2013 Waseca Triathlon Race Report

>> Monday, July 29, 2013

It's been a big few days. My back was KILLING me on Saturday because I spent 10 hours on Friday doing this:

I pressure-washed our steps and all around our foundation. Lots of cleaning up to do!

Patching the foundation ALL OVER THE F*CKING PLACE!

Then I spent a few hours on Saturday doing more patching and more cleaning up. (Now after letting everything cure for a few days, I have a bit more work to do.) My lower back and hammys were pretty sore! But they felt a bit better by yesterday morning for the race. Then on Friday night, the new college neighbors had a big party. I asked them to quiet down a bit at 11:15, and then the cops showed up at midnight. It was nuts. I patrolled the house / yard to make sure Henry and Pharmie could stay asleep, and I finally got to bed at 2 a.m.

Yesterday, we were ready for a CHILLY race!

Yesterday we loaded Henry into the car in his P.J.s at 5 a.m.

A potty stop once we pulled into the race in the front seat of Daddy's car.

A rare yellow porta potty sighting.

Henry eating breakfast with Grandma! It was a chilly July morning that needed 2 hoodies.

Henry and my Dad!

About to get smoochies from Pharmie's Mom!

The 3 of us pre-race.

WHAT am I doing with my hands?!?

Seriously, WHAT?!? Was I hoping to drive a tiny car through the swim course?!?

Pharmie and I were ready to go. The Waseca Triathlon has a "1/3 Iron Distance" race and a Sprint. We were in for the Sprint: 1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike, 4.4 mile run. I was hoping to do well at this race - I was 6th two years ago, and I was hoping for something similar.

Henry was there (obviously), but so was Mom, Dad, my Mother-in-Law, and my Sister-in-Law Annie. Thanks for being there you 5!! And thanks Annie for these photos!

Starting in the 2nd Sprint wave.

Pharmie starting in the 3rd Sprint wave.

• 1/4 MILE SWIM:

I picked a good spot near the outside to start. I swam pretty well - I started strong and sighted better than usual! On the way back to shore, I didn't sight AS well, but I was still pretty happy with how I was doing.

Pharmie waving to Henry!

This is the first time that being a strong runner has helped my swim - there's a decent run back to transition, and I passed 3 or 4 guys on that run! Sweet.


THIS SUCKED SOOOOOOOO BAD!! I was dizzy as I always am in T1, but it was worse this time - maybe from swimming a bit harder. I stutter-stepped backwards a few times and nearly fell putting on my bike shoes. Then I got stuck putting on a long sleeve shirt for the upcoming chilly ride. The 2 previous years I did this race, my T1 times were 1:01 and 0:58, but yesterday it was 1:54! Suck-tastic! Sheesh.


Pharmie starting the ride with a handful of athletes on her tail!

It was early into my ride that I realized my Garmin hadn't started - damn it. So I didn't have a swim or T1 split, and my bike split would be off because I was starting it late. Oh well. I was happy to have it running to check on my pace at least.

I didn't feel super on the bike. Things just weren't "clicking." I passed a few people, and got passed twice. At the turn-around, I counted that I was in 27th place, but there was a wave that started 3:00 in front of me with elites, athenas, clydesdales, and relays, so I didn't know my "actual" place. Heading back to transition was into the slight wind, but I pushed a bit harder, so my averages stayed pretty consistent:

- Mile 3.5ish: 21.0 mph
- Mile 7 (turnaround): 21.1 mph
- Mile 10.5ish: 21.0 mph
- Mile 14 (transition): 21.1 mph

I just never felt great about the ride. I was ready to forget about it and hammer on the run.

Oh, and Henry was back at the park having a great time while we were riding:


According to my count, I got back to T2 in 23rd place. Time to catch some runners.


Technically, there's a long "run in" to T2 that is timed as part of the bike (AND the bike has a long "run out" to start that is also part of the bike split), so bike times seem really slow at this race. Here I am dismounting for the long run in:

It looks like I really *like* my bike. If you know what I mean.

Pharmie running in!

I love Pharmie's strong legs! Speaking of which, she posted her FASTEST BIKE SPLIT EVER
in a triathlon! She was at 19.0 mph before running back to T2! Yay Pharmie!

T2 went a lot better for me than T1. There were lots of people cheering right outside of transition, and I grabbed what I needed and was gone. Still not speedy, but better than crappy T1.

Oh, and Henry witnessed someone fall with their bike as they were dismounting, so he kept running around, hurling himself on the ground, and laughing:

• 4.4 MILE RUN:

After a mentally crappy bike, I was ready to do well on the run. The last time I did this race, I was in the first wave and I had NO ONE around me for the run - it was hard to get myself to go harder. This year, I was back in 23rd place (or so) at the start of the run, so I had people to shoot for!

I ran out hard but not TOO fast. Just after the first mile marker, I took off my shirt - I wasn't overheating, but I was warm enough. I didn't want to get too hot before the finish. I got water at every aid station and drank half of it and poured the other half down my back.

Right around the mile 2 marker, I remembered thinking that I felt like I was "falling into a groove." In a good way. I was running a good pace, and it just felt RIGHT ON. It was the perfect line between "pushing it" and "I could do this for a while." It was the run I was hoping for. The GOOD NEWS was that I was constantly picking off other runners. The BAD NEWS is that I was running out of race! I needed to catch more people FASTER!

I was really happy with my run splits (according to my Garmin):

Mile 1: 6:13
Mile 2: 6:15
Mile 3: 6:10
Mile 4: 6:01

I saw 2 final runners in front of me who I wanted to catch. I caught one around the mile 4 marker to move into 13th (but again, that's including the wave that started 3:00 in front of me, so I didn't know my actual place). I got close to the other runner as we entered the park. I saw he had a "34" on his leg, so he was in my age group! CATCH HIM!!

When he looked over his shoulder, it was GAME ON! I gave it everything!

I wanted to get a haircut before the race, but ran out of time. This is why I wanted one.
(But my 1 leg looks nice at least.)

BOUNDING for the runner in front of me!

Matching strides....

... and more matching strides.

I couldn't catch him. He got me by 3 seconds (although it felt like less than that). Dang. I shook his hand and said "I was gunning for ya, but couldn't do it!" and he said "thanks for the push!" I love races that come down to really fighting for the finish, but then some smiles and friendly words after the race - that's what it's all about!

More GOOD NEWS and BAD NEWS: we all know the BAD NEWS that I was JUST beat by that guy in my age group. But the GOOD NEWS is that he finished 1st in our age group, meaning I was 2nd! Sweet!


Steve Stenzel, #703, 32, M, St. Paul, MN

• 1/4 mile swim: 6:55, 17th overall, 2nd in age group
• T1: 1:54, 50th overall
• 14 mile bike: 41:06, 20.4 pace, 20th overall, 2nd in age group
• T2: 0:50, T-33rd overall
• 4.4 mile run: 26:05, 5:56 pace, 5th overall, 1st in age group

1:16:38 total
11th out of 131 total
2nd out of 3 in 30-34 age group


- I BOOKED it to the finish to try to catch 1st in my age group! My Garmin had the final 0.27 miles (mile 4.0 to 4.27) in 1:24, which is 5:12 pace! My Garmin topped me out at 4:45 pace near the finish line! I wasn't going down without a fight!

- The previous 2 years at this race, I did a 9:20 and a 9:52 swim. So yeah... the swim was a bit shorter this year. Because I'm NOT that much faster! BUT, I never place better in the swim than on the bike, so I did better than normal in the water.

- Officially, it's a swim PR by 2:25 (most likely short) and a run PR by 1:00! I was THRILLED with my run here! But my bike was my slowest of 3 years by about a minute.

- I was happy about my swim, and then I was really happy to see that I was 2nd in my age group in the swim!! But then I realized there were 3 people in my age group. Whatever. :)

- Back to basics: I need to work on my transition skills. I missed out on first in my age group by 3 seconds after a 1:54 T1. I could have made that up EASILY in transition.

- During awards a bit later, Pharmie and I talked to Mark, the race director. We told him how much we love this race and all of his races. (He runs Final Stretch races.) He told us that this race is his favorite based on the location and the quality of the volunteers. It's a good one! Check it out next year!

As I was walking back towards my family, Henry came SPRINTING towards me for a hug! It was so cute and got a few "awwwwws" from people around us:

And then he showed me how people crash on the bike:

A few minutes later, Pharmie came running to the line with a 3:30 PR over last year!!

She had been trying to track down a runner just like me, and she failed just like me. :(

A smile near the finish!

She finished 3rd out of 11 in her age group!!!

Here's a fun pair of photos:

Pharmie and Henry before LAST YEAR'S race...

... and after THIS YEAR'S race! The little guy's growing up!!

Saying goodbye to Henry as he's spending 2 days at Grandmas!! (He's snacking here.)

Pharmie getting her 3nd place medal...

... and me getting my 2nd place medal from the race director's daughter.

Back with more in the next few days. Now I'm off to work on our foundation. Time to get as much done as possible as Henry's at Grandma's house! Anyone want to come pick up paint chips, paint concrete, or bring me lunch? Anyone? No? Dang.


SteveQ 10:40 AM, July 29, 2013  

Besides the pics of Henry (the close-up is great!), the best part of this is your dad's clothing advertising. Is there a Trelly's Seeds racing team?

Steve Stenzel 11:56 AM, July 29, 2013  

Ha SteveQ! It's "Trelay" seeds and he's been selling their corn and soybeans for years. They were just bought by Monsanto (I think), so I should see if THEY have a racing team! I love that! :)

Mike 9:54 PM, July 29, 2013  

Hi Steve -

Nice job on Sunday! I felt like I was sort-of stalking you because I noticed you from your blog but never wanted to interrupt your family. I did my first tri as a relay...so I was the runner and we did well. Third overall! You're right, this was a great event! I MAY be getting addicted to triathlons!

I especially like the body markings: the "x" for the relay teams helped me see who to pick off, and as a single guy, the ages of the female competitors was helpful! Ha!

Doc 9:45 AM, August 01, 2013  

So, I saw you on the bike and I recognized you because of the awesome shorts. As a blog reader for a while, I said 'that could not just be Steve in a Speedo smoking me on the bike leg?' and it was. Also, do you know you have a little bit of a weird tweak on one of your legs when you cycle? It's like you aren't making a smooth circle with the following leg? Anyway, congrats on the finish and hope to see you at another race in this area again!

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