TC 10 Mile Race Report

>> Tuesday, October 06, 2009

(It’s been a busy few days and it’ll be a busy week. So this post will just go through the finish of my race. All the fun stuff that happened after I finished [farm animals, my family finishing the race, post race shenanigans] will be posted shortly. Sorry to make you wait!)

Friday night, Pharmie and I made some homemade tomato soup. When I went to crush the tomatoes, one of them squirted all up my arm (and on the floor, and on the cupboards, and on my pants...). It looked like a horrible, horrible accident:

Don’t worry - I didn’t get any body hair in the soup. Here’s what our supper looked like 36 hours before the race:

Saturday morning, Pharmie and I picked up her brother Matt, and we all headed to the race expo in downtown St. Paul. I surprised Pharmie with my new shirt:

She approved!

That evening, most of Pharmie’s family came over. Many stayed with us, but all ate with us. We fed spaghetti and pork-loin to 20 people, and then 14 of them slept over at our place. FULL HOUSE!! Here’s a dozen people around our table:

Sunday morning, it was time to race! We got up around 5 am. Mike hopped into the pig outfit to go wake up some of the girls. Here he is “hamming it up” with his girlfriend Brianna:

Pardon my pun.

Three carloads left for the race start as many of the kids slept in (they were picked up later and brought to the finish). We all hopped out at the Metrodome and found places to poo. I pooed 4 times prior to the race!! (Not all at the Dome.) Us more “experienced” runners were trying to give last-minute advice to our family members running their first long distance race without being TOO “know-it-all”ish.

We filtered out of the Dome, and then split up. I kissed Pharmie on the cheek and headed to Corral 1 of the 10 Mile start. I sat and stretched my heel one last time, and then worked my way closer to the start. I settled in about 100-200 people from the front of the pack. I quickly realized I was next to John (Pharmie’s uncle), Tom R (Charities Challenge running buddy), and Julia (swimming buddy). I chatted a little with all of them before the gun.

On your marks... Get set... GO!!

John and I talked for a moment past the starting line, and then I took off a little. I TRIED to keep it easy the first mile - that was one of my bigger keys to a good race: I needed to start off slow. I saw Marlo McGaver shortly after the start (local, big-name duathlete). I said hi and introduced myself. We chatted for a moment before she zoomed off in front of me.

Mile 1: 6:35. “Good. Easy.” I let people pass me without trying to keep up (that’s hard for me). Part way through the next mile, I shed my “throw-away” long-sleeve t-shirt I was wearing to stay warm. Now I was just down to my racing outfit (tight red top and “bowl full of sunshine” shorts).

Mile 2: 6:26. “A bit faster. Good. Now start to pick it up a LITTLE.” We were heading under I-94, and that bridge was WAY above us. That was depressing because I knew we’d be climbing to that height to cross the river over the next 3/4 mile. D’oh. So we started a slow climb to Mile 3.

Crossing the bridge, I came up on Tom R who I had talked with in the starting corral. He thought I was in front of him (and I did too). We chatted for the whole length of the bridge, and I think the race photographer got photos of us chit-chatting. (When I ran by the race photographer, he actually said “nice smile - don’t stop smiling!” Thanks photo guy!!)

At the first water stop across the bridge, I slowed up a little to drink my Powerade; I didn’t want to be covered in sticky, blue Powerade for the rest of the day. And THAT was the slowest I got all day - that was the closest I came to walking! That’s good news! The bad news is that I missed the Mile 3 marker (I was either talking with Tom, or it was in that water stop). So...

Mile 3 & 4: 12:46 (6:23 pace). Not bad, considering mile 3 had that long uphill. (Mile 4 was pretty flat.) I wished to be a little faster, but I didn’t want to go TOO hard, so overall, I felt OK with my effort at this point.

Coming up to Mile 5, we went down under the Lake/Marshall bridge, and then back up the other side. I passed Doug, a guy I met at the “Get Ready to Rock 10K” a few weeks back, and we chatted for a moment. I saw a few people that said “HI STEVE” around the bridge, including TriMama and a BT buddy.

Mile 5: 6:20. “Negative split, here I come.” I hit mile 5 at 32:09, and I knew I had enough left for a negative split; I was ONLY going to be getting faster overall. I ran up the hill towards St. Thomas, ran right next to their track (where I always run intervals), and hopped on Summit. This was the land I knew. 99% of all my runs on are this stretch of land. I KNEW the finish of this race.

I also saw Nat and Jen R right away after turning onto Summit. (Thanks for cheering!) Jen told me I looked good. I FELT good, but it was because my time wasn’t SUPER stellar. I started trying to up the pace. The first 1.5 miles or so of Summit is gently uphill, so I knew my effort would get higher without my times showing it right away.

Mile 6: 6:23. “Good, but could have / should have been faster.” I high-fived 2 little kids on the left side of the road and totally made their day.

Mile 7: 6:28. “OK, that was too slow. That hill to Snelling accounts for a little of this, but you need to UP THE PACE.” Since the start, I never let Marlo out of my sight: she was never more than 2 blocks ahead of me at any point. I started closing the gap, and I passed her near the Governor’s mansion. “Go Marlo - don’t let me beat you!...” I said with a smile through forced breaths as I went by.

Mile 8: 6:00. “Better. Nice.” I was running hard, but I didn’t feel like complete death. ...which means I should have been running harder. D’oh. But at least I was enjoying the race more by suffering less.

I was passing quite a few people over these last few miles. Once I “settled in” around mile 3-4, I don’t think anyone passed me. No one passed me along Summit for sure (the last 5 miles).

Mile 9: 6:00. “Hoped for sub-6 here. Last mile - PUSH!” I gave it all, and I passed a small group of runners. I ran past Gary from Charities Challenge who was at the “German House” on Summit with his PA system: “...... and here comes STEVE STENZEL!! Triathlete extraordinaire! Lookin’ good, Mr. Stenzel!!” Thanks Gary! I think he snapped a shot as I ran by, so I’ll share that when I see it.

I started up the last little hill. Pharmie’s family was in the distance, and they saw me coming. Here I am just behind the guy in blue, with a small pack of recently-passed-runners about a half block back:

I spotted my cheering section, and they all hopped to their feet and started yelling! I was pooped, but I mustered a wave:

Annie took a TON of photos of me running past. I want to share a few here just because it’s great how I’m passing this guy stride-for-stride. We are completely matched up!! See:

I particularly like this one because of
the “stink eye” I’m getting!

Still matching...

...still matching...

...still matching

I booked it down the final hill to the finish. The guy that I passed in the photos above came back to pass me before the finish, but he’s the only one in the last 5 miles to have passed me. I hit the line, and I was ready to be done.

Mile 10: 5:40. “Good. Now get me some water.” ;)

Official results:
6:16.3 / mile

95 out of 5797 overall
84 out of 2254 men
48 out of 436 in the 22-29 age group

First 5 miles: 32:09 (6:26 pace)
Last 5 miles: 30:34 (6:07 pace)

I think I could have ran harder in miles 4-8, but the poor outcomes of my last few long runs took my confidence away, so I held back a little. I think I could have taken 0:30 to 1:00 off my finishing time. That being said, I’m still super happy with my finish. I’m just thinking how to make the next race better...

After finishing, I headed back up the hill to the Cathedral to hang out with Pharmie’s family. The farm animals were out in full force shortly. I’ll be back as soon as I can with how the rest of the family member’s races went as well as farm animal photos!


Mike 6:34 AM, October 06, 2009  

The stink eye photo was comical! lol! Nice run!!!

Irish Cream 7:06 AM, October 06, 2009  

Great run, Steve! Wow. Love the photo sequence at the end. Ha, that dude is CLEARLY jealous of the bowl full of sunshine shorts--that's why he's giving you the stink eye :)

But anyway, fantastic race, Mr. Speedy! ;) Can't wait to read about the post-race festivities!!

Lindsay 7:21 AM, October 06, 2009  

great race! speedy! loved the photos and mr. stink eye. too bad you let him get ya at the end, he must've wanted that bowl full of sunshine! ;)

Kim 7:32 AM, October 06, 2009  

your leg muscles are out of this world! loving the stink eye - that guy was totally jealous of your outfit! congrats, awesome job speedy mcspeederson!

Steve Stenzel 7:34 AM, October 06, 2009  

Kim, if caught at JUST the right moment, my legs look OK. But usually, they look a little sickly. Thanks though! ;)

Katie 7:54 AM, October 06, 2009  

After a few hard weeks you still managed to pull it together and have an awesome race!

Not only are you getting the stink eye, but you are smiling about it. Priceless!

jen 7:55 AM, October 06, 2009  

Congrats!! Amazing race and great report. I love the photos. I hope everyone else had a great race too!

Nat 8:22 AM, October 06, 2009  

Your leg muscles AND strides are the same as that other guy! How funny! Steve, you did great and you are so fast! I am jealous!

X-Country2 8:39 AM, October 06, 2009  

Those pictures are great. You are twins. :o)

Sounds like a wonderful cheering section and a strong race. Well done!

ShirleyPerly 8:51 AM, October 06, 2009  

Congrats on your race! Those photos of you and the other guy are GREAT!!

kristen 9:55 AM, October 06, 2009  

Those shorts really are awesome. Congrats on a good race!

IronVince: IM WI 2009 and Beyond 10:09 AM, October 06, 2009  

Good race. I know it was not sub-60, but a very grand showing overall.

The stink eye photo is terrific.

Are those the same yellow shorts you graced us with for your grilling demo at WIBA?

Bootchez 12:59 PM, October 06, 2009  

Gotta disagree, you've got some fine legs (and feet, but let's not go there) . . . LOVE the stride for stride photos, the other guy looks pissed and you look sorta . . . content. Nice!

Runner Leana 1:36 PM, October 06, 2009  

Sweet negative split Steve!! Nice job on your race. That is ridiculously speedy!

Love those stride for stride shots, including the stink eye ones!!!

Trihardist 5:58 PM, October 06, 2009  

Steve, I love reading your race recaps! Way to go!

Coach Liz 6:49 PM, October 06, 2009  

The important thing is that you were happy with the outcome of the race.

Great "stink-eye" photo sequence!

Kelly 7:52 PM, October 06, 2009  

Wow, great run! Love your "this is my jungle" reference from an earlier post by the way.

I remember seeing that movie with my dad and we sit down and I say "So, this movie isn't scary is it?" (he'd seen it already) and he said "no,'s not if you don't mind beheadings".

Leah 8:01 PM, October 06, 2009  

Nice! I particularly like the self-satisfied look on your face in the stink-eye picture. :)

Rainmaker 9:13 PM, October 06, 2009  

Very nice time - congrats!

Anonymous,  9:21 PM, October 06, 2009  

Hey Steve, congrats on the race! Love the t-shirt, too. Ian wanted to watch the farm animals clip all day, each time it was done he would say, "again" but then when the "animals" started dancing, he'd lean in a little closer, not quite sure what to think but loving it none the less. His crazy uncle Steve!

The Boring Runner 9:23 PM, October 06, 2009  

Nice job on the race. Too bad that you still had some gas left in the tank. Next time you'll get that sub 60.

You know what would cheer you up (not that you need it)? Technitronic.... "Everybody dance now!! boww boww bow bow bowww"

JP Severin 8:38 AM, October 07, 2009  

hahahaha love the stink eye pic... great time overall and way to race smart

Anonymous,  4:05 PM, October 07, 2009  

Love the hairy chef photo. Kind of like Julia Child crossed with the Werewolf for Halloween.

By the way, a few posts ago you expressed some embarrassment regarding those abdominal folds. Why? Personally, I think they're rather sexy. So there....

While I'm at it, a question. Do you always cook, topless? Just wondering....

As ever,
Your Curious Devotee.

Melissa 5:20 AM, October 08, 2009  

Hey, Great report. My two favorite photos. Your hairy chest one and the stink eye one.

I was thinking to myself, "Man, Steve is hairy" and then laughed out loud when you put "don't worry I did not get any chest hair in the soup."

Also, love, love, love, the stink eye pick. I agree with someone else's post. He was jealous of the shorts. HAHA

Great job out there.

Jim Smith II 10:15 PM, October 10, 2009  

Great race Steve, congrats!!

sRod 1:17 PM, October 13, 2009  

That's incredible that you guys matched stride for stride in every one of those pictures. Excellent work!!

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