Chisago Lakes Half Ironman

>> Monday, July 30, 2007

Yesterday, I finished my first Half IM in Chisago City, MN, and it went well! Pharmie and I got a good early start, and hoped for a good day.

After getting set up in transition

Drum-roll Please! Introducing the new (and improved?) HAIRLESS Steve!


They’ll be more on the “path to hairlessness” later this week, so stay tuned! Anyway, while Pharmie and I were leaving transition, someone stopped me. “Hey, you’re Steve, right? I’m Jeremy, and I follow your blog.” He was a nice guy, doing his first Half IM. We wished him luck and hoped in the water.

The swim was calm. Nothing too fancy. I peed for the first time in my wetsuit. Twice actually. It was a strange feeling having that warmth slowly filter to all parts of my body. Weird. And not a sexy weird. (I almost titled this post “I’ve never had that much urine all over me for that length of time!”) I knew I was making good time for being a lousy swimmer. I wasn’t pushing too hard; I just felt smooth and calm and fast (fast for me). I was hoping I could finish in about 44 minutes, so I can’t complain.

Swim: 44:35

T1: 5:08

I headed out on the bike. I felt like I was going too fast. I kept telling myself to slow down. I was speaking to myself out loud like a crazy man. “Steve, take it easy – you’ve got a long ways to go...” I kept going fast. My average was near 20 mph over 20 miles in. I was thinking that I’ve never averaged 20 mph for any race distance – a year ago at the LTF Olympic, I averaged just over 19 mph for the 25 mile bike. I was really concerned that I was moving too fast and would die around mile 40, but I couldn’t slow myself down.

Around mile 14, I caught up to Pharmie. She started a few waves in front of me and had a 9 minute lead. She was doing good and moving fast. We talked for about a mile, and then I took off. The bike was rarely flat. It was good IM WI training, although the hills are more impressive in WI. There was a good killer 3/4 mile hill around mile 40 that hurt, but nothing too deadly. My average stayed high. Around mile 48, my feet really started to get sore. My toes on my left foot were going numb, and the ball of my foot was tingling like crazy. I was very uncomfortable. I got through it and headed to the finish with an 18 mph average. I had NOT expected to do that good on the bike! I attribute it to my hairlessness. When thinking about every possible scenario, my finish on the bike yesterday was about the best I could have hoped for!

Bike: 3:05:13

I took my time in T2 and did a few leg exercises to get my knee in good shape to start the run. It hadn’t been bothering me at all on the bike, but I knew it wasn’t going to be 100% for the entire run.

T2: 4:00

I kept moving on the run. I ran past Jeremy at about mile 2. He wasn’t having a great day. I wished him luck and kept going. Jeremy, if you’re reading this, don’t give up on triathlons – if they were easy, everyone would be a triathlete. I had some sharp knee pain around mile 3, but I altered my stride a bit and got though it. I stopped for 2 minutes at mile 4 to do a few leg exercises for my knee, and took off again.

The run was an out-and-back, so I got to see many people that were much faster than I on their way back towards the finish. A few miles in, I ran into Cindy from Tria (where I worked with Margi, my PT) and shouted to her. She was ROCKIN! A few minutes later, I ran into Rural Girl. I’m not gonna lie – she looked a little beat up, but she was moving great!

I stopped for a quick water at every water stop, but kept moving. I stopped to walk for about a minute 2 more times, but all was good. I wanted to have my average closer to 8:00 miles, but I had such a good swim and bike that I couldn’t be getting too greedy. I knew I was going to break 6 hours easily. Again, the BEST scenario that I had worked out had me finishing in about 5:40. I was close enough. It was a good day. Mission accomplished.

Run: 1:48:15

My official results:
• 1.2 mile swim - 44:35
• T1 - 5:08
• 56 mile bike - 3:05:13 (18.0 mph ave)
• T2 - 4:00
• 13.1 mile run – 1:48:15 (8:16 / mile ave)
• Total - 5:47:13

As I waited for Pharmie to finish, I talked with Rural Girl and her family. She’s a got a real sweet family! We ate our post-race meal together. I had 6 Swedish pancakes, 6 wheat buns, and a yogurt. De-lish! I saw Rural Girl a little later, and she was carrying around a little box. I knew that was good news! She ended up placing first in her age group, and she was ecstatic! Congrats Rural Girl!!

Pharmie came in a few minutes later, taking nearly 20 minutes off her time from last year, and she felt great about it!

I feel real good about this finish. A few more good weeks of training, and I think I’ll be ready for IM WI!! Stop back shortly for more photos from Chisago Half IM and the story of me becoming hair-free!


SingletrackJenny (formerly known as IronJenny) 11:07 AM, July 30, 2007  

Nice work!!! I can't believe I didn't meet you and Pharmie out there...

Allez 11:24 AM, July 30, 2007  

Cograts to you and Pharmie! You run damn fast considering you have knee issues! What knee exercises do you do?

Steve Stenzel 11:45 AM, July 30, 2007  

I have to do this thing where I push hard on my upper calf to get all my bones moving over one-another correctly at my knee. I do other strength building exercises for my ass at the gym a few times a week to help keep my knee strong.

Lance Notstrong 11:49 AM, July 30, 2007  

Great race Steve. Those are some impressive times. I agree with Allez.....nice run!!!

ShesAlwaysWrite 12:15 PM, July 30, 2007  

Woo hoo - smooth and sexy!!

Great race! I was particularly interested in hearing about this one because we've got relatives in Chisago and I've been playing with the idea of incorporating races to break up the monotony of our annual obligatory family visits.

See you in Madison!

Michelle 1:12 PM, July 30, 2007  

I'm quite curious as to what 'hair-free' means. Great race. I'm only sorry I didn't have a chance to talk to your lovely wife.

Anonymous,  1:59 PM, July 30, 2007  

hey its jeremy...first, great job! second, hell no im not giving up on triathlons just because i had knee pain in one! im still planning on registering for ironman wisconsin in september. im even volunteering this year so i will see you there.

RobbyB 3:58 PM, July 30, 2007  

Steve says: "I had 6 Swedish pancakes, 6 wheat buns, and a yogurt. De-lish!" and then promptly lost five pounds. ;)

Nice work. Sounds like a fun race!

Steve Stenzel 4:07 PM, July 30, 2007  

Jeremy, you'll TOTALLY get hooked on IM when you see it.

And Robby, my weight-loss has stopped. I've leveled off and am doin' fine!

Tracy 4:47 PM, July 30, 2007  

Awesome awesome awesome!!!! You're going to kick some cheese butt in Madison.

And hey you even look look good 'naked!' A success all around I do believe :)

Fe-lady 5:04 PM, July 30, 2007  

Congrats to both of you and know I will mosey on over to Rural girl's site and wish her the same! Hey you look good hairless...altho I never really saw you all hairy! (back hair too?) :-0

Rachel 5:33 PM, July 30, 2007  

Congrats on your HIM! You did fantastic. Can't believe it was your first at that distance!

Marcy 8:08 PM, July 30, 2007  

Thanks for stopping by!
Awesome job!!! I could totally use a 1:48 for my HM LOL. Hairless is definitely sexy, more men should convert ;-)

Kewl Nitrox 10:12 PM, July 30, 2007  

Hey Steve, great job! If going hairless can make that much of a difference to my ride, I will be shopping for a new razor soon! :-)

You are well on the way to being an IRONMAN indeed.

RunBubbaRun 6:24 AM, July 31, 2007  

Great job at the Half IM. Great run out there.

So is the hairless kitty cat coming next, to match the new look..

xt4 11:54 AM, July 31, 2007  

Dude that is AWESOME! You had a killer race, I think. Really impressive run, for sure - knee injury? What knee injury? I'm really happy that the race went so well, and think you're totally on track for Ironman. I'm very excited for you and Pharmie. Can't wait to cheer you guys on 9/10!

E-Speed 12:29 PM, July 31, 2007  

Glad both you and Pharmie did so well! You guys are going to have a blast at IM WI!

Wes 7:27 PM, July 31, 2007  

Nice job, Steve! I can't wait to do my first half IM. I think it will be next year. Surely the hair or lack there of contributed several miles per hour on the bike :-) and you didn't need any help on the run, did ya? Super speedy! Have a great final month of training. Have a great IM. We'll be watching from Hotlanta!!

Robin 9:47 AM, August 06, 2007  

Nice job on your Half!!!!!

PS: You need to 'relax' to pee off the bike. :-)

Recommendation: Only do it of you really really have to in a half. For IM, do whatever you want :-)

Anonymous,  4:59 PM, September 13, 2010  

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