Saturday, October 18, 2014

Challenge Rancho Cordova–Robin

October 5th, 2014 – Rancho Cordova, CA
Swim 1.2M – Bike 56M – Run 13.1

5:06:07 (32:25-1:36-2:46:20-1:53-1:43:53)




FCA Teammates: Harvey Soule, Relay Team: Pete, Tim, Troy Outman
Other Friends: Brad Seng, Rocket Men Relay: Dave Campbell (runner), Stephanie Artis, Todd Osterberg

Not sure what to expect today.  Troy’s Ironman prep and organizing the girl’s school jog-a-thon left little time for training.  But fortunately I did still get some training in.  Hopefully it will be enough not to suffer too badly.

We are up early and on our way to the start.  We arrive and are able to park right next to transition.  Sweet!  It’s pitch black out here.  I have to carefully make my way to my bike which stayed the night in transition.

Soon it’s time to head down to the swim start for the FCA pre-race prayer.  It’s starts off as a small group, including two gals from our swim team, and grows by the end.  We finish and I chat with some folks and encourage them to enjoy the day. Troy and I pray with a gentleman who is grieving the tragic loss of his son.  It was a rainy night 2 years ago.  His little boy ran out in the street.  He unknowingly hit him with his truck.  It was an accident that lives with him everyday.  My heart breaks for this man and as we part ways, I turn to Troy and cry.  I cannot imagine being in his shoes.  It puts the day in perspective.  Life is precious!  Lord, thank you for my family!  Thank you for this life and what you’ve given me!  Help me not take that for granted!

I jump in and get a nice warm-up.  I swim to the start.  I feel surprisingly good and the nerves are flowing…all good signs!  It’s hard to believe since I’ve only been to the pool barely once a week!

Ready, set, go!  I get off the line well and am right behind the top girls.  I focus on keeping my form together so that with each stroke I’m moving forward better and faster.  It pays off and by the first buoy, 20x30-RCAB0256I’m holding my position in 5th.  There is a girl that’s been slightly ahead and though I’m not right on her toes, I am in her slipstream. 

At the next buoy, I’m still on track and head back towards the start.  Another girl comes alongside and we stay neck and neck until the last buoy.  I’m surprised how good I still feel.  I’m working hard but not loosing steam.

On the last turn, I dig deep and pull ahead slightly.  I can see the finish!  I’m home free!  I surge to the ramp and run out ahead, still in 5th.  I pull over and take my wetsuit off.  It comes off with no problems!  Thank you God!  I high five the girls and run to my bike.

I make fast transition and run out.  I still struggle a bit putting my feet into my shoes already mounted on my pedals.  I do better but it’s still something I need to work on…or I’m going to take someone (or myself) out one of these days if I don’t.  

Mile 5: I make it out of Folsom and am now on the back country roads.  It’s hard to tell what place I’m it but so far I’ve passed a few under 40 gals…and no gals have come past yet.  I feel pretty comfortable but my hamstrings are already talking to me a little bit.  Troy lowered my seat in hopes that it would provide some relief.  We’ll see how the next miles go.

20x30-RCAE0341Mile 10: I’ve been passed by a few gals that are not in my age group.  One was 57 years old!!  I am in awe!  She leaves me in the dust!  Another gal, Muddy Water’s team, I’m able to keep in my sight. 

Mile 20: My hamstrings are pretty sore now and I find relief in holding a few different positions on my seat.  I’ve lost sight of the Muddy gal and a few others have passed me.  This last handful of miles have been on Latrobe Road and it’s mostly flat…a weakness of mine.  The negative thoughts start creeping in.20x30-RCAD0320

Mile 30: Finally I’m off Latrobe.  Hwy 16 is another long stretch of road.  I’m slowly starting to reel in a few of the gals including Muddy’s girl.  My hamstrings are really sore and I find a position that helps some and try to stay there. 

Mile 40:  So ready to get off the bike…but not totally excited to run yet.  Though my hamstrings are still hurting, I seem to be ganging some momentum.  I should be sub 3 hours…sweet!

Mile 50: The end is so close!!  The run is sounding better and better with every mile!  I have no idea where I stand among my competitors…must 20x30-RCAH0307push hard to the end no matter what!  I’ve been able to re-pass some girls but the Muddy girl alludes me!

Mile 55: Homestretch!  I can see the finish and folks already running. 

I get to transition and hand off my bike to a volunteer. Okay, it’s go time now!  Whoa, I’m tight and sore! 

I make a quick transition but as I’m just about to exit, I realize my Garmin is still on my bike.  I run back to the racks and have no idea where they put my bike.  A few super volunteers lead me to it and then I’m off once again.

Here we go!  Once out of transition my running legs start to kick in.  A half mile later I’m running past the Expo/Finish area where Troy and the girls are camped out at with the FCA tent.  Anna and Ariel stop playing at the water play area for a moment to join me for a little bit.  So great to see their smiling faces!  Troy takes a break too to cheer me on, too.

This is a 2 loop run.  It’s warming up quick and seems to be in the low 90’s already.  It will become more challenging as I go along!

Mile 1 is 7:51.  I’m surprised that I can go under 8 min pace since my hamstrings were bothering me on the bike and I haven’t been able to run much lately.    I feel like I could push harder, too, but I decide not to risk it.  I just focus on holding here.

A few guys have passed me but I get a big surprise when this pro goes by me like a flash…wow (he went on to run 1:14 for the course!). 

This section of course has a little bit of shade…I’m guessing the only shade I’ll see for the rest of the loop

Mile 2 is 7:56.  Still feeling strong and slowly catching folks ahead of me.

Mile 3 is 7:52. No shade makes it tough but I’m still feeling great!  A girl with a “Tri 4 Him” jersey flies by.  We encourage each other.  Soon after a few more girls pass by and I realize they are all pro women on the 2nd loop of the run.  I sure hope the Tri 4 Him gal can hold them off!

Mile 4 is 7:54.  Still feeling solid and my hamstrings are good!  I take a Hammer gel.

Mile 5 is 8:00.  Not sure why I slowed down but my pace bounces back.  The plan is to try to hold this until Mile 9 and then try to pick it up.

Mile 6 is 7:57.  Another pro lady passes me.  How I wish this were the end of my second loop!  Soon enough I’m back to the Expo/Finish.  I see our friend and pro Brad Seng cheering for me!  I am so surprised.  I stop and give him a hug.  Sarah Outman is cheering and I wave.  I see Troy and he asks me how I’m doing.  This next loop will be very telling!  I might be able to break 5:10…maybe even 5:05!  That would be super awesome and a PR I think!

Mile 7 is 7:51.  Wow, maybe I can really turn it on at mile 9!  This is going great!  I see Todd Osterberg and tell him great job.

Mile 8 is 8:05.  Oh boy, still feel good but doubting holding the pace.

Mile 9 is 7:54.  Okay, back to normal.  I take a Hammer gel.  Time to start pushing…but it’s hard…maybe I’ll wait another mile.

Mile 10 is 8:04.  I finally can grab some Coke at the next aid station.  I don’t feel as energetic and it’s almost as if my body is spending energy digesting the gel instead of giving me energy.  Hopefully the caffeine will kick in. 

Mile 11 is 8:15.  Oh boy, loosing energy!  The next aid station doesn’t have Coke…oh dear!  Forget speeding up, don’t slow down!  Lord help me hold it together.

Mile 12 is 8:15.  Hanging on!  I’m not totally falling apart but I’m definitely going downhill. 

Soon I can hear the announcer at the finish line. Yeah!  This is almost over.  I’m really wiped out now and it is so hard to keep moving.  I tell myself that I can lay down at the finish line.  The excitement of being done helps me pick up the pace.

20x30-RCAG0377Mile 13 is 7:58.  Alright, there is the finish chute…wait a second…I have to run around some buildings first?  What torture.  I smile anyway because it’s almost over and I’ve got a great time going!  I round the corner and there are the girls waiting to run in with 20x30-RCAA0187me.  I see Troy and ask him if this is okay with the race officials to finish with the girls and he gives me a thumbs up…yeah!  Most races don’t let you finish with family anymore.  I miss running in with my girls!  This is awesome!  We grab hands and run in together.  What a great way to end the day!  THANK YOU JESUS!

BTW, to top it off, I did get to lay down and Anna took really great care of me!

Hot day out there.. Anna administering fluids. Robin did great.




Age Group





4:15:21 MRELAY 1st 28:37 2:20:40 1:24:36
BRAD SENG 4:15:57 PRO 16th 30:39 2:24:37 1:18:27
STEPHANIE ARTIS 5:01:34 W35-39 4th 32:34 2:43:39 1:42:21


5:06:07 W40-44 1st 32:25 2:46:20 1:43:53
5:27:48 MRELAY 2nd 29:15 3:20:12 1:37:04
HARVEY SOULE 6:51:50 M60-64 2nd 47:48 3:21:44 2:30:08
TODD OSTERBERG 6:55:26 M40-44 41st 37:25 3:12:59 2:57:26