>> Monday, March 19, 2012
[An 8K is just shy of 5 miles: 4.97 miles to be more precise.]
I'd done this race twice before. I first did this race in 2008 with Pharmie. We both did the 8K, and I finished in 30:30 (6:06 / mile). I was a different runner then: I had just started doing regular speed work, and I've really been trying to do tempo / intervals regularly since then. Oh, and I wore BOXERS and ATHLETIC shorts as I showed in my race report:
Boxers and gym shorts Steve?!? Sheesh. Noob.
Pharmie had to work this past weekend, so I had Henry. On Saturday, we went for his 2nd ever walk in the BOB stroller with Henry NOT in the carseat! And it was his first time out this year in SHORTS! Look - he looks like such a little man:
I'm still trying to teach him to sit like a lady....
The 8K didn't start until 1:20, so I had a good chuck of the day with Henry pre-race. I showed him how to do a good "full-body stretch:"
"What's this?!? Grass? I'll put it in my mouth."
I was wearing the "Bowl Full of Sunshine" shorty yellow shorts, and I was teasing with everyone that I was overdressed! It was WARM out there! I was sweating during my warm-up. Nasty. Stephanie (from MN Red Running Club) suggested that I make them even shorter by tucking them into their liner. Ha!
I ran into Kris and Mark, and Kris grabbed a photo of Mark and I getting ready to run:
Thanks for the photos, Kris!
Half the runners ready to go (I'm behind the guardrail)
My former student Jeremy came running up and found me right before the start. I convinced him to sign up for the MDRA Grand Prix, so I hope to be racing with him a LOT this summer!
Rick Recker sounded a bullhorn, and we were off!!!!
That's Jeremy with the green shoes behind me
MILE 1: 5:44. "Good Steve. Keep it here. Don't ease up."
That was RIGHT on pace. I was hoping to do about 5:45s, so that felt good. But things started to get rough in this next mile. The wind felt windier. The hills felt hillier. I don't know if it was the heat or my lightened training that was getting to me. Probably both.
MILE 2: 5:46. "RIGHT on pace at mile 2! But you're starting to hurt. Suck it up and go."
We were running the flat stretch leading up to the Law School where we turn around. Katherine S was out there snapping photos. Here's one of speedy tri-guy Patrick Parish:
He finished 4th in 25:34!
Pro triathlete DKT (1009) workin it. He finished 11th in 26:17.
Me trying to work-up a smile! (And landing with a nasty heel-strike.)
Awkward running form by all of us in this photo. Nice.
Uhh... there's a lot of "junk" in this photo. Just have a look around.
I conjured up a quick wave for Katherine as I headed off:
I have no idea what Lydia is doing here. But sweet socks!
MILE 3: 6:05. "Damn. Try to get a chunk of that back over this next mile."
I was dying. I wasn't used to 75 degree early-afternoon heat in March. I haven't ran in temps like that since last Sept-October. And with just that one water stop, I was overheating. I REALLY wanted to stop to walk a bit around mile 3.5, but I just dialed it back a little. I was coming up on mile 4, and THEN I was going to go hard.
Oh, and my right-side oblique was ANGRY, and that pissed me off - I've been doing decent core work lately! Come on core! HTFU! It still hurts today - it's not sharp pain; it's just achy and a little upset.
MILE 4: 6:02. "Damn (again). Well, can you still break 29:00? Just go hard! This is a 'Grand Prix' race, so try to catch some people - they might be in the Grand Prix!"
But I caught no one. I picked it up for about a block after the mile 4 marker, but then I was hashed. I wanted to walk. Or start on fire. Or die. Any one of those 3, really. I hit Fairview Avenue with a half mile left, and I was being passed like crazy. That NEVER happens to me, but I actually took it as a good sign in this race. Often, I start out too easy, and save a lot for the final mile or 2. Well, that was NOT happening here. So even though I was hurting VERY badly, it was probably leading me to a faster finish than if I would have started easy and tried to negative split the race. Or maybe I'm just looking for the silver lining to my pain.
I heard my name a lot as I was in the final block. Thanks for the cheers everyone! I'm sure I looked like hell. Oh wait... I have PROOF that I looked like hell:
Look at my face - not a happy camper.
982, Steve Stenzel, M, 31, St. Paul MN
67 out of 682 overall
62 out of 402 males
13 out of 44 in 30-34 age group
29:15 official finish
5:53.12 / mile pace
4 FINAL RACE THOUGHTS:
- The numbers might say that I went out too hard. But I rarely do that, so I'm happy that I "tried" that at this race. And like I mentioned, I'm not sure how much of it was that "I went out too hard," and how much of it was "that nasty heat."
- My former student Jeremy had set a conservative goal of 35:00 for himself. He started out with me and kept me close for the first 2 miles before having to drop off the pace a bit. BUT, by pushing so hard early on, Jeremy blew his goal out of the water by over 3 minutes (even in that heat) and finished in 31:36!! Congrats Jeremy!! (And another vote for "try to go out hard and see if you can hold on!")
- After the race, I ran into local, speedy, nice guy Paul Giannobile who also didn't quite finish where he had hoped (he still finished over a minute faster than me!). He said he nearly dropped out at mile 3 due to the heat. This was a common sentiment in the finisher's chute - after the turn-around, people were dying. Don't get me wrong... it was "only" 75 degrees, so it wasn't HOT. But it's mid-March in Minnesota, and we're not used to this heat yet!! In my race report from 4 years ago, I noted that it was 32 degrees and that felt like a heat wave!
- My right oblique is still sore today. What do I do? Stretch it a bit? Lay off the core work for a few days? That's what I'm thinking, but I'm open to your thoughts. It doesn't hurt when I poke at it, but it just feels a little achy and slightly "tender."
That's all for now! Back with more soon... probably with photos of the 2 nasty blisters that developed on my right foot during the race... :)