Sunday, February 3, 2013

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Robin)

February 3, 2013 – Davis, CA
1/2 Marathon

Carrie & Steve Chavez, Troy Soares
It’s cold and foggy as we head down to Davis with my mom and the girls.  Troy was so sweet to leave earlier than normal for me so that we could pick up our bibs and t-shirts before the crowds hit.  Our Anna is excited to run the 5K with her Grammie today.  This will be her first flat 5K.  She’s been running the hilly Resolution Run in Auburn for the last 4 years so this should feel easier.  This is my Mom’s first 5K since loosing over 60lbs!  She’s going for a PR (personal best) today.  Our sweet, little Ariel will be doing the kids 1/2mile. 
I’m not expecting anything as fast as last year.  I’ve had something going on in my chest that has made it hard to breath.  In addition, I also haven’t been stretching well so my hamstrings are tight.  I’d like to run 1:36 today (about 7:19 per mile).  I know that I have to remain focused on Jesus and keep a good attitude.
Troy and I warm-up and I’m feeling pretty good.  We drop off Ariel at the FMC (Forward Motion Club) tent.  Our good friend Carrie Chavez kindly connected us with her teammate Leonel and his sweet family. 
Troy and I find a spot near the 1:35 pacer (about 7:15 per mile).  We look over and see Anna and Grammie…and Ariel too with Leonel’s family.  Ready, set, go!  Troy and I are off!  Troy runs ahead along with the 1:35 pacer.  I look at my watch and hold myself steady.  It’s cold and cloudy out here!
Mile 1 is 7:06.  Okay, this feels pretty good still but I know I can slow down a bit.  I catch up to the 1:35 pacer.  His pace seems to be slowing dramatically already so I speed up and keep an eye on my watch.
Mile 2 is 7:15.  I continue to feel strong.  I keep my eyes on some girls ahead of me.  I don’t plan on trying to catch them now, but I hope to be able to later.
Mile 3 is 7:14.  Still feeling good.  I hear a bunch of feet behind me and see the 1:35 pacer coming up.  It’s nice to stay just ahead but if his group catches up, I’ll try to latch on.
Mile 4 is 7:18.  My hamstrings are starting to get pretty tight and I’m regretting not taking better care of them in the weeks leading up to this.  Lord, help me to let go of that!  My Garmin starts acting funny and says I’m running 7:50 pace.  That cannot be right.  I just keep holding the same effort and hope it works itself out.
Mile 5 is 7:19.  The 1:35 group catches up and passes me.  I try to stay with them but I just cannot get my legs going.  I check my cadence (the number of steps per minute) and it’s at 88 which is just 2 steps shy of the goal of 90.  That’s encouraging.  Maybe it will get better.  My Garmin continues to confuse me as it jumps up to 8min pace and back down to 7:20 pace.
Mile 6 is 7:17.  A friend of Troy’s, Richard, goes by and encourages me.  I still cannot pick up speed and watch him pull away. 
Mile 7 is 7:19.  The wheels feel like they are starting to fall off.  I start to panic and tears well up in my eyes.  As I start to cry, I cannot breath very well because of my chest tightness.  I just want to slow down and give up.  Lord, help me to have hope and not give up.  He brings to mind Ironman Pastor and coach Scott Benefield’s recent sermon.  Scott was asked as a coach what was his strength in racing Ironmans and he said, “finishing”.  I have to finish and I have to be joyful! 
Mile 8 is 7:50.  I just keep trying to put out a good effort despite the growing hamstring discomfort.  I’m looking forward to getting this over with!
130203_davisstampedehalf_robinMile 9 is 7:38.  I’m starting to feel calm and more positive but then a bunch of girls start to pass me.  When I try to stay with one of them and cannot, the tears start coming back.  I start to sob and again have trouble breathing.  I’m just going to stop…I hear a quiet voice in my mind…”finish, Robin.  Remember you need to finish.”  I’m also reminded that I’m wearing my FCA shirt.  It says “Competing for Christ”.  I can’t cry or quit.  I’m representing the Lord and I need to show my trust and belief in Him now and at all times.  Lord, I will keep going, please help me endure this discomfort and disappointment.
Mile 10 is 7:41.  I look at the time and know that 1:35 is long gone but finishing under 1:40 is still possible.  I look ahead and keep up the pace as best as I can.
Mile 11 is 7:52.  Okay, only 2 more miles, I can do that!  I’ve got to pick it up a bit to finish 130203_davisstampedehalf_robin_finishunder 1:40.
Mile 12 is 7:47.  One more mile!  This is going to be close!  A guy flies by and this time I will myself to stay with him.  The hamstrings really hurt but amazingly I drop my pace by 20 seconds!  Thank you Lord!  Soon I’m passing that guy and aiming for some girls ahead.  I might not catch them but I just want to get closer.  I finally make the last turn!
Mile 13 is 7:27!  Wow!  That guy passes me back as I’m already going my top speed.  I don’t care, I just see the clock…1:38:40, 1:38:50, 1:39:00…I can do it!  I surge with all I have and finish at 1:39:13!  Thank you Jesus!  I made it!  Now I can rest!  What a humbling race!  I finished!!
Name Race Age Group Place Time
Steve Chavez 1/2 Marathon M 55-59 1st 1:24:14
Troy Soares 1/2 Marathon M 40-44 15th 1:36:39
Robin Soares 1/2 Marathon W 35-39 6th 1:39:19
Carrie Chavez (pacing friend) 1/2 Marathon W 40-44 62nd 2:22:11
Madison Chavez 5K W 1-9 1st 29:08
Anna Soares 5K W 1-9 5th 35:18
Jan Heidt 5K W 70-74 3rd 44:53