Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Masters Swim

Alright, so Jessi had to bring the camera to the Masters Swim this morning. Here's the thing, I really don't like to blog unless I have pictures. It's not nearly as exciting to read a blog without pictures so why would I post one?

I couldn't seem to keep my tongue in my mouth this morning. That's better than the other picture she got.....

Now it means I've got to make my Masters swim post. Here goes.

Since I started triathlon, the swim has always been the slowest to come along (Jessi was witness to my first laps in the pool 2 years ago and it wasn't pretty). I have said SO many times "I have really got to get faster in the water". Or I've heard "wow, just think of what you could do if you weren't so slow in the water". Believe me, I've thought....and been frustrated. But what it all boils down to is just putting the effort forth and working really hard in the water.

Without re-hashing my last two seasons in triathlon and some pretty funny swim stories, it's just time to work on the swim. Actually, it's time to bust my ass on the swim. Period. After Oceanside I decided that this is the year that I have got to do something different to improve my times. And it just so happened that Kevin Wang was starting his masters swim program the week after Oceanside. Perfect timing. So, I am committed. 5 days a week I drag my rear outta bed at 5am and head to the pool to swim for an hour and a half and then come home, get the boys off to school and do the remainder of my training then. And, it's WELL worth it.

Kevin runs an awesome program and I am so thrilled to be a part of this group. Right now, I am the slowest one there. No kidding. Often, everyone is waiting at the wall for me to finish so we can go on to the next set. More the reason to bust my butt. So there it is. My new favorite workout is no longer speedwork at the track because I like my results, it's Masters Swim with Kevin Wang because I want to have results that I like......it's just going to take some early mornings and a lot of hard work.

Here's J on the block. That could be a song.....Anyway, I told her to hop up there for a picture and was laughing really hard that this is how she thought she should do it. This girl can SWIM and she's standing on the block like, well, like she's doing a yoga pose. Ahhh, good times. Always looking for good entertainment at 5:30am.

Thanks to J.O.T.B for the pics, for inspiring me to push harder in the water......and of course, the entertainment.

Get er' done!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Thaw Duathlon

Today was The Emde Sports, Spring Thaw Duathlon, part 1. These races are somewhat special for me. This series in 2006 was the first exposure I had to racing. The first one I did, I won my age group and that was inspiring to say the least......and FUN. When my name got called, I just sat there, confused, thinking maybe they were going to say they found my sweatshirt. Granted, had I done the time I did in 2006 today, I wouldn't have even placed in my age group. These races have become more and more popular and today, there were about 200 participants.

Here's us at the start line. Let's play a little "where's Phaedra?". It is only when I see pictures of myself around other "normal sized" human beings that I realize just how small I am. Can you find me? I'm there.

I have to thank my dear husband who showed up with the boys and camera in tow to the race and took a ton of pictures of everyone (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that maybe the boys dressed themselves today to help Daddy out). Here are the boys hiding out. I don't think they actually watched the race even though Hayden says it's his favowate thing to do.

SUPERSTAHHHH! That's me, Greg and Steve. Steve and I have coined ourselves team "superstahh". Both Greg and Steve had superstah performances today.

Cody captured this shot of me coming through for the second loop of the last run. I was passed by two REALLY fast women with less than 1/4 mile to go. I seriously felt like I was standing still when Janet Collar passed me with about 100 yards to the finish. I could hear her coming like a freakin' train. Good-ness.

Here I am coming to the finish, with a total time of 58:30. I'm happy with this, I took 1:40 off from last year at the second duathlon. I won my age group and I think I was 6th overall in the women (including the two pro's).

I want to give a shout out to Coops and Fannie for a fantastic race. Coops was the first overall woman and shaved off a nice chunk of time from last year and Annie came in second, at least a minute faster than last year! They never cease to amaze me with their talent, skill and hard work. Also, nice job to Sam for winning overall and setting a new course record. You owe me a Starbucks and I won't forget about it. Steve, you're a SUPERSTAH-it was fun competing against you today, props to you for passing me before the hill on the second run ;). Vicki, you always inspire me to push hard. I was riding hard, knowing you weren't far behind me.

I love this picture of little miss Zooty pants. Do you know Haley Cooper? She's on the ZOOT team. Oh, how we love to embarrass Haley by making a fuss over her. And no Coops, I'm not going to remove this from my blog.

And here's Fannie, off to Mazatlan next week to race with the pros. Good luck Fannie! I'll be sending lots of fast thoughts your way! Make sure to practice your "BANG!"(from the diaphragm).

Congrats to Greg, Conrad, Stan, Martin, Amanda, Michael, Daryce, Tia, Phil and everyone else that raced today. Great job to ya'all! Thanks also to J. Po, Rupe, Allison, Julie, Darcy, Tanya, Mark, Aubrey and Sarah for cheering. It was so nice to hear you guys out there!

3 weeks until Wildflower

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oceanside 70.3 and then some....

After careful consideration, this post has been abbreviated. I didn't even want to read it a second time.

Well, I am finally sitting down to write my race report from Oceanside. Cody and the boys came out the Monday after the race and we stayed in California for the week. After getting back home this past Friday and settling in, I'm finally prepared to recount my first triathlon of the season.

I landed in Orange County Wednesday afternoon and drove to San Diego to hook up with the girls plus Steven (Shelby's brother). Put my bike together and got settled in. I was glad to be there.

On Thursday, I got my first open water swim of the season in the Bay. It was fun to be in the water with the girls. It wasn't terribly cold but we swam for all of about 14 minutes and decided that was good enough. Later on, we went to the expo where we picked up our race packets and visited with some folks. We headed over to 2xu where I picked up my new race suit and visor. Pretty. Love the new color.

Friday was a relaxing, fun day. We went for a short ride and run in the morning and then came back and got all ready for the race. That night, we went out for one of the best dinners I have ever had. And of course, laughed a lot (after Haley dislodged a rice stick from her throat-that was kind of scary). We got into bed at around 10 but I just couldn't fall asleep. I have to mention that Shelby let Haley and I sleep in her bed and she slept on the floor-the whole time. The sacrifices she makes for us.

After a mostly sleepless night, we woke up at 4am and started to get ready. Steven came out of his room all dressed and said he was coming to the race with us because we were so loud he couldn't sleep :). He made some promises about holding up obnoxious signs but never followed thru with that. FOOF! I must say, he was super helpful and even went to get coffees for me & Shelby and was right there to watch Haley go off on the swim and come back. We were all really excited for Haley doing her first pro race and Steven was definitely right there with us. I think he couldn't sleep because he was excited, not because we were too loud.....right Peeven? He hung in until the very end.

Here's me and Shelby in transition right before I put my wet suit on. Man, it was nice to have her there.

Shelby was already at the race site because she volunteered to body mark. At such a big, competitive race, it was so nice to have Shelby body mark me. I wasn't super nervous, just anxious to get going. Haley went off almost an hour before me so I went down to the 'corrals' to see her off. Again, I was so excited for her and knew she was going to do awesome but my stomach was tied up in knots for her. She was playing with the big kids now and there were some big kids. She definitely belonged there with them though. And it was time. Here's Haley's first 'P' placed by Shelby. Awe.

After she went off, I finished getting ready, visited with Shelby and waited for it to be my turn. I went down with my age group and waited to get in the water.

And we're off! The water didn't feel too terribly cold but I'm pretty sure it was in the low 50's.
I had to swim through a few people but decided not to go nuts at the start. I built into it and went a little conservative on the way out. At the turn around I asked myself "are you really going as hard as you can?". Um, no. So I picked it up for the second half. It was a little choppy once we got out of the harbor but nothing crazy. I will say, I stayed on course. The funny part is, I stayed SO on course, I actually ran into 3 or 4 buoys, I had to laugh. "A" for effort but let's work on swimming towards the buoys, not necessarily into them. Out of about 2000 people, I was 887th (ouch) on the swim. Yes, I'm going to be working on my swim.
Swim time: 37:08

I had a very smooth transition and took off a minute from last year. Got onto the bike and headed out. Thank god I'm done with the swim. Now the fun part. Now that I have an SRM power meter on my bike, I had specific power ranges for this race which was nice. It was pretty windy but I just focused and my numbers and rode VERY conservatively, I recall feeling somewhat bored at one point. Half irons are not intense in that way. The last 10 miles I caught up to what looked like the 40-44 men that caught me on the swim but maybe went a little hard on the bike. There was quite a head wind and I felt kind of stuck behind this fairly large group of guys. I decided that I needed to push a little harder the rest of the way and pass them-there were a lot of them. Which is what I did and I felt really good. I knew then I had raced smart on the bike. Last year at this race, the last 10 miles was brutal. I was cooked. I felt confident that my run was going to go really well. So much for that.
Bike time: 2:55:07

I had another great transition and headed out on the run. As I approached the first aid station, there was chalk writing on the street.....is that my name? It is, but it's spelled wrong. What the? It was spelled "Phadra". Later, Shelby explained that she couldn't decide if she was going to write Padre or Phaedra so she mixed them together on accident. That's my girl! "A" for effort, and that 's the first time I've seen my name on a course so I didn't care if it was spelled wrong.

I had a well thought out plan for the run as far as heart rate zones and effort. I started the first 4.5 miles at a conservative heart rate and was right where I needed to be. My heart rate was in line with my intended starting pace which was encouraging. At mile 4.5, I increased my heart rate as planned and started to pick up my pace......again, all going as planned. And then my legs just weren't going. I was slowing down with every mile and by mile 11 I just wanted to be done. I suffered through those last miles as I have before in a half iron but this was one of my slowest run times ever, a whole 3:30 slower than my first ever half iron. It was all so confusing because my run has been going well in the early season and I was so conservative on the bike. I can list a ton of excuses for why my run was still slow but I won't. I'm motivated to redeem myself and solve my run mystery. I know there's an answer, I'm just not the most patient person and I really thought I would have performed better. Chalk it up to early season and learn from it.
Run Time: 1:55:51

Monkey Hug

Total Time: 5:33:10

Enough about the race. Last year, Haley, Shelby and I waited around for hours so Haley could get a CDA slot. I had no desire to wait around to see if I got a Clearwater roll down and they weren't arguing with me. I figured that being 19th in my age group didn't offer much hope. Ouch. Now it's time to play.

So, we headed out to Islands to eat some crappy post race food and have a beer. It wasn't very satisfying but it did the trick. Then, Shelby and I dropped Haley off at her luxury hotel and got ready for a night out. We met up at the party.

I know Haley has this same picture on her blog but I love it. Those are my girls :).

Shelby and I having too much fun. who's holding who up? I have the cheeziest smile on my face.

It was a great night, we met a lot of really fun people and were able to loudly celebrate Haley's first pro race. She did so well for the early season and had a smokin' run. Coops, you're my hero. Thanks again to Ben Harper (the white one) for setting us up and Haley for claiming us (which can be a challenging task and this night was no different). Haley cut loose and whooped it up too (as evidence shows in the above picture). At some point, Shelby had grown-men laying across bar stools and having some kind of lifting competition......oh, the things she can get people to do. That was a REALLY fun group of people, they made me forget all about my race and just enjoy the experience. Or maybe that was the whiskey......

Less than 4 weeks until Wildflower