I FINISHED the Securian Winter Run Half Marathon Today!

>> Saturday, January 30, 2016

I'm just happy to have finished. I posted this on Facebook last night:

And then I posted this a few hours ago:

Caption: After some bad calf pain over this past week, I didn't know if I would be starting the
#‎SecurianWinterRun‬ Half Marathon today. Legs held up OK and finished with a solid
negative split with my 3rd fastest winter half (out of 7 races, 6 of those Securian)!"

I learned some things about my training during this race. Back with that in a full race report (and lots of photos from friends) hopefully on Monday. Happy weekend!

Now... where's my foam roller...


Friday Funny 1045: Running Funnies

>> Friday, January 29, 2016

More funny things posted all week long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

I'm HOPEFULLY running a half marathon tomorrow! I've had some calf pain as of late, so we'll see if I even start. Stop back soon!


Friday Funny 1044: Trainwreck Tumblr Posts

Between this post and my first "Friday Funny" of the day, I'm apparently highlighting funny mistakes people are making online. Guess I'm into that today. Here are 8 "Tumblr Trainwrecks:"

More funny things posted all week long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com!


Friday Funny 1043: Dog Runs Half Marathon

You've probably heard about this. I shared this on Tumblr 2 days ago:

More funny things posted 10x a day on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 1042: Social Media Mistakes

How's that saying go? Something like "social media hasn't made people stupid, it's just made their stupidity accessible to a bigger audience." Well that applies to these people:

I had to say the "all of garden" one out loud before I rolled my eyes...

Lots more funny stuff posted on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Review: Pack Gear - Lightweight Travel Organizer

>> Thursday, January 28, 2016

I haven't been traveling since my Israel trip/race 2 years ago, but I can't wait to try this out on my next trip. It's a Lightweight Travel Organizer from Pack Gear:

Lightweight Travel Organizer as seen on their website.

Illustration from Travel Fashion Girl that shows the workings of The Pack.

You can see from that illustration that there are essentially 6 compartments: 2 small ones at the top that are loaded from the top, 2 big compartments in the middle that are loaded from the front, and 2 small compartments on the bottom that are also loaded from the front. Everything can be opened or closed with snaps. It's lighter than a T-shirt, and when it's empty, it folds up to take up less space than a T-shirt.

You can pack it up with everything you need at home, and then secure all the buckles. When you get to where your staying, you can simply hang it up on a closet rod (or on a tree branch if you're camping). You don't need to unpack or repack anything; you just hang it up and open the compartments that you need.

When you're ready to head back home from your trip, just close all the compartments and throw it in your suitcase. It goes from being used on your trip/vacation to being packed in 2 seconds.

My Lightweight Travel Organizer has been laying around for a while (note opening sentence about not traveling much recently), so it's pretty wrinkled up. I hung it in my kitchen for a photo:

The Pack's Lightweight Travel Organizer.

Showing the bottom dual compartment of The Pack.

I didn't know how well items would stay inside, so I grabbed a big Stanley tape measure that I had sitting next to me. I figured it could fall out of the pack quite easily, but I set it in there and it stayed put. I'm super eager to try this out on an actual trip sometime.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Lightweight Travel Organizer for free from Pack Gear as coordinated by Outdoor PR in consideration for review publication.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: Bruised Butt

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2016

If you're still reading, then here's what you came for:

My hand on the right is covering my crack. You're welcome.

Ten days ago, my wife was getting our 4-year-old out of the car, and I was carrying our 1-year-old. I slipped on some hard-packed snow that had turned to ice at the end of our driveway, and went down hard. My wife gasped because I was holding Charlie, but I kept him upright and safe throughout the fall. In fact, my wife laughed 2 seconds after I landed because Charlie was smiling. She said something like "he doesn't know he should have been scared!"

This past weekend (1 week after the fall), I walked past my wife as I was (tastefully) nude, and she noticed this bruise. She was sad and said "oh, we missed the yucky yellow stage." Too bad. And then she took this pic.

Half marathon on Saturday! I hope to post here shortly after the race (maybe during the boys' nap), but check my twitter and/or my instagram page for updates on Saturday morning!


Want to Run a FREE 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon With Me Next Month?

>> Monday, January 25, 2016

What are you doing on Saturday, February 20th? Want to run a 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon with me in Vadnais Heights? (That's suburb a few miles north of St. Paul.) Well I have good news. Tri Fitness in White Bear Lake wants me to give an entry away to their "Half Fast" Half Marathon/10K/5K.

I looked through my race calendar, and I think I've done 4 races that Tri Fitness has hosted: the Cinco "DU" Mayo Duathlon 3 times, and the "Fast Before the Feast" 10K on Thanksgiving morning once.

Running the "Fast Before the Feast" 10K with Henry a few years back.

Starting the final run at the 2015 Cinco DU Mayo Duathlon this past spring. LOVE this race.

Tri Fitness puts on great races, but their numbers are kinda small, so I'm helping to get the word out. They're not asking me to say anything specific - these are all my thoughts. They host well-run events and have sweet goodies: I posted this on Instagram after racing the Cinco DU Mayo Duathlon:

"Apparently, winning a Cinco 'Du' Mayo Duathlon earns you a goodie basket with
ingredients to make guac. #Awesome #CincoDu #RacePR"

So to help talk about their races, they gave me an entry into the "Half Fast" Half Marathon/10K/5K, and they're also giving me an entry to give away to one of you. This is what their website says about the "Half Fast" race:

Running. Outside. February. Minnesota?! You betcha dontcha know!

If you’ve ever wanted the opportunity (or maybe even the "excuse") to include those words in a single sentence - whether bragging to your friends, or...well, let’s just face it, is there any other reason to bring this up besides showing a little swagger? Here’s your chance!

Tri Fitness presents to you the "Half Fast Half Marathon!" Not only will you be able to truthfully use those words in a highly coveted sentence, but you’ll also receive an awesome shirt with the best catch-phrase around. When your friends ask what you did this weekend, proudly display your shirt and exclaim, "I ran Half Fast!"

I'm hoping to run the "Half Fast" Half Marathon in just over 3 weeks (not just the 5K or 10K). It sort of depends how my legs feel after this upcoming half marathon in 5 days - if I still feel pretty hashed, I might do one of the shorter races. (See my weekend post for my race goals.) I think 3 weeks is enough to recover from a half marathon, get in 1 or 2 long runs, and then rest up for another half marathon. Right?


To enter, simply comment on this blog post. It's that easy. Comment anything. "Hey Steve, it's Jane Doe from West St. Paul (which is east of St. Paul, so WHAT THE HELL?!). I would love to race the Half Fast 10K!" (Or 5K, or half marathon - you don't have to pick right now.) That works. Or maybe even: "Hey chicken legs, I want to race you and your dumb shorts." Technically, that comment would have you entered. (Although I'd kinda be rooting for you NOT to win, jerk.)

If you want to earn an EXTRA entry (totally optional - it just gets your name in the hat an extra time), "like" Tri Fitness on Facebook, and make sure you let me know that in your comment. So add something like "I liked TriFitessWBLs page, so put my name in the hat twice!"

I'll use random.org to pick a random winner from all the comments. If you commented that you "like" them on Facebook, I'll give you 2 numbers in the drawing to better your chances. (Say there are 20 comments and 10 of those say they liked Tri Fitness, then every comment gets a number [#1-20] and the Facebook likers get another number [#21-30] and then I pick a winner from 1-30.) I'll pick a winner sometime in the middle of next week (around the 3rd), so make sure to check back, ESPECIALLY if you don't have a Blogger or Google account because I might not be able to get a hold of you.

Pseudo-legal stuff:
- You may comment now on this post through Tuesday, Feb 2nd Wednesday, Feb 3rd around 2 pm.
- The winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator or by drawing numbers out of a hat.
- Check back to see if you won! Especially if you don't have a Google/Blogger account.
- If the winner does not contact me within 3 days after being announced, I'll be forced to draw a new winner. So check back and KEEP checking back in case the winner is lame!
- And as always, Tri Fitnes has not told me to say anything specific. These words are my own. They are just giving me an entry, and they are giving an entry to one of my lucky readers.

A final big THANKS to Tri Fitness White Bear Lake for the race entry! Check them out HERE, and like them on Facebook for an extra entry! Hope to race with you in under 4 weeks!

Comment NOW to be entered!


Half Marathon Next Weekend

>> Saturday, January 23, 2016

Here's the short version: I think I'll be around 1:30:00 next weekend. Hopefully a bit under.

Next weekend is my longest race since the City of Lakes 25K in 2012. I haven't ran a half marathon since earlier in that year, about 3.5 years ago. And my running/training has been different recently, so I don't know what to expect.

Here are 4 thoughts on what could affect this race:

• I've only been training long and slow. After the TC 10 Mile in early October, I took 4 weeks off. Since then, I've mainly been running easy, with just a little effort thrown in here-and-there. I nailed my plan of running 3x/week increasing the runs each week by 5 minutes (until I noted that I had to cut back on doing that 3x a week because I was starting to run too much). I started at the beginning of November with 30 minute runs, and I just finished a week with an 85 minute run (and I plan to do 1 more tomorrow [I did a shorter run with some fartleks yesterday]). Then just a few easy miles on Wednesday, and then the race next Saturday. Normally I like to train with tempo runs and intervals, but that hasn't been the case this time because I've been trying to stay injury-free. BUT my mileage has been higher than normal so I'm curious how much that will offset the lack of speed work. My longest sustained effort in any run in the last 3 months was my "frozen face" 11.2 mile run where I ran the middle 5 miles at 6:43 pace.

• I've been shying away from hill training. Because of my heel issues, I've been avoiding hills as to not aggravate those problems. The race next weekend isn't super hilly, but there are definitely some noticeable climbs in it (along Shepard Road from Downtown St. Paul up to Hwy 5 and back). I'm a little concerned how I will feel running up to the turn-around, and then hitting another 2-block steep hill a mile or two later. There's also a nasty nasty 1-block hill with 1 mile left, but I'm less concerned about that one - I'll already feel like hell, and there's only 1 mile to go. But the middle of the race could get ugly.

• Extra clothing / hard breathing in cold, dry air. Right now, they're saying it's supposed to be a pretty nice day (high of 35 and low of 29) so hopefully I won't have extra clothing slowing me down. I might even be in shorts! And the air temp shouldn't be too hard on my lungs. Let's hope that's the case.

• Will it be icy / slick / snow-packed? Icy or snowpacked roads can really slow you down when you're trying to run fast. I'm hoping the roads are nice and clear, otherwise I'll be losing precious time 180 times each minute as I push off.

If my "long and slow" training doesn't let me down, and the hills don't feel too bad, and I don't have to wear a ton of clothes, and the footing is good, the best I think I could run is 1:28:xx. The slowest I would hope to run would be around 1:33. Speedy Nicole from the Y who I ran with in 2011 predicted I would run a 1:26:30, and I laughed in her face. Well, MAYBE I could break into the 1:27s if I'm lucky. The last time I did this race in 2012, I was about to have the best "distance running" year of my life, and I ran a 1:25:22. My goal for this race is the same as my goal from my recent indoor track meet: just don't run a personal worst. My first and worst half marathon was 1:29:48, so I'm hoping to keep this one under 1:30.

We'll see how much "mental" issues of not training HARD come into play. Will I go too easy near the middle of the race because I'm not sure if I can hold out to the end? I'm worried about my different physical training causing me some mental problems during the race.

Enough over-thinking. Let's just see what I can do next weekend. Keep an eye on my Twitter and my Instagram page for updates on Saturday.

p.s. Here's video from the 2nd-to-last time I did this race in 2011 when I raced with Nicole:

Direct Link: youtu.be/f7rbyenaZm0

That video ends with me passing my pregnant wife in the 10K.
It was at this race that we announced she was pregnant. :)


Friday Funny 1041: If Life Was Like a Video Game

>> Friday, January 22, 2016

From College Humor:

Lots more funny stuff posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 1040: Translation Fails

These are amazing.

I always knew I was the best as I was urinating in the pool.

More funny things posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com!


Friday Funny 1039: Endless Cycles

Here are some endless cycles that people get stuck in by Loryn Brantz.

(I get stuck in #2 & #5 ALL the time.)

More funny thing posted on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Radio Interview and TV Appearance

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2016

In my last post, I showed an icy photo of me after a 15 below long run on Sunday. An hour after I published that post, someone from WCCO Radio was in my dining room interviewing me about running in the cold. Around noon on Monday, this 47 second clip was heard on the radio:

Direct link: https://youtu.be/JM06I8j1ePY

Two things:

First: I like to run about every-other day, but not always "at least 10 miles" like Susie said.

And second: if you turn it up loud for the first 2 seconds, you hear Henry in the background talking to Susie saying "Can I show you a picture of my bird?" He had taken a photo of a bird he made with Legos, and he wanted to show her.

The story appeared on their website too, along with 3:00 of more casual audio. CHECK THAT OUT HERE. It starts with Henry interrupting us which she TOTALLY could have edited out, but I'm sure she left it in because she liked my boys. And it added to the "feel" of me being a part-time stay-at-home DILF.

Here's what the link to the article looks like on their Facebook page:

Note that first comment from a former U of M student of mine. Ha! Thanks Tyler!

The comments on their Facebook post had a lot of people sharing similar photos. And a bit of hate. People called me stupid. Someone said I had "deeper psychological issues." Someone said that my lungs would freeze and I would die and then called me an idiot. Someone else simply commented "idiot," and someone simply commented "dumb." Someone called me a "nerd" (which is true). I'm 100% positive anyone who was blatantly and pointlessly posting negative comments had never tried running below 40 or 50 degrees. (Probably never tried running PERIOD. Oooooh... burn.)

A friend told me this:


Then, later that night (Monday night), I appeared on the evening news. I Instagrammed this photo:


Ian Leonard (the meteorologist) said I had the best twitter name, as one of the news anchors noted that I was wearing more than a Speedo in this pic. Kelcey (one of the anchors) mentioned that I had an entertaining blog. She must have seen a bit of it after I tweeted a pic to her of her running the TC Marathon this past Oct. She's speedy!

Four minutes after that was on the news, I got a text from my Mom that said my Grandma had just called her saying that she saw me on TV and that it was "pretty neat."

My 15 minutes of fame are now officially over.

I have some local race news and some FREE RACE ENTRIES that I'll be giving away soon, so stop back over the weekend or on Monday for that!


Frozen Long Run and SlowTwitch Article

>> Monday, January 18, 2016

I bundled up for a cold run early Sunday morning. Post-run, I Instagrammed this:

Caption: "11+ miles, 15 below air temp, 35 below windchill."

I had no idea I was that icy. Really. It was getting harder to blink, so I knew there was ice on my lashes, and I saw bits of ice on the tip of my nose now-and-then, but I had NO idea I looked like this until I got home and took that photo.

(BTW, the run was 11.2 miles, and I picked up the effort a bit for the middle 5 miles. I shot for around 7:00s, which feels more like 6:30-6:45 when running in that cold. My middle 5 mile splits were: 6:59, 7:01, 6:47, 6:26, and 6:26, for an average pace of 6:43.8 for those miles. Good.)

I posted that photo around 8:40 a.m. Then about 40 minutes later, someone from SlowTwitch (a triathlon website) contacted me and asked to use my photo in an article. He had a few questions about what I was training for. Finally, a few hours later I get a link to a SlowTwitch article. I thought my photo was going to be something they added to an article about winter training, but it turns out the article was based around my photo. The article was called "No excuses - just getting it done," which gives you the gist of the story.

It's fitting that the only direct quote from me was:

"I had 6 layers of fabric over my privates, but I got the run done," said Stenzel.


CLICK HERE to check out the article on SlowTwitch.

Oh, and my wife went for a short run after I did yesterday. She got back and posted this:

Her caption: "3.5 quick frosty miles. Minus 10 air temp, -30 wind chill."

She only had 2 layers over her privates. But being she's a doctor and knows more about bodies than I do, she reminded me that her privates are inside.


Meet of the Miles Results and Video

>> Saturday, January 16, 2016

The results from the Meet of the Miles from earlier this week showed up, and they can be found here. Here's how I ranked:

26th out of 151 overall
3rd out of 10 in the 30-34 age group

The 2 guys RIGHT in front of me were both in my age group, so I was THIS CLOSE to winning my division. Also everyone's times are 0.01 - 0.10 seconds slower than what they were listed on the printouts at the meet, so my 4:56.60 ended up officially as 4:56.70, or officially my 2nd slowest 1 mile since 2008.

Here's a video that Steve Q shot of my heat. It's a thrilling 5 minutes. (jk) I start 3rd from the outside in my purple "Wells/Easton" tank top, and then proceed to race near the back of my heat:

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/ywB2StAyjD8

The video DID answer one question I had about the race. 14 of us lined up, but in my race report, I showed the 13 finish times from my wave. The video shows 1 guy losing ground on the pack. At the 3:16 mark, you see him finish his 5th lap, and then you don't see him again. He dropped out due to some calf pain (is what I heard from Rob E). And I'm glad at the finish Steve Q just shows the finish line - I've seen my "pained" final kick before, and it's NOT pretty.

CLICK HERE for my race report if you missed it.


Friday Funny 1038: Disturbing Kid's Books

>> Friday, January 15, 2016

A few of these aren't meant for kids, but what's disturbing is that many of them are...


When Henry was younger, we often read this "George and Martha" book to him,
and this always made me cringe.

Well obviously.

Lots more funny stuff on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com! Happy weekend!



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