Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wildflower Long Course (Troy)

May 5th, 2013 – Lake San Antonio,
Bradley, CA
1.2mi S - 56mi B - 13.1mi R
5:09:56 (31:33 – 2:47:34 – 1:46:05)

5th/ 208
Long Course: FCA TEAMMATES - Clyde Floyd, Cory Floyd, Jose Campo, Maria Hodges, Timothy Hess, Troy Soares; Team FCA Endurance (Kevin Olsen, Dan Perkins, Chris Anderson)
Olympic Distance: FCA TEAMMATES - Christy Floyd, David Brockman, Desiree Swift, Karen Nickel, Kevin Olsen, Vicki Creigh, Team Whitmore (Courtney Cardenas, Jamie Whitmore, friend)
Mtn. Bike: FCA TEAMMATES - David Fraser, Luke Llamas
We camped the days leading up to the race.  I’d come off a very busy week, needed rest, and my sore hamstring was still nagging me.  Although the Lord sustained me so wonderfully through my last 1/2 Ironman at Oceanside, I had hoped I wouldn’t have to be limited by leg pain again.  So I was very focused, with only 2 days to go, in resting, stretching, and basically.. in myself.. which my family could tell.
At the Friday Iron Prayer service, Pastor Dan Perkins talked about being future-minded, not just on the “now”.  When I looked to the future, I saw myself finishing the grueling race, wanting to hug my wife and kids and have their support but getting a hesitate welcome instead because of the way I ignored them leading up to the race.  It’s much more important to have my family united in the effort then to go it alone searching for a few minutes of faster time.  I’m fortunate to be running at all after 10 yrs of foot pain!  I should cherish every opportunity I have to run now that the foot feels great.
So I turned it around and now I prepare race morning with my family supporting me and ready to go out onto this crazy course.  I ride down with Jose & Timothy.  I meet up with more FCA TeamMates (Clyde, Cory, Vicki, Kevin, Chris, Nevah, Richard, Reynold, and others) for a pre-race prayer.  Thanks, Lord.
The water is nice, the weather is going to be hot, and my hamstring is feeling pretty good this morning.  Race directors, Terry & Betsy Davis, aren’t here race morning the first time in 30 yrs because they’re at the graduation memorial for their son that dies 5 months ago.  Very sad but they are an inspiration in how they handle it.
The Swim: Julie Moss & Michellie Jones blast the horn for the start!  Go!  I start on the left, right along the dock, hoping for clear water soon but it’s tight quarters all the way to the 250yd buoy.  The sun is bright in my eyes (non-shaded goggles).  Even after the buoy, the jostling and bumping continues.  Much more so than Oceanside.  Oh, but the water is so much nicer.  It’s perfect!
I try to relax, lengthen my stroke, and, reluctantly, go find a draft.  I get on a guy’s feet just ahead of me.  It’s an easy pace.  I’ll enjoy it to the 1/2 way turn and then pull off and hammer home.  It’s a pleasant swim to the turn with a nice draft ahead.  Ok, now to make it hurt a little.  I pull off, continuing to weave through the many waves of athletes.  I go very hard for a while, pull back over, just to find that we’re still neck and neck.  So I resume drafting again.
130504_wf_lc_troy_bike1He carves the path through the many bodies bobbing along.  I try again to pull ahead.  I keep doing this until finally, at the last buoy, I’ve managed to pull ahead.  It’s amazing how much a draft helps.  Carving the path is tiring.  I find another draft of a guy picking it up in the final stretch.  I hang on until he pulls away and drops me.  Even all-out I can’t keep up with him. 31:33 split.
T1:130504_wf_lc_troy_bikeI make a good jump out of my suit and now it’s the long jog up the boat ramp.  It’s great to hear the cheers and encouragements from my TeamMates and friends.  Just ahead of me I see Shane (friend of Gary Chans).  Had a feeling we’d be pretty close in the race today.  I transition fast (thanks to not needing a jacket and socks (temperature is great right now).  Good bike mount and I’m off through the chute.  More cheers, there’s Robin and the girls, and now we’re under way.
The Bike:  The first mile requires focus on the twisting, undulating road.  Then it’s up steep Beach Hill.  I pass a lot of guys and riding with pretty good form.  I had also lowered my seat to relieve some strain on the hamstrings.  At the top it’s into the aerobars for a long trip around the lake.
At 6miles, leaving the park, I see a guy in gray & black passing me again on the hill.  I want to push it but remember my strategy to conserve on the ups and hammer the downs.  Usually I could keep up with the others that way.  I tell myself that I’ll be seeing him again soon.
Onto the main road and I never do see him again.  But I stick with the plan.  I see the FCA Endurance scriptures on the signs and it reminds me of the awesome God and coach we all have.  I’m still passing a lot of people but feeling I’m not really going that fast and yet am working very hard.  I watch my speed, only coming out of the aerobars below 17mph.
10mi.  Climbing a hill I notice some tire shavings on my frame and wonder if my rear wheel is at risk of rubbing.  I jump off, straighten it and take off again.  I’m drinking Sustained Energy and waters from the aid stations. I’m yelling “On your left” a lot and being careful not to cross the double yellow.  Heading out to Lockwood I’m happy with my progress, especially up the gradual climb along mile 17.  In the headwind I try to use the legal draft at > 3 bike lengths.  At about 5 bike lengths I’m hoping there’s still a little effect.  When I do pass I make sure to ride up right behind and then go around.
I eat some Perpetuem Solids after mile 20.  The wind is pretty good. Not directly in front.  Through the 5 rollers I try to maintain effort going down and rest coming up.  I’m starting to get tired, and my stomach is a little upset now.  After a coasting nature-break, I’m back to work as we hit the 10mile straight back section.  This is where I need to increase from 20mph to 22mph.  I remember great races here where I got into the groove and felt I could fly all the way down the back side.  I move up to the tip of my saddle and feel the turn-over increase.  I’m flying!  Passing everyone in sight.  Weaving back and forth passing people.  It’s a great effort but the speed is increasing ever so slowly.  Even though I’ve passed a hundread people so far, I know there’s a lot of guys in my group that are also passing everyone.  It will be hard to break into the top 10.
Mile 35.  The canyons.  This is where I break from the big effort.  Only at 21.6.  Going to have to push Nasty Grade to keep above 20.  As I hit the big climb, I see Cory Floyd on the side of the road finishing a flat tire repair.  He says to me with a big smile that he’s taken care of it and is ok.  What a great attitude.
Going up Nasty Grade my legs are feeling empty.. like Jell-O.  My big effort has it’s consequences.  I still maintain a decent climb.  But I’m already down to 20mph and dropping.  The final hill.. I keep pushing even though I feel like a lead weight.  A little rest on the up.. but push the downhill.  Soon I’m flying down mile 45 at 45mph.  The only problem is riders ahead can’t hear me saying “On your left!”  And all-to-soon the nice decent is over.  I’m back up to 20mph but have 10mi to go with some climbing.  Pass the Bee Rock Inn and start pushing.. breathing hard.. battling against myself.  Thinking of Robin’s words, “You can break 5 hrs, I’ve done some calculations, you just need to hammer a 2:43 bike.  My goal was a 5:10, but when she puts a bar out there, I really want to rise above it.
I ride up on the tip of the saddle.  It’s painful but it’s fast.  Soon the bike will be over so the pain is momentary.  The long climb into the park.  The scripture signs really help to break it up.  I make it a point to read each one and use them as goals.  Through the park gate, one last hill (oh, that hurts) and then it’s a screaming descent to the Lake!  The announcer, Will, at the Hot Corner spots me and puts a great word out to everyone about FCA.  It’s always a boost to hear that.
Coasting to transition I try to lift my leg onto my seat and my right hamstring cramps up! Ow!  I hope I didn’t hurt it.  2:47:34 split. After jumping off and jogging to my transition, the hamstrings are fine and I’m quickly into shoes and heading out on the run course.
The Run: Water, water!  Boy I’m thirsty. I drank my 2 bottles of SE and a couple other bottles but it wasn’t enough.  I gave a big effort and am feeling really hot already.  That doesn’t usually happen until a few miles in on the run.  In the first mile I see some Mtn Bike Sprint Course athletes still competing.  A yound kid, about 11, has a prosthetic and is doing all he can on this steamy hot pavement.  It puts it all in perspective.  At Oceanside I was looking forward to the run but right now I’m so hot it’s hard to imagine getting through this alive.  Just got to get to mile 1, a lot can change there.
Oh good, someone with a hose.  I stop with my arms wide and she hoses me down head-to-foot.  I turn around for the back, too.  Thank you so much!  2 cups of water, more on my head and now I feel totally different!  I’m ready to go.  Temperature is down.
Mile 1. A little slow but things are looking up now.  I’ll get doused with water every chance I get. Gotta keep the core temp down.  Along the lake now on dusty trails.  Going well.  Up a tough short section. Ugh.  Yes, more water!  Gatorade & water.
Mile 2. Not bad but need to go faster.  Hope to average 8min/mi.  Good speed down the pavement. Hamstring doing well!  Encouraging others.  Longer hill.  Spectators throwing icy paper towels at runners.  I avoid it because it just seems messy.  Down a steep section, more water, and onto the lakeside trails.
Mile 3.  Feeling better.  Each mile getting better.  Trying to think relaxed but maintaining a good pace.  Just thinking of the mile at hand.. not the dreadful many miles ahead.  I know that they eventually add up.  Mile 4 aid station is modest thankfully.  Lots of water here because I’ve got a tough climb. ahead
Mile 4.  This is where it gets tough. I told someone yesterday that if it’s going well, I don’t walk.  I feel like it’s going well.. but also looks like the path has gotten steeper over the years.  Can’t imagine anyone running up this.  I walk a bit and then go through the pain of trying to start-up again.  It’s tough but a couple guys around me are doing it well and it pushes me on.  More desperate drinks of water and Gatorade.  It’s keeping the heat at bay.
Mile 5.  Finally, the top!  Down a steep section to the pasture.  You want to run down fast but it’s so steep you have to keep the brakes on.  Ironic.  The pasture is nice.  Good breeze.  I take a gel, get some water, and check the time.  I’ve got to pick it up to get my 5:10  (5hrs isn’t possible anymore).
Mile 6.   I run hard.. just keep it going.  It’s definitely not what I feel like doing, but many years doing this course has shown me you don’t look ahead, just do the best you can in this section right here.  I’m at the part I saw coming in on the bike and thought, “how I would love to already be there.”  And now I am.  Thanks, God, for pulling me through this first 1/2 so well.  You’ve allowed the hamstring and everything to stay strong and have given me a good outlook.
Mile 7.  Through the crazy spectators camp-city.  Some are BBQ’ing bacon and offering it with Bourben.  You guys are crazy!  Some guy actually takes it.  Now it’s the hill to the highest point on the course. Yes!  And there’s the guy in gray and black!  And another guy in black that I’ve seen many times.  Over the top and I get ahead of gray-and-black, but all-black flies on ahead.
Mile 8.  Onto the trails again.  My temperature is perfect now.  Hydration is much better. Eat a gel. Although I’m getting more fatigued and want to stop, when I compare to the first mile, I realize I’m feeling better the farther I go!  Across the overflow camping.  Kids with soaker guns squirt me.  It’s fun for both of us.  I see the tree I stopped and leaned up against the first time I tried this race.  Not this time.
Mile 9.  I get more water and another spray.  Now it’s time to fly down the hill to the turn-around.  The gray-&-black guy is ahead now!  He snuck by through the aid station.  Our pace is matched.  I’m concerned about going so fast the hamstring will flare.  But something tells me this guy is between me and a big goal.  I push it all the way down.  I pass him at the bottom and although I’m spent, I have to show him I’m ready for climbing.
Mile 10. The last big hill.  Just bear down.  I’m so looking forward to the verses on the signs.  I go from one sign to the next.  And I’m pushing harder and harder. This is great.  I hear foot steps behind me but I never look back.  The guy in all black is way ahead. Whew!  Almost to the top.  A pink moped is just sitting there on the side of the road.  Another guy says, “So tempting”  It really is.  We’re all so tired of using our legs.
Mile 11. Excellent pace up that hill.  I’m sure he’s right behind me. I can’t give in at all.  In my mind this is the LAST mile.  I’ve had some great times across the top in years past.  I can do it again.  There’s the last hill.  I get some Gatorade at the last aid and now huff and puff and pump my arms up the hill.  The guy in all-black is walking. He says, “You again!” as I go by.  I encourage him, but feel pretty confident my long legs will carry me down the hill faster.
Mile 12. Yay! That’s it.  The virtual finish.  I raise my arms in celebration for a moment and now let myself starting falling downhill.  Through the hot corner, Will, picks me out again and gives great words about FCA and our ministry.  It inspires me to sprint to the Lynch Hill descent.  1/2 way down, the all-black guy is right on my heals and not getting dropped.  He’s shorter and going faster than me.  We’re both pounding our knees and quads.  I’ve got to beat 5:10 and also trying to beat him.  As it levels out, we’re neck and neck.  It’s going to be a sprint.  But he’s already pouring it on and pulling ahead.  I do the best I can and then I see Robin!  What a great sight. Farther up is Anna ready to run with me.  Surprisingly she now runs faster than me and is starting to pull me.  I can’t have that.. that’s outside assistance, so I pick it up to match her pace as we fly into the finish! Thank you, Lord!  1:46 split. Just under 5:10 and a satisfying effort with no hamstring pain.
The guy in gray and black had been in 5th place before I passed him.  Funny how I zero’d in on him at the beginning of the bike and then he became the gate to the podium.  Having the FCA Endurance logo on the podium is good visibility and hoping will bring some to the booth for information and prayer.  Every night the FCA team has been gathering around the camp fire to pray for all the requests that day.  All very rewarding.WP_001244
Name Race Time Age Group Place Swim Bike Run
TROY SOARES LC 5:09:56 M45-49 5th 31:33 2:47:34 1:46:05
Kevin Olsen, Dan Perkins, Chris Anderson
LC 5:11:50 Open Male 4th 30:44 2:52:41 1:41:49
MARIA HODGES LC 5:33:54 W25-29 1st 32:33 2:58:58 1:54:54
TIMOTHY HESS LC 6:04:15 M45-49 56th 39:01 3:20:00 1:58:46
JOSE CAMPO LC 6:29:01 M55-59 17th 37:36 3:04:55 2:33:58
CLYDE FLOYD LC 7:15:02 M50-54 75th 43:48 3:33:48 2:46:54
CORY FLOYD LC 8:05:02 M25-29 165th 38:26 4:09:22 3:04:03
LUKE LLAMAS MTN. 1:12:45 M30-34 12th 10:20 44:41 15:08
DAVID FRASER MTN. 1:46:45 M70-74 4th 10:54 58:52 28:00
TEAM WHITMORE - Courtney Cardenas, Jamie Whitmore, friend OLY 2:30:54 Open Mixed 2nd 26:13 1:26:45 34:45
KEVIN OLSEN OLY 2:44:20 M50-54 9th 24:45 1:26:15 49:49
ROBIN SOARES OLY 2:45:46 M30-39 3rd 28:02 1:28:59 44:15
KAREN NICKEL OLY 3:04:17 W30-34 21st 36:27 1:34:16 48:07
DAVID BROCKMAN OLY 3:15:33 M55-59 17TH 37:59 1:34:15 54:44
DESIREE SWIFT OLY 3:22:15 W30-34 50th 39:39 1:39:43 56:07
VICKI CREIGH OLY 3:32:10 W45-49 30th 37:59 1:43:40 1:02:41
CHRISTY FLOYD OLY 3:59:59 W25-29 101st 39:39 2:03:02 1:07:31