Saturday, May 23, 2020

TBF Virtual Duathlon-Anna-2020


5/23/2020 Calistoga to Napa, CA


10K Run – 40K Bike


2:20:30 (51:17-1:38:24)




Oly Du: Robin Soares, Troy Soares; Sprint Du: Caryn Galeckas, Suzanne Hartley; Super Sprint: Ariel Soares

My First Virtual Duathlon


I'm getting ready to do my first virtual duathlon. Instead of doing run-bike-run, the race combines the runs together in the beginning.  I'm doing the Olympic distance so it's a 10k run than a 25-mile bike. I'm starting with my mom and her two other friends. My dad will start later after we finished the run because he's watching the bikes and Ariel. He's doing the Olympic Duathlon too. My dad counts down, 10 9 8 ..  3 2 1 go. I start running at a good pace as I cross the grass. I then run onto the gravel and it's not as slippery as I thought. I hope to be able to get ahead of my mom so I can get a head start on the bike. I'm looking forward to the bike because my dad downloaded the course to my watch and It'll be the first time I will use my watch for a map. I turn the corner and head off the gravel onto a trail. The trail leads right into some sand where I try to run flat foot so I won't slip. The sand turns back into a trail and I continue running through the trees. I then turn off the trail and down a hill that leads to a parking lot. The road is hot but it's not that bad because it's in the early morning. I look back and I see my mom a little bit behind me. I'm gaining distance but I got to keep up the pace. As I'm running on the road I pass a sandy super steep uphill that I remember I tried to climb up last time we were here. It was very slippery and I barely made it. I turn onto another road leading up to the ranger station. After I cross the road I turn onto a shady trail that will take me to the horse staging area. I run into some other runners that are also getting in a morning run. It's pretty crowded but at least there are no mountain bikes right now. I run between huge rocks that are so tall they can almost make a tunnel. The trail is wavy and cool. I run watching my steps and enjoying the view. After running a little farther, I get to a part in the trail where it splits and then connects again. I remember this part from a while ago when my mom ran here for her Olympic distance. I know I'm getting close to the horse trough. The trail starts to slope up and I can see the levee across the road. I know I'm getting closer. I keep running and the trail descends to the horse staging area. I run off of the trail and through the staging area. I get back onto the road and head to a new trial. I turn onto the trail and I am not sure where to go. I make a turn but realize it's a dead-end and turn back onto the main trail. I figure out where to go and head towards an old road in the trees. I see many mountain bikers around enjoying the trails. I get to the old road and cross it onto another trail heading back to transition. It's pretty bare and all I see are bikes and sand. I get close to the trees ahead and take a trail that leads right into a sandpit. Running in the sand is hard and next time I come back here I will take the trail that goes around the sand. I can see the parking lot where the transition is and run alongside it. I come out of the trees and head towards transition. I have to do this loop one more time. My dad cheers me on and I have a 5k to go.

I cross the grass onto the gravel. I can see a bunch of people setting up tents and rafts for a fun day at the beach. It's going to be a busy day because it's memorial weekend. I turn off the gravel and start to run on the shady trails. I'm not in the shade for long and soon run down into a parking lot. I run along and can't wait till I get to the long shady trail. I turn upwards and head again towards the ranger station. I turn onto the shady trail and am glad to be back in the shade. I pass the huge boulders and continue running. Some people are running towards me and I jump up on the side of the trail and continue running to let them pass. As they pass I look at one of them because he looks familiar.  Suddenly my foot steps on a rock and bends upward. It's okay but I hope it doesn't hurt later. As I'm running I start to notice more things on the trail. In one spot there are many pretty purple flowers and looks like a purple valley. After a while, I get to the part where the trail splits then comes back again. I know I am close. The trail starts to slope upward and at the top, I see the levee again. I know I am close to the horse staging area. I run through the trees and the trail starts to slope down. I see the horse staging area and I run through it excited. I hit the road and I now have about a mile left. When I hit the trail again I'm at 5 miles. I grab my Stinger gel and take it. It's delicious and gives me energy. I continue running and sometimes I move over for mountain bikers. I cross the old road and head back onto a trail. Some mountain bikers pass me with their speaker playing music. They pass quickly and I don't get to enjoy any music. As I start running on the plain gravel road I look across to see if I can see my mom running. I can't see her anywhere but I know I got to keep up this fast pace. I get back into the trees and take a different trail around the sandpit so I don't slow down. I can see the parking lot and can't wait to get on my bike. I run out of the trees and head towards transition. When I get there I realize I still have .2 miles left. I run around a little bit until I finally hit a 10k. I get on my bike just as my mom comes out of the trees. Hopefully, she's behind on mileage too. I take off up the hill and hit my Garmin to change the setting to bike.


My bike shoes were already attached to my bike. Hopefully, I can get my feet into them well because I haven't done a Triathlon for so long.  As I'm biking up the hill my Garmin kind of freaks out realizing I'm actually on the bike course and tells me every single turn at once. It then stops and goes back to just showing me the map. I turn onto a flat Road and coast while slipping my feet into my bike shoes. It doesn't take me long but I do realize my bike shoes are getting a little small for me. I get to the guard booth in the front of the park and bike by it.  I'll look at my watch’s map and see that I have to turn right soon.  I get to the intersection and turn right. The stoplight on the other side is red so no cars are going. I know I have another turn soon and I see a left turn lane. There are no cars so I start to cross over to turn, but then I realize it's the wrong left turn!  I quickly swerve back into the bike lane. Thank you God that the cars are still at the red light. I finally see the correct left turn lane. I carefully cross over and turn onto Joe Rodgers.  It's not too busy and looks pretty nice. After a while,  I make a right turn onto Itchy Acres road which I've never been on before. The loop is nice, it's a quiet neighborhood and it's almost like biking through private property. There's not even one car on the road. After biking through the quiet neighborhood I turn again onto another quiet neighborhood road called Oak Pine. I think this is probably one of my favorite parts of my bike because it's so quiet and peaceful. I see some bikers behind me and even though they're not in the virtual duathlon I want to try to stay ahead of them as long as possible. They passed me just before Cavitt-Stallman where I turned right. They're going the same way as me just ahead of me. I hit one of my first big hills and peddle up it. It's kind of tiring but it's not the worst. I make sure to drink some water. My mom hasn't caught up to me yet. That's good, I guess I'm going pretty fast then. I did get a head-start though on the bike because I beat her on the run. I get to the end of Cavitt-Stallman and turn onto Laird Rd. The bicycles in front of me are still going the same way. I guess they had the same route in mind. Laird Road goes around some houses and farms. It's not as quiet and shady though as Itchy Acres and Oak Pine. I stay hydrated and at a pretty good pace. When I start getting close to turning I see my mom behind me. She's finally caught up to me. She passes me and I tell her I'm doing good. We both turn on to Wells Avenue together.  Wells is pretty short and smooth. Shortly I turn left onto Verde Road. Verde isn't that long. I see my mom turning her head around and looking back to make sure I'm on the right track. She's still caring even if she's racing. I finally turn on Dick Cook Rd. As soon as I turn I frown. Up ahead is very long uphill. Ugh, not what I want to do right now. I start pushing up the hill and I know that at the top there should be a downhill. I'm close to the top when two cars pass me. One is a small car and the other is a Jeep. As we get to the top of the hill the Jeep does an interesting thing. It turns right and heads off down a slope off-roading. Even when it hits the driveway to its house it keeps going straight down through the valley.  I bet it's a teenager just trying to have fun in the Jeep.  I zoom down the other side of the hill and find myself back at Auburn Folsom. Hooray, I'm almost to the second Loop. I get on Auburn Folsom and keep biking. My mom's gotten farther ahead but I am not worried because she's a pro at the bike. She's gotten so much practice because she couldn't run with her hip injury.  I passed by a sign that has a deer crossing warning. Someone put a red dot on the deer's nose and it looks like Rudolph. After biking for a while I pass the castle that they're building. It looks like it's almost done. They put great texture on it. I'm wondering who's going to live there. The road is taking longer than I thought. It makes sense though because I biked up and now I have to bike back down.  I passed by another deer sign that someone also put a red nose on. I continued biking for a while. I twist and turn with the road and watch out for sticks in the bike path. My mom slowly starts to gain more distance. I pass twin Rocks Road on the left where I will turn the second loop. I know I'm getting close to Joe Rodgers where I'll start the second Loop. I haven't done 25 miles for a while but so far I'm doing pretty good, thank you God. Up ahead I see my mom get stopped at a red light. I pick up the pace so that I can get the green light. When I’m close it turns green. I hurry and just barely make the green light. Thanks Mom.  After biking a little more I see a speed limit sign that tells you what your speed is. I try to bike fast to see if I can get my speed on there. Just as I get to the sign a car goes by. So much for that experiment. I turn the corner and see my mom turn on Joe Rodgers. I’ve finished my first Loop and I only have one more left and I'll be done with my Olympic distance!  I turn onto Joe Rodgers excited to be almost done.

I have one more gel to take and I can't wait to try it out. I don't eat it yet though because I'm waiting for a calm road, Itchy Acres. I can still see my mom ahead and it's nice to know I'm not too far behind. I turn onto Itchy Acres and grab my gel. It's just as delicious as it was before. I see some people out running and jogging a lot as I pass them on my bike. After biking through my favorite neighborhood I turn onto Oak Pine and continue biking. I can't wait till I get to Auburn Folsom because then I know I'm almost to the finish line. I get to Cavitt-Stallman and look for cars. I then turn right and start pedaling up the hill. I'm making sure to stay hydrated so I have enough energy to finish the bike. My Garmin has started working again and it is telling me the distance before I turn. Before it only showed the map. It's so cool my Garmin can do this. I haven't had a Garmin that has been able to do this before. I get to a stop sign and turn left onto Laird Road. I see more Runners enjoying a morning run. It seems kind of funny because I'm biking as fast as I can because I'm in a virtual race but to everyone else I look like I'm just going on a bike ride. I bike through the countryside excitedly waiting to turn again. I look at my Garmin, one mile to go.  Ugh. I continue biking and start to pedal up the hill. Yes, I know that at the top of the hill I will soon turn. I get to the top and go down a little bit and finally turn on to Wells Road. Wells is sunny in the beginning but then gets shady as I turn on the Verde Road. My mom's far ahead now and I don't see her. I have about another mile on Verde Road. I'm so close to Dick cook! I know when I get there I'm close to Auburn Folsom and that means I'm close to finishing. I finally turn onto Dick Cook. Right away there's a big hill I don't want to climb. The hill though reminds me of the funny moment when I was just biking and then suddenly the car in front turned and went straight down the valley. That was super surprising. I get to the top and this time I'm racing down to get to Auburn Folsom. I speed downhill and turn-on to Auburn Folsom. 2.2 miles till Twin Rocks Road. This is going to be harder than I thought. I realize I can see my mom. Maybe if I try to pedal harder I can get close to her and maybe I can even finish not too far behind. I start pedaling hard trying to catch up to her. I pass the sign with the deer and the red nose.  I'm not looking at my Garmin till I feel like I've gone a long way. I get to the castle and look at my Garmin, one mile to go.  I stopped looking at my Garmin again and start peddling hard. I come around the corner and I see my mom turn. Wow time went by fast. I look at my Garmin and sure enough, I need to be turning left. There's are so many cars  and I tried to wait for the right moment. There's still no slots opening up. I have to stop in the bike lane to wait for an opening. When all the cars finally stop I start the cross but another car is crossing at the same time! They stop and I say sorry and continue biking onto Twin Rocks Road.  I've gotten closer to my mom. I pedal hard knowing that there's a dirt spot coming up and I might be able to gain more distance there. Up ahead I see my mom stop for a second look back and then continue riding. I hope she's okay. She turns onto the dirt road and I charge after her. I hit the dirt road and pedal hard up it trying to gain as much distance as possible. We have a little Loop to do and then we head on the straightaway to the finish. I get onto the road and I'm pedaling hard and taking turns tight to gain distance. We get to a small road that's kind of curvy. I twist and turn trying to get closer. Finally, we turn back onto the road that heads to the finish, she makes a wide turn and I cut it shorter in order to pass her. I get ahead of her and she's surprised that I was able to catch up. I start pedaling hard, I might be able to hold her off. I get close to the levee and then she passes me.  Ugh. I pedal hard trying to be able to stay with her. We get to the levee and my legs are hurting so badly. I can't draft because that would be illegal. We get off of the levee and we're so close. I'm pedaling so hard hoping to get ahead of her somehow. Up ahead I see her stop at a stop sign and there are no cars. She kind of waves her hand as if to wave me through. I cut it tight and don't stop. She says "hey, you're supposed to stop." I replied with "Well, you were giving me the okay to bike through." I bike down the downhill and into the Finish. Woohoo, the first Olympic duathlon that I beat my mom at. My mom didn't mind, she's such a good sport. Sadly the virtual race people took out the transition time and that made my mom's overall time faster. She ended up beating me in the virtual duathlon but technically I beat her. Thank you God for giving me a great race and my family a good race too.


Praise The Lord For He Is Good His Love Endures Forever