San Jose Metro Triathlon - Race Report

First of all I want to start out by saying how impressed I was with this entire race. From the organization of transitions, to the music and announcements but most importantly, it was the in-race efforts that I most appreciated. I am not kidding when I say there was a police officer at EVERY intersection, cones and arrows at EVERY corner and people telling you exactly where to go. I have done many races, Ironman included and this is top-notch. I didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony but the 3 tables full of bottles of wine were a sure bet that this event was legit from beginning to end.

Swim and Expo Area
There is always a little bit of fear when getting ready for your first race of the year. Not knowing where your fitness really is, will you remember to do all the “small” things leading up to and during the race, will you take your helmet off before you head out for the run…you know, all the things that you might just forget.

My last race was in September, I spent much of the last month getting over a cold and poison oak, so much of my training was hit and miss. Riding has been most consistent but nothing more than some base miles. Running has been going ok but I never get out as much as I need to, but honestly that has been the problem since I started this sport. And swimming…well let’s just say I forgot the smell of chlorine…Yeah it’s THAT bad. I swam last Thursday just to see if remembered how to do it. Another athlete at the race made a funny comment and referenced it to that “Last Chance Workout” they do on Biggest Loser…that was my last chance swim workout before the race.

Swim Course (out around the island twice)
Just like every race morning, the alarm goes off WAY to early and I was out of bed by 4:05am and out the door 30 minutes later. It was about an hour drive down to the race site and like always, wanted to give myself plenty of time. I was ready to go with over an hour to spare…perfect in triathlon time.

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So with a little extra time, I took a moment to familiarize myself with the transition entrances and exits along with the first parts of the bike and run course. Mentally I was ready to go…it was only a matter of time until I would see if I was physically ready as well.

After struggling into my wetsuit and a quick warm-up swim, I was toeing the water’s edge ready to go. With a lack of confidence in my swimming fitness, I really forced myself to go out easy. I usually try to start fast before settling into a hard but good pace. I didn’t feel that would be a good approach at this race since it could leave me doggy paddling the rest of the race.

Photo by: Tom Vo

I was surprised on how comfortable and strong I felt throughout the swim. I knew I wasn’t going real fast but at the same time, I felt like I was working hard and didn’t feel like I faded…definitely a plus considering the last month. And if it wasn’t for the guy who kept touching my feet the ENTIRE swim, it would have been perfect and considering it was a 2-loop swim, with quick beach run…Ironman CDA-esque, well minus the few thousand fans cheering you on. I exited the water knowing I might have been able to go just a little harder but knew that I could have easily gone too hard and suffered the rest of the race. Swim Time: 25:31 (but I think this counts the run up to transition too).

Photo by: Tom Vo

Up and into transition I went. This is kind of my self-proclaimed specialty and for the first transition of the season, it went surprisingly smooth. I even did the whole flying mount onto the bike...SUCCESS!!!

Photo by: Tom Vo

Once on the bike, I still had to force myself to hold back. I wanted to push myself but at the same time REALLY didn’t want to blow up on the run. The course was flat and fast which can easily lead to pushing yourself harder than you really should. This was my fastest 40k (1:04:57) to date but I contribute that to the fast course and to these damn hills surrounding the East Bay.

Photo by: Tom Vo

Coming off the bike, I really wanted to see where my run fitness was at. So far I had only done 1 transition workout and that was after a 3 hour ride. Not a real good gauge on 10k fitness. I was surprised to feel my legs under me right from the start. I was passed pretty quickly by a couple of guys who disappeared in no time but I was just focused on putting together a solid run.

Photo by: Tom Vo

Without a watch, all I focused on was my effort. I wanted to make it to the turn-a-round and then begin to pick up the pace with each passing mile. This was by no means my fastest run off the bike but I really felt it was my smartest. Each time I wanted to speed up, the legs responded…especially when I heard one guy chasing me down.

Photo by: Tom Vo

I was able to hold him off and finish with a 43:23 or what I like to call… sub 7’s at 6:59.8!!! It felt like I was running faster but it was nice to “feel” what this pace felt like and now I know I can begin to push myself more and more.

Photo by: Tom Vo

All in all, this was a great race. I think this is my second fastest ever Olympic (2:15:37) and for the first race of the season with all that has been going on over the past 2 months, I will take it. I was impressed by the race itself and glad to get my first race of the year under my belt and finally some numbers to look at.


Tiffany said...

Way to go, Keven! You had a great race, with or without a bunch of training! Nice work!

Matt said...

great to see ya back at it and in Cali no less!! Their scene makes are's look like nothing.. I hope all is well and your enjoying Cali! Wish I was there! maybe......