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!