Saturday, March 31, 2012

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon–Robin

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




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

It’s great to be on the starting line with Troy.  We look around for Steve and Carrie Chavez.  There’s Steve but he’s on the other side of the starting area.  “Well, Troy you’ll just have to catch up to him”.  We both laugh because we know he’s going to be way out there.  At least we’ll look for them at the end.  To run under 1:30 today, I’ll have to run 6:52 per mile.  It’s a lofty goal but I'm going to try.

Ready, set, go!  Troy takes off and I decide to hold back and run just ahead of the two 1:30 pacers.  There are so many people around me that’s it’s hard not to go out too fast.  The first few miles are pretty much just a straight shot…down 2nd St. make a right and go down 3rd St.

Mile 1 is 6:49.  Okay, right on pace!  I look back and can see the pacers so I know I’m good.  All the runners are on the right side of the road and it’s crowded.  Once there are no longer any cones, I scoot over to the left and enjoy some space.  I can see Troy’s yellow FCA shirt and I’m hoping his toe is feeling okay.  He dropped some furniture on it yesterday and we were concerned.  Last year he had to pull out of this race because of a broken toe from a similar incident.

Mile 2 is 6:49.  Alright!  Pacers, check.  Troy ahead, check.  Soon we are going to turn off this road and head out on narrow green belt paths.  The 10Kers will turn off around there but I know it will still be crowded because the 1:30 pacers will have lots of fans for sure.  I decide to try to stay just slightly ahead of the pacers as long as I can. 

A Forward Motion guys goes by and I tell him good job.  “Is Carrie Chavez racing today?”  He says she is…yeah!!  I hope to see her!

Mile 3 is 6:48.  So far so good but I have 10 more miles!  The pacers are right on me and I keep trying to stay ahead because I hear a lot of feet!  This course is different.  It makes me realize that I need to be more prepared in races and make it a point to check out the courses I’m doing.  Not knowing where I’m going does make it more interesting and mysterious.  The pacers slide ahead of me and I’m now surrounded by others with the same goal.  As we meander through the various paths we pass through points where there are poles in the middle marking the center and sides.  Like a pack of cyclists, we call out the poles to one another…”pole center”, “pole right”, etc.  Even though we are competing, we are still looking out for each other…cool!

Mile 4 is 6:44. One of the pacers has fallen back and the other is pushing the pace.  So far I’m holding on well but it is getting harder.  We cross over Covell Blvd.

Mile 5 is 6:49. We turn onto another path.  Wow, where is this going?  Soon we are running on dirt along Pole Line Road.  Oh yeah, I remember this…I used to drive to the airport on this road to fly home when I was in college.  The 2nd pacer is long gone.

Mile 6 is 6:52.  I’m happy with that but I am a little concerned about my hamstrings which seem to be getting more sore.  We turn right onto a gravel path that runs behind a golf course.  Wow, I didn’t even know that this existed!  The gravel is a bit too loose for my taste but my hamstrings like it.

Mile 7 is 6:47.  The pacer continues to run ahead of pace but I stick around anyway.  If I loose contact, I’ll be running on my own…no thanks!  I ask the Lord to help keep me focused.  With you Jesus, I know anything is possible!  Soon we are off the gravel and back on pavement. It’s nice to be back on solid ground!  We cross Covell again and jump on yet another path. 

Mile 8 is 6:54.  Just a little off but we’ve put in some good splits behind us.  We are heading towards the “big” hill on the course, the freeway overpass.  It will connect us to the 10K course and then we’ll be home free, right?!

Mile 9 is 6:46.  As we approach the overpass the pacer says “run it like a roller coaster, slower going up and fast going down”.  As I follow his advice, I notice he’s actually charging up the hill…okay, well once I go down the other side I’ll catch him, right?  Once on the other side, I cannot catch them going down.  Okay, don’t worry…there is time.

Mile 10 is 6:58.  Oops!  That was much slower!  My hamstrings are sore and my legs feel like they’ve hit their limit.  Don’t give up!  I think back to a misunderstanding that Troy and I had recently and how I just gave up on trying to communicate.  I felt so bad about that!  I cannot quit now…I need to practice pressing on so I can do it in my marriage.  Wow, I’m using my marriage to help my race…usually it’s the other way around!

Mile 11 is 6:56.  The pacer is not getting any closer!  A few guys go by me and I cannot react.  I soon notice 3 girls near the pacer.  Wow, if I can catch up then I can move up in placing and get my time goal.  A local runner that I’ve raced against in the past is cheering on folks on the course.  She looks at me and says “good job number 6”.  Number 6?  I look at my race number and it dawns on me that she was telling me I’m in 6th place.  Oh, cool!  Man, I guess I’m using all my brain power just to keep moving forward.

120205_davisstampede_halfmara_robinMile 12 is 7:02.  Ugh!  My goal is slipping away but I cannot quit!  Just keep pushing!!  The last mile always seems the longest!  I’m getting closer to one of the girls and I try to pick up the pace. 

I make the final turn and mile 13 is 7:01.  I am going as fast as I can so I’m happy with the effort.  I see Anna ahead ready to run in with me.  I grab her hand and we go.  I look at the clock and I see 1:31.  Well, thanks so much Lord for helping me persevere!  I didn’t quit!  We cross the line and I give Anna a hug.  Thanks again Jesus!

I find out later that I was closer than I thought!  I was actually 1:30:44 and not over 1:31!  Yeah!  Awesome!  Praise 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