Tuesday, January 1, 2019

FCA New Year’s Day Challenge–Robin, 2019


1/1/19 –

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 – 21:00 (PR 16:48, 2014)
Hill Climb #2 – 6:55 (PR 5:52, 2014)
Run 1: 1:27:58 (PR 1:16:04, 2011)


Only 1 woman. Hill Climb #1
Only 1 woman. Hill Climb #2
1st (W40-49) Run


Hill Climb: Dan Darby, Troy Soares
10Mile: Anna Soares, Carolyn Goulding, Elizabeth, Katsura, Jesse Ellis, Manouch Shirvanioun,
5K: Ariel Soares, Caryn Galeckas, Debbie Booth, Emerson Booth, Leah Booth, Suzanne Hartley , john/


This year it is hard to wake up and get excited.  I’ve been discouraged that I haven’t been able to train as I’d like.  Also feeling overwhelmed and behind mananging things at home.  I know that the Lord wants to me to continue to try to stick to my goals and committments to bring HIm glory.  All that I do really should be for Him and not myself.  With that mindset as a goal, I get out the door and leave it all up to Him! 

Troy and I bike to the Overlook and no one is there.  In a way I’m disappointed but trusting that He has a reason…and it just might be to follow through on my committment.  Like the image of a man pushing a rock and going nowhere, I might not be doing anything but getting stronger. 

We do our normal warm-up ride.  Troy rides the “men’s loop” (a few extra miles) which evens things out.  As I’m about to turn on Glenview I see a cyclist waitng.  It’s Dan Darby from the track!  He was also the only rider who showed up last year, too.  So great to have him join us!  As Dan and I head up the road, Troy catches up with us and we all ride together over to Hwy 49 and down to the Confluence.  Dan tells me that he was wavering on whether to come or not but remembered how good he felt last year once he was done with the ride.


We line up.  Dan is first, then myself 2.5 min later and then Troy 1.5 min after me.  Ready, go!  Right away, I have difficultly getting my feet locked into my pedals.  Once I get going, there is discomfort throughout my whole body.  I start to complain in my head that this is a bad idea and I question why I’m out here.  I feel the Lord reminding me to just keep trying, to just continue to push through all that. 

As I turn the first big corner, I can see Dan way up the hill already.  I look back and so far no Troy.  I hope to beat him to the entrance of the Mammoth Bar Park.  A few minutes later I look back and see Troy!  Ok, don’t give up.  Having Troy there actually gets me more motivated to push.  Last year I made it up in 21:06.  It would be great if I can keep it under 23 minutes this time.

I’m getting closer to Mammoth Bar and Troy is getting closer to me!  I dig deep and make it!  Yay!  As Troy goes by, I try to stay on his wheel.  The hill is steep here and I cannot hold on.  He pulls away.  I gave my road bike to Anna so all I have to ride is my tri bike.  It’s tough to climb with a tri bike but the flats are amazing with aerobars!  As soon  as the road flattens out, I get into my aerobars.  I actually am able to get a little closer to Troy and keep him from pulling away. 

The road climbs again.  My legs are feeling better.  I am able to push without my legs screaming.  I look at my timer and am surprised.  I actually might get 21 mins or faster!  Wow, Lord, that is a gift!

I haven’t seen Dan at all so he must be having an amazing day, too…so happy for him!

I go around a turn and no longer can see Troy.  I push hard knowing the end is close.  Soon I see a sign for the upcoming stop sign - my finish line.  I see Troy biking back cheering me on and telling me to dig deep. I’m going to break 21 min!  I cross the line at 21 flat…5 sec faster than last year!  I’ll take it!


At the bridge, we line up in the order that we finished earlier: Troy, Dan and myself.  I tell them a fun challenge is to count off the 6 signs towards the top of the hill.  Ready, set, go!  We paceline across the bridge.  I’m waiting to start my watch until we cross the bridge because that’s where the climb starts.  At the end of the bridge Troy takes off with Dan right behind.  Halfway up the hill Troy has pulled away and Dan is still ahead. 

I’m almost to the first of the 6 signs.  Dan is getting closer.  I decide to start making a move at the first sign.  At the first sign I start thinking of the Rocky song, Eye of the Tiger.  I imagine my knees punching the air with the beat…something Troy and I made up together on a ride a few months ago.  It helps and I’m gaining ground at every sign.  By the fourth sign I’m able to pass Dan and push to the finish.  My time is at 5 min!  I think it’s a PR but Troy reminds me that the clock starts at the beginning of the bridge, not the end.  Bummer!  It’s a 6:55 about 30 sec slower than last year.  No bother, I’m glad to be done and very pleasantly surprised with my effort!  Thanking the Lord for this nice gift!  Undeserved and so appreciated!

We all bike back to the Overlook Park where we say our goodbyes and head home.  Time to get home and get ready for the Resolution Run and pick up the kids!


We get to the Overlook Park, pick up our packets and say hi to lots of folks like Jesse Ellis who has come out from Arizona. Caryn Galeckas and Suzanne Hartley our FCA teammates are here, too!  We also have our track friends the Booth family, Elizabeth Katsura and Carolyn Goulding. 

I’m feeling nervous and fighting the selfish temptation to focus on myself.  In 2019, my goal is to be more joyful and more focused on others as Jesus desires me to be.  Only with Him will that be possible.  I hope to run around last year’s time and pace of 9:18.  Leaving it in His hands!

Troy, Anna and I line up together.  Anna is joining Troy and I in the 10 mile.  After careful consideration we agreed to let her join us.  She and Troy have a plan for her to go around a 10 min pace average.  Troy is going around 8 min pace and I’ll be hopefully around 9 min pace.  Wondering if it will be tough for Anna to run her own pace, or want to stay with Troy or I.  She’s faster than me now for sure at the 10K and under.

imageReady, set, go!  Troy and Anna pull ahead at the start.  Soon Anna settles in right next to me.  I tell her it’s ok to get ahead of pace on the downhills because of the coming uphills.  Manouch Shirvanioun comes alongside and we start chatting about getting an off-season kids swim workout going once a week. 

Mile 1. 7:51.  Anna starts to settle back and is behind me.  After running downhill, it flattens out for a bit.  I look back and still see Anna.  I start thinking about whether she has something to eat.  I’ve treated this race so casually that I forgot to think about Anna’s needs.  I look back and ask “do you have some nutrition?” She says yes. Good!  Thank you Lord!  I tell her I love her and continue on. 

Mile 2. 7:38.  My favorite part is coming up, the Cardiac By-Pass Trail.  It’s rocky and a tough climb but for some reason it’s fun…maybe it’s because it’s the just the beginning of the race.  I feel like I’m flying up.

I finish the climb and make it to the flat.  I’m at Mile 3 and at 9:10 pace.  I see Carolyn coming down.  We give each other a high five.  I don’t see Anna but am sure she’s doing well up that hill.

Mile 4. 8:20.  So far I’m staying under 9 min pace!  I still feel good…for now.  I head towards the paved “Dam Road” and am about to merge with the 5K racers who started a few minutes ago.  I see Debbie Booth coming and we join up and chat for a bit on the downhill.  I figure Ariel is somewhere behind.  I hope she’s feeling good!  Down, down, down we go.  I see an Aid Station, yay!  I’m thirsty.  As I get closer I notice there are no cups.  Oops!  I forgot this is a cupless race!  Poor Anna, I didn’t have her carry water.  I hope she’ll be ok.  I’ll have to tell her on the out-n-back to ask the next aid station to pour water in her mouth.  As a mom, I can stress over this but I pray and ask the Lord to help and I feel at peace.

Mile 5. 7:38. after that downhill.  Now it’s up and up for a bit.  I feel great on this climb too and feel like I’m flying.  Thank you Lord, this is a treat!

The 5K racers turn left at the top of the hill and continue to climb up.  I get to go right and enjoy some flat.  I’m catching up to some 10Kers who are also going right.  Soon, I notice the fast 10kers heading back.  I see Enzo, Anna’s CIM relay teammate.  I cheer and give him a high 5K.  Anna’s other teammate Hunter comes by soon and I encourage him to go for Enzo.  He tells me he’s in pain but couldn’t make out what’s wrong. 

imageMile 6. 9:17.  I’m almost at the out-n-back section and hope to see Troy.  Soon I see him and smile.  I tell him I forgot about the cupless thing and he did too.  I tell him to tell Anna to get water poured into her mouth.  I tell him good job and head out to the green gate.  Wondering if the turn-around really is all the way to the gate.  I’ll get to see Anna and find out how she’s doing.  I pray that she’ll be feeling good!  I take a few Clif Bloks.

Mile 7. 8:44.  I’m starting to feel like I’m loosing energy.  I hope those Clif Bloks kick in!  I’m grateful that I’ve felt this stong up to this point.  I know I’ll make it back.  I see about 5 girls heading back…one about my age and the others about high school age.

I climb up to the green gate and see the turn-around point.  Phew!  I head back and look for Anna.  I tell the Lord I’m willing to stop my race and help Anna if she’s struggling.  I might be in 1st or 2nd place and am willing to give that up.  I turn a corner and see Anna smiling!  Yay!  She’s feeling good and got the word from Dad about the water idea.  Thank you Lord!  What an answer to prayer!

Mile 8. 8:42.  My energy is back as I start the Robie Point climb.  Again, I feel strong and feel like I’m flying up the hill!  Wow, wow…just amazed at God’s amazing grace!

I’m catching up to the 5K and 10k racers and the trail is getting narrow.  This is going to be challenging to pass!

Mile 9. 9:11.  I’m feeling amazing!  I am saying “on your left please…good job” nicely.  Pretty soon it’s “on your left if possible, please…great job”.  Most folks have no problem but I sense that some are getting annoyed.  I try to stay joyful despite the reaction. 

Almost done!  Finally, I climb the last hill out of the canyon.  Oh man, feeling really tough.  I hear Troy cheering and look up and see Troy and Ariel.  What a nice sight! 

Mile 10. 10:32. I climb up to the parking lot.  I pass a cute little girl and her Dad (which is John from our track workout I found out later) and cheer them on.  I make it to the parking lot and try to pick it up the finish.  I cross the line!  Yay!  I ran 8:43 pace and it felt great!  Thank you Jesus!!

imageI run back to see Anna in with Troy, Ariel, Caryn and Suzanne.