Quarterly Fitness Report: 3 Month Totals

>> Monday, July 06, 2015

Here's what my April, May, and June training numbers look like:

SWIM: 45,226 yards
BIKE: 427.53 miles (25.33 of that hauling the boys)
BIKE TRAINER: 10 hours 31.5 minutes (most workouts between 40 and 70 minutes)
RUN: 170.13 miles (7.05 of that w/Charlie, 4.02 w/Henry, and 24.62 of that w/both boys)
STRENGTH: 31 hours 58 minutes

Weekly swim, bike, and run distances from Apr-June.
The dip of 5/18 was when we were gone for 3 days for a wedding.

Weekly swim, bike, and run times from Apr-June.
"Sports" is time on the bike trainer.

(I need to preface everything below with the thought that these remarks are coming from MY norm. Most people who finish races around me bike (and run) a fair amount more than I do. So if something is "high" or "low," that's just based on what I usually do, and not on the general public.)

Thoughts on those numbers:

- DECENT SWIM NUMBERS, AND BIG BIKE NUMBERS! The first 3 months of 2015 were my biggest swimming quarter ever at 60K, but then it took a little dive because I started using my time to bike more. So I'm totally OK with that. (Note my 6,930 yards in the 2nd-to-last week of last month - at quick check, that's my 2nd highest weekly total in the last 6 years. That's a lot for a non-swimmer like me.) And regarding my biking: if you average my trainer time to be 18 mph, then that's another nearly 190 miles of riding, for 617 miles over the last 3 months. I've had 2 YEARS recently with less milage than that. Yes, really.

- MY RUN MILEAGE IS DROPPING, AND I WANT TO TURN THAT AROUND. I raced a lot last month, so that meant more hard miles with less miles overall. I want to make sure I'm getting in the distance. I didn't even hit 40 miles last month! My running miles on the "distance" chart above are pathetic. I can't let that drop too much. Also, I've been running a lot more easier runs than ever before, but I'm OK with that.

- STRENGTH TIME IS DROPPING TOO. But again, that's PARTLY because I've been devoting more time to biking and swimming lately. But still, I can't forget about my leg exercises to keep my butt strong, and I need to keep working my core. Also, I haven't done any upper body work for over 3 weeks because of my elbow. More on that in an upcoming post sometime.

Just for the heck of it, here's what the first 6 months of training in 2015 looks like in terms of swim, bike, and run distance each month (trainer time isn't figured in here):

Overall, that looks like a nice gentle upward trend! But when you look at the TIME that I've spent training in the last 6 months, you can see a drop in June:

The drop is mainly due to racing 3 multi-sport races in June and needing time to recover. (And less strength work as I mentioned before due to my elbow issues.)

So far this year, I've covered over 105,000 yards in the pool, so I'm well on track for my biggest year ever. I don't want to officially make 200,000 yards a goal, but I know I'll be keeping that in my back of my mind. I'm also just shy of 500 outdoor miles on the bike. Maybe shoot for 1000? (Historically, I have my bigger biking months coming up.) And my running milage is low at 355 miles. No big distance goal there - just stay healthy (or not TOO injured).

p.s. People often ask, so I'll mention it here: those graphs are from my online training log at BeginnerTriathlete.com.

p.p.s. Back with 2 giveaways in the next day or 2. Stop on back!


3 Old Race Pics

>> Saturday, July 04, 2015

First is a pic that Nicole H posted on Facebook a bit ago. It was from the Oakdale Duathlon where I gave Ross my camera and then Nicole snapped this lovely photo of us:

Her caption: "A little late but still too good not to share! Such a memorable and
fun race day with good people and good laughs! :) Just one of those moments! Haha"

And the other 2 pics are from Devon's dad. He snapped a lot of photos at the Capitol City Tri a few weeks ago, and Devon tagged me in these 2 photos from the half-way point in the bike:

If everything goes as planned, I'll have 2 giveaways this next week! So stop on back. Happy 4th of July!


Friday Funny 946: Letter Spacing

>> Friday, July 03, 2015

It's called kerning, and it's important:

Lots more funny things posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 945: Questionable Parenting

Who am I to judge? Yet... I'm kinda judging all of these people...

Oh, but I'm not judging him. This is just smart.

This one makes me a little sad.


Find more funnies posted all week long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 944: Then vs. Now

Lots more funny stuff on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com!


Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: Running in the Heat

>> Thursday, July 02, 2015

Last week, I came across someone tweeting this:

That can't really be right. I'm confused though... it's on the internet, so it must be true. But it's a little exaggerated.

The "summary" bullet points at the bottom make sense to me. I've always said that 50 degrees is my optimal race temp, and this sort of backs that up, but I don't think those adjusted times are right. I think you could cut those times in half and they'd STILL be high. I remember running the hot Victory 10K in 2012 where it was 80 degrees and over 60% humidity. Everyone's times were slow, but you can't take off 3:00/mile because of that. If that were true, my "adjusted" pace was 3:07/mile (I actually ran a 38:02, which was 6:07/mile). I remember hearing "legitimate" runners commenting that times were about 20-30 seconds per mile slower. Not 3 minutes. (I was realistically hoping to run about 15 seconds per mile faster if it weren't so hot.)

I had to share this because I know the heat slows me down, but this over-compensated times too much. Right?

UPDATE: I think I found the source on of the chart on Over40Runner.com, and he notes that the info is from a class at a running store in Texas. So yeah, totally sound science backs this up. *sarcasm*

For more "Thirsty Thursday" posts that highlight workouts, body science, and all kinds of interesting information, CLICK HERE.


Lake Waconia Triathlon RACE REPORT!

>> Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If you didn't hear the story, here's how Pharmie and I came to race this triathlon on Sunday:

A few weeks ago, we signed up to do the "By George" triathlon on Saturday.
Lisa L was all set to watch our boys because she owed me babysitting duties from when I beat her at the indoor tri this past March.
On Thursday, we got an email from the race director saying the race was cancelled.
Lake Waconia was on Sunday, and we figured we'd try to race that (even though it was longer distance).
I looked for a new sitter for the boys for Sunday, and Grandma Monica volunteered.
On Saturday, I loaded up the boys and met Grandma between her house and our house, then registered Pharmie and I to race on Sunday.
We had a peaceful night sleep on Saturday night, and then got up to race the next morning.

The boys were having fun overnight at my in-laws. Saturday was my wife's hometown celebration, so Grandma got to show off the grandkids. And Henry "helped" Grandpa run the putt-putt course:

Pharmie and I got to the race on Sunday, got set up in transition, and I headed to the potties:

Barefoot in the wet porta-potty. Gross.

I ran into Justin (race buddy from the Lake Marion Tri and hubby of a one of my wife's college friends) and he snapped this photo of Pharmie and I ready to race:


I was in the 2nd wave behind the elites, athenas, and clydesdales. I started as the FARTHEST swimmer to the outside (to the left) because it really was no farther to the first turn WAY out there, and I like not bumping into other swimmers. I went out pretty fast, and (accidentally) stayed too far to the left most of the time - I tried cutting back in to the right, but I just kept veering left. Here's a photo from the start of wave 3, and I'm 100% sure I'm the 1 little speck near the white boat towards the left:

Really. That's me. I like open water. Obviously.

I didn't do the best about swimming a straight line, but I was swimming pretty STRONG. My pace seemed good. I swam a bit straighter on the way back to shore. This was a rare swim where I did NOT bump into 1 other person! Nice.

I hit transition 6 seconds FASTER than last year at this race where I was only the swimmer for a relay and swimming ALL OUT! Yep, I figured I could do that. If you've been reading my blog in the last few months, you know my swimming has been improving.

Running in from the swim. (Pic from Suzie Fox's Dad.)

My lovely Pharmie coming into T1, looking focused.


This wasn't too pretty. I got caught in my wetsuit. Oy.


As I noted in the bullet-pointed list that started this post, the "By George" tri that we were originally going to do was shorter: 0.25 mile swim, 13 mile bike, and 5K run. I was most concerned about the bike at this race going from 13 to 20 miles, and going from pretty flat to moderately hilly. Example: the timing mat starting the bike was at the end of the run out, so we were able to mount and start biking pretty quick, but STILL my average was only 16.x mph after a mile. Yikes. Pharmie and I were ready to suffer (a little more than we wanted to) on the bike. (Also, because I was racing with my wife, I didn't get to borrow her front Zipp 404 - I was riding on stock wheels.)

I passed 2 relay bikers and got passed by someone older than me (outside of my age group) before mile 5. Just after that, I got passed by a good number of guys (the leaders of the wave of 40+ year-old men that started behind me), and 1 was in my age group - he was wearing blue and I needed to keep him in sight for the run. (Later, I realized that this was the guy Justin introduced me to pre-race.) He zoomed out of sight quickly. We turned west for a few straight miles into the slight breeze - it wasn't bad by any means, but it knocked my average down a bit. The good news about the straight west stretch was that it was the flattest part of the ride - the rest had lots of little hills.

By the end of the bike, no one else in my age group passed me. I thought MAYBE I was in 3rd in my age group - I've been swimming well, and I don't think there were many people in front of me coming out of the water. Still, the plan was to catch a lot of people on the final 4 mile run. Oh, and here were my overall averages according to my Garmin every 5 miles throughout the bike:

- Mile 5: 20.8 mph
- Mile 10: 21.8 mph (just down from 21.9 as we had just turned into the wind)
- Mile 15: 20.9 mph
- Outside of Transition: 21.0 mph (it dropped down to 20.9 on the run in)

Hilly, then flat and into the wind from miles 9-14, then hilly again.


I stayed in my bike shoes at dismount because we had to run across a short bit of gravel. I grabbed my run stuff, and felt like I was clodding out of transition. I was HOT.


We started up a little hill, and I kinda thought that was the only hill out there. "We're running around a lake - it's gotta be pretty flat, right?" Man, I was so wrong. It was hilly and hot.

I saw the man in blue in my age group just about 1 block in front of me about a half mile into the run, and I caught him easily around 0.75 miles into the run. Sweet. Time to pick off more runners. My first 2 half mile splits were 3:03 and 3:17 for a 6:20 first mile, and my next 2 were 3:03 and 3:08 for a 6:11 second mile. I was catching a lot of runners. There were MANY more runners out there than at the Capitol City Triathlon a few weeks ago where I only caught 1 runner in the last mile. And I was catching people in my age group! I didn't know I had that many in my age group in front of me! When I started the run, I thought I *could* be in 3rd in my age group, but I caught 3 or 4 guys in my age group on the run before the last mile!

My 3rd mile had half mile splits of 3:09 and 3:09 for a 6:18 mile. Then with less than a mile left, I heard something I'm not used to hearing in triathlons: there were footsteps coming up behind me. My ego said "Oh, that must be a relay runner coming..." because I really can't tell you the last time I was passed on the run. Really. It's been years. Well guess what? Not only was it NOT a relay runner, but it was a 30-year-old in my age group. F*ck. I tried to keep up, but he just blew past me. Serves me right for thinking "he must be a relay."

He pulled away, but I reeled him back in a LITTLE before the finish. Still, he was well out of reach. My final mile clocked in at 3:00 and 2:34 (for 0.48 miles - 5:25 pace). He ended up 6 seconds in front of me at the finish:

Me in my bright shorts back there.

Hitting the line 6 seconds later.

Trying to live.

Basically, the dips in speed are hills. You can see where I upped the pace after mile 3 to try
to hang with the guy who passed me, topping out for a while between 5:11-5:15 pace.


Steve Stenzel, #2721, 34, M, St. Paul, MN

- 1/2 mile swim: 15:38, 1:47 pace. 44th overall, 28th non-elite, 4th in age group.
- T1: 1:47, 59th overall.
- 20 mile bike: 56:00, 21.4 pace. 53rd overall, 37th non-elite, 9th in age group.
     [Garmin: 19.47 miles, 20.9 mph average]
- T2: 0:55, 33rd overall.
- 4 mile run: 24:26, 6:06.5 pace. 7th overall, 2nd non-elite, 2nd in age group.

- Total: 1:38:22

24th out of 215 overall
11th out of 197 non-elite overall
3rd out of 15 in the 30-34 age group


• This race was pretty uneventful for me. Talking with Nicole H post-race, she was disappointed that nothing "hilarious" happened to me. Sorry Nicole. The swim was fine. The bike was hilly. And the run got hot. Being passed by someone in my age group on the run was the most eventful moment.

• I forget who I was talking to post-race, but someone nailed it on the head when they mentioned that it was just "1-click shy" of being TOO hot. It was warm. The run was a sufferfest. Times were a bit slow. But it wasn't too detrimental.

• I have a random "elite wave" complaint. It's hardly even a complaint. I thought about not even mentioning this. But here I am anyway. Wave 1 was elites, relays, athenas, and clydesdales. Note that in the results above and in the official results, I'm marked as 3rd in my age group. But when giving out awards, they disregarded anyone who signed up as elite and lumped them back in with age groupers. So at awards, I was technically 5th in my age group because Bennett and Josh beat me, even though they went off in the elite wave. (Both nice fellas!) So I was racing them in my age group, even though they had a 3 minute start - I could have been leading my wave, but still not first in my age group. That sucks a little. (Sidenote: I'd never be able to catch them anyway!) I'm not trying to make a big deal out of this, but it's a little annoying. If there's an elite division and wave, shouldn't that be it's own category at awards? (Like at the Oakdale Duathlon earlier this spring.) I wish there was more standardization regarding this at races. (And with the idea of "do we or don't we take the top-3 overall out of age group awards?" That's different at every race.) Again, I'm not trying to "start something" or make a big deal out of this, but it's just been a random thought in my mind since the race. No big fuss. I love Final Stretch races, and race director Mark is AWESOME. This may be the first less-than-perfect thing I've ever said about his races, and probably one of the last. LOVE his races, and hope to do 1 or 2 more this summer (looking at Waseca and North Mankato).

• All that being said in my last point, I'm still really happy with how I placed. I knew Waconia was a bigger race that attracted some big names. So 3rd or 5th in my age group (depending on how you look at it) and 24th overall is FINE BY ME! Racing has been pretty good to me this spring so far!

I had just passed speedy elite Ann on the final downhill to the finish, so she finished just behind me:

Oh God... WHAT'S THAT?!?...

Huffing and puffing does not make my body look good. Gotta work on this #DadBod.

Gear West Bike and Tri buddy Sean snapped 2 photos of me as I was heading back into transition to get my camera so I could photograph my wife finishing:

The right leg of my jammer is a little pulled up because that's where I stuff my
empty GU wrappers while biking (between my tri shorts and my "tutti frutti" shorts).

This is uncropped and unedited from Sean. He said "Now I just want one of the shorts!"
(Also notice the 4 cups of water that I downed after finishing. I was HOT!)

I grabbed my camera and got back to near the finish:

A big pack of runners coming in just a few minutes before my wife.

Pharmie making the final turn to the finish!

Hitting the finish. Congrats Hunnie!

In the shade after the finish.

For the 2nd race in a row, I got to have Kevin O'Connor's blueberry pancakes post-race!

Changing clothes in another porta-potty. I'd never seen a small hole like that before.
I took it as a challenge - I peed down it. (No, not really. I pooped down it.)

The top 3 women: Suzie (who's Dad took the photos of Pharmie and I coming out of
the water and of me finishing), Kortney (3rd), and Bridget (2nd).

3rd (Bennett) and 1st (Matt) overall. 2nd overall was Kevin, and he was still making pancakes.

Then Pharmie and I loaded up and took "the back roads" straight south for a half hour to get to Belle Plaine, MN where we were going to meet her Mom and the boys at Emma Krumbees restaurant:

Charlie across the table from me just after we got there.

Kisses from Grandma. Thanks Grandma Monica!

I almost bought 3 things at Emma Krumbees... THIS...

... THIS (directed towards Henry)...

... and THESE (for me).

One thing I DID buy was this frosted cinnamon roll that was as big as my head.
This is when it was half gone. Look at how big it is compared to my hand.

Thanks for taking the boys for the night, Grandma Monica! We had a lazy Saturday night, and then a fun (WARM) race on Sunday morning!



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