Sunday, August 13, 2017

TBF Tri for Real #3–Robin -2017


8/13/17 – Auburn, CA


1.5km S (short) – 40km B – 10km R


2:28:38 (21:59 – 1:15:49 – 45:49)


1st Place, 40-44 (1st Female OA)


Int’l – Dave Campbell, FCA: Caryn Galeckas, Dana Haldeman, Lori Berkenstock, Suzanne Hartley, Troy Outman (FCA)

Kids Tri – Anna Soares & Ariel Soares  (FCA)

I get up early for quiet time.  God puts this Matthew 11:28-30 on my heart…

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I am not supposed to do this race or life on my own.  I feel like this week I’ve been trying to train and get things done on my own strength.  On my own, I am weary and burdened as the verse says.  I needed the reminder to lay all that at Jesus’ feet!

It’s been several years since I’ve raced here.  The tradition is Ariel, Anna and Troy race.  This year I’ve taken Troy’s place literally. 

We get to Rancho Seco Park early.  Troy drops me off a few miles from transition.  I cycle in and get my legs loose.  My legs feel tired from my last long training day.  The fact that I’m in taper mode is nice but I don’t feel it yet.

I’ve got some great FCA teammates racing with me today: Caryn Galeckas, Lori Berkenstock and Suzanne Hartley.  Lori is there early too so the two of us get to pray for one another.

Nana Sue and Papa Ray are here to watch the girls race.  We see Anna go off in a small wave with the big kids.  She looks strong and finishes midpack.  Next is Ariel.  Her wave is packed.  As the race starts, she’s working hard and getting blocked by kids actually walking in front of her.  As usual, she doesn’t mind and just continues to push to the finish.  Just before I have to race, I get to see Anna finish 4th Overall and 2nd girl.  She crosses the line pointing to God and smiling.  Moments later, I see Ariel come off the bike and start the run.  Thank you Lord for letting me be able to witness all of this!

I get down to the swim.  Caryn, Lori, Suzanne and I pray for one another and for each of us to be a light out there.  Dana Haldeman is also racing.  She’s FCA too and racing with the Gold Country Tri Club out out Grass Valley.  I get in a quick warm up and then all four of us are off in the last wave. 

170813 Robin Swim Finsh1I feel good going out to the first buoy.  I think I’m in the top 5.  The water is pretty warm so I try to pull on my collar every so often to let in some cool water.

I make the turn at the first buoy.  I haven’t had a consistent draft yet.  I think I’ve found one but the swimmer keeps going right.  Better stay straight.

At the last buoy, I’m ready to be done!  I push to the shore.  I’m getting myself mentally prepared to karate chop my feet out of my wetsuit.  I hope mostly to impress Troy this time.  On the shore I go, have pretty good success getting the wetsuit down to my feet.  Ready, set, kick!  Nothing!  Ready, set, kick!  Nothing!  Oh well, I yank it off both feet.  I lubed my legs and the wetsuit and it seemed to make no difference.

Ariel and Anna are there as I run up to transition.  I give Ariel a high five.

Ok, time to bike.  I get a good transition and  head out.  It takes a few minutes to get my bearings and comfortable.  A woman passes me just before I get outside the park.  She’s 45.  I cannot match her so I’ll hope to catch her on the run.  I am able to pass a woman in my age group going out.

Ok, tail wind going out and head wind coming back.  Better make this first half count!  A 54 year old gal passes me!  She’s amazing!  I cannot match her pace either! I hope I can be that fast in 10 years!  Gotta keep training!

I rode long yesterday so I’m hoping these miles go by fast like the last race!  This course is just a straight out and back.  It’s a bit boring especially since there are not a lot of racers to catch or that I’m able to catch just yet. At least I’m averaging around 20 mph. 

If I see other riders coming back, I’ll know I’m getting close to the turn around.  I do see some when I still have about 4 miles to go to the turn around.  I remind myself that they are fast and that they started 15 minutes ahead of me. 

Around Mile 10, I see Dave Campbell heading back.  He looks strong but he’s all alone…the field is really spread out!  I hit the railroad tracks and I know I’m almost midway.  I’ve only been passed by a few guys.  I’ll soon see what girls are chasing me.

I make the turn and start heading back.  I’m pleasantly surprised that I’m still able to keep the same pace…no head wind!  Yeah!  I see a woman coming fast.  I better keep up the pressure.  I don’t see Dana.  I wonder where she is.

That woman flies by like a stealth fighter jet.  I don’t know she’s there until she’s past me!  I try to tell her good job but I don’t think she can hear.  I dig deep and am able to keep her from pulling away for several miles on the slightly hilly sections.

With four miles to go, the gal pulls away.  I push and she continues to pull away.

I turn into the park and head back to transition.  I pull my feet out of my shoes and put them on top.  Phew!  Always relieved when I can do that without knocking off the shoes.  I pull in to dismount and run to my spot.

I get on my shoes and gear and head out.  I can see the stealth gal ahead.  I think I can catch her.  I grab water going out and drink the whole cup. 

170813 robin Run startI hit the gravel road.  It’s totally exposed out here.  I feel tired but can still push some.  I catch the stealth girl at almost a mile.

Mile 1 is around 7:55.    I see another girl in the distance.  Just after the first mile, I see teammate Cliff Appleby working an aid station.  He gives me water and tells me “blessings to you”!  Thank you Cliff!  I drink the whole cup and almost a 2nd cup. 

As I get closer to the girl ahead, it looks like Dana.  Wow, I never saw her on the bike!  She’s moving! 

Mile 2 is about 7:26.  I feel tired but remember Troy telling me that once I get to the trails along the lake I’m home free!  Those trails are still a few miles off. I see the top girl that passed me at the beginning coming back.  She looks strong. I still wonder if I can catch her.

I hit the main park road for an out and back.  I finally catch up to Dana.  She’s so sweet and encourages me.  I tell her the Lord is our strength and to keep pushing.  She says thanks.  I see the 54 year old gal running back from the turn around.  I hope to catch her eventually!

Mile 3 is about 6:56.  Wow, that totally surprises me.  What surprises me more is that I feel great!  I really feel like I can push hard.  Lord, thank you!  This is a gift. 

I make it to the trail!  I think of Troy telling me that this will be fun and like zipping around on the trails at home.  I continue to feel awesome!  I pass a 77 year old guy.  He looks fast and strong!  Wow!  I tell him great job and he says “praise the Lord!”.  I say “yes, praise the Lord!  He is our strength!”. 

Mile 4 is about 6:52.  Wow, this is great!  I pass the 54 year old and tell her good job!  I can see the top girl!  I might be able to catch her! That would be crazy!

Mile 5 is about 6:51.  Just before the trail ends, I do catch her!  Wow, thank you Lord!  We tell each other good job. 

I hit the gravel road and know it’s just a mile to go!  I get to Cliff’s aid station and get more water.  Along the way I see Caryn and then Suzanne.  It’s a treat to give them high fives!  In the distance I can can see Anna and Ariel waiting for me on their bikes.  They are sweethearts!  I give them high fives as I go by.  I tell them to hustle ahead so that they don’t pace me or get in anyone’s way.  They take off to the finish to wait for me. 
I hit the grass and sprint towards the finish.  I’m praising God and thanking HIm for this gift.  I do not deserve it at all. 
I cross the finish and point up to God!  Thank you Jesus!  What a day!

170813 robin Finish1170813 robin Finish3170813 Robin Podium

TBF Tri For Kids #3–Ariel & Anna 2017


8/13/17, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, Ca.


Anna: 150m S – 4mi B – 1mi R
Ariel: 50m S – 4mi B – 1mi R


Anna 24:46  
Ariel 31:35 PR! – Last Year 32:47


Anna – 1st Age 12 Girls; 2nd Overall Girl

Ariel – 1st  Age 9 Girls


I170813 Ariel Start get in the water.  It's warm.  I'm lined up with a bunch of kids. The director says 10, 9, 8,…, 3, 2, 1, go!  Some kids are going fast and some kids are walking!  I'm swimming as fast as I can. 

I go around the buoy and finish on shore.  I run up to transition taking off my goggles and cap.  Then I get on my helmet and dry myself off.  I try to put on some bike shorts but they are too small.  I decide not to wear them.  I get on my shoes.  I try to take my bike off the rack and the rack falls down.  Someone comes over to pick it up and then I'm able to run off with my bike.

170813 Ariel T2I take off biking fast.  I pass a boy with his mom following on a bike.  I keep going. 

I make it to the turn around.  I go back over the bridge and finally into transition.

I start running out of transition.  I see Daddy, Nana Sue and Papa Ray. I grab water at the aid station.  I get to the gravel road.  I keep running.  I see the twins running back together.

I make a turn and see another girl.  I go down a hill and up a hill.  I get to the turn around.  The girl is now farther away.  I try to pick up my speed but my legs are so tired, they can’t go very fast. 

I see the grass so the finish line is close.  I turn right onto the grass and I see the finish line.  I sprint to the finish line as fast as I can.  I finish!  Yeah!170813 Ariel Finish

Later on I find out that I finished first in my age group! Thank you God!

170813 Ariel Podium


170813 Anna Start23, 2, 1 Go! And I am off. My hands hit the bottom of the lake because it is really shallow in the beginning. Some of the kids pass me but it’s ok. One kid passes in front of me and accidently kicks my goggles and water gets in them. 170813 Anna T2

I swim around the first buoy and head back to shore. I get to shore and run up the path to transition. I get to transition put my helmet on and get on my bike and take off. I bike fast so I can catch a girl who is in front of me.

I bike across the bridge. I can see her in the distance. I get in my biggest gear so I can go faster downhill. I see the girl coming up the hill.  I see the turn around. I slow down and go around the turn. I think I can catch her. My chain all of the sudden comes off and my foot hits the ground.  My handle bars twist and I crash. I slowly get up and a volunteer helps me get my chain back on. A boy bikes by and says good job. I start biking and my side starts hurting from the crash. I hold my side and keep one hand on the handle bars.

I see Ariel at the top of the hill and smile. Half way across the bridge I take my hand off my side and can bike normal. I bike across the speed bumps and to transition. I take off my helmet and put on my race belt.

I run out and get a cup of water. I run onto the dirt. I run around the turn and see the girl. I say finish strong. I run up the hill and run dow.  I say good job to others. I have a side cramp and I try to catch a boy. I catch him and then I try to catch another boy. I am right behind him and he sprints into the finish. I feel like I have no more energy left. I run strong though and point to God as I run through the finish line because it could have been worse. I couldn’t have done it without Him!

170813 Anna Podium1170813 Anna Podium2170813 Anna Weird

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Folsom Sprint Tri–Anna - 2017


8/6/17 – Auburn, CA


1/2mi S – 19mi B – 5km R


1:56:54 (22:25 – 2:43 - 1:08:07 – 0:51 -  22:45)


1st Place, 1-15 Female


Int’l – Dave Campbell, Troy Outman (FCA), Robin Soares (FCA)

I step into the water it is very cold. They say 2 mintutes left but dad says 3 minutes. I swim out in the water and it is very cold. They count down but it’s for the kayakers. We have time. I try to stay warm waiting in the cold water. When they start the count down a lot of people come next to me.

Go!!!! I start swimming and it’s crowded. I stick my head up to see where we are going. I swim and sing a worship song in my head. I get around the first buoy and keep swimming. it’s not really crowed anymore. I keep swimming and my feet are numb.  I can’t feel them but I know they aren’t warm. I feell chilly but I keep swimming. Dad said that after a while I will feel faster people swimming by me but I don’t feel anything. I get around the 2nd buoy and it is still not crowded. I swim and swim to the next buoy. I start swimming in. I look ahead and swim. I finally get to the ground and rip off my wetsuit. I take a lot of time but got it off.


I run into transition and get my stuff on. I ask dad if I should tie a long sleeve shirt around my waist in case I get cold. He asks me if I feel cold and I say no. So I run out of transition without it.

I start the bike and go over a bridge. Its flat so I speed up. After a while I look at my Garmin and it says that I am going about 3 miles every 10min. I try to keep the pace. I move my chain up to the big ring on my bike. I turn and keep biking.

I pass some people and some people pass me. There is this long downhill up to a long uphill. I bike hard and fast down hill and then coast up the uphill. I go uphill, downhill , uphill, downhill and up. We turn again.

170806_usap_folsom_sprint_anna_bikeAn a older girl passes me and I pass her. We go back and forth. Miles start to go by fast. At about mile 13 or 14, Troy Outman rides by me and says good job. I am surprised. I think, if Troy is here mom should be close. I turn my head and see mom on the other side of the road. I yell “MOM!” See looks up and says good job.

I bike on to a bike path. I go fast and beat some people. I see a tunnel up ahead with lights inside. I think cool! It’s not really cool because it’s really dark even with the lights. I can barely see the ground. My bike wheels are making noise in the tunnel and make me think that a biker is right on my wheel! I bike and look ahead. I get out of the tunnel and there isn’t anyone close behind me. I bike under a bridge and smile at the camera.  I bike on the path and almost run into a pole. I bike on the road and try to loosen up my legs for the run.

In transition, Dad and Ariel aren’t here, I guess because I’m so early. The annoucer says my name as I go out on the run. Dad and Ariel heard it and realized I’d gone through.

I start running and it’s hard to get my legs going. I see a girl in my age group (a girl I know, Jessica James) up ahead of me.  I also see two girls coming back. I think if I could beat Jessica I could get 3rd in my age group. I run past her and say good job.

I keep running and I run over a bridge. I run through an aid staion and get water. I keep running on the bike path. After a while I’m thinking the turn around should have been sooner. Finally I see it. I turn around and start saying good job to people.  It makes the time go faster.

I look for the girl but I don’t see her. I see mom running and Jessica is behind her walking. Mom and I are happy to see each other. I encourage Jessica as I go by. I keep running. I run over the bridge.  I’m getting closer to the finish line. I run off the bike path onto another path to the finish line.

I sprint in and jump over the finish line pointing to God! When Jessica came over the finsh line I say good job to her and make her feel good. I thought I was going to get 2 hours for the bike but I got under 2 hours for the whole thing! THANKS TO GOD!!! I could of never done that with out Him!

170806 AnnaFinishStarting170806 AnnaFinishSprint170806_usap_folsom_sprint_anna_finish

170806 AnnaDone170806 AnnaPodium

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Folsom Intl Tri–Robin - 2017


8/6/17 – Auburn, CA


1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R


2:34:00 (29:16 – 1:43 - 1:13:50 – 1:20 -  47:49)


1st Place, 40-44 (5th Female OA)


Int’l – Dave Campbell, Troy Outman (FCA)

Sprint – Anna Soares (FCA)

I get dropped off 4 miles from the start and enjoy a quiet and dark ride with headlamp along the Lake Natomas bike path.  It’s very peaceful.

I make it to transition and see FCA teammate, Janell Peterson.  We chat and then I find a spot. I then search for Anna.  We get her a spot in the Sprint area.  I’m a bit nervous for her because the sprint bike is 19 miles.  Her longest race has been only 9 miles!  We’ve done some good training together, though, so i’m confident she can at least complete it.  It just might take her almost 2 hours. 

Troy and Ariel are setting up our FCA tent, gear and kids zone.  Troy will man the booth and later Ariel will help put the awards together for the Race Director.

Anna and I do some running and her knee is hurting.  I sure hope it will go away.  We find some secret bathrooms.  When I come out I hear “boo!”.  I look around and there’s Anna in a tree!  Silly girl…so glad it’s just another fun day for her!

Time to pray and then I get in the water first.  The prayer was announced late so no one meets us at the FCA flag but the girls, Troy and I pray together.  Praying for safety, God being glorified, and Anna getting through her long bike!  Just before I head in for the swim, Troy Outman comes running over.  We pray again with him and then it’s into the water. 

As I swim out, it’s pretty cold.  I start to get more concerned for Anna.  I want to swim back and warn her but my wave is starting in less than 2 minutes.  Lord, please protect her and keep her from getting too cold.  I know the only thing I can do is pray!Ready, set, go!  I get a good start and feel strong. I’m getting used to the cold and there are some spots where it actually feels warm.

I make it to the first turn buoy.  Not too crowded. 

On the way back, I can see the sprint swimmers coming at me on my left.  We are all merging!  Now I get concerned that Anna is going to get swum over or hit in the head.  I think back to the 2013 Ironman in Tahoe.  It was foggy and I was so scared about getting caught in a crowd.  I prayed and it seemed like the Lord made a straight and clear path for me.  My prayer for Anna is that she’ll have a straight and clear path, too!

Final buoy and now I’m heading back to shore.  I’m pushing hard and thinking about Anna.  I want to get out of the water and tell Troy I’m concerned. 

I get out of the water and have some trouble getting my wetsuit off at the shore.  My karate chop kicks to kick out of the wetsuit are not working well today. I actually have to pull the wetsuit off my ankles.  I run up to Troy and whisper, "I’m scared for Anna”.  He says not to worry and tells me to get going. I do but continue to pray for her.

I get on my bike and head out.  I cross Hwy 50 and jump on Folsom Road.  It’s nice and flat out here.  I rode 82 miles yesterday and ran 3.5 miles.  I purposely came into this race with no taper.  So far I feel good!  Anna should be out of the water and biking.  I hope she’s not cold on the bike.  Lord, please be with her and help her.  Please, keep her safe, too. 

I catch up to a gal in pink and pass her.  In a few minutes, she’s passed me back.  Another girl goes by.  She’s fast and I cannot match her pace.  She passes the pink girl and the pink girl soon passes her back.  It doesn’t take long for the other girl to go right by. We turn right onto White Rock Road.  I’ve never been this way on this road.  I’m glad to see there is little vehicle traffic out here and cones on most of it.  Makes me feel better about Anna being out here.  Dave Campbell comes by and says hi.  I cheer him on.  I pass the pink girl again and she soon passes me back.  I see her do this with another gal in black and that gal passes her back.

I’m able to keep Dave in sight for quite a while.  I am amazed how strong I feel.  Thank you Lord!  I pass the pink girl and work hard to make it stick this time.  We head out to do this short out and back.  I’m so focused on pushing that when I hear Anna say “hey Mom!”, I jump on my seat.  Oh my gosh, there she is!  She’s smiling!  “Go Anna!”  Thank you Lord!  She looks great and is doing great!  I realize that the sprint cyclists are riding right past this part of our course. She’s already completed most of the ride.  That just makes my day.  Lord, You are so good!

I complete my out and back with a greater sense of peace.  I’m holding off the pink girl and I catch up to the girl in black.  I wonder if I can catch up with Anna.

I hit the bike path and know I’m getting close to being done.  Down the path and to the tunnel.  I’m sure Anna had a blast riding through here! 

No sign of Anna!  She’s flying!  I’ll have to wait to see her until the run. 

I’m almost done.  Amazed how fast the miles flew by.  Having a long day yesterday makes the ride today seem so short.  It’s nice it feels that way!

Into transition.  I was able to pull my feet out of my bike shoes and ride in…yeah!  I get in and out quick.  I say bye to Janell as I leave.

I feel good starting out.  I feel motivated to see Anna.  It helps me to ignore the normal discomfort of pushing.

MIle 1 is 7:28ish.  No Anna yet.  But then I pass one of her competitors, Jessica James.  She’s moving slow and looks like she’s struggling.  I slow down and ask her if she needs anything.  She smiles and says no.  I tell her to hang in there.

Soon I see Anna coming back and she’s smiling, and flying!  We give each other high 5s.  Lord, thank you for getting her through this race!  I’m amazed!  I hit a nice downhill and try to get my legs spinning

Mile 2 is  7:31.  It’s harder now to push without having Anna to look for.   I soon see the top girls heading back.  They are quite a ways ahead!  Keep pushing, you never know!  I see Troy Outman coming!  I give him a high five and tell him to hold off Dave Campbell.  It’s not too long before I see Dave coming fast!

Mile 3 is 7:16.  Though tired, I can still push and I feel good overall.  I make the turn around and get to see who is behind me.  I see one girl moving quick.  Now I have new motivation to push. 

Mile 4 is 7:16.  Ready to be done but still feeling good.  Gotta keep moving!  I have half a track workout left!  I can do that!

I hit the “big hill”.  I enjoyed the down part earlier but gotta pay for it now.  I am able to push well and get up and over.  The top is where I said I would push so I try to.

Mile 5 is 7:28.  Last mile.  When I hit the wooden bridge, I push harder.  I want to look back but I don’t.  I see a guy ahead and try to close the gap.  He alludes me all the way to the finish chute.  It’s okay, he got me here quicker.  I push hard and look up to God as I cross the line.  Thank you Jesus!  What a great day!

170806 RobinFinishing170806 RobinFinishGod

Sunday, July 23, 2017

San Francisco 1/2 Marathon (Troy)


7/23/17, San Francisco, Ca


13.1mi R




29th AG / 360


Robin Soares

WP_20170722_17_44_06_ProWP_20170723_04_18_29_ProWe wake up to much quieter city (The City is a crazy place!) and job slowly down to the Embarcadero.  Robin and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary by running the San Francisco Marathon together!  Except that I’m injured, and therefore out-of-shape, and so doing the 1/2 Marathon instead.  The plan, Lord willing, is that I can still run 1/2 of the marathon together with Robin.  Robin is strong and will run about 8:15 pace.  Normally not hard for a 1/2 marathon, it will challenge me this time for sure.  But, of course, the excitement of running with Robin in this famous race will mask a lot of the pain.

With 27,000 people in the race, I’m expecting mayhem at the start.  I’m pleasantly surprised to see open streets and easy pickings of the bathrooms.  We stretch and jog and calmly plan eveything out… but then the droves of people start arriving, and the trucks to pickup our gear bags aren’t there, and the entrance to our wave is .3mi away!  People are just piling their bags and leaving.  Instead I chooe to be Robin’s sherpa and wrap our clothes around my waste.

We meet a gal who has done over 200 marathons.  We actually pray together with her which was great.  After the National Anthem, we’re off!

We see our friend, Jesse Ellis, taking pictures at the start.  After a mile, there is no thinning of the crowd.  There are a lot of runners! 

Mile 1: 7:57. Robin’s gotta go so I run a little ahead at each bathrooms checking if there are openings. 

Mile 2: 7:59. We go through Aquatic Park…

Mile 3: 8:17. Marina Blvd…

Mile 4: 7:49. Chrissy Field, and then I find her one.  I’m so glad I did my job, that I forget to use one!  We’re off again and see our 3:35 pacer not too far ahead.

Mile 5: 8:20. We’re looking forward to the Golden Gate Bridge but can’t see it because of the fog.  We start climbing and I know it’s close.  Robin pulls a little ahead on each climb because she’s very good on hills. 

170723_sfmarathon_troyMile 6: 8:43. Finally, we’re on the Bridge!  We have the Northbound to ourselves.  It’s a little chilly and damp but beautiful. Glad to have long sleeve shirts.  I’m watching our pace and it’s slowing.  It’s hard work and I look forward to getting to the bridge center where we can start descending again.  I watch the huge cable structure sloping down, knowing that when it hits street level, it will start going back up and we can start going back down.

Mile 7: 7:51. Now we circle a visitors center before returning across the bridge.  I stop at the porta-potties but it’s too long of a wait so I go catch up to Robin. Back across the bridge now.  I’m trying to work hard to keep a good pace for Robin, check that she’s eating and drinking (which she’s doing very well) and encourage her (which helps me because it’s getting hard and 6 more miles seems long but nothing compared to 19 more miles for Robin!)

Mile 8: 7:58.  Almost off the bridge.  This is my first time doing this part of the SF Marathon.  I’ve done the 2nd 1/2 before and I’ve done the bridge during the Napa to Santa Cruz Relay, but running this part with Robin and hopefully  being able to help her meet her goal has been great!

Mile 9: 8:01. I’m actually looking forward to getting off this incredible landmark.. to be out of the wind.  Now we climb up through the Presideo.  It’s peaceful.  Perfect temperature.

Mile 10: 7:58. Running along the cliffs and ocean is great. Especially with a downhill.  I’m praying for Robin’s hamstrings, quads and toes because downhills are hard on her.  She says she’s doing fine.  We’re on pace.

Mile 11: 8:05. In the neighborhoods now, gradually climbing to the Park.  I’m looking forward to being done but trying to focus on Robin.

Mile 12: 8:31.  No stopping for bathroom breaks now, only a mile to go.  Robin is doing great and says she’s ready for a 10k through the Park.  I will be able to see her enter and exit the park, and will pray the rest of it goes well for her.


Mile 13: 8:31. I give Robin my love and have to split off for the finish.  Robin tells me to sprint the rest of the way so I try to pick it up.  It’s almost a half mile and with .1 left I’m completely drained and my achilles is hurting and I have to slow down which is a strange way to finish a race.. slowing down.  But I’m thankful, Lord, that I made it this far, being able to run with Robin.  Now I get to rest and stretch and wait for Robin to come running out of the park. 

I’m at the 17.5 mile mark and when I do see Robin she says her right side is really tight and painful but she’s still smiling.  I run with her for little bit and then pray for her as she continues on.  I know how painful the last 6mi can be with legs seizing up, I pray for a miracle.

SFMarathon Robin & Troy5

I catch a shuttle to the end and look forward to seeing her finish!


San Francisco Marathon–Robin - 2017


7/23/17, San Francisco, Ca


26.2mi R




7th AG / 287


Troy Soares


Troy and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary with the Boston Marathon.  This year we are celebrating our 15th by running the 40th SF Marathon together.  in 2003, our 2nd year of marriage, Troy ran the last 20 miles of the SF Marathon with me.  In 2013, Troy and the girls chased me as I did this marathon.  A lot of great memories!


We get up at 3:45, ouch!  The main concern for Troy is getting through the first half marathon by my side.  He’s had an Achilles injury since his Ironman and sitting at work has made it worse.  For this reason, he’ll finish with the other 1st Half Marathoners.  The concern for me is being able to get my bathroom use time in before the race starts.  The other important thing I’m doing is practicing my race hydration for IM Coeur d’Alene at the end of August.  Troy had great success in IM Boulder drinking lots of water and sports drink on the course.  I hope to be able to test it on myself.  I’m wearing my Fuelbelt and carrying Vitargo.  Never used it so it is a bit risky trying it on race day.  I will make sure I drink a cup of water at EVERY aid station too!  I will shoot for a sub 3:40.  3:35 (8:12 per mile) would be great but 3:38 (8:18 per mile) is much more realistic.

The bathroom thing seems to go well.  We go to drop off our gear bag and there are no trucks or volunteers. The race starts in like 25 minutes!  Not good.  The half marathoners and the 5Kers have their gear checks working great.  We are not going to wait so Troy designates himself as the sherpa and ties our jackets around his waist.  So glad we didn’t bring cell phones!  Even though I feel warm with my long sleeve FCA shirt over my jersey, I decide to wear it anyway.

We head to Corral 2.  We meet a gal, Karen, who is racing her 249th Marathon!  She’s a believer too so we all pray together. Very cool!

The elite runners take off so we go in 2 minutes.  I feel like I could use the porta potty one last time but it’s too late! 

Ready, set, go!  Just as we are about to cross the start/finish line Troy sees our friend Jesse Ellis taking pictures. “Jesse!”, he shouts.  Jesse smiles and snaps a quick picture.  The chances of seeing him with all these people out here is crazy.  That is a God moment for sure!

I feel good the first few miles but I need to go to the bathroom.  We are right by the 3:35 pacers.  Around mile 3, Troy checks for an open porta potty but no go.  Troy seems to be hanging in there.  Thank you God!  It really is a treat doing something hard with Troy.  That’s how it’s been from the very beginning of our marriage and I hope we can keep it up!

By mile 5, we are running through the Presidio. I’m averaging 8:05 pace according to my Garmin. I’m very happy with that!  I find an open porta potty and get it done in less than a minute.  The 3:35 pace guys are ahead now.  Not worried.

Up the first major hill, not bad!

At mile 6 we hit the bridge!  It’s foggy but we don’t care.  It’s still beautiful.  The ground is wet and they have workers next to areas they have placed mats over.  Hope no one falls!  This whole side of the bridge, northbound, is completely closed to us runners.  Must be because of the 40th year and all the people (find out later it was because of threat of terriorism).  We soon see the top runners coming back. We are totally shocked to see most of them wearing headphones.  Thought those were banned, especially for elites!  One guy has a huge set on his head.  Interesting!

Troy is doing great!  He feels good!  Yeah, thank you Lord!  We really are having fun!

At Mile 8, my Garmin says I’m averaging 8:05.  We run around a viewing area/parking lot on the other side of the bridge.  Troy tries to use the porta potty but it’s packed.  He only needs to make it 5 more miles.

Back over the bridge we go.  Lots of people coming across! 

At MIle 12, my Garmin says 8:05.  Nice and consistent!  We are going to hit Golden Gate Park soon and that’s when I’m on my own!  Troy and I are thanking God for being able to do the 1st Half together.  He tells me to keep drinking and make it a goal to use the porta potty one more time to insure I’m practicing my hydration well for IM.  He reminds me that those last miles I’m going to have to push just to hold the pace.

We split off.  He’ll finish and then see me as I run nearby around mile 16. 

At Mile 13, I’m averaging 8:07.  I don’t see the 3:35 pacers.  Still not worried.

The 2nd Half of the marathon starts soon.  Those runners will become mixed in with all of us.

Pretty soon, I see fast bunch go by ahead, 2nd halfers.  I merge with them and it’s crazy how fast they are passing me.  Then the 2nd halfers are off in another direction.  This goes on and on the whole time I’m running in GG Park.  So confusing!  How they came up with these courses baffles me!

My whole right leg just starts to hurt everywhere!  Please, Lord, let me make it! 

SFMarathon Robin & Troy5I don’t see Troy at 16 but just after 17.  He’s smiling and waving.  Then he jumps in with me and says “smile”.  Someone is taking our picture for him.  I tell him that my leg is hurting bad and he prays for me.  Just a little way down the road it feels better.  Thank you Jesus!

At Mile 19, The sun is out now and I’m averaging 8:05.  Good, brought the pace back down.  But now I’m looking at the miles, and my Garmin thinks I’m at mile 19.5.  That means my pace is definitely slower than 8:05.  Another reason not to slow down!  The leg is better but I still feel unstable on the outside of my knee…I had the same thing at this time but worse in 2003!

Even though SF is a hiller town than San Diego, this course is much more forgiving and hilly!  Surprising!

Back on the streets.  We are meandering our way down to the bay where we’ll pass the Giants stadium and head back to the Bay Bridge area where we started.  This means a lot of downhill running! 

I hit “the wall” or mile 20 and I’m hanging in!  6.2 miles to go!

At Mile 23, my garmin says 8:06 and the distance is 23.6.  Oh man!  What a pain!  Getting closer to the bay!  Only 3 more miles!  I still don’t need to use the bathroom.  I’m glad because it’s a pain but I know I’m not hydrated.  I keep drinking water at the aid stations and I’ve finally finished my 3 flasks…should have finished those miles ago!

I’m feeling tired and it’s really hard to push.  Please God, keep me focused.  I’ve told myself that when the next pace group goes by for the 2nd half, I’m going to try to hang on.  Soon they come by and I push hard.  I’m not exactly staying with them, but they are close!  Yeah!  I can break 3:40!!

At mile 25, my garmin says 8:07 and 25.7.  I see Troy. He is cheering and smiling.  He says something about 3:40.  Did he say the 3:40 pace group is catching me or that I can beat 3:40. Oh boy, better push to be safe!


I see the finish chute soon. 

Yeah!  Go, go, go!  I dig deep and put in my fastest mile for these last 6. 


Yeah!  I hear my name and it’s Jesse Ellis!  I smile and he snaps my picture.  Just a little more!  3:38! 

Thank you Lord! What a day!

Now it’s time for some anniversary fun!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Crown City 12K–Troy -2017


July 4, 2017 – Coronado, Ca








Robin Soares (FCA), Anna Soares (FCA), Ariel Soares (FCA), Detrik, Anika, Jan Heidt, Dan Cadriel

It’s been hot in Auburn so the cooler coast climate here in Coronado Island is great for running.  My legs and achilles have been really stiff and I haven’t run much.  This is a fast-pace race so I’m concerned but at least it’s only a 12k.  I never know how things are going to go so I try to be optimistic.  Have the fun of the racing is going through the motions of registering, warming up as a team, strategizing, and most importantly, praying and realizing the Lord is the only One who can calm any fears I have.

The girls, cousins and Grammie are doing the 5k.  Robin and I get to line up together for the 12k.  Always a treat!  A great speech, great starting line, a lot of stretching and preparing, and we’re off..


Under the flag, across the grass, my slow start leaves me a little behind everyone.  I’m being really conscience of form: outside of the feet, relaxed lower legs, good hip and glute form.  I start to warm up and catch up to Robin.  Always love running next to Robin in a race.  Robin is shooting for 7:15 and me, 7:00.  So we part ways and I continue trying to run relaxed and smart.  I really don’t know what to expect.  I could get tired quickly or have a foot or calf seize up.  But for now, things feel good.

Mile 1. 6:56. That’s good. Along the golf course now.  Gradual speed bumps in the road seem to sneak up on me.  I remind myself each time to watch my step.  It’s like I’m giving so much energy to running I hardly have any left to think about not falling.  There’s a woman up ahead that I try to keep up with.  The foot is holding up.

Mile 2. 6:40. Wow.  The woman is holding a good pace and I’m so appreciative to be able to match it.  I’m already thanking the Lord!  It’s been quite a while since I ran under 7 min pace. The long straight-away.  Beforehand I told Robin “it’s just a 10k with a little extra at the end”.  Reminding myself of that I keep expecting to be able to see the turn-around soon.  We pass the Naval Base where we used to turn in.  I think about all our brave service men and women.

Mile 3. 6:45. Holding the pace.  Eating a Cliff Block.  Keeping good form.  We go by the septic area – the stinky part, along otherwise beautiful, clean Coronado.  I go by a man who looks 65 and running so well.  I see the leaders coming back.  The turn is farther than expected.  Counting the women I see that the one I’m with is 5th.  I make the turn and also pull slightly ahead of the woman, encouraging her.  She’s helping me and I’ll help her, this way we’ll both get to the end faster.  I can’t wait to see Robin up ahead soon..

Mile 4. 6:43.  Going great! Thanks, Lord. And there’s Robin!  We high-five.  It’s so encouraging having so much support from each other and just wanting to do well for them.  The woman I’m running with is surging and I’m having to talk myself into maintaining this tough pace.  I want to slow down but maybe I’ll catch someone I know, maybe I’ll get a good place.. where is that next mile marker!

Mile 5. 6:51. Getting tough, legs getting tight.  Still excited to be running this pace!  The slight changes from street to sidewalk and back again take a lot of effort and thought.  Trying to be smooth, and fast.  Finally, the golf course.. just hold this for another mile and I’ll be close

Mile 6. 6:48.  Good.  Another woman is ahead and the one with me is making her move.  Exciting to watch and definitely don’t want to get left behind now.  Negotiating the speed bumps.  Now she’s in 4th which means I’m in good position, too.  Yes, the corner to the alley-section. Almost there.  I take the corner well, out near the highway and back and now I’m ahead of the woman and running well!

Mile 7. 6:33.  Yes, catching 4th place woman got us both farther ahead.  Now I see the 3rd place woman, and, sure enough, the woman I was running with comes from behind and passes me and her.  Great job!  Under the bridge and then I see our friend, Dan Cadriel.  Although from Arizona, he’s always at this race and his choice to run shirt-less makes him easy to spot.  He’s a good runner so it’s an honor to be able to pass him.  But it’s also painful..


just a few more turns through the campgrounds.. my legs are yelling at me.  The finish and I see the girls and Dad and Detrik.


Thank you, Lord, for giving me more than I deserve and letting me have a fast, beneficial workout.  It’s all for you! 

I finish in 50:33, 4th place, with a 6:18 pace for the last 1/2 mi. Very happy.