RACE REPORT: Team Circuit Race - Raspberry Run 1 Mile

>> Monday, July 16, 2018

This was it. THEE race. I never thought I'd be specifically trained for a 1 mile race this year, but I found myself wanting redemption after my first 5:00+ 1 mile in 10 years at the TC 1 Mile back in May. So I did 3 track workouts over the last few weeks to try to get my 5:02.3 mile time down to 4:59.9 or better. (See this post about my last track workout, which contains links to my other 2 track workouts.) As I was telling people yesterday pre-race: my self-worth wasn't tied to this race, but I still was going to do all I could to break 5.

It was a noon race on a hot day, which sucked. I ate a final bowl of oatmeal on my way there:

Pic from after I got there. (I eat and drive, but don't take pics of my crotch as I drive.)

Looking down the STRAIGHT race course from about 1 block into the race.

Pre-race business.

The start of the 5 mile just as I got there, 1 hour before the 1 mile: 200+ runners in this distance.

There was a parade later in the day, and there were a LOT of "reserved" spots along the route.

Final pre-race tweet.

It was hot! I was telling people "Yeah, it was hot last year too, and it didn't seem to affect me much." But post-race I looked back and saw that it was 81 last year and "a bit humid." This year, it was 86 at the start and QUITE humid. It's the humidity that SUCKS. There was a slight breeze, and it was going to be pushing us down the course, so I was telling everyone "... so it will be faster, but also hotter. Which is OK in a 1 mile. Maybe not in a 5K."

It was fun running down the race course / parade route warming up. I kept bumping into all kinds of race buddies, so it felt like I was waving while *IN* the parade. In the first 1/4 mile, I said hi to Kirt G, Casey S, Angie, V, Gloria J, and 1 or 2 more people that I'm forgetting. I LOVE being a part of our great local running scene!!

I ran the entire route, and noted that my Garmin was totally in sync with their 1/4 mile markers. I REALLY like the straight shot where you have a clear view of the finish with 1/3 mile to go. VERY motivational.

I chatted with some of my YWCA Endurance Sports teammates in the shade, along with other race buddies. I joked with former-student Jeremy that my attempt to get back under 5:00 this year MAY be an attempt to ward off a mid-life crisis. (TOTALLY JOKING. REALLY.) It was HOT. We lined up and I actually started feeling just the slightest bit nauseous because of the heat. Sonya D laughed when someone sighed on her and said that their breath helped cool her down.


We got out of the gates "cleanly," but then I nearly tripped on a 9-year-old who was in front of me and was trying to get off to the side. Rob E was right behind me and said something like "Watch yourself there, Steve!"

• FIRST 1/4 MILE: 1:13.87. "OK, good. Was faster last year, but now let's keep it strong HERE."

Last year, I went out in 1:12.0, but then had 2 splits over 1:16. I was going to "use" my track workouts to try to stay stronger in the middle (where I usually bleed time).

• SECOND 1/4 MILE: 1:13.39. "NICE. This hurts, but I'm feeling good about sub-5!!"

There was an official clock at the 1/2 mile mark, and it read 2:26 or 2:27 as I went through, so my spirits were high. (Although my body was suffering.) I noticed teammate Niko was just in front of me to my left, and I shouted "Nice Niko... we got this!" We were both shooting for sub-5. Post-race, he told me he needed that pick-me-up. I tried to keep with him, and he REALLY pulled me through that 3rd quarter of the race. Thanks Niko!

• THIRD 1/4 MILE: 1:13.62. "SUB-5 IN THE BAG!!!!!"

I don't think I've ever had such even splits! I was REALLY hurting, but I could see the finish, and I just tried to suffer. I kept thinking I'd be able to pass Niko, but then he just started pulling away. I really was dying: there were 2 strides that said "you can't keep this up, Stenzel," and I pulled up a bit with about 200 meters to go. I had raced this VERY WELL, and I just had to hold on. I feel like I stumbled across the line to the finish.

Teammate Niko with the perfect body on the right, and me back there in my short yellow shorts.
(It's a good day when I'm in a race photo with Niko, Doron C, and Brian D!)

In the finisher's chute. D.E.A.D.

• FINAL 1/4 MILE: 1:15.88. "Yeah, I was dead. I've NEVER posted my slowest 1/4 as the final 1/4!"

I was heartily sub-5.

**Happy dance**


Steve Stenzel, 37, M, St. Paul


27 out of 359 overall
25 out of 169 males
6 out of 18 in the 30-39 age group

Official finisher's certificate. Glad they have the finishing time AND the pace listed.

I had my hands on my knees as I was dying in the finisher's chute for a while. I kept hearing volunteers shouting "KEEP MOVING FORWARD..." but I needed a moment. It was a great effort over this mile!


• The official results MIGHT be 1 or 2 seconds short. I started my Garmin with the gun, and then my finger slipped while turning it off, so my Garmin time of 4:57.49 might be more like 4:56.xx. But I'm not sure where those other 2 seconds came from. I'M NOT COMPLAINING, but I'm noting the difference. To be fair.

• There was a big fire truck at the finish like last year, and you could get a spray of water. IT WAS NEEDED! I just doused my hands a bit and wiped it on my face. (I didn't want to sit in wet shorts all the way home.) Here's another one of Tom's photos (the 2 of me finishing were from him too) showing the winner crossing the line (in 4:11!) with the fire truck in the background:

• My Garmin showed a pretty even pace. It also showed that (uncharacteristic) slow-up I mentioned before the finish. And I wrote everything previous to this before downloading my Garmin data just now, and I see that the slow-up happened right around where I recalled it being:

Hard to see, but after a slight spike in speed at 0.85 miles, the line starts to dip slower than 5:00 pace.

• I should have used a little sunscreen. It's not bad, but my shoulders got a little toasty:

• The shirts were cozy and a bit retro. I like this:

I jogged back to my car (bumping into all kinds of familiar faces around the finish line), stretched a moment, and headed home. Mama worked a long day, and when she got home, we all headed to Lake Nokomis - she ran a few laps around the lake and I watched the boys on a busy beach:

Just after getting there (the boys are right-of-center just hitting the water).

Henry burying body parts on the left, Charlie playing with water on the right.

"No Dad, I guess the ducks do NOT want to be petted."

Now to shift gears and look for some multisport races before the season is over...


1 Mile Training (and RACING Tomorrow!)

>> Saturday, July 14, 2018

First, this tweet:

100% true. Sweat dripping off my face was sometimes blown forward by
my labored breathing, and it hit the boys more than a few times.

Ever since running a 5:02 at the TC 1 Mile back in May, I've been wondering if I could get sub-5 again this year. I ran my first 1 mile in 2008 in 5:00.7, and since then (up until this May) every 1 mile has been sub-5. So a few weeks ago, I looked up some 1-mile specific workouts that Coach Jen Harrison gave me 5 years ago. I'm not including all the details (I don't want to "give away" her workouts), but the 4 workouts from back then were:

- 12x200
- 8x400
- 16x200
- 6x200 (a few days pre-race as a final burst of speed)

I could over-think this all day, but I figured I shouldn't just bang out 4 track workouts over about 3 weeks when I hadn't done a track workout in a few years. (That would injure me.) I told myself it'd be good if I could do 3 out of these 4. I figured the first 200s workout was a good "ease" into these workouts, and I figured the final shorter 6x200 workout was a good pre-race workout. (Only I did that workout 5 days pre-race this time as opposed to 3 days pre-race a few years back because I don't recover the same as I used to in my youth.) So that left kicking out one of the 2 middle workouts. The 16x200 is the most intense workout, but I threw that one out in the name of "I don't only want to do 200s - some variety is probably good." Who knows if that was the right call or not.

Here's the first intervals workout (12x200), and here's the second one (8x400). Then we spent 6 days traveling to 11 state parks mid-last week through Monday of this week.

On Tuesday, I took the boys to the track and did the final quick 6x200 workout. Five years ago, I descended them from 32 to 30, averaging 31.45 / 200. This time, I descended them with the first 3 at 34, then the final 3 at 33, 32, and 31, for an average of 33.40 / 200. I was QUITE happy with that. I figured I'd run some at 35 and then try to make some faster. But the final descending times felt good. BUT WHO KNOWS IF ANY OF THIS MEANS I'LL BREAK 5 TOMORROW! I've just put in some effort. I don't deserve to break 5 (I HATE the word "deserve"), but we'll see if some bursts of speed over the last 3 weeks can get my time down a few seconds from this May.

Racing at noon tomorrow! Here goes nothing!!!....


Friday Funny 1465: The Invention of the Vacuum Cleaner

>> Friday, July 13, 2018

Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!

Back with some training updates and thoughts on Sunday's 1 mile race tomorrow, and then a race report on Monday.


Friday Funny 1464: Irony

Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.



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