Friday Funny 145: My 2011 Triathlon Strategy

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

I have a simple solution to an olympic distance PR:


Here's my swim / bike / run strategy for the new season:

p.s. I'm not planning a year of cheating. Cheaters never win.

p.p.s. This was my 1,000th post! I'll be back with something fun tomorrow to celebrate 1,001!

p.p.p.s. Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 144: Who Can Knit This For Me?

Sure, it's not a ThemaJock, but I prefer homemade gifts...

If you don't know why I may need something like that, may I direct you to these 2 posts: the first time I froze my penis and the second time I froze my penis. I hope my pain brings you joy. Jerkface.


The Sexy Feet of Pro Triathletes

>> Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Warning: There are 2 gross photos in this post. You might want to put your bowl of chowder down and wait to finish eating until after you're done reading. You have been warned...

About 2 months ago, pro triathlete Chris McDonald (AKA "Big Sexy") tweeted this note:

The link took us to this photo:

Yum. My kinda guy. You all know that I'm always up for a good "gross foot photo."

If you want to follow all of Big Sexy's tweets of his sexy feet, click here to go to his twitter page.

And just a few days ago, CY (a local pro) was tagged in a photo taken by her hubby. Here was the caption:

... and here was the image:

GAH! Nice!

Oh, and I should note that after the bleeding stopped, CY DID get in that bike ride! That's nuts!


Come Race With Pharmie or I This Weekend!

>> Tuesday, December 28, 2010

(with 2 unrelated things)

• On Saturday the 1st, Pharmie's signed up to do the Team Ortho Polar Dash. They have a 5K and 10K, and she's registered for the 10K. The great thing is that the start is about 2 miles from home, so we'll just jog there in the morning! Then I'll hold her extra clothes and cheer her on during the race.

If you're thinking about doing the race, look for me near the starting line! I can hold your extra gear! (Look for the old blue hat with the red and white stripes that you always see me wearing.)

• On Sunday the 2nd, I think I'm going to try something crazy: an indoor 5000 on a 200 meter track. Gee, that sounds like fun. Right? 25 laps on the track should be a blast! ;) This meet also has a mile, so if you'd like to run that, you can show up and have me cheer you on. Head to for more info or to register (pre-registration is just $19).

• Along this topic of running, I COULD have a major running week! I did a NICE 13.11 miles last night along the Mississippi with the middle 6 miles under 7:00 / mile (1:33 total time). Tomorrow I hope to do a 6-8 mile tempo run, Friday I hope to do intervals at the MN State Fair Coliseum, Saturday I'll be warming up and cooling down with Pharmie as we go to-and-from her 10K, and Sunday I'll be doing that indoor 5K. If all goes as planned, I'll have logged about 30-35 miles this week!! My biggest week of running in recent history is just over 30 miles, so I might break that. (That previous 30 mile week was while I was being coached by Jen for the TC 10 Mile.)

• And on a completely unrelated note, I HAVE to share this story and photo. This Christmas, Matt and I (AKA "Team Happy Pants") "Santa" got something real nice for my youngest sister-in-law. She told me not to put this photo on Facebook, but she didn't say ANYTHING about not putting it on my blog:

Yep, I married into "that" kind of family... ;)

Happy running everyone! Let me know if I'll see you at the races on Saturday or Sunday!


The Minnesota Snow

>> Monday, December 27, 2010

For those of you not from the north (or from a different part of the "north"), I thought I'd show you some of the CRAP we've been dealing with here in Minnesota. You've heard about our snow - it brought down the roof of the inflatable toilet Metrodome 2 weeks ago.

When we got that 17+ inches, we were REALLY socked in. Here's my neighbors car in their driveway just after that snowfall:

This is how it drifted in - this ISN'T piled from snowblowing or anything else

The faculty office at CVA had snow drifted 3/4 of the way up the window! And the BOTTOM of the window is about 6 feet from the ground. Here's a photo I took when I stopped in to grade:

Our backyard with Pharmie's upright hammock:

All of our driveway snow has to be blow into our backyard (there's no other place to put it). But our snowblower can't get it up that high anymore!

We got a little freezing rain after our last few inches of snow. That gave everything a thin coating of ice:

Don't be fooled - it LOOKS like candy coating, but it's deadly, not delicious.

Finally, here's the best photo. This is the car of my neighbor's son in the alley. I don't think it's going anywhere soon:

Yep, that's a full-size car under there!

p.s. To add insult to injury, THIS was what I saw for Blogger's "word verification" when I tried to comment on a friend's blog the other day:

No joke. And I wasn't laughing.

Screw you, Blogger.


Merry Christmas (from the TSA)

>> Saturday, December 25, 2010

So THAT'S why he was late getting presents to my house....

Merry Christmas everyone!


Friday Funny 143: Mistletoe

>> Friday, December 24, 2010


Friday Funny 142: Caroling with Yoda


Friday Funny 141: Nothing Says "Happy Holidays" Like...

This is what I've always said......


A Runnin' Fool!

>> Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yep, that's been me lately!

I have NOT been running a LOT of miles, and I have NOT been running super LONG runs, but I HAVE been running a bit more often than normal.

Recently, I actually ran 4 out of 5 days!!

I logged nearly 30 miles over 4 runs over the course of 5 days!

That's not big news to a lot of people, but it IS for me. I usually only run 2-3 days a week while keeping an eye on an overuse injury somewhere below the belt. (NOT *there*, unfortunately.... I'm talking about my heels and IT bands.) But I've been doing more middle-distance easy runs with my lovely Pharmie, and that's been helping to rack up the number of runs and my mileage.

Here are some numbers to back up what I'm saying:

In December of 2009, I ran a total of 35 miles.

This December (even though it's MUCH snowier), I've already logged almost 74 miles through today (and counting).

My stretch of 4 runs in 5 days was Dec 16th - 20th:
   - 16th: easyish 5.5 miler by myself
   - 17th: super easy 5.8 miler with Pharmie
   - 18th: off
   - 19th: TRACK MEET! 1 mile race and a total of nearly 5 MORE miles of WU / CD
   - 20th: 11.78 mile "long run" before the snow fell

I was worried about doing a long run the day after pushing my body to an "all-out" run at the track meet, but with all the warming up and cooling down that I did, my legs felt fine. And I REALLY wanted to do that long run before the most recent 4 inch snowfall. I got done just in time - the snow was falling as I was out on that run. Here's how I looked as soon as I got in the house after that 87 minute run:

(Notice my nostrils were still a little red in that photo from blowing my nose so much because I had the sniffles after breathing hard in all that dry air at the indoor track meet the day before.)

As far as upcoming races go, I'm thinking about one more indoor track meet. Jan 2, Jan 16, and Feb 6 are the last 3 dates for Charities Challenge, and there's another meet at the U on Jun 10 (through MDRA, only 1 mile). The CC races have longer events, and I'd KINDA like to try a 3K or 5K indoors. Yes, on a 200 meter track. Yes, I realize a 5K would be 25 laps. Yes, I think that could actually be fun. ;) And then the Winter Carnival Half Marathon is Jan 29th, and Pharmie and I are both hoping to do it (Pharmie might just do the 10K).

Anyway, back with some Christmas "Friday Funnies" tomorrow! Happy Holidays everyone!


Indoor Track Meet: the Mile!

>> Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday morning, I headed to the Bethel Campus and their indoor track. Charities Challenge was hosting another track meet. (I had done 2 of them 2 years ago, where I tried my hand at the mile each time.)

I got there early JUST as people were starting to show up:

My old coach must have gotten to me - I felt the need to warm-up. A lot. ;) I did over a mile in my “regular” running shoes, and then I changed into my racing flats:

I warmed-up over another half mile in my flats. I hadn’t put on my flats since Liberty Oly Tri back in June! (I wore my old track spikes for the 2 indoor meets 2 years ago, but they beat up my feet, so I played it smart and brought out my racing flats for this one.)

I had talked over my "race plan" with Pharmie a few days before the race. I told her I was hoping for 1:13 / 400 so that even if some were longer (like 1:13.8 [or whatever]), I could still get a PR. My PR from 2 years ago is 4:54.6. The morning of the race, I jotted down what P.E.R.F.E.C.T. race splits would look like. Here they are:

First mile (12/08) in the upper left, 2 weeks later (01/09) in the upper right,
HOPEFUL splits from a perfect race at the bottom.

So I had told Pharmie that any PR would be GREAT, but I COULD maybe go a few seconds faster. It had been 2 years since I last raced an all-out mile; I had NO idea what I could do!

The track was filling up with familiar faces from the local running scene:

The first event was the 60 meter dash. No thanks. I just kept warming up and watched a few heats go off:

4 of these 5 guys went well under 8 seconds!

The second event was the mile! (Yes, it was a true mile - not "just" a 1600. We started back 9 meters from the start/finish line.) The first of 3 heats was the "fast" heat: anyone hoping for 5:15 or faster. I was surrounded by "kids" (high schoolers) and "old guys" (guys in their 50s). I asked who was shooting for around 4:50. A few of us talked about hopeful finishing times.

I lined up in the middle, just off the back shoulder of 2 of the "youngens" shooting for a fast time. I know my place. BEHIND the speedy kids. ;)

"Runners to your marks....." **BANG**

We all took off, and we were all single-file by 30 meters in the race. I was in 5th, just behind a guy around my age who was the coach for some of these youngens. I held it there for the first 2 laps, and tried to keep a good pace.

First 400: 1:13. "Good. Right on track." No complaints. Feeling OK, but ready for the hurt to start.

Second 400: 1:13. "NICE! Can I really do this?!?" This is where it really started to hurt. I told myself to go HARD for the third 400. Back in my track days (first 2 years of HS) when I ran the 800, it was always the third 200 that KILLED me, and the third 400 in the mile feels the same way. "Keep it strong, Steve!"

Also, I was debating passing the coach in front of me. I would sometimes swing wide around a corner, but I could never muster enough of a kick to pass. Around lap 5, I swung wide again, and he did too - we were both coming up QUICK on 3rd place. We went 3-wide, and coach and I passed the kid. We were now third and fourth. But place really didn't matter here; I was just running for time.

Third 400: 1:14. "Only gave up 1 second! I THINK I have this PR! SUCK IT UP AND GO!" Not to sound stupid, but this is where it comes down to guts. I have plenty of endurance training in me, so I knew I just needed to "hold on to the hurt." Near the start of the last lap, coach and I made a move on 2nd place. I heard my name over the PA system - it was Gary saying "...and there's Steve Stenzel moving up in his last lap!!....." Coach and I moved into 2nd and 3rd.

We hit the homestretch, and I was just going as hard as I could. I heard someone coming up behind me and breathing down my neck - I didn't care how I placed, so I COULD give up my position, but I used the guy behind me to push for better time. I hit the finish pooped, and still in 3rd.

Fourth 400: 1:11. "Shoot. Just a LITTLE too much left for that final kick - could have gone a bit harder in the 3rd 400."

My watch read 4:53.XX. I walked up to the timing table to get my official time knowing that I could be a little off. Josh (the timer) showed me a list of names:

SWEET! 4:53.01!! Officially a PR by 1.59 seconds!

1 mile: 4:53.01
3rd of 29 overall
2nd of 5 in the 19-34 "open" age group

Uhhh, look at that screen grab of the results above. That was one of the OLD GUYS chasing me down! He was just 26 hundredths of a second behind me! There were 3 of us (2nd-4th) within 0.71 seconds.

Josh has a great new timing system that has a camera set up across the finish line. It's "super official," and it allows him to drag a line up to the body of all of the finishers on his computer, and it will instantly record their exact times down to the hundredth of a second. Here's a photo from when I was lurking over his shoulder and watching people finish:

I bring this up because I actually found out that he puts the photos online on his timing website! Here's the photo from my heat:

And here's a crop in on me finishing while hitting my watch:

Awkward. Awesome.

It's sweet to have such official timing (with the sensor on the starting gun and the photo finish) on a cheap $19 track meet. One of the many reasons I like Charities Challenge races! (There are 3 more indoor track meets this winter if you're interested.)

Here are a few more photos I took throughout the meet:

Another wave of the mile starting

Mile in progress (the girl to the left is about to break 6)

2 guys about to finish the 200 in just over 24 seconds

Lined up in the alleys to start the 800

Jeanne holding up lap numbers in the 800

Another heat of the 800
(with the "old guy" who nearly beat me in the mile to the far left)

Yet another 800 heat

I watched the first few heats of the final race (the 400) go off, and then I headed home. The winner finished in 53 seconds! But this meet is for everyone - last place in the 400 finished in over 2 minutes. And in the mile, the times ranged from 4:45 to 9:15.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm THINKING about 1 more indoor meet this winter. The next Charities Challenge meet is Jan 2nd, but I might not be able to make it (unsure about that yet). There's also the Meet of the Miles (which is an MDRA race) on January 10th. A few friends have expressed interest in doing a race with me, so we'll see what happens in the next few weeks!

Back with some photos from Gary (from Charities Challenge) when I see them! Happy winter!


WINNER of the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway"

>> Monday, December 20, 2010

A quick reminder of the $170 in sweet prizes in this giveaway: Ryders VTX sunglasses (with interchangeable lenses), Ryders "Shreddie" or "Grindhouse" sunglasses (the winner gets to pick), Road ID giftcard that will the cover the price of all of their popular Road IDs, Road ID hat, Road ID socks, Gu Vanilla Gingerbread (6 pack), Gu Mint Chocolate (6 pack), and Gu 6 pack of your choice:

Down the left: VTX sunglasses, Road ID, and Road ID socks.
Down the right: Shreddie or Grindhouse, 3 kinds of Gu (one of your choice), and a Road ID hat.

I printed out all 200+ comments, and I gave them all a number. I made sure to give more numbers to those who earned "extra" entries:

Printed comments labeled with numbers

Being it's my giveaway, I feel that I can give extra entries to whoever I'd like, right? Right. (No, not my friends - that wouldn't be right.) I thought some comments were entertaining enough for an extra chance in the giveaway. So I gave these 6 comments a free "extra entry."

Tom M said:

I got a fever and the only prescription is to win this prize!

Anything that makes me think of Will Ferrell's belly and Christopher Walken is super! Extra entry for you!

Sarah said:

Your blog motivates me, and I'd like to enter to giveaway :)

When someone calls me motivational or inspiring, I'm always a little turned on super appreciative - that's a major compliment that I don't take lightly! Extra entry for you!

Eric and I met in person at Rev3: Cedar Point. I gave him a Krispy Kreme after he ROCKED the half iron race. Remember this photo?

Anyway, Eric's comment in the giveaway ended with:

.... Now where's my donut?

YES! Extra entry for you!

Mark got an extra entry for being sassy. I like sassy:

I've earned one entry and have one entry.

That's a total of one.

Someone who goes by "Adolf Hilfiger" maybe had the best entry EVER, so I gave him (maybe her[??]) an extra entry for this (which is the ENTIRE comment):

I like turtles!

TriDan tried to out-do Adolf with this:

cocka doodle doo

Classy. Extra entry for you!

So, with those 230 comments numbered, I had numbers 1 - 496. I used the random number generator at to pick a winner. I entered my values:

I clicked "generate," and it gave me this:

Who did that number correspond to? It was Kelly from Congrats Kelly! I hope you enjoy your goodies!

And finally, one last big THANKS to the irresistibly stunning people at Outside PR, Ryders Eyewear, Road ID, and Gu for making the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway" possible!

Back tomorrow with my 1 mile race report from yesterday's indoor track meet! 8 laps is a few too many.... ;)


Kona Coverage on TODAY!

>> Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today, NBC, 3-5 pm (central time)! I'll be watching.

Pharmie and I watched the live feed through her laptop hooked up to our TV with an HDMI cable back in October. We've never watched THAT much of it "live" before, and it will be interesting to see how they portray the race on TV today. This should be good!

While we were watching the live feed, we were working on some quilts (yes, we quilt together - shut your face). I showed this photo 2 months ago and made a joke about watching Ironman while working as my own Iron-man as I was ironing quilt blocks:

The cat didn't help with any of the quilting. Jerk.

During the coverage today, watch for a COOL commercial from "Trinona" - a local race that was just named "Triathlete's Choice Race of the Year" at Minnesota Tri Night. (Click here to see photos from Tri Night and see other award winners in the local tri community.) Here's a preview:

(Watch it bigger HERE)

Cool! Can't wait to see it on NBC! Anyone want to come watch it with me? ;)

And then tomorrow, I'm doing an indoor track meet. (CLICK HERE for more info on this series of indoor track meets.) I'm going to see if I can set a new mile PR! I don't know if it's possible, but I've got a plan in place, and I'll see if I can execute. I've been eating and training worse over the last 2 weeks, so that's gonna hurt. (But the 1-2 weeks before that, I had some GOOD workouts.)

My last mile race 2 years ago which is my current PR (4:54.6)

Wish me luck!

Back next week with a race report and the winner of the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!

(UPDATE: Did you see my wife's Evotri teammate in the Kona coverage? Rural Girl was chatting with Kathleen Allen (the Mom [of 4 kids?] who crashed and needed her RoadID) near the end of the broadcast. You could hear Rural Girl say "You betcha" as she was running across the screen! Pharmie and I LOVED it! CONGRATS RURAL GIRL on your 15 seconds of NBC Ironman fame!!!)


Friday Funny 140: Another Reason to be a Runner

>> Friday, December 17, 2010

Well, it's after 3 pm, so that means I'm done taking entries for the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!" Check back next week for the announcement of the winner!

Oh, and I registered for an indoor track meet this weekend. I'm H.O.P.I.N.G. to break my 1 mile PR, but I don't know if I'll be able to. Back with that race report next week!

Happy Weekend!!


Friday Funny 139: TSA Bumper Stickers

And, on this note, this contact form on the TSA website can make things pretty interesting....

Happy Friday!!

(p.s. REMINDER: scroll down 2 posts [or click here] and leave a comment on that post to enter the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!" You can only enter through 3 pm today! The winner will be announced next week!)


A "Nice Surprise" from the MDRA

>> Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A few months ago, I got a glimpse of the 2011 "Minnesota Distance Running Association" (MDRA) Yearly Annual. The cover was a photo that I took at the 2010 MDRA Mudball! They have a kids race before the "adult" race, and I got some fun photos of the kids in the 1/2 mile and 1/4 mile trail race. Here's my image on the cover:

(CLICK HERE to see a slideshow of images from the kid's race, and CLICK HERE to see my race report from the MDRA Mudball.)

In the most recent issue of the MDRA magazine (RunMN), they had a sweet letter to the editor near the front:

That's a great little story, and I'm glad they shared it! And I'm glad my photo was a part of it!

Oh, and if you haven't entered the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway" from yesterday, CLICK HERE (or scroll down to yesterday's post) and leave a comment to enter! There are $170 in sweet prizes that are all going to 1 winner! Throw your name in the hat!


ENTER NOW! It's the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!"

>> Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yesterday, I noted the $170 in sweet prizes in this giveaway:

- Ryders VTX sunglasses (with interchangeable lenses)
- Ryders "Shreddie" or "Grindhouse" sunglasses (the winner gets to pick)
- Road ID giftcard that will the cover the price of all of their popular Road IDs
- Road ID hat
- Road ID socks
- Gu Vanilla Gingerbread (6 pack)
- Gu Mint Chocolate (6 pack)
- Gu 6 pack of your choice

Down the left: VTX sunglasses, Road ID, and Road ID socks.
Down the right: Shreddie or Grindhouse, 3 kinds of Gu (one of your choice), and a Road ID hat.

Check out yesterday's post for more on the goodies in this giveaway.


You can enter by simply commenting on this post, but you can earn MORE entries to better your chances (much like the other giveaways I've done in the past). If you just want to comment to enter, you can skip all of the "optional" steps and go right down to Step 5.

You can follow Road ID on Twitter and / or Ryders Eyewear on Twitter and / or Gu on Twitter to earn an extra entry. Or you can subscribe to Gu's blog (through their RSS Feed) to earn an extra entry. Or you can enter the Road ID Holiday Giveaway to earn an extra entry.

• Step 1 (optional): to earn +1 extra entry: follow these great companies on Twitter (here are their links: Road ID, Ryders Eyewear, and / or Gu). Then send out this tweet to show your love to these great companies:

I just entered the @RydersEyewear, @GUEnergyLabs, and @RoadID giveaway on @SteveinaSpeedo’s blog -

• Step 2 (optional): to earn +1 extra entry: subscribe to Gu's blog through their RSS Feed (that last link is to their feed).

• Step 3 (optional): to earn +1 extra entry: enter the Road ID Holiday Giveaway. Road ID is giving away some SWEET prizes while helping to raise money for their favorite charities. The Grand Prize Winner gets a sweet bike and lots of other gear (an $11,000 value!), and 3 runners-up get a Garmin and other sweet prizes (each a $1,200 value). Go to Road ID's Holiday Giveaway page for more info. You can enter by simply "fanning" them on FB, following them on twitter, or donating $5 to one of their charities.

• Step 4 (optional): to earn MULTIPLE extra entries: should you decide to donate to any of the charities that are a part of the Road ID Holiday Giveaway noted above, (they have 9 great charities listed) you can earn an extra entry for EACH $5 that you donate! So, for example, if you donate $20 to the National MS Society (one of their charities), you'd get an extra 4 ENTRIES in this contest. I'd LOVE to support your good deeds this holiday season!

(Road ID's Holiday Giveaway)

• Step 5: comment on this post and tell me how many entries you earned! (You get one entry for just commenting!) Make sure to note if you tweeted or followed the blog or entered the Road ID giveaway so I'll know to add your name to the hat 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 times. (...Or more if you donated to one of Road ID's charities.) You do NOT need to be a blogger, but make sure to leave some specific info so you’ll know if you won. (So you could say something like this: “Hey Steve, this John Smith from Topeka. I sent out the tweet, entered the Road ID giveaway, but didn't follow the Gu Blog, so put my name in the hat 3 times! Thanks!”)

So, check back next week Monday or Tuesday (Dec 20-21) to see if you've won! ESPECIALLY if you’re not a blogger, because I have no way of contacting you! The contest is open NOW through 3 pm (central time) on Friday. At 3 pm, I'll print out all the entries, give extra numbers to those who earned extra entries, and then draw numbers out a hat for the winner!

Pseudo-legal stuff:
- Contest only open to residents of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.
- You may comment now (on THIS post) through 3 pm Central time on Friday, Dec 17th.
- The winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator or by drawing numbers out of a hat. If you’ve earned multiple entries, you will get multiple numbers, thus bettering your chances at winning.
- Check back next week (Mon the 20 or Tues the 21) to see if you won! (Especially if you don’t have a blogger account because I have no way of contacting you.)
- If the winner does not contact me within 24 hours after being announced, I'll be forced to draw a new winner. So check back and KEEP checking back in case the winner is lame!

One final big THANKS to the people at Outside PR, Ryders Eyewear, Road ID, and Gu for being so generous and for helping to put together the "Ultimate Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!" Thanks guys!

p.s. This is NOT going to get you extra entries, but you could follow SteveinaSpeedo on Twitter and/or become a member of the “Steve in a Speedo” fan page on Facebook. If you're bored. Just sayin. Thanks!



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