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Ironman Texas $ Analysis

Monday, May 30th, 2011

the Ironman "O Face"

entry fee: $ 0 (with purchase of $750 WTC pro license)
travel expenses: airline reward miles there + $203 home
airline bike fees: $ 0
accommodation: the generosity of Minsok & Bliss Pak
food costs: $60 (airport meals and snacks)

Prize money won: $0
Airline voucher for 8-hour flight delay: $300 (virtual money!)

Total balance:
$300 voucher – $263 expenses = $37 UP!

After doing my taxes earlier this year and realizing how much I spent in travel expenses on my 8 Ironmans versus only winning one paycheck worth $500, my goal this year was to make 2011 a more profitable racing year. Just breaking even would be a big improvement actually! People have been interested in the financial aspect of racing as a pro so I thought I would do a little cost analysis after each race this year. My goal is to become a more financially sustainable pro triathlete!

As for the race, well, I did so well that I got featured not just once but TWICE on the finishers’ video at the awards ceremony. The screenshot above says it all; the video parts of me are at 1:26 and 8:24 if you don’t want to watch the whole video. :)

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I’ll get around to the race report. Eventually…

introducing the race sherpa

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Yesterday was my 2011 triathlon season opener, the New Jersey Devilman–about a third of the Ironman distance with a slightly longer bike (0.8-mile swim, 40.3-mile bike, 8.8-mile run) and actually the first triathlon I’ve done shorter than an Ironman in the last two years.

I ended up as 2nd woman overall and it was a great way to shake off the cobwebs since IMAZ back in November, get in a solid “speed” training day, test out some new race gear and of course prep my equipment with custom stickers and stuff!

we can't all be The Wongstar.

I had my aerodrink bottle Wongstar-ized, made a special edition Hello Panda bento box, and put on the new *pink!* Blaze Hydrotail from Beaker Concepts.

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes... LOVE is all around me and so the feeling grows...

I tried out my new Project X wetsuit from 2XU, aka the “Tron Wetsuit”, and it was super fast!

Project X!

I raced in my teamTBB edition golf ball aero helmet from Louis Garneau

the super fast golf ball helmet

Scottie had sent me my 2XU race uniforms since I missed the photo shoot in Thailand. Everything fit but the one-piece race kit, which was just too short for my long torso. It gave me a front and back wedgie, like I needed to be 3 inches shorter, so I ended up racing in my cycling kit which looked super sharp.

pic courtesy of Tri-Dawg Lenny

Most importantly I got to test out my new race sherpa, who made his triathlon debut. He won’t be coming to all my races since he is just a rookie sherpa and undergoing very intense training in order to become a full-fledged Ironman sherpa, but I think he performed rather well yesterday considering he had never been to a triathlon before.

I interviewed him after the race and finally started playing around with some video editing software, so hopefully this means I can post up more fun videos when I leave for Ironman China next week. I didn’t save it as a super high quality but that means it won’t take forever to download/upload.

Without further ado, here he is, with the race report! :)

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the Wongstar’s Superbowl Recap

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I don’t really watch football. I get disgruntled that the football players each get paid a bajillion dollars as professional athletes. I certainly don’t make a bajillion dollars. Then I get upset when they don’t catch the freakin’ football. Why are you getting paid a bajillion dollars to fumble, dammit?

I don’t know all the rules and positions, and I always giggle when they say “tight end.” But you know, once a year there’s the Superbowl, which I only watch for the commercials, to see what exciting celebrities are singing the national anthem and performing at the half time show, and for the awesome food at Superbowl parties.

Apparently Christina Aguilera screwed up the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner, which I kind of thought she did, because I always sing along in my head and I thought maybe I screwed up, but nope, it was her. The Black-Eyed Peas did the half-time show and they were all right, though I kind of hated Fergie’s outfit and there were no wardrobe malfunctions. Their “I Gotta Feeling” song, made popular by the teamTBB music video back in 2009, is still a big hit:

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The coolest part of the half-time show was when Usher came on and danced. He’s an awesome dancer. I wish I could dance half as good as Usher. (You can see my moves or rather lack thereof in the above video.)

I also kept seeing “Superbowl XLV” and thinking “Superbowl Extra Love.”

As for who was playing and who won, I was rooting for the team with the yellow pants. If you didn’t watch, both teams actually had the same yellow pants. This made the game extra confusing for me. I don’t know why they couldn’t talk to each other beforehand and wear different colored pants, unless it was on purpose and they wanted to be coordinated. Kind of like going to a party and someone else is wearing the same outfit. Awwwwkward!

I am absolutely amazed that it costs $3 million for a 30-second Superbowl commercial. Eminem was in two commercials. In the first one, he was animated and said something about “that’s why I don’t do commercials,” then in his second one he was live-action and I kept yelling “Hypocrite! Hypocrite! You’re doing another commercial!” Then there was the sexy Kim Kardashian ad with those stupid Skecher shoes that don’t even work:

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But as a Star Wars nerd, my favorite was the little Darth Vader commercial. I had already seen it on YouTube earlier but still gotta loooove it:

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As for Superbowl party food, I made some awesome guacamole and then the best things ever…I have christened them “Pigs in Bacon Blankets”:

mmm look at that delicious bacon grease!

All you do is cut bacon strips into thirds, wrap little cocktail hotdogs in them and toss them in the oven at 350*F for 15 minutes. Magical! The best part is that there are leftovers. :D

mini IMAZ race report via video blog

Friday, November 26th, 2010

hey Wongstar fans,

for my birthday I got the first edit of a video from the Wongstar documentary series from my friend Felix Cervantes. I am about to board a plane back to the East Coast so enjoy while I am scrunched up on an airplane! It’s a mini race report, the 5-minute video version. No worries I will write a full-on race report with all the nitty gritty details too.


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:

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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. :(

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…

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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!”

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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.

one more pre-race blog from Utah

Saturday, May 1st, 2010
who will you cheer for tomorrow?  #57 of course!

who will you cheer for tomorrow? #57 of course!

The St. George adventures of the Wongstar and White Tiger continue today, our last day before the race. Scottie and I got in our last swim at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, a really awesome public pool only a 20-minute bike from my homestay (30mins from Scottie’s). We decided that swimming in 81*F (27*C) was much nicer than swimming in 54*F (12*C), which is the temperature of Sand Hollow Reservoir (20 miles out of town), where the swim will take place tomorrow morning.

White Tiger and Black Betty hanging out at the pool

White Tiger and Black Betty hanging out at the pool

Then it was off to tiger check-in. Bike check-in, whatever. It was super blustery down by the start; they call it Hurricane Valley because there is no shelter from the wind.

another gorgeous day in St. Georgeous

another gorgeous day in St. Georgeous

You have to admit that White Tiger looks extra handsome with his new Token race wheels! Rawr!

vroom vroom says the tiger

vroom vroom says the tiger

It was windy enough that the water had some waves and current. I’m gonna expect the worst for tomorrow, and if it happens to be flat as glass like it was Tuesday morning, then bonus ;)

the swim course is behind me and Scottie

the swim course is behind me and Scottie

We dropped our run gear bags downtown by the finish line. It’s a two-transition race. I really like when the course is lined with ads from my favorite sponsors…

best bikes in the world!

best bikes in the world!

Then I got back to the homestay and special delivery for the Wongstar! Oh boy…the most Haamonii Smooth Shochu I’ve ever had for a race. Excellent motivation to really kill it tomorrow. Let’s hope this is enough to roll into our post-race trip to Vegas too! If we run out before then, it’ll be because I won the whole damn race! :D

shochu!  as Maki would say... maji yabai!! ^_^

shochu! as Maki would say... "maji yabai!!" ^_^

So apparently I was the only pro woman that Welchie got ahold of to interview for ironman.com’s St. George preview. Or maybe I had the only entertaining thing to say, like somehow letting it slip what my relationship status is ;)

You can watch the video on YouTube below, I’m all the way at 16mins, 10sec if you want to fast forward. HEEHEE

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That’s it for now.  You know the usual…you can track me online at www.ironman.com, our start time tomorrow is 6:50am Utah time, which is 5:50am California time for my family back home. My big sister is coming to watch me do an Ironman for the first time ever (!!!) which we are both really excited about. She will try to put up some Twitter updates on my Twitter @theWongstar but probably just during the marathon.

I 3 my sister too :D

I <3 my sister too :D

She sent this image to my phone while I was sleeping last night. Oh boy! My sister is the one that got me into running when we were younger. I hated running but wanted to be just like her, since she was my childhood hero. Looking forward to making everyone proud tomorrow!! :)

post-marathon videos of the Jeju Superstar!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Here are a couple videos that Hiro took of me right after I set a new marathon PR and won the women’s race at the Beautiful Jeju International Marathon.  Thank you Hiro!!

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Note to Mom: please do not be alarmed at how skinny I look, I just ran a marathon while ingesting at most 500 calories of Gatorade.  Within ten minutes of this video clip I was eating fried chicken, fried sweet potatoes, chocolate cookies, and a big packet of mini red bean muffins.

Actually to be honest, I am slightly alarmed at how skinny I look.  Maybe Coach will make me eat some waffles now that I am approaching post-pubescent high school weight.

Before I had a chance to eat anything though, I graciously fulfilled my duties to my local fan club and signed some autographs!

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After all, now I am not only Jeju ironman champion but Jeju marathon champion!  …make that the Beautiful Jeju International Marathon champion ;)

and just to clarify, you can’t blame me for that being the name of the race.  no, it’s not all going to my head!

Jeju Superstar :)

MTV Cribs Presents: How to Live Like a Superstar

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

A glimpse inside the Wongstar’s superstar accommodations for Florida 70.3:

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I know, I am the envy of many pros now. Well, we can’t all be Asian Triathlon Superstars.

Thanks again to Mark Cathcart, my travel sponsor and good friend. Obviously staying in a hotel room this nice allowed me to relax, get some good nights’ sleep, and de-stress before the race, thereby helping me go fast enough yesterday to earn my pro card! So please take as much credit as you would like for my performance and thank you for everything!!

This is my first video blog so I hope you enjoyed it. If you like it and think I should get my own Wongstar reality show, go write to MTV. ;) Although I will be unapologetic about saying “awesome” every other sentence.

Okay I better finish packing now so I can sit and relax in the hot tub. Because I’m too broke to get a massage this is the next best thing. ;) But at least now I am an official broke pro triathlete! Next blog will be Disney World!! Awesome!