Saturday, March 31, 2012

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

February 5, 2012 – Davis, CA
1/2 Marathon


1/2 Marathon - Carrie & Steve Chavez; Robin
10K - Leonie Alesci

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an all-out 1/2 marathon.  Robin & I scheduled this race as prep for our Boston Marathon trip in April.  Robin has a big goal to break 1:30.  I was planning around 1:28, but it’s a little up in the air since dropping something on my foot yesterday.  It was difficult to run yesterday but feels good today.

Rich Alesci is watching the girls for us while Leonie and us run.  It’s great to be able to start a race together with Robin.  The weather is perfect for running.  The only thing I’d change is being able to use the porta-potty one last time.  Should be ok.

Go!  The first mile is going good.  It’s long straight road.. good for this large pack.  Robin is not far behind me.  I saw Steve Chavez at the start and hoped to catch up to say hi before he left me in the dust, but too late, he’s far ahead now.

Mile 1: 6:39

We continue on the straight road towards the pedestrian overpass.  There are a few women near me. One is the same one I ran next to at the CIM relay leg #2. My Garmin says 5:20 pace so I know it’s off.  Up above I can see the 10k leader running over the pedestrian crossing.

Mile 2: 6:43

10ker’s go right onto the bridge while we continue onto a bike path around some neighborhoods.  I feel like I’m keeping the same pace.  But I don’t know because my Garmin is all out of sync.

Mile 3: 6:40

We zig-zag through neighborhoods and parks.  It’s a good course.  It keeps you on your toes.  I try to take every tangent and run the corners smart.  Doing this, I gain on and pass another guy who isn’t running the tangents.

Mile 4: 6:44

We’re running a walking path down a long street.  I’m drinking water at the 2mi aid stations and planning my 1st gel at 6 or 7 miles.  A lot of ROTC recruits in fatigues are volunteering to direct the race.  I try to thank each one.

Mile 5: 6:43

One more park and we head North.  All uncharted territory for me.  I thinking more and more about stopping for a nature break.  Rookie mistake being uncomfortable like this.  I’m calculating my pace in my head since my Garmin is off.  I take my 1st Hammer Gel

Mile 6: 6:49

On a gravel trail now.  I love dirt trails.. makes me feel at home (in Auburn).. and I actually pick up the pace initially.  But the gravel is loose and I know it’s actually taking a toll on everyone’s efficiency.  We’re running along a golf course, through a Wild Horse Preserve or something.  My toe hasn’t hurt at all.  I hear footsteps overtaking me.

Mile 7: 6:43

I get passed by the girl in yellow and an FMC guy. Still on the gravel trail.  I make a quick bathroom break.  Now I’m determined to catch them.

Mile 8: 6:44

I start picking it up.  Using every descent through a tunnel to make up ground.  Slowly I’m getting closer to the FMC guy.  The girl in yellow is pulling farther ahead.  It’s a big effort but I’m feeling good.

Mile 9: 6:30 

Closer and closer, winding through the many paths and green belts in Davis.  Finally I make the pass and feel like I’ve redeemed my nature-break stop.. as long as I don’t blow up after this.

Mile 10: 6:30

I start climbing up over the pedestrian bridge.  Quite a hill.  I take my 2nd Hammer gel and try to maximize the downhill as much as possible.  I tell myself these last 3 miles are like Wildflower: a big climb, following by Mile 12 across the top, and then the freebie Mile 13 down to the finish. My knees are getting sore and I’m not feeling comfortable anymore.

Mile 11: 6:27

This is it.  I’m telling myself this is the last mile.  I pass a woman.  I also pass a kid that has been up ahead for a long time.  He asks, “Are you on 1:30 pace”.  I tell him we’re a couple minutes under and that he’s definitely going to make it.

Mile 12: 6:51.  Don’t know why that mile was so slow.  I guess I’m slowing down.  But this is it. the final mile.  3 FMC teammates pass me. A guy, a girl, and the same guy I passed earlier who nicely encourages me to “Come on!”. He’s right. It’s the last mile, I gotta go, even though I’m hurting and uncomfortable. I can’t catch them. I’m impressed with their surge in these last 2 miles.

Mile 13: 6:31.

There’s Leonie, Rich, Reed, and Ariel.  Anna is standing in the middle ready to run with me.  She’s runs so fast now that I don’t even have to slow my pace. I finish in 1:27 for 6th place.  My fastest straight 1/2 marathon in years.  Thanks, God, for a great day.  Yesterday it was possible that I broke my toe..again, just like last year at the same time.  But today was evidence that it’s fine.  Whew!  Thanks again, God.


Name Age Group Race Place Time
Leonie Alesci W35-39 10K 4 46:09.92
Steve Chavez M50-54 1/2 Marathon 3


Troy Soares M40-44 1/2 Marathon 6 1:27:10.43
Robin Soares W35-39 1/2 Marathon 3 1:30:44.95
Carrie Chavez W40-44 1/2 Marathon 3 1:32:46.55