Sunday, June 8, 2014

Folsom Long Course Tri – Robin

June 8th, 2014 – Folsom, CA
Swim 1.2M – Bike 56M – Run 13.1
5:29:40 (33:46-1:30-3:00:01-1:33-1:52:50)

1st/9; 6th Woman
Sprint: FCA TEAMMATES – Janell Peterson, Kris Kennedy; Todd Osterberg

Int Distance: FCA TEAMMATES – Connie Wilson, Scott Hodson, Steve Chavez (AquaBike); Dave Campbell, Elise Winter, Mike Bradley, Sara McKinley (AquaBike), Trixie Bradley

Long Course: FCA TEAMMATES – Rosie Kracher (AquaBike); Faron Reed, Lee McKinley
It’s been a week since Troy crashed and broke 6 ribs and punctured his lung.  He spent 4 days in the hospital and I didn’t know what to expect.  Amazingly he is doing extremely well and almost completely self sufficient.  I’m praising Jesus that he’s come so far and for the opportunity to pause and appreciate all I have.
I’m going to the race without Troy and the girls this time which is tough.  Fortunately my friend and FCA Endurance teammate, Desiree Swift, is going with me to help with our ministry booth and to support.  And ultimately I’m never alone because Christ is beside me.
It’s a long wait to park and drop off the FCA gear.  I park the car and come back to find Desiree has it all set up…wow, she’s good!  It’s a whirlwind getting ready for the race.  So many friends check in to see how Troy is doing.  Dave Campbell brings over his TrackMyAthlete GPS device for me to borrow today so that Troy can watch me from the computer at home.  That makes me happy knowing he can watch and pray for me.
Desiree and I meet for the pre-race prayer and we realize the swim start for the long course is further down the beach…oops!  We head down and find our other teammate Rosie Kracher.  It’s just the 3 of us for the prayer but “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).  Christ is here and I know He is answering our prayers.
Time for a swim warm-up!  The water is not as cold as expected, phew!  As I finish up I see Lee McKinley and swim over to him.  It’s his one tune-up race for Ironman Hawaii.  I thank him for visiting Troy in the hospital…meant a lot!
Time to go!  Men and women 35 to 44 are going together.  I’m a little nervous that I’ll get pummeled but the wave doesn’t seem too overwhelming.  The swim is my chance to pray so I shouldn’t be worried. 
Ready, set, go into the sun!  Turns out this is a calm start.  I feel so relaxed that I have to remind myself that I’m actually doing a race.  I get my head back into the game and start looking for a draft.
The sun makes it hard to see and I’m afraid I’m going to run right into swimmers coming the other way if I cannot find someone to follow.  By the first turn, I have found a swimmer and have turned away from the sun…yeah!
140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_swimI’m getting into a good groove and talking to God about some things that have been on my mind.  My draft is having a hard time staying straight so I let him swing back and forth and try to catch the ride each time. The fast swimmers from the wave behind are catching up.  I try go with one but he’s soon long gone!
Last turn and now it’s time to head to shore.  A girl in my wave swims by and I try to match her pace.  Soon 2 more swimmers from the last wave go by and I push to try to catch the draft.  Too fast!  I jump back on that gals feet and let her bring me in.
Yeah, I’m done!  I pull off my wetsuit on the ramp, say hi to Desiree and run to my bike.
I make a quick transition and head out.  I give Francie Campbell a high five as I run by her in transition.  She is volunteering so it’s nice to thank her on the way out.
I head out on the same race wheels Troy crashed on.  Victory Velo totally gave us the green light to use them…amazingly there was no damage…phew! 
I remind myself of the 3 things Troy told me to focus on: 1. Minimize pressure on bottom of cleats, 2. On flats and downhills, focus on pushing down 1/2 way and then pulling back up, 3. On uphills, pretend my knees are quickly tapping my elbows.  With this race being more about finishing, I can focus more on my technique.
We head away from Folsom into more rural country starting with Prairie City Road.  I pass a few girls and get passed by one. This time I don’t want to become negative when girls pass but just to be patient and save something for the run.
Mile 10.  I’m on White Rock tackling the rollers.  The hills are not too big but they can mentally wear you out.  By focusing on “tapping the elbows” it doesn’t seem as daunting today. I get up and over the last hill, which is a challenge, and it’s downhill…weeee! 
I turn into a relatively flat and curvy industrial area.  All is going well until I make a right turn.  I start to slide out.  Oh no, I’m going down!  Amazingly, I recover. I apologize to the guy behind me who had to quickly react to this.  I thank Jesus and start to cry.  It is too close to home and brings the emotions of the week back.  I know I've got to keep going and I ask for peace from the Lord.  I soon feel relaxed and get my focus back.
I turn on Latrobe road and tackle more rollers.  Lee McKinley goes by and encourages me and, soon after, so does Faron Reed.  I’m getting passed by a lot of guys but no women.  The techniques Troy gave me are really helping me keep my mind busy.  It is getting difficult to get comfortable in the saddle and my hamstrings keep taking a turn cramping.  I just pray and ask the Lord to help me feel better.
Mile 24.  A girl in white goes by.  I remember her from the last few years…a great rider and a nice girl.  If my hamstrings hold up I should be able to pass her on the run…but I need to get through this first.  I see her up until the next turn onto Jackson Road.
Mile 35.  I hear a thump and look back on the road and see nothing.  I feel for my thermo bottle and it’s gone.  Bummer, those are not cheap.  I didn’t see where it went and since it was empty, it’s no use going back to look for it.  I thank the Lord I poured into my aerobottle some miles back.
Soon I hear a woman’s polite voice, “can you please move over so I can pass”.  It surprises me and I almost jump from fright.  We are in a nice wide bike lane but there is a rumble strip taking up some space.  Although I’m already on the edge of the road, I do my best to move over some more.  She thanks me as she goes by.  For some reason I find myself annoyed by all of this…and then amazed that I am annoyed because she did ask very nicely…the emotions that pop up in racing!
At the aid station I plan to grab water.  First I pour out most of the water in the bottle I have to lighten the load but still keep the bottle for future use.  Then I grab a bottle from the volunteer.  It drops right out of my hand!  The last volunteer is holding sports drink so I tell him no thanks.  Bummer!  My mind starts to panic thinking I'm going to run out and it's too hot to go without water!  I hear the Lord telling me not to worry and that He will work it out.
140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_bike4Mile 46.  I turn onto the South Canal bike path.  There’s Jesse Ellis volunteering!  I wave and he takes my picture as I go by. This next stretch is basically 9 miles of straight and abandoned bike path.  It’s used weekly as training for cyclists learning to time trail and yearly for the Folsom Cyclebration Bike Race Omnium (which unfortunately has been cancelled this year). 
140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_bike3Mentally, I’m getting bored and physically I’m getting worn out!  My position is pretty good but I can still feel the hamstrings!  A few guys pass me and then slow down.  One seems to be drafting off the other.  I find myself getting too close so I push hard to pass and get away.  I want no part in this situation!  The surge gives me something to think about and take my mind off these last few miles.
Mile 52.  The end of this path must be near.  I’m so looking forward to the run! 
Finally I’m off the canal and heading into T2…yeah!  I see bay area FCA teammate, Kristine Hodson, and then Francie Campbell again.  “How did Dave do?”  She tells me good. 
140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_run_outI’m super stiff running to my spot but I’m still able to make a quick transition.  Here we go!
Once I get going I feel good and I’m surprised that I’m running sub 8 min.  It’s warm out here…it’s going to get interesting!
Mile 1 is 7:58.  I wonder if I’ll see anyone I know.  Most of the International Distance athletes are done but there are still some plugging away.
Mile 2 is 7:51.  Feeling good at the moment.  I see the first girl coming back…wow!  She looks strong.  Soon there are 3 more girls.  I never saw these girls at all so they swam fast and stayed out in front of me on the bike.  They look pretty young so maybe I’m winning my age group?
Aid station, 2 cups of water…one for my head and one to drink!  I make sure to keep the MyAthlete GPS unit free of the water by holding it away from my hip.
Mile 3 is 7:57.  I see Connie Wilson and I stop to pray with her.  She has had some issues at the end of her races but she looks strong today…God is good!
Aid station, more water!  And then the turn-around where there is a nice volunteer with no 140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_runshade!  I hope he gets a break soon!  Back to the aid station and more water!
Mile 4 is 7:58. As I head back I can see the girls running behind me.  If I can hold this pace, I think I can stay ahead.  I pass the girl in white and tell her good job.
Mile 5 is 8:12. There is a climb and it slows me down some but I still feel pretty good!  Aid station, more water!  The first girl is coming back already for her last loop.  I think I count 3 after her again.  There is Lee!  I missed him the first time.
Mile 6 is 8:05. I start to feel a side-cramp coming on.  Soon it hurts so bad I slow to a walk.  I’ve got to keep running or I’ll never want to start up again.  Plus Troy would love to be able to race today so I don’t want to waste this opportunity I’ve been given!  I pick it up again and try to stretch out my side and breathe…and I pray!  It continues to hurt badly but I try to wave and smile at the spectators and other athletes.
Mile 7 is 8:53.  The cramp is gone but the hamstrings are getting tight.  Ugh!  The good news is that this is the last loop! 
It’s getting very warm.  Thank you Aid station for the cool water…what a difference that makes!
Mile 8 is 8:41.  Here comes the first girl.  I see her flinch with pain but she keeps going strong!  “You’ve got this!  You are way ahead!”
Mile 9 is 8:49.  So ready to be done!  This feels like torture!  Grabbing ice now.  It's getting hot!
Mile 10 is 9:02.  I make it to the turn around and that guy is still there and still smiling!  I tell him good job and to take a dip in the lake. On my way back I can see one of the gals behind me has passed a bunch of the girls and is looking strong.  Must try my best to stay ahead!
Mile 11 is 8:36. Like a horse who is heading home to the stable, I am picking up the pace a bit   I catch a girl who was ahead and tell her good job. 
140608_folsomtri_lc_robin_finishMile 12 is 8:41.  Oh my gosh, so close!  I hit that hill again and make it better than expected.  I just want to finish and jump in the lake! 
Mile 13 is 8:21.  I can hear Nick Tuttle!  I turn the last corner and there is Dave cheering me on.  Go!  I look up to God and thank Him for this day!  So glad to be done!

Name Race Time Age Group Place Swim Bike Run
LEE MCKINLEY LC 5:03:17 M50-54 2nd 33:18 2:46:33 1:38:33
FARON REED LC TBD M60-64 TBD 34:06 2:46:09 TBD
ROBIN SOARES LC 5:29:40 W40-44 1st 33:46 3:00:01 1:52:50

4:09:22 W 4th 39:31 3:20:57 NA

DAVE CAMPBELL INT 2:15:48 M55-59 1st 26:32 1:07:59 39:10
ELISE WINTER INT 2:20:47 W40-44 1st 24:16 1:09:21 44:48
SCOTT HODSON INT 2:27:54 M50-55 2nd 25:27 1:10:15 48:15
MIKE BRADLEY INT 2:39:59 M40-44 7th 30:40 1:11:43 53:49
TRIXIE BRADLEY INT 2:48:12 W40-44 5th 30:14 1:16:21 57:51
CONNIE WILSON INT 3:48:45 W65-69 2nd 32:46 1:36:08 1:33:21

STEVE CHAVEZ AQBIKE INT 1:32:31 M 2nd 25:00 1:05:26 NA
SARA MCKINLEY AQBIKE INT 1:50:31 W 1st 26:20 1:21:42 NA

KRIS KENNEDY SPRINT 1:50:41 M45-49 5th 16:44 1:00:03 29:18
TODD OSTERBERG SPRINT 1:53:01 M40-44 10th 18:30 58:15 33:12
JANELL PETERSON SPRINT 2:07:22 W45-49 9th 21:19 1:02:15 37:42