Monday, January 1, 2018

FCA New Year’s Day Challenge – Robin - 2018


1/1/18 –

PART 1: Bike- Auburn, Overlook Park

PART 2: Resolution Run -Auburn, Overlook Park


Hill Climb #1 – 3m Old Foresthill Rd
Hill Climb #2 - 1.2m Raley's Hill
Resolution Run - 10m Trails


Hill Climb #1 – 21:05 (PR 16:48, 2014)
Hill Climb #2 – 6:22 (5:52, 2014)
Run 1:33:46 (PR 1:16:04, 2011)


1st (age-graded) Hill Climb #1
2nd (age-graded) Hill Climb #2
4th (W40-49) Run


Hill Climb: Dan Darby, Troy Soares
10Mile: Bailey Shykowski, Manouch Shirvanioun, Scott Eckardt
10K: Anna Soares, jesse Ellis, Season Eckardt
5K: Ariel Soares, Debbie Booth, Elisabeth Katsura, Emerson Booth, Leah Booth


It’s nice to get out of bed and out of the house even though my flesh fights it.  It’s been a tough few weeks in the Soares house.  First, Anna and Ariel got sick.  Al, Troy’s Dad who lives with us, has been sick and has required a lot of time and attention.  And last, I got sick on Thursday and I’m convinced it was food poisoing.  I still feel queasy and am unable to eat much.  I know that I need to be joyful no matter what.  Jesus has given us so much and has carried us through the many recent trials revolving around Al.  He can carry me through a hard physical effort!

I drive to the Overlook to reserve a parking spot for the Resolution Run.  Dan Darby, from our track group, joins us.  It’s a small group this year with just Troy and I and Dan.  A lot of folks have been sick or are out of town so the low turn-out is understandable.  We take a moment to pray and thank God for the beautiful day and safety. We do a warm-up and then head down Hwy 49 to the Confluence. 

I am not expecting to break any personal records in fact I’m kind of expecting this to possibly be one of my slower years.  With Al living with us, it’s been harder to find the time to ride.  Fortunately, I have been training for the Napa Marathon so the run later should be pretty good.  Though, not sure how much energy I’ll have with the lack of calories lately.


We line up.  I’m first, then Dan 1 min later and then Troy 2 min later.  Ready, go!  Right from the get go my legs are complaining.  It’s hard to mentally push through, but after 5 minutes, I am able manage the pain better.  I look back and can see Dan.  Better pick it up! 

I’m getting close to the Mammoth Bar entrance.  I look back and see Troy!  Again, I am motivated to push it.  I make it the entrance and he goes by.  He says “get on my wheel” and I think for sure!  I’d love any advantage at this point!  I’m amazed that I am actually am to hang on for a good 3 or 4 minutes!  I kind of wanted to go under 20 minutes today, but now under 21 is more realistic.

As we get closer to the top, Troy pulls away.  As I make the last turn, my watch is clicking closer to 21 minutes.  As I roll to the stop sign, it says 21:05.  I’ll take it.  I am happy with that considering all the recent obstacles!

Dan soon comes and we cheer him in.  After we catch our breath, it’s off to the Foresthill Bridge!


At the bridge, we line up in the order that we finished earlier: Troy, myself and Dan.  Ready, set, go!  We paceline across the bridge.  Dan makes a move and pulls ahead.  Troy picks it up and chases him down.  Halfway, Troy catches him.  I can tell that Dan is working hard to maintain his pace.  At the top of the hill there are 6 street signs that line the last 400 meters.  I pass Dan, just before the first sign.  I feel really good surprisingly.  I count down each sign until I’m done.  Phew! That was good!  On to the next challenge, the Resolution Run!


i finish the bike ride at the Overlook.  I’m hanging out here until race time.  Troy is riding home and will drive back with the girls.  It’s nice to just hang out.  I make myself eat the rest of my breakfast burrito and part of an orange.  It’s about 1.5 hours to the race and that might not be enough time to digest it all.  I will risk it because I think getting more energy is better than feeling comfortable.  I get a chance to say hi to some folks I haven’t seen in a while like Carolyn Goulding, Kiley Harris and Manouch Shirvanioun. 

The girls and Troy arrive.  Anna and I do some drills together.  The girls tell me they don’t have their Garmin watches.  They thought I brought them.  I scramble to find a solution.  I give Ariel my run Garmin and Anna my bike Garmin.  I’ll just keep track of my pace with mile markers.  20 minutes before the race starts, I realize I need to shut off the auto pause on my bike Garmin.  After 15 minutes and some internet searching I figure it out.  Ariel shouts, “Mom, your race is going to start!”  I feel really flustered and frustrated as I hustle to the start.  When the family wants to pray, I almost blow it off.  I then feel bad for my bad attitude and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.  I am always surprised how fast I can loose sight of God and focus on myself.  Ok, let’s start over!

Ready, set, go!  Troy and I run through the parking lot together.  He pulls ahead as we exit.  The beginning of the race is different and I wonder if the whole course is different.  I failed to check it out on the web.  We start running down the “Dam Road” first which is totally different.  But then, we turn off early and head towards China Bar.  Ok, now it looks like the same course.

Down to China Bar we go.  My neighbor Scott Eckardt catches up to me and we chat.  I find out his wife, Season, is doing the 10K.  I can hear a familiar cough behind me and voice.  It’s Jason Shykowski and his daughters Bailey and Libbie.  I turn around and shout back, “great job Shykowski family!”. I realize that I haven’t seen any mile markers.  I probably missed them.  I turn to Scott and ask him if he’s seen any markers and how many miles we’ve gone.  “Haven’t seen markers…Two miles, I think.”.  No markers is a bummer.  Oh well, I’ll just run off how I feel then.

We turn off the road and run up the Cardiac Bypass trail.  Bailey catches up to me.  We chat running up.  I tell her I love this part of the trail but it’s harder today.  About halfway up I start to feel good.

180101_resolution_run_10mile_robin_Bailey and I continue to run together for the next mile.  I find out that her and her husband are expecting their first child and that she’ll take the year off from racing.  I congratulate her and share how l learned how to run and even do a few races pregnant.  I remember when I was pregnant that Troy and I didn’t really have many resources in that area.  Thankfully we did find a book that helped and of course leaning on the Lord.  

We heading down the Dam Road and Troy is just ahead of us.  We are now merging with the 5K runners and I start looking for Ariel. 

At the bottom Bailey waits for her dad and sister and Troy and I run together for a bit.  He sees Ariel ahead and encourages me to catch up to her. 

I catch Ariel right when we start to climb again.  She’s with Elizabeth Katsura from our track group.  They’ve decided to stick together.  I tell them good job and continue on. 

An older gentleman and I keep going back and forth.  I’m impressed how strong he is and how he just seems to float up the hills. 

I’m feeling pretty good and my energy is holding up.  My tummy is stable at the moment.

The 10K runners are now coming back as the 10 Milers head out towards Hwy 49.  I hope to see Anna!  But I miss my chance as I pass the Robie Point trail she comes out from.  I pray that she’s having a fun race and feeling good!

I continue on past the other side of Robie Point and out to Murphy’s Gate on Hway 49.  With no mile markers, I figure I’ve gone 7 miles.  It is freeing to not be looking at my pace or distance. 

I must be slowing down because Bailey flies by and Scott is right behind me now.  I see runners coming back and wonder if I can catch any of them on the way back.  I finally get to the end and make the turn.  Now, it’s just straight back. 

180101_resolution_run_10mile_robin_2On the way back to Robie Point, I notice a Fleet Feet gal in front of me.  Hum, maybe I can catch her.  I pass Scott’s wife Season without realizing.  I hear Scott stop to encourage her.  I look back and say “great job Season!”.  This is her first trail race and she’s doing a hard 10K!  Impressed!

I make it to Robie Point and begin the long climb.  I notice the FF girl is walking.  I am able to catch her just before the top.  Through the gate and down the other side.  I am descending this part well surprisingly.  Usually I’m totally cautious.  I am pretty tired and ready to be done so the fear is taking a back seat.  Just before the turn at the bottom, the FF girl flies by.  I know her plan now, walk the hills and run hard the rest of the time.  The last 2 miles is full of hills, so if I can just keep her near, I might have a chance.  Not that I have to beat her, but it’s nice to have something to strive for…to keep me pushing despite the jello legs and general fatigue.

180101_resolution_run_10mile_robin_finishThe next hill she walks and I catch up.  But we get stuck behind a bunch of folks and a small water crossing and she is able to get around them while I wait.  I get around and slowly catch her on the short hills.  I think she’s on to me now and she takes off when I get close even on a short hill.  Finally we hit the last big hill and I am able to pass her.  I just push as hard as I can.  One more short climb!  Can I hold her off?  I get up but once it flattens out a bit, she takes off to the finish.  I don’t have anything more today to match her.  I hear the girls cheering…”go Mom!  Sprint Mom!” I smile and try to go harder.  I finish!  Yeah!  Thank you Lord for sustaining me!!