Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tri For Real #1 Aquathon–Anna-2019

6/9/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 10km R Aquathon



2nd Female


TeamMates/Friends: Troy Soares, Troy Outman (Aquabike), Ariel (Kids Tri), Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo,  David Slothower (Aquabike), Tiana Rockwell


IMG_20190609_080750654I get my wetsuit on and am excited to race. I get in the water with my dad. We both get water inside are wetsuits so they are easier to take off. I do a small warm-up swim. And then watch my dad take off in the swim. He is doing the full Olympic distance and I am only doing the Swim & Run of the Olympic distance.

After a little bit, it is my turn to swim. I am very excited and nervous at the same time. The announcer counts down. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. I take off. I feel good but I know there's a long swim ahead. I try to draft but everyone is mostly ahead. I focus on the first orange guide buoy. Troy Outman told me it's better to go on the right side of the guide buoy because it’s a shorter distance.

There is a lot of seaweed underneath us but it soon disappears after a while. I finally get to the orange guide buoy and focus on getting to the first turn buoy. I am catching some people in the heats before me. I keep swimming and get closer to the turn buoy. When I get to the turn buoy, I go around it and head for the second guide buoy.  We are on the other side of the lake and I start to see more seaweed. I mostly stare at the seaweed and swim. I look up to make sure that I am going the right way and not swimming into people too.

It is a long swim and I finally get to the second orange guide buoy. There is one more guide buoy until I get to the 2nd white turn buoy. The swim is peaceful and I enjoy it. The seaweed disappears and appears underneath me. It looks like mountains and mountains of seaweed. All of the sudden I feel my cap ripping. I know though that it can’t fall off because of my goggles. I try to draft behind some people and swim next to them.

I get to the white turn buoy and head back to shore. I try to draft behind someone but they keep zigzagging. They are on my left and then there on my right. I am now in the middle of the lake and can’t see any seaweed. The sun has started to shine and I see sunlight rays shooting through the water. I pass the last and final guide buoy and I am now close to the shore. As we get closer I can see some more seaweed. I can now see my Mom and sister waiting on shore for me. I see them but I don’t think they can see me. As I get closer to shore the seaweed gets closer. The seaweed stops though and it is all sand now. I swim a little farther and than get up and start to run. When I am out of the water, I take off my wetsuit, cap, and goggles. I run to transition and get my running gear on. I start to put my race belt on but it is all tangled. I finally get it untangled and take off.



IMG_20190609_084433147_BURST004My Dad said that I should give it a good effort and to try to get 7:30 pace. I am running and feel good. I am running on a dirt path and it is hot. I don’t feel the heat much though. I see a lady up ahead. I think she's the one I met in transition, Liz. Up ahead I also see the aid station. I get water and drink it. The last bit I pour on myself. I continue running and start to feel a cramp in my lower stomach. I keep running because there is nothing else to do.

I run up and down the hills and keep my eye on the girl. I am slowly gaining on her. I also see an aid station up ahead. I start to eat my gel so when I get to the aid station I can drink water to wash it down. After running for a while I pass the lady and we say good job to each other. We are at the aid station and I grab water. I drink it and throw the rest on me. I am running on a gravel road now. My stomach is not getting better and it is uncomfortable.

I start to run downhill on a road. At the bottom is the turnaround. As I am running my stomach hurts a lot and I walk for a second. I try to stretch my stomach cramp but I can’t seem to stretch it at all. I start to run again. I see a lady in front coming back from the turnaround. I think I can catch her but my stomach cramp is not letting me go super fast. I get to the turnaround and turn. The lady in front of me has already turned back onto the gravel road. I start to run up the hill and see the lady behind me. She has spider webs stuck to her back dangling behind her. I wonder how they got connected. I run up the hill and I turn onto the gravel road at the top. I check my watch and am surprised to see that I am going 7:20 min pace. I try to keep up the pace. I see the aid station ahead from before but before I get to it a sign says to turn onto a trail. The trail is windy and I don't enjoy it too much. I can see the finish area over the lake. It looks a long way away. As I am running I see a bunch of spider webs dangling everywhere. So that's how she got the webs on her. I get some on me as I run.

I walk one more time and then the trail ends. I am at the aid station on the gravel road. I grab some water and drink it. I then turn onto another trail and there are a ton of spider webs. I duck underneath them. Or at least I try. I run on the trail and go across mini bridges. I have to walk sometimes. The lady behind me catches me and tries to help me out. She tells me to keep walking. I keep walking even though it's starting to really hurt. I walk and run but stop a lot and sit. I get in some shade and stay there. It is too painful and hurts really bad. I ask God for help. After a while, a man comes around the corner. He is a race official who was out running the run. He comes over and I tell him that I am hurting. He starts to help me up but I start to throw up. It is uncomfortable. He looks at my bib number and tells me he will get the truck. He leaves and I throw up a few more times. I lay in the shade and am still hurting but the pain starts to lessen. After awhile I feel better.

I start to walk and then I start to run. I run along the trail. I then start to see someone running towards me. It is Liz who passed me earlier after I had passed her. She had heard from one of the officials I guess. She asks if I'm ok and I say yes. I thank her and she says, “I can’t let someone faster than me finish behind me.” I tell her that is sweet. We run together and I see an aid station up ahead and I see my Mom there too. I get there and she tells me to get water and I do. I found out my Mom heard the news on the radio and ran to the first aid station. I keep running and Mom follows behind so she isn’t like a pacer. I see me Dad running towards us because he is doing the Olympic distance and starting the run.  My Mom quickly explains why she's running with me and we continue on. I also see Troy Outman who is racing. He cheers me on.

IMG_20190609_100525392_HDRWe are getting closer and I try to run fast. My stomach is hurt a teensy bit which holds me back from going really fast. I start to run on the grass and the finish is just ahead. I get to the road and run though. I point to the lord because kept me stable in it all. I get checked out by a medical person afterward. I am fine and said I had heat exhaustion. Thanks to the Lord I still got 2nd because my friend, Liz, who helped me out.  She finished 3rd.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever!

Tri for Kids #1–Ariel-2019

6/9/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
50m S – 4mi B – 1mi R

25:12 PR! (Previous PR 31:35 – 2017)


2nd Female, 1st Femaile in Category


TeamMates/Friends: Troy Soares, Troy Outman (Aquabike), Anna (Aquathon), Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo,  David Slothower (Aquabike), Tiana Rockwell



10, 9, …, 3, 2, 1, go! I start swimming. I start kicking faster and faster. It feels like I'm behind a lot of people. But when I put my head up there's actually not a lot of people in front of me. I go around the buoy and then swim a little farther and then I feel the ground and I start running out of the water. I run to transition. Dad, Mom, and Anna cheer me on. Dad said he thought that I came out in fourth place on the swim and that I had the best kick out of every single person.


(Ariel is the 3rd swimmer from the front)



I get on my shoes and socks. And bike out of transition. I pass people as I go over bumps. I keep trying to pass people as we start going over the bridge. I can see someone all the way across the bridge. It is the first person from the older kids race. As I get closer to the girl, I realize that it's my sister's friend, Shantelle. She is way ahead of me. There is no way I can ever get her. I pass more and more people as I go. I keep hoping that the turnaround is soon. I go past the entry to the park. Then I see a boy from my race coming back so I knew the turnaround wasn't that far away. Finally, I come to the turnaround. I go around the turnaround and see a lot of people. I see a girl that I know named Bella. I see some boys in front of me. I pass them right before I get into transition. I get off my bike and quickly take off my helmet and off I am on the run.




I start on the run. I want to pass some more people. I don’t really know what place I am in. I run on some grass and get some water at the aid station. I run up a hill and down. I run over a bridge that they made. I run up and down and the I see the turn around. I turn around and run as fast as I can to the finish. Some boys are behind me. I go up and down. I get back to the grass and start sprinting. I finish.

Praise God. I got 1st place, Anna got 2nd place and Dad got 5th place.


TBF Tri for Real #1 (Troy)

6/9/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R

2:29:38 (27:59 – 1:23 – 1:09:29 – 1:08 – 49:38)


5th, M 50-54


TeamMates/Friends: Troy Outman (Aquabike), Ariel (Kids Tri), Anna (Aquathlon), Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo,  David Slothower (Aquabike), Tiana Rockwell

The TBF Tri-for-Real at Rancho Seco Park is a good venue for the Olympic Distance.  Warm water; flat, straight bike that can be windy, and a mixed-terrain run that can be hot!  I’m really run-down coming into this race.  There’s been a lot going on with the remodel at home and my last training ride I felt very fatigued.  Even though I’ll have to go slower to get through the race, it doesn’t mean the attitude or appreciation has to be less.  I know if I focus on God, every race has a purpose.

Anna and Ariel are also racing. Robin is supporting all 3 of us – I appreciate her support so much!  It’s good to see familiar faces: Troy & Sarah Outman, Dave & Francie Campbell – as well as their grand-daughter, Bella, who is racing the kids tri, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo – a nice 17yr old kid in our neighborhood who is also a top triathlete, Tiana Rockwell, and Dave Slothower – who I’ve been racing with since 1995!

I warm up a little bit on the bike, a little in the water, but the only prior run I do is a barefoot sprint back-n-forth to transition watching Ariel’s performance.  She started a 1/2 hr before my race and had a great swim!  I got to see her transition from bike to run before I had to go to the start.

At the start, 4 of us gather to pray: Troy & Sarah Outman, Anna & I.  I’m reminded how good it is to have the Lord’s leading into any competitive event.  There are so many opportunities in a race, but without God I’m sure I would see only the competitiveness.  Instead of the depressing focus on the fact there is always someone faster, I can have the inspiring focus that there is always someone needing encouragement.  If I let Him, God can do that through me.


The start here is great – it’s a wide, clear, straight shot to the buoy.  I feel smooth, but quickly I’m losing touch with the group.  Right away I can tell I don’t have a higher gear to latch on to faster swimmers.  Around the first buoy and I can’t see too many in my wave.  I’m swimming straight and calm and having no issues.  I like seeing seaweed below at times because it shows I’m moving forward.  My pace feels good and I imagine I could still get a good time.  It takes a LONG time to get to the 2nd buoy.  I check my Garmin but the distance looks accurate.  It just feels long.  Around the buoy finally and towards shore.  It’s hard to see where the finish is but I try to trust my guess.

I come out to the wonderful support of Robin and Ariel (who had now finished her race) telling me I’m 1-1/2 min behind Dave Campbell.  It’s fun competition and I’ll give it my best.  [Keith Hansen is 4 min ahead, the lead woman in the next wave is 1-1/2 min behind, and Troy Outman, 2 waves behind is 3-1/2 min behind.]


I have a good transition, jump on my bike and it feels good to start biking.  But I can feel that my legs don’t have power.  Leaving the park I fumble my water bottle and drop it on the side of the road.  It will cost me some time but I’ll pick it up on the way back to comply with the no-littering rule.

There are plenty of bikes to try to keep up with.  A guy in just a speedo is ahead and I try to work on my pedal form to improve power and catch him.  Some positions seem good and I speed up, but at the cost of fatigue or comfort.  Other positions are not fast and he pulls away.  For all of us, it’s a perfect day out here without wind.

Last year I had all kinds of shifting problems.  This time the bike is working well.

62495614_10157282767074437_1025775362950299648_o1/2 way to the turn-around, the lead woman goes flying by me.  Pretty impressive.  A while later, the 5th place 50 yr old goes by me just as fast.  Before the turn-around, I see Dave Campbell going back already 3min ahead of me.  I yell, “Great job, Dave!”

At the turn-around I make an efficient fast turn and start pushing more with “compressed quads” (another pedal form I try sometimes).  Troy Outman is 1-1/2 min back.  I pass the guy in the Speedo again for the 5th time and he jokes as I appear, “Stop following me!”.  1/2 way back I see a gal on the opposite side of the road with her bike upside down.  I ask if she needs help and she says, “if you see sag support, tell them I’m here”.  That could be a long time for a small race like this, but not much later I see sag support heading towards her.  Thank you, Lord, for helping her.

The twin cooling towers of the old nuclear power plant are getting larger which thankfully means I’m almost done with the bike.  As I turn into the park, I hear Troy Outman, “Come on, Soares!”, moments before overtaking me.  I’m glad he’s having a good ride, especially because he has a running injury forcing him to do the Aquabike instead.

I pull of the road, jump down into the ditch and retrieve my water bottle.  Rookie move dropping it.  The guy in the speedo passes me during the manuever.  Finally, I come into T2, great dismount, slow transition tying my shoes, and now to see how much energy I have to run.  Anna should  be finishing the run about now.

[1st place 50 yr old is 12 min ahead, Keith is 8-1/2 min ahead, 5th place 50 yr old is 5min ahead, Dave Campbell is 4-1/2 min ahead]


I high-five Troy Outman, who is now done, and head out with a smile.  I’ve got to drink a lot.  I start out slow, the body is tight, but the right achilles isn’t bothering me much.  1/2 mi out I see Anna running back, with Robin next to her.  “She threw up five times,” Robin says.  Poor Anna.  I wonder what happened and wish I was there to help, but I also feel the Lord’s comfort that, as painful an experience she had, it’s good for her to learn how to get through it and keep going.  [Anna most likely got dehydrated/heat exhaustion.  Robin overheard radio conversations to race officials at the finish about a young girl who was sick and ran out on the course to meet her for the last mile. Anna persevered and still got 2nd place].

I’m reminded of a race where Anna got terrible cramps and I chose not to stop and help, instead encouraging her to pray.  And I prayed that she would see his hand at work helping her finish. That proved to be an important experience and I pray today will, too.

Mile 1, 7:57.  I take a Hammer Gel and plenty of water.  I’m really feeling the fatigue and the heat, but gotta keep moving and remain positive – it might feel better, I might catch someone.

Mile 2, 8:01. I drink a water, pour a water on my head, try to look forward to the downhill to the turn-around.  I expect to see Dave coming back onto the dirt road from the street [actually Dave was 7min ahead so had just turned back off into the trails]  On the street now, with runners coming and going, and some struggling with the heat, I notice the sag van with multiple riders inside including the woman I saw on the side of the road.  I make the turn-around and push up the hill.

IMG_20190609_103130456Mile 3, 7:47.  This hill seems harder and hotter than usual.  Turn left onto the fireroad, onto heavy gravel.  A guy passes me running farther to the side on the flat road.  I follow his idea to avoid the big rocks.  Onto the single-track, which is usually fun and I was hoping Anna would enjoy it but, under the circumstances with her feeling sick, probably not.  A quick stop.  Then an aid station - another Hammer Gel and a lot of water.  I’m beat but try to stay motivated to push.  I start counting the cool, curved, wooden bridges on this trail.  I pass a couple runners and try to encourage them by pointing out the bridges.

Mile 4, 8:24. [Tony has finished]  After 7 bridges, and almost back to the road, I see the 5th place 50yr old walking.  I ask him if he’s allright and he says, “No, I’m overheating”, but he’s walking fine and doesn’t appear serious.  I remind him there is water in 1/2 a mile.  I continue on and say a prayer for him, that he might be able to run the last mile. [Dave Campbell has finished]

Mile 5, 8:05.  1 more mile!  [Keith Hansen has finished] Sports drink and water on my head.  Thank you Lord for getting me to here.  Help me smile and press on.  I do smile.  I pass a couple more runners.

Mile 6, 7:55.  I see Robin up ahead.  And Troy Outman.  And Anna.  I point to God and smile with much appreciation for Him getting me through a hot struggle amidst much fatigue.

Mile 6.2, 1:28.  Done.  Thank you, Lord.  I talk with Dave, Keith and Troy.  I’m glad to see them excited about their bike times getting faster.  I’m usually a little bit faster than them and I know how exciting it is to finally catch someone you’ve been working hard to beat.  Some days you get caught, and sometimes you pull ahead, it’s fun sport if you can remember that, and a worthwhile sport if you can encourage others to race their best despite what others do. Now to recover, sleep, and be better prepared, Lord willing, for the next race Smile