Square Lake Half Ironman: Part 2

>> Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Or, “Who needs 2 nipples anyway?”

Or, “My cat fought back.”

(Here's a link to "Part 1" of this race report.)

OK, to answer a FAQ in the comments of my last post: I “Body Glided” my face in T2 because the head piece to the Grim Reaper outfit touched my face and cheeks. After 13.1 miles of running, I still wanted to have skin on my face and cheeks. Make sense? Good. I thought so.

So, where’d we leave off in the last post? Oh, that’s right. It was T2, and I had just put on my Grim Reaper outfit. I was ready for the last leg of the day: the 13.1 mile (hilly) run.

On the run, we ran out of the park, and then looped right back past the finish area. So Steph caught photos of me heading out on the run:

When I was about straight across the road from the finish line (which included a large group of spectators), people started cheering for me. I pumped my sickle in the air as a show of appreciation:

They cheered louder. I loved it. They loved it.

I started passing people pretty quick. Everyone had something to say. I always came up on another runner, and I’d say something like “Good morning,” or “Keep it up.” They’d start to say something back, and then realize that they were talking to death. Most would start laughing (or at least chuckle). All got all kinds of comments from both men and women that I passed:

“Dude, that’s awesome.”

“You look like how I feel.”

“I’m doing pretty good, but I wish YOU’D get away from me! Ha!”

I tapped some people on the butt with my sickle when I passed them, but I startled a few of them, so I stopped with that. I wanted others to have fun. Not freak out.

So I went out at a good pace, and I really felt good. My first mile was 6:53. And I hit mile 3 in 21:30. I was feeling great!

Then it started to pour.

I took off the head piece so I could see a little better. I was also concerned that it would rub my nose raw. I felt the rest of my outfit get heavier and heavier. I was starting to hurt at the turn around, which was at the top of a big hill that I felt like I crawled up. I turned back to the park in 48:20. That was a GREAT time, but I was going downhill quick.

I was bonking.

At the next aid station, I ate some Snickers Marathon bars. I needed food in me. I should have consumed more near the end of my bike ride, but I was more concerned about pedaling while not being clipped in for those last 20 miles. My nutrition was gone; I was losing it. At least I had hit the turn-around, and I was running into all kinds of people that were still running out, and they were loving the outfit. I was running next to someone, and his family was out there and got a photo of us running together. I smiled for the photo. Then I realized my face was covered and it didn’t matter. Then I felt dumb.

I had to stop and walk a lot. I was starting to get disappointed, but I kept telling myself, “Steve, you’re doing this race for FUN. You don’t need to get down on yourself. You’re doing this race in a frickin’ Grim Reaper outfit!” My feet started hurting too: my right big toe felt like it had a blister the size of an acorn on it. I just didn’t want to think about it. I just kept moving.

The hills were getting to me too. Here, look:

See? It's as bad as it looks.

My longest mile out there was over 12 minutes. Ouch. But I was still smiling. And the athletes and aid station volunteers were lovin’ it. I ran into Pharmie when I was at mile 10 and she was at mile 3. She was looking good! We smooched, and we were both on our way. It was done raining at this point, but the sun was threatening to come out and really heat the place up.

I had to stop and walk once more at the last water stop. By now, my stomach was feeling better, and I was past the “bonk” feeling. But my big toe was still getting sorer. I put my hood back on, and took it home (all-in-all, I probably had the hood on for about half the run). Here I am just outside of the park, nearing the finish line:

I turned into the park, and headed up the hill to the finish:

Everyone was laughing and cheering (except for the little girl on the far right who looks a little freaked out):

But then again, I tend to freak those
people out on the “far right!” Ha!

It felt SO GOOD to be done! After running the first half (feeling great) in 48:20, I could only bust out the last half (big bonk and sore toe) in 1:05:04. I had a glass of water, and a couple of laughs with other athletes and volunteers:

Let’s compare yearly Half IM races. Last year, I did the Chisago Lakes Half Ironman just a few weeks before IM WI. Chisago was a stepping-stone on my way to “the big show.” This year, I barely got in the distance in my training, but still pulled a Half IM out of my butt. Here’s how the 2 races stacked up:

Chisago Half IM 2007:
• 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

Square Lake Half IM 2008:
• 1.2 mile swim - 38:13 PR by 6:23!
• T1 - 3:51 PR by 1:17!
• 54.5 mile bike - 2:54:26 (18.75 mph ave) adjusting
     for distance, it’s still a PR by around 5:00!

• T2 - 4:06 missed PR by 6 seconds, even though
     I changed into the Reaper outfit

• 13.1 mile run – 1:53:24 (8:36 / mile ave) Hmm...
     why didn’t I PR here?...

• Total - 5:33:58 PR!! PR!! PR!!

Yep, that’s over a 13 minute PR! Once you adjust the bike and add 6 minutes to my time (which is adding plenty), I still PR by over 8 minutes! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!? This year, I had LESS long distance training, it was a HILLIER bike, it was a HILLIER run, I wore a frickin’ GRIM REAPER OUTFIT on the run while it was POURING on me and making it heavy as hell! How could I PR?!?

Here’s what I think: First, I had a GREAT day. Secondly, my swimming has gotten A LOT better (thanks to Andrea!). Third, I didn’t have the LONG AND SLOW mentality of last year - everything was about getting in that distance as fast as possible. But, I was still under-trained from 1 year ago. Bottom line: I got lucky and had a great day!

So then something funny happened. I know what your thinking. “FINALLY, something funny has happened to Steve! It’s about time!” I went back into transition to change out of my running shoes and to check the damage on my sore, sore toe. I pulled off my shoe. “What the heck...” I thought. This was attached to my sock, straight off the end of my big toe:

That big divot in it was from my toe. I didn’t know what it was. I went back and showed Steph. She starting laughing. I mean, nearly rolling on the ground laughing. She said, “Steve, that’s Kermit’s favorite toy!”

Holy cow. I should have known by all the cat fur on it...

My cat Kermit had dropped her favorite ball in my shoe at home. And because my toes were a little numb from the bike ride, I didn’t notice it when I put on my running shoes. I had just run a half marathon with a cat toy in my shoe!!

Maybe Kermit was mad that we didn’t bring her along. After all, she was the cat in the photo a few posts back, and she matched so nicely with my outfit:

That cat. I tell ya.

Then, Steph and I cheered for all the finishers. I busted out the boom-box, and we rocked out for a moment. If you haven’t seen the video that I posted Sunday night, here it is:

Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c68aWDi9Hz8

Good times. Shortly after, Pharmie came to the line:

Then we walked back to the car, and I finally changed out of the Grim Reaper outfit. But not before checking my nipples. Here’s my chest:

Look closer at the nipple on the right (my left):

Yes folks, I had rubbed the ends of my nipples off. That rain made my outfit so heavy, and it just rubbed and rubbed. They were SO SORE the rest of the day. Pharmie kept saying “they look like hamburger.” Sexy. Two days later, it had scabbed over nicely:

Now, nearly 4 days later, they look about the same as in that last photo. But they’re starting to hurt less.

Anyway, after assessing the carnage that is my nipples, we went back down by the lake to eat. I had 2 hot dogs:

Once home, I cracked into a log of cookie dough:

And I had a burrito for dessert:

All of our stuff was soaked, so Pharmie started some laundry. And we had all of our shoes drying out on the porch:

Well, that’s about it. My second Half IM ended in a Grim Reaper costume, but it also gave me a new PR! What a day!! I can’t wait for that outfit to make another appearance at a race...

Oh, and guess what? This weekend, “Team Happy Pants” is making a comeback!

Matt and I are doing the Cannon Lake Duathlon in Faribault, MN. I’ll start with a 1.75 mile run, Matt will tackle the 14 mile bike, and I’ll finish with a 3 mile run. Should be fun! Stop by after this weekend to see how we do!! Thanks for reading everyone!


bigmike600 9:17 PM, September 10, 2008  

Very nice Steve... Very nice.
I think it is prett cool that you did this for fun. You beat my 1/2 PR by almost 2 hours.
Maybe I should dress up like something and it might help.

Good Luck at the DU and check your shoes you goofball.

Jennifer P 9:35 PM, September 10, 2008  

Seriously. I have nothing to say other than can I borrow the reaper outfit because it makes you fast so maybe it will work for me?
On of my favourite RR's of yours that I've read. Awesome.
PS I'd really hang on to the hope of having nipguards sponsor you.

RunBubbaRun 10:33 PM, September 10, 2008  

1st, congrats on your PR

2nd, I haven't even seen my own nipples that close, dudeee, you really had to go there :0

3rd, I think you need another wax job.

Need I say more.

CoachLiz 11:03 PM, September 10, 2008  

Please tell me you did not eat that entire log of cookie dough!!!

You know, I don't think that I have seen my own husband's nipples that up close and personal. Does that mean there is something going on between us...along with the rest of blog-world???

Hey, at least Kermit only dropped a cat toy in your shoe and did not leave any other surprise packages. Consider yourself lucky on that one.

Great race man! Even with the GR outfit, the cat toy in the shoe, and the bonking you still out ran my 1/2 marathon PR by 2 minutes. I would say you SUCK but I like you too much.

Can't wait for the Team Happy Pants return. Are you going to wear those Team Happy Pants shirts you were thinking about???

TRI TO BE FUNNY 11:06 PM, September 10, 2008  

A PR in the freakin' Grim Reaper outfit. Brilliant!!!! The picture with the cat is priceless...

Unknown 11:31 PM, September 10, 2008  

Thats the first time the video would load for me.
Holy Crap Batman - that was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. you should b giving white guy dance lessons.... :-)

Congrats on the PR.

ShirleyPerly 11:31 PM, September 10, 2008  

I don't know which is better the PR or the cat toy in the shoe. Both are hilariously terrific!

Joe V 12:00 AM, September 11, 2008  

Sweet! I'm laughing the whole time looking at those photos. I feel ya on the bonk the second half of the run. Happened to me Sunday. Congrats on a great race!

Donald 12:03 AM, September 11, 2008  

This was the most enjoyable report I've read in a long time. I could have done without seeing your nipples and wieners, though (I meant hot dogs ... but I'm sure the other type of pic isn't too far away now).

Kudos to you for making everyone's day and setting a PR to boot.

Unknown 12:13 AM, September 11, 2008  

1. Your race reports are great!
2. Snickers makes racing bars? Where can I get some?
3. I was feeling embarassed because I blogged about nipples tonight too, now I don't feel so bad. :o)

Congrats on the PR and a great race!

Run For Life 12:35 AM, September 11, 2008  

Haha, those GR pics are awesome...and a CAT TOY in your shoe?! Crazy. Congrats on the PR!

Anonymous,  12:38 AM, September 11, 2008  

For more laughs when running without a shirt and less pain after running with a shirt on, check out nipguards.


Charlotte 12:39 AM, September 11, 2008  

Yayayayay on the PR!! Not luck, I'm thinking. It sounds well-deserved to me.

And your nipples? Well, at least now you know what would happen to them if you ever nursed a baby. They're like pirhanas I tell you.

Maggs 3:48 AM, September 11, 2008  

Great race report! Congrats on the PR too! I found a milkbone in my running shoe one race. I was able to dump it out in T2 though.

Erin Leigh 5:30 AM, September 11, 2008  

Cheerios almost came out of my nose with the freaking cat toy story. Seriously that is the hardest I have laughed in a LONG time.

Your times rocked!!

Chris 5:48 AM, September 11, 2008  

Dude, you're a riot. I can't believe that you ran 13 miles in a WET grim reaper outfit. Freakin' hilarious! And a PR to boot!

Marcy 7:14 AM, September 11, 2008  

Congrats homie, but dang those nip shots made me CRINGE! Couldn't you have put some My Little Pony Band Aids on those suckas?

Gena 7:18 AM, September 11, 2008  

Congrats on the PR!

Fortunately, I've never run with a cat toy in my shoe. I have, however, put a shoe on only to realize a cat peed in it.

Unknown 7:50 AM, September 11, 2008  

“You look like how I feel.” - I can relate to that!!

And you ran with a cat toy in your shoe. Hilarious!

Iron Girl Nyhus 7:53 AM, September 11, 2008  

Don't forget to check your shoes before the duathlon for any cat toys :) I am laughing out loud!!!

JenC 7:59 AM, September 11, 2008  

I'm beginning to believe that better times come when one isn't so serious about obtaining them. Just a theory though.

Great job on the PR! You are one hilarious dude!

Gotta Run..... 8:30 AM, September 11, 2008  

That video was too much!! you have me laughing my ASS off here at work. I am going to get busted now :)

then I keep reading only to see the nipple report.

I am dying here!

Michelle 8:35 AM, September 11, 2008  

My guess is that one of your biggest goals in life is making people smile. You definitely succeed! Good work!

Jess 8:41 AM, September 11, 2008  

My parents-in-law live near Faribault! They live in Northfield. In fact, we bought my husband's truck in Faribault. Anyway, that's a digression...

Great job on the PR! Amazing you were able to pull that off in the GR outfit!

Erica Ortiz 9:11 AM, September 11, 2008  

Hahahaa... that is the greatest! Even if the nipples scared me when I first opened my reader.

Good luck and congrats on the PR!

Mel-2nd Chances 9:19 AM, September 11, 2008  

amazing race report! The pics are hilarious, and i cracked up at you smiling for the picture with the outfit on!! and wow, congrats on your PR!!! :)

RobbyB 9:22 AM, September 11, 2008  

Sometimes I don't know how you do the things you do.

See you soon!

Brent Buckner 9:38 AM, September 11, 2008  

All that and a PR?
In. Sane.

BTW, I believe that one of the appropriate comments on your running photos is: HEELSTRIKER!

The Delaney's 9:39 AM, September 11, 2008  

You are Awesome! You are Strange! You are Awesomely Strange! lol.

I enjoy reading your blog.

~Rhonda from Minnesota
(and NO this isn't your bike talking to you) :o)

Sara 9:44 AM, September 11, 2008  

congrats on an awesome PR - that is pretty amazing!!!

Runner Leana 10:14 AM, September 11, 2008  

Yowza, those nipples look sore! Congratulations on your huge PR as well. I'm sure the other competitors really appreciated having you as the Grim Reaper chearing you on. Way to go!

Jeff 10:28 AM, September 11, 2008  

Been there with that nipple problem. I can feel the pain. Next time -- Band Aids!

Awesome report.

Darcy Franklin 10:58 AM, September 11, 2008  

Nice job on the PR Reaper.

Love the pics of the scabby nipple followed by the weiners. Classic.

T 11:09 AM, September 11, 2008  

1.) i would so be the person saying, "you look like how i feel."

2.) you STILL pr'd? you make me sick.

3.) sugar cookie dough? good man. the nestle toll house sugar cookie dough squares are still the best though.

4.) i've driven through faribault before!

Aron 11:17 AM, September 11, 2008  

CONGRATS on the PR!!! very exciting! i cant believe you had a cat toy in your shoe the whole time!

:) 11:18 AM, September 11, 2008  

You're the best, man.... :)

Lisa T 11:33 AM, September 11, 2008  

Hysterical! I'm going to have to come to MN and race because you guys seem to have way more fun than we CA folk who tend to take ourselves way too seriously!

Judi 11:33 AM, September 11, 2008  

You are the shizzle! You totally rocked it! Crazy Man!

J~Mom 11:41 AM, September 11, 2008  

Most excellent!!! You did it!! I smiled the whole time reading that ! Loved it!

Calyx Meredith 11:45 AM, September 11, 2008  

As usual your race reports are like no others out there - the perfect blend of laughter and cringe. That video is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Congrats on the PR and on having a cat who loves you enough to have given you her favorite toy as a good luck charm.

Anonymous,  12:04 PM, September 11, 2008  

Maybe if I dress up as a witch or something for my next HIM, I can PR, too!!

Great job and pics :D

Bill Carter 12:16 PM, September 11, 2008  


Despite the loss of a nipple, you are still my hero. Seriously dude, a reaper outfit?? Awesome!

MissAllycat 12:18 PM, September 11, 2008  

Praise the Baby Jesus! Team "Snacky Treat" is back in the game!!

Fe-lady 12:35 PM, September 11, 2008  

You are one CRAZY fun triathlete!
Thanks for making my break at work worth my while today!

Michelle 1:19 PM, September 11, 2008  

Fabulous! Love all the pics...well, except for the super close up nipple pics, ahh! You would have scared the shit out of me on a run...I'm dying! I knew this was too much! :) Awesome race report.

Anonymous,  1:22 PM, September 11, 2008  

That is seriously the funniest thing I have EVER seen. You would have made alot of peoples day out there I'm sure.


Tonya 2:37 PM, September 11, 2008  

HEHEHEHE...love those pics!! So funny!

Great stuff :)

Alili 3:14 PM, September 11, 2008  

I love it! Fantastic race and a report for the ages. Too funny about the 'acorn' in your shoe. :)

nwgdc 3:39 PM, September 11, 2008  

steve, absolutely hilarious. the fact you ran with a black cat's TOY in your shoe...i'm speechless. you just can't make that up!!!

Anonymous,  3:53 PM, September 11, 2008  

Ok, you had way more obstacles than I had this past weekend...

- nips rubbing off - ow! So glad that didn't happen to me. I like my girl parts and want to keep them from looking like hamburger. Pharmie, that was a good one.

- the 'reaper' outfit hanging on you like a soaked towel for miles upon miles. I would've ripped that thing off at mile one. But you kept it on - like you were married to it.

- and how did you run your 1st mile (6:53) in that outfit? I can't even run one mile let alone 13 miles that fast with nothing on.

- that cat toy in your shoe - how in the hell did that get in there? Thank god you don't live in FL where the scorpions nest in your shoes. Could you imagine?

Congrats on the PR! So proud of you...and that swim time - nice job!

So the question is, would you do it again and wear an outfit during a 1/2 IM? You better say YES, damnit, cause I want more!

21stCenturyMom 4:43 PM, September 11, 2008  

Unbelievable - we had just about the same time on the run in our respective triathlons but mine was an Oly. I only ran 10K. ARrrgghhh!!! I need to run faster and you need to keep being funny. Clearly it does great things for you and it makes for the best race reports evar!

Carly 4:49 PM, September 11, 2008  

Nice job on the PR! You crack me up. That was funny running in the grim reaper costume. I probably would have flipped out if I saw you...I have been know to hallucinate during a run. Ha!

Ouch on the nips!

Mendy 7:24 PM, September 11, 2008  

I really enjoy reading your race reports (they crack me up!), even if they show nipples. Ouch btw.

Congrats on the PR, under amazing conidtions too with the outfit, and rain!

Kevin 7:40 PM, September 11, 2008  

Dude! You rock! The pics were great. Cant wait to see what you do next time to outdo this!

teacherwoman 7:50 PM, September 11, 2008  

I am amazed you were able to run that distance in that outfit... Sounds like a fun time. Great pics!

Jamie 7:58 PM, September 11, 2008  

Hilarious on all accounts. Well done Steve.

I can't believe you PR'd in a death costume, with a cat toy.

It is like you were trying to subconsciously ruin your race, but still kicked ass.

Julie 8:02 PM, September 11, 2008  


Great race, way to go on the PR!

Jess 8:20 PM, September 11, 2008  

ahaha these pictures rock! I am laughing so hard right now! Sounds like you had a good time and got some laughs....

also..I think the name "Team Happy Pants" rocks lol

Anniversary Moments 8:23 PM, September 11, 2008  

thanks for your comment! you are hysterical -- i may have to put a race in MN on my schedule next year just to witness the zaniness up close & personal. Congrats on the PR! good luck this weekend!

KK 8:45 PM, September 11, 2008  

Two things in your post are currently topping my list of favorite things in life right now:

1. "But then again, I tend to freak those
people out on the “far right!” Ha!"

2. The long, dramatic pauses with the sickle while busting a move to music streaming from a random not-so-boomy-box while simultaneously regulating approaching onlookers.

I called my sister to laugh together at this one-GOOD stuff. And both of us say CONGRATS on a stunning PR :).

RoadBunner 10:39 PM, September 11, 2008  

Congrats on the PR! And you did it with a giant freakin' cat toy in your shoe!!

Sonia 10:40 PM, September 11, 2008  

Insane!! Congrats on the PR 'just for fun' race! What a great surprise!!! Makes me think I could wear a Grim Reaper costume for my tri on Sat.... ;-)

Smithposts... 2:03 PM, September 12, 2008  

Congrats on the PR and thanks for the chuckle! You are a killer runner, but hmmm, the dancing, not so sure about that.

b 8:54 PM, September 12, 2008  

I believe Kermit left you that good luck charm in your running shoe which help you to acheive this ever awesome PR especially with the Grim Reaper get-up on during the half marathon...and in the rain too!!!

Congrat's Steve!


triguyjt 8:30 AM, September 13, 2008  

before i go on a long trail run, i think i'll put one of my dogs toys in the shoe....ahhhh...sure...why not...!!!!

hilarious stuff....
no way i could run 13 wearing that...

M 7:56 PM, September 13, 2008  

SO I was laughing, laughing, laughing.

Then I threw up a little.

CAn you figure out at what parts this might have happened?

Nice race, man. You are crazy funny. And gross.

Anonymous,  12:44 PM, September 14, 2008  

Nicely done!

I'm still giggling about the cat toy in your shoe. It sounds like something I'd do.

And get yourself some lanolin for the sore nips. It won't help during a race, but it'll certainly make them feel better faster after the chafe occurs.

Ms. V. 7:11 PM, September 14, 2008  

Nice run! The raw nipple above the hot dogs. Nice segue!

Fizzgig 2:15 PM, September 15, 2008  

so a funny thing happened i couldnt stop laughing at your video and had to admit to coworkers that i was infact on the internet when i should be working.

thats what i get.

that was great!

Kara 9:41 PM, September 15, 2008  

Oh very funny. You are good for triathlon. I found you through Charlotte but I SAW you at that race. How could anyone miss you? So great to get the whole story, complete with photo album.

Afternoon Tea With Oranges 12:50 PM, September 18, 2008  

First of all, congrats! You totally rocked the half iron. Secondly - well, the Grim Reaper suit was just priceless...I love it!!! You need to come down South and do some races...we need someone to spice things up a little like that!!

And great report...sorry about your toe, the cat's toy, and your nipple.

TriShannon 10:05 AM, September 19, 2008  

I should NOT read your blog at work. I was laughing so hard I was crying. I was trying to be quiet, but someone totally caught me. And they thought I was upset and crying at my desk. I could barely get out that I was laughing.

Congrats on the PR!

ShesAlwaysWrite 11:33 AM, September 22, 2008  

My nipples looked like that right after the baby was born! The only difference is I didn't take pictures : D

Great report... I was fine until the cat toy. I laughed until I cried.

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