Brian Kraft 5K Race Report

>> Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let's start this race report off right. Here, look at this:

That's my eye. Henry gave me pinkeye this past weekend. I woke up to him needing a snack at 4:30 on Sunday morning, and my right eye was crusted shut. Super. Thanks Hank. So I was going to do the race on Monday in my glasses, because I was NOT going to try to put a contact in that hot mess.

My wife had to work on Monday (Memorial Day), and I had Henry. My folks came up to watch / play with / entertain Henry during the race.

Henry with Grandpa and Grandma pre-race!

As I warmed up, Mom and Dad took photos of each other with Henry to get used to my camera (because they were about to try to take some photos of me during the race):

Henry's "oooooh" face with Grandma.

Henry and some giggles with Grandpa.

Riding some sort of "side saddle" in the swing.
He LOVES to swing!

I did about 2 miles for my warm up, and I was SWEATING! It wasn't that hot... it's just that it was really sticky. You know what they say in Minnesota: "It's not the heat... it's the humidity."

Henry and I as we were about to head down to the edge of Lake Nokomis to start the race!

I hadn't done a 5K in a long time. I told Mom that I COULD possibly PR (my 5K PR is 17:11), and I hoped to be between 17:00 and 17:30. However, I knew that it was feeling nasty and "sticky," and as I noted in my Human Race 8K race report back in March, I do NOT do the best at warm / sticky races. I tried to prepare myself to be ready to "die" late in this race.

Mom and Dad parked Henry in the shade, fed him some ham (he's my boy, and he LOVES meat!), and they got ready for the race to run past them!


Dad didn't see me, but he snapped a few photos of the race starting:

If you look closely to the far right of that photo, you can see me near the light pole. Here's a zoomed in version:

Close up from the photo above.

Oh, and there's a funny coincidence regarding that photo... Do you see the woman in the yellow top and "bun shorts" cheering just in front of me? That's Meaghan Payton who was so "grossly" featured in yesterday's quick post! Funny timing! :)

I tried to keep a "solid pace" for that first mile. I knew that ALL the "speedsters" showed up to this race, so I had dozens and dozens of people in front of me. We worked our way to single file shortly. We were running into the wind, so I tried to stay "tucked in" behind 3 guys in orange jerseys.

• Mile 1: 5:35. "Great place to start! Try to hold this pace."

I was well-aware that my 17:11 5K PR from 2 years ago was ran at 5:32 / mile pace. So 5:35 felt like a solid start. I tried to go hard without going TOO crazy.

Devon P and Thea F were cheering around the half-way point. They said "NICE WORK STEVE!" as I ran past, and I smiled, waved, and said "Thanks guys!" Then I quickly realized "hey Steve, if you just SMILED and WAVED at the half way point of a 5K, you're not working hard enough!" So I tried to up the pace and "keep it strong."

• Mile 2: 5:44. "Yeah, that seems about right. There goes the PR, but still try to break 17:30!"

I was dying. I felt hot, I felt dead, and I just wanted to quit. I kept looking ahead to find Mom, Dad, Henry, and the finish line. I started running harding around mile 2.5, and right then I heard Mom cheering for me! I tried to smile and wave, but it probably looked like a death-glare and some sort of Nazi salute. I PASSED about 3-5 runners at that point - my form was gone and I felt like butt juice, but I took solace in knowing that I was catching runners!

However, most of those runners that I caught around mile 2.5 caught me back around mile 3 when I was really fading. Dang. It was a smart move, though - I really "left it all out there" by starting my kick so soon.

• Mile 3: 5:30. "This hurts SOOOOO bad? Who invented 5Ks anyway? Jerk."

I heard a few cheers for me as I was coming up to the line (THANKS), and I heard my Dad just to the right of the finish line. He snapped a few photos as I finished:

Big, awkward, final stride.
Super. Awk. Ward.
That's me.

Checking my watch. 13 seconds from a PR, but still my 2nd best 5K!

"Hi Dad. I feel like ass. Take a photo."

• Final 0.1: 0:35. "Ouch. Glad this f*cker is behind me."


Steve Stenzel, 31, St. Paul, MN

5:35.9 / mile

81 out of 476 overall
77 out of 289 men
24 out of 52 in the 30-39 age group

I was right near the middle of my age group: 24th out of 52. Holy buckets. I just ran a 17:23 5K, and that's good for MID-PACK?!? Where did all these runners come from?!?

Dad stayed by my side as I was hunched over and catching my breath. Then we walked back to find Mom and Henry, who was JUST trying to fall asleep. I told her I'd take him for a little cool-down jog along the lake to get him to pass out.

HIPPIE MOMENT: As I was on my cool-down with Henry, I became so grateful. I really try to "take in" the little moments in life (ESPECIALLY since having a son), and this was one of them. I'd just ran a (pretty) fast 5K on a (kinda warm but otherwise) beautiful morning with my parents and Henry there. And now I was putting him to sleep along a picturesque lake. Life is good. (Well, parts of the trail smelled a little like hot, wet, dead fish-crotch, but I just tried to ignore that part.)

I ran back to my parents, Dad treated me to a roll at the bakery next to where we had parked, and Henry slept for 90 minutes as Mom and I made bacon and scrambled eggs at my place for a post-race breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with ham, apple wood smoked thick cut bacon, and
some fresh-squeezed OJ from my Grandparents who just came back from Arizona.

There were EIGHT State Age Group Records that were broke at the 5K yesterday. CLICK HERE to read my Examiner article about the Brian Kraft 5K.


Kathy 6:53 AM, May 29, 2012  

breastmilk in his and your eye will clear up conjunctivitis better and faster than meds. Been there, done that.

TriMOEngr 9:33 AM, May 29, 2012  

Holy crap - I can't believe you didn't win an award with that crazy fast 5K. That is unreal!

Carolina John 10:13 AM, May 29, 2012  

That sounds as competitive as my last triathlon. I PR'd the swim and run and still finished 8th of 11 in my age group.

Great race!

Katie 4:38 PM, May 29, 2012  

NIPPLES. sheesh.


Merrilee 8:14 PM, May 29, 2012  

Thank your Dad for snapping that hilarious finish line shot!

Amber 5:13 PM, May 30, 2012  

"It's not the heat, it's the humidity." That's what they say in Houston, too. Except that it is also the heat!

Sarah 11:08 PM, May 30, 2012  

That's a fantastic time! Great job! Hope your eyes are feeling better. :)


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