Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Double Duathlon – Robin

March 2nd, 2013 – Granite Bay, CA
Run 2m – Bike 6.5m – Run 2m – Bike 6.5m – Run 2m





Du - Troy Soares
1/2 Marathon - Karen Nickel, Rich Alesci

Today Troy and I get to test our race readiness and transitions.  I’m hoping that my breathing difficulties that started from a cold at the beginning of the year have been finally put to rest.  The girls and I make the short drive down to Granite Beach while Troy bikes down.  As we pull into the park, we see Karen Nickel running the 1/2 Marathon.  “Go Karen!”  She smiles.  We then park at the race site and cheer some more as she runs by again.

We run into my college roommate, Leonie Alesci, and her sweet son, Reid.  Her hubby, Rich, is racing the 1/2 Marathon, too.  Troy arrives and I get my transition area set up alongside him.  In the meantime, Troy takes the girls over to hang out with our buddy Dave who is directing car and bike traffic.  They are armed with pom-poms and a cow bell to cheer on all the athletes.

Troy and I get to the run start. I don’t feel I got myself an adequate warm-up but this race is so low key, I’m not too concerned. We run into FCA Teammate, Jody Galvin, at the start.  We all take a moment to thank the Lord and give Him our focus. 

Just seconds before my race I notice I left my Garmin watch on my bike.  I chuckle to myself and think “rookie move”!  I have my backup Timex that should work on this first leg.  God is in control and this is not a big deal.

Run #1

Ready, set, go!  The group takes off fast.  I see Troy near the front and a few girls up with him as well.  I’m feeling great and for the first time in a long time can breath well while running fast.  Thanks, God!  I’m able to pass the girls and put myself in the top 15. 

Leonie is out at Mile 1 cheering me on.  She is the best supporter one could ever ask for, hands down!

I get a minor bloody nose on the way back and do my best not to get it all over my yellow uniform.  It’s a pain but I’m getting pretty good at stopping them.  I’ve got a water bottle at my transition I can use to rinse off any remaining blood. 

Bike #1

I get to my bike clean of any remaining blood.  Hopefully I didn’t scare any spectators on the way.  My transition is a bit slow but I finally get going!  As I head out on the open road, I get to see our girls and hear their cheers.

As I look at my Garmin, I chuckle again.  I didn’t set the screen so show my mph.  Well at least I have the average mph to look at.  My legs feel decent but not great.  This course has a lot of twists and turns so it’s hard to stay in the aerobars for long but I get in them as much as I can.  As I head out to the farthest section of the course, I see Troy heading back.  “Go Troy!” 

On the furthest part of the course is an out and back.  On my way back, I see those 2 girls I passed at on the run.  My average mph is close to 19mph so I make it a goal to hit that on the way back.  There’s one more short out and back and then I’m heading in.  I see another girl close behind now and it motivates me to push harder. 

18.8, 18.9, 19.0, 19.1…thanks Jesus!  I pass by the girls as I come home to transition.  I can tell they are having fun exploring as they hardly notice me as I go by.  I’m looking forward to running and hope I can feel just as good.

Run #2

My transition off the bike is smooth but running this time around feels much harder!  I just try to latch on to a few guys ahead of me.  At Mile 1, I start to feel better and I’m able to pass those guys.  I also have a Hammer gel which also helps give me a boost.  I am so thankful that this course is relatively flat and short.  Mentally that is a big boost as well!

On my way back I can see that woman who was close on the bike.  She looks strong and is not too far behind.  I push harder in hopes that I can keep a good gap on the bike.

Bike #2

My transition onto the bike is much better!  I’m off and say hi to the girls and Dave on my way out.  Okay, let’s try to average 19mph or more this time!  Soon it is very clear that that will be difficult.  Again, I underestimated how I was going to feel.  There are fewer riders around me so I don’t have as much motivating me to push hard.  Lord, help me not to be discouraged but grateful for the effort I can put out.

On the backside of the course I see that woman again.  She’s closer this time around so I know that I need to keep pushing.  My average is around 18.5…I’ll take it but keep trying to bring it down.  I only see one of the two girls that I passed on the first run.  I’m pretty certain I’m the first woman which is cool…thanks Lord!

On the last stretch of the course, I can see that my average is 18.8.  Alright, not bad, I’ll take it!  As I ride past Dave he tells me I’m the first woman…cool!  I say hi to the girls but this time they are so engrossed in exploring that they don’t even acknowledge me…I’m glad they are having fun!

Run #3

This is it!  I just need to go 2 more miles!  I feel much better this time around though not as good as the first loop.  There is a guy to chase and of course motivation to stay ahead of that woman chasing me.  I am able to pass that guy and see another one. 

At mile 1, I get some sport drink and then set out to catch that guy.  I see that woman again and this time she is farther back but still looking strong.  As long as I don’t slow way down, I should be able to hold my position. 

This guy is hard to catch!  My hamstrings are really getting sore now so I can’t move as fluidly.  I try to run with good form and push off harder with each step.  I wonder if the girls are going to finish with me.  I forgot to tell Troy to bring them over to the finish.  Well, I’ll soon find out.

I make it to the long home stretch and I’m closing the gap on that guy but I it will be tough to seal the deal.  Soon I see Anna…yeah!  I push hard to her and grab her hand.  Ariel is further down the road and I tell her to start going.  We catch up to her and I grab her hand too.  We finish together with smiles on our faces.  We never catch that guy and it doesn’t matter…this is the best!





Age Group





Bike Run

1/2 Mara

1:38:44 M30-39 3rd






KAREN NICKEL 1/2 Mara 1:51:42 W30-39 2nd









M40-49 2nd 13:31 18:53 14:03 19:50 13:18


TRI 1:30:14 W30-39 1st 14:36 22:22 15:39 22:36 15:02