>> Sunday, May 24, 2009
Yesterday, Pharmie and I headed up towards St. Cloud to do the Apple Duathlon in Sartell, MN. Apple is my “longest streak”: this would be my 4th straight year (and it was my first ever duathlon, so it holds a special place in my heart).
We arrived at the race site, and I figured I should try out my new SUGOi tri suit. I did NOT know if that tiny chamois would be enough to get me through those 21 miles on the bike! Pharmie grabbed a shot of me heading out on a quick test ride:
We went into the school, picked up our packets, got body marked, and headed back out. Here’s my traditional smiley face on my calf:
Pharmie and I got set up in transition. When we were nearly done, Pharmie started laughing as she was looking at my set-up. “What’s so funny?” I looked down and couldn’t figure it out:
We were ready!
I was in Wave 3. Before the start, I looked over to Steve (Mr. Trotters) and wished him luck. We started off, and I noticed there was quite the competition this year. Last year, I hit transition in 6th place in our wave. This year, that was NOT going to happen! I was running strong in about 15-16th place in my wave. I missed mile 1, but I hit mile 2 in 11:51. I ran mile 3 in 6:01, and got back into transition in 18:19, which was about 13th in my wave. Faster than last year! Nice! But farther back overall. Dang.
Guess what? I had another rookie mistake in T1! I grabbed my bike and my shoes (that’s all), and started to run out. RIGHT at the edge of transition, there was a guy looking at me, tapping his head, and shouting “HELMET, HELMET, HELMET!!” Sh*t. My helmet was still sitting my in my transition area. I turned around, ran back to it, put it on, and took off again. I thought that was over and I had just lost a few seconds in T1, but this isn’t the last you’ll hear of this stupid little mistake.
33K BIKE (20.5 miles):
My goal for the days was to PUSH on the bike! We heard before the race that we’d have a tailwind on the last 9 miles back into town. That has NEVER happened before: the last 3 years have been a slap in the face around mile 12 where the wind just wants to push you backwards on the final stretch. This year, it would be at our backs. So I was going to push hard through the wind on the way out, and ride like a mother on the way back.
Miles 0-5: 16:55 (17.7 mph) into the wind
Miles 5-10: 16:41
Miles 10-15: 13:32
Miles 15-20 12:16 (24.5 mph!!) using the wind!
Last bit: 1:55
Those numbers show the story. I pushed pretty hard (but not too hard) on the way out, and had some decent numbers for riding into the wind. I started pushing REALLY HARD over the last 10 miles, and I really used the wind on the way back. My computer was reading 23-27 mph the whole time! And my SUGOi tri suit ended up being GREAT out there! I had 2 gels in the little pockets in the back. And the tiny chamois was just fine!! I couldn’t wear just that suit for a half IM, but I think it will be great for sprints and olys!!
I was really happy with my effort on the bike! I wanted to push hard and quiet that little voice in my head that is always saying “Yeah, but if you ease up a little on the bike, you could have a super impressive second run! Wouldn’t that be cool?” “Yes, it would be cool, but I might make up 60 seconds on the run. If I push hard on the bike, I can make up a few minutes. Do the math little annoying voice in my head. Now shut it.”
I finished the bike in 1:01:22, with a 20.0 mph average (20.6 on my computer). That was a BIG bite out of my 1:08 that I rode last year!! PR, here I come!
Nothing fancy. Racked my bike, threw on my running shoes, wondered what Lady GaGa will do to make her next album as fresh and entertaining as her current album, and I was running.
I looked at my watch after being on the run for about a minute. Last year at this time, I realized I could break 1:50:00 with a solid run. Now, I realized that with a SUPER fast run, I had a shot at breaking 1:40:00!! Last year, that time would have put me in about 4th place in my AG, so I was going to run my little ass off to see if there was a shot at placing in my AG (even though the intensity of everyone in the first run told me I didn’t really have a shot).
I was running my balls off. Not literally.
I hit mile 1 in 5:40. See? Running my balls off.
I hit mile 2 in 5:55. Nice. “You’ve got a shot at sub-1:40:00!”
I passed a few people just out of transition, but then there was no one for a few blocks. I caught up with a pack around mile 1, and then just kept picking people off. I was watching the AG markings on everyone’s calves, but I wasn’t passing anyone in my AG. “Come on Steve, you gotta go.” I was hurting, but I was still passing a lot of people and running strong.
I hit mile 3 in 5:51. I had just passed 2 people in my AG. FINALLY. I hit the edge of the parking lot, ran around transition, and booked it up the hill to the finish. I ran that final 5K in 18:28! And, I SQUEAKED under the 1:40 mark!!! 1:39:59!!
This is usually where I show my results. But first I need to explain something. I soon saw that I had received a 2:00 penalty. I was instantly upset. I figured it was for drafting (a common 2:00 penalty), but I rode CLEAN out there (and I think they need to verbally tell you that you received a drafting penalty, and I heard nothing). Once Pharmie and I got home, we decided that I’d e-mail the race director to see what was going on, and try to clear my good name. But then I looked at the official results and compared them to my watch. My T1 time (when I had to go back to get my helmet) was 1:11 on my watch. Officially, it was 0:43. I must have gotten RIGHT up to the timing mats on the edge of transition before I realized I was missing my helmet. So officially, I “exited” T1 and then came back in to get my helmet. 2:00 penalty. That explains it. Stupid me.
Anyway, here are my official results:
Steve Stenzel, St. Paul, MN, 28, M
In Age Group:
11 out of 24 (would have been 10th without the penalty)
5K: 18:19 (7th in AG), 5:54 pace
33K Bike: 1:01:52 (13th in AG) 19.9 mph
5K: 18:28 (4th in AG), 5:57 pace
Total: 1:41:59 (1:39:59 without penalty)
69 out of 193 (would have been 60th), 39th fastest first run, 101st fastest bike, 15th fastest second run
102 out of 308 (would have been 86th), 58th fastest first run, 146th fastest bike, 30th fastest second run
I was VERY happy with my overall effort at this race. I really pushed hard, and I found out that I can still finish strong (and upright) after racing so hard in the middle. This was a GREAT race for me. The penalty was just a little damper on a magnificent day!
Showing improvement is always nice too:
2006: 1:54:33, first du
2007: 1:54:36, had hoped to be faster
2008: 1:48:25, proud PR
2009: 1:39:59, another proud PR
So, I grabbed something to drink, and went to hang out near transition. I found Totters, and we cheered and talked. Soon, her hubby Steve came running in:
Apparently, that woman behind her REALLY wants her pizza!...
We went back inside, didn’t win any of the raffle items from Gear West, and then hit the road. We both had a good race, but Pharmie’s groin was acting up. Hopefully that gets better soon, because she’s got a half IM in 3 weeks!! And I’m doing the Oly Tri at the same race! I’ll be sporting the new SUGOi tri suit again!
Race photos shortly! Have a good Sunday everyone!