>> Tuesday, October 06, 2009
(It’s been a busy few days and it’ll be a busy week. So this post will just go through the finish of my race. All the fun stuff that happened after I finished [farm animals, my family finishing the race, post race shenanigans] will be posted shortly. Sorry to make you wait!)
Friday night, Pharmie and I made some homemade tomato soup. When I went to crush the tomatoes, one of them squirted all up my arm (and on the floor, and on the cupboards, and on my pants...). It looked like a horrible, horrible accident:
That evening, most of Pharmie’s family came over. Many stayed with us, but all ate with us. We fed spaghetti and pork-loin to 20 people, and then 14 of them slept over at our place. FULL HOUSE!! Here’s a dozen people around our table:
Pardon my pun.
We filtered out of the Dome, and then split up. I kissed Pharmie on the cheek and headed to Corral 1 of the 10 Mile start. I sat and stretched my heel one last time, and then worked my way closer to the start. I settled in about 100-200 people from the front of the pack. I quickly realized I was next to John (Pharmie’s uncle), Tom R (Charities Challenge running buddy), and Julia (swimming buddy). I chatted a little with all of them before the gun.
On your marks... Get set... GO!!
John and I talked for a moment past the starting line, and then I took off a little. I TRIED to keep it easy the first mile - that was one of my bigger keys to a good race: I needed to start off slow. I saw Marlo McGaver shortly after the start (local, big-name duathlete). I said hi and introduced myself. We chatted for a moment before she zoomed off in front of me.
Mile 1: 6:35. “Good. Easy.” I let people pass me without trying to keep up (that’s hard for me). Part way through the next mile, I shed my “throw-away” long-sleeve t-shirt I was wearing to stay warm. Now I was just down to my racing outfit (tight red top and “bowl full of sunshine” shorts).
Mile 2: 6:26. “A bit faster. Good. Now start to pick it up a LITTLE.” We were heading under I-94, and that bridge was WAY above us. That was depressing because I knew we’d be climbing to that height to cross the river over the next 3/4 mile. D’oh. So we started a slow climb to Mile 3.
Crossing the bridge, I came up on Tom R who I had talked with in the starting corral. He thought I was in front of him (and I did too). We chatted for the whole length of the bridge, and I think the race photographer got photos of us chit-chatting. (When I ran by the race photographer, he actually said “nice smile - don’t stop smiling!” Thanks photo guy!!)
At the first water stop across the bridge, I slowed up a little to drink my Powerade; I didn’t want to be covered in sticky, blue Powerade for the rest of the day. And THAT was the slowest I got all day - that was the closest I came to walking! That’s good news! The bad news is that I missed the Mile 3 marker (I was either talking with Tom, or it was in that water stop). So...
Mile 3 & 4: 12:46 (6:23 pace). Not bad, considering mile 3 had that long uphill. (Mile 4 was pretty flat.) I wished to be a little faster, but I didn’t want to go TOO hard, so overall, I felt OK with my effort at this point.
Coming up to Mile 5, we went down under the Lake/Marshall bridge, and then back up the other side. I passed Doug, a guy I met at the “Get Ready to Rock 10K” a few weeks back, and we chatted for a moment. I saw a few people that said “HI STEVE” around the bridge, including TriMama and a BT buddy.
Mile 5: 6:20. “Negative split, here I come.” I hit mile 5 at 32:09, and I knew I had enough left for a negative split; I was ONLY going to be getting faster overall. I ran up the hill towards St. Thomas, ran right next to their track (where I always run intervals), and hopped on Summit. This was the land I knew. 99% of all my runs on are this stretch of land. I KNEW the finish of this race.
I also saw Nat and Jen R right away after turning onto Summit. (Thanks for cheering!) Jen told me I looked good. I FELT good, but it was because my time wasn’t SUPER stellar. I started trying to up the pace. The first 1.5 miles or so of Summit is gently uphill, so I knew my effort would get higher without my times showing it right away.
Mile 6: 6:23. “Good, but could have / should have been faster.” I high-fived 2 little kids on the left side of the road and totally made their day.
Mile 7: 6:28. “OK, that was too slow. That hill to Snelling accounts for a little of this, but you need to UP THE PACE.” Since the start, I never let Marlo out of my sight: she was never more than 2 blocks ahead of me at any point. I started closing the gap, and I passed her near the Governor’s mansion. “Go Marlo - don’t let me beat you!...” I said with a smile through forced breaths as I went by.
Mile 8: 6:00. “Better. Nice.” I was running hard, but I didn’t feel like complete death. ...which means I should have been running harder. D’oh. But at least I was enjoying the race more by suffering less.
I was passing quite a few people over these last few miles. Once I “settled in” around mile 3-4, I don’t think anyone passed me. No one passed me along Summit for sure (the last 5 miles).
Mile 9: 6:00. “Hoped for sub-6 here. Last mile - PUSH!” I gave it all, and I passed a small group of runners. I ran past Gary from Charities Challenge who was at the “German House” on Summit with his PA system: “...... and here comes STEVE STENZEL!! Triathlete extraordinaire! Lookin’ good, Mr. Stenzel!!” Thanks Gary! I think he snapped a shot as I ran by, so I’ll share that when I see it.
I started up the last little hill. Pharmie’s family was in the distance, and they saw me coming. Here I am just behind the guy in blue, with a small pack of recently-passed-runners about a half block back:
I particularly like this one because of
the “stink eye” I’m getting!
Mile 10: 5:40. “Good. Now get me some water.” ;)
6:16.3 / mile
95 out of 5797 overall
84 out of 2254 men
48 out of 436 in the 22-29 age group
First 5 miles: 32:09 (6:26 pace)
Last 5 miles: 30:34 (6:07 pace)
I think I could have ran harder in miles 4-8, but the poor outcomes of my last few long runs took my confidence away, so I held back a little. I think I could have taken 0:30 to 1:00 off my finishing time. That being said, I’m still super happy with my finish. I’m just thinking how to make the next race better...
After finishing, I headed back up the hill to the Cathedral to hang out with Pharmie’s family. The farm animals were out in full force shortly. I’ll be back as soon as I can with how the rest of the family member’s races went as well as farm animal photos!