Sunday, February 18, 2018

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Troy)


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA


1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles)




7th (45-49 Male)


1/2 Marathon: Matt Pistone, Robin Soares
5K: Anna Soares, Ariel Soares

It’s a beautiful day for the family to compete together in Davis.

My training has been minimal (again) for this event but I do have 2 10-mile runs and one of those was the tough Resolution Run.  Today I hope I can stay with Robin to provide her company and support in her prep for the Napa Marathon.

All 4 of us do our warm-ups.  My right ankle / Achilles feels tender and starts to make me anxious but it is a reminder to rely on God and recall the countless times He has taken care of things outside of my control.

We talk to the girls about the plan.  We start our race and they start theirs 10 min later.  They will finish and get their warm clothes and wait for us.  We all pray and try to set our focus on the Lord in the efforts we’re about to attempt.

Robin and I discuss the goal pace: 7:37 for a 1:40 1/2 marathon.  We spot the run pacer and are ready to run.

Go!  Soon we find we’re about 50 yds behind the pacer, negotiating a lot of runners.  It’s a new course for us so new scenery.

Mile 1. 7:24. Thinking ahead we plan on the highway over-crossing to be where we can catch up to the pacer. The course goes on more shady bike paths – which Davis has a lot of. We’ll run this part again for the last 2 miles.

180218_davis_stampede_half_troyMile 2. 7:32. I’m realizing that my Garmin isn’t accurate.  I estimate about 10 secs off per mile.  [I’ve adjusted all my splits in this report accordingly] We pass by the park where we started.

Mile 3. 7:25. We climb up and over the freeway. This is where we said we’d catch up to the pacer.  We’re now only 20 yds behind so it’s not hard to bridge the gap as we descend from the overpass.  Nice to accomplish that goal.  We’re on a long stretch on a frontage road and it feels easier now.  We’re in close with the pacer group and all seems great.

Mile 4. 7:38.  Our pacer seems to be a little more winded than he should be.  As we head North, I notice the 11 mile mark is at the start of the overpass hill and that will be a great milestone to get to.  Only 7 more miles!

Mile 5. 7:42. Running along bike paths in a green belt is very nice.  Our pace group has broken up.  Some runners dropping off and others going ahead.  Our pacer tells us, “it’s still a long race to go,” in order to calm us down and be patient.

Mile 6. 7:40. Either we slowed down or the pacer picked it up, as we are now about 100 yds back.  I start calculating our pace from the mile markers and announce we’re a little ahead which is good.   Robin says she’s feeling tired so I know it’s starting to get hard for her and she’s already digging deeper.  I have to use the restroom and think there’s one at mile 7 so I pull ahead in a plan to be able to catch back up afterwards.

Mile 7.  7:40. There’s no bathroom. Must be at Mile 8.  We’re on the gravel section along the golf course.  I told Robin that this section should remind us of Auburn. I catch up to the pacer and another runner asks if I’m a part of the Auburn Tuesday Track group.  I find out it’s Matt who has come out a couple times.  Robin is only 30 yds back, still running strong, but I need a bigger gap if I’m going to make a pitstop.  I pull ahead more looking for the Porta Potty.

Mile 8.  7:31.  Finally, at the 8.5 aid station I find a bathroom.  I’m quick but still Robin gets 60 yds ahead.  The pacer made a stop, too, so both of us are trying to catch up now.  I’m surprised he’s working pretty hard.  I can see Robin and Matt running together.  Finally, by the end of the path I catch up to them.

180218_davis_stampede_half_tro2yMile 9.  7:46. It good to be back together.  We’re on pace, but we don’t have a pacer.  I carefully calculate our pace each mile now and let Robin and others know.  I remind Matt and Robin to be ready for the bridge, a huge milestone to get excited for, because it’s “all down hill after that” (well, not really, but it sounds good)

Mile 10. 7:42. Through more paths and green-belts.  And then into the wind on a long stretch to the Mile 11 bridge.  I really try to get the troops excited.  But then I start feeling a strain in my calf and consider that if I have to slow down I’ll try to send them off to reach the goal.  I ease up a little and try to be really efficient.  It starts feeling better and by the bridge it’s fine again.  Thank you, Lord!

Mile 11. 7:50. We’re at the big bridge!  It will take our mind off of the long miles to be able to focus on the climb and enjoy the descent.  Matt pulls ahead. Robin is strong and maintains pace up the grade.  She’s great at climbs.  However, dropping down the back side she takes it conservatively and doesn’t get the 5 secs to be easily gained.  Robin doesn’t like the descents as much as I do.  1-1/2 mi left.  I’m focusing on being an encourager for Robin, and Matt when he’s near, and this keeps my mind off of the sore legs.  It’s going to be close for making our 1:40 goal..

Mile 12.  8:03. We need a 7min mile. I’m feeling pretty good and could pick it up a little but right now the joy is in seeing Robin have her best race possible.

Mile 13.  7:46. I check the time.. 1:40.. but we have to wind through the park.  We’ll be a little over but it’s so great to be done.  Thank you Lord for a good day!  And our girls are there to greet us and tell us about their races.

I really thankful to be able to finish so close to the goal without any serious pain or misery.  Just some soreness.  The best part was being able to run with Robin the whole way.180218_davis_stampede_half_troy_finish