Sunday, May 30, 2021

“Save the Legs” Half Ironman Tri (Virtual)–Robin-2021


5/30/2021 Granite Bay, CA


1.2mi Swim – .75mi Run - 52mi Bike – 3.25mi Run


4:36:05 (41:06-13:28-3:09:08-4:02-28:21)

Today I'm repeating the virtual Wildflower half I did at the beginning of the month, minus 9 miles of running at the end.  Troy calls it the “Save The Legs” Tri.  I was supposed to do this yesterday but something came up and Troy is unable to support today but Anna is filling in.

We head down to Granite Beach after church. With later start, and being Memorial Day Weekend, we are expecting large crowds.  We thank God when we easily enter the park with no traffic.   It’s hot today.

We drive down to the water’s edge (.75mi from the main boat ramp). It's funny to think where we are parking should be under water right now.  We bump into some swimmers I haven't seen in a few years.  They swam without wetsuits and say it’s great and that it's not too shallow.  That’s a relief to hear because another concern was that I might run into some underwater boulders.

I hope to swim faster (average 2:02 per 100yd) and bike faster (average 15.3 mph) than last time!


Anna counts down to 0.  Go!  I jump in and it feels great!  I soon realize I forgot to bring my orange floatie to be more visible to boats.  Fortunately, there are no boats in this area at all.  And it’s 5mph for boats on the entire lake now that it’s so low.  I should be good.  Thanks Lord! 

500yd. I am already going faster than last week!  Yay!  I am swimming along the 5 mph buoys for boats.

1000yd. I'm still faster and now no longer have buoys to look for.  I need to turn around soon so no prob. And I haven't seen any boulders!  Yay!

1100yds. I turn around and head back. I pause for a moment to sight my route back.  Got it!

All the way back I'm even faster!  I think I might be five minutes faster overall!

2000 yds. As I get closer, I can see the car and Anna. I see some rocks under the water coming back. Glad I missed these going out. 

2200 yds. I finish four minutes faster!  I feel a bit dizzy while taking off my wetsuit in the water and fall back a bit. 


I run up to the car, get my running shoes on and bike jersey.

RUN (.75MI)

I start the run to the parking lot where I can use the bathroom and get my bike.  Cannot ride in the sand!

Anna follows after me in the car.  She’ll get there ahead of me and pull out our bikes.  She'll bike 5 miles with me as well.


I get there just after Anna.  We get ready and leave at the same time.

BIKE (2 loop course)

Anna starts out the first loop with me.  We leave the park and head out towards Auburn Folsom.  Up to Joe Rodgers.  We have to wait for traffic to turn left.  We get going and enjoy the shady, scenic Itchy Acres and Oak Pine Rd.  We turn on Cavitt Stallman.  This road is sometimes busy but seems quiet now.  I’ll turn left towards Auburn while Anna will continue back to the park.

Anna gets quite a bit ahead of me.  She's got a lot of energy!  One more hill to go.  I can hear the cars slow down behind me, waiting to pass on this blind hill.  I suddenly hear a truck horn blaring.. not letting up all the way up the hill.  I get really scared as I crest the hill and the cars pass.  I can hear the horn get closer and closer to me.  I have no where to go and I pray.  The driver honking goes by in a red truck really close.  Almost close enough to hit me with his side mirror.  I see Anna biking ahead and I'm terrified.  I cry out loud to God and ask Him to protect her from the turck.  I see she's made it to the stop sign but I fear he's going to do something terrible. I quickly wave her to move off the road and she does and waits for me. The truck turns the corner and speeds into the first driveway in a cloud of dust. Thank you Lord, she's safe now!  As I reach her, I grab her hand and thank God for protecting my baby.

After a minute of waiting to see if the driver is going to come back, I let her go and I continue on.  I pass the house and see the truck but no one inside.  I am relieved, thankful, and cry.  It takes a bit to settle down into racing again.

The ride is now peaceful.  As I get near the top of the course I decide to switch off my Auto Pause on my bike Garmin.  Every time I stop, the Garmin pauses.  That’s fine for training but not for racing.  I want to know my average with stops.  While ridng and trying to change it, I somehow turn off my GPS.  I have another Garmin on my wrist but it doesn't show average bike speed.  So now I have no idea about my speed.  I pull over and get it all figured out.  I actually do an online search on my phone to learn how to fix it. 

Even with the stop, I make it to the top of the course in about 1 hour, 5 min.  I am going to try to get there in an hour or less next loop.

This is the fun part flying down Auburn Folsom Road! After a bit I get to Twin Rocks and easily make the left.  Back to Anna I go!

26mi. Anna joins me again on the 2nd loop.  This time at Joe Rodgers we cannot even get across to the left hand turn lane.  There are so many cars.  I wave to her to keep riding past.  I'm hoping it will calm down so we can do a U-turn. It takes a couple of minutes for things to settle down enough for us to circle back to Joe Rodgers.

This time on Cavitt Stallman it is quiet and safe. Thank you Lord!  Anna again heads back to transition and I finish the loop.  This lap I have no technical difficulties or issues.  It's going to be close trying to get 1 hour at the top of the course.  I get there in 1 hour and 2 minutes.  It probably would have been 1 hour without the extra minutes at Joe Rodgers.

I fly down Auburn Folsom and think about the run ahead.  It's getting hot!


I make it back to Anna and she puts my bike in the car as I get my shoes on and take a pit stop.

RUN (3.25MI)

We run out together. Even though Anna has already run 2 mi, she’s doing the 3.25 mi with me. We follow the original virtual Wildflower course (earlier this month).  I want to run sub-9 min pace. It takes a bit for my legs to feel ready to run.  Anna is helping point out things I might trip on.  We go up some steep short hills.. tough!  But now we continue mostly in the shade for a bit. 

Mile 1. 9:16. The heat is tough but I have had a chance to acclimate recently.  Anna is doing great and encouraging me all the way.   We head back towards the parking lot where most of the TBF Races finish.  The trail undulates along and we are more and more in the sun.  Eventually it totally flattens out to a dirt path along the parking lot.  We cross the TBF "finish line"

Mile 2. 8:46.. yay.  We run back towards our parking lot. It's another flat trail for a bit and then back to the single track trails. 

Mile 2.6.  We’re back to our parking lot but still .7 to go (we mis-calculated).  We have to run around the parking lot in the sun.  This is hard. 

Mile 3. 8:38.  We do 1 more smaller loop and finish at the car. 

Mile 3.25. I finish and point to God! I averaged 8:51! Thank you Lord!  And thank you Anna for all the encouragement!  She's a great supporter!

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Auburn Tour Marathon–Robin- 2021


5/22/2021 Granite Bay, CA


26.2 M Run



The last few days have been tough trying to physically prepare for this family supported event. I was sick and not sleeping well, but at least I was sleeping a lot. I wake up with fresh legs but my head and upper body still feel tired. Troy and I pray in the morning asking for wisdom on whether to do this marathon today. We feel it's His will to go out and attempt the distance. Troy, and Ariel a little later, will be following me on their bikes. Jenn Biddle will run the first half and Annabelle Laputz will be running the next 10 miles.


Troy and I meet Jenn at Skyridge School for the start. We pray together for the day ahead. It's really hard to know what is going to happen. My goal is to go just under 9min pace or about 4 hours.

Ready, set, go! Troy leads the way as we head out. Around Skyridge School and through the neighborhoods we begin. Then over to Indian Hill.

The first 3 miles I'm averaging 8:53 pace. So far so good! Jenn and I catch up on life and enjoy the quiet of the morning together with Troy. Ariel joins up with us on her bike and helps Troy provide aid to us. We head over to Railhead Park, make a pit stop, and then continue towards Placer HS.

At Mile 6, I'm averaging 9:16. I'm not too concerned about being behind. I feel good and my spirits are high. It's fun showing Jenn some hidden trails she's never been on before.


We wind our way over to the Hamilton's house were Tobi Hamilton is finishing up a chalk sign on the road that says "Go Robin". So sweet! I stop and get some bananas and blueberries at their aid station. Wyatt Hamilton jumps on his mtn bike and follows us.

We climb up to a high point on Lincoln Way and meander back down. Wyatt keeps Jenn and I engaged with his science project. He studied the affects of ultra-racing on the mind and how it can deplete it, making it hard to concentrate for months after. Boy, my brain feels depleted just being a mom and triathlete. Jenn and I joke about the affects of motherhood on our brains.

At Mile 9 I'm averaging 9:19. We run over to the Placer track and do a lap around. We say goodbye to Wyatt as he heads home to get ready for his last track meet of the season. We wish him well. Then off through Placer HS and past the Glass Family's House. It's starting to get hard now. Jenn is such a great help in keeping me going. Troy continues to lead us well and Ariel is a great support. I seem to be dropping oranges every time they are offered but Troy and Ariel keep smiling.

At Mile 12 I'm averaging 9:21. I am feeling the pressure of trying to meet my goal. I start to cry and Jenn prays for me. As we climb the stairs into the backside of our neighborhood Jenn says she's going to pray me all the way up. I am so grateful for the encouragement to stay focused on Christ!

At Mile 13. we pull up to my house and Annabelle Laputz joins us. She's a high school senior who has been running with us since last summer. We've seen her really blossom and grow this year! Jenn decides to continue on so now I have 2 runners and 2 bikers helping me!


We run over in the Skyridge neighborhood and run into another runner friend, Adam Peterson. He's walking his pups and joins us for a jog. It's nice to have the distraction, because this just keeps getting harder!

At Mile 17, my average is 9:33. Jenn wraps up her run here and I thank her for the help. Annabelle continues to power on with me. My pace has really slowed down. I ask Annabelle to run 9:30 pace to see if I can keep up. I am able to for a time. We run by the Nickel's house and Jeremy shouts "good job!".

We head over to the pool where Anna is swimming time trials with Ellie and Ben Nickel. As I run by I can see the meet hasn't started yet. Anna runs over with Ellie, Ben and mom, Karen. Karen would probably be running with me if she wasn't volunteering at the meet. I smile through the pain but I could try harder to be joyful. I am thinking a lot about the misery of this event now.

At Mile 19, my average is down to 9:45, 14 min behind my goal! I run by the Lane's house. They are in my Bible study. They are in their yard cheering and waving. That is really thoughtful. I wave back and say thanks. I try to smile. A little down the road I stop and start walking. This is so hard! I know I'm focusing too much on the negative part and that's not honoring to God who got me this far. I start running again. I ask Annabelle to try to get me to a 10 min pace for the next few miles. I do pretty well until I start climbing up towards Indian Hill. Annabelle is super encouraging and up-beat. She assures me that I'm doing well under the circumstances and that we all have tough days.

After the Indian Hill loop, we run back into our neighborhood. Annabelle breaks off. She's done her job getting me through 10 miles, and back to a high point on the course. the I thank her for the help.

At Mile 23, at the top, my average is now 9:59. If I can keep this average, I would be happy with that! I basically have mostly downhill left so it seems possible. Troy and Ariel meet me in the car now. Jenn is here too in her car with little Jake. I'm finishing in the lower China Bar parking lot but for now I continue onto the old course of the Auburn Triathlon.

At Mile 24 I'm still at 9:59! I see Troy and Oscar coming at me in the distance. I'm happy to see them but it also brings a lot of emotion. Suddenly Oscar darts in front and I have to stop or fall over him. So frustrating.. But I should be grateful I'm almost done. There have been so many times I wanted to stop but I knew I had to get this done so I won't have to do it again. Troy is right in that this "agony" is going to help me in the race to come. I go by and Troy, Ariel, Jenn & Jake follow again in the cars.


I'm so close!! At Mile 25, I'm still at 9:59! Troy and Oscar join me again. Troy tells me how proud he is of me. We do an out and back and then meet everyone in the parking lot. I tell Troy to get ready to catch me because I don't know if I can stand at the end. I finish at the car and look up to God. I suddenly feel lightheaded and start to stumble. Jenn catches me and Troy supports. I'm done! And it's 9:59 pace, 4 hours and 22 min! Thank you Lord. What an awesome support crew! That was so hard. The hardest thing I've done since my family supported my Ironman last summer. So glad to be done!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Folsom International Triathlon 2021–Troy


May 08, 2021 – Folsom Lake, Granite Bay, CA


Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K – Run 10K


2:39:08 (23:45-1:25:42-49:41)


6th , M50-54


FCA: Anna Soares (AquaBike), Caryn Galeckas, Robin Soares, Suzanne Hartley, Timothy Hess (AquaBike),Troy Outman; Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Dominic Pollizzi, Josh Cagney, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo, Wyatt Hamilton

We leave the house at 5:30.. I’m the last one to the car as I keep remembering things I’m supposed to have for a triathlon!  It’s been almost 2 years.. IM Lake Placid was the last one.

A triathlon is a big event, many will feel unprepared (like I do), many will be scared because it’s their first, and some will feel pressure to win something, or else feel disappointed.  But there are also many that are helpful and make it special.  They welcome you with a smile, reassure you, offer to help you zip your wesuit, or just encourage you even if they are more in need of encouragement.  I’ve had so much encouragement and help given me and I want to be one of those that make this day special.  Psalm 91 this morning spoke to the incredible reasurring and protection given from the Lord.  What a huge help.

Folsom Lake at 6am and there’s a line of cars.  Someone asks, “Is this the way to see the wildflowers?”  I thought everyone was triathletes.. I forgot that because of the extremely low lake levels this year casuing a “Super Bloom” of flowers, that people are comng from all around to view it.

I forgot my USAT card.. which shows how out-of-triathlon-practice I am.  Robin & I rack our bikes for the Olympic triathlon and Anna racks hers in the AquaBike section.  Ariel is supporting us today.

The best part, seeing the friends that fill all the great memories we have of triathlons.  Dave Campbell – defies age, first one to transition, and always takes time to greet you and make you feel like family.  Troy & Sara Outman – a smile, a story, always the reminder to meet for prayer before the race.  Suzanne & Caryn – the remarkable, the humble, the 2 prayer warriors that show you can be spiritual parents of 15 at-risk teenagers and still find time for triathlon!  Richard Kane, Keith Hanson, Dana Haldeman – the regulars, the consistent, the benchmarks in our age groups we love to race with.  And some young friends that are so exciting to follow like Josh Cagney and Wyatt Hamilton.


I hustle to get my transition ready and quickly take off jogging.  I never have enough time.  I wave to Robin telling her I’m going down and then jog to a far restroom for a quick stop and then the 1/2mi trek across the beach to join the line of athletes walking to the water.  It’s a long ways away.

Robin leads 6 of us in prayer and I’m reminded again how special every athlete is and that I don’t want to think only of myself.  Ok, 2 minutes to start: Ariel zips my wetsuit, I swim for 25 yds, get into the wave next to Troy.  We pray quickly together and then I him ahead saying, “You’re faster than me”.



Memories of how to open water swim coming back to me. Thankfully not a lot of pushing going on. Try to get on feet but each time get dropped.  Goggles fogging up.  Water very comfortable.  Buoy direction is perfect (not into the sun anywhere).  I stop once to clear goggles and then they’re good.

50+ is the 1st wave, which is a treat to lead the race off.  I remember being in the 1st wave when i was 25-29 and missing it when I aged up.  Neat to be back in the first wave again. 

I remind myself not to get excited and push hard with only 6 swims this year or else I’ll be wiped out by the first buoy turn.  It’s really great to be in a race again.  It’s fun, too.  1/2 way through I’m amazed how far out this is.  I’ve given up trying to draft and just pick a lonely line for myself.  Towards the end I feel a chill coming on and plan to run up the beach with my wetsuit on instead this time to generate heat for the bike.  It’s not a cold day but I don’t like being cold on the bike.

25:46 Great! Almost the same time 2 years ago.


I finish right next to Dave Campbell which means I did well!  I give my tag to a volunteer while hearing Ariel’s voice grabbing other tags – she always ends up volunteering.. good job, Ariel!  Shoes on and job up the beach.  I thank people who are cheering and encouraging as they walk down to watch the later starts.  The run in the wetsuit was fine, although harder to get off in transition – where I see Dave Campbell, without a wetsuit, run by.  He’s going to be hard to catch now.  I finally get on my bike.. 9 min later!


It feels great to be riding.  I feel really fast… I’m actually going the same speed as previous triathlons, but it’s so unfamiliar that it’s really fun.  At some points there are descents, turns, potholes and I almost feel out of control.  It’s fun going fast on a bike, it gets your adrenaline going, but I have to stay focused and be smart.  I focus on God and the lesson He taught me years ago when I crashed in a bike race and broke ribs – don’t be hectic.  Spend time listening to God and not rushing.  I’m not good at that but I keep trying.

I know Troy Outman, Dave Campbell, Timothy Hess, Keith Hanson and Richard Kane are up ahead somewhere.  I’m looking forward to the small hills ahead because during my commutes home from work I’ve been working on a new technique that really helps.  On King Rd, I start passing some riders and encouraging them as I go.  The bike is shifting great, feeling good, and the seated power technique is working well.

I’m glad to see Troy Outman.  Feels like family when we get to race together and I’m so glad he came out today.  We push each other, passing and getting passed a few times.   He tells me Timothy Hess went by him a while ago.

I love these familiar roads, like the John 3:16 signa and American flag hanging from a rural property.

I’m able to pass Dave Campbell on the big hill on Power House which means I’m riding very well.  He is one of the strongest Grandpas in the State and I’m sure a big inspiration for his multiple grandkids.  One more hill and I get to ride my FAVORITE road – downhill Auburn-Folsom!

This is my morning commute to work and I love it! Surely it will be my fastest commute today with the aerobars and no backpack Smile  I try to keep pushing the pedals hard even though it feels so fast anyway.  It’s smooth and pretty.  Thanks, God, for the fun that it is!

I push on, looking for Tim.  In the last section as we enter the park on the dirt path I see him.  I had to work really hard but it’s so worth it.  We both have our bright yellow FCA jerseys and are competing for Christ and it’s been so encouraging since joining FCA Endurance 20 yrs to see brothers and sisters at races in yellow!

1:13:26. Wow! Same exact time as 2 years ago.  Thank you, God.


Good dismout, switch to run shoes, grab a water bottle.. ok, now to see what will happen with my chronic heal pain.  I will give God my best even if it means walking.  We head out the back for a North loop which is cool because we get to go through transition area again before heading farther out.  TBF workers cheer me on which is so encouraing.  We do a lot of TBF Races and they seem to remember every athlete.  They’re so friendly and encouraging.  Love this race company.

My foot is doing ok.  I’m focusing on foot placement while relaxing my right calf.  Using more of my legs instead of the calves.  I keep drinking.  This is cool.. I’m running.. feels fast (even though it’s slower).. I pass someone.  Back through the race finish area.  It’s so great to see people happily cheering for everyone.  Such a privelege to compete.

Running these trails remind me of last week supporting Robin on her 1/2 Ironman on these same trails.  I hear really fast footsteps behind me… I wonder if it might be a relay team with a super fast runner… of course, it’s Dave Campbell!  Always impressive how fast he can run a 10k after the bike.  He goes by quick and I usually never catch him, but I always have hope.. I’ll keep pushing and, who knows, anything can happen..

Out on the rolling fire roads, the descents are steep and I really have to pull my leg through and focus on good footing.  I start counting the runners coming back.  I hope I can be in the top 10.  I see a couple runners that look young, yet the younger waves started a 1/2 hr after me.  I’m wondering how they got ahead.  They must really be fast (later I learned that they were in the American River 50 miler race going through the same trails!).  I really hope the turn-around is soon.  There’s Dave Campbell coming back. “Good job, Dave!”  And there’s the turn-around.  So glad.

On the way back it’s getting tough but I look for friends and people to encourage still heading out.  I see Troy Outman, Dana Halderman, Tony Marango, and many other friendly faces.  A triathlon is hard work, but so many are smiling and happy to be challenging themselves.  For some this might be their first Olympic Distance triathlon.  I’m remembering more how much of an accomplishment it is just to FINISH one of these.

I’ve eaten my 2 gels and am nearing the end.  I’ve been looking for Robin but haven’t seen her.  Maybe she got a flat, or fell off her bike.. I pray that she’s ok, and that if she’s fixing a flat somewhere (or helping Anna or someone else fix a flat) that she will be given great motivation to race face once she’s back on course.

Thank you Lord for letting me finish without my foot hurting bad.  I’m so appreciative.  And God answered my prayers for both Anna and Robin, they both had good races even though I didn’t see them when I thought I should.  And it’s a great FCA Endurance reunion with Suzanne, Caryn, Troy Outman, and Timothy Hess!


Folsom Triathlon AquaBike–Anna -2021


May 08, 2021 – Folsom Lake, Granite Bay, CA


Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K


2:11:27  (29:33-1:41:54)


4th Female, 12th OA (out of 17


FCA: Caryn Galeckas, Robin Soares, Suzanne Hartley, Timothy Hess (AquaBike),Troy Outman, Troy Soares; Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Dominic Pollizzi, Josh Cagney, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo, Wyatt Hamilton

TDF AquaBike Race

We get the race and I start to get excited. We haven't done a triathlon race for a long time. When I'm setting up my transition, I have a lot of fun putting items in places where I can quickly grab them. After that, I head down towards the swim. I see swimmers running up the hill including my dad. There are a few waves to spread people out, so he got a head start. I cheer him on and also notice that the cones aren't completely straight making the swimmers not know which way to run. I grab the cones and straighten them out so it makes it easier for the swimmers. I set my shoes in place from the half-mile run-up to transition. The water is really low this year. Still debating if I need to use shoes or not.  I head over to the swim start. I'm putting on my goggles and getting on my wetsuit. My goggles come undone. I try to put them back together but the quickest way is to tie them. Wyatt and this other lady help me do it. My goggles are ready and I'm ready to go. I feel my necklace. Whoops, forgot to take that off. I quickly hand it to Wyatt's mom. It is nice of her to hold on to it for me. 3, 2, 1, Go!

I run towards the water and dive in. My goggles roll up my head. I knew that was going to happen; they weren't super tight. I stand up in the water slightly running and try to put them back on and gently go into the water and start swimming. They should hold out the water. I'm swimming straight but have no idea what buoy we're going to. I try to follow people but it's difficult when you can't see where it is and don’t even know which buoy. I just continue following everyone else. I'm right smack between two groups, one very left and one very right, kind of weird. I keep trying to swim following the main pack. Finally, I can see the buoy and know where I'm aiming for.

As I’m swimming along my left hip starts to get sore. I have no idea why. I was having problems with my right hip so would expect it to be sore, but not my left hip. I start to try to kick more with my right leg but my left hip is still sore. I continue swimming with my left hip not feeling the best. We're coming up on the orange buoy and I get past it. I only see a white buoy up ahead. I think that's where the turnaround is. I finally get into a good rhythm and my hip doesn't hurt as bad now. Finally, I get to the white buoy and turn around it. Now I have to find the next buoy. I see two buoys, they're both orange, and one of them's closer. I have no idea which one to swim to. I kind of just follow the swimmers in front of me even though there are not very many. I guess I must be way behind. There's this one swimmer in front of me which I follow, hoping they are accurate.

I finally figure out that we're heading for the farthest orange buoy. I am following the person in front of me and they look up and veer to the left to try to get back on the path. I think we're on path, but I also vear a little left just to make sure. I'm in a good rhythm now with my hip not hurting and my stroke feeling strong. I feel fast but I'm not in a fast position. I see someone to my left vear far off course to the closest buoy. They should really not put two of the same color buoys in our direction. It's confusing. After a long time swimming, I finally get to the orange buoy and swim around it. I can see the shore. I also notice there are not very many people there. I must be towards the back.. which isn’t the most fun position to be in.

I get close to shore and I can feel the sandy bottom. I stand up and start to walk through the water while trying to take off my wetsuit. I get the zipper down halfway and try to take my arms out but I can't because it's not all the way down. I had problems with this last time. I didn't think it was a big deal, I thought it was a one-time thing. I try to pull the zipper down but it won’t. So the next option is to zip it all the way back up and pull it back down. By that time I’m already out of the water and walking on the sand. The wetsuit thing is not what I call a quick transition. Finally, the zippers down and I can pull my arms out. I'm in the sand now which is not ideal because I can’t easily kick things off. I stop in the sand and I kick my wetsuit off. Sand gets all over it. That will be fun to clean up later. I've been planning to run in my shoes, but Ariel says she can grab my shoes if I don't want them. I think that I could just run up the sand barefoot and that way it would actually dry off my feet better than the shoes would. Any then my socks will go on faster in transition.  I grab my water bottle though. I'm feeling hydrated right now, which means my plan of drinking a ton before the swim worked. As I'm running up I'm feeling pretty good but it's kind of annoying to carry a big heavy wetsuit in one hand and it makes you unbalanced. I'm actually kind of getting tired from running uphill. I pass a few people though. I finally get to the top and get into transition. I quickly put on a jacket with it unzipped. That's okay I'll put it on during the bike. I grab everything else and head out on the bike.

As I'm biking out up the hill, I start to slide my feet into the shoes. I have a little bit of trouble but finally get my feet in. I tighten up my shoes. I keep biking and stand up on my bike with no hands and zip up my jacket. Okay, all good to go, still a little sandy but all good. I bike out onto the race course feeling pretty strong. A guy behind me passes me on the bike. I guess he's a slow swimmer but a fast biker. I keep biking knowing this is it for me. I'm doing the Aquabike today because my hip won't let me run. And it was annoying that it acted up in the swim. I'm biking fast in aerobar position. I only bike for a little bit of Auburn Folsom before I turn left onto another road (Cavitt). It's a little confusing, I see an arrow so I move into the left lane which is unusual. I see directors up ahead.. looks like they're going to direct us left. Then a car passes me on the right.. should I be in the bike lane?  I’m not sure.  When I get near the course directors, they don't even direct me left. I almost go straight, but they say "no, go left". I make the left turn but it is a little confusing. I'm on the road though and doing pretty well. I turn again onto Laird Road.

I see a girl up ahead and I pass her. I get farther ahead and see a bicyclist pulled over on the side of the road. I stop and ask him what happened and he said he ran over a nail. I bike over to him and offer him my tube. He first tests the tube to see if it would hold air, but it is leaking. I give him the tube to help him in his repair.  He says he hopes he can even take the wheel off because he has a special bike where it takes a lot of work and you have to use a tool to take the back wheel off. I gave him 2 yellow tire-iron things to help him get the tire off once he gets the wheel off. The girl biker behind me also helps by contacting someone for him. I now take off onto the bike after giving him some materials. I am biking and feeling pretty good. I get to an intersection and stop right before it. I realize that I should have given him the extra cartridge because he already used some of his and it might not fill up his tire. I debate on whether to bike back to give him my cartridge, but I remember his friend stopped by, and possibly his friend had a cartridge too. I keep biking forward. I am biking and the girl behind me passes me. She yells over her shoulder that I would probably pass her back. After a while, I am able to get closer and pass her back. I tell her good job.

I see a small intersection up ahead. They direct me right. I’m now on Horseshoe Bar Road. Up ahead is another intersection which I go straight on. There is a huge truck and it’s just deciding to turn when I’m coming. It turns and I slow down so I don't hit it. It finally speeds up and I keep biking.

As I'm biking along the road a falcon flies over me with one of his legs extended holding bracken and sticks for his nest. I thought that was pretty cool. I decide to keep my eye open for more animals. There wasn't anything cooler though, just goats and horses.

After a while, I get onto King Road which heads towards Auburn Folsom Road.  My legs are really sore now. My calves especially are hurting. I guess that means I'm pushing it. But I haven't even gotten to the halfway mark.  I remember biking towards here not too long ago when my mom was running her 13 Mile Run. I get close to the end of the road before Auburn Folsom and turn. I don't think I've actually biked on this road before. I keep biking and I get to a place I remember called Martha's Gardens where there are a bunch of gloves on the fence posts. I normally always wave at each glove every time I bike by. I follow this biker as I go around the turn and then remember that she might not be doing the race and could be an ordinary biker. I look back trying to see if I went the right way. I see a cone but I can't read it from here. I'm just going to have to trust God that I'm going the right way. Plus if it was a big turn there would have been flaggers. I realize I’ve been so distracted I didn’t even see the famous gloves. After a while of biking, the road starts to curve and I remember this area because of an outdoor volleyball court.  Next a course monitor directs me left. I know my mom never really likes this road because she says it's busy.

I also know that I must be by Powerhouse road because the miles are racking up. I decide to eat my gel because I'm pretty far in the mileage. As I'm eating my gel, up ahead I see the sign for Powerhouse Road. I know I'm going to turn soon. I quickly finish my gel and drink some water as I turn. I have heard about how hilly this road is, but I know that I can push through this. Since I'm only doing the bike I just have to sprint up this hill to have all the downhill next. I push up it. As I'm going up I see a bull with really long horns. I remember this hill now. As I go by the bull I see a wreath on a tree with a picture of a bull and flowers around it. I wonder if they used to have two bulls and one died. I finally get to the top and start biking down. I know the hill isn't over yet because it ends higher at Auburn Folsom road. I stretch preparing for the next part of the hill that I'm going to experience. I see the steep climb but I know this area and I know it doesn't last long. I push hard to the top towards my friend Breanna's house.

I turn on Auburn Folsom Road. Now I have a downhill. Instead of relaxing though, I use the downhill to try to go faster. I'm hoping to start racking up miles and quickly get back as fast as possible. I have about 30 minutes to get back if I want to get the hour and 45 mark for the bike. Praise the Lord my calves aren't hurting as bad anymore and I have more energy. I go through an intersection and a police officer is directing cars to let me through. I thank them and hurry on to the next intersection. I know this course by heart now because I’ve biked to Granite Bay a few times. I get to the next intersection and another police officer is directing cars there. I say thank you and continue on. The police officers are really nice to spend their time directing traffic for us. As I continue biking I look for landscapes that I know to see if I’m getting closer.

As the road starts to curve, I know I'm near the castle. I also see a biker in the distance. I know I can catch them. They go over the rise of a hill and I pedal fast to catch up. After getting over the hill I speed down the other side and stretch at the same time.  I see the biker up ahead, but they disappear around the corner. I pedal past the castle. I see them up ahead on the flat stretch. They're still very far, but I bike hard trying to catch up. By the next curve in the road, I know I'm getting closer. I'm also closer to Twin Rocks Road which is right by Granite Bay. I see the Granite Bay sign and get excited.

Almost there. I've gotten way closer to the biker now. At the turn up ahead I see the intersection for Twin Rocks Road and the police officers. I get into the left turn lane to make the turn, I also say thank you. I pass the biker who made the turn in front of me. I tell him good job. Now I have some rolling hills until I get to the little sand gravel spot. Every time I normally bike here it’s always tiring, but now since I'm racing and I'm almost done I know I can really push it. I push hard up the hill and relax a little on the downhill.  As I get to the sandy area I'm careful to not slip in the sand. The gates open this time making it easier. I power up the sandy area with my tri bike on the dirt. I get onto the road and know that I'm almost there. On the levee, I sprint back to transition. The levees are normally the hardest part for me because it's windy. The race excitement though gives me energy to power through it. Up ahead I see someone half on their bike using their foot to push them along. I try to realize what's wrong and I see that his chain is dangling snapped. As I go by him I tell him “good job you're almost there, keep it up”. I know it must be hard to have a snapped chain and have to hobble back to transition. I unstrap my bike shoes on the uphill and slip my feet out as I head down the hill to transition. I start to swing my leg over my bike. I'm in a really good position and I've been practicing swinging my foot over when coming home from school. As I'm right about to get off, instead of making it a smooth landing, my bike shorts somehow get caught in my seat. I still get off well, but my bike falls next to me a little bit.

I run to transition, put up my bike and start to head towards where all the other runners go hoping to just turn right into the finish line for the aqua bike. My dad tells me to go one way but the race people tell me otherwise. I am like, “Dad, come on”. But then Dad tells them that I’m doing the Aquabike and they tell me to go the way my dad said to. Whoops, my dad is right. I head out that way and run toward the finish. I finish by pointing to God, giving him the credit. He helped me through this race by helping my calves not hurt, helping me not get lost (even though I wasn't focusing at some points), and helping me feel hydrated in the swim. I got a pretty good time of 2 hours and 11 minutes. I was shooting for around two hours so it worked out.



Folsom Triathlon–Robin -2021


May 08, 2021 – Folsom Lake, Granite Bay, CA


Swim 1.5K – Bike 40K – Run 10K


2:53:14 (24:32-1:32:58-55:45)


2nd, W45-49 (9th Female OA)


FCA: Anna Soares (AquaBike), Caryn Galeckas, Suzanne Hartley, Timothy Hess (AquaBike),Troy Outman, Troy Soares; Dana Haldeman, Dave Campbell, Dominic Pollizzi, Josh Cagney, Keith Hansen, Tony Marengo, Wyatt Hamilton

Triathlon is back!  This is the first Olympic Distance Tri in our local area since 2019. My last official triathlon was in August of 2019!  I am thankful that I did a Mock Half Iron Distance last weekend to work out some of the kinks.  But there will still be some things that will likely come up today.

The parking lot looks full when we arrive about an hour early.  Triathletes are all over the place.  It seems strange because it's been a long time but somehow we all remember what to do. As we set up and get oriented, we run into so many familiar faces.

It's a LONG trek to the start of the swim. The lack of snow this season is apparent and the lake has suffered.  I do a warm-up jog down in some old shoes to pray with Troy and our other teammates, Caryn Galeckas and Suzanne Hartley.  I pray for the injuries in the group and for us to be a light to others.  I soon watch them start the swim.

I do a quick warm up to acclimate.  The water is a perfect temperature for me.  I come to shore and find out that Ariel has been recruited as a volunteer to track folks as they exit the water. Cool!

Oh my, my race is starting in less than 2 minutes. I run over and get a spot.  I notice a guy in front of me doesn't have his wetsuit completely zipped up. I ask him if he'd like me to fix that and he gladly says yes.  I haven't seen Dana.  Maybe she's at a different race?


Ready, set, go!  I'm surrounded by yellow caps as I jump into the water.  I just don’t want to get smacked in the head.  I pray for peace and protection.  God is always available when we cry out to Him. I get into a good rhythm going out.  There are a few guys that I have to avoid as they zig-zag along.  And later, I have to pick up the pace to avoid getting bumped from the side. I don’t get a draft going out but I am able to swim strong. (500m @ 1:40/100 pace)

After the first turn, I am alongside a guy who is drifting.  I'm not sure if this is the same guy.  I push to get ahead of him.  I see yellow caps ahead and I push to catch them by the next turn.  It looks like I close the gap some by the next buoy. It's a long home stretch now. (Next 500m @ 1:41/100 pace)

I push to catch those yellow caps I've been chasing.  I'm keeping my head down mostly and focusing on using my hands to push the water.  I'm making progress!  I put my head down and focus again. Next time I look up it's as if the yellow caps have disintegrated.  I see swimmers heading for an orange round buoy and turning there to go to the finish.  It confuses me because generally those are for guidance and the white triangle buoys are for turning.  Well, that's where the swimmers are going so I'll go too.

I round the orange buoy and sprint to the finish. (Next 500m @1:37/100 pace) I keep swimming until my hand touches the bottom.  I get my wetsuit off right at the shore. Ariel is there cheering for me and working hard volunteering. 

I get on my old pair of shoes and start the long run up.  Halfway up I realized I stopped my watch instead of hitting the split button. That is one of my kinks to work out next time!  I get that fixed and look up and see that none of the runners including me are following the cones they placed.  I scoot over and get in the right spot.  Not sure if it really matters but just in case.

I get to my bike and get my gear on.  The guy next to me asks if we have to wear our bib number and tell him no because we have numbers on our helmets.  He asks me if it's on his helmet since it's already on his head.  I tell him he's good to go. 


Soon I'm off. I hit the stop button again going out and quickly start it and hit the correct button for the split.  Oh brother!  I am able to get into a comfortable position heading out of the park. I basically did most of today's course last weekend.  It's good to know what to expect.

I am moving WAY faster than last weekend! This is fun!  There is a guy in green that I'm going back in forth with. I catch up to him on the hills.  Up Auburn Folsom, left on Cavitt is smooth thanks to the CHP.  I do get caught behind an AT&T truck but it's a nice draft to Laird.  (5miles @ 19mph)  I pass Suzanne and tell her good job.

Down Laird to Horseshoe Bar is great and fast! I am mostly passing people but I know the younger crowd is coming for me from behind!  I am not a fan of riding up Horseshoe Bar but it's not too bad in a race. With the adrenaline and endorphins, the miles click off quicker physically and mentally.   I pass Caryn just before turning onto Val Verde.  I tell her good job.  I'm really impressed with the markings and volunteers on this course.  It is clear where to go and the volunteers keep the cars in check well! (Next 5 miles @ 19mph again). 

At King is where the climbing kicks in. It's a noticeable change.  I see my green friend but he alludes me. There are so many nice things to see along this course.  I wonder if the racers notice some of the farm stands we are passing. The faster and younger riders are starting to pass me as we climb up to Powerhouse Road.  (Next 5miles @ 15.7mph)

One last big climb on Powerhouse.  I see the longhorn cow on the steep part.  He'll be sight for sure for folks.  Several riders pass me along here like I'm standing still! I make it to the top of the course. Yay!  There is our friends the Packheiser's house.  I look for them but it's quiet. 

Now it's straight down Auburn Folsom. Thankfully Troy did not put on the deep dish wheel in the front which frightens me on this part of Auburn Folsom because it blows me around. He's got it right today. I just have a low spoke wheel that is very stable.  I can get going fast since I don't have to constantly come out of my aerobars to stabilize myself! This is so much more pleasant!  A woman barrels by me like I’m standing still.  She must be an AquaBiker!  She's just hammering. (Next 5miles @ 18.8)  I feel like I'm flying but more riders are riding so fast by me.  It's a bit humbling just like when Dana passed me last weekend.

Last big turn across traffic at Twin Rocks. The CHP are on it and it's no problem! I try to shout my thanks.  Up the road the backside of the park.  This is a tricky part.  Going down the curb and up a gravel road to get back into the park.  I struggled with this last week.  I think it was more of a mental struggle.  The gate is open this time so I don't have to squeeze through a small opening. Yay!

It's super flat in the park. (Last 5 miles@19.9) I can see runners on the trails on my left.  It looks like a short out and back section. I push it towards transition. I realize I need to get my feet out of my shoes fast.  I haven't done this for SO long.  Thankfully I am able to get them out just in time.  

I get my bike racked and get my shoes on. A guy is racking his bike across from me and the rack falls down.  I run over to help him along with race director Bill Driskol.  I finish getting ready and head out.


Oh boy I'm stiff! It doesn't help that I need the potty.  I run out towards the bike entry point. I'm looking for folks I know. I accidentally run past the turn to go back towards transition.  Thankfully I correct myself quickly. My legs are feeling a bit better now. 

Mile 1 is 9:40.  Not bad with a little break built in there.  I'd really like to go sub-9min pace overall today instead of the plus-10min pace from last weekend!  Once off the trail it's flat for a long section.  I try to pick it up and I’m a little disappointed to see just under 9 min pace.  Little by little.  Lord, help me be content.

I follow the trail over to the boat ramp parking lot from last weekend.  Another flat section that's paved so I try to pick it up.

Mile 2 is 8:44.  Dave Campbell is on his way back and I see him crossing the road on the trail next to road. I cheer him on. I wonder if Troy is behind him.  I cannot see the trail as I move past this spot.  As I get to the place where the runners coming back merge the runners going out, I keep looking for Troy.  I get confused where to turn once back on the trails.  It looks like some racers are going straight up a hill.  A guy asks me where we go. A careful inspection shows arrows pointing left. I say left.  I don't realize runners are heading back this way and I almost run into an oncoming runner.  I apologize.

I see Troy Outman coming back.  I tell him good job.  I wonder if I see my Troy.  If he's already gone by that would mean his heel is doing ok!

Mile 3 is 8:55. I really hope to do  sub-9 min pace today.  My last "race" here was the virtual half I did 10:10 pace. I start noticing runners with different bib numbers.  I realize it is the American River 50 Mile runners!  Wow, they are going along at a good clip with the triathletes.  I start cheering extra loud for them and tell them to "go get those triathletes".  I don’t see Troy!  Yay! That means he had a great race!

I see Dana Haldeman coming back.  I didn't see her at the start so I wasn't sure if she was here today.  She looks strong!  I cheer her on.  After another 1/2 mile or so I make it to the turn around.  Yay! Just got to run to the finish now!

Mile 4 is 8:46. I see the young and fast triathletes coming towards me.  I start to see some young men that used to do our track workouts with us. I see Tony Marengo smiling.  I see Josh Cagney and then Wyatt Hamilton.  My brain is such mush it takes me a moment for their names to pop into my head.

I pass a large group of high school mountain bikers.  They start riding behind me.  The leader says not to worry about them but to run my race.  I still feel compelled to let oncoming runners in the tri that they are behind me.  They are very respectful kids and I am impressed.

Mile 5 is 9:06.  I've had some good climbs on the way back but I didn't lose too much speed. Time to move!  I push hard as I can on these narrow somewhat rocky trails back to the finish.  I have the motivation to get it done so it's not too bad.  There are a few guys ahead of me that I try to catch before the finish. I catch one and try to get the next guy.

Mile 6 is 8:35.  I pass the guy and encourage him to finish strong.  I finish and look up to the Lord.  Thank you for a great race!  Not my fastest but the fastest I've gone all year.  Looks like Troy and Anna had a good day too!  Thank you Jesus!


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Virtual Wildflower Long Course–Robin-2021


5/1/2021 Granite Bay, CA


1.2M Swim – 56M Bike – 13.1M Run


6:33:24  (45:11-8:54-3:22:24-3:21-2:13:28)

Today I’m doing a Practice Half Ironman on my own with family support.  I’m not feeling pumped up.  I’ve been subbing all week and am feeling pretty tired.  I know that this will be good for me in the long run. Anna is babysitting this morning and will join us later by bike.  Ariel and Troy are my crew for the start.

We get to Granite Beach Park entrance just after 7am and there is a really long line!  We figure out later folks are coming from all over Nor Cal to see the historic Lupine flower bloom here.  I don’t mind because there is no official starting line or competitors waiting for me. 

We park next to where I’m swimming and set up.  While I set up, Troy and Ariel take our “Slow Boy” (plastic man with a flag) out to the turn around point.  They chat with the fishermen as they go along the shore and tell them I’ll be coming through.


I reluctantly head down to the water.  Lord, please help me through this.  I want to be a good example for you and use today for good.  I don’t want to be dragging my feet!


Ariel and Troy start me off at the bottom of an unused boat ramp.  I jump in the water and it feels nice.  Early on my hand is scraping the sand but it gets deeper eventually.  I’m not pushing hard but just trying to get into a good rhythm.  This is my first open water swim of the year.  I wish I had put some lube on my neck.  I can feel my wetsuit rubbing. Soon enough I forget about it.

I can see Ariel following me along the shore. I stay far away from the fishermen so I don’t disturb their efforts. I can see Slow Boy perfectly off in the distance.  Little by little I get closer. It is mostly peaceful out here. There are no boats out here and I’ve only seen/passed one kayak. I make it to Slow Boy and look at the distance on my watch.  It’s perfect!  Ariel and Troy nailed it!


I try swimming faster on the way back but the pace is relatively the same. Ariel is following me back and I notice she’s left Slow Boy behind.  I peak my head up and tell her not to forget him. She runs back for him. As I’m swimming I see a big boulder quickly come into view under me. It startles me and I start to get jumpy about running into a boulder. I pray and ask the Lord to help me be calm.

I can finally see the boat ramp.  As I get closer, I realize that I am off course. It takes me a few minutes to figure out how to correct myself.  I’m almost done!  I missed the real shallow area this time coming back which I’m happy about.


I touch the bottom and get up and run to the water’s edge to take off my wetsuit.  I run up the ramp and get myself ready to ride.  I’m still struggling to get myself in race mode. I don’t feel the need to rush but I am also aware I have many hours ahead of me so I need to get going. 


The breeze is picking up so I put on a jacket to be comfortable. By the time I get on my bike, it’s been 8 min!  I stop by the bathroom on the way out.  Ok, time to get serious!


I exit the main entrance to the park.  There is an even longer line of cars now.  Troy and Ariel have to stay put in the park otherwise they might not make it back in.  Troy has his bike so maybe he’ll join me on the bike somewhere.  I have 2 loops ahead of me. 


So glad I put on my jacket! It is chilly! After the first 5 miles, I finally get a good pace going.  I meander my way back up to Auburn to Powerhouse Road. I’ll be climbing this next weekend in the Folsom Tri.

Halfway up Powerhouse on the steepest part, two cyclists fly by me and one says “Hi Robin”.  It’s Dana Haldeman. She’s a phenomenal triathlete in my age group.  I feel for a moment like the wind has been taken out of my sails.  I feel bummed out that I am getting creamed by my friend.  Soon I feel the Lord convicting me for my attitude. There is no reason to be sad or upset. I should be joyful for being injury free. For having a family that is taking the day to support me.  To be grateful and thankful for what the Lord is doing in my life.

At the top of the climb I can still see Dana.  I give my best effort down Auburn Folsom to keep her in my sight.  It’s a good challenge.  The wind has really picked up.  My front race wheel has depth to it which makes it very squirrly in my aerobars. While my left arm is in the aerobar, I put my right hand on my handlebar to steady myself.  Next race I hope Troy will put a different wheel on the front.

I do pretty well keeping Dana in my sight but soon she is gone.  I do see a familiar bike coming toward me.  It’s Troy! He turns around and joins me for the last few miles into the park.  I tell him how the front race wheel has been difficult. 

We bike into the park the back way through a gravel path.  It’s a little difficult navigating.  We find our way back to Ariel.  I’m nice and warm now so I ditch the jacket.  I use the restroom and head out for my last loop alone. 


I’m feeling more energized for this last loop. My ride up to Auburn is better and a tad faster though I need to make a pit stop.  I’m getting through this with the Lord’s help!  Up Powerhouse again with a better attitude. 

Once I make it to Auburn Folsom,  I feel like the hardest part is over.  The wind continues to make it difficult to fully be in my aerobars but I make due.  Troy joins me again for the last few miles.  I do much better on the gravel section into the park.

Ariel greets us again at transition.  My transition is much faster this time. 


I have 3 loops ahead of me. The nice thing is each loop gets shorter. I hear Anna is enroute to the park on her bike.


My legs feel tired heading out on the run. I was expecting this. The first mile is 10:16. 


I head out of the park after a quick trail loop. It’s getting warmer but thankfully for now I have some shade.  The 2nd mile is 9:15.

The next mile I’m out in the open and have to run along busy Auburn Folsom Road.  It’s only a minor inconvenience to get to the very quiet Morningside neighborhood.  Mile 3 is 9:18.

It’s really shady and beautiful on this stretch of the run.  It is a bit uphill but not bad. Mile 4 is 9:45.

I see a cyclist coming towards me.  Then I hear “good job Mom!”.  Anna is here!  I wave and motion for her to be quiet.  I tell her we should be quiet in here out of respect but that I really appreciate her enthusiasm. 

Anna is riding back and forth in this stretch supporting me. As she is turning around behind me,  I hear a thump and look back to see her on the ground.  I run back to help her up.  Her wheel slid out as she was doing a slow turn and fell over. Poor dear.  She’s got a bit of road rash on her hip and shoulder but she implores me to continue on.

We turn onto Twin Rocks and I tell her to bike ahead since there are more cars on this road and it’s not a good idea to go back and forth.  Mile 5 is 10:36.

Anna and I reunite at the back entrance to the park.  The gravel is much easier to manage on foot!  Anna bikes with me until I reach the next trail.  She turns back and takes the road back to Troy and Ariel.  On the trail ahead I see what looks like a witch sitting next to a picnic bench. It must be a mirage.  As I get closer, I chuckle.  The “witch” is a large tree branch and the bench is some driftwood.  Mile 6 is 9:44.


I meander my way back to “aid station”.  Ariel and Troy have oranges and more water for me. I take a pit stop. Ariel is joining me for the next 4.5 mile or so.  We’ll mostly be on trails.  I suspect it will be slower since I’m not feeling confident on trails especially when my legs are tired.  I’m having flashbacks to the 31K I did near here where I kept tripping. Mile 7 is 10:51.

Ariel and I head out.  It’s quite warm!  I head back to the little trail loop and then out towards the park entrance.


  This time we follow the horse trail on the outskirts of the park. There should be no mountain bikes to dodge on this stretch I hope.  Mile 8 is 10:54.

I am definitely tentative on the trails and try my best to keep a steady pace. This time of day is hot but it makes for a quiet trail.  I don’t think I’ll be able to run sub 10 pace the rest of the run but I’m still giving a good effort. Mile 9 is 10:20. 

Ariel is keeping up and being a good sport but is wondering when this trail ends. 


She’s telling me about the Narina book she is reading. It’s nice to have the company. 

We finally get to the end yay! I’m back on the gravel road and heading towards the witch again.  I ask Ariel what she sees ahead and she says it looks like a witch. Ha, ha! She soon sees what it really is.  We get a good laugh out of it. Mile 10 is 10:14.

I tell Ariel one more mile to go and she’s done.  She’s eager to stop.  She hangs in there and pushes hard to the finish.  Mile 11 is 9:53.  Wow a sub 10 mile, great!

I get some more oranges and water at the car and Anna is going to start out with me.


  Her hip has been an issue again so she’s doing at least a mile with me.  I am amazed at Anna’s upbeat attitude and great willingness to help me.  I know it’s disappointing to be injured. Mile 12 is 10:53.

Anna pulls off before a mile and heads back to the finish.  I continue on and find my way back to my aid station.  I’m going to need another half mile.  I tell my crew to follow me as I run around the parking lot in a serpentine manner.  Almost there.  Mile 13 is 10:06.  Just a bit more.  I tell them I’m finishing at a random tree.  They get there in time to take photos.  I point to God.  So glad to be done!  Thanking God for the support of my wonderful family!