Waseca Sprint Triathlon Race Report

>> Monday, August 01, 2011

Yesterday was the Waseca Sprint Triathlon. It was the second time I've done this race - I did it last year with my brother-in-law Matt as his second ever triathlon.

I got to the race site early because (1) I hadn't pre-registered, (2) I LOVE to be early, and (3) I didn't have Pharmie with me, so I could leave whenever I wanted to. So I got up at 3:30 and was out the door by 4:20. The mosquitos were HORRIBLE around transition, so I took a break in a porta-potty to get my typical pre-race photo:

Just after that, I snapped a photo of the 6 mosquito bites just on the back of one of my arms!


I stood around and talked with Kevin about how I beat Jared last year. And I talked with Jared about our wifes' nipples. Really.

I got all set and took my bike for a test spin (mostly to get away from the mosquitos for a while). Then I hit the water for a little warm-up:

Lisa's hubby was doing the longer race at Waseca, so she took my camera for me and snapped photos. THANKS LISA! She got one of Mom and I looking out over the start of the first waves:

Oh, look closely at that photo, and you can see mosquito bites all up my back:


I counted bite marks last night after my shower, and I counted 42 on my upper body alone! My legs and ankles got hit hard too, so I'd estimate that I had 60+ mosquito bites all over my body. No joke!

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was the FIRST MULTI-SPORT RACE that my parents came to! Here's a photo of us just before I headed towards the water:

Down at the beach, I heard Lisa yell my name, so I gave a big cheesy grin to the camera:

"5...4...3...2...1..... GOOOO!!"

400 meter swim:

I took off near the outside:

Chris Hawes just behind me in red, white, and black

Scuff and me to the far outside

The most eventful part of the swim happened about 10 seconds after that photo was taken. Scuff (someone who just introduced himself to me from BeginnerTriathlete) and I started swimming, and I swam RIGHT up on his heels and got kicked square in the bridge of my nose! I knew I didn't get a bloody nose and my goggles stayed put, so I just kept on going.

I did a piss-poor job (as always) of rounding both buoys - I was WAY to the outside both times. But I kicked it in as I was heading back towards shore and finished strong. My lack of swimming was going to show in my overall time, but I felt OK with my effort.

When I hit the shore, I heard Lisa yelling for her hubby Jas and I at the same time! So I knew I was close to him! Here's Jas running up the beach:

Me right on his tail

Jas finished up the long course swim at the same time I was finishing up my short course swim, so we hit transition together!


Totally normal T1 for me: threw on my socks, bike shoes, and helmet while trying not to fall over from dizziness.

Also happened to notice all the sand on my heel as I was putting on my second sock - didn't realize until THAT MOMENT that I didn't dip my feet after the swim! I was hoping all the sand wouldn't rub inside my socks on the run!

Lisa's photo of me running out of T1 with Jas

Running with Jas to the "mount" line at the end of the sidewalk

14 mile bike:

Good news here: NO CRASH FOR ME AT THIS RACE! As I had mentioned a few posts ago, I've only been on my bike ONCE in the 3 weeks between my crash at the LTF Triathlon and this race. Oops. But I think I did the one best possible workout: a longer, harder ride. That was what I needed to "feel" to be ready for this hard ride.

As always, I checked my average MPH each quarter as a way to keep pushing myself:

- 3.5 miles: 21.9 mph
- 7 miles (turn-around): 22.4 mph
- 10.5 miles: 21.4
- 14 miles: forget to check (probably around 21.1)

There was a slight breeze at our backs on the way out. When I saw the 22.4 mph at the turn-around, I knew I'd be "feeling it" as I turned into the wind on the way back. But I still went hard. The course was all tiny rolling hills - never really flat, but sure not hilly either.

I was passed by Claire (a local, smiley, speedy elite), Jake (who I met before the LTF Tri), and Chris Hawes (seen in the swim-start photo) around mile 4. At the turn-around, I counted that I was in 7th place. I actually caught someone else a few miles later to move into 6th, and then someone else passed me to put me back into 7th.

I hit the edge of transition to make the long grassy run back to drop my bike:

Awkwardly dismounting (the only way I know how) and running in

My ankles gave out a few times running on the grass


Again, just normal T2 stuff: I changed shoes....

.... and grabbed an extra swig of water before running out:

The best part of T2 was that my mom ran along the outside of transition while cheering for me the whole time so she could see me dismount and run out a few seconds later! Thanks Mom! :)

4.4 mile run:

Yep, that's a longer run for a sprint. That's what drew me to this race last year, and that's what scared me about it this year. I've lost some endurance with my lack of workouts this summer, and I knew there could be the possibility of me walking. The following is what I said in a previous post regarding the run at this race:

[...] But with my lack of workouts (and therefore "lack of endurance"), the run could get a bit ugly. I want to go hard, so I might end up having to walk for a moment. I'm not above that. Actually, I'd rather go TOO HARD and have to walk for a bit than go TOO EASY and hold too much back.

Well, I did what I needed to do. I went out pretty hard. I was hurting right away. I kept looking for an excuse, and had to keep saying, "No Steve! No excuses! Stop thinking that there MIGHT be sand in your socks! Stop thinking about your training! Just GO!" I passed 2 guys in the first mile to move into 5th. One of those guys was Chris H - we wished each other luck and I told him to enjoy the heat! (It was getting WARM!)

I knew my mile splits last year started at 6:30 and dropped from there with the last one being in the teens. This year, when my first mile was 6:17, I KNEW I was moving! It was harder this year though - I was in the first wave, so I had very few people in front of me. Last year, I was in the second wave, so I ALWAYS had someone to shoot for. It was much mentally harder this year to just run hard with no one else in sight.

Because I biked so hard, I was farther towards the front than I normally am during the start of the run. So something happened that hasn't happened in over 3 years: I was passed on the run! I heard someone coming up behind me, and then I heard my name. It was friendly local speedster Charlie Roach! He passed me like I was standing still, and set his sights on Claire in front of me.

Here were my splits for the first 3 miles:
- Mile 1: 6:17
- Mile 2: 6:11
- Mile 3: 6:19

Holy crap. I was doing it. AND I was hurting. There was an aid station just after the mile 3 marker, and I told myself to walk through it. I haven't walked an aid station in over 2 years, and NEVER in a race this short. But I had hit the wall. I started running shortly, and kept an eye on Claire about 2 blocks in front of me. With under a mile left, I ran into some shade under some trees, and I had to walk again. I probably only walked for about 15 seconds, and I focused on getting my breathing under control. So mile 4 shaped up to look like this:

- Mile 4: 6:46 (stopped to walk twice)

That's not shabby for 2 walk breaks. (It pains me to admit this, but I think if there was someone coming hard behind me, I could have kept running and NOT taken that second walk break. I have to say that here because it's true.) I kept going hard and ran into the park. I saw my Mom spot me and start yelling. I heard my Dad cheer for me as I turned into the chute. And I saw Lisa once the kid removed my chip:

Talking with Claire (who had just kicked my ass)

Read this in a non-derogatory way: the "girl" and the "old man" who beat me.
Claire was 3rd OVERALL, Charlie (who's 53) was 2nd overall, and I finished 6th.

I told my folks they didn't have to put their arms
around my nasty, sweaty body, but they did anyway. :)


Steve Stenzel, 30, #3108, M, St. Paul

Swim: 9:52 (4th in AG, 24th overall)
Trn1: 0:58
Bike: 39:50 (2nd in AG, 20th overall), 21.1 mph officially
Trn2: 0:41
Run : 27:08 (2nd in AG, 3rd overall), 6:10 pace officially
time: 1:18:27

Overall Place: 6 out of 147
Division Place: 2 out of 17

Here are how the top results look:

Notice Charlie in 2nd, Claire in 3rd, and me in 6th

Charlie's old enough to be my Dad, and he's a SMOKIN' fast runner!
I'm proud to be just a spot behind him in my run split!

The race was the exact same route as last year, and it was a comparable day to last year (maybe just slightly breezier on the bike this year, and slightly cooler on the run this year), so lets compare the 2 races:

Swim9:209:52 Yep, haven't been swimming much.
T11:010:58 3 secs faster. Cool.
Bike40:1539:51 A bit faster on a breezier day?!?
T20:480:40 Nice! Still didn't SEEM fast.
Run27:0527:08 Not bad for walking twice!
Total1:18:271:18:27 Well, I'll be damned...

When I changed in the front seat of my car, I found out that I had lots of green lake-sludge inside my shorts! I grabbed a shot once I got changed:

I think this stuff might eat my penis off!

The inside of my tri shorts once I got home

I headed for home before the awards started because I needed to take my turn with baby Henry so Pharmie could get out for a run (that's only fair!). But I had to grab a quick photo with Lisa so I made sure to thank her for the photos she took of me (and her hubby) -

Thanks Lisa!!!

CLICK HERE for more photos from the race from my Examiner article. Back with more soon...


Diet Chic ~ Jury 7:19 PM, August 01, 2011  

Loved loved this post!!! You did great :) I'm training for my first ever TRI, and this was very motivational. Nice job

Kepa 7:47 PM, August 01, 2011  

Enjoyed the report. I am glad our OWS is in the ocean here in Hawaii. I don't think I would want that stuff near my junk!

Lora 9:14 PM, August 01, 2011  

Congrats on the tri! Those shorts are just always too ... awesome!

Erika 6:59 AM, August 02, 2011  

Kick ass race! Way to go!

Lisa,  7:07 AM, August 02, 2011  

What a great race! I had so much fun visiting with your folks (and everyone else I love meeting triathlon groupies and racers) and "racing" to get your next picture. You ROCKED the race in wicked conditions. Glad the photos turned out well. I still feel horrible that you finished so fast I missed you coming down the chute...shoot...next time I will wear 2 watches so I can keep track of better you are fast my friend. Glad you got home to hang with Henry and give Pharmie a bit of time for herself. Anytime you need a picture taker let me know I would love to do it again! Thanks for a great day!

Christopher Hawes 7:41 AM, August 02, 2011  

Great race report. Great race

Dr. TriRunner 6:22 PM, August 02, 2011  

Way to keep the hammer down on the bike, and nice job not letting your mind get the best of you! I love how you said "I kept looking for excuses, and had to keep saying ......" because that's EXACTLY the process your mind is going through.

Awesome race!

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