Sunday, August 25, 2019

Good Dog/Dirty Dog 10K–Robin-2019

8/25/19, Granite Bay, CA



2nd Overall, 1st w/No Dog



10K: Oscar the Dog & Troy Soares

5K: Ashley & Hunter Glass

Anna was going to race this morning but she has rolled her ankle and will need a few more days of healing.  She’s got cross country meets on the horizon so we’ve got to keep her healthy.  Bill at Total Body Fitness has graciously allowed me to take her spot in the 10K in the no dog category at the last minute.  So appreciated!  I haven’t been training a whole lot lately so not looking forward to the discomfort that comes from racing.  I’ve been busy supporting Troy through his Ironman, Troy/Anna through their recent 1/2 Marathon (Anna’s first) and getting settled into the school year schedule.  It’s good to have something get me out and going.  I thank God that I can even jump into a race last minute! 

Our friend Chad Glass is doing the 10K with us.  His kids, Hunter and Ashley, are doing the 5K.  He brought his mom along to watch.  It’s great to hang out before!

We pray and then line up for the 10K.  We are running the 10K course twice.  Oscar and Troy are teaming up for the second weekend in a row.  This dog LOVES to run so no prob for him!

Mark from Total Body Fitness starts us off.  It’s a quick ready, set and go!  In the first stretch Troy and Oscar pull up to front.  I’m following a few non dog runners like me and a girl with a border collie.  Within a half mile we are on sand.  It’s tough but I’m able to power through.


Mile 1 is 7:42.  I’ve been able to pass the non dog runners.  I just have the border collie team and Troy/Oscar ahead.  We get to the levee and I can see the aid station and the girls.  I grab some water and wave.


Mile 2 is 7:28.  Feels like a sufferfest already but I’m gaining on the border collie team.  It motivates me to keep pushing.  Pretty soon I’m able to pass them up.  Thank you Lord for helping me persevere!


Mile 3 is 7:52.  I see Ariel and she tells me Chad hurt himself and is in the medical tent.  I say a prayer for him. 

Mile 4 is 8:02. I’m all alone now…and trying to stay motivated to push!  I’m redoing the same miles which is tough mentally as well.

I’ve made it back to the levee.  I’m catching up to the walkers in the 5K.  It’s no problem until I hit the single track.  It’s hard to pass folks with their dogs which is totally understandable.  A few times I have to slow to walk briefly. 

Mile 5 is 7:58. Tired but almost done!  I see a young girl with a dog and I realize it’s Ashley!  I catch up and tell her good job. 


Mile 6 is 8:01. Ok, the finish is right around the corner.  I here my family cheering for me.  Just a bit more!  I cross the finish line.  Thank you Jesus!


Troy and I find Chad in the medical tent with a severly rolled ankle.  We pray for him.  We send him off with his mom to get some care.  We wait with Hunter and Ashley for awards!  Then we all head off to our house for a quick change before church.  I love being able to race and still get to church!


Good Dog/Dirty Dog 10K-Troy & Oscar-2019

8/25/19, Granite Bay, CA



1st Overall



10K: Robin Soares

5K: Ashley & Hunter Glass

We always have fun running the dog races that TBF puts on at Granite Beach.

Oscar and I are coming off the 1/2 marathon so this shouldn’t be too hard.

As always, I really what to race to glorify Christ in some way.  It’s hard running a 10k, but I know God always gives me a little more energy to be concerned for others, cheer for them, and be prepared to help if needed.

Today is extra special because the Glass Family (Chad, Hunter and Ashley) are all racing!  Anna isn’t because of a hurt ankle.


We take off and Oscar is, as usual, too excited for the 1st mile

Mile 1. 7:31. We are out in front and he calms down.  He’s getting better all the time and now I feel I can really run normal and focus on people and aid stations better.

I work on form.  It’s a warm day and I prepare for the first aid station.  I tell Oscar, “Water” and he runs ahead right for the doggy pool.


Mile 2. 7:06.  A fast mile.  We’ve done this course before so I’m better prepared for where the water stations are.

We’re running well and keeping a good pace.


Mile 3. 7:26. When we come through for lap #2, Anna tells me that Chad fell and may have broken his ankle!  I’m saddened to hear that because he’s training for a big race and had been looking forward to it for years.  I pray immediately that it won’t be bad.  It’s hard running when you just want to find out more about an injured friend.


Fortunately Hunter and Anna keep me posted. 

Mile 4. 7:28.

Mile 5. 7:15. I pass his daughter Ashley doing the 5k but I don’t tell her so not to scare her.

Oscar and I push the last mile hard and finish well.


Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with being able to run.

We immediately find Chad and help him get transported home.

Everyday is a blessing and we never know when things will suddenly change.  Thank you, Lord, for having a plan even when our plans have to change.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Running with the Bears 1/2 Marathon-Anna-2019

8/1819, Greenville, CA
1/2 Marathon



1st, 15 and Under


TeamMates/Friends: Oscar the Dog, Troy Soares

IMG_20190817_065102135_HDR10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start running downhill and then onto a flat road. My pace is too fast so I slow down. My dad runs ahead because he is doing a faster pace.

Mile 1IMG_20190817_070932802_HDR. 8:19. My goal is to do an 8:20 min pace. It feels really easy right now like I'm going 10 min pace. As I’m running I start to talk to a guy. We have a good conversation and after I’m done talking to him I pick up the pace because I’m now a little behind. We start to run in a small looking forest. It’s nice and cool and I enjoy running. I can see my dad running up ahead with Oscar. A lady with her dog is not too far behind. I don’t see any other dogs running. After running for a bit we turn onto another road.

Mile 2. 8:11.  I am catching up to a girl and a boy. They look like brother and sister, I’m not sure. We run along a winding road and a sheepdog barks at me.  We are running around a huge valley and there are a lot of farms.

Mile 3. 8:15. Around the corner, I see an aid station. The theme of the aid station is the 80’s. Before we started, the race director told us that at the end of the race you get to vote on the best aid station. The aid station that wins will get a lot of money. The people at the 80’s aid station are all dressed up and playing music not too loud. I grab water and continue on.

Mile 4. 8:17. The roads are winding and go uphill and downhill slightly. It’s cool to see all the houses, farmland, and tractors. Feels like the old times.

Mile 5. 8:11.  My left Achilles starts to hurt but I just trust that God will get me through. I’m thankful though that it isn’t my right foot because I had just recently twisted it and I am glad it is holding up.

I make sure to check my pace. I’m at 8:14, so I try to take it easier. I check my watch again and it’s at 8:16 so I keep the pace. My time shows I will be done in about an hour. It’s a long time but I know I will finish.

Mile 6. 8:09. After a while, I come to another aid station.  I grab water and take a gel. I run across a bridge and am now on a straight road. I check my time and pace. I’m ahead of pace at 8:16 and have about 40 min left.

I feel good and just stay at the pace and try not to go faster so I don’t get tired out. I just hit 6 ½ miles and am halfway done. Even though it’s half way it seems like the race will be done very soon.

Mile 7. 8:20. After running a while I see a girl with her dog up ahead. I remember seeing her running with dad in the beginning. She has fallen behind. I catch up to her and we talk and run together. I now see the other road that leads to the out and back spot. I turn onto it and continue running with the gal. I see the top runner in the half coming back. She is really fast and I start to count the places to tell dad what place he’s in. I see dad and tell him he’s 5th overall and 2nd man. He says ok and I keep running.

Mile 8. 8:22. . . I see the turn around up ahead with an aid station. The theme is beach, and it’s really big and beachy. They ask us to nod our head if we’re doing the half because the marathon was also going on. I nod my head and go around the turn. I ask for water and drink. The girl running with me stops and lets her dog go in the dog pool they have. I guess that's how she fell behind Dad. I start heading back. I pass the long straightaway road where I caught up to the girl and head towards the finish. I am about 4 ½ miles to go and I already feel myself picking up the pace.

IMG_20190817_090142358Mile 9. 7:57. My foot pain starts to go away and I thank God for the help. I am going a little faster and don’t worry about my pace. I notice that my Garmin beeps about .1  miles before the mile sign. I start to cut corners as best as I can so my Garmin will line up with the mile markers.

Mile 10. 8:04. There is a steep hill. I remember the man I talked to in the beginning said there would be a big hill at mile 10. It is steep but I don't mind. I get to the top and there's an aid station. I take my gel and drink water. The gel isn't that tasty. It’s a new flavor and it’s too thick. There’s yummy looking fruit at the aid station but I’m almost done.

Mile 11. 7:44. As I run around the mountain I have 2 miles left. I think I see the finish far in the distance but I’m not sure. After I round the corner I see another little valley to go around. I’m not sure anymore if that was the finish. I start to go around and hit another aid station. It is a cute “under the sea” looking station but a little small. I grab water and continue on. I am running around the valley and am now sure that the place I thought was the finish is the finish.

Mile 12. 7:28. I hit one mile to go and push on. I am going faster now and feel I’m getting closer. I remember a 13-mile sign around the corner when I had taken the bus to the start. After a half mile I know I’m close. I start to go around a mountain and know that the last turn should have the 13-mile sign. I continue to run around the mountain. It is a long turn, but then right around the corner is the 13-mile sign.

Mile 13. 7:45. I can now see the finish up ahead. I can also hear my family cheering me on. I start to run up to the finish line and the race director encourages me. I run in and point to God. Everything hurts afterward, so I go put my legs in a huge bucket of ice and water. It was so cold but I knew it would help my legs.

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


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Running with the Bears 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

8/18/19, Greenville, CA
1/2 Marathon



1st, 50-59; 3rd Overall


TeamMates/Friends: Oscar the Dog, AnnaSoares

Not only Anna’s big day today to run her longest race, but Oscar’s big day to see if he can run 8min pace for a 1/2 marathon!  Already have run 18mi with him during marathon training, but that was much slower.

IMG_20190817_064952943_HDRSlept good last night in a cabin at Copper Creek Camp.  It was totally quiet!  Although I did have a nightmare that Oscar was wreaking havoc with other dogs at the race because I wasn’t watching him.

We drive to the shuttle pick-up in a pasture in Greenville and get attacked by mosquittos.  Anna & I get on the bus, almost forgetting our bibs.  Oscar has to wear a muzzle due to race liability rules, but he’s getting comfortable with it after traIMG_20190817_065127410ining him yesterday.

It’ll be perfect temperature, perfect course (small rolling hills counter-clockwise around Indian Valley), and perfect for Oscar with Doggie water and treats along the way.

Robin & Ariel are supporting us and pray together before we start.  I still have the Achilles injury and hope it won’t hurt much.  Anna is coming off a sprained ankle injury.  Nothing wrong with Oscar.

During our warm-up my Achilles hurts.  Anna seems good.  Plan is 8:00 pace for me and 8:20 for Anna.

National Anthem.  Trust God.  Hear we go!

Starting, Oscar is super excited of course and pulling too much.  I get him under control and now we’re rolling better.  Anna slightly behind me says, “8:20 feels really easy”.  I’m glad to hear that.  I won’t be able to coach her through it so I hope she keeps it easy for a few miles.

My heel is hurting.  I focus on the Lord and remember the walk-run form that helped at Lake Placid.

There are a few other dogs but only one is challenging us.. Bax, a Burmadoodle, and his owner, Angela.  But Bax was too nervous to do his business before the race but now’s he ready and suddenly stops.  Oscar and I move ahead.

Mile 1. 8:08. Bax is back!  And now leading.  His owner dumps the doggie bag in a conveniently placed garbage bin along the road.  At the first turn a few volunteers greet us and cheer.  Otherwise it’s just us, the beautiful hills on our right and the peaceful valley on our left.  Bax and Angela running well.  Oscar is eager to catch them so we push a little..

Mile 2. 7:44. We catch them and do introductions.  They are both nice runners.. but Oscar is quickly focused back on the road ahead and doesn’t look back.

Mile 3. 7:33. Aid station!  60’s theme. Cool music, lot’s of enthusiasm.  Supposedly they’re giving $1000 to the best aid stations so I remember this one well.  I drink a lot of water since I didn’t before the start.  Oscar doesn’t need anything yet so we lose little time.  Bax, however, takes a stop and we gain another 20 sec gap.  There’s about 6 runners ahead spread far apart.  The road is so pleasant.  I have good energy but try to keep near the plan.  Oscar runs smooth and true.  I point out some “working dogs” to him that are hearding cows on a farm to the left.  He’s interested for 1 sec and then back to the big race.

Mile 4. 7:52. We pass a runner taking walking breaks.  If I look back I can sometimes see Anna’s yellow FCA shirt.  I pray that she’s doing well and the ankle is holding up.

Mile 5. 7:50. I don’t feel any pressure for myself and would be fine going easy.  But Oscar’s been looking forward to this day and we’ve also been wondering just how fast he can go.  For that reason I know I must run the best that I can today!

Mile 6. 7:46. There’s the aid station ahead.  I take a gel and then tell Oscar, “Water!” and give him leash as he heads for the doggie pool.  I down a couple cups of water.  He drinks, cools his paws, lays down real quick, shakes and he’s ready to go!  On the main road. Pushing harder to make up lost time.  I look back and see Anna running with Bax and Angela about 2 min back.  I’m glad she’s made friends.

Mile 7. 8:14. We see a helicopter fly overhead and wonder if it’s headed to the race finish.  I’m really looking forward to this short out-n-back because it’s only 4 miles after that!  Plus Oscar and I can see competition ahead and get status on Anna behind.  A woman is leading the race.  Then a guy who yells to us, “The Canine record is 1:45.  Don’t beat it because it’s mine!”.  I tell him thanks for letting us know and immediately things just got really interesting to Oscar..

Mile 8. 7:31.  Fastest mile yet.  “Beach theme” Aid station is awesome.  I get water but Oscar ignores the treats and water and is anxious to head back.  There’s Anna, Angela and Bax.  Oscar tries to run over and greet them.  I ask Anna how’s she feeling but she’s excitingly telling me we’re 4th place.  I figure that’s a good sign she’s feeling fine and thank the Lord for answered prayers.

Mile 9. 7:18. Even faster. But I start planning our next pit stop.  I see a small non-doggie-pool aid station and verify there’s another up ahead.  We’re definitely on pace to break the record but we both want to see by how much.  We’re gaining on a woman ahead.  Going up a slight hill, 2 white dogs suddenly jump out from a property and startle her.  Then the big one comes at us.  I sternly tell him to “Go home!” and he leaves us alone.  Oscar isn’t phased, he’s got a race to run.

IMG_20190817_085731574_HDRMile 10. 7:32.  A significant climb.  Only one on the course.  It’s warming up but this side of the valley is shaded.  Nice!  Yes, at the top is the aid station.  I say, “Water!” and Oscar runs for the doggie pool.  The volunteers think I’m demanding water and run at me with cups.  I do take a couple and tighten my shoe as Oscar does his routine.  Drink, bathe, shake and go.  I feel good that Oscar is refreshed for the last 3 miles.  No more stops till the finish!

Mile 11. 8:09.  Great split even with the stop!  We pass another runner.  We stay on the left side, even though the road is winding, so Oscar can choose the dirt shoulder when he wants.  He’s running so well.  He pulls ahead a little but when I say “heel” he eases back alongside so I can give him a pet.

Mile 12. 7:19.  I’m tired, both feet are hurting, but Oscar is still eager, running slightly ahead.  I thought he might show signs of slowing by now.  I thank the Lord we are about done and the great pace He alowed us to have.

Mile 13. 7:24. Up ahead I see Ariel, and then Robin.  And the helicopter we saw now landed by the finish.  I thank God, turn up the gravel and we break the tape for first Canine Runner! 

Finished at 1:42:10, 7:48 pace.  Oscar got to stand on the podium. 


And he was fine the rest of the day and showed no soreness.  But his dog-naps were longer.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

TBF Tri for Kids #3-Ariel-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
50m S – 4mi B – 1mi R

26:50 New PR for 11+ Course


5th Female (11 +), 2nd in Age Group (11);

Winner for 11 year Girls Tri Series


TeamMates/Friends: Ruth Boatwright


5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go! I start swimming as fast as I can. This is my first-time swimming the long course with the older kids. It feels like but I should be ahead of everyone because I'm swimming super-duper fast, but I'm not. I am in the back. The sun is so bright I can hardly see the first buoy. I finally see the first buoy when I am 10 feet away from it. I go around it and keep swimming. I'm still not in the front, but I am in the back with a lot of other kids. I can't see the next buoy, it's the last one. I swim as fast as I go around it and keep it up until my knuckles touch the ground. Then I start to run out when to transition. I get on my bike helmet, my socks and my shoes. I get my bike and go out.



I run out of transition and get on my bike. We go up and down up over speed bumps. I do not like them. I try to bike around the bumps, but some you can't so I have to bike on them. I bike across the bridge. I can see the first person in the distance, but I can't tell who it is. I'm pretty sure it's a girl that I know named Shantelle, but I'm not sure. I keep biking trying to get as close as I can. Usually, when I was in the younger group, I would have started five minutes later and the first person would be coming back already, but now I'm in the older group so I'm closer to the first person. I bike my best trying to get close to Shantelle. I keep biking and biking finally, I see kids turning around at the turnaround. I go around it and start biking back. I look for Ruth but she must of already past because I couldn't see her. I keep biking and looking for Ruth. I go over the bumps and up and down the hills. I keep biking. Then I see the transition. I dismount off my bike take off my helmet and start the run.



I start running. I run to the first aid station. I can see Shantelle coming back. I grab some water from the aid station. I figure out its not water but its electrolytes which tasted like sugar. I throw it the to the ground. I keep on running the right onto some gravel and then onto the dirt. I run straight then turn. I go up a hill and cross a tiny bridge.

I go around the turnaround at the top of the hill. There's a kid behind me and I don't want him to pass me so I keep trying to run fast. I run back down the hill over the little bridge and on the flat dirt. I get back to the gravel. I see Ruth going out on the with her water bottle that my mom made with juice in it. I get back on the gravel and start running. I see the finish line. I go back by aid station. I'm not taking any water just in case I get that electrolytes water. I run across the grass. I finished at the finish line.



TBF Tri For Real #3–Robin-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R

2:36:37 (26:16 – 1:22:21 – 48:01)


3rd, F 45-49


TeamMates/Friends: Anna Soares(Aquabike), Ariel (Kids Tri),  Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen,

Up early with the girls, their friend Ruth and Troy. It’s so nice that the girls are old enough now to get chores done and ready to go.  They are in the car ontime!  At the last minute this morning Troy gets Anna’s bike ready to go.  She was going to do the Aquathon (Swim-Run) again but a sprained ankle has caused us to change her to the AquaBike (Swim-Bike). 

We get to the race transistion in time for Ariel and Ruth to set up and head down to the water.  I’m having a hard time with being joyful.  It seems like little things annoy me like my aero bottle not going on right and having to keep returning to my transistion site for gear/things I keep forgetting. 

I am able to catch Ariel finishing up her swim and transistion to the bike.  She looks strong even though she’s further back since she aged up to the big kids 100m swim.  I am able to see Ruth come out the her swim wave.  Though there are a lot more kids, she holds her own and is in the top 1/3.

I get to the water and realize I forgot to bring my spray (to help make wetsuit come off) and Sportslick (to help prevent chaffing).  I run back to transistion and make it back when the last men’s wave is about to go.  I get in the water and decide to adjust my goggles.  The strap comes undone and I hear “one minute to go”!  I see Anna on the shore.  I know her wave starts about 10 minutes after mine.  I can grab her goggles and give mine to Troy to fix for her to wear.  I run up to Troy and put the mess in his hands and ask Anna if I can take hers.  Without hestitation she gives them to me and tells me that I’m really going to enjoy them.  I jump back in the water just in time!  “Go!”

I get a good start and fall in behind the top 3 girls.  I start thinking about Anna and I am concerned that I have messed up her swim start.  Maybe I should have gone without goggles.  I pray and ask the Lord to let my goggles be fixed in time and for them to work on her face. 

At the first turn buoy our group has dropped by one.  The two remaining girls split off and I stick with the one that seems to be swimming a nice straight line towards the next buoy.  I have a nice draft for a bit until she drifts over to the right a bit far.  I go it alone and try to see if I can get ahead.  The other girl is to my left and back.  I seem to remain in the same position for a while and realize it’s best to have a draft.  I veer right and get back in the top girl’s draft.  It seems like the next buoy is still way out there.  My mind wanders back to Anna and I wonder again if she’s doing ok with my goggles.  I like her goggles and find them very comfortable.

Finally the turn buoy is here and we are swimming around it.  I am right with the top girl and accidentally touch her foot.  I know how annoying that is so I pull off to the left a bit.  I try to pass again but she’s swimming strong and I notice the fatigue setting in.  The shore is close!  She’s out and I’m right behind.  I pause to hand off my swim tag to a volunteer and then I take off my wetsuit.  I’ve been struggling for many races now to get the wetsuit off from around my ankles.  Finally, it’s off and I’m off!

Once I get to my transistion area, I struggle to know what to do first.  I pick up my arm warmers.  I do feel chilled but are they needed?  I put them down and put on my helmet, shoes and glasses.  I pick up the arm warmers again and attempt to put them on.  Forget it, too hard!  I grab my bike and go! 


Right away, there is a series of speed bumps and Bott Dots. It’s hard to get into a rhythm.  As I’m about to leave the park and get on the main road, I start to notice that my pedal stroke is not smooth and there is jerking on the chain.  This often happens when I’m in an easy gear on a flat road. I shift to a harder gear.  Same thing.  I shift up again and again but no change.  This is weird.  Something is wrong!  It feels too hard pedaling.  Troy had replaced a chain wheel on my bike yesterday.  It must not be compatiable with my set up.  I’m so frustrated that I consider turning around to show him and basically demand him to fix it.  I think back to his Ironman race story where he recalled quitting mentally in the past and didn’t want to do that again.  I don’t want to “quit” and show our girls and Ruth that when things go wrong, just stop.  I decide to live with it and continue on.  So on with the next 24 miles!

I turn and head out the long stretch to the turnaround.  The jerking continues and I try to focus on pedaling smoothly.  Cyclists seem to just be flying by me and I am so frustrated with this situation and Troy.  I know Troy didn’t do this on purpose   I should have rode my bike yesterday to test it.  I just feel mad and I don’t feel like cheering anyone on. I know this is simply selfish behavior.  Lord, I’m having a bad attitude and I’m sorry.  Please help me get through this.

I get passed by several women and I fight each time not to let them get far ahead.  It takes so much effort to maintain this pedaling!  I wonder if Anna will be able to catch me.

I finally make the turn around and head back. I’m looking for Anna.  I’m still getting passed by other riders and just keep on praying for my attitude. 

There’s Anna!  I wave and I hear her call out my name.  She looks great!


Further down the road another rider comes by.  He actually tells me good job and smiles.  It wakes me out of my selfish stupor a bit and reminds me it’s about Jesus, not me!  Thank you Lord for using that man to help me!

Finally I can see the nuclear stacks.  I am almost done!  I start thinking about what I’ll say to Troy about the bike.  I want him to know there is a problem so he can look at it but it’s too hard to explain it all.  I’ll have to wait until after the run.

I turn back into the park.  Once again Bott dots and speed bumps. 

I pull my feet out of my bike shoes as I pull into transition.  I see Troy and blurt out “Something is wrong. The pedalling is a doozy!”  Suddenly a wave of negativity comes over me.  I get to my spot and I feel unmotivated to run.  I make myself get ready and head out.  I see Troy again and say the bike didn’t go well.  I hear him say “Have a great run!  Try to go 43 min.”  I give a thumbs-down.  Immediately I feel convicted.  What a bad example!  Here I am wearing an FCA jersey and here I’m not being an ambassador for Christ.  I am sorry Lord!  That was wrong.

I regroup over the first mile.  I pass that nice guy from the bike and he says “there she is!”.  It is another encouraging boost.


Mile 1 is 8:22.  I start to feel relaxed and am able to pick up the pace.  I was expecting my legs to be trashed from the bike so this is a gift.  I starting to pass more folks but few are women.  I can see runners coming back on the trail along the lake.  I see Keith Hansen and cheer.

Mile 2 is 7:40.  I grab water and electrolytes from the next aid station.  I can see runners coming back from the out and back on the road.  I see four women in row.  Three look hard to catch and one looks like a possiblity.  I say good job even though part of me is envious of their position.  Natural human nature is not nice but selfish.  Today is not really a battle with my body but really with my attitude.  The physical challenges just help to fan the flames of my bad attitude.

I hit the road with one guy in front of me, Vern Holthouse.  He’s 79!  It takes me almost the entire out and back on the road to catch him!

Mile 3 is 7:28.  I’m surprised with that split since there is a slight incline.  I can hear another runner behind me.  I saw him on the way back.  I try to keep up the pace. This curvy trail is a fun part of the race but it’s hard because I’m getting tired. I can see the one girl I thought I can catch in the distance. 

Mile 4 is 7:35.  That guy passes me and I tell him good job.  I try to keep up.  I pass the girl.  I’m geting worn down by the winding trail.  I just want to be back on the main fire road.  I start to notice there are large rocks painted orange all along the trail.  It’s a nice distraction looking for the next rock!  Finally, I can see the entry back to the fire road!

Mile 5 is 7:25.  Great!  Just one more mile. I try to keep as close as possible to the guy.  I grab water at the last aid station.  Getting close!

MIle 6 is 7:42.  I can see Troy and I wave.  He tells me to push it to the end.  I dig a bit deeper and find a little speed.  I see the finish!  I am so glad to be done!  I cross the line and look up to God!  Thank you!


I spent the rest of the day continuing to fight my flesh.  Without Jesus I would be just a selfish mess and lost.  Lord forgive me and help me to overcome these challenges. I love you!

(follow-up from Troy: “After the race I tried to spin Robin’s pedal by hand and was shocked how hard it was.  The chain had wedged between the hangar and the jockey pulley!  It was literally scrapping metal off of the hangar on each pedal stroke!  As the mechanic I felt so bad, but hopefully won’t happen again “)

TBF Tri for Real AquaBike#3–Anna-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 40km B

1:55:03 (32:08 S – 1:21:55 B)


2nd overall women


TeamMates/Friends: Robin Soares, Ariel (Kids Tri),  Dave Campbell

Tri For Real Aquabike

I get to the race and get set up. I was originally going to do the swim-run distance but I hurt my ankle and switched over to the swim-bike (Aquabike). After I set up, I start to walk down to the swim start to watch my mom. I see my mom running up because she forgot her spray, which helps you out of your wetsuit. I’m a little worried because her race is starting very soon. I get down to the beach and start putting on my wetsuit. My mom comes back and gets in the water with barely time to spare. She now runs out again because her goggles are broken.  She asks to use mine. I give her mine and tell her not to worry and that she’ll like them. She gets in the water just as the announcer is counting down. After she takes off my dad fixes her goggles for me to wear. The announcer says we're starting soon, but I thought it would be later. My dad finally finishes the goggles and starts to help me finish with my wetsuit. The announcer says “40 seconds!”  I get my wetsuit zipped, my dad sprays my ankles and I run down to the water as the announcer counts down, 6,5,4,3,2.. splash!. I dive into the water right as it’s time to go.

I had no time to be nervous or worry about the temperature. My dad said to get water in my wetsuit, but since I didn't have time I get water in it as I am swimming. I feel great and I feel the wetsuit somewhat lifting me on top of the water. I find someone who is going my speed and draft behind them. I make sure not to hit her feet because it can be annoying. After a while, she sort of drifts to the side. I stay in the same spot and see if she will come back. She doesn't come back but stays in the same spot aiming towards the buoy. We are going the same speed so I decide to drift over to her and draft and save energy.

I continue to draft and after a while, we get to the buoy. The buoy came faster than I thought. I go around and continue drafting off her. After a while, we start to drift but we correct ourselves. She starts to drift, but this time I don't follow her. She drifts pretty far out. I am swimming and see mountains of seaweed. Sometimes I notice it and sometimes not. I keep looking up but then I start to drift the other way. I aim towards the next buoy and try to stay straight. There's a guy who is drifted very far out. I feel bad for him. I see a man up ahead and I make it my goal to catch him. I catch up to him and pass him. By now I am closer to the buoy.

I get closer and turn around it and head back to shore. The sunlight is shining down into the water. It is very pretty. I try to grab the sunbeam in the water, but I can't grab it. I continue swimming and get closer to shore. Sometimes I am scared in the water but I feel confident because I have God. I draft a little bit, but I mostly swim on my own. As I get closer to shore I see my dad waiting for me. He doesn't seem to see me yet. As I get closer I see some seaweed, then it suddenly stops and turns to sand. I stand up and start running. At shore I stop to take off my wetsuit. It is hard to stand still and pull it off. A guy comes over and grabs my tag on my wetsuit and I then take off. I run up to transition with my dad cheering me on. He says I'm in 2nd. I throw my wetsuit down and put my helmet and glasses on. I run out of transition and hop onto my bike.

I bike out fast. I slow down a little bit when I come to the speedbumps. I bike across a bridge and look at the water. I keep biking and a girl passes me.  I try to stay up with her but can’t. She bikes ahead. There is a turn up ahead and I start to go wide and forget to look back. A friend had just come up on my side when I started to go wide. I said sorry and moved more in. I bike onto a flat road and it goes for a while. The road is bumpy and isn't smooth. The road curves and continues. A red bike passes me and I then pass it back. After a while, a girl in a green jersey passes me and I then pass her back. I try to stay ahead of both of them.


Later the green jersey bike and the red bike pass me back. I pass the red bike but I can't pass the green jersey back. Up ahead we turn again and there is some downhill. The land is all yellow and dry, while the trees are all green. I'm starting to think that I should see the first people doing the Olympic coming back. Sure enough, I see them. I continue biking and after a while the road gets smooth. I start to bike faster. Up ahead now see the green jersey girl. I continue biking and trying to gain ground. I get closer and closer and finally I pass her. I continue ahead thanking God for being with me.

Up ahead I see railroad tracks. As I get closer I take it wide and go parallel across the tracks. After I go over I realize I should have looked behind. I check behind and there is a biker and then a motorcycle behind me, but not close. I thank God for keeping me safe and remind myself to always look behind. I continue biking and sometimes go over too far and hit the bumpy part in the road that is for cars who go over to far. I start to go down a hill and see mom coming up it. I wave to her, but I don't know if she saw me. I bike down the hill and keep up my pace. I see the friend up ahead that is biking back. I know the turn around must be close. Sure enough I see the turnaround. I slow down and make a turn. I see the green jersey girl not too far behind and keep up the pace. I pull out my gel and try to go the same pace while eating it. I put the gel in my mouth and use my teeth to rip the top off it. With one hand I put the gel in my mouth, put the top piece in my pocket, and steer with the other hand. When I'm done I put the gel in my pocket and continue biking. I bike back up a hill that I saw my mom go up. A different girl passes me from behind and I try to stay up with her but can't. I watch her and keep biking.

I have a few hills which I stand up a little bit. I see a sign up ahead that says something about the line between Sacramento and the county. After that sign, the road gets bumpy again. I keep biking and the road curves again. I guess I'm about 5 miles away from the finish. I don't have my Garmin because it died. I'm biking along and see the girl that passed me up ahead. I try to start gaining on her. There's a headwind but I feel God pushing me and giving me energy. I know I'm racing for Him. I slowly get closer to her and when I get 6 bike lanes away, another girl passes me. I wonder how many more girls I have to pass. The girl that passed me passes the other girl and continues on. I pass the other girl and try to stay up with the new girl. She gets ahead a little bit but I can still see her. The road curves and I know that soon we will turn back into the park and I'll be done.


I’m not letting her get farther ahead. I make the turn and gain a little bit on her. It's uphill but I don't notice. I slowly gain and get closer. I see runners now on the side of the road for the Olympic and swim-run distance. I get closer and pass her and say good job. I get to the bridge and push it. There is a speed bump and I slow down but the girl behind me didn't slow down. I decide that I won't slow down either. I keep going and make it across the bridge. I get to the road and slip my feet out of my bike shoes and keep biking. The girl behind me pulls ahead. I don't worry because I know I can pass her in transition. The girl then pulls off by a campsite and I wonder if she is even in the race. Later I found out she was in the Olympic and probably was going to use the restroom. I keep biking and get ready to dismount. I get off my bike and try to find my rack. We bike in differently so I have no idea where my stuff is. I put my bike on a different bike rack that doesn’t have any stuff. I then find my stuff and run over and put my bib number on. I run out of transition with no shoes, because I don't need them, and run into the finish. I point to God and am happy it is done.

The funny part is all the people who passed me and then later I passed back were all doing the Olympic distance. All though it was good to have them push me. I got 2nd overall because one lady was far out there and I never saw her.

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