Sunday, March 1, 2020

Napa Marathon-Robin-2020

Date/Location:

3/1/2020 Calistoga to Napa, CA

Distance:

26.2 Miles (Marathon)

Time:

4:36:29

Place:

45th/111 (W45-49)

Teammates:

1/2 Marathon:
Marathon: Diane Kato, Marilyn Watson Terrazas

It’s been a tough 2.5 weeks leading up to this marathon.  I injured my hip in the middle of a track workout.  Last weekend, I transferred from a half marathon to a 5K.  It’s been a mystery trying to figure it out.  We went to urgent care a few days after thinking it was a possible tear.  But after some massage, research online and talking to a physical therapist at the marathon expo, and doing various stretches and motions, it points to a tight TFL. After a rough run on Thursday, I’ve decided I need to put more focus on the Lord and cut out distractions esp. on my phone like social media and news.  I’ve spent time in prayer, worship and in the Word.  I’ve gone from stressed and worried about this race and the future to content and calm.  Only the Lord is able to make me at peace…I’m not naturally calm. 

The plan is to start tomorrow and be ready to pull out at mile 2 or anywhere in between.  Anna has a volleyball tournament tomorrow and we’ll miss most of her day unfortunately but we planned this marathon well before. Our planned departure is 5 hours after the race starts.  So I have up to 5 hours to walk if I want to and enjoy the day…or pull out and cheer on others along the way.

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Troy and Ariel drive me a short way to get a little closer to the start.  We pray togehter and then I’m off. 

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I walk and get in line for the porta potties.  There are few bathrooms and long lines.  I have 20 minutes until the race starts.  I don’t need to warm up or get a good spot on the line so I’ve got the time.  I meet a gal in line from Fresno, Tanya.  I ask her goal time.  She’s going for a 4:20. I tell her I’ll pray for her. The line is moving slowly and I tell Tanya we’ll make it. Some volunteers come over and tell us it’s 3 minutes until the start.  Boy, that got people to pick up the pace! 

I get to the start with less than a minute to spare!  I’m off!  Right away the hip feels sore.  I try speed walking and also shuffling.  They both feel about the same.  I’m behind the last pace group of 5:30.  It is humbling being in the back. 

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 1.3.  It’s easy to spot Troy because he’s wearing his yellow FCA Endurance jacket.  I wave. 

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I feel emotional and tell Troy “this is humbling”.  I tell them I’m ok and will keep going for now. 

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I’m at about 12:16 pace.  Ariel tells me they saw our FCA teammate, Marilyn Terrazas.  I’m glad they got to cheer her on!

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 3.7. I smile and wave.  I’m at 12:30 pace.  I continue on!

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I am able to pick up the pace.  Yay!  I catch up to the 5:30 pace group.  One of the two pacers is super hilarious.  I get some good laughs from him as I go by.

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 5. I smile and wave.  I’m at 12:10 pace.  I continue on!  I hear Troy joking with the funny pacer.  

Each mile gets better but I’m still sore.  Thank you Lord!  I want to glorify you.  Please show me how.

At mile 7.3 I can see Ariel and Troy getting out of the van.  I wave to them and point ahead to let them know I’m continuing on.

By mile 8 my average is down to 11:24. Still sore but not worse. Alright! 

Suddenly, I feel a snap in my hip like a big guitar string being pulled across. I then start to feel more pain. I walk a bit and then try to run…oww!  Oh boy, I think I’m done.  I hope I see Troy soon!!

I try to run every so often but mostly walk fast.  The 5:30 pace group catches me and they encourage me to run.  I smile and tell them my hip hurts but thank them for the encouragement.

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 9.6.  I stop and tell him what happened.  He suggests massaging the area.  After a quick bathroom break he massages me.  It’s tender but seems to give a little relief.  I try running…oww.  I tell Troy that I think I’m done.  He says ok and I take off my race belt with my race number. I tell Troy we can just head off to Anna’s volleyball tournament now.  He reminds me that the plan for leaving to see Anna isn’t until 12:30pm.  It’s 8:45am now so he suggests I just walk some more and enjoy the time to myself.  They’ll pick me up at the next accessway.  I agree and put my race number back on.

I head off doing a quick walk.  I try running again and find that it’s bearable to jog.  Thank you Lord!  I just want to follow Your lead!

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 11.5.  I smile and wave.  I’m running pretty comfortably now and tell them I’d like to keep going. Troy shakes his head in amazement and says he’ll pick me up past the half marathon. 

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As I continue on, I feel soreness and doubt my decision to go on.  Lord, help me get to the next meet spot. 

I start to feel more comfortable and continue to run.  I make it to 13 miles. Yay!  I just ran a 10:11 mile! My pace is 12:01.

I start to feel better and better.  My pace gets quicker…9:27 mile!

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 15.  I smile and wave.  I tell them I’m feeling good and the soreness is very minimal.  I want to keep going.  Ok!

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8:53, 9:02, 8:40, 8:32!  Wow, Lord this is incredible!  I think I can actually finish this marathon.  If it’s Your will though not mine!  I’m passing people like crazy and it reminds me of running a leg of the CIM relay within the CIM Marathon.  I try to encourage others along the way.

Ariel and Troy are waiting at Mile 18.5.  I smile and wave.  Troy and I look at one another and we are both thinking the same thing…What God is doing here is AMAZING!  Well, let’s keep it going as long as God allows it!  I ask Troy if the “big” hill is ahead…yep, around Mile 19.  I tell him I might actually have an issue of bonking (running out of energy) now.  He says that’s a good problemt to have.

I continue on and don’t see the hill yet.  I overhear a guy saying they moved the start back to make the finish line more direct so that means the hill is a little further now.

Up and over the hill.  It feels great!  9:15 mile! 

I see the 5:00 pace guy and pass him.  I could possibly run under 5 hours for this marathon if it’s God’s will!

I hit the “wall” or 20 mile mark.  A best case scenario option was that I would take 5 hours to walk to mile 20 and then drop out. And here I am running sub 9 min pace at 3 hours and 40 minutes!  Lord this is unreal!  Thank you!! 

I see a runner that looks like Marilyn.  It is!  I stop and ask her how I can pray for her.  She says “to glorify God” and I tell her that is my request too!  I pray for us and then continue on.

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I pass up the 4:50 pacer.  Wow!

I average 8:40 for the next 3 miles.  I see Troy and Ariel ahead at Mile 23.  We are so amazed and praising God. 

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I pass up a guy with calf cramps and Troy encourages him.  The guy jokes that maybe he should have run some long runs.  I see he’s wearing an Ironman visor and I tell him “your an Ironman, you can do this!”.  Troy cheers me on a tells me they’ll see me at the finish.  The finish?!!!  Even if I have to walk, I’m going to finish!  Oh Praise You Lord!  If I can keep this up, I can run just over 4:30 for the marathon!

I get amped and start picking it up.  I get greedy and start to desire a faster time.  Suddenly I feel a twinge in my hip.  I slow down but it still hurts.  I walk a bit.  God is helping me remain humble and mindful that this is no ordinary marathon!

I’m able to get moving again.  Mile 25 was 9:49.  Boy, it doesn’t matter what kind of pace or effort, the last 2 miles of a marathon seem like an eternity!

I see Troy ahead.  He’s so excited as I am too.  We are just both revelling in this moment.  He tells me that Ariel is waiting at the finish and that he’ll see me there.  He sees the 26 mile sign and says he’s going to run ahead and get a picture.  Some other racers remark that you cannot miss that photo opportunity.

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I am so looking forward to crossing the finish line.

As I round the last corner to the finish, I am tearing up and beaming.  I look up to the Lord as I finish. 

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Wow!  Thank you Jesus!  I find Troy and Ariel and we stop to pray and praise Jesus.  I hug Troy and cry.

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It is so amazing Lord that you gave me this moment.  You were right, You did do something amazing today!  Now it’s my job to tell others so You get the glory!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Davis Stampede 5K-Robin-2020

Date/Location:

2/23/2020 Davis, CA

Distance:

5K

Time:

24:48

Place:

2nd (W45-49)

Teammates:

1/2 Marathon: Dana Haldeman, Martin Sengo, Troy Soares
10K: Melissa Penwell
5K: Ariel Soares, Anna Soares

I injured my hip over a week ago and I have a marathon coming up next weekend. I want to play it safe but still want to test it out today so I’ve changed from the 1/2 Marathon to the 5K.  It’s been a tough setback emotionally and it’s been a spiritual struggle as well.  But, God is faithful.  I know this but my attitude needs an adjustment.  He gave me this verse this morning…

1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3)

He wants this injury to be used for His glory.  I have my mission.

Troy suggests that I run 8:30 pace.  Ariel is going sub-8min pace and Anna much faster.  Ariel wants to break her PR of 24:42.

We see Troy off in the half marathon.  I am sad he won’t be running with me but I see our friend Dana Haldeman.  I hope he can run and find some others.

I see our friend Courtney Cardenas annoucning.  I give him a quick hug since I know he’s busy!

Anna lines up up front with Melissa Penwell from track.  She’s doing the Olympic Trials next weekend!  Ariel and I line up together further back. 

Ready, set, go! 

I feel good starting out. I’m not sure if my hip is going to hurt.  I can see Ariel up ahead.  I can see her looking at her “Virtual Partner” on her watch.  I look at my pace and I’m just under 8:30 pace.

I’m catching up to Ariel which means she’s not on her goal pace.  I want to help her.  It’s a risk to pick it up but I decide to try.  I catch up to her and we start to pick it up.

Mile 1 is 8:17.  I’m feeling really good.  If I took the hip out of the equation, I really think I could run even faster.  Ariel and I catch up to a mom and her son.  She says “this is a long time from the stroller days!”.  “That’s for sure”, I say.  I realize we both pushed our kiddos in the stroller races in Davis years ago!

200223_davis_stampede_5k_robinMile 2 is 7:58.  Ariel is running strong but I can tell it’s tough.  I tell her that we need to stay with the mom and son.  I encourage her to swing her arms like she’s trying to elbow someone behind her (but of course not really) to avoid swinging across the body. My hip is doing well and I still feel strong.  As we go down into a tunnel, I can feel something so I back off and tell Ariel that I’ll catch up.  I am able to catch up on the uphill.  A second tunnel is coming so I take the same approach. 

At a 1/4 mile to go I tell her it’s only a lap on the track now!

Mile 3 is 7:59.  It’s going to be close for Ariel!  The mom and son start to take off.  I try to pick it up too but my hip seems to be warning me.  I tell Ariel to run ahead and push it.  I see her pass the mom and son.  I tell her to keep pushing.  As she rounds the last turn I can see the son and another guy going into a full sprint.  “Go Ariel!!”.  She hangs on and stays ahead.  She gets her PR too!  Yay!  Thank you God! 

I feel pretty good finishing but I am concerned how it’s going to feel later.  For now, I just appreciate God letting me be able to help Ariel.  I love you Lord!

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

Date/Location:

2/23/2020 Davis, CA

Distance:

13.1 mi

Time:

1:44:05

Place:

7th (50-54)

Teammates:

1/2 Marathon: Dana Haldeman, Martin Sengo

10K: Melissa Penwell
5K: Ariel Soares, Anna Soares, Robin Soares

I was supposed to be running with Robin, helping her get a 1:45 in preparation for her marathon.  But unfortunately she has an injured hip and had to switch to the 5k today.  It won’t be the same running without her, even with 350 people around me.  One of those people is Dana Haldeman.  I tell her she’ll be way ahead of me like she was at the Manda Run a year ago but she says her coach has her going easy, but picking up the last 3 miles.  My plan is 8:20 pace because Anna just told me that is what she got at her 1/2 marathon.  Robin, Anna, Ariel and I pray and my prayer is that Robin won’t feel pain during the 5k.  If she does, it could mean the injury is worse than we thought.  I’m trusting the Lord.

Go!  I watch the 1:45 pace sign move ahead and am surprised that it is pulling away.  I go a little faster as we cross onto the bike paths.  I finally realize that 1:45 is 8:00 pace and I want 8:20 pace which is a 1:49.  Ok, I can settle back down.  Good thing, too, because even this pace feels hard.

Mile 1. 8:16. Up the overpass a guy who looks like a pro goes by fast pushing a kid in a stroller.  Weather today is perfect.  Bright and sunny.  On the long straight-away I try to go into the zone.  The hardest part right now is my sore achilles tendon.  it’s been a problem for a long time now.  I’ve learned to use my hips more and less up-and-down so I’m sure I’m going to make it, just will take a lot of focus.

Mile 2. 8:02. That was a pretty fast mile.  The 1:45 pacer is about 20 secs ahead. 

Mile 3. 8:05. I better ease up, too fast.  I think about Anna, Ariel, and Robin running the 5k right now.  I pray for each one – Anna and Ariel going for PR’s and Robin running slow hopefully with no pain.  A gal next to me comments that I’m holding a good pace and it’s helping her.  She also says she likes the verse on the back of my hat.  Phil 3:14 “Press on towards the goal..”  “It’s my favorite verse”, I say, “reminding me to focus on God even when it gets tough, like the end of the race will be for me!”

Mile 4. 8:14.  I learn that the gal running with me is doing her first race since breaking her femur.  I get her name (Tami) and pray for her and her femur.  I imagine Anna, Ariel and Robin done at the finish line now.  Dana starts to pull ahead.  Cloud cover has rolled in.

Mile 5. 8:11.  Ah, onto the dirt path.  Feels good and looking forward to the dirt/gravel path around the golf course.  I feel like picking it up.  I encourage Tami and tell her I hope the soft path is easy on her femur.  I increase pace a little.  My achilles hurts sometimes but I try to find a form that feels good on it.

200223_davis_stampede_half_troy_2Mile 6. 8:09. A guy next to me hates the path and asks how much longer it goes.  “About a mile”, I say, “I like the different terrain.  And there’s a wooden bridge up ahead which is going to feel nice and springy”.  Sure enough it feels like a little boost and I comment that it’s what those new Nike shoes probably feel like all the time.  He says he’s wearing them now, but they don’t give you spring on gravel so he’s looking forward to the bike path again.  I pull ahead, use the porta-potty quickly and catch back up again to my Nike friend.

Mile 7. 8:30. Cutting back onto the bike path I cheer for Tami a ways back, which leads to meeting another gal next to me who also says she’s doing her first race since a big injury.  These injury stories remind me of Robin who I pray will also have a great come-back from this injury.  I stop and tighten my shoe to help my sore achilles.

Mile 8. 8:07. Getting pretty sore now. Eating Cliff Blocks.  Average pace is 8:12.  Want to keep it until Mile 10 and then push it a little.

Mile 9. 7:58. Now it’s really tough.  A long straight-away.  But excited to see Mile 10 soon.

Mile 10. 7:55. I didn’t see a Mile 10 marker.  We’re sent around an industrial park loop.  I see the overpass and the 1:45 pacer.  And then Dana 10 secs behind.  And then Martin Sengo, race director from Auburn, comes up behind and says, “Hey, Troy, do you want to see if we can catch the 1:45 group!?”.  I tell him no way for me but he should try.  He says, “Little by little I’ll give it a shot”.  He pulls ahead on the overpass.  I start doing math in my head and realize that it wouldn’t be too hard to catch up..

Mile 11. 7:56.  Only 2 miles to go and I just need 2 7:30’s to catch the 1:45 group!  I feel pumped.  I’m going to try.  I steadily pick it up more and more.  On an out-n-back I see my Nike shoe friend and then Tami.  We cheer for each other.  Now I pray that Robin isn’t hurt from her run and if one of us is going to get hurt, that it would be me, right now, instead of her.

Mile 12. 7:07. Wow, thank you, Lord, this is exciting. Martin is 8 secs ahead.  The 1:45 group is 10 secs ahead.  Through the tunnel I try to make up the gap on the descent.  Martin catches the group. Then I catch the group.  Robin, Anna, and Ariel are cheering for me.  I look at Robin and she says she felt ok.  Thank you, Lord.  One more loop around the parking lot…

Mile 13. 6:53.  Final stretch with my family cheering.  Great finish.  I feel so blessed to learn Anna and Ariel set PR’s and are very happy and Robin didn’t have any sharp pain.  And my race was a surprise to break 1:45.  We pray and I tell them about the gal who liked my verse.  At that moment her and her husband find us and we all get to meet and thank each other for the motivation out there.  Dana and Martin also join in and there’s a lot of joy all around.

Also ran into the guy with the stroller.  He ended up running a 1:25 with stopping a few times for his kid!

Davis Stampede 5K- Ariel-2020

Date/Location:

2/23/2020 Davis, CA

Distance:

5K

Time:

24:35

Place:

1st (W10-12)

Teammates:

1/2 Marathon: Dana Haldeman, Martin Sengo, Troy Soares
10K: Melissa Penwell
5K: Anna Soares, Robin Soares

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start running slowly because my mom and I are in the back and it’s crowded. Mommy is still recovering from a hip problem so that’s why she’s running with me. I run fast and leave mommy behind. I run across a path made of wet grass. At the end of the path, it says 5k turn left, 10k and half turn right. I turned left of course. I look at my watch and see that I‘m behind the pace dad set for me which was 7:50 pace. He says I don’t have to be spot on but try to stay close. I already start getting tired. I go through a tunnel and back out. I hear mommy say “Ariel are you alright.” I reply “yes.” I keep trying to not let her catch up but she did. I stay with her. She’s going at a good pace. There's a mom and boy right in front of us who are going at about the same pace. Mom says to stick with them. I go through a tunnel. I love tunnels because you feel like you are in a movie because it’s so quiet and you can hear every breath and footstep you make.

Mile 1: 8:10. I run past the mile marker sign. I go on a small road and past a park. I see the aid station. I get water and start drinking it. I drop the cup with a small remaining amount of water. I run through another tunnel. Mommy is helping me keep a steady pace. She also is giving me tips. She tells me to pretend to elbow the person behind me when I run. We’re running on a bike path. I can’t wait until I finish.

200223_davis_stampede_5k_ariel_3.Mile 2: 8:06. We run by the 2-mile marker. My watch says it’s not two miles yet. In about .1 from the sign, it said 2 miles. I keep running. It’s very flat. We run by a lot of houses next to the bike path. I run into another tunnel. We cross a street to another bike path. And then turn. I hear people and see them. I’m so happy. I run past the playground. Mom tells me to go beat the boy in front of me. I go to a sprint. I turn the corner hoping to run right into the finish line but then I see them directing us to take a loop around the parking lot. I go around the parking lot keeping my sprint.

Mile 3: 7:47. Right as I turn into the finished chute, I hear mom yell “Go, Ariel, go!” I start sprinting as fast as I can. I look at the clock and realize it says I didn't beat my time. I’m so sad. But then when we check the results and I realize that I did beat my time by 11 seconds. I finished 1st in my age group at 24:35.

Davis Stampede 5K- Anna-2020

Date/Location:

2/23/2020 Davis, CA

Distance:

5K

Time:

19:12 PR! (Previous PR 19:40)

Place:

2nd Female Overall; 1st W13-15

Teammates:

1/2 Marathon: Dana Haldeman, Martin Sengo, Troy Soares
10K: Melissa Penwell
5K: Ariel Soares, Anna Soares

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start off running and am excited but I slow down to make sure I don't go too fast at the start. I look at my watch and it tells me I have to speed up. I'm trying to get a 6:20 pace like the race I did in San Diego. I’m not completely trained up so I’m going to give my effort to God that way I know I'll do good. The pace feels hard already but I try to relax. There is a wheelchair racer that’s right in front of me. He seems to have an advantage because he could coast after he gets fast enough. But I soon hit a grassy landscape that I have to run over. I realize that the wheelchair has a lot more difficulties than I thought. I start to notice the cracks as I begin to run on the road again. It must be tough in a wheelchair to have to go over all those obstacles. As I’m running on the path, I begin to have a side cramp. I breathe deeply trying to not let it get worse. I think about how my dad likes it when I start off with easy breathing. I can’t do that now or I’ll get a side cramp. I start to descend downhill a little bit to go into a tunnel. You can’t see anything but the runners ahead. The runner's breath and footsteps echo all around me. I come out on the other side and think about the movie Overcomer that I just saw. In the movie, the girl's dad tells her to pump her arms up the hill, so that’s what I do when I climb up the short hill. I am back onto the flat and I see the 1-mile sign. Almost done.

I continue to run on the paths through parks and it's peaceful. In many places tree branches and bushes make an arch to run under. I’m running fast and feeling good. I come up to an aid station and grab water. I can only take one sip because I'm tired and breathing hard. I look at my Garmin and I’m at an average 6:24 min pace. I start to pick it up. It’s starting to get hard and I’m really pushing. I know if I can keep this pace up I will be truly giving my all for God and Dad today. After running on the road for a bit I see the 2-mile sign. Yes, one mile left.

200223_davis_stampede_5k_anna_.A guy passes me but I try to stay with him so I can get an average 6:20 min pace. I keep my fast pace up and pass him. I look at my watch and see that I have 3 laps around the track left. I think about track season and I know I need to push hard to practice for track. I'm hurting and want to stop but I know I can't. Two laps around the track left and I start to look for the finish. I know that you pass a playground before you turn into the finish so I look around for a playground. I see a lot of playgrounds and they all look the same. So much for that landmark. I look down at my watch, 1 lap around the track. I run down into a tunnel and come up the other side. I see the finish and the expo and can’t wait to finish. I run past the cameraman and smile and point to God. Without Him, I couldn't have finished the race. As I’m about to round the corner I have a thought that maybe I would have to run around the parking lot then finish. I hope my thought is wrong, but when I come around the corner I see you do have to run all the way around the expo to finish. I’m tired and hurting but I can’t slow down. I try to speed up but I can’t go any faster then I’m going now. I finally round the corner and see the finish line in front of me. I can barely pick it up because I'm exhausted. I finish the race and am happy to be done.

I stand there for a moment and work on my breathing so I don't throw up. I say good job to some runners then I thank God for giving me an amazing race. I ended up getting a time of 19:12 with a pace of 6:18. God blessed me with a great race.

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

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Happy Kids Du #3-Ariel-2020

Date/Location:2/22/20, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 27:00
Place:Ariel: 1st, 11-12 Year Old Girls

Run

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go! I start running. Yesterday, I injured my ankle and a week ago I hurt my Achilles. I was thinking they were going to hurt but, when I started running it didn't hurt. I ran up the hill. I'm trying to stay close to the girl that always beats me. I run fast because I know the trails coming and I don't want to be stuck behind any kids but I still try not to run too fast so my Achilles and Ankle don't hurt. The girl is getting farther and farther away, but I can still see her. I feel slower than normal. Surprisingly my ankle and my Achilles are not hurting. I try to run a good pace. I go past a lot of Driftwood and down a small hill. I go across a Driftwood bridge over a tiny little puddle. Kids are passing me but, I keep most of them behind me. The turn is marked with a driftwood curve that leads to a long path. There's a younger girl ahead. And I think I can see the lead girl, too, but she's very far ahead. My ankle and my Achilles are not hurting, but I'm still feeling very slow.

I realize something odd. There is always a big puddle to jump over but today there isn't. I think maybe they dried it up or maybe it dried out. I run up a small gradual hill. I’m still trying to set a steady pace. I set my goal on a person in front of me. I keep getting close to him but every time I pass him, he passes me back. I’d pass him for a while but then later he comes back and catches me. I pass him again and this time I try hard to stay in front. I know I'm close to the Finish and to the start of the bike. I want to stay ahead to the transition. I run around the corner and see people. I hear Daddy yelling at me saying “Go, Ariel!” I run into transition and get on my bike and run my bike to the starting line.

Bike

I’m off! I go up the big hill and onto a road that is turning gradually. I see the little girl in front of me. I want to pass her so I speed up. I go down a hill onto a long road. I'm getting closer and closer to her. My legs feel like I’m about to give up but I don't stop. I keep pedaling. I pass her. I set my goal on getting closer to the really fast girl. I know she's 13 but I still want to get closer and closer to her until maybe I can catch her. She's a tough competition. I bike down a small hill onto a long bumpy road. This helps me see my competition. I look down the Rocky hill that holds the road up to see if there are any really slow runners down there but I don't see any. At the end of the road, I drink some sports drink. I need it to have more energy on this bike. I bike faster hoping to get closer and closer to her. I get to the long and tight turn. I go up and down a lot of hills. I keep trying to get closer to the kids in front. I bike into a big, long hill. I go up a hill and then down into a sharp turn. I remember what they told me at training “Raise your foot that is on the inside of the turn" but instead I continue pedalling fast on the turns. I hear someone behind me and I go faster. He passes me but, I stay right behind him. I pass him back. I can see the hill coming. I plan to wait until I’m right at the bottom before switching to a lower gear. However, I don't switch to a low enough gear and I notice my mistake. I switch again to the lowest gear and it still feels a little hard. I know I started up it too fast and now I watch him get farther ahead. I don’t let him get too far before I pick up the pace. I go down the hill into a really tight turn. I hear the person at the turn say “nice turn!”. I ride up and down hills. I get back to the long turn and back onto a curved road. I get back on the really long road and peddle faster. I get to the end and rush down the hill into transition. I take off my helmet and put my bike up.

Run

I run out onto the run. I have to not let anyone pass me. I go up the big hill and then turn onto the trail. I run through the trees. I turn and go past a lot of Driftwood and down a small hill. I go across the Driftwood bridge. I turn along with the driftwood turn and get back on the long path. I set a steady pace but then as I get closer and closer to the finish line I go faster. I run up a short, steep hill and then go down it. I know I'm close to the Finish line. I run up a small path. I run around the corner and see people. I hear Daddy yelling at me saying “Go, Ariel!” I sprint all the way to the end and speed through the finish line. I got 1st in my age group and 2nd girl overall.

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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Happy Kids Du #2- Ariel-2020

Date/Location:1/18/20, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 26:59
Place:Ariel: 1st, 11-12 Year Old Girls

Run

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start to sprint. I pass some kids and now I’m right behind the girl from last time. I think to myself I’m going to beat her. I’ll stay right behind her till the very end then pass her. She’s getting farther and farther away from me. I try to stay with her, but it’s too hard. I went too fast at the beginning and it’s very tiring already. Some boys that I passed before pass me again. I don’t give up though. I push myself to go a steady fast pace so I don’t lose the lead group too.

I go through a lot of turns. I run across a road. I run up a little hill and then on a long flat path. I think I can see her. She’s really far ahead. I don’t know if I will be able to catch up to her, but I want to make the gap between us smaller. I am almost at the end of the path. I see the boy in front of me look down at the path below us and start going down. He stops right before he touches the rocks as if it was too hard for him to get down to the path. If he did, he would be cheating. I go to the turn and then down a small hill. I run along a long path and run through the finish line.

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I run into transition ready to start the bike. I throw on my helmet and bike off. Dad says I’m 1 minute behind her. I grab my glasses, get my bike and run my bike out transition where I get on and ride off.

Bike

I put my glasses on and I bike up a big hill. I can’t see her yet but I feel if I bike really fast I’ll see her soon. I bike on a flat road. I bike down a hill onto another long flat road. I see her way ahead and start peddling faster. She is already at the end of the long flat road. I don’t think I will be able to catch her but I will try. I at least want to make the gap smaller. I keep biking along this road. I go up a gradual hill and then down a hill into a sharp corner. I bike up and down some hills and then enter into big, long turn. I go up and down again. I pass some kids that passed me on the run. I see a hill coming up so I go into a higher gear than normal so I can catch up to her but it gets hard so I go back into the low gear. I make it to the top and then go down a steep hill into a really sharp turn. I go back up and down the hills.

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I go back to the big turn. I get back to the long bumpy road and this time I don’t see her. I think I might see her but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t her. I know I was biking as fast as I can but she’s not even close. I bike faster because I’m setting a new goal to beat the two boys in front of me. I’m pushing myself a lot. I get really close to one boy and then I pass him. I get closer and closer to the other boy but he is really fast. I bike down the big hill into transition. I get off my bike and take of my helmet. I run out of transition and start the run.

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Run

I start running again. I am ahead of both boys now. I keep running up and down small steep hills and going around small sharp turns. I hear a voice and it sounds like the place where we cross the road. I didn’t remember the rough very well and keep running straight. I get to the road but its not the one I was looking for. I see some volunteers and they tell me I went the wrong way. I run back to the path I was on and see the boys that I tried so hard to pass fly by. I realize my mistake. I was not looking and went over the yellow tape. I can see them ahead. They have gone a good distance but I don’t give up. I keep running through a path surrounded by weeds. I know the road is coming up soon because I’m starting to remember the course again. I get to the road and cross it. I can see one of the boys and make my goal to catch him again. I run up a small hill onto a flat rocky path. I see Daddy and tell him I went off the course on accident. He says “keep going…you’re almost there!” I can’t see her anywhere. I get close to the turn around. I start going faster but so does she. I push myself all the way to the finish line.

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Later my Dad tells me she went all out on the bike. I ended up getting 2nd girl over all.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Happy Kids Du #1-Ariel-2020

Date/Location:1/18/20, Granite Bay
Distance:1mi R – 3miB – 1mi R
Time:Ariel: 26:59
Place:Ariel: 1st, 11-12 Year Old Girls

Run

“3, 2, 1, Go” the crowd chants. I start running. I see the girl that I met at a training workout. I want to beat her. She is very fast. I try to stay with her but its hard. I run up a steep hill. I try to pass some kids which is getting harder now that we are going onto a path. I start passing people by going on the side of the trail. I see her disappear through the trees. I run a little faster. I’m still feel like I can keep this up. It doesn’t seem to hep because she’s the same distance in in front of me. I run by a lot of drift wood and then a cross a small bridge made out of drift wood. I run up a small hill and then on to a large fat road. This helped me see she was. I think she’s a little farther ahead of me. I now the transition area is close so I start running very fast. I’m almost sprinting I jump over a big puddle and keep running. I feel a little tired right now so I slow down a little bit. I run up a hill and down that hill. I can hear people now. I come a little but steep hill and start to run faster into transition. I put my helmet on and get my bike. I get on and bike out of transition.

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Bike

I bike up a big hill. I can’t see her yet but I’m sure I’ll see her soon though. I bike on a flat road and see dad. I bike down a hill onto another long flat road. I see her ahead and start peddling faster. I pass some kids. I keep biking along this path. I go up a gradual hill and then down a hill into a sharp corner. I bike up and down some hills and then enter into big, long turn. I go up and down again. I hear someone and start peddling faster. A boy that I remember from the workout passes me. I see a hill coming up. I go to one of my lowest gears and start going up the hill. I make it to the top and then down a steep hill into a really sharp turn. I go back up and down the hills. I go back to the big turn. And back onto the long bumpy road and I see her again. I bike faster and I’m getting closer to her then before. I bike down the big hill into transition. I get off my bike and take of my helmet. I run out of transition and start the run.

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Run

I run up a steep hill. I get onto the path. I pass a couple kids and I see her disappear through the trees again. I run a little faster. This time I’m closer. I run by a lot of drift wood and then a cross the small bridge over the puddle. I run up the small hill and then on to a large fat road again. I see where she is. She’s a little farther ahead of me. I start running faster. I jump over a big puddle and keep running. I feel a little tired right now so I slow down just a little bit. I run up a hill and down a hill. I can hear people now. I come up a little but steep hill. I start sprinting. There’s not a lot left in me but I don’t care. I sprint as fast as my body will let me into the finish line. I got 1st in my age group and 2nd girl overall. I wasn’t able to catch her but I got close. I’m looking forward to next time.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Resolution Run 5K-Ariel-2020

Date/Location:

1/1/20, Railhead Park, Auburn

Distance:

3.4 mi (new longer course)

Time:

35:14 (10:22 pace)

Place:

2nd, 9th o/a

Teammates:

10Mile: Anna Soares, Robin Soares, Troy Soares, Manouch Shirvanioun, Wyatt Hamilton
10K: Hunter Glass, Suzanne Hartley
5K: Ashley Glass, Caryn Galeckas, Debbie Booth, Elizabeth Katsura, Leah Booth, Seely Fam (Jon, Ardelle, Adalynn, Alice)

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start running. I think that it will be a long time until I get to the uphill so I run a faster pace than normal.  I run out of Railhead and then I start running down. Now I realize that the uphill will come sooner. I run down and I remember what Daddy was telling me about running downhills, “…the perfect speed to go downhill is just before your running out of control” Thinking this, I run a little faster. It hurts a little bit because I have to run with my toes pointing down. I see Mrs. Booth (Anna’s best friend’s mom) and pass her.  I think I can stay ahead of her. I keep running downhill. I can pass a lot of people. It starts to get flat so I know that the hill is coming up.

I go down a small hill (compared to the big hills I just went down). Then I see the uphill. I know it's going to be tough. I say to myself, “I am not going to walk the whole way”. I start going up the hill. Its already hard but I don’t give up. I am running slow. I look behind me and see Mrs. Booth coming. I speed up a little bit, but she’s still coming fast. She passes me so I try to stay close to her. She seems to be going fast. She gets way ahead. I see a cameraman and smile as I go past. I run a little more when I hear Dad. I look behind again and see him coming. I pick up the speed. I keep going faster. I look back again. This time I see him coming right behind me. I can’t believe he caught me (he’s doing the 10 miles). We run together a little before Daddy runs ahead. I look behind and I see Anna. I say, “Dad, Anna’s coming!” I run a little faster but then I slow down because it’s getting hard. Anna catches up to me and we run together a little bit and then she also runs ahead. ”I wonder where Mom is. Anna might beat her.” I feel like walking. I walk a little a then run again. I run into the place where the 5k and 10 miles split I start running up another hill when I hear mom say “Go, Ariel!” I keep running. I feel like walking again but, this time I don’t walk. I keep running.

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It keeps going up and sometimes I go down or it's flat. I walk a little then run again. I remember some more things that Dad told me. “If you’re going to walk, walk fast.” And, “try running the whole way”. It is very hard to climb the hills. My first-mile pace was around 6:55 but now that it’s all hills and my pace goes down to 10, 11, and 12-minute paces. I try not to go any faster, because if I do, I feel like I am probably going to walk more but, I still try to keep a perfect pace. I walk sometimes but, I still try not to. It gets more flat, then I get to go down but, then I have to go up again. I think I am close. I start going up the hill that last year was the hill to the finish line. But they changed the course and Its longer. I see a turn on the hill marked with a pink ribbon which is the ribbon that they said to follow. I see 2 people going the wrong way, so I call them and tell them, “I think it’s this way!”  But only one of them heard.

Now that the course turned, I get to run on the flat ground a little. I have some uphill. The course comes to a gate that I remember from when we had Track at Railhead. I start going faster because I know that I am close to the finish line. I keep running trying to get closer to the people in front and get farther from the people behind me.  I run on the road a little and then on a small trail I know. I’m back on the road now and I’m going faster. Then, all of the sudden, I see a kid that is in front of me start sprinting to the finish line a different way. I’m pretty sure he is in my race. What if I went the wrong way? What I if get disqualified?  I’m so deep in thought that, before I know it, I am halfway down the finish line. “Go Ariel!”, yells Leah, “Hunter is right behind you!” I start to sprint. I run right through the finish right before Hunter does (he was doing the 10k and started 15 minutes earlier). Everyone did great. I got 35:14 (it ended up being 3.43 miles) and I got 2nd in my age group.

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Resolution Run 10 Mile-Anna-2020

Date/Location:

1/1/20, Railhead Park, Auburn

Distance:

9.7 mi (new course with short turn-around)

Time:

1:21:59

Place:

1st F10-19 (6th o/a F)

Teammates:

10Mile: Robin Soares, Troy Soares, Manouch Shirvanioun, Wyatt Hamilton
10K: Hunter Glass, Suzanne Hartley
5K: Ariel Soares, Ashley Glass, Caryn Galeckas, Debbie Booth, Elizabeth Katsura, Leah Booth, Seely Fam (Jon, Ardelle, Adalynn, Alice)

We show up at the race start with only 10 minutes to spare. My mom thought the race started at 1:00, but this year the race started at 12:00. I get my parents and check in and get ready to run. My friend Leah, who is doing the 5k, warms up with me. I get to the start and pray with my parents. Then the announcer counts down. 10, 9, .. 3, 2, 1, Go!

I start running right behind my Dad. My new water bottle I got for Christmas keeps bothering me. I am able to tuck it into my new vest, which I also got for Christmas. I am running right with my Mom and Dad. As we run down and down, my Dad jokes that if we can all stay together we’ll only have to write one race story. Up ahead I see a girl in pink.  She looks young but she’s very far ahead. Maybe I’ll catch her in the future. We climb up a small hill and then we keep running down. I pass the first Aid Station but get nothing. They don't have cups in this race so I brought my water bottle. They are giving out water just no cups. I run down the hill at a good speed. My Dad says to try and get an 8:15 - 8:30 min pace. Go fast downhill and slower uphill and it will average out. I start to lose my Dad at the end of the hill. He encourages me, then disappears around the turn. I go around the turn and start up the trail.

I know this trail so well. I have run up it multiple times when helping my friend Leah train for her first half marathon. I start up the trail and catch up to my Dad without trying. I stay behind him as we run up the trail. At the top, my legs are tired and I try to relax because I have a long way to go. I’m already past 2 miles and feel good. My Mom is behind me and I'm going to try and stay ahead of her. She’s still close and really good at hill climbing. Her only weakness is that she doesn't like to run fast downhill. My Dad goes ahead again and I stay at my pace worried my Mom will catch me. As I'm getting closer to where we started, I know my friend will start her 5k soon. I keep looking at my watch to see if I’ll make it to see her start. I get to the start area and see all the 5kers running downward. I missed her, but I might be able to see Ariel.

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I turn onto the 5k course and have 6 Miles left to go. I am running fast downhill and it’s hard to slow down. I have to zig-zag through everyone because I’m running through the walkers. I know that I have to be careful about running fast downhill, but I know that I’m gaining distance from my mom. I see my dad up ahead running down. Next to him is a friend of mine named Ashley. I keep my eyes on her as I get closer. I finally catch up to her and tell her good job. I get to run on flat as the road levels out, which feels better than straight downhills. It’s then downhill again till I hit the trail going uphill. I think I see Elizabeth from the track, but I’m not sure. I get close and then say hi and good job. I was right it was Elizabeth. I run on the trail and pass people. I hit 5 miles and it is surprising it's gone by so fast. I only have 5 miles left, easy peezy. I look up ahead and see a little girl in a yellow shirt. It’s Ariel! I see my dad not too far behind and know that he’s probably trying to catch her. I speed up a little to try and catch her too. I’ve never caught her before because I’ve been too slow. I run on the twisty trails getting closer. I get to a twisting hill and start climbing.

I remember this hill from last year. I see Ariel up ahead with Dad in front of her. I cheer her on and tell her good job. I get closer and tell her good job in person. I then get to the 10k and 10-mile turn. I turn and start running an out-and-back section. On my way out, I see my friend, Hunter, coming back from the turnaround. He’s doing the 10k. I cheer him on and he tells me that my Dad’s just ahead of me. I know my Dad’s close but I’m not going to be able to catch him. My main goal is to stay ahead on my Mom, which I’m doing pretty good at. I’m about 6 miles now and feeling good. My Dad said I can take my gel between miles 6 and 8. I feel good so I'll have it at mile 7. I run on the twisty trail and get to an Aid station. I don’t grab anything and continue running. I’m running around Robie Point a trail which I ran quite recently. I’m feeling a little tired and the hill is getting to me. I also made a goal that I wasn’t going to walk, like last year. The hill’s looked great to walk but I kept running. I looked back when I could see a good amount of trail behind me. I’m pretty sure I see my Mom and it scares me. I thought I was farther ahead. I see Susan and say hi. I then twist my ankle on a rock but keep running. I get upset and feel like I want to cry. I don’t and focus on God. I know it’s a test from God and I feel like each race if I can complete God’s test the rest of the run goes well.

My ankle doesn't bother me and I continue running. I see some people I know and say hi. I am passing a lot of 10kers that had got to the trail before me. I see the highway ahead where we turned around last year. Later, though, I see my Dad coming back and he says the turn around is closer. That sounds great, I'm tired and want to finish. Soon enough I get to the turnaround and run back. It’s a little sketchy because it just says turn and doesn't tell you if it’s for the 10k, 10 miles, or both. I see my Mom on the way back and tell her the turn around is close and sketchy. I keep running and it’s flattish so far. I’m at 7 miles and I get to take my gel. It’s a new flavor and tastes pretty good. I then get to a long uphill that I know very well. I really want to walk it but I keep running. A lady walking encourages me as I run up the hill. By the time I get to the top, my feet are on fire. I then get to go down a steep downhill and I try to control myself as I run down. I pass the Aid Station and get to slow down from the hill. My feet are less firey and my legs are sore. I get to another downhill and I try to control myself again while going fast. At the bottom, I make a turn back onto the 5k course.

I now have 2 miles to go. I’m excited but it’s going to take awhile. I know the trail pretty good because I ran on it a lot during the cross country season. I get to an uphill that leads back down again. I know there's a big uphill ahead where it will be hard to keep running. I’m passing a lot of runners because they’re all the walkers from the 5k. I go up a steep and rocky trail and run all the way. I run to the top and my legs are tired, but I keep running. I run down and cross a muddy creek. I then run back up to the flat part of the trail. I’m less than a mile and ½ away from the finish. As I run around the curves of the trail I know the steep hill is coming up. I turn the corner and start climbing. There are people on the trail and I tell them “on your left.” I have to run up a steeper side of the trail to get by some walkers. I finally 200101_resolution_run_10m_anna_finishget to the top and my feet are on fire again. I get a small downhill over a creek again. I then start climbing up the next hill before I turn onto a trail going downwards. Last year we didn’t run on this trail so it’s new. I run behind the Overlook and it’s difficult to pass. I have to squeeze by people as I say “on your left.” I’m careful to not push anyone off the trail. I hit some gravel and I know the finish is so close. I want to sprint in when I get there but my legs are really tired. I slowly start to speed up as I take the last short trail. I hit the pavement and pick it up. I turn the corner and try my best to sprint down the runway. I get to the finish and point to the One who got me through it all.

I had a really successful race and thank God for it. For the first time ever I beat my amazing mother. My best friend Leah did great placing 1st woman overall and 2nd 5ker overall. Ariel did great and got 2nd in her age group. God gave me a great race getting 4th Women overall and 1st in my age group.

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

Resolution Run 10mi (Troy)

Date/Location:

1/1/20, Railhead Park, Auburn

Distance:

9.7 mi (new course with short turn-around)

Time:

1:19:40 (8:13 pace)

Place:

3rd (16th o/a)

Teammates:

10Mile: Robin Soares, Anna Soares, Manouch Shirvanioun, Wyatt Hamilton
10K: Hunter Glass, Suzanne Hartley
5K: Ariel Soares, Ashley Glass, Caryn Galeckas, Debbie Booth, Elizabeth Katsura, Leah Booth, Seely Fam (Jon, Ardelle, Adalynn, Alice)

Assuming it started at 1pm like last year, we almost missed the 12pm start of our favorite local race, the Auburn Resolution Run!

It’s at the Railhead Park instead because of a larger field. The weather is great.  We see a bunch of friends, while rushing to get through registration and to the start line.  Robin, Anna, Ariel (doing the 5k 30min later) and I pray together. That really calms me down and reminds me the great opportunity we have.  As long as we put Christ first, it will all work out for His good.

It’s a “cupless” race.  Robin has a water bottle.  Anna has a collapsible bottle.  And I have a paper cup stuffed in my pocket.  Along with 2 Hammer Gels.

Go!

We’re about 20 back as we go through the gate onto the Dam Overlook Rd.  It’s a 2mi gradual downhill towards China Bar.  Robin, Anna and I are matched pace!  How cool to be running in a race with most of my family around me.  I can’t help but dole out suggestions to Anna as we go. “Breathe relaxed and deep”, “shoot for 8:15-8:30 pace”, “use the downhills to gain time”, “run the tangents, but not off the road”.  It also keeps my mind off my own concerns for getting through this tough course.

Mile 1.  7:12. Such a fun downhill!

Mile 2. 7:05. “Relax and get ready, Anna”, I tell her as I shake out my arms and begin the Cardiac Bypass climb.  Anna and I have done this many times.  I try to pick good lines through the loose rocks to make it easier for Anna.  We pass a lot of runners, encouraging them as we go.   I can hear Anna breathing 50ft behind me and it’s exciting that she’s able to stay so close.  She’s really getting strong.  Robin is probably 50 ft behind Anna.  Robin loves the steep climbs and is probably having a blast while also excited for Anna keeping up with us.

Mile 3.  9:02. Good pace up the hill!  At the beginning we saw what looked like a young woman way ahead and by now I thought we’d catch up but there’s no sign of her.  I let Anna know about the steep decline coming and not to get out of control and hurt her knees.  But the course, instead of dropping down the connector road, continues towards the start where we merge with the 5k runners starting.

Mile 4.  8:25. This is great seeing some of our 5k friends.  I get on the left side and gently call “on your left” down the steep Dam Rd.  I see Caryn Galekas (recovering from being sick), then Ardelle and her daughter Alice and then Lauren, from track, spectating, and then, farther down, Elizabeth from track, and then I run the final descent with Jon and his daughter, Adalynn.  Adalynn picks it up and stays with me.  She’s a great little runner.

200101_resolution_run_10m_troy_2Mile 5. 6:51. Steep and fast. Running across the bottom, I see Ariel up ahead!  I love how this race is laid out so I can see all my family!  She’s running good and I catch up to her as we start climbing again.  She’s cheerful and excited to see me, too.  I say goodbye and then hear Anna behind us yelling, “Hey, Ariel!”  At the same time I see Debbie Booth ahead and think about her big news recently being accepted into the Western States 100!  With so many highlights around me, this extremely steep section goes by fast!

Mile 6. 9:01. I see 10k’ers coming back allready.  I cheer for Hunter Glass (1st in his age group), he looks great.  I get more water, my cup is working good.  I round Robie Pt and see “Kepfer’s Rock” and a 10k’er looking exhausted resting on it.  It’s a rock right at the point with a beautiful view of the canyon.  I pass good friend, Susanne Harley, which also gives me a boost

Mile 7. 8:13. I see the turn-around right at 7mi which seems too early.  Thinking it’s for the 10k only I continue by it a little ways and ask some hikers if any runners came that way.  They say no and another runner says, “turn for everyone!”.  Ok we’re heading back, great!  I see Anna just 1min behind me now.  And Robin 1 more min behind her.  I tell them both the turn is soon.  I hope I’m right about that.

Climbing up to Robie Pt is really hard for me.  Energy seems depleted and foot feels fragile.  But I’ll make it and deep down it feels like a blessing to be able to push hard and breath hard.  Down the steep back-side I try to maximize stride without jarring the landings.  I do pretty good, get a cup refill at the aid station and now it’s back on the fireroads

Mile 8. 8:21. I catch a guy with “The Sock Guy” on his shirt that I saw early on.  This encourages me to push it to stay ahead.  And now the steep single-track trail towards the Overlook.  I get pumped up and charge it.  There are a lot of 5k walkers but I keep gently repeating “on your left” and it goes real well.  It becomes a little game to try to pick out a narrow edge to skirt by along a drop-off.  I’m breathing super hard, as I often am climbing hills, and that helps alert people – I sound like a gasping runner or a wheezing horse – either way, I’m just glad the path is opening up.  A little girl with a hydration pack is resting on the side of the trail but races me as I come by.  She goes quite a ways before deciding to rest again.  “You are a strong runner!”  I love seeing kids giving it their all.

200101_resolution_run_10m_troy_finishMile 9.  9:13. This is supper hard now!  I can barely keep running up the trail, let alone call out “on your left. Thank you.”  Heel hurts, lungs hurt.  But I keep thinking of the Lord knowing I’m running for Him and fatigue is not an excuse.  Fortunately another course change bypasses the steep climb and goes along my favorite trail behind the Overlook Park.  Finally flat!  “Almost there!” I encourage the other runners.  I think I’m more exicted about that then they are.  One thing about hard runs, it makes it more exciting to be done!

Mile 9.7.  8:58. Thank you, Lord!  I finished 3rd in my age and just under 1:20.  Ariel is there to welcome me.  We both cheer Anna and Robin in close bhind me.  Thank you, Lord for a great day and letting us all have successful races.

Resolution Run 10 Mile – Robin 2020

Date/Location:

1/1/20 Overlook Park, Auburn

Distance:

< 10 mi Trails

Time:

1: 1:27:58 (PR 1:16:04, 2011)

Place:

3rd (W40-49); 5th OA

Teammates:

10Mile: Anna Soares, Manouch Shirvanioun, Troy Soares, Wyatt Hamilton
10K: Hunter Glass, Suzanne Hartley
5K: Ariel Soares, Ashley Glass, Caryn Galeckas, Debbie Booth, Elizabeth Katsura, Leah Booth, Seely Fam (Jon, Ardelle, Adalynn, Alice)


We had a nice quiet morning as a family.  On our drive over to the start Anna’s friend Hunter calls us from the race wondering where we are.  Uh-oh!  I tell Troy to check the start time for the 10 miler. 12pm!  10 minutes from now!  I never checked the race details to see that the race starts an hour earlier this year!  I drop off Troy and the girls to get our race numbers and I park the car.  Amazingly we have time to check in, say hi to a few friends, get race t-shirts, pray with Ariel and get to the starting line.  Thanking God for His amazing provision!

200101_resolution_run_10m_robin_Ready, set, go!  We are off!  Troy, Anna and I start out together.  It’s nice being together.  Anna and Troy talk about pace as we run downhill.  He tells her that once she starts climbing expect the average pace to tick up to about 8:20.  I don’t even know the pace I ran last year so decide at least sub 8:30 pace would be great.  Anna asks if she can stick with him and she says yes.  Funny how we are making plans on the fly today…literally!  I see a few girls ahead but didn’t really pay attention to see who took off in the front pack.  We pass one of the girls.

Mile 1 is 7:06.  Nice downhill pace! 

The course flattens out some.  We are still together.  I don’t know how long I can keep up.  As the road heads back down, Troy and Anna pull away.  They pass the last visible girl and I follow their lead a few minutes later.  We are heading down to run back up my favorite hill, Cardiac By-Pass.  I usually catch runners on this stretch and maybe I can get closer to Troy and Anna.

MIle 2 is 7:09. I start on Cardiac By-pass.  After the first few turns of the trail, I don’t even see Anna and Troy!  Wow!  I push it and pass a few guys in the beginning.  One guy is running with me at the same pace.  I’m impressed. I catch a few more including another woman towards the top.  I never see Troy and Anna!

As I get back to the road and it flattens out, I can see Anna and then Troy in the distance.  The from Cardiab By-Pass has pulled ahead.

Mile 3 is 9:03.  I see that the course is a bit different here.  Instead of taking a short and narrow trail to cut over to DAM Road and head downhill, we follow the road to the top of the DAM Road.  This is a tougher route because the road is a slight uphill.  I look at my watch.  It’s 12:30.  That’s when the 5Kers start.  I bet with this route, we’ll no longer be merging with the top 5K runners but rather those in middle of the pack… which will be large! 

MIle 4 is 8:26.  Sure enough, I round the last corner and I see a huge group of runners going down the DAM Road.  As I head down, I run past FCA Teammate Caryn Galeckas and pat her on the back.  I dodge runners all the way down the DAM Road.  I look for Ariel but she is no where in sight.  I pass her friend Ashley Glass.  I’m surprised that I cannot even see Ariel’s yellow shirt in the distance. Wow, she’s moving! I can still see Anna, though, from time to time.  I’m not too confident that I’ll be able to catch her.

200101_resolution_run_10m_robin_3MIle 5 is 7:26.  I’m still slightly at sub 8 min pace.  The trail is slightly flat and I get moving past more 5K runners.  As the trail heads back uphill, I pass Tuesday Track friend, Elizabeth Katsura, almost without realizing it.  I tell her good job as I go by and I realize it’s her! 

Where is Ariel?  I get to the point where the 5Kers head back to the finish and we go right.  There she is, climbing up the big hill!  “Go Ariel!  Great job!  Go Ariel!”  I think she must be able to hear me but she doesn’t look back or even make a motion.  That girl is focused and running strong!

Mile 6 is 9:15.  I see the 10K runners coming back.  There is a woman in 3rd!  I see Anna’s teammate, Hunter Glass, heading back in the top 5!  “Great job Hunter!”  As I see other girls come along in the 10K, I tell them their place.  I get up to the top 5 females before my course veers off.  I see another teammate, Suzanne Hartley, up ahead and tell her great job.

Since the course was a bit different in the beginning, I’m wondering where the turn around is.  Will I see if there are any other women ahead of Anna and I?  Will I see Troy and Anna?  As I come around Robie Point, I can see there is no one directing the runners and minimal markings.  The guy from Cardiac By-Pass pauses and asks another runner where to go.  I can see most folks are turning right and going away from Robie Point.  That is the usual course but I don’t know if something else might be different.  Right at that moment my neighbor Cindy Cranney says hi.  I was in a fog for a moment.  I tell her hi back.

I go right and see Troy heading back.  He tells me it’s a short out and back.  I ask are you sure?  He says yes.  Anna comes along soon too.  I tell her good job and we give each other high fives.

Mile 7 is 8:43.  I come up on the turn around.  Boy, it sure is earlier than normal!

I head back to Robie Point in time to see Anna climbing up.  She’s looking strong.  By the time I get up to the top of Robie, I catch up to Cindy and tell her good job! 

It’s up and over!  This is the steepest downhill of the course and I do my best to sort of run and hop as fast as I can down.

Mile 8 is 9:16. I run back over to where the 5K runners veered off.  I try to pass as many people along the way before the trail narrows.  As the trail narrows, i ask politely to many walkers to let me pass on the left.  They are so gracious and nice about it.  It must be so annoying for them!

I’m feeling really strong and push hard when the trail opens up.  I get stuck here and there but it only lasts a very brief moment. 

Mile 9 is 9:27.  My average pace is just over 8:30.  I might be able to bring that down some.  I pass Caryn again and tell her good job.  This last mile is definetly the toughest passing zone.  I sense another runner following and look back to see a 10K gal.  As I continue asking nicely to pass on the left, I tell folks “there are 2 of us”. 

200101_resolution_run_10m_troy_finishThe last climb of the race is cut short this year and we turn off onto another trail that goes around the Overlook.  I like this trail but it’s super hard to pass folks.  I run in the bushes just to get by folks.  I finally make it off the trail and it opens up.  I sprint under the overpass and turn to the finish line.  I push hard and see Troy and the girls cheering.  I smile.  I see a few little ones giving high 5s and I cannot resist.  As I cross the finish line I look up to God.  Thank you Lord for a great race!  I’m done and just 0.3miles shy of 10 miles.  The course is a bit short but they can easily fix that next year. Time to cheer in Caryn and Suzanne and others!