Saturday, November 15, 2008

San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

November 8, 2008
The last triathlon of the season. We had our usual pre-race meeting the night before the race and because this was an ITU continental cup, there were a few things that would be different than normal on race day...the biggest thing was that there would be a pontoon in place in the water that we would have to dive off of! I think the last time I dove for a race was back in 2004!! I hadn't worked on dive starts in a few years and even when I was working on them, diving in a triathlon wasn't my forte! I didn't think too much of it for the rest of the evening, but the next day (race day) I saw Julie Ertel and her husband in the hotel and asked if we had a dive start. She said she thought so. Great!

I was fairly relaxed race morning. Jay and I took our time waking up as my race didn't start until noon and we didn't leave the hotel until 9am. We got our usual Peets coffee and Noah's bagels and relaxed in our room.

We arrived on Treasure Island around 10am. I was the first one in transition...eager-beaver that I am! I did a short ride warm up and then went to check my bike in; another ITU protocol...making sure that I have draft-legal aerobars. I racked my bike again and got ready for a run with Kelly Couch. We had a nice warm up run together.

It was time to line up on the pontoon and I thought I chose a good spot. I was a bit nervous to dive, but figured the pontoon wasn't that high above the water, so I could do it! The gun went off and I dove in. I swam only a few strokes but noticed that my right goggle had filled with water. I wear contacts and the last thing I needed was to loose a contact in the race. I made a quick decision to stop briefly and empty the water-loged goggle. I didn't loose too much ground (water) and then decided to change positions; I took a diagonal line that I thought would be closer to the buoy (Mark, from NTTC said he saw someone swimming eratically). I finally felt like I was in a good position and was able to draft off of the women in front of me. The swim consisted on 2 loops in what usually is cold bay water, however this year, the water temp was probably aroun 56 or 57 which is about 2 or 3 degrees warmer than usual, which made for a huge difference! I stayed with a pack of about 6 or so women and we exited the water all within a second or so of each other. My time was 21:12.
I was the 3rd women in my group to exit T1 and just a second or two ahead of me was Jillian Petersen. I knew that I needed to stay with Jullian on the bike if I wanted to have any chance of getting with the leaders. I knew it was going to be a hard couple of miles at least in the beginning.

It took probably 3 laps or so before we were able to catch Julie E. and we all worked pretty well together except for one Canadian girl who I believed pulled once in the 6 laps! Just prior to the 5th lap we caught the first women, Sarah Groff. We were now one pack with a few women who were shelled off the back or who were off the back from the swim. I wanted to be in a good position coming in to T2 so I tried to get into the front of the pack just prior to dismounting the bike. My bike split was 1:05:38.
I had a difficult time getting my run shoes on and by the time I headed out onto the run I was already in 5th place. I saw Jillian just ahead and thought that I could catch her. My legs felt very heavy and i saw that Jillian and another girl were pulling away. I wanted to make sure that I had a good lead on who ever was behind me. The only person that I was wondering about was Kelly C. because she was just ahead of me in the Tri Cal Pro Series. If I could place ahead of her in the race I'd placed 1st in the Tri-Cal Series.

The run was three loops on the island. It was as flat as it could get and I ran as hard as I could. Toward the end with about 400 meters to go, I was catching up to Jillian, but I ran out of real estate! I held my position and placed 5th and won the Tri-Cal Series for the 4th time!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Triathlon Clinic to be held at San Jose State University

Welcome novice, veteran and all those in between triathletes. Whetheryou are training for your first tri or your 5th Ironman, please comeand join us for a day long triathlon training session which will focusprimarily on skill development, progressions and techniques in all 4of the disciplines, swimming, biking, running and transitions.Workouts will take place at San Jose State University. We will haveaccess to the entire 60M pool and will have an underwater camera onhand to analyze your stroke mechanics with you. All training sessionswill include full workouts. The expert coach to athlete ratio will besmall providing you with personalized, directed feedback. If you haveany questions about the training day, please feel free to contact jay at

Please RSVP before November 21st to reserve your spot

The training day is Sunday November 23rd starting at 9:30 and ending at approximately 3:30pm.
The cost to SJSU triathletes is free
SJSU alumni $25
Community members $50

Alexis Smith (formerly Waddel), B.Sc., M.A. –in progress- completedher first triathlon at age 9. A pro since 2001, she races well at all distances. She placed 13th in the 2004 Olympic Trials, took 5th atthe Ironman USA National Championship in Lake Placid, NY in 2005 whereshe qualified and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona,Hawaii. Competing in Kona was a dream of hers since she saw herparents compete there in 1986, when she was 12 years old. In 2007,her first year with Team Sport Beans/NTTC, Alexis won the prestigious Tri-California Pro Series (she also won the series in 2004,2008). In 2008,she placed 5th at Vineman 70.3, 2nd at Pacific Grove Triathlon and 2nd at Tinley's Triathlon.In addition to competing, Alexis co-owns Monterey Bay Multisport, a coaching business. She has worked numerous camps and clinics for adults and children for over 10 years, is a guest speaker at high schools and triathlon clubs and volunteers for Sea Otter Classic Cycling Event and the Big Sur Trail Marathon. Alexis has a B.S. in Kinesiology from San Diego State University, is a USA Triathlon Level II (Expert) Coach and is currently attending San Jose State University, pursing a Master's degree in Kinesiology, Sport Psychology.

Dr. Jay Johnson (B.A., B.Ed., M.Sc., PHD.) originally from Canada now an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department at San Jose State University, continues to be an active participant in the triathlon and running communities and has been a member of both the Canadian national age group triathlon and duathlon teams. In addition to co-founding and coaching the University of Toronto triathlon club, and more recently the triathlon club at San Jose State University, he coached the middle distance running team at SJSU. jay has coached all level of triathletes including children, juniors and Ironman competitors. He is NCCP Level 1 certified in triathlon in addition to several other sports, a Triathlon Master Learning Facilitator for Competition Introduction for Triathlon Canada, responsible for facilitating, instructing and certifying coaches triathlon coaches in Canada. He has been the FISU (The International University Sports Federation) Team Manager and assistant manager for the games in Nanao,Japan and Erdek, Turkey, as well as the head coach for the OAT(Ontario Association of Triathletes) Kids of Steel camps in 2006, 2007 and 2008, responsible for the development, implementation and coaching of the week long camps. Jay was also an assistant coach to Mr. Craig Taylor, the Ontario Provincial Development Coach, working closely with him for two years with the provincial Junior triathletes coordinating,coaching and running training days and camps in both Canada andArizona.