Sunday, May 22, 2011


May 22, 2011 – Auburn, CA
Swim 1K – Bike 30K – Run 7K
1:55:04 (20:15-2:25-1:00:17-1:06-30:59)
Dave Campbell, Debra Plant, Marcia Dellwo, Trudi Hughes-Scott
Today, I'm reminded of what Troy talked about at last night's Iron Prayer service.  God might have a plan B for anyone's race.  It's something you cannot plan for but through faith in Christ can be tackled.   God's plan B for me might be no race or drop out of the race today.  Last night Ariel got really sick with congestion and a fever.  I slept in her room out of concern for her breathing.  This morning the fever was gone but she was still very congested.  I told our babysitter that I would carry my cell phone in case she got worse.  I told God that I was content in stopping at any moment and heading straight home.
I coast downhill from home to the start at Rattlesnake Bar.  It's a cool morning but not freezing like last year.  I find Troy as he's about to get in the water.  We pray with/for each other.  My prayer is that he'll stay warm this year and feel comfortable in the water.  I find the transition area Troy reserved for me on a curb in T1.  This is perfect!  I then see Dave Campbell and his daughter Sandy.  We talk some smack because today we are each determined to beat each other...of course in a friendly way.  We see Michael Cook with his camera and I pretend to give Dave a punch.
As I head down to the start, I run into Trudi Scott.  It's so great to see her beautiful smile out here!  I also run into some local gals, Marcia Dellwo and Debra Plant.  I catch a glimpse of Troy as he goes out for his second loop.  He's definitely in the top 20...yeah!  I get in and warm-up.  It feels good for 62 degrees.  As the girls Sprint wave waits, we watch in horror (less strong word needed here Troy) as the men's sprint field pummels a bunch of long course swimmers coming in for their 2nd loop as they go out.  Oh, that's hard to watch! 
Okay, time to go!  I hope to be one of the top finishers in the swim.  We'll see!  Ready, set, go!  I'm relieved there was a break and we are not swimming on top of anybody.  A girl takes off and very quickly she's way out there.  I'm swimming with about 3 girls and find a good draft for a time.  Like always, I seem to get behind someone who has trouble swimming straight.  It's no big deal.  I just press on alone and zone in on the first buoy. 
As I round the first buoy, I have trouble seeing the next one so I follow the crowds.  We are way out here!  I see it!  I push to the next one.  I'm wondering if there are girls near.  I'm mixed in with the sprint men wearing the same caps so it's hard to tell. 
I round the buoy and now it's a long, straight shot back to shore.  I'm feeling good and my stroke feels strong.  I'm really pulling the water well today.  I might be in the top 2 or 3?!  That would be cool!  I get to shore, jump out and rip off my wetsuit.  Kick, kick, off!  Yeah!  As I run into transition, I see a sprint girl leaving.  Hum, is that 2nd place?  I throw my stuff in my bag, put on my gear and go! 
110522_auburntri_sprint_robin_bikeTime to climb!  As I head out of Rattlesnake Bar, I'm feeling strong.  Thanks God!  It's so nice to be racing on roads I ride all the time!  As I head up the 6 mile stretch of climbing, I make it a point to encourage others.  This is no easy ride we're doing!  I catch up to the sprint girl and tell her good job as I go by.  I wonder if I'm in the lead.  We'll see soon enough!
I make it to the top of Shirland Track and down the backside.  Ah, downhill, nice!  This time we turn left on Maidu and head up Auburn-Folsom Road to Pacific Ave.  I definitely like this change and appreciate a chance to ride in my aerobars.  We ride past the finish line and head up towards Hwy 80. 
110522_auburntri_sprint_robin_bike2Once almost to 80, I start seeing guys coming back.  They are flying!  They've got to be 20 minutes ahead of me!  I start looking for Dave.  He's around here somewhere.  I'm also looking for other girls.  It's hard to look and ride uphill but I continue to scan.  I'm just thanking God for letting me feel so strong especially with the little sleep I got last night. 
As I'm about to turn and ride over to Bowman Rd. and the turn around I see Dave.  I give him the "I'm watching you sign" and a smile.  He looks great!  It looks like it's going to be very close today.  Within a few minutes, I'm at the turn-around.  I don't think I've seen any girls...interesting!
It's fun coming back and flying down Lincoln Way.  I let go of the brakes and fly down the hill.  I'm terrified and excited at the same time!  I'm so grateful for my mtn. bike experience and the Copperopolis Road Race.  Both have given me confidence descending and I can see a real difference today!  At the bottom, I hear Trudi cheering for me as we ride past each other...and I cheer back.
I push hard all the way back to T2 at Railhead Park.  I run to my stuff and am able to make a quick transition.  My legs feel pretty good going out.  I run down the channel trail and dodge runners.  It's narrow and uneven footing and I could easily go down.  I make it to Maidu.  Mile 1 is 7:28.
I now get to enjoy the long down hill to mile 2 in the canyon.  Halfway down I see a girl running out in a Cal Berkley outfit.  Wow, is she leading this race or is she a relay? She's really flying!  If she's leading, she's got a good 10 minutes on me at least!  Impressive!  I tell her good job and give her a smile.   The question is, where's Dave?  I push hard and hit Mile 2 at 6:55. 
There's Dave!  Wow, looking strong!  I cheer Dave on and hit my stopwatch.  It's going to be close today!  I make it down to the new segment of the course that Brad Kearns added.  I thought I knew all the trails down here!  It's narrow and the footing is a bit tricky.  I get into a good grove on this undulating trail and push it.  As I pop out, I can see another lady heading down to the same trail.  She's not far behind so I better pick it up!  I hit mile 3 at 7:23. 
110522_auburntri_sprint_robin_finish2It's mostly uphill now!  I've run this hill so many times but it still takes it out of me.  I catch up to Steve who I met at the Iron Prayer service last night.  I tell him good job and encourage him to push hard to the finish.  I make it out of the canyon and the finish is near!  Mile 4 is 7:32.
I run under the overpass and into Railhead park.  I can see the finish!  I sprint to the finish and look to Christ as I cross the finish.  Thank you God for this race!  Thank you for keeping Ariel safe so I can do this!  I am so grateful for this opportunity!

Go Dave!
Go Trudi!

Name Age Group Place Swim Bike Run Time
Dave Campbell M50-54 3 20:26 1:00:37 30:06 1:54:14
Robin F35-39 1 20:15 1:00:17 30:59 1:55:04
Trudi Hughes-Scott F40-44 2 24:29 1:08:40 37:51 2:04:17
Debra Plant F50-54 1 23:34 1:09:19 41:22 2:18:19
Marcia Dellwo F50-54 4 27:55 1:19:33 51:14 2:48:47

Auburn Triathlon World's Toughest (Troy)

May 22, 2011 – Auburn, CA
Swim 1.2m – Bike 56m – Run 13.1m
5:27:56 (40:46-4:48-3:05:40-1:02-1:35:38)
Diana Hassel, Rochelle Zolna
The day before, I practiced riding the first 6 mi up from the swim start.  Last year this is where I got very chilled and had to stop at my house for warm clothes.  This time around I was trying out a new seat position and was comfortably dressed.  I did it under 25min.
The race is starting at 6:15.  Strange weather this year again threatening a cold spell but it's looking to be a good day, although the water is about 60 deg due to the heavy snowfalls.  It's nice to be able to ride from our house to the start for a warm-up.  I stretch, get prepared, see friends like Dave Campbell, Rochelle Zolna and Lindsay who I met at the FCA Endurance Iron Prayer held yesterday at registration.  Walking to the swim start I see Robin arriving.  She had to stay behind to wait for the baby sitter and to make sure little Ariel's fever had gone down.  Everything is looking good.  Her sprint race starts after mine.
I'm wearing a rash guard and a neoprene thermal cap.  I warm up in the water before the start, but then the start is delayed 10min.  I start to shiver while talked with Lindsay.  She's doing her first big triathlon and is all smiles, despite probably being the only athlete not using a wetsuit.  That's tough.
Go!  This time I start at the front of about 100 swimmers.  It's often hard to find the course here with fog and the sunrise, but today there is a stand-up surf paddler leading the group and no fog or sun to blind us.  The paddler makes it so easy to swim straight.  I just wish I was faster because at the first buoy the paddler is now too far ahead to guide me.  I'm already getting cold, sighting to the 2nd buoy is difficult, and the neoprene cap chin strap is making breathing difficult.  I'm starting to lose ground.  Being uncomfortable hampers my swimming. 
Around the 2nd buoy and it's a long stretch back to the start for loop #2.  I can tell this swim course is going to be long.  I feel like there's no way I can make a 2nd loop.  But I focus on 1 buoy at a time.
I round the start buoys and look at my watch underwater.. 22min.  So much for the 34min swim goal.  On shore, Robin sees me make the turn.  Just moments earlier, she watched as the first wave of the sprint triathlon was sent off directly into the path of the long course swimmers turning for their 2nd loop.  There were a lot of near-miss head-on collisions.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_swimEven though I felt like I couldn't do a 2nd loop, now that I'm on the 2nd loop, I'm pushing on and doing fine.   Don't like being cold and struggling against the chin strap but I believe God helps me press on.  I round the final buoy and make the long push for the finish ramp.
This time I run all the way to transition with my wetsuit.  At Wildflower I was so winded after the swim I had no energy to kick off my suit and got tangled.  I try to catch my breath while jogging.  Then focus on getting it off at my bike.  I put on my special FCA Endurance cold-weather bike jacket, socks and my aero helmet which adds warmth over traditional helmets.  I'm not going to freeze-out this year.
I take off on the bike with a goal of climbing well; thinking about my front wheel pulling my legs up and over the pedal stroke like on a Spinerval bike.  I'm wearing the MyAthlete tracking unit so that Robin and others can see my progress (Robin will be done with her race at 9:30).  It helps as a motivator to ride and run well, knowing others are watching.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_bike2I quickly notice 2 problems I have. 1.  I forgot again to change my cassette to larger cogs.  At wildflower I had to suffer up the hills in my "flat course" 21 tooth big cog and now I'm going to have to do it again.  Oh well, it'll only make me stronger.  2.  I'm so winded after the swim that it takes 7 miles before I can get my heart rate down.  I need to swim train more or I'm just getting older.  It's difficult to negotiate biking when your heart is pounding and your head's in a fog.  At 6 mi I'm at 26min, close to yesterday's time and enjoying the flat section of Auburn-Folsom Rd which replaces the extra climb of Maidu.  Every year the Auburn Triathlon course changes a little.
We race by the finish line at Railhead Park and begin the climb to Colfax.  The steep hills are tough.  I'm not feeling comfortable on the seat.  My hamstrings are getting sore.  At 12mi I stop and quickly (only 30sec) adjust my seat back down 1/2".  Yesterday I raised it which was a mistake.  Sure enough, I'm feeling better already.
The weather is great. No wind, a chill in the air, lots of sun.  At 25mi, my jacket has done it's job and now I strip it off, tie it around my waste, losing no time, and feel invigorated with warm muscles pushing through the cool air.
Finally I'm at the top of the Bear River loop.  Only 5 guys have already headed back so I'm hoping I'm in the top 20.  Surprisingly I take a wrong turn (to the left) before remembering which way we do the loop.  I fly down to the river, passing 2 guys in the process and paying note to the boulders at the bottom where I saw a guy crash the year before.
Climbing out of Bear River, up Plumb Rd, I really focus on keeping the pressure on the pedals.  I have to stand often but minimize it as much as possible.  I continue to encourage others.  God is giving me energy today after a late night and busy day.  Thank you, Jesus.
So glad to get to the top.  I see a volunteer I think I know from the track.  Flying down now, I'm thinking about the out-and-back at mile 45.  I'm going to be efficient and maintain a good average.  I'm trying to get a 3:10 bike split and need an average of 17.5.  At the top it was only 16 and now it's closer to 17.  Gotta keep it.
Great out-n-back!  Only 1 tough hill (the Lemond hill) left.  I get over it and move into 16th place in the process.  Coming through town I see the volunteers again.  Still enthusiastic!  The race is well staffed.  Surprisingly I see I'm going to break 3:10.  But also see that the course is a mile short this year.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_t2Coming into transition I see Michael Cook cheering and taking pictures (he took many great pictures of Robin & I today).  He tells me, "100% on the run, you can do it!"  Yes, this is the main event.  I've set my sights on really taking the run fast.  Robin had a great time of 1:35 (actually discovered later 1:41) two years ago as a relay and I hope to match it.  That would be 7:15 pace which is my goal for my marathon in 2 weeks.  The marathon is the key event this season so I need a good effort today to help my Boston qualifying effort.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_run3I think the run course is a little easier this year.  First it's along the NID ditch, then drop down to Maidu, run by the aid station put on by our church, eLevation, and then onto the sloping dam roads which I love running so much.  I pass a couple more guys and believe I've moved up to 14th place.
I love the long gradual descent.  It's the steep down sections that bother me.  Ever since screaming down Lynch Hill at Wildflower and then stepping into a hole on a training run, my right foot has been tender and sensitive to downhill and uneven trails.  At the intersection of China Bar Rd and the dam rd. we do a small trail loop called Stu's Trail.  I really focus on the footing and just hope I don't hurt my foot.
Back on the wide road I try to push the long climb.  What I lose in not screaming down hills anymore, I have to make up in going up.. which doesn't hurt my foot.  While climbing I see Taylor, a kid who I met before the Iron Prayer yesterday.  We encourage each other and even pray for each other's race.  The Lord has really created a lot of memorable and encouraging encounters during our racing with FCA Endurance.
I'm watching my pace drop down from 7:15 to 7:17 and start to think the goal is unreachable.  At the top, I look again and now it says 7:14.  Ha!  You never know what's going to happen.  Garmins aren't always accurate.  Finishing lap 1, we run around Railhead Park where everyone is cheering and the sprint racers are finishing and then head out for loop 2 of 3.  It's a great venue by looping through the spectator area.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_runOk, loop 2, I have to push now to keep this pace.  I watch my footing along the ditch and head down to the aid station.  There's Robin, Anna and Ariel and many friends and kids from the church!  All cheering for me.  I ask, "How's Ariel" and Robin says with a smile, "She's good" and I see Ariel smiling.  Thank you, Lord.  It's invigorating to know she's feeling better after the high fever last night.  Anna gives me a terrific high-five, I grab Cytomax and water and take off down my favorite part.
I see our neighbor Tim Twietmeyer running and checking out the race.  "Hey, Tim, you want to take over for me?"  He laughs and says he wouldn't go that fast but he's fast at everything he does.  It's just great having many friends out here to cheer for us.  I see Rochelle and Diana doing great in the women's field.
I finish loop #2 a little off pace and realize it's going to take a huge effort to get it back.  It's exciting to start my last lap knowing this is it.  It's been hard but it's going great.  I feel better then at Wildflower.  But the pace is wearing on me on the way down. I remind myself that anything can happen.  And that things can get exciting at any moment.  I think, "what if when I finish Stu's Trail I suddenly see 3 guys in my age group?  It could happen".  And then, sure enough, while on the loop I see a group of guys up ahead. I get on the main road and go!  One by one I pass them, getting motivated with each pass.  Indeed a couple of them were in my age group.  I grab "coke" at the last age station and then do my best for the final climb.  My achilles is a little sore so I have to be careful with the effort.  A 1/2 mi from the finish and I pass another guy.
110522_auburntri_lc_troy_finish1I'm so glad to almost be done!  Onto the soccer field, around the corner and there's the finish.  Thank you, Lord!  I hear the announcer, Brad Kearns, say, "And there's Troy Soares… hey, I didn't know he was that fast.  Last year Troy made history by being the only athlete to stop by his house during the bike leg and get extra clothes.  As long as he entered the course where he left it, it's allowed"
It was a great day.  I was comfortable on the bike and did get my 1:35 goal on the run (it may have been a little short).  I was 12th overall and 3rd in my age.  The next few hours were great as I helped at the 1st aid station with my church and got to cheer on others we met at Iron Prayer like Rich, Lindsay and Jody.  Jody persevered to be the last finisher, doing it even without run support towards the end.  It was a rewarding experience for her and the others and for me and Robin.  Thanks, Lord, for the blessing.
Go Diana!
Go Rochelle!
Name Age Group Place Swim Bike Run Time
Troy M40-44 3 40:46 3:05:40 1:35:38 5:27:56
Diana Hassel F40-44 1 38:57 3:13:24 1:50:54 5:47:30
Rochelle Zolna F45-49 2 40:47 3:32:38 1:52:01 6:12:14