>> Monday, April 30, 2012
I can't believe this was only my SECOND EVER 10K! I've done a lot of Olympic Distance Triathlons that end with a 10K run, but I've only done 1 other "stand alone" 10K.
It was going to be a cold, damp, and windy day, so I packed all different kinds of shirts. The only thing that was certain is that I was wearing my calf sleeves (which help my weak Achilles AND they keep me warm) and my new "Pinky and the Brain" shorts. Henry rubbed my shorts for good luck before I left the house:
It was true. I actually pooped and felt the "blue liquid" splash back against my butt cheeks. Super. I now have some sort of anal disease, I'm sure. But instead of being upset about that, I smiled for a pre-race porta-potty picture:
No joke... I'm live-tweeting from inside of one of these...
I decided what to wear, put on my race number, peed a little into my Jen Harrison water bottle (What?... I had to go!), grabbed some "throw away gloves," and jogged BACK across the river to the race. So all-in-all, I had 3 miles of warming up, so THAT was good!
I popped in line about 20 feet back from the starting line behind LOTS of speedy "crazies!" The 10K had over 3,600 runners, and the half marathon (starting along with the 10K runners) had over 1,200 runners, so there were about 5,000 of us lined up!
"RUNNERS TO YOUR MARK.... GOOOOOOO!
My goal was to take off easy, but not TOO easy. The first thing I had to do was shoot around a number of 60 year old women who apparently lined up right at the starting line who had no business being up that far (I accidentally nearly ran one lady right over!). I felt like I was doing a good job with my pace. I came across the first mile marker and checked the time...
MILE 1: 5:56. "Good! My first 10K was at 5:55 pace, so this is GREAT right now!"
It was just lightly raining / sleeting, and the race felt good so far. I was really "running the tangents" as REAL runners say. I really know those roads along the river, so I hit the angles well. I realized around mile 1.5 that I was slowly passing a few people - it wasn't that I was any faster than them, I was just running better lines.
Mile 2 had a nice "usable" downhill, so I was hoping for a decent time. I was still keeping it a BIT easy, but I was working a little too.
MILE 2: 5:59. "Still good. A bit slower than I had hoped... but still good."
The next mile had us turn and cross the river, and this was the only real stretch that was into the wind. I tucked in behind a guy in orange and had him break the wind for me. I felt like the pace was a little too easy, but I was just trying to conserve a little energy into the 15 mph wind high up on that bridge.
I was looking for Pharmie and Henry across the bridge. I knew that if it wasn't too cold and wet, Pharmie was going to go out for a run with Henry and plan it so that they could see me on the far side of the bridge. Part way across the bridge, I spotted Henry in the Baby Bjorn that Pharmie was wearing! She snapped a photo of me:
I had just passed the woman in yellow and the man in orange
(who was breaking the wind for me most of the way across the bridge)
MILE 3: 6:12. "Damn. WAY too slow. Up the pace now!"
FIRST 5K: 18:47. "Had hoped to be more in the mid-to-lower 18s, but just go harder now!"
I worked up the steepest hill on the course, and then back down the other side. I tried to really keep a solid pace.
MILE 4: 6:00. "Come on... suffer a little and go faster!"
The road was starting to get a little slick from the rain and sleet, but I just tried to keep to my tangents. I was a tangent running mo-fo.
MILE 5: 5:46. (overall time: 29:56) "Yes!! I think you saved too much in the first half, so USE THAT ALL NOW!!!"
I was going back and forth with an Asian man in orange (seen in the foreground in front of me in that first photo of me crossing the bridge), and he said "go get em" when I passed him for about the 3rd time. I said "back and forth... keep after me" as I pulled away. I worked my way up the hill to the Ford Bridge back to the park. The wind was at our backs now for the final stretch across the bridge, and I tried to use it. The bridge was a little slick, but I was flying. I shot past a few other runners.
Just across the bridge... really hurting... but not looking TOO bad.
MILE 6: 5:42. "Good. Now just this little uphill to the finish. Wait... UPHILL?!? F*ck."
I had NO ONE in front of me, but I was still pushing the pace. With about 10 seconds left, someone went FLYING past me! That NEVER happens that late in a race, but he totally got me!! I heard his name called over the loud speaker, and it was Ryun Hess. That was the same guy who passed me in the closing seconds of the Free to Run 4 Mile in 2009! He got me again! Here's Ryun on the left and me on the right half way into that race:
My watch read 36:46, and that was my EXACT 10K PR from 2.5 years ago! I'd have to wait for the official results to see if I PRed or PWed.
It turns out, I PWed.
STEVE STENZEL, Age: 31, Residence: ST PAUL, MN
86th out of 3,654 overall
12 out of 233 in the 30-34 age group
Mile 4 to the finish:
FIVE CLOSING THOUGHTS:
- I got a LOT of "I LOVE YOUR SHORTS!" from the spectators as I ran by! Sometimes, I'd pump my fist and they'd cheer again. One (frisky) middle-aged-woman gave me a cat-call. I'll take it. :) People liked the shorts! And I did too!
- 10Ks freaking hurt. One-mile races and 5Ks get the suffering over with pretty quick. Ten miles and half marathons you can "settle in to." But a 10K hurts. I kinda like it. :)
- I MAYBE saved too much in the first half of the race, but I was pretty happy with how I everything worked out.
- I had a SOLID negative split! (Maybe because of my previous point....) I did the first 5K in 18:47, and the second 5K in 18:00! And the second 5K has more hills!
- The "blue liquid splash-back" from the porta-potty didn't seem to give me any sort of anal disfunction. So that's good. But it didn't burn off any unwanted body hair either, so that's bad. :)
I got back to my car, put on some dry and warm clothes, and got home quickly. Pharmie and Henry were still gone! They were having a good long run together! Here's a photo that Pharmie snapped once she got Henry all loaded back into the stroller after watching runners go by for 30 minutes:
Pharmie was wet; Henry was cozy, warm, and dry.
If you want to see more of the photos that Pharmie took at mile 2.5, check out the slideshow in this article.