Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 Davis Turkey Trot 10K–Troy


November 21, 2015 – Davis, CA






1st, M45-49 (Out of 24)


5K: Dave Campbell; Soares Girls: Ariel, Anna & Robin
10K: Dave Campbell, Leonie Alesci

It's looking to be a perfect day for running.  The fog will lift to sunshine.  I'm doing the 10k while the rest of the family does the 5k.  Robin parks us in our usual Davis secret parking lot (from her college days). I show the girls how to watch the "virtual partner" on their Garmins in order to tell if they are ahead of their PR.  We register and see friends, Dave & Francie Campbell and Leonie & Rich Alesci.  Also there was Dave's daughters and their daughters.  Dave always makes it a family affair and pushes his grand-kids in joggers during the race.

First, before the 5k, we all pray together thanking God for this opportunity and that we will use it for His bigger purpose and a safe race for all.  Dave (with his single-jogger) and Robin are up front. Anna is at the 8min pace and Ariel & I are back at the 10min pace.  The 5k starts 15min late. I run with Ariel for the first 1k.  She's doing great and already making some friends with others around her.  I peal off and head back to the start for my 10k.  It serves for a great warm-up.  I start stretching when Dave shows up after his 20min 5k (while pushing a stroller) and now is equipped with a double-stroller and 2 more grand-kids, lining up for the start of the 10k.  A TV crew is interviewing him.

Weather is perfect.  I've been sick lately but feel good now.  Go!  My goal is sub-41 minutes.  The course loops left instead of right this year.  I can see Dave ahead, both hands on the big double-stroller, wearing work gloves to help his effort steering the big thing.  Despite all that, he's far ahead of me.

Mile 1: 6:29. I finally catch Dave after a 6:29 mile.  Impressed with the double-stroller, even more impressed knowing he just did this mile 30 min ago at 6:10 with the single-stroller!  He pulls ahead again, but at 1.5mi I see a sharp left turn over the sidewalk curb.  Dave has to run around a longer path up a ramp and that allows me to get ahead.  I yell back, "Will give you an extra 4 secs for that detour, Dave!"  He pressed on through the winding paths with that big double-stroller, amazing (I could hear his grand-kids laughing and singing behind me. Dave went on to finish the 10k in 42:05, winning his age group by almost 6 minutes, after pushing a single-stroller in the 5k in sub-20 and winning that age group by 3 minutes!)

I'm feeling pretty good but sensing my hamstrings getting a little tight.  They've been great for the last month, but this is a fast effort and always poses a risk for the hammies.  I try to smooth out my stride to reduce the abrupt leg-swings.  It's helping

Mile 2: 6:39.  I'm ok meeting my sub-41 goal.  Just got to keep the pace below 6:36.  The course is flat but interesting and very pretty and green.  Around me are a number of high school kids and a couple even younger.  I encourage them while trying to keep up with them.

Mile 3: 6:45.  Uh oh. Getting slower.  Gotta dig now. Getting tired but set a goal to make my next mile my fastest yet to undo the last slow mile.  I get sports drink at the aid station.  I accelerate down and up through the tunnel.image_thumb

I'm thinking of our last race, the XC 6k, and how good it went.  I think about track and modeling my form during the fast intervals.  But the biggest help is thinking of the Lord and how all this is possible through His grace.  I've been through many injuries and am able to enjoy pushing myself without pain right now.  Hard work but a great reward at the same time. Thank you, Lord!

Mile 4: 6:24.  Perfect.  Great to meet a goal.  I even think I can do it again!  I focus on the tangents of the many curves along this pretty course. 

Mile 5: 6:23. Wow, thanks, Lord.  Now over the pedestrian crossing bridge, a hard left, and then through another park.  I'm starting to feel the fatigue really setting in.  But it's the last mile, gotta keep it going.  There's a 5th grader running near me and looking so relaxed.  I make the effort to tell him he's doing great and he, more calmly, looks at me and tells me I'm doing great also.  Clearly he's more relaxed than I am.

image_thumb1Mile 6: 6:32.  Soon I'll see Robin and the girls and that's a lot of motivation.  Despite my body wanting to, I could never slow up in front of them. I hear them cheering.  I smile.  The kid & I encourage each other once again and then give one last push to the finish. 40:50. At every finish I am immediately reminded of where my strength and joy come from.. the Lord.  It's become a great connection - finish lines and the Lord.  Couldn't get there without Him.  This race went great, met my goal, but it is only a small taste of the bigger "race of life" and I only hope I can stay focused on that ultimate "finish line" where the joy will be unsurpassable.