Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Day Challenge (Troy)

January 1, 2014 – Auburn, CA
Hill Climb 1 – 3m Old Foresthill Rd
Hill Climb 2 - 1.2m Raley's Hill
Resolution Run - 10m Trails
Time / Place:
Hill Climb 1 - 15:17 / 1st (prior PR 16:17, 2008)
Hill Climb 2 - 5:20 / 3rd (prior PR 6:12, 2013)
Run 1:11:20 / 1st  (prior PR 1:18, 2012)
Hill Climb: Charity Marshall, David Malicoat, Flor Hodges, Jeff Brooks, Jesse Warda, Karen Nickel, Kayden Kelly, Robin Soares, Charles Davis

10Mile: Bryan Hacker, Carolyn Goulding, Cheryl Haggerty, Dave Campbell, Dieter Stenger, Gary Carpenter, Jesse Ellis, Jesse Warda, Karen Nickel, Kayden Kelly, Lora Spangler, Mo Bartley, Scott Eckardt, Stephanie Holloway, Robin Soares

10K: Rebecca Marsh, Roni Jones, Tom Barrett

5K: Anna, Celie & Will Cranney, Emerson & Leah Booth, Mason & Christine Kelly, Stephanie Ganzenhuber

Every New Year's we get together with friends and push ourselves in a challenge of hills.  I haven't done much hill training this season, but a few months ago Robin helped motivate me so I was able to get some good training going into today's challenge.

We all meet at the Auburn Overlook.  Robin & myself, Karen Nickel, David Malicoat, Charity Marshall, Kayden Kelly, Jesse Warda, Flor Hodges, Jeff Brooks, and Charles Davis.  Always impressive seeing the group materialize early on January 1st after staying up late the night before.  Dedicated!  Unfortunately, one of the top climbers, our friend, Lance, can't ride this morning as he's recovering from his bike accident.  But we'll see him at his house for the post-race party.  We pray and get on the road.

New Years Challenge Hill Climbs
First we ride a warm-up loop up Millertown Rd and then head down to the Confluence to prepare for the first climb.  I've been working on creating a starting order that gives all of us the maximum motivation to excel on the climb.  The goal is to stagger the start in order to get the riders as close as possible 2/3 up the hill where the road levels out.  In this way, the strategy of drafting could come into play as an equalizer with 1 mile to go.

I spent a lot of time working formulas and national averages, but time ran out this morning and I had to use the starting order I had without reviewing it.

Rob Hodges (Flor's husband) is at the start with the clipboard and stopwatch sending us off on timed intervals.  Right off the bat, some of the participants see a glitch in the order.  Rider's stats were based on Strava PR's where possible which resulted in Charity Marshall starting first.  A closer review of this and I would have remembered that Charity has become a very strong rider quickly, not indicative of the slow Strava time she recorded at the beginning of the year.  Charles was right when he quickly commented, "No one's catching her."  Charity was on her own to the top.  The rest of us remained in closer contact.

I'm starting last.  My goal is to get a Strava PR. I'll need sub 15 min.  Karen, Leslie Hackett, Robin & I did 3 repeats up this hill months ago and I learned a lot about going faster.  One tip was standing up more.  I'm pumped, I'm ready, time to go!

The first pitch is tough.  I focus on lifting my legs so they don't waste energy working against each other.  Up ahead is Charles, Jeff, Kayden and David.  It really helps having riders to work towards.  I work really hard, encouraging each one as I go by.

At the 2/3 point when the road levels out, I pass Robin and she tries to latch on for a little bit.  Good job, Robin!  I have a mile left and give it all I've got on the flat section and then the final climb.  15:17!  My fastest time for the New Years Challenges, but shy of my Strava PR.  Still an improvement over the last 3 months.

Everyone worked hard up this tough climb.  After a photo we cruise down to the Foresthill Bridge to finish off with the shorter climb.  We paceline across the bridge, in order of fastest times up the first climb, and then go for it up Raley's Hill.  Immediately, Kayden and Jesse pass me.  I'm determined to stay on their wheels.  But they're pulling ahead.  I can't hold on although I'm doing everything well.  I sprint to the top in 3rd and gather in the Raley's parking lot to catch my breath.  On the 1st hill it was me, Jesse & Kayden.  On the 2nd hill it was reversed: Kayden, Jesse, and me.

Whew!  Glad the bike climbing is done.  Now have to get back and recover for the 10mi Run.

Resolution 10mi Run
Last time I did the 10mi Run, I bonked at 3mi and struggled the rest of the way.  This time Robin reminds me to fuel up and I also spend a good portion of time stretching and rolling on the roller.  I'm going to go into this prepared this time.

We all gather back at the Overlook and it's a great reunion with many friends.  The cyclist have turned runners (Karen, Kayden, Jesse, Robin & myself).  The Relays have tagged their runners (David Malicoat tagging Dave Campbell, Charity Marshall tagging Stephanie Holloway).  And then there are many reunions with other Auburn friends here to start the New Year out right: Jim Cranney, Tom Barrett, Bryan Hacker, Mo Bartley, Scott & Season Eckardt, Jesse Ellis, Gary Carpenter, and others.

Kids that we know from top Skyridge School Jog-A-Thon runners are here.  Leah & Emerson Booth, Will & Celie Cranney and Mason Kelly.  Anna is doing the 5k and appears well prepared.  She wants to try for a medal but knows the important thing is just to try your best.  Her previous best was 5th place.

140101_resolutionrun_startAfter an FCA Endurance prayer, we all start together.  Anna and Mason take off and get far ahead of me.  As does Dave Campbell.  Dave is pretty amazing.  10 years older than me and he'll get to the bottom of this hill a minute ahead of me.  As we start down the old road, splitting off from the 5k & 10k runners, I look but can't see Anna and Mason.  I hope they do well.

2km: 6:09 pace.  This was the first descent down to the gravel road.  The road levels out a little.  With me is Jesse Warda and Kayden Kelly.  Ahead of me is Mo and Jesse Ellis.  Ahead of them appears to be the lead woman who I don't recognize.  And farther than I can see is Dave… just flying down this course.  I'm trying to remain relaxed and efficient.  Mile 3 is my focus.

2-4km: 6:27 pace.  This was the flat gravel section followed by the long downhill.  Now it's time for the big climb.  I pull ahead of the group I'm with and try to stay light and fluid on the rocky trail up to the top.  Last time I went too hard and bonked at the top.  I'm hoping it goes better this time.  At the top I'm feeling much better than the previous time and start across the flat section.

4-6km: 8:22 pace.  This was the steep climb following by the flat.  Now I have a little climb to the intersection and then a steep descent down the dam road to the beginning of the trails.  I see that fast woman ahead.  I'm amazed at the pace she maintains down the hill even though my legs are longer (this girl, Baily, turned out to be only 17 yrs old and finished only a minute behind the winning woman. Later she and her family joined us at track workouts.  She's got incredible talent.).

6-8km: 6:43 pace. This was the steep descent down the dam road and onto the fire road, to the bottom of the course.  Now for a short steep climb and then rollers around Robie Point.  My heart-rate gets pushed way up again, but soon I'm getting under control on the rollers.

8-10km: 8:05 pace.  This was the steep switch-backs up to the main trail and out to Robie Point.  Now it's out to the turn-around and back.  I see runners coming back now.  There's Dave, and Bryan Hacker.  Bryan is flying and motivates me to get ready to pick it up.  I happily make the turn and start digging to catch up to Dave.  I see Robin! She says to catch Dave!

10-12km: 6:58 pace.  This was from Robie Point to the turn-around and back.  Now to climb up and over Robie Point.  This climb hurts.  Heart-rate getting higher.  No sign of Dave Campbell.  I really thought I'd make up some time on him with this effort.

12-14km: 7:33 pace.  This was up and over Robie Point and along the Western States Trail.  Only a mile left.  But it's uphill to the finish.  I'm giving it everything I have.  The last part is steep, dusty and getting warm.  My heart-rate is at 98% max, the highest yet.  My legs feel wobbly.. about to bonk.. but that's ok because there's less than a 1/2mi to go!  I don't see Dave but I push with everything I got.. trying to beat 1:10.

14-15.6km: 9:12 pace.  This was the final mile to the finish.  It was my slowest pace yet and the hardest section for me.  I finished in 1:11:20, 7th overall, but actually 1st in the 40-49.  Turned out the older age group was much faster.  This was a huge improvement over my last attempt.  The stretching and fueling helped a lot.  But most importantly, my biggest help comes from the Lord.  He reminds me to encourage others despite the pain I'm feeling.  And I know I'm a winner 140101_resolutionrun_annano matter what place I get when I make the effort for Him.

It was an exciting day for many in our group as multiple PR's and awards were achieved.  Anna did get her medal, her first placing in a running race.  She was really amazed to get it.


Combined Challenge Results

  • Robin & I were 1st for the individual Female and Male categories
  • Karen Nickel was 2nd for individual Female and Kayden Kelly and Jesse Warda tied for 2nd for individual Male.
  • The relays David Malicoat / David Campbell and Charity Marshal / Stephanie Holloway were 1st & 2nd respectively.
Name Hill 1 Hill 2 AG Total Runner Run Total
Robin Soares 16:56 5:52 17:27 Robin  Soares 1:17:17 1st
Flor Hodges 17:41 5:45 18:36      
Charity Marshall 18:17 6:08 18:59 Stephanie Holloway 1:38:53 2nd
Troy Soares 15:17 5:20 19:12 Troy Soares 1:11:20 1st
Karen Nickel 18:23 6:13 19:31 Karen Nickel 1:19:51 2nd
Jesse Warda 15:36 5:15 20:17 Jesse Warda 1:21:15 2nd
Kayden Kelly 15:48 5:10 20:24 Kayden Kelly 1:20:42 2nd
Jeff Brooks 18:30 6:24 23:12      
David Malicoat 23:08 7:32 26:09 Dave Campbell 1:10:38 1st
Charles Davis 29:25 9:59 38:20      
        Anna Soares 36:34 2nd
        Mo Bartley 1:18:30 1st
        Gary Carpenter 1:24:40  
        Jesse Ellis 1:41:19 1st

Thanks God for a great day of training / racing and for giving us healthy bodies.  Please help those battling injuries and illness to again feel like they can achieve their goals.

2014 Soares New Year’s Day Challenge–Robin

January 1, 2014 – Auburn, CA
Hill Climb 1 – 3m Old Foresthill Rd
Hill Climb 2 - 1.2m Raley's Hill
Resolution Run - 10m Trails
Time / Place:
Hill Climb 1 - 16:56 / 1st (prior PR 17:13, 2012)
Hill Climb 2 - 5:52 / 2nd (prior PR 6:19, 2013)
Run 1:17:18 / 1st  (PR 1:16:04, 2011)
Hill Climb: Charity Marshall, David Malicoat, Flor Hodges, Jeff Brooks, Jesse Warda, Karen Nickel, Kayden Kelly, Troy Soares, Charles Davis

10Mile: Bryan Hacker, Carolyn Goulding, Cheryl Haggerty, Dave Campbell, Dieter Stenger, Gary Carpenter, Jesse Ellis, Jesse Warda, Karen Nickel, Kayden Kelly, Lora Spangler, Mo Bartley, Scott Eckardt, Stephanie Holloway, Troy Soares

10K: Rebecca Marsh, Roni Jones, Tom Barrett

5K: Anna, Celie & Will Cranney, Emerson & Leah Booth, Mason & Christine Kelly, Stephanie Ganzenhuber

Part 1: The Bike

What a beautiful morning!  It’s a bit cold but couldn’t ask for better weather!  Still, it’s hard to get out of bed and I think “is it really worth it?”  But again, “how can I miss out on starting the year right?!”

I make it to Overlook before Troy since he had to stay back to adjust his calculations for today’s start times on the bike.  I’m excited to see that Karen and Jesse are already there!  Folks trickle in and then it’s time to go. Before we start, Troy says a prayer for all of us which I really appreciate.  It reminds me of how thankful that the Lord protected our friend Lance Loveday when he was recently hit by a car.  We will miss him this year but know he’ll be back to dominate in the future!

The pre-ride to Old Foresthill is shorter which I like since it means there will be time to get home and some food in our tummies before the Resolution Run.  We do climb up Millertown Road on the way which is tough but I purposely hold back and just let the legs adjust.

Soon we are bombing down Hwy 49 to the Confluence.  I descend my best but still behind the rest of the gang since I’m still chicken going fast on curvy roads.  Maybe the New Year will bring even better descending for me.

We regroup at the bottom and I peel off most of my layers and give them to Rob Hodges, our official timer for the morning.  Burr, I’m cold, let’s get this show on the road!

We line up and Charity takes off with a big lead.  She will be hard to catch.  As I have a few moments to think, I remind myself of the goal to break the 17-min barrier on this hill.  That means no slacking…I need to be pushing hard the whole way.  Ugh, this all sounded great when I made the goal a few months ago but now after staying up late for New Years, this doesn’t seem so great.  I know that with focus on Christ, I can put in a good effort.

David takes off, then Karen, and then Flor.  A few seconds later it’s  “Ready, set, go!”  From the get-go, I push hard.  The body is whining but I ignore it.  I try to ride efficiently…pulling up on the pedals and sitting up tall.  After a few minutes I start to feel better…thanks God!  I catch up to Flor, then David.  Karen is still out there as a carrot and I just try to close the gap.  I can see Charity way up the mtn.  I won’t catch her but I hope someone else does so she can be pushed harder.

Once I get just past the Mammoth Bar area, I know it gets better.  I catch up to Karen and tell her good job.  I’m barely able to talk so I know I’m pushing hard.  Jesse goes by and I try to jump on his wheel.  Too fast!  I manage to say “catch Charity”. 

I make it to the “flat section” and Troy goes by and tells me to get on his wheel.  I barely hang on for a few minutes but it’s enough I think to help me get my goal.  “Go Troy!  Catch Jesse!”. 

Almost done!  I look at my Garmin and I have under 2 minutes to get to the top under 17 minutes.  Come on, go!  I push as hard as I can.  As I make it to the last turn, my timer is ticking…16:20, 16:30, 16:40…Dig!  I cross the line at 16:48!  Wow, thank You Jesus!  I cannot believe it! 

Everyone finishes hard and seems to be happy with their results.  The New Year is off to a great start already!

We bike to the Foresthill Bridge for one last climb.  We line up with the fastest at front and pace line across the bridge.  Once we get across, it’s every man and woman for their self.  Troy, Jesse and Kayden are leading the way and they duke it out to the top.  Flor is right behind me and goes by me like I’m standing still.  I give all that I  have to catch her.  I’m with her for a moment and then she finds another gear and zooms away.  Wow, awesome!  And, she hasn’t been on the bike in a while…a natural talent for sure!

I make it to the top and I am done!  Yeah!  I rush home to let our babysitter, Celie, get home so she can get ready to do the Resolution Run, too with her family. 

Part 2: The Resolution Run 10 Miler

This year, Troy, Anna & I have properly fueled for this race.  It’s easy to improve on that based on what we did in the past. Troy didn’t eat anything after the ride when he last did the 10 miler 2 years ago and unfortunately bonked around Mile 2.  Anna ate too much before in years past and got terrible cramps within the first mile of her 5K.  Last year I ate very little before and trained little so I bonked early on.  2014 is going to be a banner year I hope!

I drop off Ariel at our friend’s house (the Marshalls) and run to the starting line.  My legs are definitely tired from the hard effort on the bike so they will be the question mark today.  I get there and see so many familiar faces from our weekly track group…cool! 

Troy, Anna, Karen, her friend Becky and I pray before the race starts.  Another reminder that this race is about His glory and not mine.  Time to go!  Anna head towards the back of the pack with Mason and his mom Christine to get in a better spot.  I hope they have fun today.  Anna is usually tougher when I’m not there and will hopefully not complain too much.

Ready, set, go!  As we get going, I run into a few more track folks like Jesse Ellis.  Karen and I are racing the same run event together for the first time surprisingly. I tell her that sub-8min pace is a sub 1:20…something to think about.  As we head over to the China Bar Rec area, she pulls ahead.  She sure can run smoothly downhill like a deer.  I try not to pound too much.

Mile 1 is 6:53 thanks to the downhill.  I try not to think about how the downhill is beating up my legs.  Feels good now but on the uphill it’s going to hurt!

Mile 2 is 7:07.  Almost to the first uphill, Cardiac bypass…feels like it sounds!  I see Karen and two other girls ahead.  I hope to catch up soon. 

I hit the hill and as usual my legs scream.  I push through the pain and manage to catch up to the first two girls.  Karen is running strong and it takes me the whole hill to close the gap.   “Good job Karen” I say as I come alongside her. As we hit the top I see Carolyn from the track.  I’m too winded to shout out hi to her.

Mile 3 is 8:08.  Wow, thanks Lord for a strong climb!  Now it’s flat followed by more downhill.  Hard to say how the legs will feel after that.  I see Mo up ahead and am surprised to see her.  Along the way I catch up to Gary and then Kayden.  “Good job!”  I also pass Dieter from the track.

Mile 4 is 7:38. Down the dam road…ugh, poor legs!  I see Mo pulling away now.  Up ahead is the “Supergirl”, wearing socks with capes on them, and our friend Jesse Warda.  

Mile 5 is 7:13.  Off the road and heading over to Robie Point now.  The real test starts now.  Do the legs have what it takes?  I catch up to Jesse and tell him good job.  I also pass Supergirl and try to tell her I like her socks.  She’s got her earbuds in and she’s in the zone so I get no response…oh well. 

I pass Mo and tell her good job.  She encourages me and I am touched.  I start to feel a bonk coming on so I pull out my gel and start working on it.  Suddenly it flies out of my hand and drops.  Bummer!  I need it and I don’t want to litter so I go back.  Mo passes by and I start up again and hang with her.  Running along with Mo is a real treat.  She is constantly encouraging others and she is constantly being recognized.

Mile 6 is 8:33.  Almost to Robie Point and will be able to see where some of the competition coming back from the out and back.  There is Dave Campbell running strong and I tell him good job.  I hope to see Troy soon.  Within the minute I see him coming with his smile.  I tell him good job and to go get Dave.  Three women are way up there and looking really strong!

Mile 7 is 8:15.  Mo and I hit the turnaround and get to see who is behind us.  Supergirl is coming fast and Karen is right there.  I give Karen a high five.  Dieter is up the road and I give him a high five too. 

We hit Robie Point hill which is one of the toughest, besides the last mile of the race.  I’m able to pull away from Mo and Supergirl.  It’s a super steep downhill on the other side and I do my best to try to float down…though it’s more like a stampede.

Mile 8 is 8:18.  Okay, this mile coming up is the toughest.  I barely have any juice left in the legs so I use my arms and try to push off more with each step.  Thank you Lord for letting me get this far! 

Mile 9 is 8:32.  Almost there!  On each consecutive hill that comes, I try to push hard to get a gap.  I’m not looking back so I have no idea what’s going on behind me.

Finally, the last hill and soon the finish!  This hill mentally is tough.  Made it!  The finish line is around the corner and I give what’s left to get to it.  I hear Anna cheering and I look up and see her running towards me.  With her encouragement, I am able to surge to the finish.  Yeah, I’m done!

Supergirl finishes behind me and I wait to tell her good job.  Mo comes next.  I see Karen and the clock is ticking close to 1:20.  “Come on Karen, break 1:20!”  She presses on and does it!  Yeah!  I got the pleasure of cheering in the rest of our friends!  Thank you Jesus for a fun day!  Now off to get Ariel and go to the pizza party/awards party!

Name Race Age Group Place Time Notes
Leah Booth 5K F0-10 1st 28:44 13th Overall!
Emerson Booth 5K M0-10 2nd 28:44  
Stephanie Ganzenhuber 5K F30-30 1st 32:46  
Anna Soares 5K F0-10 2nd 36:34 3 1/2min PR
Celie Cranney 5K F11-14 3rd 36:55  
Will Cranney 5K M0-10 6th 37:33  
Mason  Kelly 5K M0-10 10th 47:22  
Tom Barrett 10K M50-59 1st 47:27  
Rebecca Marsh 10K W19-29 1st 55:31  
Roni Jones 10K W40-49 NA 1:15:00 No chip
Bryan Hacker 10M M50-59 2nd 1:06:56  
Dave Campbell 10M M50-59 3rd 1:10:38  
Troy Soares 10M M40-49 1st 1:11:20  
Robin Soares 10M W30-39 1st 1:17:17  
Mo Bartley 10M W50-59 1st 1:18:30  
Karen Nickel 10M W30-39 2nd 1:19:51  
Kayden Kelly 10M M30-39 5th 1:20:42  
Jesse Warda 10M M30-39 6th 1:21:15  
Dieter Stenger 10M M50-59 9th 1:21:26  
Gary Carpenter 10M M50-59 NA 1:24:40 No chip
Scott Eckardt 10M M30-39 8th 1:25:04  
Stephanie Holloway 10M M30-39 8th 1:38:53  
Jesse Ellis 10M M19-29 1st 1:41:19  
Lora Spangler 10M W30-39 12th 1:43:33  
Cheryl Haggerty 10M W30-39 16th 1:51:36  
Carolyn Goulding 10M W50-59 20th 2:32:35