>> Monday, September 06, 2010
Or “The ‘Throw-Down’ with the Soccer Mom.”
Or “I Don’t Care Who Wins... At Least I Have Better Legs. Oh... Wait...”
Note: if you don’t know what this “throw-down” is all about, click here (or scroll 4 posts down) to see where I challenged speedy duathlete Jenny Wilcox to a race at the Mosquito Man Duathlon. It was to be all in fun. And Jenny and I had a blast! Here’s the race report...
Saturday was the chilliest morning in over 100 days (or so said the news). It was 48 degrees when I got up, and just barely over 50 once we hit the race site. Pharmie was wearing 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts AND a quilt!
Thanks for all the upcoming photos, Pharmie!!
... and business was good. ;)
This duathlon was different. I wasn’t RUN, BIKE, RUN like we’re used to. This race was RUN, BIKE, RUN, BIKE, RUN. Heck yeah. It was THREE 1.5 mile runs, and TWO 8.23 mile bikes.
Well, Jenny and I were in different waves (Jenny started 6 minutes before me), so we couldn’t actually go “head-to-head.” Dang. BUT, I had my lovely Pharmie there, so she was going to take pictures AND let me know how far ahead Jenny was. Jenny started in wave 3 next to Mario:
(Note the guy with the monster stride right next to me - he won the race)
I went out pretty hard. Coach had told me to run the runs HARD (because I’m working my way towards my “A” race of sub-60 at the TC 10 Mile). The guy next to me in that last photo passed me and was in front of me for the first few blocks. I met Mario, Jenny, and Julie on their way back towards T1 while I was on my way out. Then I made my move and passed that guy. I led my wave the rest of the way in this first run, with him just on my tail.
I hit the turn around (0.75 miles) in 4:06. “Ummm, Steve... this is your body speaking. SLOW. THE. F. DOWN!!” OK body. Can do. Yeah, starting a race at 5:26 / mile pace is a little too much. Maybe. So I eased back a LITTLE. Here I am making the final turn towards transition:
Hi volunteer! Made ya smile! ;)
Nothing strange here. Just did what I needed to and left transition in the middle of some people I had caught from previous waves:
Hmmm... how much have I been biking lately? Well, kind of a lot. But it’s all been EASY rides to spin out my legs the day after hard run workouts. It had literally been 5 weeks since my last hard effort on the bike (at the Waseca Triathlon, in these same hot shorts!). And, my computer had just stopped working, so I had no way of knowing my speed, cadence, distance, or any of that info!! I was riding blind! I just pushed hard and hoped all would be OK.
Here’s a map of the loop we all did:
Oh, did anyone else racing smell that MAJORLY dead animal next to the road around mile 2?!? I didn’t see it, but I smelled it on both rides! Nasty!
I passed a few people and a few passed me. Pretty normal. Jenny made it back off the bike, and Pharmie grabbed a shot of her starting her second run:
I heard Pharmie shout “You’re 5:22 behind Jenny!” OK. Good. I started 6:00 back, so I’ve made up some ground EVEN after biking! Good. ;) Time to run.
1.5 MILE RUN:
I headed back out:
That was a minor turning point in the race. It was the turn that marked the half-way point in this run, bike, run, bike, run. Everything was downhill from here, and I kept telling myself that. I forced myself to pick up the pace and race hard. I made it back a few seconds faster than my way out. Good.
Jenny, Julie, and I were spaced out pretty evenly coming into T3:
Me. I’m not smiling. That’s a grimace.
I know, I know... “What Steve? T3?!?” This was all new territory to me as well. I had told Erik before the race that I NEEDED to have some speedy transitions during this race because there are 4 transitions! He was going to be working the “mount / dismount” line, and he was looking for me to be speedy. Actually, in T1 or T2 (mounting or dismounting), he saw how smooth I was and made a little remark. But he had his back turned and missed this sweet flying start:
Look at that photo above: both of my feet are off the ground, and there’s air between me and the seat! That’s a FLYING START!! It’s textbook! Jeez, could I BE anymore smooth?!? And Erik, YOU MISSED IT!
Maybe I won’t try that again.......
8.23 MILE BIKE:
This was a little more depressing this time. It felt a little harder. That dead animal at mile 2 was still just as dead as it was on the last ride. The rough road at mile 5 felt worse. The short hard climb was more painful. And the long climb through Long Lake was killer. But 2 GW guys (one was Trent) were cheering at the store, and he saw my shorts coming and said “Alright Steve!” That was a good boost!
I went back-and-forth with 2 other guys over the last 2 miles, and I hit T4 with a split just a few seconds slower than my first ride. I was still behind Jenny...
Jeez, that’s enough frickin’ transitions! Pharmie shouted that Jenny had a 4:38 lead over me. So that meant I had made up 1:22, and that about sealed the deal. I knew I’d win our little throw-down, but I needed to still bang out a hard run for my TC 10 Mile training.
THE FINAL 1.5 MILE RUN:
Jenny was out well in front of me:
Jenny finishing with Curt from GW filming her from behind.
(Insert your own joke here.)
Headed to the line with the win!!
Steve Stenzel, #124
1.5 mile run: 8:32, 1st overall
8.24 mile bike: 23:24, 31st overall
1.5 mile run: 8:58, 1st overall
8.23 mile bike: 23:32, 29th overall
T4: (the timers forgot this column, but I had 0:31 on my watch)
1.5 mile run: 8:32, 1st overall
Total time: 1:15:07
Overall place: 4 out of 84 total
25-29 age group: 2 out of 8 (I think)
• At least I was consistent on the bike: my 2 rides were 31st and 29th overall (including team riders), and they were 8 seconds apart. That surprised me - I didn’t expect to be so consistent ESPECIALLY not having a bike computer!
• For not having biked much lately (well, “not having biked HARD lately), I can’t complain about my 2 rides being 21.10 mph and 20.98 mph. I’ll take it.
• I had the fastest run each time! And these rankings include the teams, so that’s out of nearly 150 people. I just beat the eventual winner by 2 seconds in the first run and by 2 seconds in the second run. I guess that makes me feel better about my TC 10 Mile training.
• Jenny Wilcox finished as the first female (7th overall!) in 1:17:37, so I got her in our little duel. It sure was fun though! Thanks for the race, Jenny!!
As soon as I finished, I was bent over catching my breath. I popped up only to see a camera in my face, and Pharmie took this shot:
I then immediately took out the used gel wrapper (Rotane for racing) from between my “fancy” shorts and my tri shorts. You can see the nice residue it left:
I posted lots more photos (especially of the “team” race where 2 people would race together and could draft off each other on the bike) in 2 Examiner articles. CLICK HERE for the first one, and CLICK HERE for the second one. Both contain a slideshow of images - MORE images than what are here, and LESS images of me! ;) And the first one also has a little write-up before the slideshow. So check it out!
Thanks everyone! Happy Labor Day!