Get in Gear 10K Race Report

>> Monday, April 30, 2012

I can't believe this was only my SECOND EVER 10K! I've done a lot of Olympic Distance Triathlons that end with a 10K run, but I've only done 1 other "stand alone" 10K.

It was going to be a cold, damp, and windy day, so I packed all different kinds of shirts. The only thing that was certain is that I was wearing my calf sleeves (which help my weak Achilles AND they keep me warm) and my new "Pinky and the Brain" shorts. Henry rubbed my shorts for good luck before I left the house:

I drove to NEAR the race site. I parked across the Mississippi River from the race, and then I jogged a mile across the river to get my packet. I also sent out the following tweet and picture:

No joke... I'm live-tweeting from inside of one of these...

It was true. I actually pooped and felt the "blue liquid" splash back against my butt cheeks. Super. I now have some sort of anal disease, I'm sure. But instead of being upset about that, I smiled for a pre-race porta-potty picture:

I snapped a quick photo of the finish line being cranked up as I headed back to my car to drop off the rest of my gear:

I walked and ran back to my car as my face was being pelted with sleet. Yep, the rain had turned to sleet. But that was just fine with me: sleet doesn't get you as wet as rain! And I love these cooler temps (lower 40s), so all was right in my world... as long as it didn't start raining TOO much.

I decided what to wear, put on my race number, peed a little into my Jen Harrison water bottle (What?... I had to go!), grabbed some "throw away gloves," and jogged BACK across the river to the race. So all-in-all, I had 3 miles of warming up, so THAT was good!

I popped in line about 20 feet back from the starting line behind LOTS of speedy "crazies!" The 10K had over 3,600 runners, and the half marathon (starting along with the 10K runners) had over 1,200 runners, so there were about 5,000 of us lined up!


My goal was to take off easy, but not TOO easy. The first thing I had to do was shoot around a number of 60 year old women who apparently lined up right at the starting line who had no business being up that far (I accidentally nearly ran one lady right over!). I felt like I was doing a good job with my pace. I came across the first mile marker and checked the time...

MILE 1: 5:56. "Good! My first 10K was at 5:55 pace, so this is GREAT right now!"

It was just lightly raining / sleeting, and the race felt good so far. I was really "running the tangents" as REAL runners say. I really know those roads along the river, so I hit the angles well. I realized around mile 1.5 that I was slowly passing a few people - it wasn't that I was any faster than them, I was just running better lines.

Mile 2 had a nice "usable" downhill, so I was hoping for a decent time. I was still keeping it a BIT easy, but I was working a little too.

MILE 2: 5:59. "Still good. A bit slower than I had hoped... but still good."

The next mile had us turn and cross the river, and this was the only real stretch that was into the wind. I tucked in behind a guy in orange and had him break the wind for me. I felt like the pace was a little too easy, but I was just trying to conserve a little energy into the 15 mph wind high up on that bridge.

I was looking for Pharmie and Henry across the bridge. I knew that if it wasn't too cold and wet, Pharmie was going to go out for a run with Henry and plan it so that they could see me on the far side of the bridge. Part way across the bridge, I spotted Henry in the Baby Bjorn that Pharmie was wearing! She snapped a photo of me:

I had just passed the woman in yellow and the man in orange
(who was breaking the wind for me most of the way across the bridge)

I ran past with a big smile as Henry was transfixed on me (or my shorts), and I yelled "HI HENRY!!!!"

It was such a fun boost to see those 2!! Later, I apologized to Pharmie for not saying hi to her, but she didn't even remember that. :)

MILE 3: 6:12. "Damn. WAY too slow. Up the pace now!"

FIRST 5K: 18:47. "Had hoped to be more in the mid-to-lower 18s, but just go harder now!"

I worked up the steepest hill on the course, and then back down the other side. I tried to really keep a solid pace.

MILE 4: 6:00. "Come on... suffer a little and go faster!"

The road was starting to get a little slick from the rain and sleet, but I just tried to keep to my tangents. I was a tangent running mo-fo.

MILE 5: 5:46. (overall time: 29:56) "Yes!! I think you saved too much in the first half, so USE THAT ALL NOW!!!"

I was going back and forth with an Asian man in orange (seen in the foreground in front of me in that first photo of me crossing the bridge), and he said "go get em" when I passed him for about the 3rd time. I said "back and forth... keep after me" as I pulled away. I worked my way up the hill to the Ford Bridge back to the park. The wind was at our backs now for the final stretch across the bridge, and I tried to use it. The bridge was a little slick, but I was flying. I shot past a few other runners.

Just across the bridge... really hurting... but not looking TOO bad.

When I was part way across the bridge, I noticed someone that looked like Scott a few blocks ahead. Scott was the "Grand Prix" racer who JUST beat me at the last Grand Prix race (as I recently showed here). There was NO WAY I was going to catch him before the finish, but I just ran with everything I had. He ended up finishing 30 seconds in front of me.

MILE 6: 5:42. "Good. Now just this little uphill to the finish. Wait... UPHILL?!? F*ck."

I had NO ONE in front of me, but I was still pushing the pace. With about 10 seconds left, someone went FLYING past me! That NEVER happens that late in a race, but he totally got me!! I heard his name called over the loud speaker, and it was Ryun Hess. That was the same guy who passed me in the closing seconds of the Free to Run 4 Mile in 2009! He got me again! Here's Ryun on the left and me on the right half way into that race:

Anyway, he congratulated me after we had finished, and asked if I remembered him. I said "Yeah, and you got me at the line the last time we raced too!" He apologized, and we both laughed as I said "No, don't apologize! It's a RACE! Ha!"

My watch read 36:46, and that was my EXACT 10K PR from 2.5 years ago! I'd have to wait for the official results to see if I PRed or PWed.

It turns out, I PWed.

Official Results:
STEVE STENZEL, Age: 31, Residence: ST PAUL, MN
5:55.18 pace
86th out of 3,654 overall
12 out of 233 in the 30-34 age group

Mile 4 to the finish:

Here's a photo from racing buddy Willie that shows her heading to the finish (she wasn't that far behind me, so I'm up there somewhere past the finish line):


- I got a LOT of "I LOVE YOUR SHORTS!" from the spectators as I ran by! Sometimes, I'd pump my fist and they'd cheer again. One (frisky) middle-aged-woman gave me a cat-call. I'll take it. :) People liked the shorts! And I did too!

- 10Ks freaking hurt. One-mile races and 5Ks get the suffering over with pretty quick. Ten miles and half marathons you can "settle in to." But a 10K hurts. I kinda like it. :)

- I MAYBE saved too much in the first half of the race, but I was pretty happy with how I everything worked out.

- I had a SOLID negative split! (Maybe because of my previous point....) I did the first 5K in 18:47, and the second 5K in 18:00! And the second 5K has more hills!

- The "blue liquid splash-back" from the porta-potty didn't seem to give me any sort of anal disfunction. So that's good. But it didn't burn off any unwanted body hair either, so that's bad. :)

I got back to my car, put on some dry and warm clothes, and got home quickly. Pharmie and Henry were still gone! They were having a good long run together! Here's a photo that Pharmie snapped once she got Henry all loaded back into the stroller after watching runners go by for 30 minutes:

A few minutes down the trail, and he was passed out:

I snapped a photo of Henry and Pharmie getting home JUST as Henry was waking up from an hour+ nap:

Pharmie was wet; Henry was cozy, warm, and dry.

I grabbed the little dude, and he congratulated me on a solid race:

Back with the official photos and the "Grand Prix" standings once they come in.

If you want to see more of the photos that Pharmie took at mile 2.5, check out the slideshow in this article.


The Inaugural Running of the Pink Plaid Shorts

>> Sunday, April 29, 2012

The "Pinky and the Brain" shorts held up fine during yesterday's wet 10K!!

I, on the other hand, BARELY held up...

Full report tomorrow!

(In the meantime, here's an article and a slideshow of images my wife took around mile 3. If you look CLOSELY through the slideshow, you'll see my pink shorts in the background of one of the images.)



>> Saturday, April 28, 2012

So I mostly wrote this up on Friday afternoon, but I'm scheduling it to post during my 10K race today as a way to remind myself HOW to race this race. (And here's my race course preview if you missed it earlier this week.)

In past years at "important" races, I've told myself to go out hard and try to "hold on."

I'm NOT planning on doing that today.

In the past (for example), I've said things like this - this appeared in my 2011 Oakdale Duathlon race report: "Race plan for tomorrow's duathlon relay: Go TOO HARD in the 1st run (really), and hold on for as much speed as possible in the 2nd." Granted, that's a 2-part duathlon run, but the idea held true to other races as well: I would try to go out hard and then maintain the pace in order to post the best possible time.

But lately, my training has been different. I'm more "endurance based" now, and not as "speed based" as I was in years past. I'm doing more long runs now (with my son), so when I run even a BIT faster, it REALLY hurts. I have to walk that "about to die" line very carefully right now.

Speed vs Endurance PROOF:

In April of 2011, I ran a total of 60 miles, and I had long runs of 6.5 miles.

This April (2012), I've ran a total of 97 miles, and I've had 3 long runs of 13+ miles. And I'll probably still log another 10-16 miles this month for possibly my highest-mileage month ever!

SO MY POINT IS THIS: If I go out too hard, I haven't done the speed-work to survive. But if I start "strong" (not TOO strong), I can build on that with my endurance training and still have a solid race. I think. I don't know that I'll negative split the race because I'll actually have a hard time slowing myself down TOO much at the start, but I MIGHT be able to more EVENLY split the race.

Just for 1 last example, we can look at the Securian Run Half Marathon vs the Human Race 8K. At the half marathon, I started easy-ish, and then built to a major negative split (44:31 / 40:51). I felt decent at the finish and happy with my time. At the 8K, I went out hard running 5:44 and 5:46 for the first 2 miles, and then I died in the next 2 miles with a 6:05 and 6:02. (Granted, that was a warm day, and I think that had something to do with it too.) Regardless, I'll stick to the "start off easy-ish" plan for this race, and then see what I can do!

And I HAVE to remember to not give in until the finish line! Remember this photo of me coming to the finish from my Human Race 8K report?

I didn't know this at the time, but that man's name is Scott, and he's doing the MDRA Grand Prix series too! So because I couldn't quite catch him, he earned an extra 13 points in the series!

Oh, and final thing.... I'll be breaking in the new "Pinky and the Brain" shorts today....

... so check back tomorrow for maybe a quick photo, and stop back Monday for the full race report!

Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 316: Pick-Up Lines for Runners

>> Friday, April 27, 2012

Top 20 Pick-up Lines for Runners (via Run The Edge):

1. Dang it! My coach told me not to get my heart rate over 160 today but then I saw you!
2. What’s your PR (Personal Record)? If you go out with me, you will be mine!
3. You can stop chasing your dreams. I am right here.
4. Was that an earthquake or are you rocking this run?
5. You run like DSL. How can I get high-speed access?
6. Roses are red, violets are blue, would you mind if I ran with you?
7. Do you know karate? ‘Cause you have a great finishing kick!
8. (At the end of a race) I am like chocolate pudding. I look like crap but I am sweet as can be!
9. I hope there’s a fireman around, ’cause you’re smokin’ fast!
10. Apart from being a running gear model, what do you do for a living?
11. I am not sure if it was this run or you that just took my breath away.
12. You run faster than my nose in allergy season!
13. Since distance equals velocity times time, let’s let velocity or time approach infinity, because I want to run all the way with you. (For the nerdy runner.)
14. My love for you is like an ultra-marathon. It goes on and on.
15. Your voice is so beautiful, you make fartleks sound appealing.
16. When it comes to love I am in it for the long run. Want to join me?
17. On a scale of 1 -10 you are a 26.2!
18. When I log my run in my journal today, it will say I ran 10 miles with my future wife/husband.
19. My name is Garmin. Will you take me running every day?
20. Excuse me... Do these shorts make me look fast?


Friday Funny 315: Two Kinds of People


Friday Funny 314: How Gyms Work


Get In Gear 10K Preview and Upcoming (Impromptu) Duathlon

>> Thursday, April 26, 2012

So I'm skipping the "Cannon Falls Duathlon" this weekend. I've done this race the last 3 years in a row, and it's a great little race - I've got NOTHING against it. Here's a photo from each of the last 3 years:

2009: after racing with a lot of my wife's family!

2010: a BEAUTIFUL (but windy) race!

2011: wet and a bit chilly pre-race with Ross and Matt.

(Check my right side-bar for links to race reports and photos from those races.)

Instead, I'm racing the "Get In Gear 10K" on Saturday. It's part of the MDRA "Grand Prix" series, so I've gotta go race and earn some more series points! It's a big race, and all the "crazies" show up (meaning "super fast people"). Last year, nearly 3200 people raced this 10K, and another nearly 3000 raced either the half marathon or 5K as part of GIG too!

Here's the map and elevation chart on the GIG website:

At the north end of the race course (around mile 3), I'm less than a mile from home! This race is on roads that I'm VERY comfortable with!

And the elevation chart is "weird." I think those 2 big dips are where we run DIRECTLY ACROSS THE SURFACE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. So... I'm pretty sure that's wrong. But that nice little hill from 5-6K... THAT hill is real. It's the same little gut-buster that's on the TC 10 Mile and TC Marathon course with 5 miles left.

And then there are just gentle little rollers along the river the rest of the way, with a bit of a climb to get up to the Ford Parkway bridge with a half mile left. Super... that's a GREAT spot for a little climb. Sheesh.

My current 10K PR (the ONE 10K that I've ran) is 36:46, or 5:55 / mile. I'm hoping to better that on Saturday morning! It's supposed to be COOL, and I do good with cool weather. I just hope it's not cool AND wet. Here's what is saying a few days out:

And then the weekend AFTER that (Saturday the 5th of May), I'm doing my first multi-sport race of the year! I'm doing the Cinco "DU" Mayo Duathlon at Square Lake (just north of Stillwater, MN). They have a long course (5K run, 20 mile bike, 5K run) and a short course (2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run), and I signed up to just go "balls to the wall" in the short course! I put 100+ miles on my bike in March, but I haven't touched it yet in April, so..... yeah......

It should be a fun couple of weekends!!

- Check back on Saturday for my pre-race thoughts and specific goals going into the 10K. (One of my goals is the opposite of what I've been saying for the last few years...)
- Check back on Sunday for maybe a quick photo from the race.
- And check back on Monday for a full race report!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Fitting in a Workout!

>> Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No matter WHAT life throws at you, always try to fit in that workout!


Instagram of the Day: Tugboat Races

>> Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From stevestenzel: “And we learned on our run that Henry and I are about twice as fast as a tugboat pushing 2 barges upstream in the Mighty Mississippi.”

True story. We got to run beside a tugboat for a while, and then we beat it to the Franklin Ave Bridge. We raced a tugboat, and we totally won. Awesome.


Long Run SUCCESS and Some Links

>> Monday, April 23, 2012

A week ago, I was bitching about this hot run where I bonked pretty hard. This week, things have changed.

Pharmie worked all weekend, so I had Henry for 13 hours each day (her weekends are long!). Saturday, we headed out for the same long run that I bonked on the week before. It was sprinkling when we started, but Henry didn't care:

I snapped this photo, then "sealed up" the stroller to keep him dry!

Damp trail along the river near the Shriner's Hospital (around mile 2.5)

It rained, then it drizzled, then it stopped, then it rained, etc. And Henry slept for all of it. I warmed up for 2 miles, kept more of a moderate pace for another 3.5 miles, and then hit the next 6 miles a bit harder. Again, this was similar to what I wanted to do last weekend, but I tried to keep the harder miles a BIT easier so I didn't kill myself.

I did the harder miles in 6:32, 6:33, 6:34 (then turned around), 6:09, 6:18, and 6:01. That was 38:09 for those 6 fast mile, or 6:21 / mile. AND UNLIKE LAST WEEK WHERE I ONLY GOT THROUGH 3.5 MILES BEFORE STOPPING TO DIE WALK, I HAD JUST RAN 6 MILES HARD AND FELT GREAT!!

Well, I FELT great, but I was pretty sure I looked like hell. I stopped for a few seconds to snap a wet, chilly, gross photo of myself after 11.5 miles (just after my 6 hard miles):

I run because it's sexy.

And then I immediately snapped a contrasting photo of Henry all warm, cute, dry, and sleepy in the stroller:

I did my remaining 2 "easy" miles home in 14:30 total (fast-ish miles for feeling "easy!"), for a grand total of 13.53 miles in 1:32:43. That was 6 minutes faster than last week!! AND I had the stroller this week! Last week, I was over-heated and felt sick/dead, and this week I felt just fine and could have easily gone another 6 miles.

Unrelated to that....

I've been writing more Examiner articles lately, and here are a few from the last 10 days:


A run workout from the first US female at the Chicago Marathon called Killer Hills.

Matt Fitzgerald's speed workout called 600 Meter Breakdowns that he claims is good for ALL distance runners. (I still have to try this.)

Five thoughts from Sam McGlone about preventing overuse injuries. Number 2 is the big one most "smart" people can forget (I'm getting better at it), and I swear by number 3!


Lake Minnetonka will be host to the USMS 10-Mile Open Water National Championship later this summer (check the slideshow for photos from last year).

World Champion triathlete Julie Dibens will be in town in a few days!

Popular local magazine the "City Pages" just came out with their "Best Of" for 2012. Here are some "bests" that local sporty people will want to be aware of.

Photos from Goldy's Run 10 Mile.

I tend to write more "article-like" articles (that was a genius phrase) on my Examiner page, so feel free to subscribe via e-mail or LIKE my Examiner page on Facebook to get links to my articles in your Facebook feed. Oh, and if you're thinking about becoming an Examiner, use this link when applying and I'll make a few bucks. :)

Thanks everyone! Back with my race thoughts for Saturday's race shortly!


2 Burst of Speed

>> Saturday, April 21, 2012

About 10 days ago, I hit the track for some 1 mile repeats. I did my good ole' "go to" speed workout of 3 x 1600 with 90 seconds rest. Here's what I was able to do:

800 m split, 800 m split = 1600 meters total
2:47, 2:43 = 5:30
2:50, 2:39 = 5:29
2:45, 2:39 = 5:24

Descended each 1600 AND the 3 intervals. Solid workout!!

Then last weekend I had that super crappy long run. Dang.

Finally, a few days ago, I headed out with Henry for a few easy miles before work (to get him to take a nap). I dropped him off at daycare, and I had about a half hour yet, so I headed right back out for a hard 5-mile tempo run. I wanted to slightly descend, but run it all pretty hard.

Here are my mile splits:

- 5:58: Mostly downhill, so I knew that'd be fast. But sub-6? Nice!

- 6:04: Solid. I wanted to get back under 6 now.

- 5:50: I turned around here, and I was working! I realized I could (and SHOULD) be going faster. I recalled something that Kevin O'Connor (2009 duathlete of the year) said at a duathlon clinic 2 years ago. He recommended doing tempo runs so hard that you think you won't be able to finish. Well, I thought I was going to finish just fine, so I upped the pace.

- 5:37: YES! I was working, but that was a great split! I was so happy with my times so far that I NEARLY let myself ease up. But I kept pushing hard. The final mile was uphill, so I knew I wouldn't descend even more, but I just "worked it" as best as I could.

- 5:51: Nice. Done. Time to walk.

So that's a total of 29:21 for 5 miles, or 5:52.2 / mile!! I was REALLY happy with that!!

Well, the Get in Gear 10K is a week away, and my current 10K PR pace is 5:55.8 / mile, so can I PR next weekend?!?! More on my pre-race thoughts next week.

Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 313: Falling While Running

>> Friday, April 20, 2012

Ummm... what did I just read?....


Friday Funny 312: Pregnancy Questions Answered

Pharmie's sister and her hubby (Steph and Jon) just had a baby this week! Here's Jon with little Evelyn:

Pharmie, our niece Evelyn, our little Henry, and me

Henry and Evie! Henry's no longer the little one!

So in honor of that, I have to share this. I found a bad photo of this online this last week... so I re-typed it just so I could share it.

Pregnancy and Women


Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labour, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labour?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: So I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.


Friday Funny 311: Can I Borrow Your Shaver?

I have to admit... I did this to a friend once. It was in Honduras. Sorry Brian K.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Bike Helmets

>> Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The 3 Best Tweets About the Boston Marathon

>> Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NUMBER 3: It was a hot day... I don't blame her.

NUMBER 2: Huh... This IS a good question.

NUMBER 1: This verges on inappropriate. But so do most of the things I laugh at.


Biggest Training Bonk Ever

>> Monday, April 16, 2012

Yep. I had a fun run on Saturday. And I made 3 "Rookie Mistakes." Here's what you need to know:

Pharmie left for an Evotri training camp early on Thursday morning. I had Henry Thursday night all by myself (our first night with just Dad and son EVER), and Pharmie's Mom came up over the weekend. Pharmie got back into town on Sunday morning, and Henry survived 3+ days with me (and Grandma)! Grandma even brought goodies for me when she came up:

Saturday, Grandma took Henry to the Zoo:

I was STARVING when they left in the morning, so I INHALED lunch. Rookie Mistake #1: My eyes were bigger than my stomach. As I "let my food settle," I ran some branches to the compost site:

(I tweeted this photo along with this text: "A little used phrase: 'To the compost site, bitches!'")

Less than 2 hours after eating, I KNEW I needed to get out on my long run before Grandma and Henry got back. Rookie Mistake #2: So I took off on my run thinking "oh, my full stomach will settle with these first few miles." Oh, also, it was 12:30. Rookie Mistake #3: Go out for a run during the heat of the day on a warm afternoon.

I headed out on a route that would put me around 13.5 miles. I was going to run the first 5+ moderate, and then descend the next 6 miles (cooling-down for the final 2 miles). The warm up was fine. The first mile of the build was good (6:23 - a solid place to start my descend).

Miles 2 and 3 of the descend were fine as well: 6:31 and 6:19. But I felt like barfing. That food did NOT settle. I felt horrible. And it was hot.

I ran a bit more of the next hard mile (descend mile #4; overall mile #9), and then I suddenly found myself stopping to walk. I don't do that much... I hate it when I do that. I walked for a minute and ran again. I got past the next mile marker and ran to some water. I drank. And I drank. And I drank.

I started off running hard again, but I was so full of food / water / disappointment that I had to stop and walk again. I NEARLY turned around to head straight across a bridge towards home (cutting the 13.5 mile route to under 10), but I realized THIS was the time that I had to do this long run - Grandma had Henry, and I needed to use this time! (Which was another reason I felt so bad for timing the run so poorly - it was my chance for a solid stroller-free run, and I was blowing it!) None of my injuries were hurting, so I figured it'd be fine to go on with the regularly scheduled 13.5 miles and push through this bonk.

I eased up the effort, but didn't go REALLY easy. I stopped to walk a few more times. I ended my final 3 miles in 6:45, 7:01, and 8:40 (which included a bit of walking up a hill in that final mile). The bad news is that I finished 13.5 miles in 1:38 - usually I'm doing workouts like that in around 1:30. And my hard 6 miles turned into only a hard 3.5 miles. The good news is that I still got in 13.5 miles. And (as I tweeted) there are some people that would kill for 1:38 over a long half marathon.

I collapsed on the floor at home. Grandma and Henry were still off having fun. Kermit came over and started licking the sweat off my chest:

(That whole red area is from Kermit's tongue.)

I hadn't had one in a long time, but I wanted an ice bath. First, I was HOT, and it would help cool me down. Second, my legs were getting pretty sore, so the cold water might make them feel better. (I didn't feel like my legs really worked that hard on this botched run, but with the work they DID do along with the heat, they were fried.) So I ran just cold water into the tub, dumped in out entire ice bucket, and slowly lowered my man-parts into the freezing water:

That night, after getting Henry to bed, I was winding-down in bed with my laptop. I used my laptop to snap a photo of my RED SHOULDERS from the hot shirt-less run earlier in the day:

It's kinda hard to tell, but I'm FRIED! Oops.

But the next day, Pharmie got home, and we all enjoyed a quick easy run to Menards!

Henry's first real run in the stroller withOUT the carseat!

Maybe an easy run in a day or 2, then some speed work, and then another long run this weekend (this time WITH Henry because Pharmie has to work). The "Get In Gear 10K" is now less than 2 weeks away!!

p.s. I also went to cheer at "Goldy's Run 10 Mile" early Saturday morning. I took a lot of photos around mile 4. Click here to see my slideshow of photos.


4 Injury Updates

>> Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm posting this for 2 reasons: First, so I can look back and have notes on where I was at this point. And second, so maybe if you've been in a similar spot, you can give me your feedback.

Here are the 4 areas worth noting:


It's been a little tight a day after some long runs and some bike rides. It really hasn't been a big issue for YEARS (since IM WI training 5 years ago). I do different versions of the pretzel stretch quite often, and I foam roll it now-and-then. The rolling helps! Need to do more of that.


This was what KILLED me just over a year ago. It kept me from running for 6-8 weeks, and it kept me in this "night splint" for months:

After building a big base this winter (lots of longer, easier runs with Henry), things have been going great this spring. Sure, I still feel it after some workouts, but I make sure to give it PLENTY of rest after harder / longer workouts.

Oh, and I also still count footstrikes on about every workout. When I first saw a P.T. about a year ago, she noted that I was striking about 160 times / minute. That needed increase so I would stop heel-striking. By upping my strike-rate, I don't "reach" so far out in front of me with my heel, and I won't heel-strike as much. Now, I've gotten myself running around 175-183 strikes / minute without even having to think about it. (She told me 180 is optimal, so I'm happy with where I'm at.)


Something gave a weird twinge at the Human Race 8K about a month ago. Here I am with my right side in pain just before the finish:

It acted up a bit the next weekend at the Lake Johanna 4 Mile (that I ran with Henry) too. But "belly breathing" helps. I laid off the core work for about 10 days, and slowly started that back recently. I CAN still feel some "weirdness," but it's soooo minor. I'm not worried... I'm just keeping an eye on it. Or a rib. Whatever.


So I was trail running on a Wisconsin Island in late July of last year, and I turned my ankle. I THOUGHT I just hurt my ankle, but my foot was achy the rest of the summer. And it's just gotten a BIT better over the last few months. I may have tweaked something deep in my foot. Early last fall, I was pretty sure it was a stress fracture... I'm still not sure what it is. I can run FAR on it (I can easily do half marathon runs), but if I do some speed work, it might be sore the next day. (Oh, and it would get really sore after swimming a few months ago, so I stayed out of the pool for a while. I think it was sore from kicking. But now, after a few recent swims, that's not an issues anymore.) There's just ALWAYS a bit of a dull ache there. I make sure to ice it after harder / longer workouts, and that's been keeping it in check.

I noticed something in 2 photos from the Lake Johanna 4 Mile race... my sore right foot is landing with the toes pointing out quite a bit. Look at these 2 images:

Right foot on the ground just after the start

Right foot on the ground in my final kick

Since I've seen these 2 images, I'm trying to run with a "straighter" foot. I don't know if that was any of my issue at all, but I'm trying to watch my form.

Luckily, right now all my injuries are all staying in check. I can FEEL most of them, but they are "cooperating." I need to start doing my P.T. prescribed leg exercises more often so everything STAYS in check. (Here are most of the P.T. exercises that I still do, but there have been more added in.)

So, with all these little aches, I think some down-time at the end of the season is called for! I'll need a rest and some time to heal.

p.s. On this note of injury-related-things, I just wrote a little Examiner article about "overuse injury prevention" with tips from pro triathlete Sam McGlone. CLICK HERE to check it out.

p.p.s. I've just joined Instagram. Search for "stevestenzel" and follow me. You'll get funny images, photos of my kid, and athletic-related things. Here are 3 of my first Instagram photos:

Henry found the stairs and bookshelf!

In a good mood after a snack!
(Sorry for the snot, but check out his 4 bottom teeth!)

A VERY appropriate sign to see on a run WITH MY SON on Thursday night.



Follow steveinaspeedo on Twitter

Facebook Fan Page

All content and original images copyright 2006 - 2024 by Steve Stenzel, AKA "Steve in a Speedo." All Rights Reserved.
Want to use something seen here? Just ask - I don't bite.