Victory 10K Race Report

>> Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Or, "No one wants to smell hot, tubular meat during their final kick."

Or, "Wait... she's HOW old?!?..."

Yesterday was the Victory 10K - the 11th race in the MDRA Grand Prix series. As I stated in yesterday's post, it was my 10th race of the series, and I was THRILLED to have gotten in 10 solid races in the Grand Prix!! I signed up for the Grand Prix last year, and raced ONE race before getting injured.

Also in my race plan post from yesterday, I said that I did NOT want to go out too hard. I said "I'll try to keep it 'easy' for a mile or 2 at all costs. THEN I'll start building the pace."

Sunday night (the night before the race), I tweeted this:

"Tonight's fuel for tomorrow's 10K. #DontJudge"

I can hear you judging me. Stop it.

I got to the race site about an hour before the race started, waited in line for 15 seconds to get my number, took my shirt back to the car, and warmed up on the bike trail along the race course. It was flat and open! Here's the packed trail (around the 0.75 mile mark of the race) as groups of runners were warming up:

The race was about to take place on the road to the right in this photo.

After a warm-up jog, I tweeted this:

I figured I should give myself an actual plan for the race. So I told myself that I should (1) start off between 6:10 and 6:15 if possible, (2) keep them all under 6:15, and (3) descend my splits.

I chatted with all the familiar faces (and a few new ones), and then former-student Jeremy and I lined up together. Michael was a bit in front of us, and he teased me for being back there. He laughed and said "Well now at this race, you'll finally know what it's like to catch me! And you'll do that in the first 10 seconds!" He was referring to the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this year where I was TRYING to catch him over those last 7 miles, but I just couldn't do it. Jeremy and I were ready to start off easy, and we told each other "no suffering until the turn-around!"


Immediately I thought "I need to be running faster!" But I tried to keep it easy breezy. I worked my way to the far left and started passing some people, but I wasn't going too hard. I was maybe going a little too fast near the middle of that first mile, but I started it and ended it at a relatively "easy but working" pace. I passed a LOT of people in that first mile.

• Mile 1: 6:14.88. "I gave myself a whole 0.22 second cushion! [For my 6:10 - 6:15 goal.] Ha! Now build a little from here."

We had spread out a bit, and I was looking ahead. I knew who was ahead of me in the Grand Prix series: Ben M (uncatchable), Kirt G (beat me at Rochester, but I bonked hard there), Scott D (predicted a faster time for himself than I was going to run), Omar P (I can usually catch him), and Michael N (yeah, I did NOT pass him in the first 10 seconds!). So, by my count, I was the 6th Grand Prix racer at that point. I set my sights on Michael in front of me.

• Mile 2: 6:17.7. "Dang, you slowed up. Pick up the pace a bit."

I ran up beside Michael and said "'You'll pass me in 10 seconds' MY ASS! Ha!" He laughed and said "Keep picking them off!" I replied "I'm trying!"

• Mile 3: 6:13.1. "Good. Faster. But you are soooooo not going to PR today!"

My 2 other 10K races were 36:46 and 36:47, which is 5:55 / mile. Yeah, THAT wasn't happening at this race. I knew I was working my way towards a PW (personal worst), but I still could try to catch some runners.

At the turn-around, I saw I wasn't super far behind Kirt, and Omar was just a bit in front of me. I passed someone, and then I heard people cheering for him: "Go Rick!" "Oh crap," I thought. "Is that Rick L who's doing the Grand Prix series? I've got to hold him off!" Turns out, I was the 7th Grand Prix racer (not the 6th) through mile 2.

• Mile 4: 6:05.1. "Nice. Can the next mile be sub-6?"

I was JUST behind Omar at this point, and we were kinda running by ourselves. I tried pulling up to pass him twice, but both times he kicked and held me off. I ran up next to him just in time for a random spectator (one of very few out there) to shout "Go Omar! Go Steve in a Speedo!" Nice! Thanks!

I got past Omar, but I heard his feet coming again! I thought it was him passing me back again, but it was someone else. That was the first time I was passed all race. I told myself at mile marker #5 I would start upping the pace. Could I catch Kirt or Scott up there?

• Mile 5: 6:08.2. "OK, just work through this suffering! Go hard!"

I passed the speedy female team of Erin W and Angie V with about a half mile to go. I was gaining on the guy who passed me, but I didn't see Scott or Kirt in front of me. I never looked back, and I just ran hard so no one else caught me. I passed the guy who had passed me right around the 6th mile marker.

• Mile 6: 5:51. "Go. Finish. Done. Die. Stretch. Ice. Food. Good."

There's a little hill about 2 blocks from the finish. Here's a photo I took after I finished looking down that slight hill:

You can see the starting line, but we had to run another block to the finish.

It was just enough of a hill to feel it in the final kick. I tried to pass a female who I'd been gaining on, but she found another gear and left me in her dust. And I got a BIG wiff of the hotdogs they were grilling at the finish in the final 100 meters. That was kinda nasty. I mean, I KNEW I'd love a hotdog in about an hour, but at that moment, I had to swallow hard.

• Final 0.22: 1:08.3 (5:08 / mile pace).


Steve Stenzel, 31, St. Paul, MN

38:02 (6:07.25 / mile)
40th out of 529 overall
7th out of 25 in the 30-34 age group

The race was only "gun timed." Unofficially, my Garmin read 37:58.7 for 6.22 when I had started it once I had crossed the starting line (apparently about 3.5 seconds after the official start).

Oh, and looking at the results, the women who "left me in her dust" at the finish was 16 years old. So that happened.

Dip in speed at the turn-around, pretty "uneven" for miles 3-5, and then a build to the finish.

I quickly jogged a block to my car to get my camera to try to get some photos of friends finishing. I was just jogging back down the hill as I saw former-student Jeremy come to the line. I grabbed him for a nasty, sweaty post-race pic:

Totally soaked in sweat. And look at my pit hair. Look.

Everyone I talked to said "Well, THAT was warm!" I worked my way out of the finisher's area and started a nice cool-down jog. My legs STILL felt heavy from the half marathon last weekend, but my heel felt A-OK! If I'm going to race my first 25K this next weekend, I knew I NEEDED to cool-down, stretch, and not do anything stupid this next week.

I got back to the race site as it was filling up with 10K finishers and 5K runners getting ready to start their race:

I went over and got this:

I love it when Lemonade tells me to "Shake 'N Pull." Gladly, Lemonade. Gladly.

I headed home, and Henry was excited to see me walk in. He brought me a book and plopped down on my lap so I could read it to him:

Walking across the street to the park (rocking my fashionable Zensah compression socks).

Best. Photo. EVER.

Heading home from the park nearly an hour later! (Well, first we stopped for ICE CREAM!)

I suffered quite a bit at the race, but it's ALWAYS FUN to come home to that little guy!!!

Here are the results of the 10K, 5K, and "double header" in an Examiner article of mine. Happy Tuesday!!

Oh, one last thing... have you entered my CLIF Bar giveaway from over the weekend?!?


Greg 7:27 AM, September 04, 2012  

Sweet Report....where are the updated Grand Prix Standings? Still on top?

Steve Stenzel 7:36 AM, September 04, 2012  

Greg, I'm still on top, but someone else is making a run at it. He'll get me if he finishes out the series. We didn't get an update after the Rochester Half Marathon, but once we get an update from after this race, I'll post it!

SteveQ 10:22 AM, September 04, 2012  

And my nemesis Billig ran a sub-34. So that happened, too. I checked and I haven't done that race since 2003 when I ran 37:54 on a nicer day, so 38 minutes sounds sweet to me right now.

Jeremy Reichenberger 11:07 AM, September 04, 2012  

One: definitely a nasty sweaty pic.

Two: So glad I'm not the only one who had a problem with the hot dog smell. Although I also had a problem with the taste. I took one bite of the hot dog post-race before almost blowing chunks and throwing it out.

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