Sunday, February 9, 2014

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

February 9, 2014 – Davis, Ca
Half Marathon – 13.1 miles
3rd (M45-49)

Other Teammates:

Anna Soares, Ariel Soares, Jan Heidt, Robin Soares

This 1/2 Marathon is a great prep for our Napa Marathon next month.  Anna, Ariel and Grammie are also looking forward to racing shorter distances.  Grammie and Papa are visiting from San Diego.  We all head to Davis in a heavy downpour.  We've got the rain jackets and are prepared for the worst.

As the race is about to start, the rain has stopped and the temperature is great.  Robin and I line up first and give our gear to Robin's dad, Jerry.  Jan and Anna will run next in the 5k.  Later Ariel will run the 1/2mi race.

140209_stampede_halfmara_troy_robin_start2Go!  Unfortunately my Garmin didn't start so my stopwatch is all I've got.  Immediately I realize we're both going to be too warm.  We were planning for being drenched so wore rash-guards (very warm) and gloves.  But it's dry and we're heating up.  We stay with the 1:30 group.  This has been Robin's goal although we really didn't plan it out well.  My goal is go under 1:30 but I don't know how much.

1mi: We're on pace, but I think it's a little more difficult then it should be for Robin.

2mi: Robin is falling back a little and I'm trying to push forward ahead of the group.

3mi: I want to run a 1:28 (6:43 pace).  I'm slowly working my way up.  About 25 secs behind.  We round a neighborhood park and I see Robin off the back of her group and realize 1:30 wasn't a good pace.  Should have been 1:35.  I yell back to Robin that she's doing great and to think about Napa (so that she doesn't hurt herself).

4mi: Now we head a mile down E. Covell Blvd.  I'm more than 30 secs off of 1:28 pace so really trying to pick it up while also being careful not to hurt my left hamstring.  Just like the Turkey Trot here, I'm having to focus on "pulling through" my right leg using my abs.

5mi: That mile went well. Now through the neighborhoods again and then north to the golf course.  With the wind behind us I'm able to get a little closer to the 1:28 pace.

6mi: 6:47 average. 24 secs behind 1:28. Now East along the golf course on gravel with a side wind.  I work hard to bridge the gap and get in a runner's draft.  Then I leap-frog up to the next runner.  Also trying to pick the straightest lines along the gravel road.  I'm keeping pace but still behind 1:28.

7mi: Now we turn south into the wind.  I draft another guy for a while and then he drops back to draft off of me.  Working together helps keep us both motivated to stay the pace.  Now we take the serpentine path under Covell Blvd, where I dropped my gel last year and strained my hamstring picking it up.  I'm careful to eat and drink without dropping anything this time.

8mi: With the head-wind, I didn't gain on 1:28 pace that last mile.  But now it's protected and I gotta work to move up.  I keep my eye on runners ahead.. working up to them and passing.  We go around another park and soon we'll hit the overpass where my hamstring pulled last time.

9mi: 20 secs behind.  That was a good effort.  Now up and over the pedestrian bridge.  I'm tired and legs are sore.  I'm very attentive to my hamstrings.  Trying to push but not injure.  Down the ramp.. going down is even more hazardous to a hamstring.  Onto the short out-n-back section.. careful on the sharp turn.

140209_stampede_halfmara_troy10mi:  6:46 average. 30 secs behind.  The hamstring is hanging in there.  I'm looking forward to being done. This is where I had to start walking last year.  It's tender but I'm still going fast… need to knock off 10secs a mile.  I've been thanking God along the way and realizing how dependent I am on Him in everything.  Nothing is a sure thing.  But with Him I know the outcome is best.  I just have to follow His lead rather than making it all about me.

11mi: 2 more miles.  I encourage some 10k runners I'm passing.  I just have to get through this mile and then I can pretend I'm back at our track workout with 1 mile to go.  I can always do 1 last mile…

12mi: Here we go.. final mile.. under the highway, under the train tracks, across the parking lot and now only 1 turn to go!  I think I can make 1:28.  I see a female coach running to cheer on her athlete finishing the 10k.  The coach is jumping, cheering, full of energy, trying to lead her 140209_stampede_halfmara_troy_finishagonizing athlete into the final turn.  I don't know if making it look so easy is helping much.  Her athlete is in pain, but hopefully will keep it up to the finish.

13mi:  There it is!  Thanks God for helping me the whole way.  I finish in 1:28:14 (6:44) and immediately see Anna and Grammie waiting for me.  They did great in the 5k!  I pray for Robin's final miles and wait to see how she perseveres.  I know it's going to be hard because the first 3 miles were too fast, but I also know she'll fight to the end.  God is good!

Name Race Age Group Place Time
Jan Heidt 5K F75-79 2nd 42:30
Troy Soares 1/2 Mara M45-49 3rd 1:28:14
Anna Soares 5K F1-9 4th 30:59
Robin Soares 1/2 Mara F40-44 4th 1:38:29
Ariel Soares 1/2mi (.4m) N/A N/A 4:28