Sunday, July 10, 2016

Vineman 70.3–Robin-2016


July 10, 2016 – Windsor, CA


Swim 1.2M – Bike 56M – Run 13.1


5:19:42 (32:13 – 3:03 – 2:53:43 – 3:30 - 1:47:13)




FCA TEAMMATES Dan Perkins, Carrie & Steve Chavez, Jon Cartmell, Mike Pirnat

OTHERS Jesse Moore, Sena Minshew

So excited to race here after many years! The first wave starts at 6:25am and my wave is #20 at 8:22 am. I have a long wait so lots of time to set up, talk and pray!

I run into FCA teammate, Mike Pirnat, and his wife, Donna. At the same moment I see Troy and I wave him over. We all pray nice! I also run into Steve Chavez and tell him we've been praying for a pain free race for him. His wife Carrie is already off. She had a great Napa Marathon so today should go great I'm sure!

Time to get going. The four of us pray. My prayer is for a strong run;  where my body feels good and my mind is joyful. In my last few races both have been a struggle!   5:20 is the goal (32 min swim, 3 hour bike, 1:45 run).

Troy and the girls walk me to the swim corral. We run into an old teammate, Dana Haldmen. She's in my wave and doing her first half Ironman. We pray with her too...awesome!

The corral is filled to the brim with 40 to 44 year old women. I have a lot of company. Eric Gilsenan, an old racing friend of Troy's, is announcing. I run over and give him a hug. He then tells the crowd about race experiences with Troy.

Time to go! Our wave gets in the water. I get in a quick swim and find my way back to the right front. There is Sena Menshaw! She's a master cyclist! I tell her "have a great race!".

Ready, set, go!  I get a great start.  Within a minute, I notice my goggles are filling up with water.  Hmm, I quickly try to fix that while still kicking hard.  I’ve fallen back now on some of the girls and fight my way back.  Soon the goggles are filling up again. I let it go for a moment.  It’s not completely filling up and I can live with it. I again go to fix it and telling myself this is the last try.  It fills up again…oh well!

I see two girls ahead of me and I push a bit harder to catch up.  By the time I reach the turn-around point, I’m right on their toes.  The water is so swallow and all of a sudden my hands start scraping the bottom.  It seems to slow up those two girls and I’m able to get around them.  Heading back, my hands continue to scrap the bottom for another few minutes.  

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_swim_bridgeI see another girl and pull right behind her.  This is a good draft.  She’s swimming mostly straight and pulling me through crowds of swimmers in other waves.  I can see the 2 bridges ahead and know that Troy and the girls are on one of them.  When I’m pretty close, I wave as I’m taking a stroke.  Wonder if they saw that (pic – middle).

The finish is ahead!  Yeah! I’m still with that girl until the last few feet.  I get out and I pull over t160710_vineman_70_3_robin_swimo pull off my suit.  Sena runs by.  My wetsuit comes off beautifully and I run into transition right behind her.

It’s not really cold and the sun is out, but I opt to wear my jacket.  Last time I rode here, I froze the first third of the race.  I’d rather get hot than be cold!

My goal is to ride 3 hours or a little less. That’s a 18.7mph average.  The first five miles are flat and fast so I start out at 20.7mph.  There are 51 more miles and hills so I try to enjoy the speed.  A few girls pass me, like Sena, but I’m not stressed or worried.  The Lord has given me a confidence and peace lately.  He’s allowed the daily yoga to make a big difference and my legs feel amazing!  Thank you, Jesus!

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_bikeMile 15 finds my average around 19mph.  It’s not terribly hilly but there are enough little hills and turns to slow me down.  I start wondering if this trend will continue.  A lot of guys from the last two waves are going by including my friend Jesse Moore from the Everyman Jack team.  He just seems to float on the bike!  A few more girls have passed me too.

Mile 25 finds my average right at 18.7.   I’m about to hit the long hill on Canyon Way.  There is a nice downhill on the other side that I hope to find some speed!  As I turn and go up, it’s not that bad and seems shorter than in years past.  Considering I’ve done a few years of the full aqua bike here, one loop of the bike course seems short…bonus!

I am able to get moving on the back side!  And the nice surprise, because I totally forgot, is that the terrain flattens. I’m able to start bringing my average back up…yeah!

MIle 35 my average is just about at19mph!  A gal passes me and I see she’s in my age group, 41 years old.  We go back and forth a bit and I’m able to pull ahead.  Another gal in black goes by and we also go back and forth.  It’s a pain to get passed because I have to fall back 6 bike lengths before I can pass back.  I just need to push and stay ahead and not have to be a yo-yo.

Mile 40 and here comes Chalk Hill.  This is the hardest hill on the course and I anticipate some agony. Again, I’m completely surprised that it’s over pretty quick and it wasn’t too bad.  I get some great speed coming down the backside.  Yeah!

Mile 45 and I’m at 19mph!  Here come those two gals again.  They each pass me.  I pass them back and push hard once again.  I’ve got to keep the pressure on now to hold them off.  It is a bit of a gamble with the run coming up but my legs continue to feel great!

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_bike2I see Troy and the girls in a driveway ahead!  Wow, so great to see their smiling faces.  I smile and wave.

Mile 55 and I’m above 19mph!  I’m going to break 3 hours for sure but I’m not sure by how much.  I’m not focusing on splits right now anyway just keeping my effort controlled. 

Windsor HS is ahead. Time to run!  As I navigate my way to T2, I’m able slide my feet out of my bike shoes and keep riding with my feet on top.  At the dismount line I’m off and running!  Thanks God!

I get my gear on and hit the bathroom before I’m out of transition.  I’m loosing some time but seems worth it.  I also hit the sunscreen application station and some great volunteers apply it!  Let’s go!

My legs are wobbly but feel great!  This is awesome…hope this continues! The goal is to run 8 min pace for a 1:45.  Feeling hopeful that I can do that!  After the first mile, as in my last race, I’m only going to look at my watch once a mile and go by feel. 

Mile 1 is 8:02.  Good start!  I catch a girl in my age group. 

Mile 2 is 7:56.  Alright!  I’m feeling so relaxed.  I’m having fun encouraging others around me! 

Mile 3 is 8:10. There have been some good hills so I’m not too worried about my pace. I’m starting to eat a Clif Blok every mile.  I’ve got 9.  Seems to keep the energy constant.

Mile 4 is 7:58. Back on track!  I have yet to see another girl in my age group.  There is a gal with a 56 on her leg…very young looking legs!  I tell her that I think they wrote her number wrong.  She laughs and says it’s because she has no kids…ha, ha!

I see Troy and the girls waiting ahead! Yeah!  I tell him it’s going great and feeling great!  “Okay, we’ll see you when you come back!”. 

I’m praising God for this run!  It’s been so long I’ve felt this good and I’m actually having fun!

Mile 5 is 8:03.  Still feeling great!  This stretch I can see folks coming back and start looking for some familiar faces.  I see a few girls coming back who look like they could be in my age group.  Wow, amazing.  I see Jesse coming back too.  He’s passing folks but looking beat.  I hope he still wins his age group!

Mile 6 is 7:59. I see a gal, Charie, in my age group heading back. I don’t think I’ll catch her! 

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_runInto the winery!  I see Mike running slowly out. I ask him how it’s going and he says he’s having some pain. I tell him that I’ll pray for him.  I actually see a girl in my age group and pass her. It’s that 41 year old!  She must have gotten ahead while I was in the bathroom.  I tell her good job. 

Mile 7 is 7:45.  Nice! I continue to feel strong and have energy to continue encouraging others.  I pass another girl and her young legs say 53. I tell her that her numbers are mixed up and she laughs.

Mile 8 is 7:54.  I can see Sena ahead.  She makes it to the turn around before me.  And we smile at each other as she heads back.  I catch up and we tell each other great job.  Sena is always smiling and supportive!

Mile 9 is 7:58.  Feeling more tired but on track!

Mile 10 is 8:26.  I’m still passing people and feeling pretty good but my body is tired.  I take my last blok and will take a gel next…then Coke. 

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_run_girlsI see Mike ahead.  He’s doing a great job!  I also see Troy and the girls so I wave.  The girls are so happy to see me…what a boost!  I ask Troy if he has seen any girls in my age group and there was one 6 minutes ago, Magumi Masada.  Okay, doesn’t matter. I’m having a great day finally!  He tells me that I can get 5:20 if I keep pushing!

I catch up to Mike and we pray for each other. Another great boost!

Mile 11 is 8:23.  Okay, keep fighting!  Troy and the girls drive by and I give them one last wave. I grab Coke at the next aid station.  Ah, hits the spot!

160710_vineman_70_3_robin_run_finishMile 12 is 8:18.  Picking it up and passing folks.  It’s getting hard phyically to move but with the end near and being able to keep passing others, I’m motivated.

Mile 13 is 8:06. Heading to the finish! Thank you Jesus!  What an amazing run…been waiting for this for a long time.

I cross the finish and look to God! Thank you!