Sunday, June 14, 2020

Rock Tahoe Virtual 1/2 Marathon-Robin-2020


6/14/2020 Auburn, CA


13.1 Miles (1/2 Marathon)




18th (Women)


Troy Soares

This is our 2nd virtual race this season. I’m not a big fan of virtual racing mostly because of the variance of results but today I get to do it with Troy and get help from my friend Karen Nickel and Anna. It is also good practice for my longest and hopefully last virtual race. Next month I’ll be doing a family supported Ironman to raise money for one of our favorite ministries, Christian Encounter Ranch.

The goal is to try to maintain 8:20 pace, which is what I did in the 10k of the Virtual Olympic Distance Duathlon.  I feel nervous but I want to remember that nothing is more important than Jesus and my family. It’s easy for me to the let the stress of racing overwhelm me to the point of neglecting my godly responsibilities. Trying hard to overcome that and I know with the Lord’s help it is possible. And this morning there is a family issue that needs to be dealt with that makes me late getting out the door for a warm up. I don’t pass with flying colors but I see some progress made. I actually find I have ample time to get ready. Thank you Lord! That is your grace and mercy!

We have made a two-loop course that passes by our house so that we can get aid easily. Karen will do the first loop and Anna and Oscar the dog the second loop. The three of us pray for the run ahead. Praying for Troy’s foot to feel good and Karen’s hamstrings.

Ready, set, go! It feels good starting out. We even are able to actually all chat together. I am pleasantly surprised. I know as we get further along that will change! I realize that I again forgot to set my Garmin to show the current mile pace. All I can see is the overall mile pace. That is probably mentally better anyway. This way I cannot micro manage myself.

Mile 1: My watch beeps first for 8:00 .. Troy’s beeps further and says 8:11. Big difference! This watch has always been generous in pace and distance. I know by the end there will be a difference between Troy and I and it won’t be fair. Virtual racing is just hard to manage!

It’s nice not to have Oscar to focus on today for Troy. He is a very competitive dog indeed and loves to lead. He’ll get his chance with Anna. I think it’ll help Troy’s foot stay stable by not having to make sudden movements with Oscar this time.

Mile 2: 8:26  (Troy’s is 8:25). Up along Auburn Folsom it’s nice and flat. We near a section where I took a hard fall a month ago. I actually ended up scraping my chin because my hands didn’t catch me in time. I make it by the spot.

We hit the big hill of the course. It feels good but I know it will get harder next time.

Mile 3: 8:02. Troy’s is 8:00. Interesting!

I continue to feel strong and am able to talk pretty comfortably! Karen is my steady running buddy. She clicks off the miles smoothly and consistently.

Mile 4: 7:49  (Troy’s is 8:09!) Just over two miles until home. The next dreaded hill is Perkins Way. It doesn’t visibly look tough but the grade can reach 6%! This will be torture next time. A little later Troy jokes that Karen can turn off and run to her house. This is the road we use to get to each other’s houses.

Mile 5: 8:41. Karen tells us about a house fire in this neighborhood. Troy and I realize it’s our fellow track runner Tia. We are so sad to see the house roped off. Everyone got out safely…praise the Lord!

Mile 6: 8:09. Almost home! I feel good. I’m still chatting comfortably and we are maintaining just under 8:20 pace.

As we run up to our house, Anna is waiting with Oscar and Ariel has an aid station set up. I stop to get an orange and fill up my water bottle. We say so long to Karen and head out. It was a pretty quick transition but we lost some time. It’s tough climbing up Twietmeyer Hill (steep hill on our street).

Mile 7: 8:55. It’s starting to feel more difficult. Anna’s fresh energy is so helpful and the downhill from home. She takes on the work of managing Oscar and keeping my goal pace. Soon we are climbing what looks like a false flat along the abandoned road along the river. This is tough and I flash back to the Resolution Run where we had to run this section after a tough climb.

Mile 8: 8:17. Troy tells us we are behind pace. Part of me thinks this is good enough. According to my watch I’m running under 8:20 pace which is faster than my 10k at the duathlon. I know I cannot settle and need to keep trying.

Mile 9: 8:17. We hit the hill on Auburn Folsom up to Indian Hill. It’s so tough and I fall behind Troy and Anna. Troy tells us we are still off pace. I am able to surge through the Sawka neighborhood with Anna. Troy stops to stretch. He catches back up as we climb back up to Indian Hill.

Troy is surging ahead now. Anna is with me and helping me to hold on.

Mile 10: 8:18. Anna veers off and heads home to get Ariel. They plan to meet us towards the end. I am trying to pick it up to catch Troy but I feel like I’m maxed out.

Mile 11: 8:17. Ugh, Perkins Wy Hill! I feel like I’m crawling up the hill. Troy is running strong and maintaining his lead. I just keep trying my best and trying not to settle.

Mile 12. 8:33 (Troy’s is 7:58). So close now to being done. I won’t be able to catch Troy but I’m still digging deep. Thank you Lord! Almost done! Now I’m on Maidu and doing our Mile TT course. I think about being fast.

As I turn onto Burlin, I can hear Anna and Ariel cheering behind me. I think they thought we were coming from a different direction. I wave hoping they can see me. It’s too hard to turn around and look for them.

I realize it will be a bit short. As I hit the house I’m at 12.7 according to my watch. I see Troy running beyond.

Mile 13. 7:32. I finally hit the 13.1 but I see Troy still running. He is clearly ahead of me but my watch thinks different. I continue to run until he stops. My time is still faster than his, but he ran further. It’s a bit frustrating for me that my Garmin is unfair, but Troy doesn’t mind. Well I know I ran faster compared to my Duathlon so I’m happy. Thank you Lord!!