>> Saturday, March 13, 2010
Or, “First Ever Official ‘Birthday Race!’”
Or, “At MY Birthday Race, Out of the 2,000 People There, Why Did Only 4 People Wish Me a Happy Birthday?” (Ha!)
Last night, they were predicting off-and-on showers, wind, and temps in the upper 30s at race time. I didn’t know exactly what I’d wear. I knew there was the POSSIBILITY of wearing shorts, but I haven’t run in shorts yet this year, and doing so for the first time in a race is kinda stupid. So I got LOTS of clothes ready for the race (for different conditions):
Water, Recoverite, Roctane, Gu, and a Powerbar.
Traditional “pre-race sitting on the john” shot
Julia’s hard for me to recognize on dry land! ;) Ha!
Ready, Set, Go!!!!
I realized I was running right behind Dan Cohen, a local triathlete and coach. He doesn’t know me, but I struck up a short conversation with him and introduced myself. I was running in about 12th place.
Mile 1: 6:02.
Steve, WHAT did you say was your ONE GOAL at this race?!?
Umm, ‘don’t go out too hard?’...
And, WHAT are you doing now?!?
I dunno... going out too hard?
F yeah you’re “going out too hard!” 6:02?!? Slow the F down!!
So I eased up. People were passing me, and I was trying to let them go. Like I said in my post from this morning, I did NOT want to go out too hard and end this race feeling like hell for the last 3-4 miles. I hoped I hadn’t done too much damage with that 6:02.
Mile 2: 6:39. “Good. Better. But now speed up a LITTLE.”
I was still being passed by a few people. I was back in around 18th-20th overall. Coming up on mile 2, I heard “YEAH!! STEVE STENZEL!!” off in the distance. It was Andy N on his bike. (He was on his bike cheering for me during the Monster Dash 10 Mile as well!) Just as I was saying “Hey thanks, Andy,” I heard someone else cheering too. It was Andy’s Dad, Dave. Andy and Dave are 2 great guys. They both did IM WI this last year:
(Dave’s looking a little pale because he lost a lot of
weight over the race - he normally has more color!)
We headed towards Lake Calhoun. I’ve never run or biked around Calhoun before, so it was all new to me. There was a 2 block hill leading up to mile 4, but it was pretty flat otherwise. I was having a good time: thanking all the officers and waving at all the volunteers!
Mile 4: 6:23. “Nice! Maybe you should turn this into a bit of a RACE!...”
Here’s where I started thinking that I was feeling pretty good, and my times were pretty solid. I realized I could turn in a decent time IF I could hold onto this pace. I changed my plan from “fun birthday run” to “bang out a solid time!”
Mile 5: 6:22. “Good! You're maintaining that pace!”
This is the point where I was the farthest back: I was last passed around mile 4, and I had been following this guy with a beard for the last 2 miles. I was probably in about 25th place overall. I decided to start upping the pace. I knew the last mile or 2 would be tough, but I decided to go for it.
I passed the bearded guy and we chatted for a moment. (He went out too hard and said he was trying to hold on.) I was pretty chatty with everyone out there. Of course! ;)
Mile 6: 6:15. “Good! Keep building speed!”
Coming up to mile 7, we were meeting up with the 5K runners. We ran the last 3 blocks of the 5K course before starting 1 more lap around Lake Harriet. As we came over a little hill and saw ALL the 5K runners, I said “oh THIS looks like it will be fun...” to the guy running in front of me. He laughed and agreed. We weaved our way though a LOT of 5K runners (including dogs and strollers) that were finishing with a time around 35:00. So they were running over 10:00 / mile, and we were running just over 6:00 / mile. We made it through OK, but I missed the mile 7 marker.
Mile 7 and 8: 12:29 (6:14.5 ave). “Alright, time to GO!”
I was passing a FEW people. It was pretty spread out. I kinda wanted to shoot for the first place female, but she was way too far in front of me. So instead I kept trying to catch a guy with long, straight hair and a very “womanly” butt. I don’t know what that means.
Mile 9: 6:09. “Go, go, go! I know it sucks, but GO!”
I was hurting. I had my hat and gloves off, and I was working hard. I heard Andy and Dave shout for me again from the bike trail - thanks guys! I was really trying to put tomorrow’s race out of my mind. I didn’t want to hold anything back. No excuses!!
I passed a few guys in that last mile, and 1 guy passed me. I was quite happy with how I had performed during this race! I booked it to the line (now working my way through other 10-milers who still had 3 miles left), and called it a day.
Mile 10: 5:58. “Sweet. Building speed from mile 2! Happy with those splits!”
Bib 856, Steve Stenzel
6:17 / mile
(31:51 first half / 30:53 last half)
18th out of 779 overall
17th out of 368 men
9th out of 80 in the 22-29 age group
1st out of ?? in the “it’s my birthday” category
So that’s just 1 second slower than my performance at TC 10 Mile back in October. I’ll DEFINITELY take this as my “personal worst” 10 mile. Solid race! Great splits!
I turned around and started walking back up the course. I cheered for all the other finishers. I missed Jen finish (sorry!), but I saw Mindy come around the corner with 3 miles left. Then I saw Julia heading for the finish (with a sub-1:12 finish, good for second in her AG!). I went back and grabbed a bottle of water and some wheat rolls. I bypassed the St. Patty’s cookies, because I wasn’t ready for all the frosting after working so hard:
Nice race, Julia!
I got home, and it was time for an ice bath. (I need to be ready for tomorrow’s indoor triathlon, and an ice bath is a good way to “calm” those muscles back down!) I filled the tub with nothing but cold water. I stepped in, and actually stepped back out 10 seconds later. It was COLD!! I had forgotten how uncomfortable ice baths were!! My feet hurt just standing in it. So I stood naked in the bathroom, looking at the tub, gaining the courage to get back in. I jumped back in and immediately sat down - there was no time to think about it. I let out a big grunt, and I was in and down in about 6 seconds. That’s what she said. None of this “slowly lower your butt (and man-bits) down into the water.” It was all one quick (shocking) motion.
Sitting in that tub, I watched myself turn into woman. I actually had to touch it once to make sure it still had feeling. It was doing OK.
After sitting in it for 2 minutes, I grabbed my camera and took a video. I SWEAR to you that I’m not “acting” in this clip. This is how I was breathing and how badly I was shaking:
As you can see, the “shakes” sort of come in waves. And I THOUGHT I was taking a video that would show how shaky my right hand was. I didn’t know I was shaking the camera with my left hand so bad.
No one wants to see a little crack.
We’ll have to wait and see how I hold up tomorrow! (I’m worried most about my feet getting really sore on the bottom.) Fun weekend!!! Back with ANOTHER race report tomorrow night or Monday morning. (Again, watch my Twitter feed tomorrow - I’ll update it with how everyone did at the indoor tri as soon as we get home from it.)