Free To Run 5K Race Report

>> Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Pharmie and I got up around 6 am. There was one big difference: she was getting up to go to work, and I was getting up for a 5K:

This photo pretty much sums up our relationship.

(Sweet, the short yellow shorts [bowl full of sunshine] have made their way into 4 out of my last 5 posts!) I drove down to Harriet Island near downtown St. Paul where the “Taste of Minnesota” is going on. The race was put on by Charities Challenge, and I’ve loved all their races in the past (this was my 5th race in the last year with them). I saw Coach Jeanne, and she gave me a hug: “It’s underwear guy!” Then I went and checked out the finish line:

Downtown St. Paul, the Mississippi River, and the finish line

We got to run the last 0.2 mile along the river, looking up to downtown. It was great! I love St. Paul! I sat and stretched near the port-o-john row. Here was my view:

I snapped one last photo of people getting ready to start before I dropped off my camera before the race:

I talked with Tom who was the “pace bike guy.” He was nice to chat with, as is the case with everyone that helps out with the Charities Challenge events. We all got up to the starting line, and Gary (the president and founder of Charities Challenge) welcomed everyone and pointed out those that he knew. “...and there’s Steve Stenzel in the short shorts. Good luck Steve!...” Thanks Gary!

And we were off.

The race headed out of the Harriet Island area and followed the Mississippi south. We climbed a little hill out of the park and headed under the High Bridge:

I was in 4th place, but I knew I’d catch the guy who was currently in first place: he went out SUPER fast, and he didn’t look like he was going to be holding that pace. Sure enough, around 3/4 of a mile into the run, I passed him (and said “Good morning!” of course). I was in 3rd at the mile mark.

Mile 1: 5:33

Whoa. That was fast. And I’m not going to be able to hold onto that. Or... maybe... maybe I can... No, probably not. I haven’t done ANY speed work since my heel really acted up over 2 months ago. At the turn-around, I was hurting (not my heel, just that overall “I’m running too fast” feeling). I was just over a block behind the 2 leaders, but I was just trying to hold on.

Mile 2: 5:57

That’s more of the time I was expecting. I was really wishing that I had done some recent intervals or other speed work, because it would have come in handy. I wondered if some Chuck Norris Action Jeans would have helped out:

We were coming up on the High Bridge SOO slowly. I could still see the 2 guys in front of me, but they were pulling away. As I was coming down the hill back into Harriet Island, I heard Jeanne shouting from the registration area “GO STEVE! WAY TO GO!!” I couldn’t see exactly where she was because of the bright sun and a bug that committed suicide in my left eye.

Mile 3: 5:59

Well, I kept them all under 6, so that’s something! I rounded the final corner and ran the last few 100 meters along the river. I tried to enjoy the view, but I was pretty hashed. Those 2 guys in front of me pushed me nicely.

Last 0.1: 0:36
5K Total: 18:07
Place: 3rd out of about 150

Not too shabby. I was hoping to finish around 18:00, so no complaints! It’s my second fastest 5K time. Just a few minutes after finishing, Gary came over and handed me the microphone and asked me to announce the finishers. So all of the finishers that finished between 21:00 and about 28:00 were announced by yours truly! It was fun! I would just see them running to the finish, quick check their number, find their name and hometown on the sheet of paper in front of me, and cheer them home! Gary snapped photos of all the people finishing, and he stopped over once or twice to say “You’re good at this!” to me while I was on the mic.

When I was sitting near the Mississippi catching my breath, the 1st place woman (who finished just behind me) stopped by to talk. “That outfit is JUST shy of being scandalous...” she said with a big smile. I gave her a big smile back, and said, “Why, thank you!”

So we cheered all the runners in to the finish line, and then it was time to go. Gary asked me to say a little something to the crowd first. I didn’t know what to say (plus I finished 3rd, so I’m not sure why he didn’t ask first place...). I ended up saying something like “Oh, wasn’t that a great, shady course?! Nice day for a race! Let’s hear it for Gary and Jeanne who set up this run, and all the great volunteers who are helping out today!” People clapped. I thanked Gary and headed home.

I got home, and Steph wasn’t awake yet. When she finally came downstairs, she asked if I wanted blueberry pancakes. I wanted to punch her in the face for even asking. OF COURSE I WANT BLUEBERRY PANCAKES! So she made the thickest blueberry pancakes ever!

Gary snapped a lot of photos, so I’ll post those (along with the official results) when they are available. So check back early next week! AND check back for the ordeal of me going hairless for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon next weekend!

Finally, here are a few more 4th of July cards:

Have a fun, safe, Holiday weekend everyone! Don’t forget the sunscreen!!


teacherwoman 12:30 PM, July 04, 2008  

Nice job on the race, Steve! Way to go!

Happy 4th of July!

21stCenturyMom 1:33 PM, July 04, 2008  

Quite possibly the best race report ever! And if you get some Chuck Norris jeans be sure to wear the bowl of sunshine over them so people know who you are.

duchossois 1:53 PM, July 04, 2008  

Congrats on a super-fast 5k! Thanks for the very inspirational 4th of July cards. Where can I get a pair of those Chuck Norris action jeans?

C 1:54 PM, July 04, 2008  

You're so speedy! And those pancakes look fan-freakin-tastic. I want some!

Happy 4th!

Anonymous,  3:10 PM, July 04, 2008  

Short yellow shorts, port-a-pottties galore, Chuck Norris jeans, and blueberry pancakes all in one post--an awesome race report!

Anonymous,  3:26 PM, July 04, 2008  

and here I did no exercise today ...


Viv 3:53 PM, July 04, 2008  

Fantastic race Steve! I know the shorts were borderline, You totally showed have blurred it for pervs like me. LOL!

Have a great safe holiday weekend!

Unknown 5:05 PM, July 04, 2008  

Good job on the 5K!!

Anonymous,  5:26 PM, July 04, 2008  

Great, super-fast race Steve!

I want those blueberry pancakes.

Lily on the Road 5:39 PM, July 04, 2008  

Happy 4th of July!!!

mmmmm Blueberry pancakes!!!!


Kelly 5:49 PM, July 04, 2008  

"I wanted to punch her in the face for even asking. OF COURSE I WANT BLUEBERRY PANCAKES!"

I literally laughed out loud. But I'm at work, so laughing out loud towards your computer is inappropriate... or so I infered from the look on my coworker's face.

Kevin 8:35 PM, July 04, 2008  

Great job on the race. They gave you the mic in those shorts? I am surprised they didnt ask you to leave before you scare the little children

Kate 11:17 PM, July 04, 2008  

Nice job. Loved the race report. Sad that Pharmie was headed to work but some of us aren't as lucky as others! Freaking fast 5K. Great job!

brendaj 12:24 AM, July 05, 2008  

Great job speedy and scandalous Steve. And I hate bugs in the eye too!

Jess 9:54 AM, July 05, 2008  

Chuck Norris Action Jeans could always improve the action of a race, but you did well without them in your "scandulous" outfit. Congrats! That's an awesome race!

ShirleyPerly 3:46 PM, July 05, 2008  

You know, you have been partly to blame for me wanting to get back to running a 5K. Thanks!

triguyjt 5:16 PM, July 05, 2008  

thats it..I'm changing Steve in a Speedo to Scandalous Steve in my blog roll....

its just something I gotta do....

Great smoking race Mr. 3rd place and announcer guy...

Brian 6:49 PM, July 05, 2008  

I'd love to hear all the comments of the other fast runners around you that don't know you.

I'd be nervous in those shorts. There are some hot women runners out there and you do get bored sometimes running.

CoachLiz 12:43 AM, July 06, 2008  

I have to find some of those great cards!

Unknown 2:35 PM, July 06, 2008  

You are one heck of a fast runner... I don't think I could do a single mile at your pace - ever! :) Way to go. And awesome wife you have - making you blueberry pancakes like that! they looked yummo!

Arcane 11:14 PM, July 06, 2008  

hey thanks for stopping by. Nice fast 5k and I agree about the outfit. That yellow headband clashed with your singlet, Positively scandalous, I say. I see you're also photographer. I'm a bit of an amateur photographer myself.

sRod 6:17 AM, July 07, 2008  

Nice to hear a good race report from you. Well done!! I just ran my first 5K over the weekend and came no where near you.

tominmn 10:05 AM, July 07, 2008  

I saw you with camera in hand before the race and wasn't sure what to make of the outfit. You reminded me of my older brother Dave, who is also a runner/camera guy. After reading your blog, I see you share the same warped sense of humor too. The bowl of sunshine reference for your race wear makes perfect sense to me now. I lumbered across the finish line, just after you handed off the mic.

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