Saturday, August 24, 2013

Winters Road Race–Robin

August 24, 2013 – Winters, CA
2 x 24loops

40 Min


Women’s 4, 10th

Even though I’m coming into this race with a cold, I’m excited to see what I can do and get a good workout.  Troy and I start out on a warm-up but he has to turn back to fix his tire.  I continue on and get some time to spend time with the Lord.

We meet up again and we pray for safety and that we can be a light to others.

I’m the last group to go.  I line up with my group and chat with a gal, Angel, about triathlons and adventure races.  It’s time to go and as we roll of the line.  One of the girls goes straight instead of turning left.  I find myself on the front with Angel.  Oh dear, I didn’t plan this.  I wanted to let the pack pull me along in the beginning.  I think Angel is thinking the same thing so we purposely pedal “softly” and chat comfortably.  Eventually, a few girls go around and now I can settle back. 

This is an interesting group.  There a few chatty and vocal gals who seem to want to control the pack.  I try to pay no attention and let the pack pull me along.  We make it to feed zone without much drama except being neutralized to let a few packs of guys go by.  I move up towards the front of the pack now know that the climb will start to separate the group as it gets steeper.  I feel tired but am able to hang with them.  I hope to be able to stay close and have a good descent this time around…especially since I’ve been feeling more confident

The hill reaches it’s steepest point and the group really splits off.  I’m with the lead pack so I think I’m in good shape.  These gals are probably great decenders so I think I’m good.  As we start down the backside, I’m surprised that some of these girls are braking and slowing.  I find myself stuck behind a few girls and watch about 7 other girls take off.  Uh-oh!  When the road opens up I try my best to get moving and fly down. 

At the bottom, the seven gals have grouped up and are already pulling away.  I dig to try to catch them but I’m making no ground.  Another gal from the girl comes up and we work together.  Our efforts seem to be getting us no where but I tell her it’s worth trying.  Soon though a pack of 6 girls comes up.  One of the gals is the most chatty from the group.  She also has a teammate with her.  There is another pair of teammates.  One is in pigtails   The chatty gal gets us to start taking quick pulls to catch the group.  We make a good effort but the lead pack has completely disappeared. 

On the backside of the first loop, a motorcycle comes up and warns us that a group of guys is passing.  I’m in the front of the pull and make my way as far right as I can go.  I back off on the pedaling as they go by.  The girl in pigtails is behind me and tells me to keep pedaling. I’m pressured into doing it even though I’ve been told “neutralize” or hold up when a group passes.  Just then Lance Loveday goes by and shouts what sounds like “don’t work too hard”.  What to do?  I just try to continue pushing to please.  The guys finish the pass and I pull off. 

The chatty gal continues to push us to take turns pulling.  I’m feeling beat and purposely skip some pulls.  I think some other girls might be feeling the same but no one except for the chatty girl and pigtail are talking.

On our way to the climb, a motorcycle neutralizes us again.  The group of guys passes but the motorcycle continues to hold us back to create space.  I don’t understand why since those guys will naturally create their own space since they are faster.

We make it back to the feed zone and I grab a water bottle.  One of the girls takes off but I’m not worried.  She’ll need us on the backside of the course to get home so I let her go.  I’m with chatty gal and tell her not to worry. 

Even though I’m tired I am able to push the climb.  Once again, a group goes by just before the steep part.  Oh man!  They pass fast so I don’t have to slow up.  I make it over the top alone and fly down.  I’m definitely handling this descent better than last year but the tight corners intimidate me and I pull on the brakes a bit.

At the bottom, I see the girl that went ahead.  She’s all alone and waiting for us.  The chatty girl and another girl in white are with me.  We work together to catch the girl.  I try to communicate to push past the girl and try to go it alone.  As we make the pass, she stays on.  I feel bad for wanting to drop her.  It’s hard to be so self focused and always be thinking about “my” next move.

There are only 5 miles left!  I’ve already spent a lot of energy but I’m hoping I’ll have something left.  At this point everyone is looking to see what the other is going to do.  I see a pack of guys coming up and am relieved some of the other girls didn’t catch us.  But then I see that the chatty girl’s teammate and the pigtail gal were riding with them.  That’s not good cycling edicate (?) but I’m focusing on the end.

Only a mile to go!  I remember riding this part of the course this morning and I know what to expect.  I decide to start pushing and not leave it up to the last sprint.  I’m not feeling very confident in holding them off but I feel it’s worth the try.  1K to go!  I push harder and so does the girl in white and the girl who took off on the climb.  They pass me and I do all I can to hold them but they pull ahead. I hear chatty girl shouting “on your left, left, left”.  I’m confused.  I’m I doing something wrong?  I move right and she comes up on me…smooth move Robin!  I’m not going to make it that easy for her.  I dig down deep.  I hear Troy cheering as I give it my all.  I beat the chatty girl at the finish. 

Phew, that was tough!  I sure made a lot of mistakes out there but it was a good workout which is what I wanted.  Some day I need to figure out how to balance protecting myself and looking out for others.  Lord, thank you for sustaining me so that I could do this even with a sore throat and cough!

Run on the Sly 20 Mile Run (Robin)

August 18, 2013 – Pollock Pines, CA
20 Miles
20 Miler – Bryan Hacker, Kristin Kolster, Rich Alesci, Tim Twietmeyer
1/2 Marathon – Mo Bartley
12K – Carolyn Goulding
As I pull up to the starting area, it’s already abuzz.  I say hi to Rich Alesci.  He’s running the 20 miler with me.  It looks like it’s going to be a good crowd and lots of pretty scenery.
I am a bit nervous this morning.  My first concern is having enough energy to run 10:30 pace on such a demanding course, and then follow it up with a training ride.  I’ve put in two hard rides over the last couple days so my legs are tired.  But Troy says if I race hard today I can cut some miles off my ride today.  That would be great! 
My other concern is mental toughness.  It wasn’t until last night that I realized the 20mi course here would take as long as a marathon!  I just didn’t think about the significance of that.  Ultimately, it’s in the hands of Jesus.  I trust He will work it out for good…whether it’s a fast or slow day.
130818_runonthesly_robin_startI run into Carolyn from our Tuesday track workouts.  She’s doing her first trail run.  As I line up at the start, I see Rich and friend, Bryan Hacker, both doing the 20 miler as well.  I introduce Rich and Bryan and tell them that they will be great pacers for one another. The 50K runners and 20 milers start together.  The bibs are different shades of blue but it’s still easy to tell them apart.
Ready, set, go!  We start running uphill immediately.  I feel surprisingly good and comfortable!  I’m near two 50K gals and a 20 mile gal.  I see neighbor, Tim Twietmeyer, come up alongside and we chat for a bit.  Soon he takes off.  Not long after him, the 20 miler gal takes off, too.  Wow, she’s way out of my league!
Pretty soon the course levels out some and we are running on a nice, wide fire trail.  I smell smoke from the American fire 35mi away in Foresthill but it’s not too bad. 
Mile 1 and 2 is an 8:52 average.  It’s way too fast but I feel great.  I even have a fun conversation with another 50K gal who is a mom.  I know that I have to purposely pull back, though, so I let her go by.
Another gal goes by and I cannot see her bib.  I wonder what race she is in.  I’m either 2nd or 3rd woman at the moment.  That’s cool, but there are many miles to go!  I continue to feel great.  I hit the first aid station and grab a cup of Nuun.  As I leave, I hear a girl cheering for me.  I look and smile.  Although she looks familiar, I cannot place her.  I head down the road with my cup.  Then I realize I can’t drop it.  The announcer, and friend, Courtney Cardenas, had said “you pack it in, you pack it out!”.  I hold onto it for a mile until I see a volunteer monitoring the course.  I ask her if she would take it and she says yes.
130818_runonthesly_robin_runMile 3 and 4 is a 9:27 average.  Better, but still ahead of pace.  I don’t worry too much because I feel so comfortable.  I’m going to stick with this pace.  The smoke seems a little worse now.  Another runner and I joke about if this is what smoking is like.
Mile 5 and 6 is a 8:35 average.  So far it has mostly been gradual downhill terrain.  Later, of course, that will mean more uphill, ugh!  I’m surprised that I continue to feel so comfortable!   
I see the next aid station so I quickly take an Espresso Hammer Gel.  I stop briefly to drink some water, leave the cup, and resume running.  A guy passes me and proceeds to run straight off the course.  There are signs that clearly point left but maybe he’s a volunteer heading to his car?  Then I hear him say, “oops!” and realize that’s not the case.  I apologize to him for not saying something to help him sooner.
Suddenly the course goes down and it’s steep!  It’s rocky, too.  I struggle to move quickly.  I wish I could have my friend, Courtney Loveday’s, quick feet reflexes!  Soon I make it down and we start our journey around the lake.  I hear a runner behind me and try to keep moving so they won’t need to pass.  As the trail opens up again, she goes by and it’s a 20 mile gal in stripped compressions socks.
Mile 7 and 8 is an 8:59 average.  The trail along the lake is slightly rolling but it really feels flat coming from Auburn.  I catch back up to the compression sock gal and I can hear more runners behind.  The compression gal stops and let’s us all go by.  And a little further down the trail I ask the runner behind me if they want to pass.  I hear a gal’s voice say “okay” and she runs by.  She’s wearing a red shirt and glasses.  I’m not sure what race she’s in.  Maybe I’ll see her later?
Mile 9 and 10 is a 9:14 average.  I continue to feel good.  I get into a good rhythm and I pass another runner.  Soon, I hear “is that Robin?”.  I look up and see my buddy, Leonie Alesci.  “It’s me.”  She’s been waiting for her hubby, Rich, but she knows now that she’s missed him.  I tell her he’s got to be way ahead.  She tells me that I’m the 6th woman (for the 50K and 20 mile combined).  Pretty soon, there will be a turn off so I hope to know my actual place then.  Possibly 3rd or 4th…
I come up on a road and for a moment don’t know where to go.  Fortunately, a guy standing there tells me to go up the road.  After running up a bit, I see a little boy with his dad and he directs me down another trail.  I make it back on a trail.  I can see the turn off ahead along with aid.  Lots of folks are cheering here and it’s a nice boost.  I take my last Espresso gel and drink some water quickly.  Then I’m directed to the right and down another really steep hill.  I try to keep my feet light and get down as quick and safe as possible.  I’m relieved to get to the bottom.  I really could use some uphills instead of these descents!
Mile 11 and 12 is an 9:23 average.  Suddenly I find myself at a river crossing.  My shoes WILL be getting wet.  There are not enough rocks to avoid it!  I go for it and my feet get fully submerged.  We cross over and then, soon enough, cross right back over again. Was that really necessary?  My feet are soaking but it was a nice little ice bath I have to admit.
I wanted “up” and now I’m getting it.  The climb starts.  I look back as I ascend a switch back.  I see 3 girls right behind me.  Oh my!  I focus on driving my arms and leaning into the hill.  I come around a corner and the girl in red ahead of me is walking!  I pass her and tell her good job.  The trail flattens for a moment and the girl starts running again.  I continue pressing and we hit another climb.  Soon I don’t hear her foot steps.  I may be 2nd or 3rd right now.  Wow!
The trail comes back to the same road I crossed.  There are no helpers here and it seems a little dangerous not having someone directing traffic.  Fortunately there are few cars.  The trail flattens out again and we go through a campground on the lake.  Eventually we climb again.  This side of the lake is much hillier for sure!
Even though it’s getting harder, I still feel strong.  I am able to catch up to a few guys that are walking.  The hills in Auburn are relentless, but they sure help prepare me for days like these!
Mile 13 and 14 are a 10:04 average.  Hey I’m almost running my goal pace on these hills.  Wow, Jesus, I am amazed how you are making this race go so well!  Thank you!
Mile 15 and 16 are a 10:17 average.  The course continues to climb mostly and my legs continue to be able to respond!  I come back to the same aid station where the guy took the wrong turn.  I stop and a volunteer helps me fill up a flask full of Coke.  This was the plan for the last aid station.  I was so glad to have had Heed with me in 3 flasks.  I still have some left in one but the Coke should pull me the rest of the way.
130818_runonthesly_robin_run2I’m basically running back the same way I came out.  Lots of 1/2 Marathoners are heading towards me.  They started an hour after us.  One guy tells me I’m the 2nd woman.  If that’s the case, I’m a distant 2nd.  That 1st place gal must be very far ahead!
Mile 17 and 18 are 10:20.  I’m averaging under 9:30 for the entire race. Wow!  Thanks Jesus! 
I turn a corner and see that fast gal and she’s walking up the hill!  I am floored!  This seems so unreal.  I thought for sure I’d never see her.  Could I win this race?  I try to push that thought out of my mind.  My left knee is having some pain near my IT band.  This is an issue I’ve dealt with in the past.  Lord, I am content with any outcome.  I am so blessed to have even caught her.  I go by her and tell her good job. 
The trail levels out and then we are directed down a steep hill.  She passes me going down.  She looks like a gazelle.  I try to match her pace but my knee starts to scream at me.  I back off and try to get comfortable again.  It’s hard to watch her slip away.  On the other hand, I never thought I’d be here so there is nothing to be sad about.  Besides, anything can happen as the Lord just showed me.
Soon the trail levels out again and I get into a good groove.  Then I see my left shoe has come completely untied.  I try to run carefully so that I don’t trip myself.  Suddenly, I step a certain way and my knee screams really good this time.  I slow up and get comfortable again.
130818_runonthesly_robin_finishMile 19 and 20 are an 8:36 average.  I can hear footsteps behind me and wonder if those other girls are catching up.  I slowly surge and put in one last push.  I know it’s less than a mile to go now.  I push harder and see the finish.  Go, go!  Just as I cross the line, two 1/2 marathoners fly by.  Those were the feet I heard.  It all worked out so great, Lord!  2nd woman!  I couldn’t have asked for any better!  Thank you!
Name Race Age Group Place Run Time
RICH ALESCI 20M M30-39 4TH 2:54:57
BRYAN HACKER 20M M50-59 1ST 2:55:39
TIM TWIETMEYER 20M M50-59 3RD 2:57:06
ROBIN SOARES 20M W30-39 1ST 3:12:58
KRISTIN KOLSTER 20M W40-49 1ST 3:22:08
MO BARTLEY 1/2 MARA W50-59 1ST 2:06:09
CAROLYN GOULDING 12K W50-59 15TH 1:49:13

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Folsom Long Course Triathlon

August 11th, 2013 – Folsom, CA
Swim 1.2m – Bike 56m – Run 1/2 Mara

5:12:21 (32:43-1:32-2:56:55- 1:39 – 1:39:32)


1st / 6


Olympic Distance: FCA TEAMMATES – Janell Peterson, Karen Nickel, Team Gutsy Tri (Courtney Cardenas, friend)

Long Course: FCA TEAMMATES – Jenny Boakes (AquaBike); Dave Campbell

This is always a fun venue.  Ryan Coelho and his crew work hard to put this all together!  We are grateful for that and thankful that they encourage our teammates to come!

I’m coming off a week of training in Tahoe.  Thanks to Nana Sue and Papa Ray, the girls got to enjoy time at their house while Mommy got to train.  My friend Dave Campbell and I rode most of the Ironman Tahoe bike course on Wednesday.  We were both beat so we’ll see how we both feel today.  I get a 4 minute head start since I’m in the first wave (men & women, 39 and under).  Will I be able to hold him off?

Troy leads the FCA Endurance Pre-Race Prayer.  He does a great job and reminds me to look for the opportunities to help others and glorify Jesus.  We pray as a group and get our minds really set in the right place.  The prayer that sticks out to me was gratitude for having the ability to do this.

Time to get in the water and get ready to go!  The water is surprisingly chilly but this is good practice for Ironman!  I get in a quick warm-up and then it’s to the deep water start.  We’ll be swimming into the sun for at least a third of the distance.  I just hope I can find a good draft to get through that first part.  That will also help with a better time, too.  It’s a nice change to be starting with guys, too.  That should speed things up!  My goggles are fogging up and I’ve accidentally made some smears on the front with my sportslick anti-chaffing gel.  I put a tiny bit of water on each side to create a windshield wiper effect.

THE SWIM 1.2 Miles

Ready, set, go!  It’s super hard to see anything ahead but I am surrounded by other swimmers so I must be fine.  After a few minutes, I settle behind a few swimmers.  It goes well for a time and then they slow down.  I surge ahead to catch up to some others.  By the time I reach the first turn buoy, I’m really close.

I focus using my arms to propel me by pulling the water with more power.  I catch the swimmers at the next buoy…yeah!  I latch on and get a nice ride towards the final buoy.  This group slows, too, so I make another surge to catch 2 more swimmers.

I round the final buoy and push hard.  I catch up to the 2 swimmers.  One of them heads off to the right and I let her go.  I stick with the other and let her pull me home.  I come out of the water and pull off the side to get my wetsuit off.  It actually comes right off once I push it down and kick it off.  Thanks Lord!  I glance at my watch and it looks like I did a 32 minute swim.  Yeah!

THE BIKE – 56 Miles

130811_folsomtris_robin_bike_exitI get to my bike and put on my light jacket. I probably won’t need it but I want to be comfortable today.  I make a decent transition despite the extra work involved.  I wave to Troy and then to Sandy, Dave’s daughter, on the way out.

As I get out on Folsom Blvd, I realize that Troy and I never discussed a goal for the bike.  I decide to try to do my plan that didn’t work out on the first loop of the Full Vineman: average 19.2 (sub 3 hours).  I didn’t taper much for this race. It will be interesting to see what happens!

Mile 5.  I’ve passed 3 girls and there are no others in sight. I wonder if the course is like last year.  I didn’t even look at the map and so I have no idea where we are going.  This is definitely poor preparation on my part! 

Mile 10.  Once I get to El Dorado Hills, we turn right and take a long winding road.  Oh, yeah, this is going to be a one loop course…. great!  Even though the roads so far are rolling hills that wear me out, it’s a nice change.

More guys are passing me now and I’m anticipating some women are coming…and Dave, too!  I’m almost averaging 19mph.  Yeah!  Thanks Jesus!

Mile 15.  I see an aid station and it’s staffed by one girl.  I come in close to grab water but don’t fully commit.  The bottle drops…ugh!  It’s okay, I’ll live.  A few minutes later the sag wagon pulls up next to me.  The guy is holding out a water bottle…wow!  I look ahead but lean in close and stretch my hand out. I feel the bottle and grab on tight!  “Thank you!”  I actually got it, phew!  Lord, you are watching over me!

A girl in a pink Hammer Nutrition jersey passes me.  She is strong!  After pulling back and surging, I pass her back.  It’s short lived and she takes off and pulls away.

Mile 20.  My average is still hovering near 19mph.  I am enjoying this change of scenery despite the continued rollers.  A few more guys have passed.  One that passes catches my eye because he’s really moving!  I put my head down and look up again.  Whoa, he’s a challenged athlete that has a prosthetic left leg.  I am in awe!  Thanks for the inspiration.  Just awesome!

Mile 25.  We eventually turn on Jackson Road.  This is much flatter…yeah!  My average starts to improve. 

Mile 35.  I’m pretty much at 19.2 mph.  Thanks Lord!  This is awesome!  I am still getting passed by guys and I am tempted to get bummed out because I just cannot push the flats as well.  I feel the Lord reminding me to be content and focus on the goal being met!

I get some water successfully at the next aid station.  There were 3 people at this one but fortunately I didn’t need back-up help.   I got the first bottle I reached for!

130811_folsomtris_robin_biketMile 40.  The flats are great but I am looking forward to a change of scenery again since I’ve been on this road for over 12 miles.  I see a guy walking his bike ahead.  I get poised to slow down.  I lost my tool bag at Vineman and have my gear in my Bento box up front this time.  The easy access is nice!  Before I get the chance to stop, another guy pulls over and helps.  Wow, that’s awesome!  It’s so good to see others helping out here!

Mile 45.  We turn on the Folsom Canal Trail.  Ah, this is the time trial road I’ve ridden the last few years at the Folsom Cyclebration Festival.  There is added pressure to make this really count.  I see a guy up ahead pulled over on the side of the road.  I pull over and ask him if he needs something.  He has a slow leak and could use a patch kit and an extra CO2 cartridge.  I hand him both and check to make sure he can take it from here.  He’s good so I head out with a “God Bless”.  During my stop, I noticed the other guy that stopped to help someone passed me.

Mile 50.  A few more miles down the road, there is another rider with a flat.  Before I could stop that other guy is back in action and stops again.  I pass by and tell him “great job helping!”.  I wish I could see his race number so that I can have Nick Tuttle talk him up.

As we continue down this canal road, I’m amazed how far it goes!  I had no idea it kept going even after crossing a few roads.  It’s all well marked and the hazards such as old railroad tracks are covered with carpet.  Very nice!  My average is over 19.2!  Yes!  I’m going to go under 3 hours!

The guy I helped goes by and tells me that he figured out the problem and didn’t need my stuff.  That’s great news to hear.  I tell him to go for it and he flies off.

Mile 55.  We turn off the canal right before Lake Natomas.  Wow, this was a great stretch of road that kept us away from cars and very safe.  I am excited to get off this bike.  I am tired and my bottom is sore but I don’t have any hamstring or hip-flexor issues this time.  Thank you Lord!  I’m almost 4 minutes under 3 hours!

THE RUN – 13.1 Miles

I run into transition and hear people like Flor Hodges and Troy cheering for me.  It’s all a blur as I take off my jacket and get my running shoes on.  It seems like a good transition and then I’m off again.  As I exit, I see a u-turn arrow for the long course.  Oh yeah, it’s a double out-n-back.  Although it’s not good not knowing the course, at least it has kept my mind wondering what the next surprise will be.

So far there is no Dave but I know his specialty is the run and I cannot think of a time I’ve ever beat him in any run.  We’ll see what happens. 

As I run towards mile 1, my Espresso Hammer Gel falls out of my pocket.  I hesitate but go back for it.  I might need that caffeine soon so I don’t want to waste it!  It’s hard to get going again physically and mentally.  Once I see some runners in the near distance, I perk up.  I wonder how many girls are ahead of me.

Mile 1 is 7:41.  Good start!  I soon get into a better rhythm and actually feel smooth.  I see an FCA teammate Rosie cheering.  I give her a high five as I go by.

Mile 2 is 7:21.  Better.  I see the pink Hammer gal and catch her.  We encourage one another as I go by.  I see two girls coming back already.  One is wearing running shorts…relay?  Hum,  wonder if they are the leaders.

I see FCA and Tuesday night track teammate, Janell.  We high five each other.  Soon, I see three more gals flying: one is has a Facebook jersey and another has a Team Sheeper jersey.  Maybe they are 3rd to 5th.  I could be in 6th right now!  I take my Hammer Gel and hope for a boost.

Mile 3 is 7:24.  The turn around is ahead and now I’ll get a good look at where Dave is at.  There he is!  He’s probably a mile behind at the moment but he looks strong.  We smile and I jokingly say “I’m doomed”.  The excitement of trying to hold him off does make me get going. 

Mile 4 is 7:29.  Getting hard now!  This bike trail is rolling and it definitely breaks up the rhythm!  I miss water at the next aid station because the volunteer just gave out his water cup to someone else. No bother, I’ll be good.

Mile 5 is 7:22.  Better!  I pass Janell going back and encourage her.

130811_folsomtris_robin_run2Mile 6 is 7:11 at the u-turn.  Alright!  Thank you Lord!  Soon I see Dave smiling.  He looks great and has definitely closed the gap.

I pull my Clif Blocks out of my pocket and get ready to have some.  Sure enough, I drop it at just about the same spot as my gel.  Again, I go back.  I struggle to get moving again and I even hear myself say “just slow down, you won’t beat Dave anyway”.  It’s a trick of the mind!  I get going again.

Mile 7 is 7:17.  I pass one of those gals.  5th place?  I’m still in the hunt!  I can maybe catch those other 2 girls!  I look at my watch and start to calculate my finish time.  I could go under 1:38 for the 1/2 marathon!  I could go under 5:10 for the whole race!

Mile 8 is 7:32.  Boy these rollers are tough!  I see those 2 gals coming back.  Wow, no way I can catch them!  There is still a chance they could be relay!

Mile 9 is 7:22.  I see the Facebook girl and she looks great!  She’s smiling and seems to be floating along!  The Team Sheeper girl comes along a bit later and is starting to look tired.  Maybe I can get her?

Mile 10 is 7:34.  I make it to the turn around and look for Dave.  He’s closer this time but he’s not smiling as much.  Oh man, maybe I can hold him off.

Mile 11 is 7:22.  As I look at my watch I can see that my time goals are going to be close but probably just out of reach.  Gotta always keep trying though…”you never know” as Troy and I  like to say. 

Mile 12 is 7:35.  I have yet to see the Team Sheeper gal.  Don’t get discouraged, keep trying!  My time goals are starting to tick away.  I thank Jesus for what I have been able to accomplish today!

Mile 13 is 7:22.  I turn a corner and see the Team Sheeper gal!  She’s too far ahead to catch but I’m not going to let up anyway.  This way I’ll get to finish with Anna with no problem.  I finally make it to the last turn and see Anna getting her shoes on.  She gets them on right in time and jumps up to grab my hand.  We finish together with big smiles.  I bend down to hug her and praise Jesus.

Just a few moments later, Dave finishes with a great kick.  I held him off on the course but he still beat my time.  “Great job Dave!”




Age Group






LC 5:11:16 M55-59 1st 33:18 2:58:54 1:36:06


LC 5:12:21 W35-39 1st 32:43 2:56:55 1:39:32
JENNY BOAKES LC AQUA 3:50:29 WAQUA 2nd 35:59 3:50:29 NA
OLY 2:31:32 RELAY 2ND 26:37 1:13:52 48:12


2:47:37 W30-35 5TH 35:56 1:20:55 47:15
JANELL PETERSON OLY 3:44:21 W45-49 4th 41:14 1:38:11 1:16:46

Sunday, August 4, 2013

TBF Tri for Real–Troy

8/4/13, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, Ca.
Swim 1.5k – Bike 40k – Run 10k

2:09:00 (23:17 – 1:25 – 1:01:49 – 1:03 – 41:26)


1st / 10


Dave Campbell, Rich Kane

2:09:00 (0:23:17 - 1:25 - 1:01:49 - 1:03 - 41:26) 

It’s great waking up a 1/4 mi from the race start.  But the loud teens running around at 2am was not such a benefit.  We all emerge from our tents in the Rancho Seco camp site with the ever-present nuclear cooling towers looming in the distance.  And Robin’s parents, Jan and Jerry, are here, too.

Anna & I get ready and show up early to transition.  We get spots pretty close to each other and then go for a run together back to the tent for breakfast.  Now for a bike warm-up.. although it’s getting close to start time and Anna’s a little concerned.  But we get down to the water in good time and all anxiously wait to watch Anna do her kid’s triathlon.

After proudly watching Anna get through both transitions, I hustle to my own swim start, knowing I’ll miss her running but that she’ll do great anyway.  I don’t get much of a swim warm-up in after I realize I’m in the 2nd wave.  I see Rich and a few others I know.  They’re all in yellow while I stand out in a wrong-colored red swim cap. Oh well.  Our field is small.

Go!  I haven’t swam much lately but the last one went well so I go for it and jump on a fast swimmers draft soon into it.  I hang on.. and then find another… all the way to the buoy.. and then can hang no longer.  It suddenly gets very hard and I have to settle for going at my own pace.  Directly into the sun but thankfully I still make out a shade of orange whenever I sight which keeps me on track.  Although alone, I’m focusing on form, and happily feel like I’m swimming pretty well.  I lost the pack so might be slow, but my feet are close together and I’m gliding along so I can’t be too slow.

I’m so glad to make the final turn out of the sun.  Almost there, gotta push as hard as I can.  These arms won’t be used anymore after this so use them up!  1/2 way there and another swimming is coming up on me.  I give it all I’ve got and finally touch the bottom.  It’s a long “wade” to the shore.  I try to high-step as much as possible.  Once out, my great 2nd-hand wetsuit from Patty at comes right off and I’m running up the chute. This Aquaman wetsuit has been the best I’ve had throughout my years racing.  Ariel and Anna are cheering. Anna says I’m the first one in my group (but that’s because I’m the only red cap!)  23:17 – good time.

130804_tbf_triforreal_troy_bikeA quick transition (1:25) and I’m off on the bike.  Ok, this is where it counts.  My run has been slower lately so I need to make up for it here. The roads are re-paved and smooth. There’s a tailwind going out.. gotta make the most of it. I think my previous average here was 23 so I work to maintain 24 going out.  I work hard to keep gaining on other bikes in the distance.  I’m boosted by the high speeds I see, but then I look to the swaying reeds along the road to be reminded of the tail wind helping.  A tail wind not only pushes you along, but makes it quiet and peaceful.  Wind in your face is always distracting.  I love the sound of purring wheels and gears shifting.

I encourage riders as I go by. Now I see them coming back and start counting.  I make the turn-around in 10th place.  I’ve been preparing mentally for the headwind the whole way so now when I head back I’m ready to not let it bother me.  Just have to keep pushing like it’s not there and maintain 22mph.  It’s working. Thanks, Lord!  I make quick work catching the next guy.  And soon reel in another.  I cheer for Dave and other friends going out.  I remember seeing Robin going out last year when she was doing it with me.  But this year it didn’t fit into the Ironman plan.

I’m happily surprised that I’m keeping a good speed on the small hills and then getting into a good rhythm on the flats.  The cooling towers come into view. I pass 1 more guy, and encourage him, before the turn. It’s just a short gradual climb into the park. Speed is at 23.2..  gotta keep it above 23!  Over the speed bumps I keep the pace and come sailing into transition.  Wow, that was a good ride!  1:01:49 – 23.1mph

I hear Anna, Ariel, Jan & Jerry and Robin cheering.  It’s so uplifting and helpful to have your family excited to watch you race.  It picks me up and sends me dashing out onto the run course. (1:03 T2)

On the run.  Although I’ve been slower at the track lately, I’m often surprised how fast I can go at a race.  I feel much better right now than even on the track.  But I might not have the endurance to last.  Just gotta push early and see what happens.  The first 2 miles are on rolling fire road.  The temperature has been perfect today, but I could still use some cooling.  I splash water in my face, eat a Hammer Gel, and drink a cup.

I’m over 2 min behind the guy in front when I hit the street.  He might be the 1st guy in my age group so I focus on steadily moving up.  The next mile on the road is an out-n-back.  At the turn-around I’m surprised to see 3 guys behind me!  Within a minute.  Ok, forget about the guy ahead, the race is behind me!  I try to pick it up.

130804_tbf_triforreal_troy_runThe next 2 miles are on the trail.  A racer is 15 secs behind me.  I’ll use the tricky, narrow path to my advantage, constantly looking ahead and smoothly keeping my speed through each corner.  I think it’s working, I don’t see him as close.  I take water at each aid station.  I can feel my energy levels depleting and the legs tightening.  Just a little longer.. just gotta get back on the fire road.

On the fire road!  I look back.  No sign of him.  But I’m still racing against Dave Campbell.  He’s 10yrs older but we still compete against each other’s times.  I need a fast run to beat him and I think I can do it today.  1 mile to go.  I take Gatorade.  I’m tired.  I focus on keeping the pace while smiling and encouraging the others heading out, many of them cheering for me.

130804_tbf (39)bAhh! Into the park area.  The final stretch on the grass.  It feels so good to almost be done.  There’s Ariel.  She’s all smiles and ready to run.  Daddy and Daughter run down the finish line.  Whew!  We stop and pray, thanking the Lord for a great race and being able to run together! 41:26  (Dave beat me by 1:10!)

It was exciting to win my age group.  But humbling to see that the next 50-54 age group was more competitive.  Gotta keep training.. it’s not going to get easier.




Age Group





Maria Hodges (FCA Teammate)
2:05:28 Coed Relay 1st
(4th OA)
23:45 (Maria) 1:00:35 41:08


2:09:00 M45-49 1st 23:17 1:04:17 41:26


2:10:28 M55-59 1st 23:22 1:08:09 40:16
RICH KANE 2:15:54 M40-44 2nd 23:51 1:08:29 43:34

TBF Kid’s Triathlon (Anna)

8/4/13, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, Ca.
Swim 50meters – Bike 4m – Run 1m

2nd/7 – Age 8 Girls
I’m excited about my race this morning.  I’m glad Dad is doing it with me.  I put my gear (like goggles, race numbers, and baby powder) in a backpack and we both ride out bikes to the race.  We take a short cut.

I find a spot I like and make sure I know where the bike-out and run-out are. This is a good spot.  I try to rack my bike like others, but it’s not too steady.  Dad says to just use the kickstand.

I run now to warm up.  We run across the parking lot, down the grass, and along the road all the way to our camp site.. where mom has oatmeal ready!  The I run back, while Dad goes a different way.  We both get back at the same time.  I think I should go to the swim but Dad says I should ride my bike first.  Ok, that’s done, now down to the water.

130804_tbf (2)Ah, this is going to be fun.  It’s a little cold so I just wade and wait for the older swimmers to finish.  It’s our turn now.  I look to Dad and he says I’m in good position.  When the countdown gets down to 5, I get in position… and then it’s time to go!

130804_tbf (9)Other swimmers are blocking my way but I know I can do this.  I just move a little to the right and then it’s all good.  Around the buoy and to the shore.  Swim went ok.  It was easy.  I think, “I just have 2 more things to do”
130804_tbf_triforkids_anna_bike_bI run to my bike and pull my bike shorts on over my swimsuit but it’s not working well.  I look to Dad and he says forget it so I just put my shoes on and go.  This is the fun part!  We’re going across a bridge.  It’s really long.  I wonder when we’ll get over it but finally we are.  We turn around and go over it again.  When we get back I think, “Yippee, we’re done!”

I get off my bike but then they say, “No yet, keep going”.  A little farther, then I get off.  I find my spot and take off my helmet.

Now the run!  I think, “This will be easy!”  But I forgot about the big hill!  It’s right in the middle.  And then there’s another one near the end.  I have no more breath left.  Good thing I’m almost done. Whew!  There’s a girl next to me so we race each other.  I don’t want her to pass.  Then I finish.

They call me up for an award.  I got 2nd.  I shake hands with 2 of the other girls.  It’s a nice award.  I had a lot of fun.
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