Saturday, February 23, 2019

Happy Kid’s Du #3–Ariel–2019

Date/Location:2/23/19, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 27:53 PR! (Previous PR 29:58)
Place:Ariel: 1st, 9 & 10 Year Old Girls

1st Run

I start running. I’m trying to stay close to Kaila. I’m running up a hill. I’m running faster than I usually run because I want to stay close to her. I staying closer to her more which is surprising because I’m never this close to her. I enter the trail still staying close to her. I run on the trail trying to get closer to her and this time she did get closer. There’s the big puddle from last time and I jump over it I run through mud and sand. Getting a little closer every 30sec to her. I go up and down. I go up a hill with a big mud puddle so I jump over it. Then up a small hill and around the corner.

The Bike

I head out on my bike hoping to catch up to Kiali. I bike up a hill and on to the flat part. I bike faster and finally I pass her. I see her behind me now but I bike faster to get farther away from me. I was so thankful to God because I passed her which I never been able to do. Then I go down a hill and up and down and up. I come to this really big turnaround which is a large turn that goes up and down. I go back down and up and down and up the hills. And back to the big turn. I keep biking and get on the long road. I keep biking and go down the hill and into transition.

2nd Run

I start running up the hill as the first girl. I start running faster trying to get farther away from Kiali. I’m trying to pass a boy in front of me I finally pass him. I run faster and faster knowing that the finish line is close. There’s the big puddle from earlier and I jump over it. I turn and go up a slight hill and then around the corner still in 1st girl. I go up a hill with a big mud puddle so I jump over it. A boy’s dad behind me tells his son that I am his rabbit to try to beat so I run faster so he won’t pass me. I can see dad and Anna cheering me on. I run up the hill and around the corner and strait to the finish line in fist place. I got 27 min which is a PR. Thank YOU GOD!!!!!!


Lost Trail Half Marathon–Robin -2019

Date/Location 2/23/19 Grantite Beach, Granite Bay, CA
Distance Approx 12.7 mi
Time 1:55:04
Place 2nd (4th female o/a)
Teammates Friends from Tuesday Night Track: Elizabeth Katzura, Stephanie Artis

I’m trying to do my long run on race day.  I’m following Troy’s example from last weekend.  We both have had set-backs in training due to injury so we didn’t get in the usual long runs. Since we both have half marathons two weeks out from our A races, Napa Marathon for Troy and Chanoko 31K for me, we needed to add some miles to get in the needed long run.  I park outside of Granite Beach park and run 4 miles to the start.  I am already feeling tired two miles into my pre-race run.  Praying that the Lord will help sustain me.  I’m actually running on the first third of the race course and am relieved to see it’s pretty dry along here.  Fortunately we’ve had a break in rain this week somewhat so hoping the rest of the trails won’t be too muddy. 

As I arrive at registration, Troy, the girls and Oscar are pulling in.  Ariel is doing her third Happy Kids Duathlon while I’m racing. 

There are some familiar faces here as well.  Elizabeth Katsura from our track workout is here.  She ran the Manda 1/2 Marathon with Troy last weekend.  Double duty!  Stephanie Artis is also here.  I predict that she will lead the pack today.

We pray as a family for Ariel and myself. It’s always special to be in prayer for one another!

We line up on the start.  Suddenly the race director Bill shouts, “go”!  Wow, no warning!  Stephanie pulls out in front with some guys and there are 2 women trailing behind her.  I want to take advantage of the mostly flat sections in the beginning and push it but also want to conserve my energy for the back half of the race.  My goal is to run faster than 9:10 pace and hopefully around 2 hours. 

The first 2 miles go pretty smoothly and I pass one of the women.  I was on this part of the trail earlier so there are no surprises.  Runners are heading back from the turn around and Stephanie is firmly in the lead for the women. 

My average pace is creeping up from 8:00 to 8:31 but there is more climbing on the way back.  It’s getting close to 8:30am which is the start of Ariel’s race.  I’m hoping to see her on the bike!

At Mile 4, we are diverted on a trail that parallels the main park road.  I’ve never run back here.  It’s a pretty area and the trail is narrow.  The trail seems to be moving away from the road which means the chances of seeing Ariel are fading.  She must be halfway through the run right now.

I haven’t seen any other females.  I am starting to take turns leading with some guys.  This trail is mostly dry but there are a few good puddles.  My pace is inching up to about 8:37.  I can hear some cheering and some bicycle wheels turning but cannot see the road.  I pray for Ariel to have a safe and fast ride!

This trail goes a long way!  I can barely see some bike riders.  I’m thinking Ariel is already getting ready to run again.

Finally we get onto a familiar trail.  I'm going back & forth with a guy in blue.  He tells me his wants to stay ahead of his wife. 

i start to notice some of the frontrunners going on a parallel trail in the opposite direction.  I start to wonder if I made a mistake…but then remember this is called the Lost Trail Half and it really seems like I’m lost.  I realize I haven’t been thinking about God or talking to Him.  I thank Him for giving me the energy to maintain this pace.

Soon I’m on the opposite trail getting a look at the runners behind me.  I see some strong girls back there!  There is a teen runner that is walking ahead of me.  He is holding his stomach and doesn’t look good.  I can tell he’s on the verge of tears.  I slow down and ask if he needs some nutrition.  He says no and tells me he’s feeling sick.  I encourage him to hang in there.  I realize later I could have stopped and prayed with him.  A missed opportunity!

At around 8 miles, my pace has slowed to 8:50 pace.   The trails are progressively getting more winding and hilly.  I hope to can just stay under 9:10!  This trail just seems to keep meandering up and down through the trees.  It really feels like I could be lost! They sure nailed the race name!  I am mostly alone except for an occasional glimpse of a runner ahead or of mtn bikers.  The guy in blue has fallen back.

Just after mile 9, I make it to an aid station and familiar territory.  Civiilzation, for a moment…then back to the trails.  I almost go the wrong way.  Funny, I seem to always want to go the wrong way at this spot!

Now I am able to see Lake Folsom and get a wider view of the land.  This part is pretty technical and my pace shows…I’m now hovering around 9:08 pace!

Soon, I hear someone coming up fast behind me.  I look back because it’s a surprise.  It’s a woman!  She flies by me like I’m standing still.  I’m now the fourth woman.  She motivates me to pick it up.  I can see two guys now ahead of me and I make it a goal to try to catch them.

Now the terrain has flattened out some so I can start moving quicker.  I can see a parallel trail with some runners including that girl.  For a moment, I think I miss the turn off to that trail as I find myself meandering again through some trees.  I see some random spectators ahead and know I’m on the right track.

My pace is picking up and I’m maintaining 9:08.  I can see the finish line off in the distance and I’m just passed mile 11.  That probably means the course is going to be a bit shy of 13.1 miles…but the hills and technical challenges probably make it 13.1 equivalent.  I’m pleasantly surprised to see I’ve picked it up even more.  Thank you Lord!

Soon I can hear Troy and the girls cheering in the distance.  So close!  One of those two guys is close but continues to hold me off.

So close now.  Anna is telling me to sprint to the finish.  I feel like I’m picking it up but it probably doesn’t look that way! I dig deep and cross the line.  Thank you Jesus!  It’s so good to be done…but 1 more mile to go for a cool-down!


Sunday, February 17, 2019

MandaRUN 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

Date/Location 2/17/19 Auburn to Loomis
Distance 13.1 mi
Time 1:38:14
Place 3rd (9th o/a)
Teammates Friends from Tuesday Night Track: Elizabeth Katzura, Christine, Holly, Mike, Liz, Claire.
Other friends: Dana Haldeman, Eddie Schmidt

This race was postponed from Nov due to the smoke from the NoCal Camp Fire.  Today, Feb 17, I wake up in Auburn to the rare sight of snow falling.  As I drive through the dark with the large glowing flakes coming down, I pray this morning works out well.  To get my “20 miler”, I’m going to run 5mi before, and 3mi after, the 1/2 marathon.  This long run got pushed out due to sickness and injury last month.  But I’m thankful the Lord has healed me and I’ve felt strong lately.  However, my big weakness is the cold.  I’ve tried lots of experiments on how to stay warm in different situations and one thing I’ve learned… stay dry!

I park in Penryn at 6:10am.  It’s a steady rain here, and dark.  I start my 5mi run with all-weather socks, thick tights, jacket, rain jacket, waterproof hat, and my best cold-weather gloves.  The rain-drops pour down through the beam of my headlamp while my cold breath rises up through it.  It’s peaceful on these quiet backroads.  Brooks are flowing high and frogs obviously happy.

I run down Taylor Rd to the Loomis train station to catch the shuttle for the race.  I feel good, even warm in my jackets, but I can feel the wetness on my legs and feet.  I see the busses lining up.  I register and stretch.  I’m glad to  see Elizabeth Katzsura from track. The buses are covered with snow and there are many comments about “this is crazy”.

My main concern is STAY WARM.  On the bus ride up to Auburn I can feel my body cooling, the wetness soaking in, and realize my gloves are wet.  I had another pair notice that 1 glove must have fallen out.  On the bus I see 2 more friends, Eddie Schmidt and Claire Walker.


We all comment on the snowy scene in Auburn. I’m amazing the buses can make it up the snowy roads to Placer High School.

It’s a strange scene at the start.  Our track is under snow and the road covered with thick slush.  Everyone is taking pictures. 


Some wonder what they will wear.  I’m wearing EVERYTHING I’ve got.  My friend, Eddie, is in shorts and telling me he’s going to bag-check his jacket because he doesn’t want it flapping during the race.  I think he’s crazy because I’m already shivering.

The race starts!  Everyone is trying not to slip.  I notice a woman taking the lead and then 5 other guys ahead of me.  We go by the Auburn Courthouse. Our friend, Dana Haldman goes by me.  I think maybe I can catch her as I warm up, but she looks really comfortable at 7:30 pace and isn’t slowing down.  Up Nevada St. which is a steep climb.  I welcome the oportunity to push harder and try to warm up -  my fingers are wet & freezing.  My feet surprisingly are fine.

Mile 1. 7:42. Good, maybe I can stay under 8min pace today.  There are volunteers watching busy intersections, they are bundled up and must be cold but they bubble with cheers and encouragement.  Up Mt Vernon Rd, I push it knowing this is the last chance to get warmth from climbing – the rest is all downhill.  There’s a few guys around I’m going back n forth with.  As we start down, one asks me if I’m good on the descents. Normally I try to take advantage of downhills, but I’m a little tentative today, also because my legs already have miles on them.

Mile 2. 8:23. Sharp turn onto Millertown.  Beautiful snowy fields.  I see Dan & Dawn Tebbs along the bottom of their property with their dogs cheering us on.  Fingers still cold.

Mile 3. 7:11. Suddenly Eddie Schmidt goes flying by!  He does not look like he just did the toughest 50K yesterday in the mud.  I wonder if I’ll ever catch him later, but the speed difference is significant.  A creek flows next to us and vapor rises from the water.  The water must be warmer than the freezing temps.  It’s a beautiful scene.

Mile 4. 7:24. After dropping down the steep section, we continue to Wise Rd… and there’s Robin and the girls!  Yay.  I point to Eddie way ahead and give them high 5’s.  Along Wise I’m feeling some fatigue but push past a couple guys.


Mile 5. 7:34. Nearing Ophir Rd I can see Eddie already heading down.  The skies are blue now, a few white clouds, and my hands are finally warm. Thank you, Lord!  And my legs are holding up, I think I’ll get through this ok.  Pace is good.  I eat a Hammer Gel.  Drink a lot at the aid station.  I can still make out Eddie in the distance as he’s one of the few wearing shorts.

Mile 6. 7:42. I stop at a porta potty.  Now the 2 guys are ahead.  This Ophir Rd is where we did our FCA bike intervals last Friday.  Robin and the girls are at the park-n-ride.  Anna throws a snowball at me (that’s supposed to be encouragement I think).  I guess she has a bucket of snow for this purpose because there isn’t any at this elevation.  It’s beautiful out.  My hands are fine and I throw my gloves to Ariel.


Mile 7. 7:47. Through the Newcastle tunnel.  By the Portuguese Hall which reminds me of my heritage.  I pick up the pace some.  But if I go too fast I start to feel calf or foot pain.

Mile 8. 7:12. I eventually pass both of the guys again and figure I’m in 8th or 9th.  I pass Callison Rd and am now running the part I ran this morning.  I did it without problem this morning.. I can do it again!  I’m thankful that the Lord blessed my plans, alowed me to be warm now, and has given me strength.  Once I get to Penryn, it’s only 3 mi, I can do this!

Mile 9. 7:19. Taylor is a smooth, wide road. Easy running.  My car is parked ahead at Penryn and I see Robin and the girls out ready to cheer for me.  Up a slight climb that feels harder than expected.  I drop off 1 jacket at my car and wrap the other around me.  Anna throws another snowball and misses.  I’m always so glad to see them!

Mile 10. 7:42. Through Penryn, more great volunteers, more water, chocolate Hammer Gel (mmm!), and onto Rippey Rd which is new to me.  It’s a great rural road.  The sun is bright.  My legs are starting to hurt with each step but I’m so close now.

Mile 11. 7:20. We head out of the countryside, back towards Taylor Rd for a moment, and then back into the peaceful rolling lane.  I’m eating Cliff Blocks now.  I see the 5k turn-around and quite a few folks are walking/jogging it.

Mile 12. 7:14. This is it!  Push a little longer.  I’m so sore now, and will have some warm-down miles to do after, but I know I have to push… always have to push in a race.  I’ve heard people cheering for someone behind me so I try to pick it up to keep him from passing me in the last bit.  I don’t look back though.  I focus on the Lord and try to give Him an honest effort I can be proud of.

Mile 13. 7:12.  Yes!  the finish is near.  I was here 3 hrs ago and didn’t know how the day would go.  God is good!  Anna tags me with one last snowball. I finished 9th in 1:38:14. 3rd in my age.  The guy I heard behind me finished 2 secs after.  The overall winner was a woman at 1:28.  Then a man at 1:31, then Dana Haldeman at 1:33, and Eddie at 1:34.  I was really happy with my time. 


After re-connecting with everyone.. I headed on my 3mi run along the course to my car.  It was hard and 10:30 pace was all I could do.  But it was neat cheering for other runners.. I saw Claire, Elizabeth, Mike, and Liz, all Tuesday Night Track runners.  Sometimes I tried to push harder but something would start to hurt so I held back.  I’m so happy to make it to my car after 21.5 mi total and change into other clothes and head to church.. Thank you, Lord!  I didn’t know it would work and I thank God it did.  It helps me feel more confident for Napa Marathon in 2 weeks.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Happy Kid’s Du #2–Ariel–2019

Date/Location:2/9/19, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 30:10 (PR 29:58)
Place:Ariel: 2nd, 9 & 10 Year Old Girls

The 1st Run

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! I start running straight. I’m trying to get closer to a girl named Kiali. I can see her up ahead of me. She gets smaller and smaller as she gets farther and farther away. I push myself to get closer. I feel like I’m going fast but I’m not getting closer to Kiali. I see the boy that I was trying to pass at the previous race. I start going faster trying to catch him. He’s harder to pass than last time. I go past the bathrooms and go down a hill and then I see Kiali. I am so excited because I’ve never seen her before at this point because she gets so far away from me. I start running faster and faster but she’s getting farther and farther away from me. I try to pass the boy so I can get closer to Kiali but it’s hard. I pass him. I turn and the trail is getting muddy. There is a big mud puddle on the trail so I jump over it. I run past some rocks and now I’m on the straight away but I don’t see Kiali. I run into transition and get my helmet on. I leave transition.

The Bike

I head out on my bike hoping to catch up to Kiali and the other girl in front of me. I see one of the girls ahead. I bike faster and finally I pass her. I still think there are more girls in front of me. I see Kiali ahead of me but she is so, so small became she is so far away. A boy passes me I try to stay with him. I’m not sure if I’m getting closer to Kiali because she is already around the corner. I turn on this big turn then I go up a hill. Then I go down a hill and up and down and up. I come to this really big turnaround which is a large turn that goes up and down. I pass the boy I was behind earlier. I go back down and up and down and up the hills. And back to the big turn. I keep biking and get on the long road. I see Kiali. I bike faster and faster. This time she is not getting farther away she is getting a little closer. I go down the big hill and into transition.

The 2nd Run

When I get into transition some people tell that I'm the 2nd girl and the first girl isn't far ahead which I thought was wrong. I start running straight. I can see Kiali up ahead of me. She is so close. I've never been this close to her. I push myself more and more. I go past the bathrooms and go down a hill. I start running faster and faster but I’m getting tired. I turn on the trail an it’s getting muddy again. There is the big mud puddle on the trail so I jump over it again. I run past the rocks and see Mommy. I can still see Kiali. I want to catch her but my legs are tired. I’m on the straightaway but Kiali is getting farther away. I sprint and finish only a minute behind her. Thank you God!

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