>> Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday night was my first "road mile." I headed into the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul for the "Rice Street Mile." They close down busy Rice Street for a 1 mile race, and then they have a big parade right after the race! Great idea!!
Being it was just a mile, I ran the whole course pre-race. (I used the pre-race run to check their quarter-mile markers [which seemed spot-on] and set my Garmin to take an automatic "lap" every 0.25 miles.) It was a point-to-point run, and here's the first flat half mile:
And finally, at the top of the bridge, it drops into a nice downhill for the final 250 meters to the finish:
The finish line (which wasn't set up yet when I took this photo) is at the stoplight at the bottom of the hill.
Tri-buddies Marta and Lydia are in the middle - Marta's in the red sports bra, and Lydia's right behind her.
I got 2 good pieces of pre-race advice:
FIRST: Kirt Goetzke (a Minnesota distance running legend) told Jeremy and I to keep our strides FAST going up that hill near the end, and then maintain those fast strides through the downhill to go as fast as possible. I looked over to Jeremy and said "good advice!"
SECOND: I heard a random stranger say "just don't be the first one to puke." Also good advice. For everything. Anywhere. In general.
MY GOAL: Sub-5:00 hopefully, and around 4:55 if possible. Some people (Michael, Nathan, etc) were telling me I could be down close to 4:50 based on my Meet of the Miles time, but I didn't quite believe that with my current training. I just wanted to suffer and see what I could do!!
"RUNNERS READY... GET SET..."
There was super tan "dude" in "board shorts" in front of me. "Catch board shorts dude, Steve." I passed a few people, but a number of people passed me. And Scott (Grand Prix buddy) was one of them that passed me. "Ooooh, forget about 'board shorts dude,' and keep an eye on Scott!" (I'm not super competitive [and Scott's a great guy!], but being we're doing the "Grand Prix" series, it gives me an extra push to try to earn as many Grand Prix points as possible.)
• First 0.25 mile: 1:14.87. "OK, good start..."
Nothing changed in the next quarter mile. I didn't pass anyone, and no one caught me. Boring.
• Second 0.25 mile: 1:14.95. "Don't slow up too much! Keep it strong here!"
I was working, and it was getting a little hard. (TWSS) Those quarter-mile markers were coming up quick! I had forgotten how short a mile was! (And I think it even felt SHORTER outside vs my previous experience at indoor miles.)
I actually caught a few guys in the 3rd quarter mile. (Two guys faded FAST.) But I wasn't gaining on Scott! He was my rabbit, and he was pulling me!
• Third 0.25 mile: 1:15.14. "Damnit Steve, just GOOOOO!!"
We climbed that little hill, and I saw Brian raise a camera. I wasn't going to puke for him, but he still got a nice photo of me (back there in the purple) and Scott (#280) working our way to the top of the hill:
Human Race 8K flashback.
Damn heel strike as I ran past SteveQ. Sweet ass shot, though.
I mean... if you're into tiny asses.
I hit the finish gasping for air, feeling pretty spent. Nathan didn't catch me, but I couldn't catch Scott either.
• Final 0.25 mile: 1:11.05. "You should have been faster in the 2nd and 3rd quarter miles..."
Unofficial total on my Garmin: 4:56.01. "I wish I could have been faster, but that was right where I was hoping I could be, so I'll take it!"
Steve Stenzel, M, 31, St. Paul
20th out of 233 overall
11th out of 50 in the 20-29 age group
In the end, Paul got me by 1.5 seconds, Scott was less than a second in front of me (but it felt like forever!), and I held off Nathan by just under 3 seconds:
I walked back down Rice Street with Jeremy who had just finished his FIRST mile race. And he did it in 5:18!! Nice work, Jeremy!! Oh, and as we were walking back, I told him that I couldn't follow my OWN advice that I gave him pre-race. I had told him to not let up in that 3rd quarter... and wouldn't cha know, THAT was my slowest quarter mile. "Damn it," I told Jeremy.
I got to my car and grabbed my camera - the post-run parade had JUST started:
Yes, those are 2 baton-twirlers on the left. A parade's not complete without a few of those.
I'm hoping to rack up as many Grand Prix points as possible this weekend! I can't wait to check the updated standings when they come out (hopefully mid-week next week)....