2018 Cinco "Du" Mayo Duathlon RACE REPORT

>> Monday, May 07, 2018

After feeling OK after the Falls Duathlon 9 days ago (meaning my legs felt OK, but I felt super beat-up about my poor bike split), I figured I'd try my hand at Cinco DU Mayo this past weekend. I've always liked the short but challenging short course (2 mile run, 10+ mile bike, 2 mile run). I finished 2nd the first time I raced this event in 2012, and then I won it the last 3 times: 2013, 2015, and I NEARLY got a course record in 2017.

I posted on Wednesday that I could NOT expect to win it this year (after my bike fitness proved to be crappier than last year), but I was hoping I could be in the top 3. The question was how many people were going to pass me on the bike.

Driving down "the big hill" on the way to Square Lake.
We bike down this near the end of our ride.

The race website said transition opened at 7:30, and they weren't joking! I got
there about 7 minutes early, and hopped in line. They let us in RIGHT on time.

Possibly the creepiest photo I've ever taken. As I was unloading my bike, I spotted
Rob who almost beat me at this race last year, but he DESTROYED me
at Falls Du a week ago. Clearly, I was not winning this year.

Eiffel all ready to go in transition.

Pre-race tradition.

Looking out of transition down to Square Lake
where I used to OWS with "the gang" often. Before kids.

I talked with Rob a few times pre-race. I kept telling him he'd pull away on the bike, and he kept saying that he was worried about my final run speed. He wasn't sure he'd pass me on the bike, but I ASSURED him he would. "Heck, I'll turn around and come find you if I get too far in and haven't seen you yet" I told him.

My wife and the boys were going to quick stop out for my race before Henry had classmate's birthday party in a nearby eastern suburb. Then I was going to swing by and pick him up post-race. But as the race was starting, I hadn't seen them yet. (So I tried not to worry that they got into a car crash...)

The long course athletes went off at 8:45, and we took off in the short course 15 minutes later.


I jumped into the lead right away. I heard someone on my tail for the first 0.75 miles, and I was pretty sure it was Rob. My first 2 half-mile splits were "good" in the sense that they were about what I figured they'd be: 3:02 + 2:57 = 5:59 first mile.

At the turn-around, Rob wasn't far behind me. And the turn-around was a little shorter than in year's past: I recalled it being farther past a certain farm out there, and it was really close to it this year. And my Garmin clocked it about 0.07 miles short (so about 0.14 miles short of a 2 mile).

I had some nice cheers as I passed long-course athletes heading back to T1. I couldn't hear Rob behind me anymore, but I wasn't "pulling away" by any means. I was the first short-course athlete back to T1. My splits back were 3:04 + 2:12 (0.36 miles) = 5:16 short second mile. Well, technically that's a first run PR even though it was right around my slowest pace in the first run.


All the normal stuff at the normal speed here. And as I ran away from my rack with my bike, Rob ran past to his rack. We exchanged cheers. I had a decently awkward flying start. (So, normal.)


I was biking scared RIGHT AWAY. I got up to speed and out of the park as fast as I could. Rob passed me climbing the first "HILL" right around mile 1. Dang. He pulled away by about a block, but then I tried to keep him close for a bit longer. I did OK for a while, and then he kept pulling away again. My average speed SUCKED, but I realized we were biking into the slight breeze. (But really, there was VERY LITTLE wind - a GREAT morning to race!)

Someone introduced herself to me pre-race (sorry, I'm forgetting your name!) who works with TriFitness and had recently found my blog. [UPDATE: She commented on my race report post on the "Steve in a Speedo" Facebook page, and her name is Julie!] I teased her because she was doing the long course and I was only doing the short, and she was NOT excited about doing 2 laps on that hilly bike course. So when I passed her early on in the ride, I shouted "TWO LAPS, BABY!" She realized it was me after a moment and retorted something back. :)

As I was on the bike, my wife and boys showed up and peed on some trees:

To be clear, it was just my boys (not my wife) who peed on the trees.

These gang signs are attempts at Spider-Man web shooters.
(Here they are just outside of the park waiting for us cyclists to get back.)

At the turn at mile 5, I checked to see if there were any cyclists behind me, because only Rob had passed me so far. The goal was to get to mile 5. (Because, theoretically, anyone who passes me after that I should be able to get on the final run.) Also, that turn at mile 5 put the slight wind at our backs, so now I was watching my average climb. But Rob was NO WHERE to be seen - I'd lost sight of him at mile 3.

I made the final turn onto Square Lake Trail, climbed a little more, and then got to bomb down the big hill. I tried to steal back some of that lost time. Here were my overall averages every 1/4 of the ride:

- 19.4 mph at mile 2.5
- 20.1 mph at mile 5
- 21.3 mph at mile 7.5
- 21.4 mph just outside of transition
- 21.3 mph after dismounting and running in

Honestly, that was about the best I could have hoped for on the bike. I recalled my previous bike splits being 30:xx, 30:xx, 29:xx, and in the lower 28s last year (with a 22.0 mph average). This year, my Garmin had it at 28:53. I'LL TAKE THAT!

My wife saw Rob come over the final little hill in the distance first:

Then me about exactly 2 minutes later!

This is when I first spotted my family! THANKS BOYS! (And Mama!)

Turning behind this car to get back into the park.



This started OK, but then I thought I needed another drink of water. So I fumbled with my water bottle for a bit to do that. I drank NEARLY THE WHOLE BOTTLE on that 10 mile ride! My throat felt so dry!


I had JUST exited T2 when that cyclist went by ready to hop off his bike. I figured he was less than a minute behind me. I had NO PLANS of catching Rob in front of me, but I wanted to hold on to 2nd and not get caught!

"No alcoholic beverages including 3.2 beer."

Henry came running up at the last second, and we had THEE MOST
AKWARD high-five. I mean, just LOOK AT HIS FACE. Sorry dude.

The lead female (and eventual winner) was 14 years old. My
boys are in the background helping nature breakdown a tree stump.

Honestly, I was HOPING I'd be able to let up a bit because I knew I'd never catch Rob. But I was afraid of the guy on my tail. So I was suffering. I climbed the hill at 0.5 miles breathing hard, and looked back. I actually found myself muttering "Aww shit" when I spotted that runner behind me. I could NOT let up.

Glancing at my watch, Rob had nearly a 2 minute lead on me at the turn around (1:50 I calculated). Yeah, I can't make that up over a mile. And the guy behind me was about a minute behind me. So I figured I could hold him off, but I wasn't about to let up yet. Mile 1 was rough: 3:25 + 3:08 = 6:33 first mile. From what I can recall, that's one of my slowest multisport miles in YEARS.

Rob easily won:

Nice work, Rob!

Then they spotted me in the distance.

Hurting, but feeling good about 2nd overall!

A better high-five for my boys before turning right to the finish.

I missed Charlie's high-five on the way out, so I think he's happy here that I got him! :)

Talking with race director Judi after I'd finished, while Mr. MN Multisport
Jerry MacNeil chatted with Rob... WHO SET A COURSE RECORD!

Mile 2 was 3:07 + 2:10 (0.38) = 5:17 short second mile. Nothing was super fast, but I did what I need to.


Steve Stenzel, 37, M

- 2 MILE RUN: 10:43,
1st overall
- T1: 1:07
- 10 MILE BIKE: 28:39,
3rd overall
- T2: 0:52
- 2 MILE RUN: 11:51,
1st overall

TOTAL: 53:10
2 out of 60 overall
1 out of 12 in the 30-39 age group

[Garmin results: something was off in the official results with the first run, T1, and T2. I hit my Garmin right on the mats, and here's what I had: 11:17 (1.86 miles, 6:04 pace), 0:29 T1, 28:53 (10.24 miles, 21.3 mph ave), 0:37 T2, 11:51 (1.88 miles, 6:18 pace).]


• I was being tracked down on the bike! My first run and transition times aren't close to what I had on my watch, so I can't look at how far Rob was behind me. (I noted we met in transition, and my Garmin only had 0:29 for T1, not 1:07 like it's officially listed.) But the bike splits look right. Rob out-biked me by about 2 minutes, and the guy who finished 3rd overall made up a little time on the bike too, so I had the 3rd fastest bike behind those guys. (There's a chance my bike was actually 4th or 5th because there are some people missing bike splits who finished top 10 overall, and comparing their run times to mine, there's a chance 4th overall also out-biked me.) It would appear that 3rd place overall went out hard from T2 to try to catch me (I mean, that's the move he had to make!), but then gave up a little: I noted he was about a minute back at T2, around a minute back at the turn-around, but then finished about 2 minutes behind me.

• The slightly short runs "saved" my run splits. My run times were going to be both record lows at this race (which I figured would happen going into the race): my pace for each run was 6:04 and 6:18. Last year, I noted my run splits were my slowest ever at this race at 5:58 and 6:02. So (and this is NO SURPRISE) I've really been slowing down! (Oh, and related to this, I'm totally not calling foul on the new course record that Rob got. The runs were a little short, but he would have been around the CR anyway. He's been the fastest here all-time with his 51:38! Nice job Rob!)

• I'm pretty happy with my bike split. I WORKED out there. Even though I'd only been out on my bike a few times this year (because of the long-ass winter), I still posted my 2nd fastest out of 5 bike splits here, just 40 seconds behind last year. That's SERIOUSLY the best I could have hoped for!

• I think I have the 3rd, 4th, and 7th fastest finish times in the history of this race. I noted last year that I had the 2nd (last year) and 5th fastest times. Rob now has the new first, and this year's finish of mine is now the 4th, which pushes my 5th fastest back to 7th.

• I need to get some intensity back into my training. This is an issue for it's own blog post someday, but my intensity has really dropped in swim, bike, and run training. My pace is going to keep bleeding time if I don't bring back some of that intensity.

• My Garmin data doesn't show anything too drastic on the bike, but it shows something funny on the final run. Have a look:

Bike data: biggest uphill at mile 1, lots of rolling hills, back with the breeze at mile 5,
then bombing down the big hill (with a small climb in the middle) near the end.

Final run data: all pretty normal EXCEPT WHERE MY PACE FALLS OFF THE CHART

Oh, and that run graph shows me trudging up that hill before the 1/2 mile mark, and then speeding down the other side a bit. And then heading back up it before mile 1.5 before trying to be fast down the other side after that. No huge sprint to the finish because I had 2nd place locked up at that point.

The boys were bad listeners right before they left (they nearly jumped in front
of a runner), so here they are leaving with their heads down.

David K finishing in 6th! (We met a while back at the races,
and he did Falls Du with us last weekend too.)

Post race tacos!!! They were so good!

There are 2 chicken tacos under here.

I had another tacos worth of filling after I ate. It wasn't pretty watching me scarf this down.

The finish line.

I joked with this woman pre-race that I liked her pink outfit. She asked it I wanted to
borrow her top to complete my look. After she finished, she told her friend to get a pic of us!

Sidenote: I like that at this race (and many now-days) you can pay less to not have a medal or t-shirt. Because I didn't have a medal, this woman told me to borrow her friend's medal as her friend took my photo. She stopped for a moment and asked "Wait... you DID finish the race, right?" Then I gave the medal back.

Selfie with race director Judi! With a topless guy photobombing us.
(And I have some sweet, salty pit marks. Gross.)

Batman disc. Nice.

My wife texted that Charlie weaseled his way into Henry's classmate's birthday party, so she was stuck there. (She was planning on taking Charlie flower shopping after dropping Henry off.) So I said I'd get there ASAP and let her get out to shop. I threw on some deodorant from my bag, put "respectable looking" shorts on over my pink plaid shorts, and headed for "Sky Zone."

After they finished on the trampolines, they had pizza.
When they said they'd have extra pizza for parents, I had 6 slices.

The boys bargaining/trading toys in their goodie bags after leaving.
(With my bike poking over the backseat.)

It was an annoying ride home:


T 10:04 AM, May 07, 2018  

Ha, a 14-year-old girl came in as the overall female winner in my short-course du yesterday too!

And we had post-race pancakes. Racing for pancakes is the best.

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