100% Irish For A Day 10 Miler

>> 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):

I also set out my nutrition. It was all the usual stuff, but I also took along Recoverite (the powder in the Nuun bottle) so I could chug that right after the race. After all, I had to think about the indoor triathlon tomorrow as soon as I finished the 10 mile race today.

Water, Recoverite, Roctane, Gu, and a Powerbar.

I got to the race early, and parked right where I wanted. SOOOO not crowded yet:

It wasn’t raining, but it was pretty wet. Here’s the road (where we’d be racing) as I walked to the race site:

When I got to “porta-potty row,” there was no line. And I had the “pleasure” of “breaking in” my porta-potty:

Traditional “pre-race sitting on the john” shot

I jogged back to my car, and ran into swimming buddy Julia who was just parking in front of my car! We chatted about the weather, our spouses (both at work), the race course, and all kinds of the usual stuff. I jogged back to the race site to pickup my packet (I was there too early before), and then I met Julia again as she was warming up. I had to get a shot of us before I put my camera back in the car:

Julia’s hard for me to recognize on dry land! ;) Ha!

I dropped off my winter coat, put on my chip and number, and got back to the starting area. I ran into Mindy and Jen, and we chatted for a bit. We kept talking about how I didn’t need to do shit today because it’s my birthday. ;) The 3 of us walked to the starting line together, and soon we were off.

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.

Internal conversation:
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!)

Mile 3: 6:23. “Good. Maybe a little fast. Can you maintain this?”

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:

I found Julia, and we headed back toward our cars. When we got back to our cars, we grabbed another shot now that we were finishers:

Nice race, Julia!

Also, because our spouses both had to work today, we both were wearing our Road IDs in case the race went HORRIBLY wrong:

Look at the last line on Julia’s Road ID. That’s “SOO Julia!” Ha!

We saw Mindy go running by again with under a mile left, and we yelled for her! I hopped in my car and sipped on my Recoverite during the ride home. Here’s downtown Minneapolis on this foggy / dreary day:

On the drive home, I heard Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” on the radio. And being it was my birthday, I cranked it up and sang along with a big smile on my face. Don’t judge me. That song takes me back to hanging out with Matt Yokiel in his hayloft as kids. Good times.

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.

Well, I lasted nearly 10 minutes. Then I stood up and took a warm shower. Before I showered, I grabbed my camera to snap a photo of the line that was left on my back from the cold water. You can see RIGHT where the water line was. I was red from the waist down:

No one wants to see a little crack.

Well, it might be time to have a cupcake that Pharmie made for me last night! Then, some stretching and foam rolling to get ready for TOMORROW’S Indoor Triathlon with a few members of the “CVA Triathlon Club!”

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.)


Mike Russell 4:23 PM, March 13, 2010  

Next time you should warn me that you are showing off your backside dude.

Good results at the race. Super quick as a matter of fact...

~ Jill 5:03 PM, March 13, 2010  

Congrats on fantastic birthday 10 miler! I was happy to actually see you to yell out a happy birthday to you but am quite surprised you only received 4 such wishes!

Steve Stenzel 5:59 PM, March 13, 2010  

So that was YOU Jill!! I wondered who that was who wished me "happy birthday" as they were running! Thanks!! And NICE RUN!!

CoachLiz 6:40 PM, March 13, 2010  

Spectacular Birthday 10 Miler!!

Dude, you sit down in the tub as it fills with cold water and then when the water is high enough you reach over the side and grab the bag or bucket of ice and add it in. Make a cup of hot tea or cocoa before hand and drink it while you are sitting and icing. Wearing a sweatshirt also helps.

The St. Patty's cookies looked awsome. I want one NOW!

Kitzzy 7:35 PM, March 13, 2010  

Congrats on a great race and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Good luck tomorrow!

Aimee 8:46 PM, March 13, 2010  

God you are fast! Congrats on your race!

Your video was hilarious! I have not and probably never will take an ice bath..I don't care how good they are for recovery. I am a cold wuss and there is NO WAY that I could do that! Ha ha.

Good luck in your tri tomorrow!

GoBigGreen 8:46 AM, March 14, 2010  

did Cy and I forget to tell you to wear bike shorts and some sort of sweatshirt while you take an ice bath?

drdave 9:06 AM, March 14, 2010  

Nice Job!
Hope tomorrow is a successful race for you.

Jeff 9:43 AM, March 14, 2010  

Letting the cold water fill in around me drives me out of the tub quicker. I haven't heard about the sweatshirt before, but I like it.

My ice bath formula is start with tolerable cold (read lukewarm to almost cold) water. I buy 3 10 lbs bags of ice on the way home and add half a bag of ice every 1 to 2 minutes. (add quicker/more at first to over come the luke warmness). Then relax and invite the family in to make fun of you after you position a well placed wash cloth. Let's face it, that water is COLD. Then set the timer for 10 minutes, close your eyes and think of a warm place.

I climbed into the closed hotel pool after my last race a couple weeks ago when there was no time for an ice bath. I will pay for another night the next time.

Great race, good luck on the next one.

Anonymous,  12:51 PM, March 14, 2010  

Happy birthday, grossly beautiful one.

I was going to send you the latest revision of my masterpiece, but you probably don't even want it....

What's a book, to a CUPCAKE?

Like the pictures. Speedo at Eighty!

By the way. What's that floating in your tub? Sperm? You fecund thing, you!

Sarah 2:10 PM, March 14, 2010  

"Thats what she said".... I love it! No need to restrain and censor next time.

Hope you had a great rest of your birthday.


Matty O 4:26 PM, March 14, 2010  

Great splits Steve! You really have great control over your splits. Impressive that you were able to continually nail your goal times.

Hope it didn't hurt you too much for the indoor TRI!

Amytrigirl (aka Amybee) 9:30 PM, March 14, 2010  

happy belated bday Steve.

Sounds like you had a great race, but personally, I would have skipped that ice bath. blech.

Dan is the coach that Natalie and I are using for IM WI. He is awesome!

Iron Girl Nyhus 10:15 PM, March 14, 2010  

I can't believe you actually "sit" on the seat in the porta potty! Ewe!

Anonymous,  4:11 AM, March 15, 2010  

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Anonymous,  7:36 AM, March 15, 2010  

Try wearing socks and a beanie for your next ice bath.

teacherwoman 6:21 PM, March 15, 2010  

Nice job on the 10 miler! At first I didn't know why the video was so shaky, but then I read on.. lol.

Aileen 8:27 PM, March 15, 2010  

Great race! Happy birthday! Terrifying pictures! You've got a trifecta, pal.

Anonymous,  8:33 AM, April 03, 2010  

I think there is something wrong with you. Sounds like you were halucinating from chasing my "womanly butt".....at least until you past me in the last half mile

Anonymous,  8:16 AM, April 24, 2010  

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