Predictions for the TC Loony Challenge

>> Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This post is structured like this (with the first one being the longest):

I. Goal Times
II. Recent Training
III. Course
IV. Clothing
V. Taper

I. Goal Times:

There are so many variables, but here's my most "realistic" (and slightly optimistic) guess:

Saturday, 7:30 am, TC 10K: 38:xx
Saturday, 9:00 am, TC 5K: 19:xx

Combined 10K and 5K time: 57:30
(for example: 38:30 and 19:00)

Sunday, 7:00 am, TC 10 Mile: 1:03:xx

Total time: 2:01:00

OK, so where do I begin with all the different variables and how this can all go out the window in no time? I really have no idea how to run the first 2 races on Saturday. How much do I leave "in the tank?" These numbers are hard to predict when starting 3 races within 24 hours of each other.

My initial plan was to run the 10K a bit easier, race the 5K a bit harder, and then just do what I could do for the 10 Mile. But that was my ego talking - I didn't want to see a super slow 5K result. Then as Thomas obviously pointed out when I interviewed him (he was last year's "Loony Challenge" winner), we can "make up" the most time in the 10 Mile. If I were to try to get a minute faster in the 5K, that'd maybe cost me 2 minutes in the 10 Mile the next day (and a lot more suffering). So my 5K time would look nicer, but my overall time would be worse. Bad idea.

Here's what I'll be thinking about during the 10K and 5K: Thomas mentioned feeling better than he thought he would during the 10 Mile the next day. So how much CAN I push during the 10K and 5K? Just yesterday, I ran into speedy Jenny Wilcox - you might remember her as the "soccer mom" who had a throw-down with me at the Mosquito Man duathlon 4 years ago:

Jenny and I after our race. (HERE'S the awesome race report.)

Anyway, Jenny's done a "weekend of races" like this too (I think she did a half marathon followed by a marathon the next day), and she said that she didn't feel nearly as bad as she thought she would during the marathon. So WHAT'S THE PERFECT BALANCE OF "SPEED" and "EASY ENOUGH TO FEEL GOOD TOMORROW" WHEN DOING A WEEKEND OF RACES LIKE THIS? Who knows. That's the problem. As I told Jenny, "During the race, I could feel nice and easy with a 37:00 10K, or I could feel like I'm over-doing it by trying to keep it under 40:00."

II. Recent Training:

In all of my recent 10-11.5 mile runs, my "race pace" 5-6 miles near the middle have been ran at 6:12 to 6:20 pace (AVERAGE pace for those miles - I can't keep EVERY mile between 6:12 and 6:20). Being that was the middle of a long run, I should hopefully be able to run my 10K just a bit faster than that and NOT feel dead. Right? A 38:30 10K is 6:11 pace, a 19:00 5K is 6:07 pace, and a 1:03:30 10 Mile is 6:21 pace. I THINK that all sounds do-able based on my last 2 months of training. Maybe the 10K will have to be a bit slower, and maybe the 10 Mile will start to really hurt and slow up a bit too. But it's something to shoot for.

And 3 weeks ago was the biggest week of running (36.19 miles) since August of 2013!

(I got a bad sacral/hip injury in September of 2013 and was working my way back until a bad ankle sprain in April. I really just felt like I started "training" again in August.) Those 4 runs during that week were a long run, a descending tempo run, a easy run, and another long run. Because of that big week, I backed off a bit the next week, and then raced the Treadman Duathlon that weekend.

III. Course:

Both of Saturday's races start with a not-so-fun uphill, but then we get to enjoy that downhill on our way to the finish (as I'll be trying NOT to sprint too hard!):

10K elevation chart: big climb, flat near the middle of the "out" and "back,"
with a little climb at the middle over Ayd Mill Road.

5K elevation chart: big climb and then rollers.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the 10 Mile on Sunday has a few extra hills this year. And then we have the same final downhill mile to the finish. "Does the downhill help?" you ask? Well, in 2011, I ran the TC 10 in 1:01:20 (6:08 pace), and my final mile was FASTER than my 5K PR pace! It was a 5:27. OK, I maybe saved a little too much for that kick...

IV. Clothing:

I hope to have a wardrobe change on Saturday between the races so I can race in both my "Tutti Frutti" shorts and my "Pinky and the Brain" shorts:

Both at the Gear West Duathlon (different years).

But Sunday's outfit for the 10 Mile is set. Here's a photo from each of the 3 times I've ran the TC 10, and I think it's pretty easy to guess what I'll be wearing this year:

2009, 2010 (the 59:05 year), and 2011.


V. Taper:

Last Wednesday was my last long, hard run. Friday I did a nasty middle-distance run, and Sunday I did an easy run with some 2 minute pick-ups. Today I'll be heading out with Charlie for about 6 easy miles with the stroller.

I did my last PT leg workout last week, and now they're resting up. Yesterday, I did my last good core workout. I'll be doing some strength work leading up to the race, but now it's all easy stuff. I mentioned it a few weeks ago: I canNOT rest up too much leading up to this big weekend.

The BIGGEST mistake I think I could easily make this weekend is racing the 10K too hard. I cannot afford to put myself through too much pain and then have heavy legs for the rest of the weekend just to shave a minute off the first race.

The second biggest mistake would be not recovering properly (between the back-to-back 10K and 5K, and during the rest of the day before the 10 Mile on Sunday). Tim pointed out that was a major issue of his last year when I interviewed him about it, and Coach Liz stressed the importance of that too (in the same interview).

Bottom line: if I manage to break 2:00:00, that would be amazing! And on the other side, I really hope I can keep it under 2:05:00. That's a pretty small window from "AMAZING" to "OH CRAP," so we'll see what happens. Keep an eye on my twitter account for weekend updates! (It's also embedded here on the sidebar of my blog.) This should be good...


Photos from the "New" TC 10 Mile Course

>> Monday, September 29, 2014

So it was announced that the TC 10 Mile would have a bit of a detour this year. There was a big washout back in June along River Road where we usually run (around mile 2), and that's STILL not stable or open to traffic. It will be permanently repaired in the spring. (Mpls Park Board website HERE which includes a link to a map, and a Star Trib article HERE from June when it first washed-out.)

The detour will be from about mile 0.5 through about mile 3 where it joins up with the normal race course at Franklin Ave and River Road. I rode the "new" parts of the course on my bike early in the morning about 10 days ago (shortly after it was announced). After a few blocks of the normal course, we'll be taking a right off the road and onto a bike path. That path leads to a tunnel about a block away that goes under Interstate 35W:

On wide bike path with tunnel in the distance.

In the tunnel. It's pretty wide, but is it wide enough for all the runners a half-mile into the TC 10?

After the tunnel, there's a short, quick downhill, and a shorter uphill to get onto a pedestrian bridge. Here's the view looking out onto the bridge:

On the bridge, looking right to the Washington Ave Bridge (a little shaky because I was riding).

Crossing the bridge. Seems to be a LITTLE wider than the tunnel.

So the tunnel looks like it will be the bottleneck point. Although in a press release, we all heard "Where the course runs on the Dinkytown Greenway, a lane will remain open for use by the general public." So that will make things tight.

Just after the bridge, there's a SHORT but NASTY uphill section. Here's what it looks like:

With a horizontal line drawn under the windows of that building,
showing the steepness of the hill.

At the top of that hill, we get a little break. It's flat for just a bit, and then there's a long, pretty gentle downhill that takes us under the Washington Ave Bridge, along the Weisman Art Museum, and to the area behind Coffman Union on the U of M campus.

THEN A LONG, KINDA BRUTAL CLIMB. I know this area well - I used to run with Henry in the stroller on the paths along the river under the Franklin Ave Bridge up to the Washington Ave Bridge. I ran this route when I wanted some hills. And this final climb is the nastiest. It's a few blocks up, and then we have to veer right to stay on River Road. At that point, it FEELS like you're done, but there's still another block or so to climb.

Then it's flat-ish for a few blocks, followed by a short, nice downhill once you cross I94. After that, we're back on the "normal" route right around the "mile 3" marker, and we get about a mile of pretty flat roads along the river.

The "new" parts of the route have a lot more going on than the "old" route - it could be a lot more mentally draining by the time we hit the "mile 3" marker. Here's the "old" route in blue (from about mile 0.5 to 2.5), and the "new" route in red:

The lower version has 2 thick red lines added in by me because we don't drop down to run
directly across the water's surface, and the 2nd "glitch" is crossing I94 (I think).

So in PREVIOUS YEARS we just sort of went down, had a few small hills, and then came back up. But THIS YEAR we've got a lot more going on. The quick climb after the river is going to suck, and then the climb starting at mile 1.17 on that map is really going to suck.

But in a good way. I love this race.

Tomorrow, I'll post a bit about what I HOPE to do in the 3 races this weekend in the "Loony Challenge." CLICK HERE for some good advice on how to approach a WEEKEND of races.


Amazing Tricks on a Road Bike

>> Sunday, September 28, 2014

This. Is. Insane.

Direct Link:

He can climb a mountain better/faster on a bike than I can do with hiking boots sans-bike!

And make sure to watch to the end for a few bone-jarring outtakes. Bur really, they could have all been much worse.


5K or 10K Race Entry WINNER

>> Saturday, September 27, 2014

On Thursday, I offered up a free 5K or 10K race entry to the "ALS Superhero Dash" happening in 2 weeks. If my legs are still functional after the "Loony Challenge" next weekend, I plan on racing the Superhero Dash the weekend after that with one of my boys.

I took the 11 entrants and put their numbers into to pick a winner.

That number corresponds to Rachel Elizabeth. Rachel, contact me though the "Contact Steve" link at the top of the page, and I hope to be racing with you in 2 weeks! Thanks ALS Superhero Dash!!


Friday Funny 799: Douchebag Merit Badges (and funny links)

>> Friday, September 26, 2014

Usually, I post my favorite links every 2 weeks or so from my tumblr page, but today I'll show my personal TOP 10 FAVORITE POSTS from the last few weeks:

Top 10 Athletic-Related Things:

#10: Why I run.

#9: Dreams.

#8: I've accomplished this "to do" list.

#7: What I THINK I look like when running.

#6: This is awesome: a CC runner with her guide.

#5: Seems like a good reason to volunteer at a Tough Mudder race.

#4: Triathlon.

#3: Sign me up for this kind of race.

#2: Fitness? More like...

#1: Running now vs in the 90s.

Top 10 Non-Athletic Things:

#10: Not a sight you want to see when you're trying to potty train your kid.

#9: Failed pick-up line. Twice.

#8: Drinking alone.

#7: Technically, this is probably good sex advice.

#6: Trust me... I'm an engineer.

#5: What do you wear to bed.

#4: Solid, liquid, gas.

#3: My autobiography.

#2: [GIFs] Bad lip readings of Harry Potter.

#1: Why you should date a nurse.

If you haven't enter the ALS Superhero 5K/10K race entry giveaway, CLICK HERE to enter. I'll randomly pick a winner tomorrow and post it tomorrow or Sunday.

Next week, I'll be posting about the "new" TC 10 Mile course, along with my predictions/goals for the "Loony Challenge" next weekend (the 10K and 5K on Saturday, and then the 10 Mile on Sunday). Check back for that!

And as always, swing by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!


Friday Funny 798: Awesome Young Cyclocross Photographer Gets Muddy to Get the Shot

Seven-year-old Bryce Smaic has been featured on a photography website for his epicness - he stood right in a mud pit during a cyclocross race to get photos of his Dad racing, and he DIDN'T EVEN FLINCH when he got doused in mud:

Here are few of the photos that young Bryce got with his fisheye lens:

Bryce's Dad is a photographer, and he gave Bryce is Nikon dSLR for the race. One of the best comments is someone trying to explain why he has no fear standing in that mud pit to get his photos: "THAT'S BECAUSE HE HAS NO CONCEPT OF THE MONEY IT COSTS TO BUY THE EQUIPMENT! LOL!"

Lots more funnies on


Friday Funny 797: 18 Irritating Photos

Buzzfeed posted some irritating photos. Here are the 18 that were the most irritating to me:

1. Walls that don’t quite join up with ceilings.

2. When the thing that was meant to dry your wet hands completely fell apart because it was touched by your wet hands.

3. Erasers that had one job.

4. This feeling on your wrist like wet little kisses from the devil himself.

5. This abomination of a pattern.

6. The worst toaster in the world.

7. Some children.

8. Wet spoons in the sugar.

9. Slightly askew toilet seats.

10. This reach.

11. This doughnut that was stripped of all its joy.

12. This error which cannot be fixed.

13. These bowls that should have been a rainbow, but decided to be the fucking worst instead.

14. Weakling drinking fountains.

15. Vehicle owners who couldn’t be more douchey if they tried.

16. This sorry excuse for an avocado.

17. This maddening irony.

18. And finally, this tile design and this plant teaming up to ruin your day.

Lots more funny stuff on!


Friday Funny 796: How To Survive the Grossest Things About Running recently posted an article about how to deal with the gross side of running. Here are their 4 main tips:

Farmer Blow/Snot Rocket

Running without being able to breathe isn’t any fun. Neither is trying to blow your sweaty nose in a rapidly disintegrating tissue. Which is why knowing how to execute an efficient snot rocket is almost as important as tying your shoes.

1. Only perform this trick outside—it’s a serious gym foul for treadmill runners.

2. Make sure no one is in your immediate vicinity.

3. Take note of wind direction and adjust your angle so that you aren’t excreting into the wind.

4. Take a breath, most likely through your mouth since your nose is clogged.

5. Close off one nostril by laying a finger or knuckle against it.

6. Turn head, aim, lean or twist in the direction of the open nostril and fire away by exhaling forcefully, repeatedly if necessary.

7. Repeat on the other nostril.

8. Give your nose a quick wipe (the knuckle method makes this quick and easy).

9. An ideal farmer’s blow should be like your cadence and in-step with your stride, quick and light instead of slow and drawn out—practice!

10. Make it a game, and see if you can recognize your running partners by the way they blow.

Passing Gas on a Group Run

If it was audible:

1. Offer a brief apology

2. Keep running


1. Pretend it didn’t happen

2. Keep running

3. Find a new running group

If it was silent but deadly:

1. Offer a brief apology

2. Keep running


1. Pretend it didn’t happen

2. Give no indication of your mortification

3. Step up the pace to find fresh air


1. Blame it on someone else

2. Look around the group in an accusing manner

3. Make a childish quip about beans

4. Find a new running group

Peeing on the Go

For when you need to go on the go, and there isn’t a bathroom in sight, guys have it easy. But women are creative and we have two discreet methods you can try the next time you’re in a bind.

Lunge Pee

This method only works if you are wearing shorts, a running skirt or non-compression boy shorts and is magic when you have to go one more time before the start of a race. When done properly and at the right angle, no one will be the wiser.

1. Stand away from the crowd, ideally on grass to prevent splatter.
2. Go into a deep side lunge.
3. Discreetly pull your shorts liner to the side (you’ll have to practice to see which way works best for you—note it may change after having children).
4. Pee and drip dry.
5. Return shorts to their starting position.
6. Squat to the other side for balance and to maintain the facade.

Squat Pee

This age-old squat technique is a good back-pocket option when the only options for relieving yourself are port-a-potties, short bushes and extremely dark areas.

1. Yank your shorts down so the waistband is hovering just above your knee.
2. Assume the squat position, holding onto a nearby tree trunk, large rock or another object if needed.
3. Check your positioning—as is the case for any proper squat, your rear should stick out far enough so you don’t accidentally dampen your shoes or draping shorts. (If you do, no hard feelings—we all do it.)
4. Pee. Give it a little extra power to make the stop quick and efficient. This also minimizes any excess from, well, you know.
5. Pull your shorts up in one swift motion, and continue on your run. Never look back.

Runner Trots

First things first—don’t panic. Urgent bodily functions respond negatively to distress, so you’re only encouraging the crappy situation if you clench, tighten up or react in any way.

If you are familiar with the run route—like you know the homeless guy who bathes in your favorite bathroom—then get there by jogging slowly or walking. A common mistake is to speed up the run to beat the explosion; oftentimes a slower, cooler approach works best against the bowels. Mind over matter, people.

If you’re not around any indoor plumbing, the only option is the next hidden or secluded stop you see. When you gotta go, you gotta go—just do your best to make it quick and immediately head home or back to your car to... change. (Note: If this is a common worry on a regular basis, wear dark bottoms and have a back-up piece of dignity in your trunk.)

If all is lost and the deed is done, take peace in knowing that you’re not the only one. Tie your shirt around your waist, waddle back to your car and Google “Paula Radcliffe pooping” to make yourself feel better.

This reminds me that I realized the best form to shoot a snot rocket back in 2007. Also reminds me of my horrible runners trots story from last year. Seriously, check out that last link. It's graphic and awesome.

And check out for more funnies all the time!

p.s. If you're a local, make sure to enter my 5K/10K giveaway to race with me in 2 weeks!


5K/10K Race Entry GIVEAWAY

>> Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My "race buddy" Jen has been busy. She's the tri-state (ND, SD, and MN) director of the ALS Association. The "ice bucket challenge" took them by surprise - it sounds like they've been thrilled with the response!

Here are 2 photos of Jen from last year's blog post about my wife doing the Trinona Triathlon:

Jen and Dave (the race director).

Jen on the mic sending off a wave of racers.

Jen raced with me at the Waconia Triathlon this summer, and did her first half iron-distance tri just after that!

Anyway, Jen and the ALS Association are putting on the ALS Superhero Dash in a few weeks. She gave me an entry, and would like me to give one away to a reader as well! The race is at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, and it has a 5K and 10K distance. The race is Saturday, October 11th.

I'm not sure which distance I'm doing now because I'd like to race it with one of my boys in the stroller. So as race day draws near, I'll be weighing these issues as I decide between the 10K and 5K:

- Are my legs still fried from the TC Loony Challenge (the weekend before)?
- Is it cold or rainy?
- Which son do I want to race with?

I don't want to take my 4-month-old out for a 10K if it's too chilly, but my 3-year-old would be fine bundling up a bit more. So I'll have to weigh all these options as I figure out which race to do. FYI: last year, they had 343 runners in the 5K and 134 in the 10K, and they raised $62,000 for ALS research (and that money supports their programs and services that directly help people with ALS in MN/ND/SD)!

I'VE BEEN ASKED TO GIVEAWAY A 5K or 10K ENTRY TO A LOCAL RUNNER! So if you want to race with me and one of my boys (hopefully) on Oct 11, read on...

If anyone is interested in racing a 10K or 5K in St. Paul on Oct 11 at 10 a.m., just leave a comment! (Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you: email, blogger name, twitter handle, etc.) I'd love to see you there! The race is at Lake Phalen Regional Park in St. Paul.

So comment now, and check back this weekend (Sept 27 or 28) to see if you were picked as the winner. Then you've got 2 weeks of training before the big race! :)

Check out more info on the "ALS Superhero Dash" website. Thanks everyone!

p.s. Here's an album of 1,100 photos from last year's race. Here are a few photos from that album, and they let you know it's a pretty low-key "fun run:"

I didn't edit this - this is what the race photographer did to it.

A Bat-Dad and a stroller finishing their lap around the lake. This will hopefully be me
this year! (I think I need some "Father/Son" and/or "Stroller/Runner" costume ideas...)

So COMMENT NOW if you want to be entered to race this 5K or 10K for free! And find out more on the "ALS Superhero Dash" website.


Treadman Duathlon Race Report

>> Monday, September 22, 2014

Or, "HOW Can This Bike be Called 'Fairly Flat' on the Race Website?!?"

Or, "Lots-O-Snot"

A few days ago, I caught a bad cold. Early Saturday morning as I was driving to the Treadman Duathlon, I rolled down my window to hack up a loogie. It was appropriate that it was during this song (which described previously stated loogie):

I'm not joking. This song was on the radio as I left a piece of me on Hwy 52.

I got to the race site and took care of some business:

Dark clouds (and a few distant lightning strikes) making part of the bike course wet.

Set up in transition.

Sean "Easy-Peasy" Pease snapped one of the most awkward photos of me ever as we were nearing the start of the race and I was fueling a bit more:

Dear God.

I talked with Jenn Scudiero a bit - she was racing, and she was one of my 2 relay partners at the Trinona Sprint Triathlon this past June:

Me, Jenn, and Jeremy after our Trinona relay win!

We all got lined up, and soon we were off!


I was back in 4th place right away. I checked the legs of the guys in front of me: no one in my age group. Nice. Someone came up behind me pretty quick: it was a skinny, speedy 30-year-old female. (If you know my Mom, she was built a little like my Mom, but even a bit skinnier.) I ran behind her in 5th for a bit.

My first 2 half-mile splits were 2:52.8, and 3:00.5, for a first mile of 5:53. I knew I had slowed up a bit in that second half-mile (well, the pack of us had slowed up a bit), and I was 100% OK with that - I didn't want to kill myself on the first run.

Runners coming back down the same trail later in the race after I finished.

I was pretty consistent when we climbed a gravel hill and went down the other side: mile 2 was 3:00.1 and 3:00.6 for a 6:00 mile. Good. The little hill is right near the middle of my elevation chart from the run, after we turned off the paved trail:

Our turn off the trail and back towards town was around a farmyard that reeked of cattle was we got close. Mario Minelli was just in front of the speedy woman in front of me. I shouted "Mario, I blame that smell on you!" On the gravel road, I was a little hashed. I ALREADY started having thoughts of having to walk on the final run. My mind was not in a good place. I tried to let up a bit. I was still in 5th after someone in front of us dropped back, but someone behind us passed our group.

As I just said, I "tried" to let up a bit, but nearing the end of the run made me want to go a little harder. For mile 3, I ran a 2:58.3 and then finally slowed up to a 3:06.6 for a 6:04 mile. I ran the remainder back to T1 at about 6:04 pace (my Garmin tells me), and I was nearly 20 seconds behind the Mom look-a-like (I made myself ease up more).

My goal stated in Saturday's post was "somewhere around 20 minutes" for each of the 3.3 mile runs, so I was happy to be running in at 19:38. I was curious to see if I'd have enough left in my legs for another sub-20 run later on...


The usual. Shoes off, shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on (I don't like to run in my sunglasses unless it's super bright), and I was away. I made up some ground on the Mom look-a-like.


I passed the speedy female 2 blocks into the ride, and then I had empty roads. I was now in 4th, but the people in front of me were WAY up there. I knew this could be a lonely ride. And I was worried about the wind - it was a little breezy. But I should have been worried about my snot. My head was a little congested from my cold, and I blew 8-12 snot-rockets over the course of the ride. Many landed on my leg. Awesome. As Chris Martin was singing earlier that morning: "...and they were all yellow."

I got passed twice before mile 5, and neither were in my age group. "Sweet - could I get a wire-to-wire age group win?" It was waaaaaaay to early to be thinking about that, but it crossed my mind. But then I was passed by a 31-year-old who left me in his dust. Damn. I deserved it for having those sexy, sexy thoughts.

The first 5 miles were a bit uphill, so I was happy to see a 20.5 mph average there. Then there were LOTS more hills over the next 5 miles, so I was OK with seeing a 19.7 mph average over those miles. And then came the hill.

THEE hill.

Mother f*cker.

Just before the hill, Jenn passed me. We both yelled at each other (positive things). The roads were wet from previous rain, and I got SLOSHED up when she passed me and got in front of me! I kept wishing I had my camera to get a photo of the scale of this hill with her climbing it in front of me. Look at a close up of my Garmin elevation chart:

Those lines aren't like 20 feet. They're 100 feet. So it's a nice 300 foot climb.
That's not INSANE by any means, but it WAS pretty brutal in the middle of the race!

Mario warned me that once you THINK you're over the hill, it actually keeps going for a bit, and he was right. That 5 mile split (miles 10-15) was 17:35, or a 17.1 mph average. Yikes.

But after a few more miles, we turned north and had the wind at our back. It was still hilly (oh God, the hills never stopped), but it was more downhill overall. Here's my overall Garmin elevation data:

I set a PR over the next 5 miles! The wind wasn't TOO bad out there as shown by my first 20.5 mph split over the first 5 miles - that's not great for me, but that's about where I expect to be (I had a 22.0 average at my last tri, and that was GREAT for me!). The combo of the wind at our back and the hills being more downhill rose my overall average quickly. And my 5-mile split was 11:59.1 - that's a 25.0 mph ave over 5 miles!! Once during a wind-aided 5-mile interval on a flat trail in Alexandria, I biked a 12:01. Awesome.

Checking my OVERALL average every 5 miles looked like this:

- Mile 5: 20.5 mph
- Mile 10: 20.2 mph
- Mile 15: 19.0 mph (having JUST climbed out of the 18s)
- Mile 20: 20.1 mph
- Back to transition (21.60 miles): 20.3 mph

I saw the guy in my age group who had passed me running out as I was headed back (the runners came out for 4 blocks on the bike course, so it's a nice way to see who's in front of you). He was about 3 blocks away from transition already, and I still had to get back there, go through T2, and start running. I was pretty sure I had my 2nd place age group spot secure with no shot at 1st. Considering the hills and some wind, I was happy with my 1:03 bike when I had hoped for "just over an hour."


I came to my normal awkward stop, hopped off my bike, and did all the normal T2 stuff. I asked a relay runner waiting in transition if he wanted to run for me. He figured it best to wait for his ACTUAL partner. Fine. Jerk.


OH DEAR BABY JESUS MY LEGS WERE DEAD. The run was the same as the first run, but in reverse (which was kinda great). The only problem was that there's a short climb over a bridge to start it (see the end of the elevation chart in first run section). I dropped to well over 9:00 pace there. I couldn't see anyone in front of me or behind me, so I just ran. I was hoping to find Jenn before the finish.

Jenn was a few blocks up after turning corner. I was s-l-o-w-l-y gaining on her. My first mile was 3:09.8 and 3:04.9 for a total of 6:14. I knew the next half mile would be rough, because we were now running up that 1/4 mile gravel hill. It felt horrible, and it ended up being my slowest half mile split of the day: 3:12.0.

I got right on Jenn's tail as we turned off the gravel road and onto the straight trail that would lead us 1.5 miles back to the finish. She told me to "go get em," and I motioned to the wide-open space in front of us and said "there's no one to get!" I ran a 3:06.7 to give me a mile 2 split of 6:18. Oh, and don't feel bad for Jenn that I passed her - she went on to break the female course record!

I THOUGHT I was gaining on someone near the end, but then I realized it was a middle-aged female runner out for a jog. Damn it. (I wouldn't have caught her anyway.) Mile 3 was super uneventful as I ran 3:00.7 and 2:57.8 for a 5:58 total. I was happy to get one under 6. My final 0.3 to the finish was done at 5:31 pace.

From later in the race: we ran over 2 little bridges in the final half mile.
Beautiful morning for a run!

I ended up 7th overall, over 90 seconds behind 6th (but the age grouper I was chasing finished 5th over 3:00 ahead of me), well over a minute in front of Jenn in 8th, and almost 14 minutes ahead of 3rd in our age group.


Steve Stenzel, 33, M, St. Paul, #1188

- 3.3 MILE RUN: 19:38 (5:57.0 pace), 1st in age group, 5th overall.
- T1: 0:44, 6th overall.
- 21.6 MILE BIKE: 1:03:52 (20.3 mph), 2nd in age group, 10th overall.
- T2: 0:37, 10th overall.
- 3.3 MILE RUN: 19:59 (6:03.3 pace), 1st in age group, 2nd overall.

TOTAL: 1:44:47

7 out of 68 overall
7 out of 56 males
2 out of 3 in the 30-34 age group


• Even though the bike was ROUGH with all those hills, I hit my race goals pretty well. I wanted runs around 20 minutes and a bike just over an hour. I said in Saturday's post that I hoped that would put me in the 1:45 - 1:50 range. I was really hoping for around 1:45, so my 1:44:47 is just fine by me. (Side note: I never tried to figure out my overall time when racing. I only saw my current "sport" time on my Garmin. So I wasn't easing up or anything knowing I had sub-1:45. I've gotten much better over the years at predicting what I can do.)

• Speedy Mario has done this race about 4 7 times (and he's placed 2nd a good number of those times). He claims this is the HARDEST multisport race in the state. The course makes a good argument for that. The hilly ride out around Square Lake (for the Square Lake Tri and the Cinco Du Mayo Du) is rough, but I think this was more relentless. I was in and out of my small ring soooo many times. In fact, here's a comparison of hilly Treadman vs hilly Cinco - it's clear Treadman is much hillier when you see it has about a 300 foot elevation change while Cinco has about 150 foot change:

"Treadman Du" in green, "Cinco" in red, and both at the same scale. (It's worth noting that Cinco
is half as long, so the hills seem artificially "longer" when placed on top of a 21.6 mile course).

• I didn't think of this until during the race, but this was my longest duathlon ever. The Apple Duathlon is 26.7 miles (3.1, 20.5, 3.1), and that's the longest I've done. Oh wait, I forgot about the no-longer-in-existance "Winter BeGone" Duathlon which was actually pretty close to this race site (maybe another 10-15 miles down the road). A bunch of us did that race in 2008, and that's where Matt, Pharmie, and I got our first age group medals. That race was 27.9 miles (3.1, 18.6, 6.2). We don't have too many 10K runs in duathlons around here.

• This is totally silly, but I didn't like that all 3 events were loops. I like a good "out-and-back" to be able to see how I'm doing compared to other people. At this race, it was all loops, so we didn't have that luxury. I still liked this (brutal) race, and I'm definitely keeping this event in mind for the future! Great race!

I stretched WELL, and even went for a little cool-down jog. My hip/sacrum was a bit sore, but stretching for so long really seemed to help. I stuck around for awards to get my 2nd place age group medal, and I cheered for Jenn getting some goodies for her overall win (and COURSE PR!):

That night, I celebrated. P-R-E-T-T-Y hard:

From Instagram: "Shut up. You don't know me. I had a long race today. Don't judge."

Good race. Good food.

Stop back later this week for a 5K/10K race entry giveaway, and for some photos from the "new" (temporary) TC 10 Mile course.



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