I’m not gonna lie

I’ve officially signed up for the Santa Rosa Half Ironman, and have loosely started training in January. Only a little over a month in and already I’m struggling to keep up with everything, from the swim, run, and bike. I thought I had it all figured out, little of this a bit of that. But like Lou Bega one too many ladies by your side and you know shit is about to get real.

I mean who can swim, bike and run all at once, I thought I could give it a try but, this old lady’s age is showing. The body lets you know when you about to break. Bodies were meant to be upright not hunched over for 2 hours on a bike, run for 3 hours; the bod is screaming no thank you, ma’am, and try swimming for 1 mile in open water-yikes!

Friends have asked why am I doing this and to this, I plainly say because I want to. My husband hears me complaining about the training, and he replies back, “are you even having fun?” And then there is the second guessing myself of why am I doing this for and is this benefiting me, or is it mentally and physically breaking me down.

And don’t get me started on the bike portion because all that in itself is beyond painful, not to mention remarkably expensive, just thinking about it makes my head explode. To give you an idea today I’m “supposed” to go for a 2-3 hour bike ride, but my back says, Hell NO Bitch! in the months to come I supposed to ride 6-7 hours and that just one discipline. If I make it to those months.

Oh and the kicker, I’ve also decided to limit my calorie intake so that I can drop some pounds for race day. Apparently, as I’ve been told and have read on the web, that I’m a “BIG SAIL.” I’ve always known I’m a big girl/big frame/ big bone, but now I can add another synonym to that list.  My body frame is huge in this sport and makes me less “aero” for the bike ride.

So here we are, my progress report for the first month of training, we figured out that I hate biking, my back hates me and running for most of my adult life doesn’t grant me speed or mileage. But on the bright side, I’ve learned that there is more than one way of saying big boned.

Giving it a tri or am I crazy

Some people want the life of luxury, or to vacation on the Virgin Island, while sipping a Mai-Tai, and others just want to roll around in cold hard cash; think Uncle Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales. Me, I want to swim with the sharks, sit on a narrow plastic saddle then run while getting heat stroke in the middle of summer. If you’ve never heard of Ironman, you’re like most people who could care less about the grueling sport.

For me it’s been a dream of mine, ever since I was a very young girl, staring at the tube, and crying for no reasons know to myself. Just in awe of the all those who finished the ungodly task-in-hand. And before you get too bored about the sport all you need to know is it consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run.

And that’s as technical I’ll ever get to blabbing my pie hole about that, in fact, although it has been my lifelong dream, I’ve only considering doing the half of a whole. Which, in the industry is 70.3. Now, now don’t worry I plan to tackle the whole pie, but for now baby steps.

I do feel it’s the perfect storm for me now; I’m currently relocated back to San Francisco, out of a job, and not planning to bake any buns in my oven. Such is life, some like the challenge of miniature humans, but I like mine with a chance of death or at the very least a likely promise of bloody nipples (yes it’s a thing).

Top 10 things I find my husband to be good for

There is always that stupid rom-com where a woman sees a bug, screams, calls for help and a man runs into the rescue. Well, I think we’re all a bit over those stereotypes where the woman “eekkkks” and the man comes out running with a bat in one hand and sandwich in another. Not to say that I’m not a lover of the romantic comedies (far from the truth), it’s just I think there also other things husbands can be good for.

for example


  1. “Liking” your stuff on social media, just as you need that pick me up- I know vain!
  2. Walking the dog when you’re too lazy, or picking up her poop – cuz poop.
  3. He’s always down for one more drink not making you feel like a booze hound.
  4. Getting the nerve to tell you when your really shit, cuz lets face it, we’ve all been there, especially me to my husband. I don’t know what it is when you are close to someone makes them for an easier target, I know no excuses. So Yeah, when my anger management is off the charts.
  5. Bringing me back to earth, when one too many of my plots to dominate the world are over the top. He is there to remind me that we have responsibilities, you know the boring stuff, mortgage, dog, work, and bills.
  6. He doesn’t mind waking up 3 in the morning to walk me to the campsite bathroom when I need to go.
  7. He lets me drive the car all the time, did I mention I have control issues along with my anger management. (oh man this list is starting to look like, problems Young needs to work on)
  8. He doesn’t mind that I forget our anniversary… well, to be honest, we’re both bad at that kind of stuff.
  9. He always lets me pick out the dim sum first, cause what’s marriage if a girl can’t get her shrimp dumping game on.
  10. Lastly, I do hate to admit, while I have no problems with bugs, however, bears and mice are somehow in the same realm. I will squeak in a New York minute if I see a mouse, as cute as they are. I just freak the fuck out, so if there ever is a time to kill cute little Mikey Mouse, well that is a job for my husband. So there still is little room for some stereotypes, I guess old habits die hard.




One Woman’s Travel Loo

It’s no secret I am scared of bears, rats and yes the occasional raccoons pretending to be bears. And it’s no secret of mine that I have the smallest bladder in the world, and it’s especially no help to me when it comes me fancying a drink. So it’s with my great regret that we’ve haven’t had many camping days in a couple of years because let’s face it ladies and some of you gentlemen out there, camping is not for all of us.

I like what’s call Glamping, as defined by Google, “it is the way to go if camping ain’t your thing… yet you love waking up in the great outdoors… you love a hike in the hills… you love getting out of the big city. With Glamping… your tent is replaced by a cedar cabin, or a safari tent with wooden risers.” Side note a personal toilet just steps away from you cozy room, if not within your safari tent, is my personal touch to my Glamping.

Buttermilk Falls State Park

And, yes I know bears don’t give a damn about me, and yes I know that we can camp out to the nearest bathroom, and I know there is no ghost out there. However, I have a very vivid imagination, a tiny bladder, and I don’t want to wake up my husband (dog in tow) to go to the loo 3 in the morning and once more for good measure at 5 am. Don’t judge; we’ve all got our issues, so after years of turmoil I’ve finally come up with a solution.

Watkins Glen State Park with WIKI

What does one Luggable Loo and one Giga Tent equal, you get yourself a nice one women attempt at a travel bathroom? It takes no time to set up and travels with you, and I don’t have to harass the husband or the dog for our unruly walks 3 in the morning. It’s vaguely charming if you grew up with a porcelain chamber pot. My grandmother had one, and it was for those late nights when you didn’t want to put on your shoes and fuss about in the dark, trying not to fall into the deep dark abyss.

My personal throne

Without getting too graphic, granny had an outdoor “bathroom” with a huge hole in the ground, yes Y’all that’s how we rolled back in the days. Just imagine all the fun things a young mind could and would conjure, as you would have guessed it I used the portable chamber pot with my eyes closed – literally. So the portable loo is comforting in some ways, and the only ghost I have to fear to haunt me is my grandmother, but if that were the case I’d welcome that any night.

What To Do About That Wine Headache?!

What I’ve learned over the years working as a wine merchant, hopefully, will be helpful to all you oenophiles out there. Being a professional can be hard work at times, but someone’s got to do it. I had my first drink when I turned 21, not at a kegger in high school or someone’s basement playing spin the bottle like other cool kids. I have not know the unique taste of booze till the legal age, so it took some time to acquire a taste for it.

I started nice and easy, like Snoop Dog a gin and tonic was my go to, for obvious reasons, it was a refreshing beverage any alcohol virgin could love. Then it was big Cabernet Sauvignon from California, which also was a no brainer since I live in proximity to wine country. The smooth tannins matched with juicy fruit made it go down all that much easier. Once you get a taste and feel of drinking one would think the quality would progress; but for the early part of my twenties with little budget, I’m not embarrassed by the fact that me and “two buck Chuck” were bestie.

So, I had my fair share of headaches; it primarily became worse after we opened up our wine store. Since we were quick to open our doors in 2011, Kenneth and I managed to taste 4-8 wines in a day, and it wasn’t unusual for us to try 20 (and upwards). We had a job to do and keeping our shelves stocked with deliciousness was the priority- no matter the cost. But I started to notice that I kept waking up with severe headaches.

These persisted for a bit, enough so that I gave up wine for a while, not wanting to compromise my work I’ve always managed to taste the wines. Just like one would image in the movies, where you see an elder gentlemen swooshing the wine inside his mouth to get a full taste, then inevitably spitting out the wine- sigh.


Wine is made of grapes as everyone knows, the concept is simple enough, the farmer grows the grapes, once it’s ripe, it gets crushed and bottled. All this is true. However, once the grapes are crushed, there are naturally occurring sulfites as a result of the fermentation process. Most likely than not winemakers add a modest amount of sulfites to stabilize the wines. Some organic/natural/biodynamic winemakers do not add additional sulfites, but as I said before, there are naturally occurring sulfites, about 6 to 40 ppm (parts per million). I have customers coming to me all the time asking, if they are getting headaches b/c of the sulfites in their red wine, which is a misnomer, white wine have more sulfites than red wines.

There are also tannins to consider, they are a naturally occurring compound, which leaves a wine drinker a drying mouth feel that one would get drinking an aged Barolo or Bordeaux. Tannins come from the stems, skin, and the oak barrels that could have havoc on your system. Lastly, the pain in most my headaches I’ve learned are histamine; it is present in a variety of bacterially fermented products such as wine, and aged cheeses. As it turns red wine has 20–200% more histamine than white wine.

So what is a wine lover to do with so much wine and a narrow tolerance for it, I’ve learned to live with it, dreadful I know. Most days I will use a nasal spray, for my histamine and my oak allergy, yes Virginia god has a sick sense of humor. When the meds don’t work out, and the headaches persist, I carry on and do my job, cause every time a wine merchant gets a headache an angle gets its wings.

Hope this helps others out there with similar issues, also talk with your otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctor), they can best gauge what’s happening in your noggin.

Circus Circus Prostitute

“Don’t go out there!” my older sister shouted, “why not” I sneered back, “because…they’re going to think you’re a prostitute!”. I persisted, rolling my eyes back at my older sister, I unlocked my parents beat up Korean BBQ van and dashed out.
Wanting some fresh air, I ran to the open part of the Circus Circus Parking complex; I can’t lie the wind on my face felt good. But I did wonder what if I too had to escort older men, becoming their Asian companion. I looked nothing like Julia Roberts, what with her big eyes, big lips, and big horsey laugh that’s so famously her own. I couldn’t carry a laugh like that even if I were born with luscious lips like hers.
While pondering if I would make for a decent China doll, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the glittering lights of the Reno strip. This 12-year-old was blind to the dilapidated signage, the rundown roads and the faded colors of the Circus Circus mascot. The light engulfed me; I only saw possibilities, imagining all those little specs of lights as if they were people hustling. Hustling to win big, so they could treat their kids to an all you can eat buffet, or finally allowing themselves to buy the Russian porcelain doll to add to their collection. But how was I to live out my big dreams, stuck in a Korean BBQ van with my little brother and my snarky older sister always ordering me around.

That's mom, me, and my sister playing penny slots
That’s mom, me, and my sister playing penny slots

I huffed and puffed while walking back to the car feeling a little defeated.

“Well, what did I tell you!” exclaimed my sister, “what?!” I shouted back puzzled. Silent, we gave up on our flight, what did it matter anyways we were stuck with one another, till our parents lost all their money.

Moments later my eyelids felt heavy, and all I could do to keep from feeling like a loser was to dreams big, for me that was the All You Can Eat Buffet. Nothing made me happier than to re-stock my plate high, high into the sky. Mixing salty with sweet, breaking all the rules of formal dining, who’s to say I can’t simultaneously eat desert with my entree. In my head I was filled with power, it devoured me just like the glittering lights outside. If that wasn’t living, I didn’t know what was.

Trail running shoe, who knew?!

I took up volleyball thinking I’d be like the beautiful blonds who run around on the beach in their bikini’s and jump around and hit balls. Wrong, I was a fat Korean girl who was born with two left feet, sporting mustard yellow gym shorts trying not stick out during tryouts. Little did I know that running was part of this whole ordeal.

Many moons later I do have all the years of embarrassment to thank for becoming a semi-regular runner in my thirties. Though I was never a star of any of the sports I played from JR High School to High School, you could count on me to show up, do the drills and cheer for my teammates. And luckier for me that stuck with me, now I run 2-3 times a week and try to go to the gym at least once a week.

So when I was considering doing the PCT, I knew I had to step up my game, and the first thought that came to mind was- shoes. 2,650 miles, think about it, that’s about 13,992,000 in feet, so one of the significant gears on this trek would be the shoes. And to be honest with you I have never been a huge fan of hiking shoes, first off they are massive, clunky, and did I mention that I have two left feet.

Shoes have come a long way, however; I didn’t know that trail running shoes existed till I started to search online. There are some differences from running shoes, but very minimum; I tried the ASICS GT-2000 4 Trail running shoes for women, and so far so good. I’ve tested them out walking the dog, running in the park and walking on different types of terrain to see if they would make the cut. I’ve got to say ASICS hit it out of the park, for the running and walking aspect I didn’t forsee any issues. However, b/c there’s no ankle support I had some hesitation. But to my surprise, the support on the bottom of the shoe is stable, enough that my ankle felt sung, like a well-fitted glove.


I’m going to keep testing them out, and want to use them for the El Camino De Santiago; that’s just 500 miles. One pair should suffice for the whole trip, and that would be the ultimate test before the PCT. If you’re like me and want comfort, flexibility, and stability, this pair might be the one for you.