Indoor 5000 Meters: Race Report!

>> Monday, December 05, 2011

Or, "Trying to Keep Up With Melissa."

Or, "The 'Eye-Opener' That I Needed."

25 laps on a 200 meter indoor track. Yep. It's as fun as it sounds. ;)

This was going to be my second time running an indoor 5000 meters - I ran my first indoor 5K about a year ago. Pharmie and Henry came with yesterday to cheer me on:




Watching from the edge of the track


Henry running a few laps!

After watching some friends in earlier races, it was time for the 5000. I gave my camera to Erik H, and he was going to snap some photos for me. Thanks Erik!!

I (apparently) gently caressed my lower ass on the way to the line:



I had been introduced to someone named Melissa before the race. She just ran the TC 10 Mile about a minute faster than me (just over 60 minutes), and she was hoping to run about a 17:30 for her 5000 - just like me! We decided to try to stick with each other. I also talked to 15-year-old named Bailey who was also shooting for a 17:30. Sweet! Race buddies!

Last time: I surprised myself at my first indoor 5000 meters. I went out hard, running my first 1600 in 5:20. I closed with 5:38 and 5:38 for a 17:17 overall time. I was THRILLED with that! (It was only 6 seconds off my 5K PR!) This time, I knew better. I haven't been doing much speed work, and I was hoping to "gut-out" a 17:30.

"Runners to the line... on your marks..." *gunshot*

Melissa and I jumped into 3rd and 4th, right behind Bailey and another speedy kid. Here we are just after the first turn (less than 100 meters into the race), and you can see Pharmie cheering us on with Henry in the Baby Bjorn off to the right:




Speedy kid and Bailey, and then me and Melissa

We finished the first lap in about 45 seconds, and Melissa and I both knew we needed to speed up. We both sort of just grunted at each other (kind of) as a way of saying we needed to GO, and off we went. We got through the turn and both swung wide to pass the high-schoolers:




Me and Melissa after making the pass for 1st and 2nd

Then Melissa told me to get out of that 2nd lane and "move in" in front of her. I obliged, and soon I was running in 1st:


Me, Melissa, Speedy Kid, Bailey, and Paul (1st - 5th)


My guns passing Willie's guns (she's a speedy bodybuilder)


Still the same order for 1st - 5th


Me and Melissa

Right around that point (around 6-7 laps into our 25 lap race), I started slowing up. I was passed by the 2 high-schoolers around that point, and Melissa was just in front of me as we came through the 1600 meter point. I said to her, "Well, we're RIGHT there" - we were right around the pace where we should be. To run a 17:30 5000M, you've got to run at a pace of 5:36 / 1600M.

FIRST 1600: 5:38.


Melissa getting ready to pass me around the 1600 meter mark


Running by myself in 5th a lap or 2 later

I was dying. I kept remember what I wrote in my post on Thursday: "I'm just hoping to really make myself suffer, especially from about mile 1.5 - 2.5 where I tend to ease up too much." I did NOT want to ease up just because it hurt. It was time to go!! But I couldn't. I was hashed. My endurance was gone.


New race order: Speedy kid, Bailey, Melissa, Paul, and me (barely visible)


A few laps later, speedy kid started to fade, so Melissa took the lead
(and I'm still back there in 5th)

That was the last photo Erik took of me during the race. I think I just started to look so bad that he felt horrible taking any more photos. Really.

I hit the half-way point (12.5 laps or 2500 meters) in 8:50. That had me on pace for a 17:40 finish. But I was sliding backwards.

SECOND 1600: 5:43.

Dying, dying, dying. I SERIOUSLY didn't know if I could finish without walking when I had about 7-9 laps left. Pharmie told me after the race that she could tell I was hurting. (But it WAS great to have her holding up Henry's arms every lap saying "GO DADDY!!" That was awesome!)

THIRD 1600: 5:47.

I almost never run consistently slower splits like this. This was an eye-opener. I have my "New Dad Winter Goal" of just "being fit," and I'm doing OK at that. However, I can't just "be fit" and expect to be able to bang out the short distance races in the speed that I had before I had a beautiful child in my life. I was a little disappointed in my time, but I now know better. I'm not going to change anything about the way I treat this winter; the only thing I'm going to change is my race attitude. "Your times won't be quite what you hope. Deal with it. Just have fun."

FINAL 200: 0:39.


Contemplating the sweet release of death while gasping for air post-race

Official Results:
Steve Stenzel
5000 Meter Run
17:49.36

5:42.20 / 1600 meter pace
5:44.20 / mile pace

4th out of 16 overall
1st out of 4 in the 19-34 "open male" age group



Henry and I post-race (with my "vein of approval")


Photo of the 3 of us from Julie post-race
(Henry does this thing where he STARES at my hands like he's high)

I gave Henry the rest of a bottle that Pharmie had started, and soon he passed out in my arms:


Drooling milk


Pharmie and one exhausted little man

Thanks for coming to cheer Pharmie and Henry! Thanks for the photos Erik and Julie! Thanks for pulling my slow ass Melissa! (BTW, she finished in 17:35 in 3rd place, but 1st - 3rd were all within a second, so it was CLOSE!) Thanks for the cough-drop post-race Tom! And nice chatting to EVERYONE at the race yesterday!

Back with more photos of my friends racing shortly. Oh, and there MIGHT be a quick giveaway this week - I'm still working out the details with a PR firm. If there is a giveaway, it will probably be a 24-48 hour "quick" giveaway, so make sure to keep checking back!

Happy Monday!

8 comments:

kT 6:35 AM, December 05, 2011  

Quick reality check: sub-18 minute 5K is pretty great for "just being fit." Way to tough it out!

Jennifer Harrison 7:33 AM, December 05, 2011  

NICE time, STEVE ! I have not done an indoor meet in so many years!!!

Steve Stenzel 8:29 AM, December 05, 2011  

Thanks Coach Jen!

Todd, as I mentioned in the post, Melissa got 3rd in 17:35 (just 1 sec from the win!).

And kT, yeah... I know... *said sheepishly.* I really can't complain. I had HOPED that still getting in a few longer runs now-and-then would keep me in shape to run faster. Well, they've kept me in OK shape, but they haven't done much to help me run hard for 18 minutes. :)

Born To Endure 8:45 AM, December 05, 2011  

Wow everyone looks pretty amazing!

Carolina John 9:54 AM, December 05, 2011  

Anytime you can get the bowl full of sunshine and the throbbing vein of approval in december, I'd call that a win. Also winning the "open male" group counts as a win. Anytime you can pull together a 5k under a 6:00 pace that's a win. So I'd say you got a win-win-win situation there.

SteveQ 11:01 AM, December 05, 2011  

Just have to point out the winner, Paul Giannobile, is 52 years old!

Dr. TriRunner 6:13 PM, December 05, 2011  

I see a couple other familiar faces out in the photos. :) Nice job today!!!

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