Sunday, February 20, 2022

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon–Robin - 2022


2/20/22 – Davis, CA


1/2 Marathon (13.1 Miles)




3rd (45-49 Females)


1/2 Marathon: Anna Soares, John Justus, Martin Sengo, Melissa Penwell, Rosie Kracher, Troy Soares

It’s been two years since they’ve had this event because of COVID.  It’s been 4 years since I’ve done the 1/2 Marathon.  I was supposed to do the 1/2 in 2020 but I was injured and had to switch to the 5K.  What a blessing from Jesus to be back here uninjured!  It will be a challenge because I’ve been lagging behind in my training.  I’ve been subbing full time since January and with many family activities/situations I have had a hard time finding time to put in the miles.  My training is taking a backseat right now anyway.  The priority is really Troy’s and Anna’s 1/2 Marathon race. Troy is getting ready for the Napa Marathon in two weeks and Anna is training up for a 1/2 Ironman in July.  This race has pace groups or runners who lead runners to a certain time if they can stick with them.

It’s just Troy, Anna and I this time. Ariel was going to run the 5K this morning but she graciously volunteered to take care of her grandpa this morning since we couldn’t get a caregiver to help.  We get to Davis and get our bib numbers and t-shirts.  There are several familiar faces. Our friend Courtney Cardenas is announcing the race today.  FCA teammate Rosie Kracher and her husband are also here.  Anna’s competitor and friend from Cross Country, Natalie Wieland, is here too.  She just might win this race!

Anna, Troy and I pray together.  We then seed ourselves according to our ability.  I did close to 8 min pace at the CIM relay back in December but I was in better shape but today I’ll go for 8:30 pace. That puts me at a 1:51 for today’s half.  I decide to go with the 1:50 pace group.

Ready, set, go!  Off goes Troy and Anna.  Martin Sengo goes by me and we chat.  He’s from Davis and tells me he knows this course well.  I say goodbye as we part ways.  The first mile does a loop right back to the starting/finish line. Better to pass the finish line in the beginning then just before the end. 

Mile 1 is 8:15. I am feeling good and staying with the pace group.  We climb the pedestrian overpass across Hwy 80.  Overpasses are the only hills in Davis.  Coming from Auburn, it seems like nothing but later in the race I’ll probably feel different!

220220_davis_stampede_half_marathon_robinMile 2 is 8:14. I think the pacer is ahead of pace but I stay with him.  I’m feeling comfortable so I’m not very concerned.  We do a strange out and back in a cul-de-sac.  I get to briefly see Troy as he comes out and I give him an air high-five.

Mile 3 is 8:19. I start chatting with the pacer, Kelly.  I find out he’s a local ultra-runner and that we have a lot of friends in common.  It’s a nice distraction and passes the time.  I still am feeling good.

Mile 4 is 8:20. We continue to meander through the green-belts of Davis.  I know my least favorite part is coming.  It’s the back half of the course that goes on a loose gravel road.  It’s really hard for me to run on.  I ask Kelly if he minds it and he says it’s just like trail running for him.  I know Troy likes it too.  Kelly and I talk about road biking.  He says he doesn’t like the danger of the cars.  I tell him that I pray every time I go out. 

We cross under Covell Blvd and then run along it.  I realize that the pacer is not ahead of pace but right on pace.  I’ve been thinking about running 8:30 pace which is a 1:51

Mile 5 is 8:25.  Still feeling good.  A girl passes me and says hi thinking I’m someone she knows. I find out her name is Megon. I tell her good job.

Mile 6 is 8:17. Kelly stops at the porta-potty and tells us he hopes to catch up.  I try to catch up to Megon who is just ahead of me.  Here comes the gravel! 

I read in my story from 2018 that I tried to run on the patches of grass along the path.  I try that again.  There are not many spots to do this but it’s enough to get by. I hear footsteps behind me.  There must be another runner adopting my tactic. 

Mile 7 is 8:09. The gravel is not the usual torture for me.  It probably helps that I’m trying to do a more conservative pace. I am still following the same girl.  I try to use her as a wind break. 

I can see the end of the gravel section!  That went by faster than expected!  Thank you Lord!

220220_davis_stampede_half_marathon_robin2Mile 8 is 8:23. I can see Kelly coming along as I loop to go under Covell Blvd. again. He’s got some ground to cover yet.

A gal comes along side me and tells me she was the one right behind trying to run the grassy sections too.  We both agree the gravel is not fun.  I notice her Boston shirt and ask her about it.  Her name is Sarah and I find out she’s trying to run a marathon on every continent. She also trains with the Chavez Fam in the bay area.  Small world! 

Mile 9 is 8:11. I’m feeling strong and am staying with Sarah.  We have pulled away from Megon.   

Another gravel section comes up and Sarah and I cringe.  It’s a short section thankfully!

Mile 10 is 8:23.  Things are getting noticeably tougher. When I want to press the pace, I cannot.  Sarah starts to pull away from me.  I cross Hwy 80 again and this time the overpass feels like a steep hill!  I try to use gravity on the backside to catch Sarah but she continues to pull away.

I hear someone call out my name.  I look over and see Beth Bourne.  I wave and say hi. She tells me good job and tells me she got my recent race story.  So nice she came out to cheer me on!

Mile 11 is 8:28.  We do another weird out and back.  Sarah looks strong.  I keep trying to pick it up but I feel stuck.  On my way back I see Kelly.  We cheer each other on.

Mile 12 is 8:22. I actually am able to pick it up! So close now!  I see Troy and Anna ahead cheering for me. They must have finished over 10 minutes ago!  It’s nice to see them and get encouraged.  I push as hard as I can. 

Mile 13 is 8:13. The finish line is so close!  I cross the line and look up to God.  Thank you Jesus!