NEW Injury. Sheesh.

>> Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I went to see a sports med doc yesterday, and this was the outcome:

Oh. Wait. No. The opposite of that."

It's a stress reaction, which is a precursor to a stress fracture. The doc was happy I came in when I did (before things got worse).

I had some pain to the inside of my tibia a few inches above my ankle about 2 weeks ago. It was nothing big, but it made me pay attention. A few days later, I ran the Irish Run 8K with no problem and no pain. I took 3 days of rest, and then did an easy run on Wednesday of last week, and I had some pain. It went away after 1.5 miles, but then it ached the rest of the day. I figured I'd try 1 more run to just make sure it wasn't some fluke before going to the doctor. So 2 days later (last Friday), I went for another easy run. Still pain.

It hurt off-and-on all weekend. It was fine laying in bed, but once I started to put weight on it, it would start to hurt. I went to see a sports medicine doctor yesterday, and I brought my training log and some notes to discuss:

I come prepared.

As I talked with the doc, she smiled more and more, repeatedly saying something like, "Yep, you're doing everything RIGHT." (Like when I talked about taking 4-5 weeks off from running after the TC 10 Mile last Oct, then building back miles slowly by running easy, and by doing leg and PT strengthening work, and by taking time off after races before running again, etc, etc.) This injury was just something that happened. There was no big cause that jumped out where she had to say "yeah, you shouldn't have done THAT."

So we're starting off by being in that walking boot for 2.5 weeks. I can do anything that doesn't bring me pain. She said biking should be fine, but I wasn't as sure, so I told her I'd confine myself to the trainer (at least at first). That way I'm not twisting my leg by clipping in and out, and I can stop at a moment's notice if some pain should appear. (I was on the trainer for 50 mins this morning already, and it went OK.) I also hope to hit the pool for some water running a few times a week. Which is awesome to write because I remember HOW FREAKING FUN THAT IS.

My biggest concern right now is the walking boot itself: it makes me walk funny and throws off my normal stride. (Obviously.) And when I hurt my foot a little back in August/September of 2013, that made me alter my stride a bit as I was doing day-to-day activities, and that lead to my sacrum injury that kept me from running for 3+ months. I've already felt an INKLING of that coming back on after my last run last week. Dang.

p.s. I was amused by the 2nd birth control method on the paperwork I had to fill out before my visit:

The latin term for this is "coitus interrupts." I think.


Easter on Instagram (and more)

>> Monday, March 28, 2016

Here are a few pics from the weekend from my Instagram acct:

"The boys are in heaven."

"Cousins fighting for position..." They both wanted to help Grandma with the fruit.

"Best. Easter. Ever."

That last one was at my in-laws. My wife's cousin is a firefighter for my wife's hometown (population 199). He brought out a firetruck and let the kids all play with the hose. And they went for a ride too. Here's a picture looking through the back window of the cab as my niece pulls on the cord to blare the horn:

Easter egg hunt.

Passed out 10 minutes into our 2 hour ride home.
(That's cat shit all over his knee - the sign of a good time on the farm.)

We got home and the boys hunted for their Easter baskets. Charlie found his behind his crib, and he came out with a chocolate egg and a smile:

"The boys got lots of treats and some head lamps from the Easter Bunny!"

Follow me on Instagram as stevestenzel.

Happy Easter everyone!


Lake Johanna 4 Mile Results

>> Saturday, March 26, 2016

Two weeks ago, my boys and I raced the Lake Johanna 4 Mile together. Here are the official results:

7th out of 149 overall
6th out of 90 men
2nd out of 15 in the 30-39 age group

The guy who finished just 8 seconds in front of Angie and I was the winner of my age group. I don't want to say that if I didn't have the stroller I would have won my age group... but if I didn't have the stroller I would have won my age group. But it's just such a fun, easy race to do with a stroller, that I can't pass it up. (It was my 4th time racing this race, and the last 3 times have been with a stroller.)

Check out my Lake Johanna 4 Mile race report here. Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 1072: Looking For "Fitness Singles"

>> Friday, March 25, 2016

I recently got this direct message through Instagram:

Yeah, that bottom photo is me. If you've been a LONG time reader, you know it's from my 2008 Square Lake Half Ironman race report where I was TAKING A SELFIE WHILE PEEING IN A CORNFIELD.

First of all, I'm just an average looking guy (on a good day) - why "lie" with a photo of ME? Secondly, there are literally HUNDREDS of more attractive photos of me on this blog (where I'm NOT peeing in a cornfield). I'm assuming someone just Googled something about "Half Ironman" and found that image.

I wrote her back:

And my image is now off of

The moral is: if you see my photo on a dating site, it's wasn't posted by me. ESPECIALLY if I'm peeing or pooping.

Happy Friday!


Friday Funny 1071: My Relationship With Food

Funny stuff posted 10x a day on


Friday Funny 1070: A Sh*tty First Date

You've maybe seen this by now. I heard about it yesterday as it was making the rounds around the internet. Listen to @_blotty share a horrible story of a recent first date:

More funny things posted all week long on


Grand Prix Standings After Three Races

>> Thursday, March 24, 2016

I was just behind Nathan before this race. I got him by 2 places this past weekend, which gave me a slight lead in the series:

Still WAAAAAAY too far to go to make any predictions (10 out of 13 races count for the year, and we're only 3 races in).

If you missed it, HERE are some team photos I posted on Wednesday, and HERE'S my Irish Run 8K race report from Monday.


Team Photos from the 8K

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Here's what our men's team results look like from O'Gara's 8K Irish Run:

The men's team was 9th out of 11 teams, and our women's team was 11th out of 12. USATF team scoring needs at least 5 runners, and it adds up the finishing time of the first 5 finishers to get the team time. In our top 5, I hadn't met #2, 3, or 5 before. So I'll post some photos below showing pics of my team finishing the race.

If you've ever thought that I'm "kinda" fast, these team results will show you how wrong you were! Sure, I was the first runner for my team, but how would I do if I were on other teams? Not only would I NOT have been a "scoring" member of the first 2 teams (Run N Fun and Mill City), but I would have ended up 13th and 15th on those teams! The 5th place team is the first team I would have been able to score on, and my team has the slowest first place time (me) of ANY of the male teams. So I'm the "worst" best runner out there for USATF MN. Yay me.

Here's some of my team as seen in Tom R's album of racers:

The horribly awesome photos of me and Evan as seen in my race report.

John (AKA Alex) was 3rd for our team (616), and Eric was 2nd (590).

Heather was 3rd on our female team, and her hubby Steve was 4th on our male team.
(They have a daughter who Henry likes to play with at the Y.)

Jordan was 5th and Jacob was 6th for our team.

Scott and Mike.

Lara was our first place female!

Leslie (who's a HOOT) and Laurie behind #326 (who's my favorite trainer at the Y).

Those photos are missing 2 of our men and 2 of our woman. Here's a photo from Nicole C of one of the missing women: this is Rose, our team founder!

Oh, and speaking of Tom R and his photos, Tom also posted all the photos he could find of the MDRA "Grand Prix" racers and their rank in the race, with a comment along the lines of "It's good to know what your rivals look like!" I love it. Here's the first 2 sets of photos from the 8K:

Place 1-5
1 28 619 Alan Twomey M 30 27:29 27:28 5:31.5 Minneapolis
2 31 508 Brent Roeger M 44 27:44 27:41 5:34.1 Minneapolis
3 51 484 Mathieu Preuss M 31 28:49 28:45 5:47.0 Roseville
4 65 582 Steve Stenzel M 35 29:24 29:20 5:54.0 St. Paul
5 66 503 Evan Roberts M 41 29:28 29:24 5:54.9 Minneapolis

Place 6-10
6 73 90 Nathan Campeau M 36 30:03 30:00 6:02.1 Minneapolis
7 83 362 Rick Larsen M 54 30:32 30:27 6:07.5 Minnetonka (No picture)
8 87 89 Gerald Butler M 44 30:39 30:36 6:09.3 Lakeville
9 105 85 Paul Brown M 58 31:16 31:11 6:16.4 Waconia
10 106 490 Kari Putterman F 26 31:17 31:14 6:17.0 Minneapolis

Tom posted 9 sets of photos like this (along with the results of everyone in the photos) after going through all of his nearly 300 photos (that someone else shot for him as he was racing) and finding as many of the Grand Prix racers that he could. Awesome!

See all of Tom's photos here, and here's my Irish Run 8K race report.


O'Gara's Irish Run 8K Race Report

>> Monday, March 21, 2016

Or, "My FIRST Race on an Running Team!"

Or, "Battling Past Some Usual Race Buddies."

Or, "Debuting Some NEW Shorts!"

After a beautiful and warm 30 days or so, we woke up to this on Saturday morning:


I Instagrammed this: "Not the preferred view when heading to a road race... #OGarasIrishRun"

Many of us were talking pre-race about the icy footing and wondering if it would be an issue. Well, it really wasn't, so don't be nervous. I got inside O'Gara's Pub and found some of our YWCA running team:

In our jerseys for the first time!

And YES, that's a new pair of shorts! They are orange and green, and they KINDA look nude at first glance. Here's a pic my wife took of me post-race once I got back home:

Wearing my multi-colored arm warmers from my triathlon in Israel 2 years ago.
For the time being, I'm calling these my "nude shorts."

I grabbed one quick photo of the start of the race course before putting some clothes and my phone back in the car:

An icy situation up and over that hill 2 blocks in the distance.

I chatted with SOOO many "race buddies" briefly before the race. I got in line with everyone else, and found myself next to cyclist extraordinare Pam N. We commented about how NICE AND WARM it was crammed tight next to all of these bare-skinned athletes even though it was only 30 degrees. Soon, the pack lurched forward to the starting line, and we were off!

444 8K runners and 184 5K runners = 628 runners taking off! (This pic is from Tom Rs
camera - he had a friend on top of the bridge seen in the last photo. Thanks Tom!)

Same photo, only with an arrow. Hey, that's me!

The pack hitting the hill. I'm still visible to the right.

Now I'm REALLY visible as I dodged a puddle!

That's my foot in the lower right. Next to Jenna (63) and Nathan (90),
with Angie next to Nathan, and Evan just behind him in orange.

I worked up the hill and past a few friends. Nathan and I chatted on the downhill - he asked what I hoped to run, and I said 29:30. Shortly after, I realized that I had posted that I hoped to run 29 FLAT. That would be around 5:50 miles, or 2:55 half miles.

My first mile was solid: 2:49 and 2:53 for a 5:42 mile. Nice. A good opener.

The street was a bit icy/slushy in spots, but staying in the car tire tracks was good. Nathan and I were still together running in a pack of 6: the 2 of us and 4 women. Being this race is the MN USA Track and Field season opener, it draws out the speedsters. Mile 2 was slowing up a bit, but still OK: 2:54 and 2:59 for a 5:53 second mile.

Suddenly I realized that Evan was running past. (My race buddy who beat me in every race at the 2015 TC Loony Challenge, and who I was able to beat in my final kick 2 months ago at the Securian Run Half Marathon.) THIS WAS THE FIRST I REMEMBERED THAT THIS WAS A "GRAND PRIX" SERIES RACE AND THAT I NEEDED TO TRY TO BEAT MY FRIENDS WHO WERE DOING THE SERIES! Those friends include Nathan and Evan! I was so concerned with this being our first race as a team, that I forgot I needed to be racing hard for the series too! Well, time to try to stick with Evan!

Mile 3 included the turn around (in front of my old apartment): the first half was slower in 3:01, and the second half was where it needed to be in 2:54 for a mile 3 total of 5:55.

Here's a pic from Tom R again that shows the thin trail of runners heading back toward the finish (we had to dart off the frame to the right to go under a little overpass on Hamline so they didn't have to stop traffic on that busy road):

Cathedral and downtown in the distance.

My splits were slowing up. This is usually where I start kicking and passing people, but I think this is where my lack of speed work showed up. I had no "long kick" like I've had in the past. My next half mile splits were 2:56 and 2:59 for a 4th mile of 5:55. Sub-29:00 wasn't possible. But MAYBE sub-29:15 was possible (my 8K PR). I was going to try to stick with Evan and earn some Grand Prix points.

Up and over the final bridge: Dan Greeno (228) out kicked Jeremy (330) by
3 seconds to take the win. IN 24:42! THAT'S 4:59 PACE!

The leaders (and lead biker) heading down the hill
to the finish (with some 5K runners in front of them).

I was slowly sneaking up on Evan coming up to those quick sharp turns to head under Hamline with a half mile left. At the base of the bridge, I ran up along side him and said hi. He pulled away up the hill (showing my lack of hill work with my tight heels). As we came to the top, I started catching up again. Here's Tom's photo from the top of the bridge:

Evan and me to the right.

Close up.

Passing a 5K runner with an unfortunate "tuck."

Close up. Evan has some of THEE BEST "final kick" faces.

I got past Evan just a few seconds later, and I pulled away a bit towards the finish. (BTW, I pulled past Grand Prix buddy Nathan before the turn around, and finished 40 seconds in front of him.) Here's a screenshot from the finishing video showing the gap between me and Evan just before the finish line:

Garmin pace: slow up the bridge, fast down, and then slow at the turns under
Hamline at 0.5 miles. A dip at the turn-around, then slowing to 7:01 pace
up the hill at the end, and ending at 4:54 pace down the hill to the finish.

My final mile was faster, but not SUPER fast: my last 2 half mile splits were 2:58 and 2:51 for a mile 5 total of 5:49. (An 8K is JUST shy of 5 miles, but my Garmin read exactly 5.0 miles.)


Steve Stenzel, #582, 35, M, St. Paul

5:54.06/mile pace
(5:52.00 Garmin pace for 5.00 miles)
14:41 first half, 14:39 second half

65 out of 444 overall
62 out of 231 males
7 out of 26 in the 35-39 age group
(first race in the new age group!)

Start to turnaround: passed 69 runners and was passed by 1.
Turnaround to finish: passed 5 runners, and was passed by 0.


• I thought I had a PR (and I tweeted that I did post-race), but then I remembered my 2012 8K finish of 29:15. So I was 5 seconds from a PR. Dang.

• Speaking of twitter, Evan tweeted me post race. He's ready to race again:

Oh, and Josh tweeted me too. He was cheering at Lexington (mile 1 and mile 4).

• I was happy to just have 1 half-mile split over 3:00. Running up to the turn around from mile 2.0 - 2.5 was 3:01, and the rest were sub-3:00. I thought about how it'd be nice to try to keep them all under 3:00, but didn't make that any sort of race goal. And I was decently consistent: all half-mile splits with within 12 seconds (2:49 through 3:01). And my mile splits were within 13 seconds (5:42 through 5:55). I had a negative split by just 2 seconds. Pretty consistent.

• My team did well! We had enough runners to score a full men's, women's, and masters' team. I'll be back with a post showing more photos of them, as well as our team results.

• My legs held up well for the race. Sure, it was a short race, but it contained some speed, and I haven't been doing much speed work lately. If anything, my lack of speed work made me legs feel BETTER post-race. (By not doing speed work, my final kick isn't nearly as fast, which in turn makes me hurt less once the race is done.)

• My left calf was a LITTLE tight/sore the day after the race, but nothing unusual. I was hoping it wasn't even going to hurt, but I DID just race. I need to give it a few days of rest, some rolling and massaging, and then start some easy runs. I should be OK.

• Finally, my cat gave me a nice post-race lick-down. This was the scene for 20 minutes as I was starting to type this up on Saturday afternoon:

There's a joke in here along the lines of
"being so hot that pussy licks ME," but I'm not going there...

Leaving the race, I jogged a bit of a cooldown, and then I got home. During the race, my sister came up with her family, and so did my parents. We were heading out for a birthday lunch for me (my birthday was the week before). We went to Davanni's for pizza, and then stopped by "Taste of Love" bakery between Izzy's Ice Cream and Choo Choo Bob's right in our 'hood. I had this blueberry vanilla donut in the lower right:

Henry's cream filled roll had SOOOO MUCH CREAM!

From Instagram: "Cake pops make him happy."

It was a decent day at the race, and a great day with my family!



Follow steveinaspeedo on Twitter

Facebook Fan Page

All content and original images copyright 2006 - 2024 by Steve Stenzel, AKA "Steve in a Speedo." All Rights Reserved.
Want to use something seen here? Just ask - I don't bite.