Believe in yourself.
See, Coach had told me it was all about mastering the Jedi mind tricks. He said the one thing I need to work on is the brick wall in my head that says “I can’t swim.” So I decided to shut off my brain each day as soon as I jumped in the water. (I don’t dive.) And just swim. And just swim hard. And not worry about what my form looked like. (More than 3 swim coaches can attest to the fact that when I try to think about correcting my form, it gets worse.) I had to start believing. Believing that I could swim faster. Believing that I could stay on that person’s feet just a little longer. Believing that someday I will have a pro-worthy swim split. I stopped doubting myself, and just went for it.

5. Expand your swimming wardrobe.
This was the biggest secret yet! Coach said “Swim like Bella.” He probably meant for me to attack every swim session like Bella, but of course I also interpreted it as “get as many swimsuits as Bella.” Staying motivated in your least favorite discipline can be difficult when you have to swim 7 times per week. But not when you have a superfun and cute outfit for each of those 7 swim sessions! :)

Ok, I don’t have 7 different cute swimsuits yet BUT it is my 29th birthday tomorrow and I am not above accepting birthday gifts from fans. If you want to help me swim faster, you can send me a sparkly new swimsuit to the Bike Boutique in Delaware. Size 32. One-piece. I’ll totally model it here on my blog. I’m not being facetious. I’ve had random fans ask me if I could set up a P.O. Box so they can send me random fan packages without me thinking they are stalking me. Just send it to me in c/o the store and that way I don’t have to tell you where I live. I also accept gift cards from Trader Joe’s and Itunes. :D

yup, happy birthday to me and happy Thanksgiving to everyone else! Don’t forget to catch the Punkin Chunkin broadcast on the Discovery Channel tomorrow at 8pm after you stuff yourselves silly. Hopefully they won’t cut the part where I’m sporting my pumpkin tiara. Happy eating day tomorrow and thanks for all your support!

first flood navigation (not in the first state, this is PA)

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

Nothing too new or exciting on Day 5 of the move-in, except that I got a cute little red chair from the Bike Haus basement, and I also spent $22 at the dollar store (yep, that’s 22 items because there’s NO SALES TAX in Delaware!!!). This includes two garbage cans. Soooooo exciting, right?!

This morning was kind of exciting, as I was biking to Mac’s swimming pool…since it’s right by a river…well all the roads leading into his property were flooded.

oh! good morning, flooded road!!

That was the view heading in. You can’t even tell how deep it is. At this point, I took off the bike shoes, slipped on the flippy-floppies, and…no, didn’t wade through it. I was able to go around it. Waaaay around it, if you look to the far left of the photo, I could navigate onto someone else’s property, didn’t get shot at with a shotgun, and finally made it to the pool in the barn to meet with the group, and…no one else was there. Apparently no cars could get in or out!

Mac joined in halfway through but then warned me that even though it had stopped raining last night, the floodwaters were actually still rising and wouldn’t peak for a few hours. Oh snap. This meant cutting the warm-down short, or rather, having the warm-down consist of getting myself and White Tiger off the property ASAP or we would be stranded for at least a few more hours!

On the way out, another part of the road that had been barely wet was now completely immersed…

White Tiger is NOT amused. shut up White Tiger, I'm the one that has to carry you anyway.

…this time there was no way around it. So I threw the Tiger over the shoulder and trucked through, mid-calf. Good thing it was White Tiger and not that fatty Franz. Don’t tell Franz. ;)

a real bed! Day 4.

Friday, October 1st, 2010

fun for "big kids"

Today I played “Legos for Grown-ups.” I.e., I put together my Ikea furniture. When I opened up the box of desk pieces I couldn’t see how all the slats turned into a desk…but it did!

pirate ship Legos were my favorite.

The bed was actually less complicated.

I built it inside the walk-in closet, I mean bedroom, in case it couldn't fit through the doorway...

But huge.

almost done. starting to look like a bed!

And no, I did not need a second person. HA!

don't forget the slatted bed base!!

I still need some key pieces, but will be shopping secondhand on Craigslist and in local triathletes’ garages. :) Everybody seems to have something extra lying around!

Today’s intro is brought to you by the newest addition to the bike room, Franz:

YouTube Preview Image

I’m still without a TV so I have to wait until tomorrow to catch up on Big Bang Theory, Nikita, and My Generation online. I’ve been bugging my editor at MSN TV to send me a TV (and yes, I know he reads this ;) ) so I can do my job properly! *chirp, chirp, chirp* Yep, still waiting. :(

Moving in, Day #3: Ikea!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

don't forget the slatted bed base!

A very successful Ikea date that resulted in a $99 bed, a $20 desk, and a solution to my drawerless kitchen (i.e. the utensil storage woes). Thanks to Emily from the I <3 Wongstar Fan Club for the utensil suggestion! I got one for the spatulas too.

matchy-matchy!

No video blog tonight because it’s really not very exciting until the furniture is actually assembled. While the furniture assembly is in fact, one of the most fun parts of shopping at Ikea (no sarcasm here, I like making stuff, y’know), it is also pretty time consuming and by the time I’m done I will be too pooped to even want to blog, so I figured I should blog before I whip out the tools!

and the fun *really* begins!

As for the date itself, I had to say I was impressed with a guy who was willing to take me to TWO Ikeas (the bed I wanted was sold out at the first Ikea), and help me haul big heavy things up multiple flights of stairs (nope, no elevator here…we call it “secret training”). All on the first date! Bwahaha! ;)

really? do I really need another person...???

Oops, I just realized that the pictograms on the directions are telling me that this is a two-person job to assemble the bed. Hmm, too bad I kicked the boy out. Well…let’s see how complicated this is… Check back tomorrow for the update!

bye-bye in Swedish :D

Wongstar Moves In, Day 2: the Kitchen

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Video blogging is so much more efficient than actually writing down a bunch of stuff! haha! Well, it apparently takes 20 minutes to upload a 5-minute video onto YouTube, so while I wait for that I can then start creating a blog post, take a shower, brush my teeth, etc…

Today’s introduction is brought to you by White Tiger. I got to sleep here last night on the air mattress but today is White Tiger’s first day…Welcome to our crib! Today we focus on the kitchen…

YouTube Preview Image

and you heard right. Tomorrow I have a date at Ikea with an online suitor. (Hey, I’m a resourceful girl who is currently without a car.) Low-priced Swedish furniture and Swedish meatballs! Maybe I should bring the Flip and we can act out a scene like in Ikea Heights or 500 Days of Summer. But I promised that I wouldn’t make him act. :D

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.