Henry's First 10K Race With Me!

>> Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm putting Henry to work. He's in charge of writing the "Fast Before the Feast" 10K race report from our race this past Thanksgiving. (The only other race I did with Henry was the Lake Johanna 4 Miler from this past spring.) Henry, my blog is yours....

Hi dorks who read my Dad's blog. Henry here. I guess I'm supposed to write a bit about my race last Thursday. Here we go.

A few days before the race, I pumped up the tires of my stroller. I wanted a smooth ride during the race:

We got to the race and Mom and Dad took their 2 bags of food shelf donations to the truck. Mom and Dad added over 25 lbs to the (hopefully) over 6 TONS donated:

One of the trucks filling up with donations.

Dad was pretty casual at this race. He USUALLY likes to get to a race really early, but being he picked up his race packet the day before and he was racing with me in the stroller, he knew we could just show up, hop in line, strip extra clothes and throw them in the stroller, and then TAKE OFF RUNNING!! In fact, Mom, Dad, and a friend were talking near the start when I heard Dad say, "Oh, we better line up - it's 3 minutes to the start of the race!"

People starting to line up. Dad recognized the lady in the neon calf sleeves as speedy Melissa Gaecek.

Over 300 people lined up with us!

Me flirting with 2 ladies next to Dad (and eating raisins).

Dad's view pre-start.

There were a few final pre-race announcements from Jason. One thing I heard was "If you have a stroller, please line up near the back. Unless you have the speed of Steve Stenzel... then you can line up next to him and his stroller near the front." Dad smiled.

Jason and Jerry on the mic.

With my hand in my box of raisins.

Singing just a few seconds before the start.

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

Dad had to immediately jump around a few people who shouldn't have been lined up that close to the front. Dad took the first little curve WAYYYYY wide so he could pass a bunch of people to move into about 14th place. Here's the out-and-back race map, and he made that pass at the very top next to that little lake:

We made our way through a lot of parking lots and turned onto a bike path (around the "mile 6" marker above). We had to climb a decent little hill, but I heard Dad was warned about that pre-race. I think Dad took it easy up that hill... I think he could has pushed it harder, but he didn't want to die with 5.5 miles left in a 10K. Here's a photo of me at the top of that hill about 0.5 miles into the race:

Still digging in my raisins box.

We had to make a left, and Dad lost some time doing that. Everyone got to cut across the grass to cross the road (as you can see in that photo above), but Dad had to take me straight to the intersection, come to NEARLY a complete stop so he could ease me down the curb, and then take off running again. Thanks for not slamming me off that curb Dad! I heard a volunteer at that intersection say "THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT, DAD!! WAY TO GO!"

Then we had some downhill on a smooth, smooth road. It was smoother than my baby butt. And Dad took off! He seriously found another gear and used the weight of me in the stroller to go from 14th to 8th in a matter of seconds! Nice move, Dad! (His Garmin data had him at 5:10 pace for a while!) Once that hill leveled out, we ran a while and then hit the first mile marker.

MILE 1: 6:01.9. Whoa Dad! Didn't you say you hoped for 1 mile of the 10K to be sub-6? Well, if you didn't have to ease me off that curb 2 minutes ago, you would have had it here! Nice opening pace!

Still digging for raisins at mile 1.

Showing me and the other runners just after mile 1. Dad was in 8th.
Look at how sweet this road is! Smooth riding for me!

Dad passed a few people in mile 2. He chatted with most of them. One guy called me "Sport." The race was full of friendly people. Volunteers and other spectators would ALWAYS cheer for Dad.

MILE 2: 6:07.3. Keep up that pace, Dad!

Around mile 2.5, starting to get a LITTLE sleepy.

Dad was starting to look a little worse. I could tell mile 3 was going to be slower.

MILE 3: 6:15.2. Still solid, Dad. That's about the pace you'd hoped to hold, so you're doing FINE!

About to hit the turn-around cones, with 4th place coming back on the left in white,
and 5th place just in front of us in black.

Dad was offered water, Heed, or baby formula at the turn-around. REALLY. The guys there LOVED him! He glanced at his watch, and I think it said something like 18:53 at the turn-around. I knew Dad would be happy with an evenly-split race if he could hold onto this pace!

After the turn-around, we got a LOT of cheers from the other runners. I even heard MOMMA!!!!

Momma behind another runner!

Side note: This was the race where Dad gave away 3 free race entries on his blog. The women in all pink in that last photo was one of the winners! Apparently, Momma was in a small pack of runners, and some were chit-chatting. She said she'd be looking for Dad and me in bright pink shorts and a stroller. The woman in all pink said something like "Yeah, I know. I read his blog. I actually won one of the race entries. I know you're Pharmie. Is that weird?" Not weird at all! Mom and Dad LOVE that kind of stuff! Her name was Rachel, and she ran with Momma for the rest of the race!

Spunky Lisa in the middle, giving LOTS of cheers to me!!!
(She cheered for Dad a bit too, but she mostly cheered for me!)

Emily, another race entry winner from Dad's blog! Go Emily!!

Dad always runs faster when he sees other runners, so I knew mile 4 would be faster than his 6:15 mile 3. He passed another runner before the 4th mile marker too, so we were now in 5th overall!

MILE 4: 6:01.5. Holy buckets Dad! Keep this up!!

The runner just in front of Dad had b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l form. His foot-strikes were perfect, and he had NO wasted "giddy-up" in his kick. I could tell Dad didn't know if he could catch him. Dad worries about crap like that sometimes in a race... dummy.

Suddenly, the road up ahead was CROWDED! The 5K race (which started 15 minutes after the 10K) was meeting up on the course with us. Here's a photo of the SMOOTH runner in front of us and all of the 5K racers coming around that corner to the right:

The good news was that the roads were so quiet and smooth that the SMOOTH runner and Dad could just run in the middle of the road to pass all of these runners. Just before the mile 5 marker, Dad PASSED the smooth runner! They chatted (with heavy breath) for a moment, and then Dad moved into 4th place!

MILE 5: 6:01.0. Dad, you're KILLING it!! Just suffer through this last mile, and you'll turn in a great time!

I heard Dad shout "Alright Joel's boys!" to 2 kids running the 5K. Then Dad passed Joel D, a runner he met years ago at a 5K race. Joel took a photo of his boys running the 5K with him, and this was just after Dad and I passed him - you can see the man with the SMOOTH and beautiful form in the orange shoes:

Great work, Joel's boys!!

We hit the edge of the uphill with just over a half mile left. Dad looked BEAT. Near the top of the hill, I saw Dad do something he's never done before: he actually put his elbows down on the stroller handle and ran half-collapased on the stroller for 10 seconds. He was toast. Wuss.

Dad TOTALLY lost his running form on the final downhill once we reached the top of that hill. His stride was gone. He booked it down that hill, and turned back into the final 3 blocks of parking lots. He was gunning for 3rd place, but she (yes SHE - it was speedy Melissa) was just out of reach.

MILE 6: 5:51.3. Well Dad, there's your sub-6 mile for this race!

Dad hit the line in a big pack of 5K runners. He had a solid race!

The initial results posted at the race site had Dad in THRID place being he started a few seconds behind Melissa and maybe caught up to her a bit. But the final results posted online had him back in 4th (which was correct). Dad was beat by an 18-year-old, a 19-year-old, and speedy Melissa.

Official Results:

Steve Stenzel, 31, M, St. Paul, MN

5:59.85 / mile
4th out of 304 overall

Garmin Results:
6.18 miles
6:01.81 / mile
18:53 out / 18:23 back (super unofficial)

Dad's pace graph:

That shows Dad going easy up that first hill and FAST down it (before mile 1), the turn-around at mile 3.1, FAST around mile 5, a slow trudge up that hill at mile 5.3, then fast to the finish.

Dad had spit on his lip when he finished:


Dad ran back along the race course with me to look for Momma.

Random non-Mom people finishing the 5K and 10K.

Dad took a photo of Momma, but she deleted it ASAP - Momma was saying "hi" to Dad, but Dad took the photo at a weird moment... So here's Momma running past (in light pink with a blue shirt tied around her waist) and Rachel was just behind her in darker pink:

Momma's sprint to the finish!

Pharmie finished in 51:03 just inside of the top 100 (and therefore in the top 1/3)! Yay Momma!! SHE ACTUALLY GOT A 10K PR BY ABOUT 4 MINUTES!!! She was thinking she'd finish around an hour, but she KILLED it! I love you, speedy Momma!

Blog contest winners Rachel and Emily with Dad post-race. Sheesh... that's a lot of pink!

Alight Dad, put those pink shorts in the drawer for a while. And I think I'm done here. Back to you.

First of all Henry, when I ran "half-collapsed" on the stroller, I was being aerodynamic. It's a strategy. I wasn't dying. I swear. (Yeah... nobody's going to believe that...)


Henry slept as we hung around post-race, he slept while we loaded up the car, and he slept the whole way home. He woke up coming into the house after a 90 minute nap. Racing is tiring for my little dude!

Believe it or not, I did NOT step foot inside a porta-potty while at the race! This is the first race in a LONG time since that last happened. I kinda had to go pre-race, but there wasn't time. And by the time I'd finished, I didn't need to anymore. I can't be the only one with a "nervous bladder," right?....

My 37:16 finish is the middle of my 3 10K finish times this year. I ran a faster 36:47 at the Get in Gear 10K this past spring, and a slower 38:02 at the HOT Victory 10K in September. My PR is 36:46 from a few years ago (my only other 10K besides these 3 this year), so I was pretty surprised to just be 30 seconds off my PR! It was a good race!

And finally, stop on back for a GIVEAWAY tomorrow! They'll be lots of good gear in this "stocking stuffer" giveaway!


T 10:15 AM, November 26, 2012  

i think i have a nervous colon, not a nervous bladder ...

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