Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 Lake Tahoe Triathlon, Half–Troy

August 23, 2015 – West Shore of Lake Tahoe at Ed’ZBerg Sugar Pine State Park, CA
Swim 1.2m – Bike 56m – Run 1/2 Mara

5:20:46 (33:54 - 3:37 - 2:59:26 - 1:14 - 1:42:36)


2nd/11 M45-49; 9th OA




WP_20150823_07_04_31_ProThe family and I arrive at Sugar Pine Point Part at 5am. It’s dark and cold. Yesterday we had a fun family time arriving in Tahoe City and going out to dinner. I was exhausted, but managed to get a 4mi run in even thought it took 2mi just to loosen up. I slept good.

The memories from last year’s race here at the Lake Tahoe Triathlon are really helping me this time. I’m prepared for the cold, the hills and the run, at least mentally.

Last year I was so cold just preparing my transition, this time I have many layers. On the beach with Robin and the girls, I don’t do a warm-up swim this time. The course talk is 10min and last year after my warm-up, I stood there and froze.

With a prayer, and kisses from my family, I wade out to the starting line.

150823_laketahoetri_half_troy_swimGo! I know it will be hard to breathe so I try to remain calm. I’m not feeling much energy to pick it up and therefore miss many drafts. In fact, all the way to the far buoy I don’t really get any draft. As usual, the water is perfectly clear and it’s fun to watch the sand and occasional boulder go by underneath. After the turn it’s difficult to make out the best path to the finish. I finally stop and clear out my goggles. I’m away from anyone so, again, no draft. I’m thinking this is going to be a very slow swim. I’m tired. Finally, near the exit and see others trying to balance on all the smooth “ankle-breaker” rocks getting out. My head is disoriented with lack of oxygen, fatigue and just getting older probably. Finally I make it over the rocks and start a slow run up to transition (33:54, 13th). No pep at all and breathing hard. But just do what I can. Transition doesn’t go smoothly. Wetsuit gets stuck on timing chip and Garmin. Struggle to get shirt and jacket on (my sleeve-trick back-fires). And I put my helmet on over my swim cap and goggles. Finally all straightened out and off on the bike! (3:37 transition)


WP_20150823_08_08_12_Pro - CopyI pull my jacket sleeves over my numb hands and look forward to where the road breaks out of the forest to get a good dose of warm sun. I start counting the riders already coming back. I’d like to be top 10 at the end. At the turn-around I see Anna on her scooter and Ariel, too! It’s so heart-warming (and I can use the warmth) to see them cheering for me. There’s Robin right at the turn. She such a great support. I’m warming up, a lot sooner than last year thanks to not freezing before the swim start. I’m 15th on the bike. After the 2nd loop of the same course, I’m up to 13th.

150823_laketahoetri_half_troy_bikeNow we head south to the hills around Emerald Bay. Knowing what to expect helps. At the first hill, I pass another guy and one more on the big hill. At the top (I’m currently in 1st place in my age) I’m getting psyched up for the treacherous hair-pin turns on the descent. A truck passes me and starts to slow for the turns. Right when I start to get frustrated that I have to slow for this truck, bang! I hit a crack in the road and pop a tire.

Ok, I’m going to make a quick tire re-pair. I jump off (and notice my right ankle is sore), rip off the front wheel, but just before letting the remaining air out I notice that it’s not flat at all. It’s the rear tire! Ok, pull of the rear tire, let the air out, take off the tire, grab a new tube… wrong stem size, won’t fit. Ok, patch the tube instead. It’s a snake-bite, 2 holes. I patch it and hope it holds. Put it back on to pump it up.. except I have the wrong non-threaded cartridges. I can’t puncture it by just pushing hard. Staying calm. I will need help from another rider. I ask a couple Olympic Distance athletes heading to the finish. Finally a woman says she’ll help. So nice of her! However, we’re on a dangerous section with cliff’s on both sides so she has to ride another 200 yds before stopping. We both waddle towards each other in our bike shoes and I thank her for the cartridge.

I pump it up, praying that the speed-patch will hold during the treacherous descent. After 15min, I’m off!

I push hard, hoping to gain ground on my competition. I’m drinking my Vitargo. Coming back, I remember gaining ground on others in the last few hills so that is motivating. I finish up as fast as I can, in just under 3 hrs. (2:59:26, 27th bike)


After a 1:14 transition, I start the run and notice my right ankle is really sore. I must have rolled it coming out of the swim. I have to favor it quite a bit and the soft trails cause it to roll out WP_20150823_11_01_38_Pro - Copymaking it worse. At 1 mile I see Robin, Anna and Ariel! They are such great supporters. Anna runs with me a ways. I ask for prayer for my ankle. It seems pretty bad but I will keep doing whatever I can and trust the Lord that He has a plan.

I’m tired and the thought of 13miles is daunting. But just 1 mile at a time. We head into the beautiful state park, onto fire roads. Weather is perfect. I felt God give me strength last year in the out-n-back we do so I’m looking forward to that section. That helps lift my spirits.

On the out-n-back, I see some of the leaders coming back, including a girl that started with me and now is a mile ahead. Another guy, Dan Streetman, who I’ve raced against multiple times, sees me and says, “Was bummed about your flat, but see that it’s not going to make a difference” That is really encouraging and makes me feel I’m coming back strong. I ask the official at the turn what place I’m in but he 150823_laketahoetri_half_troy_rundoesn’t know. With the other races going on and multiple loops it is impossible to tell. I get motivated and push and hope to eventually catch up to Dan.

Again the Lord is helping me, giving me goals to shoot for and good thoughts to get me through 150823_laketahoetri_half_troy_finishthe long miles with exhaustion creeping in. But now it’s only 2 miles to go. It’s a really fun trail but hard to enjoy as my body is barely holding together. Just trying to keep from falling off the trail. With ½ mile to go, Anna runs with me and pushes me “come on dad, push the hill, you can do it!” She really makes me dig deep and I do push to the finish. Race announcer, Courtney Cardenas welcomes me home. (1:42:36, 12th run)(5:20:46 overall, 3rd place a/g)

Thank you Lord for getting me through the race! I suddenly realize that I forgot to do quiet-time (spending time with God before getting ready for the race). That’s a promise I need to keep. I’m exhausted and sore all over. The ankle really hurts. Robin and the girls take care of me and we also get to hang out with World Champion, Jamie Whitmore and Courtney Cardenas. My swim and run times were similar to last year and the bike probably would have been faster. I got 3rd place. Very encouraging performance leading into Ironman Lake Tahoe next month. A SO thankful to the nice woman that stopped her Olympic Distance race to walk back and give me a $5 cartridge so that I could continue my race!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015 Run on the Sly 1/2 Marathon–Robin

August 16, 2015 – Pollock Pines, CA
13.9 Miles
50k - Lee McKinley
20 Miler – Gary Carpenter, Manouch Shirvanioun, Troy Soares
12K – Shannon Ciotti

Troy and I wake up early.  I do a last minute check of our entries and see that I signed up for the 20 miler!  Oops!  I guess I did that since I might have been doing IM Hawaii…well that didn’t materialize.  I hope they will let me change that on-site!.  This is my first race since IM Coeur d’Alene.  I took 2 weeks off after that and my training since has been minimal.  It could be a painful morning!

We head out to Sly Park on curvy Hwy 49.  This has become our yearly “date” race.  The girls are sleeping over at our friend’s, the Nickel's, so we can have some time together racing.

WP_20150816_07_07_31_ProWhen we get there I am able to change to the 1/2 Marathon.  Phew, what a relief!  I see Troy off on his 20 miler along with Gary Carpenter and Manouch Shirvanioun.  He also has had minimal training for his IM in Tahoe next month because of work and our backyard project.  Today should be interesting for both of us!  An hour left until I race.  I do some more warming up, chat with Courtney Cardenas who is announcing and lay low until the start.  I look up last year’s results and see that I ran 2:01 which is 8:42 pace.  I hope to match that this year.  We’ll see!

Go time!  As I wait on the start line, I don’t recognize anyone.  That’s pretty unusual but I guess with more trail races popping up every year, it’s not a surprise.  Ready, set, go!  Our course (1/2 Marathon and the 9K) heads straight up.  A big crowd takes off and I hold back and bide my time.  After a 1/2 mile folks are slowing down or walking.  Long and steep hills are my strength and I’m able to pass several folks and catch up to some gals that I think are in the half.

Mile 1 is 9:26.  Not bad.  The course flattens out and those gals pull away again.  I’m tempted to go after them but I know it will wipe me out for the end of the race.

Mile 2 is 8:04.  I seem to be on last year’s pace and I feel pretty good.  The gals are off in the distance.

Mile 3 is 8:19.  Feeling good and wondering when we turn off this trail.  Must be soon.  The course starts to really get steep and familiar.  I think the top is near.  The gals are walking off and on so I am able to catch up and pass them. 

Finally the top!  I skip the aid station since I have my Heed. 

Mile 4 is 10:23.  The course is flat, sunny and dusty.  One of the gals in a pink top catches up again and passes me.  I should know for certain if she and others are in my race once the 9Kers turn off. 

Mile 5 is 8:08.  Phew!  Hard to go fast on a dusty, bumpy and hole ridden fire trail in bright sunlight…and with the temp starting to soar.  I try to stay far right or left where the road tends to be more even.  But even so, the footing is tough.

The turn off is just ahead.  The girl in pink goes straight so I know she’s in the 1/2. Down, down, down the trail goes and so does the pink gal.  Soon, I’m all alone.  At least it’s shady here and the trail is better.

Mile 6 is 7:55.  Feeling good and seem to be on pace.  The other gal in a Fleet Feet jersey goes by with a guy.  I sure hope to hit a hill soon so I can catch back up!

Mile 7 is 8:17.  I chug a Hammer gel just before I hit the next aid station.  I grab some water and take off.  I realize there are no trash cans along the way and I cannot just drop the cup on the ground…leave no trace!  I quickly run back and drop it in the the trash at the station.

Mile 8 is 9:44.  Now on to the steep rocky downhill.  Downhills are NOT my favorite and especially this one!  I’m going so slow that a runner catches up to me. I pull off the trail and let him pass. 

Almost to the bottom,  I’m able to glance over and see what is left of Jenkinson Lake…sadly it’s really not much of lake from this view.

Mile 9 is10:04.  Very slow for a downhill portion of a race!  My pace has fallen off of last year’s race but I know that I’m working hard.  I’m off the trail and on a paved road that campers drive on.  I’m very surprised to see so many camping here considering the dismal lake.  It’s got to be a really fun place for so many to be here!

Mile 10 is 9:51.  Off road again and heading up!  Yeah.  This is another long and steep climb and my chance to make up some ground!  I catch the Fleet Feet girl and can see the pink girl ahead…yes!  I catch and pass.  The top is near and I know it’s flat up there so a chance for that girl to catch up again.

Sure enough she catches me at the aid station.  I grab water quickly, drink, dump and run.  We are neck and neck! 

Mile 11 is 9:03.  We continue racing with me on her heels.  We make the turn to go downhill and back to the finish. Mo Bartley is there directing traffic and encouraging all the runners.  She says “It’s going to be a race!  Good job girls!  Jen, be good!”  Hum, what does “be good” mean?  Oh well, let’s get his done!

Mile 12 is.8:46.  I’m actually keeping up well on a downhill!  I guess competition is the motivation I needed to go hard! 

We turn a corner and Jen goes down.  I stop and ask her if she is alright.  She tells she heard a pop and it hurts.  I tell her that I can go back up the hill for help.  I know that Mo is the closest person that can help.  The finish line is over a mile away. First Jen tells me to keep going but I insist that I want to help.  She asks if I’m sure.  “Yes!  You need help!”.  I head up the hill and then I hear her shout “I think I’m okay" followed by a scream of pain.  Oh boy, doesn’t sound good! 

On my way up, the Fleet Feet girl is coming down.  I tell her to watch out for a fallen runner.  I start to shout Mo’s name in hope that I she can hear me and I don’t have to run the half mile or so to the top.  I get to the top and tell Mo her friend went down and then race back down.  With all the adrenaline flowing, I feel great!

Mile 13 is.9:40.  I get to the spot and Jen is gone.  Oh, she must be limping up ahead.  I look for her around every corner and she is not there.  I ask walkers in the 9K race if they’ve seen a limping runner but they haven’t.  Surely I’ll run into her soon.

I hit 13.9 miles which is the actual distance of the race.  I’m not close to the finish and I’m not  seeing Jen.  She must have made some kind of miraculous recovery!  I not mad or regretful of my decision.  I know in my heart it was the right thing to do.  It’s just feels weird to be in this odd situation.

Mile 14 is 8:48.  My energy is going fast!  The adrenaline is gone and I’m looking forward to being done!  I round the last corner and there is Troy.  I smile and try to explain quickly what happened.  I tell him I’m happy with my race. 

I cross the line with a smile knowing I did my best. 

I find out that Troy was the Overall winner for the 20 miler!  Awesome!

I see the Fleet Feet girl and ask her about Jen.  She tells me that Jen was still down when she got to her but then she later flew by to beat her.  Wow!  I finally find Jen who is icing her ankle.  I tell her it’s impressive she made such a comeback and she thanks me for the help.  This was an interesting day to say the least!

Troy and I soak up our time jogging, eating, relaxing and watching our friends finish.  It’s been a fun time together!

Name Race Age Group Place Run Time
LEE MCKINLEY 50K M50-59 1st 4:36:13
TROY SOARES 20M M40-49 1st Overall! 2:59:10
GARY CARPENTER 20M M50-59 1st 3:47:19
MANOUCH SHIRVANIOUN 20M M50-59 3rd 3:56:54
ROBIN SOARES 1/2 MARA W40-49 2nd 2:10:38
SHANNON CIOTTI 12K W30-39 13th 1:29:32

2015 Run on the Sly 20mi (Troy)

August 16, 2015 – Pollock Pines, CA
20.4 Miles
1st Overall!
50k - Lee McKinley
20 Miler – Gary Carpenter, Manouch Shirvanioun
1/2 Marathon – Robin Soares
12K – Shannon Ciotti

Just like last year, this is a great tune-up race for Ironman Tahoe in 5 weeks.  I'm doing the 20mi while Robin is doing the 1/2 marathon.

It's great seeing familiar faces like Courtney Cardenas doing great announcing, Lee McKinley ultra-runner and Hawaii Ironman, and Gary Carpenter fellow runner at the Auburn Tuesday Night Track.  Our friend Rich Alesci isn't here this year but did awesome last year with a 2:53:33. 

WP_20150816_07_07_31_ProIt's a beautiful morning.  Robin & I warm-up running and pray together.  We pray for safety, energy, and most of all to be a reflection of Christ and to listen to His leading.  I line up with Lee.  We are both doing Lake Tahoe this year but he is running the 50k (as usual) today.

I ran 3:03:49 last year and hope to break 3 hr this year.  I have my last year's course on my Garmin so I can see when I'm ahead or behind pace.  Last year I remember praying before-hand for my hamstrings not to hurt bad and my prayers were answered.  But I still was careful not to hurt them by going too fast downhill.

WP_20150816_07_32_53_ProGo!  We're off up the 1/2 mi steep climb.  I concentrate on taking shallow steps to conserve energy.  1/4 mi up Robin is taking pictures.  It's so great to see her, especially knowing she had to climb up here before her own race in 1 more hour.

WP_20150816_07_32_55_ProI'm in 9th as we turn onto the fire road trail at the top.  Glad to be on the flat.  It feels good.  My Garmin isn't showing my comparison from last year but I feel like I'm pushing harder early on.  And my hamstrings feel great.  In fact, I don't have any injuries or issues.  I thank the Lord for that.  I'm feeling optimistic about bettering my time today.

3.7mi.  At the first aid station I fill my 8oz water flask (1/2 and 1/2 with sports drink).  That last 1/2 mi was steep also.  My left glute was feeling sore and I prayed and it's feeling better.  I'm glad to be past the hard climbs.  Now it's just a really dusty mile and then all downhill to the lake.  I'm running alongside a guy with a water pack.  I encourage him but he seems pretty serious and doesn't respond.  Up ahead is another racer, really buff but running smoothly anyway. 

I'm ahead of Lee.  Last year we were side-by-side here and then he and another runner pulled ahead on the downhill because I was caring for my hamstrings.  But this year I can run as fast as I want downhill!  It's great.  Thank you, Lord.  This should help buy me some time.  I'm still very careful to watch my footing.  After falling at the Auburn Triathlon I know how suddenly it can happen and the results could be serious for Ironman Tahoe.

6.9mi.  I fill up again at the aid station and thank the volunteers.  I'm ahead of the guy with the pack but still behind the buff guy.  Now for the first technical descent.  Crazy roots threaten to grab my feet.  Jagged rocks jumping out everywhere.  After 1/2mi I'm safely to the bottom.

Now it's beautiful groomed trails around the lake.  Up & down like a roller coaster.  And shaded and cool.  I'm working hard but with the cool air my temp is perfect.  My left adductor was feeling sore and I prayed and it's doing a little better.  My legs are starting to get sore in general but I still try to let legs pound on the descents so I can coast up the inclines.  It really helps and I see that I'm slowly gaining ground on a shirt-less guy far ahead.  Little by little I gain.  Have to be patient in distance running… passes can take a long time to make.  After a mile, and within 50 yds of him, I come around a corner and am surprised to see him off the trail waiving me through.  I thank him and realize he was probably working harder than I imagined and was glad to let me go ahead.

10mi.  At the 1/2 way pt I'm 1:24.  6min ahead of my 3hr goal pace.  But the big climb at the end will eat up that advantage.  I must keep pushing.  I see the guy with the pack far ahead.  I'm gaining on him but slowly. 

11.2mi.  I eat a Hammer Gel before the aid station.  I fill up again and head down the steep descent to the dam.  The guy with the pack was a 50k racer and he heads up the hill for another 8mile loop that they do.  Now I need another person to chase.  Whew, I make it down 1 technical section.  Ah! There's a guy ahead.  I'm tired but stay alert and time him to get a reading.. he's 1 minute ahead.  Another steep technical section, over a stream, and up a hard hill.  Wow, he's no where to be seen.  I thought I got through that rocky section pretty fast and expected to be close to him. 

Onto a park road I'm glad for the reprieve but I don't rest.  Opening up my stride I pick it up.  Glute, adductors, hamstrings, all feel good!  A park ranger says, "You're the first one.  You must be doing good."  I tell him thanks and that the lead guy must have run off course.  Wow, I'm in 1st place.  Now there's more pressure to keep up the pace because being in this position is a rare privilege.  I can't waste it.

13mi.  I see some of the 1/2 marathoners running by.  Unfortunately don't see Robin.  Now we hit the beautiful, but steep trails of the North edge of the lake.  They go up up up and then down down down.  Each one is more difficult.  There are 4 of them but I can't remember and just keep hoping this is the last one before the final long climb to the top.  I see the spot where I stopped last year to tie my shoe tighter but my hamstrings wouldn't let me bend down to reach them.  Hamstrings are fine this time.  But as the climbs get tougher, my inner quad starts threatening to go.  It's happened before at Wildflower and I would have to walk.  I pray for it and run carefully.

16mi.  Finally at the last aid station!  I eat a Hammer Gel and drink a cup while the volunteers fill my bottle.  I'm in the lead still but realize the other guy could be gaining on me after finding his way back on the course.  But this is the part I've been waiting for.  The long gradual climb.  It went great last year and I'm motivated big time.  All the 1/2 marathoners coming down are cheering for me and it's very encouraging.  I cheer for them, too.  Legs are holding up.  It's hard but I'm 1/2 way there.  Just 10more min of running.  I can do that!

18mi.  The top!  I see our friend, Mo Bartley, guiding runners at the trail crossing.  She's surprised to see me in 1st.  I tell her about the lead runner and how I'm trying to break 3 hrs.  I've got 20min to get to the finish!  Down the switchbacks.  Legs and knees already very sore and now having to break my fall down this steep treacherous trail.  Don't fall, don't fall! 

Whew!  Onto the fire-road.  Easy. Another mile of pushing and then a final steep painful section down to the finish line.  I think I'll break 3hrs.  As I turn onto the gravel road, I thank the Lord for getting me through all those miles, keeping me from falling, and fixing all the pains in my legs.  I look back and don't see anyone.  And now I focus on carefully pounding down the road.

There's the finish.  Thank you, Lord.  I cross, breaking 3 hrs, 4 min faster than last year, and Courtney announces that I'm 1st and that my time 2:59 is the same as my bib number, 259.  I spend some time in prayer and then slowly walk up the hill to cheer Robin in on her race.  This was a great prep for Tahoe and I feel great about it all.  Despite being so busy lately, I feel like the Lord keeps blessing me beyond what I deserve.  It's really humbling.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2015 TBF Tri-For-Real #3 (Troy)

August 2nd, 2015 – Hearld, CA
1km S - 40km B - 10km R

2:11:46 (25:13 – 1:04:42– 41:51)




Dave Campbell, Troy Outman

Coming off of the exciting ride at the Vineman Full Aquabike, I'm excited to try a different riding style at todays Olympic distance race (1.5km S - 40km B- 10km R).  Yesterday, before arriving and setting up for camping, Robin dropped me off 13mi away so I could practice on the bike.  It went great!  Riding differently (Thanks, Lord), like I did on the 2nd loop at Vineman, I'm able to push a little harder and the wind and bumpy roads doesn't bother me as much.

The girls are excited for their triathlon races, too.  They practiced riding Friday and are coming off a swim season and a recent 5k race in San Diego.  So they feel ready for the swim, bike and run.

Robin got us a nice camp spot and it she and the girls had it pretty much set up by the time I rode in.  Dinner and then to bed.  But, again, some other campers are failing to abide by the 10pm quiet hour.  Finally, about midnight, I get up and talk to them and they quiet down fortunately.

After some hearty oatmeal (Thanks, Robin!), the girls and I ride over and set up transition.  Fellow teammate, Cliff Appleby, reserved a rack for FCA, so Troy Outman & I set up there.  After a run warm-up we all head down to watch the Kids Triathlon.

Anna & Ariel look comfortable and happy warming up in the water waiting for the start.  In the middle, Anna gets near the front while Ariel stays in the back.  Anna gets through it pretty quickly while Ariel gets jammed up a little more, even getting kicked in the nose.  Ariel comes out with a minor bloody nose but never stopped.  I see them both out onto the bike and now have a race myself to start..

Troy and I pray at the water's edge and then warm-up.  His shoulders have been bothering him.  I really hope they loosen up.  He's been practicing a lot in hopes of having a faster swim.  I, on the other hand, haven't practiced much, but did have a good enough swim at Vineman.  The water is warm.  My main concern is staying cool.  While waiting to start I keep filling my suit with water to stay cool.

Go!  With the adrenaline, I start off pretty quick.  Try to grab a couple drafts but they're too fast.  At about 150yds I latch onto a guy going by and it's perfect!  Just fast enough I can hold on. All I have to do is watch his feet and periodically let some water into my suit to cool me off.  Around the 1st buoy into the long stretch.  Getting tired but focusing on the feet ahead helps make the buoys go by faster.  I'm thinking this could be a good swim.  Having a good draft makes a huge difference.  Almost to the final turn, I can tell my draft guy is slowing down so I pull alongside and pass.  Finally getting ahead at the buoy.  I keep pushing otherwise he will get on my feet, rest, and pass me back at the end.  Ahead I see another green-cap guy.  I think I can make it.. I push hard for a couple minutes...  I want to ease up but tell myself, "when you get to his feet, you can rest".  I make it!  And now rest a little while following him in.  He's picking it up for the final stretch and I do my best to stay right with him.  Great swim! [25:13, 17th o/a]

Transition went well and I'm out with Sean Rockwell (Gold Country Tri Club) right ahead of me.  He gets in his shoes quick.  By the time I'm in my shoes he's already 300 yds ahead.  Here we go!  I'd like to try to catch him.  I'm pushing harder than usual.  It's a tail wind and I'm going to use every bit of it knowing it will be harder coming back.  Thank you, Lord, I'm riding well.  The Vineman race experience really helped.  But, as well as I'm doing, Sean continues to stay 1/4 mi ahead.  1/2 way to the end, I'm at 25mph ave.  Already drank most of my Hammer Head and breathing and working hard.  Don't know how I'll maintain this coming back but that's not to be thought about now.  Keith Hanson (age group above me) goes by.  Man, can he ride.  I pick it up and try to stay with him.  That would be an accomplishment.

At the turn-around, and into the wind, I've made up ground on Keith and could pass him soon.  I'm no longer frustrated by the wind since Vineman.  Pushing hard in this new position I just feel more confident in the wind.  As well as I'm doing, Keith still pulls ahead.  Another guy goes by and also gets quite a bit of distance.  I see Troy Outman coming the other way, not far behind, and am glad because it means he had a good swim.  I keep pushing, thinking I'll bridge the gap eventually.  Wishing I had more to drink and wondering where those cooling towers are (so we can be almost done).  Speed down to 24mph ave.  Finally, some new, smooth road.  Must keep pushing to maintain average.

We turn into the park. It's a climb but I push all the way up, passing a guy from the earlier wave.  Across the bridge, over the speed bumps, and a fast dismount (losing 1 shoe again) and I'm done. [1:04:42, 7th o/a]

T2 was a little rough but I'm off fast knowing this bike-to-run leg is important to master for upcoming Ironman Tahoe.  I really want to be able to run well off the bike.  It's good motivation.  The first mile is feeling good.  Hamstrings don't hurt yet.  And I catch Keith (who has a hamstring injury).  Being thirsty already, I'm sure to drink a full cup at every aid station. Up ahead, amongst the rolling fire roads, 4 guys are strung out in perfect formation to give me goals to shoot for.  I try to descend quickly, and transition into the ascent on each roller.  I finally pass another guy but all the others stay far ahead.

I see some coming back from the turn-around and encourage them.  The turn comes sooner than expected which is nice.  But then realize the turn is at 2.5mi, not 3mi. like I thought.  My hamstrings started getting tight at 2mi but if I focus on planting my left foot and thinking that each step "massages the pain out of the hamstring" it seems to help.  Onto the trail, and the uneven, sometimes slippery ground, I have to be really careful with the hamstrings.  I don't see anyone ahead.  I eat my 2nd Hammer Gel at 3.8mi.  I keep reminding myself to run as fast as possible as someone ahead could be slowing down.  Still don't see anyone. 

WP_20150802_10_14_11_ProFinally, at 4.2mi, I see a guy ahead.  He's moving fast but I'm determined to give it a try.  At 5mi, I can see him way ahead at the aid station, stopping to get water.  Ah hah!  That means he's tired and I can gain some ground by going faster through the station.  I get electrolyte drink at the station and charge ahead.  It's now or never.  He's 20 secs ahead and moving fast.  I  keep trying to pick it up on each roller.  I have the thought, "What if he's 1st place, are you going to let that get away?"  I'm going hard and wanting to ease up and then pass… but realize I just gotta go for it.  I charge by with 1/2 mi to go.  I actually hear Anna in the distance cheering for me as I do.  WP_20150802_11_19_51_ProHe puts a hand out for a high-five.  Nice guy.  Now I have to put a burst on or he'll pass me back.  He looks like he has a good sprint.  I don't plan to look back, just go hard.  1/4 mi to go and someone is clapping.  I listen for a 2nd clap for him but can't tell how far back he is.  A big sprint across the grass and, thank you, Lord, I'm done and thrilled with my race. [41:51, 5th o/a] [2:11:46 5th o/a, 1st age].  Turned out he was in 1st place when I passed him and he finished 22 secs behind me.

Look for Anna and Ariel's race stories as well!  I'm so proud of them and thankful to Robin for all the great support.

2015 TBF Tri For Kids #3–Ariel & Anna

8/2/15, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, Ca.
Swim 50meters – Bike 4m – Run 1m
  • Anna 28:32(1:16-1:57-16:54-58.32-7:25) PR! -Last year 31:35
  • Ariel 34:33 (1:42-3:43-19:26-1:07-8:33) Major PR! – Last year 48:27
Anna – 2nd – Age 10 Girls
Ariel – 4th – 6 & Under Girls
ANNA In the beginning I set out my race stuff, got body marked and headed down to the swim start. I got my legs wet in the water and it was super warm. And then Dad said I can get my whole body wet because it was 5 min before the race start. The race director came over and told us to line up with the swim buoy. He said "on your mark, get set, go!". Then we all took off swimming. I was swimming crooked but then I straightened out. I got to the next buoy and turned and swam towards the shore. I hit the shore and jumped up and ran up to my bike. I did a quick transition and got on my bike. I started biking and went to the hardest gear. I did not have a road bike so I was getting passed by a lot of road bikes. I was able to keep up with some of them. And there was one girl on a road bike I wanted to keep up with. When we getting closer to the turnaround she was slowing down. I thought if I pedal faster I could catch her in the turn. I went wide into the turn and passed her. After we were heading back, she passed me back. Before i got back to the bridge, i saw her on the side of road crying. I stopped and asked her if she was okay. She said nothing and didn't look at me so I kept going. I got to the bridge and saw Ariel. I said "good job". I went across the bridge and back into transition. I did a quick change and got on my visor. I got on the run course. As I was starting the run I looked at the hill coming up and thought I cannot wait to come down that hill! I got up the hill and got to the turnaround. I finally got to come down that hill. And then as i was coming back saw Ariel starting the run and I gave her a high five. I saw the finish line and I ran right through. I felt great and was second in my age group! ARIEL I got into the lake and got ready to start. Somebody said go and I started swimming. I was swimming fast and I was trying to pass some boys. One of the boys accidentally kicked me in the face. When I finished the swim and got out of the water, my nose was bleeding. I ran to my transition and Daddy was there to help me with my nose.
I started my bike and started passing lots of kids. I saw Anna coming back. Then I saw the turnaround and a girl I wanted to beat. When I made the turn and I was heading back, I caught up to that girl. As I passed, we bumped into each other. God kept us from crashing! We both said sorry. I passed her and I rode my bike back to transition. I saw Mom cheering for me.
I headed onto the run. I saw Anna coming back. I ran fast to the turnaround. And I headed back towards the finish line. I saw Mommy and Anna cheering me on. I crossed the finish line and felt good.