Sunday, February 18, 2018

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon–Robin - 2018


2/18/18 –

Davis, CA


1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles)




4th (40-44 Females)


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

It’s been two years since we’ve done this race.  This is a classic for us so much so that we didn’t even check the website to see the location had changed.  We drive up to downtown Davis and see nothing.  Uh-oh, did we get the date wrong? A quick internet check we find out it’s in another part of town.  At the baseball park.  Life is so busy it’s hard to keep up.  I do some more quick research of the course to see the changes.  It’s mostly the same so it’s good to know what to expect mentally.  Anna and Ariel start the 5K ten minutes after Troy and I are racing the 1/2 Marathon.  Anna is going to be “in charge” before and after the 5K while we are running. 

It’s almost time to go and we are all waiting in line for the bathroom.  Usually we can find an alternate bathroom but this location is in the middle of nowhere so we have to wait in line.  We take the opportunity to pray.  We pray that we hope to be able to glorify God and help others in need.  Finally we make it to the front of the line. I wait for the girls and Troy…but no Troy!  Less than 5 minutes to the start!  I get a quick selfie with the girls and rush to the start in hopes he’s there.  I see him waving and fortunately I’m able to sneak in next to him with a few moments to spare.

The goal is 1:40 which is a 7:37 pace.  The fastest pace group today is 1:40…perfect! 

Ready, set…go!  It’s a fast start and crowded!  The 1:40 pace group, led by 2 guys, already has a gap on us.  We’ll catch them little by little.  

MIle 1 on Garmin is 7:08.  Fast but this Garmin of mine is not always accurate.  I’m not concerned.  I’m keeping my eye on the pace group and they are not pulling away.

Mile 2 on Garmin is 7:14.  We are getting closer to the group.  Troy tells me that we’ll catch them as we cross the freeway and run “downhill” on the other side of the overpass.  We realize we are running the 5K course and have a preview of what the girls are racing…nice and flat!

Mile 3 on Garmin is 7:13.  We pass behind the baseball park and the path to the finish line.  We’ll be back here again in 10 miles!  Sounds so far!  I look at my watch and tell Troy that the girls should be finishing up soon.  Kind of wish I was too!

We are so close to the pace group.  We hit the overpass and work our way up the top.  Troy tells me to push the downhill.  We catch them!  Yeah!  I take a moment to catch my breath and settle in to their pace. 

Mile 4 on Garmin is 7:34.  This is the longest straight stretch of the course.  I notice the guy holding the pace group sign is breathing hard.  I think others around him are noticing and suddenly one by one they start pulling away from him as if they’re afraid they are off pace.  We stick to the pacers anyway. Soon the pacers start surging and we get behind a bit.  

180218_davis_stampede_half_robinMile 5 on Garmin is 7:36.  The back up pacer (the one without the sign) pulls off to fix his shoe.  Troy and I are still trying to catch the main guy.  The back up pacer catches up to us but then fades back. 

Troy and I finally catch up to the main guy.  I’m pleasantly surprised to be near the backside of the course.  The backside is all gravel and not my favorite spot but once complete, the end of the race is nearing!

The back up pacer is nowhere to be seen and the main pacer seems to speed up again.  I tell Troy his pace seems erratic but that maybe my pace is erratic. Since our Garmins are clicking off the miles well before the mile markers, Troy starts paying attention to the overall time to check the pace.

Mile 6 on Garmin is 7:27.  Troy says we are ahead of pace.  Phew!

Troy needs to pull off to use a bathroom so he runs ahead to buy some time.  I feel like I’m fading.  It doesn’t help that I’m all alone. 

Mile 7 on Garmin is 7:37.  I can see Troy has caught the pacer again.  I also think that one of the runners in the group has run with our Tuesday Night Track group.  I hope to catch up and find out.

I hit the gravel.  Ugh!  To feel yucky and to be on this gravel.. not fun!  I see a guy ahead of me running on the side were grass is growing within the gravel.  I try it out and it’s much better.  Thanks God!  I really appreciate the help!

Mile 8 on Garmin is 7:22.  I’m feeling stronger again and am reeling Troy and the pacer in. 

Soon there is an aid station with a bathroom and I see Troy pull off.  The pacer pulls off too and starts filling up his water bottle.  Seems like he’s taking an awful long time!  I keep pushing and run by.  I come alongside the guy I was wondering about and yes, it’s Matt from the track.  It’s a nice distraction to chat with him. 

Mile 9 on Garmin is 7:45.  Troy catches up to us.  The pacer is still behind.  Troy says we are good on pace and only 2 more miles to the overpass.  2 miles sounds pretty far at this point of the race!

180218_davis_stampede_half_robin2Mile 10 on Garmin is 7:27.  Feeling good, trying to stay focused.  Troy is doing a great job encouraging Matt and I to stay with it. 

Mile 11 on Garmin is 7:31.  I can see the overpass.  Troy tells us to push up and use the momentum and gravity to get down the backside.

I make a great push going up and even encourage another runner on the way.  But as I start running down, I’m falling behind again. 

Mile 12 on Garmin is 7:54.  Really hurting now!  Troy encourages me and Matt to push hard and not give up.  It’s going to be a matter of seconds if we make the 1:40 goal.  Matt starts to pull away.

Mile 13 on Garmin is 7:36.  Trying to push but so hard.  I can tell Troy is feeling good and tell him to go ahead and I’ll see what iI can do.  He says no, we are doing this together.  Ok, just keep pushing.

Finally, I see the turn to the finish that I’ve been waiting for.  I can see the pacer right behind us.  Not sure if we’ll make it.  I just keep pushing.  I cross the line just seconds over 1:41 .  It really did come down to seconds!

Thank you Lord for this chance to race!  For a few moments I was feeling down and upset.  This is silly because it’s even a gift to be out here doing this!  To have some time off from caring for Troy’s dad and do something hard and fun with my family.  Anna and Ariel ran their best times yet in the 5K distance!  And we did get to help Matt in his race so an answer to prayer to help someone.  Thank you Jesus!  Thank you for this day!180218_davis_stampede_half_robin_finish