Monster Dash Results and Upcoming 5K

>> Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My surprisingly fast 5K time wasn’t the only big surprise of last Sunday. It turns out I actually placed 13th overall out of 250 runners! OK, so it WAS a “Monster Dash” so the best-of-the-best stayed home. And there were a lot of costumes that were less than conducive to running in. But shut up, I think I did pretty swell. Stop trying to steal my thunder.



Also, as I’ve been hearing other bloggers discuss, the chip timing did nothing at the start. It was all from the shot of the gun. So my watch said 19:28 when I finished, although my official chip time was 20:23. It took me nearly a minute to get across the starting line because I was three-quarters of the way back. Had I been up at the start and ran the same time, I could have placed 6th! I swear to God that all the fast people stayed home. Anyway, it was a blast.

Now that I’m excited about 5Ks, I’m planning on hitting a few more this year (not with the tighty-whities on the outside like at the Monster Dash). I’m planning on running a 5K on Saturday morning at Fort Snelling in St. Paul. It’s put on by the same people that did this past weekend’s 5K and Half Marathon. If you’re a Minnesotan and have nothing to do this Saturday, go here to get more info: http://www.tesfa.org/events.htm (you can register the morning of)

I’m shooting for under 19 minutes this weekend. I don’t know if that’s possible right now, but it’s worth a shot. To make that happen, the course needs to have every mile marked so I can check my progress. I hope to pace myself as follows:

Mile 1: 6:15
Mile 2: 6:10
Mile 3: 6:00
Last Tenth: 0:35

If I can stick near those times, I’ll be right at 19 minutes. Here’s to hoping! I think I’ll be bringing Steph (who ran the half-mary this last weekend) and a friend of hers. Pharmie might be there, but she’s not much on the short runs. Let me know if I’ll see you there!!

On a similar note (sort of), allow to present this following image for your review. I call it “Three Members Of Our Household, Three Dead Toes.”



The painted toes on the upper left are Pharmies. Her big toe has been dead since the TC Marathon 3.5 weeks ago. The new nail is growing out under the dead one, and the dead one has been trimmed back. The toes on the upper right are Stephs, and it’s obvious that her big toe has seen better days. Again, this spawned from TC. And on the lower part of the image is my foot. That second toe is the same one that turned purple in late July after a brick workout. I was afraid that I was going to lose it before Ironman. But the little bastard is still holding on for dear life. Yep, our house has gross feet. At least we’re all fit.

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How To Make Your Nipples Bleed During A 5K

>> Saturday, October 27, 2007

Or, “In Search Of A 21 Minute 5K.”

Or, “What Happens When I Dress Myself.”

OK, so it wasn’t planning on doing this race, but I ran the Monster Dash 5K this morning around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Last night, Steph reminded me that her and Jon were doing the Half Marathon, and she taunted me with this: (say this to yourself in a girlie, taunting voice:) “Steve, there’s a 5K tomorrow, too!....” A few minutes later, I knew I was going to do it.

There were just a few problems. Problem #1: I just finished a HUGE order of Thai food from the local hole-in-the-wall Thai place (“Taste of Thailand” on Selby near Snelling). And then I helped Pharmie polish off her plate. That lump o’ delicious food was probably not the best thing to have 12 hours before a race. Problem #2: I lifted weights included a bunch of leg presses and other leg exercises that afternoon. My legs were a little sore. Great, lets hammer out a 5K tomorrow. Super timing. Problem #3: It was the “Monster Dash” and I needed a great costume idea QUICK!

Well, I threw together a “costume” and was ready for the big day.

It was a cool, calm, 40 degree fall morning. I parked on one side of Lake Harriet and walked towards the band shell.



I officially registered, and then ran into Pharmie’s aunt, who was going to be running the half. I looked around for Steph and Jon, and finally ran into them about 10 minutes before the start. The 3 of us ran into the woods together for one last quick potty stop. Then I saw them off at the start:



I had 30 minutes until the start of the 5K, so I ran back to my car to get changed into my “costume.” I guess there’s not much more to say other than “here it is:”


Notice the way the cool sun dances off my cold, erect nipple

Yep, that’s me with Chewie. I’m wearing tube socks, a pair of tighty-whities, and suspenders. I had to make a deal with Pharmie to wear a Speedo under the undies (as to avoid any awkward wardrobe malfunctions – after all, this was a family event).

“What am I?” you ask? I have no flippin’ clue. It was just the stuff I could find sitting around the house that I thought would make a funny costume. And boy, it got the laughs. It was only around 40-45 degrees during the race, and I can easily say that I was the most naked one out there. It was so great making so many people smile!

At the start of the race, I was hoping I could run around a 21 minute 5K. That was the loose goal I had set for myself. My last big race was THE big race (Ironman WI), and my body was trained to go long and slow. Since Ironman 7 weeks ago, I’ve run exactly 6 times. So, I figured I could easily bang out a fast 5K, right? OK, so I’m totally joking. I don’t know what made me think I could run fast, but I wanted to run this hard. It’s been a long time since I’ve ran JUST a 5K, and not part of a duathlon or triathlon.

As I crossed the starting line, I was running past people, trying to work my way to the front. Everyone I passed would start laughing at my costume. Some would hoot and holler, and I’d wave. I made one lady laugh so hard she nearly tripped on the curb. At mile 1, my watch said 6:34. Sweet. I was on track. AND I was feeling great. So I picked it up a little. I kept trying to push harder and harder, but I still felt comfortable. And people were still laughing. I had to hold the suspenders away from my body, or I would have rubbed my nipples right off (hence the title of this post). FYI, don’t worry, my nipples are fine. They didn’t bleed. But they would have had I not held the suspenders off of my chest.

I didn’t see mile marker number 2, so I just had to keep working hard and hope that I was on pace. Only 1 person passed me, and I passed all kinds of people. Nearing the finish line, I was smiling hard because everyone along the course was laughing. I hit the finish mat, and stopped my watch. 19:28.

Wait...19:28!?!?!?! That’s 6:16 / mile!

Yep. Sub-20 5K. Sweet. And I felt like I had plenty left. AND people were loving my costume. GREAT DAY!!

Oh, on the race course, I was coming up on the Ambiguously Gay Duo (from SNL). As I passed them, I said “Nice job, Ace and Gary!” They said “Thanks...Hey, great outfit...*laughter*” I turned around, shouted over my shoulder, and held up my camera (that I carried the whole time): “If I see you 2 at the finish, I’d love a photo!” They were game. So, just after finishing, I snapped a photo with the Ambiguously Gay Duo:


Steph saw this photo and said, “They may be the gay couple,
but YOU look like the gayest one in that photo!”
Thanks Steph. I think it’s the suspenders.

I ran back toward my car, but I was just planning on getting a t-shirt if I started to get too chilly. My car was near mile 8.5 to mile 9 on the half-marathon course, so I cheered for runners the whole way. I got near my car, and realized I was still plenty warm from the run, so I didn’t put on any more clothes. I just cheered. All the runners smiled. Some had positive feedback: “That’s JUST what I needed!” “Lookin good underwear guy!” “Thanks for making me smile with 4 miles left!” Others teased me: they would put their hands over their eyes and say “I did NOT need to see that right now!” Of course they were smiling the whole time! Parents would point me out so their kids could see me. I high-fived big groups of kids that were still finishing up the 5K (they had a special 5K that was called “The Fastest Trick-Or-Treater” where kids would run and get candy at 3 different points throughout the run). The kids love me. It was like cheering at the Twin Cities Marathon a few weeks ago, but this time I actually started the day with a race.

It wasn’t too long before I saw Lisa, Pharmie’s aunt:



About 15 minutes later, Steph and Jon ran by:





I stayed at that spot and cheered for another half hour or so, and then took off for the finish line. Before leaving my car, I grabbed a shirt. I ran into Cadesdad (blogger), and saw him finish with a time around 1:50 or so:



I talked with Cadesdad and his wife for a few minutes as we were all looking for friends to come across the line. It was nice talking with you, Cadesdad and Cadesmom! Soon, I saw Lisa finish strong. And just a few minutes later, Jon ran by. He was finishing his FIRST half-marathon!



I asked him how Steph was – I was concerned that she was doing horribly and just told him to go on without her. Jon said that HE was feeling great, so he pulled away around mile 10, and Steph was doing fine. Just about 1 minute later, Steph was crossing the line:



Jon and Steph finished just a few minutes over 2 hours, and they were hoping to finish in about 2:10. So the day was a success for everyone I knew! As we were getting ready to leave, Steph said “Steve, you need a photo of yourself!” So she snapped this gem for me:



After the finish, this group of 30-something women walked up to me when I was talking with Steph and Jon. One of them looked at my left hand: “You ARE married! We didn’t think you were. We figured any women wouldn’t let her husband out of the house looking like that!” I was laughing. Another one asked, “But she’s not here to be seen with you, right?” “Yep, she had to work,” I said. Good times.

So, I think I have a new “lucky item” on race days for this upcoming year. No, not the tube socks. No, not the suspenders. Yep, you guessed it. I’m not washing these lucky tighty-whities until at least the end of next season:



This past year, my lucky item was my beaver socks. The toes are going out on those socks, so it may be time to retire them (IM was the last action they saw). So the undies will be “in” for the 2008 season. They’ll be with me, in some form or another, at every race next year. Whether Pharmie likes it or not. It should lead to some interesting races...

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Google Me!

>> Friday, October 26, 2007

So, as I did my blog-roll this morning, I came across Dying Water Buffalo’s new post about the keywords that people searched for that landed web users on her blog. I thought I’d take a quick look at mine. They’re not nearly as good, but these were the top 3:

“Speedo”

“Speedo Whore” (yep, that’s me)

“Good First Century Ride” (I don’t know what was so good about mine...)

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of keyword searches in the past that would allude to the fact that my blog may be popular among a certain kind of gay man. So I was happy to see THESE searches were clean. Not that I see anything wrong with appealing to gay men - I mean, it's good to have options...

I checked the searches that landed folks on my photo blog, and the best one was this:

“how many years of college do you need to become a photographer”

Oh, man, I could use about a decade or 2 more.

And, on a quick professional note, check out the New York Times Newspaper this weekend – specifically the NY Times Magazine inside of the paper. My 3rd image is going to be published by the Times this weekend in a photo essay about Preschool. I haven’t seen it yet, but I should be getting a sneak peek tomorrow. Check my Photo Blog next week if you’d like to see how it looked in the magazine.

Happy weekend!!

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Cross Training on the Weekend

>> Monday, October 22, 2007

I had a good, SOLID weekend of cross training. It started on Friday night with some frosty barley beverages and some cat curls:


She ain’t a light cat...

Then I did some lunges:



Then I got distracted:


My wife is the one with the saggy ones.
I don’t know why they’re pink...

Then, on Saturday, I went to a bonfire and threw around some fireworks for an upper-body workout, as well as carbo-loaded with a bonfire pie:


Made over a fire with cherry filling inside

Finally, on Sunday, Pharmie made homemade chicken and dumpling soup with bread pudding (my FAVORITE!) for dessert. OK, I’m not sure how to list this last one as “training,” but it was flipping delicious!

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I’m Really Not a Publicity Whore

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

All of my students now know what I do on the weekends. This is posted in the library of the College of Visual Arts right next to the front door and circulation desk:


It says “Yes! This is OUR Steve!”

That was the clipping from the St. Paul Pioneer Press the day after the marathon. Thanks to the librarians at CVA, everyone knows of my escapades. Damn.

Also, someone alerted me to a giant farm animal sighting on Skinnyski.com. I seached through the photos and found this one:


Farmer, Pig, Cow, and Cow’s girlfriend

Maybe now the farmer will cut me some slack about me being the only one to make it into the paper. I had no control over the issue. And now everyone but the chicken made in onto this website. Even the Cow’s lady-friend. Happy now, farmer? I hope so.

And finally, the biggest, most random news:

Blogger buddy Marcy alerted me to a “Steve in a Speedo” sighting on the web recently. The Nursing Online Educational Database just wrote a feature called “Top 100 Health and Wellness Blogs.” And guess who made the list. Come on, guess.

“Steve in a Speedo” was listed as number 81 on the list! CRAZY! Here’s a link to the article: Top 100 Health and Wellness Blogs. (And, by the way, if you really want to hear someone constantly talk about va-ja-ja soreness due to athletic ventures, then definitely stop by Marcy’s blog.) I don’t know why they picked me out of everyone that’s out there, but I guess they explained it pretty well: “There are more than a handful of triathalon blogs out there, but Steve's blog was chosen because he has a sense of humor, he talks about his sex life, and he loves to share his pain. In other words, he's for real.”

Funny they should say that... On my very first post to start this blog, I said this: "There will be photos from events that show me at my sweatiest. There will be notes and stories from my training. It will be honest, funny, gut wrenching and hopeful. But one thing is for certain: it will always be real – that’s me, keeping things real. 24/7/365."

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I Didn’t Want To Get Gangrene On My Penis

>> Sunday, October 14, 2007

Let me explain that title. First of all, you should know that I didn’t start the Osceola Duathlon this morning. It was my first DNS (or DNF).

Last night, I had my traditional pre-race, grease-saturated meal:


This was all gone in 20 minutes

OK, back to explaining that title. I woke up this morning just after 3 am to Pharmie crying. She had just had a bad dream. Apparently, in her dream, she just found out that I was seeing 30 prostitutes per day (on average). She said it was one of those very vivid dreams where you really believe what’s going on. She was afraid that I was just riddled with STDs. Pharmie found out that “dream-land Steve” was cheating because I asked her if it looked like I had gangrene on my penis. Apparently, one of the street-walkers that had worked her magic on me had gangrene on her hand. So I was afraid that the gangrene had transferred to my penis. I don’t even know if that’s possible, but it’s an entertaining thought. Anyway, “real-world Steve” has never cheated on her, so she settled down and we both fell back asleep.

I got up at 4:45, got dressed in my clothes that I had laid out last night, and went downstairs for breakfast. I had everything else set out and ready to go:



But then I stepped outside. It was still dark, so I hadn’t seen that it was raining. Gross. And it was 45 degrees and breezy. Double-gross. I didn’t want to step out the door. So I didn’t. I went back upstairs and crawled back in bed with Pharmie. She was warm and delicious.

I figured I didn’t need to go out and prove anything. I had finished Ironman 5 weeks earlier, and I didn’t have anything riding on this race. Both knees are still a little weak, but I could have definitely gone the distance in this duathlon. I could have titled this post “Ironman Has Made Me Wussy” because since Ironman, I feel like I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Is anyone else feeling that way? Ironman has made me soft. Thirty-mile bike ride? No thanks - I just did Ironman. Lemme milk it a few days longer. Total softie.

Plus, Pharmie’s dream may have been a sign to stay out of the rain. I didn’t need to risk getting gangrene on my penis.

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More Twin Cities Marathon Photos

>> Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Here are some more photos of the “cheering debauchery” from the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday:


I’m a high-fiving fool


Cheering


Running and cheering


Proof that we are people underneath.
Hot, stinky, sweaty people.

These photos are all courtesy of the cow’s girlfriend, Melissa. The photos from the previous post (which you NEED to see if you missed it) are from me, Melissa, Jon (the pig), and my mother-in-law Monica. IronJenny snapped this photo of Phamie and I after her finish:




“What’s next?” you ask?

Well, after a few weeks of relative inactivity post-Ironman, I’ll be trying to hammer out one last duathlon during this 2007 season. On Sunday, October 14th, I’ll be in Osceola, WI, for the Osceola Duathlon. As always, if you will be out there or if you know anyone who will be racing, make sure to say “hi!”

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A Huge, Fuzzy Cock

>> Monday, October 08, 2007

OK, it’s not what you think. I don’t wanna leave you hanging, so here’s the way I spent yesterday:



Yep, that’s me as a rooster. And that’s Pharmie getting ready to run her 8th consecutive Twin Cities Marathon on her 27th birthday! Here’s the whole gang:


That’s “Farmer Mike” with his 3 animals: Jon the Pig,
Matt the Cow, Steve the Rooster.
Oh...and 2 runners, Steph and Pharmie

Pharmie did NOT go to my blog after I asked her not to, and she was completely surprised to come down the steps yesterday morning to see us 4 in costume. She couldn’t stop laughing! Pharmie’s Mom thought we were NUTS!! And her little cousin Grant thought we were hilarious! We hopped in Matt’s car and drove off to the start line.

We made SOOO many friends out there! Everyone was stopping to take photos of us or to have us say hi to their kids. What a great day! We saw the runners off and spent the whole day screaming and yelling for them! Here are some photos from the day:







It was 75 degrees at the start, and it only got hotter and more humid as the day went on. It was hot out there for the runners, and HOT out there for us in costume. People were going down quicker than Senator Larry Craig in a Minneapolis airport bathroom! Zing! No, seriously, it was warm and gross. The runners had to be careful out there. The animal suits were soaked through by the time the starting gun went off! But we still had a BLAST! Runners were high-fiving us like crazy! In fact, there were many runners that would see us from the other side of the course and they’d shoot across the road so they could high-five us before running past. Everyone was laughing! I was screaming so loud! I’m still hoarse, and my throat is still sore! Not only that, but my ears are still ringing because my screaming voice got trapped inside of that giant head and was quite loud for me!


Pharmie’s cousin Grant and I


Chewing on Matt’s tail

I tried to keep the cheering fresh and new:
“I’m too chicken to run a marathon!”
and
“I’m just as hot as you guys!”
and, my personal favorite
“If you’re seeing farm animals, you’ve got heat stroke!”

Pharmie and her sister Steph did AWESOME! It was Stephs very first marathon! Here’s some photos of them in action:


Pharmie at mile 15


Steph at mile 15


Pharmie about a half-mile from the finish

It was a super fun day. I saw a lot of bloggers out there, cheering or running: Tac Boy, Laurie, IronJenny, and Cadesdad. I saw Pharmies friends husband, Tony. I ran into an old high-school classmate, Annie. And I made TONS of friends!!! What a great, flippin’ day! Congrats to all runners!!!

After the finish, Pharmie and I posed for a photo:


I’m the one on the right

Then Matt the Cow did something inappropriate with his tail:



And then, for no good reason, we all stopped by the local Y that Pharmie and I go to, and we posed in the classic “YMCA” pose:



If only my students knew how I spent my weekend...

p.s. I made the cover of the St. Paul Pioneer Press today! Hilarious! Isn't there something more important than a giant chicken to be reporting about?

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Are You Into Farm Animals?

>> Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So here's the scoop: if you know anyone running the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend, you have to let them know to keep an eye out for me. "How will they know it's Steve," you ask? Well, Matt, Jon, and myself have rented farm animal mascot costumes in order to "help" us cheer on the runners on Sunday. This is a TOTAL surprise for Pharmie. It's in celebration of her birthday. And in celebration of her sister, Steph, who is running her first marathon.

So if you see a cow, chicken, and pig all hanging out together and cheering like mad beasts for the runners, please say "hi." I'm one of those beasts. We will be at the starting line, probably around mile 13, around mile 19, and we'll all be at the finish. See you then. And remember, DON'T TELL PHARMIE!! (I've told her not to visit my blog until after the marathon!)

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Fall Fitness Updates

>> Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I hope to be doing a duathlon on October 14 in Osceola, WI. It’s short, so we’ll see if I have any speed left in me. It’s a 3 mile run, 22 mile bike, and a 1 mile run. That’s right, a 1 mile run. Sounds like a blast.

Here’s the problem. On a bike ride a week after the Ironman, I hurt my right knee.

That’s right, I hurt my GOOD knee! What the hell!?

I’m meeting with my old PT tomorrow to see if I really screwed myself. For a while, I thought I had torn something. Not good. But it's been getting better in the last few days, so I’m hopeful. I had an OK 4+ mile run last night. We’ll see if my PT tells me if the duathlon is a good idea or not.

Also, Pharmie is running her 8th consecutive Twin Cities Marathon this Sunday. It also happens to be her birthday on Sunday. So...that means I (along with her brother and other trouble-makers) have some devious, devious plans for being her cheering section. She has no idea. Here's a clue: E-I-E-I-O. Have I said too much? Maybe.

Stay tuned for the marathon report next. It'll be worth it...

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