Thursday, July 4, 2019

Crown City 12K-Troy-2019

Date/Location: July 4, 2019 – Coronado, Ca – Racing Since 2011
Distances: 12km
Time: 1:07:10
Place: 22nd/30
Others: 5K: Anna & Ariel Soares; Jan Heidt;
12K: Robin Soares

I wake up in beautiful San Diego, but find my right heel is bothering more than ever.  I’ve been stretching and wearing different shoes.. it appears to have worsened it.  I’m also very tired.. as usual it seems.

We finallly find parking and I have to make a last-minute decision to switch shoes as the new ones are casuing a blister.

We jog to the start to meet Jan, Anna & Ariel, and my foot hurts a lot.  I stretch, we listen to the great pre-race “independence day” speech, hear the National Anthem played by a 13yr old Boy Scout on the trumpet and his dad on keyboard, and then we pray as a family before our start.

My story from last year’s race started with:

“My concern is my right heel and hamstring. It’s been bothering me.  We all gather and pray. I know each race for me is much more than a personal hobby or goal, rather it’s a chance to test my faith and a chance to be an example for others…. God always uses each race and He’ll use this one somehow and it will be a blessing.”

Today is really going to test if that statement is true.

Go!  We start by running under a giant American flag.  I can see Anna surging way ahead, she’s trying to go 6:30 pace.  Last year I averaged 6:42 pace which was a blessing because of my hamstring and foot issues.  But right away I’m forced to go much slower. 

I’m passed by about 50 runners and I’m asking God what my task is.  I know I’m to always give God my 100% effort, despite what the speed looks like.  And I’m also feeling it’s important to show gratitude to be able to run.  There are disabled entrants being pushed in strollers and of course there are those that couldn’t do this race if they wanted to.  I’m supposed to be ready for an Ironman at the end of the month and yet I feel like it’s my first running race, just barely moving along.  But I’m trusting God that there is a purpose in this and I must have a great attitude so I smile.

Mile 1. 9:17. Robin and Ariel started in the 2nd wave and now pass me.  Robin is very encouraging.  She knows how it must feel.  It’s great having Ariel run with me.  We go the same pace to the 1.5mi turn-around for her 5k.  She sees a “25min 5k” pacer go by and says to me, “That’s looks nice”.  I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to think about going faster.. but can she really catch them?  A few minutes later I say goodbye as she makes the turn-around.  I hope she feels energy and has a great race!

Mile 2. 8:38.  I haven’t looked at my watch, but it feels like 10 or 11 min pace. Very slow for me.  But I run proud.  I focus on good form and encouraging some others around me.

Mile 3. 9:11.  I see the leading men go by, with a young bushy-haired kid charging from a ways back in 2nd.  I wonder if he’ll catch him.  Then I start counting the women to see where Robin is.  This part seems so long.  My legs are hurting, probably from compensating.  I would love to see the turn-around soon.  There’s Robin!  I’m smiling.  I’m making the best of it, thanking volunteers, and being impressed with everyone that can run so fast.  Finally, the turn-around.

Mile 4. 9:02.  I look down and am pleasantly surprised to see I’m averaging almost 9min pace.  that’s better than I thought!  And if I can pick it up, I could go under 9.  Thank you, Lord, for giving me a little carrot to shoot for.

Mile 5. 8:56.  It’s all painful now.  But I know the Ironman will be like this – don’t think about how you’re going to finish it all, just think about keeping this effort and at some point I’ll be done.

Mile 6. 8:57.  Yay, just got to get to the bridge and then a 1/2 mile to the finish.  I’m passing 5k walkers now.  I know Robin, Anna, and Ariel are at the finish line waiting for me.  Maybe Jan is finished, too?

Mile 7. 8:44.  I’m surprised I’m actually running a little faster.  Thank you, Lord.  I’m proud of my effort and glad that I’ve had a good attitude.  I hope those around me see someone pushing hard and having a successful race.  And not someone who is remembering going 20min faster the year before.  Because what I want more than anything, is to hear God say, good effort, good attitude.

Finish:  Robin and Anna cheer for me.  Anna says, “I hope I can always have a good attitude like you, Dad”   Robin tells me great job.  Wow, such great support! 


It wasn’t the speed I was expecting, but it was the race I hoped for.  One to feel good about and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments afterwards.  Robin and Anna got 2nd place, both going faster than expected.  Ariel did catch the pacer and got under 25min for a PR.  And Jan won her age group!

Thank you Lord for a good day.  And God Bless the USA.