Race Report: The (DAMP) 2022 Get in Gear 10K

>> Monday, May 02, 2022

On Friday, I headed to "packet pickup:"

Driving to packet pickup and about to drive through the start/finish area for the next day.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:30 and looked outside. Things were actually drying out after being rained on all night! MIGHT WE HAVE A DRY RACE?!? I checked the forecast:

9:00 start. It was going to be wet. Damn it.

I scrapped my plan of getting there around 8, jogging to the race site to use the porta potty and scope things out, jog back to the car, and then jog BACK again for the race start. Instead, I'd just get there and jog a mile to the race start by 8:55 and be ready to go.

No traditional pre-race porta potty shot, so here's an
early morning shot of me using the basement bathroom...

... and then in the upstairs bathroom an hour later after putting in my contacts.

I headed out into the rain. Driving looked like this:

With streams of water flowing down the gutters!

Parked in my spot about 1.1 miles from the race start.

About to be a 49 degree and rainy race!

I put on some old throw away cotton gloves (from my brother-in-law who's a meat cutter) and my thin wind breaker to try to stay dry. I figured my thin hat would come off at some point, and maybe I'd tie my coat around my waist if I needed to, but the gloves would be chucked off at an aid station.

I got close to the start/finish line and tied my shoes a BIT tighter. I'd only worn them once and was afraid they'd get soaked and heavy and fall off.

I ran into old race buddies and spotted Michael from my YWCA team. A few of us gathered around and then lined up near the front. I had to avoid standing under the big American flag because the rain was just sheeting off of it. I couldn't hear any commands at the start, but suddenly we were running!!

Close-up: there's a sliver of my black and white hat about 3 rows back!

I tried to find the "right pace" of keeping it a LITTLE easy while also not letting time get away from me. I hit the first half-mile split in a SPEEDY 2:45, but I was feeling OK (it was gently downhill as well). I still told myself to ease up a bit, and ran a more-to-the-race-plan of 3:05 for the next half-mile.

MILE 1: 5:51.5. "That's the overall pace I'd like to run. Can I ease up a bit to have more for the finish? Or hold this? I don't know right now. Just run."

I watched speedy runner Heather Kampf pull away and figured that's what I SHOULD be doing: letting elite females get well in front of me. Both half mile splits in mile 2 were 3:02, and I was still feeling good about that. I took off my wet and heavy windbreaker and tied it around my waist.

MILE 2: 6:04.8. "Still under 6:00/mile average. One more 'easier' mile, and then start pushing harder!"

I was feeling a little worked, but tried to keep the pace up. The half mile that got me up onto the Lake Street Bridge was a bit slower at 3:05, and then I ducked in behind a taller runner to help get me across the bridge while running into the wind. I felt like I was running OK, but then posted the slowest half-mile split of the day (so far) at 3:09.

MILE 3: 6:14.4. "Dang. Went from under 6:00 pace overall to well over."

There was a timing mat at the 5K mark, and my pre-race thought (and what I expected after my average pace through mile 2) was to be around 18:30 to maybe 18:40. But I crossed it around 18:58. Damn.

I worked up THEE hill on the course (which is that "mile 5" hill on the TC 10 Mile course) and tried to keep my turn-over fast. No one caught me on the hill which was a good thing. That hill gave me my slowest half-mile split of the day of 3:12. Having a 3:09 and a 3:12 back-to-back when hoping to run more like 2:50 was DEPRESSING. I tried to speed up on the flats at the top of the hill, and I was fighting that wet and heavy windbreaker that I had tied around my waist. So I stripped it off and threw it in someone's back yard after the hairpin turn near Shadow Falls. It was a place I knew I could come back to and pick it up later.

The downhill stretch gave me another gear, and I FINALLY passed some people! I passed a group of 3, and I'd learn much later that a former student of mine was the female tucked in there with 2 other guys! I felt bad I didn't notice it was her and missed the chance to say "hi!" That downhill helped counteract the previous 3:12 half mile with a speedy 2:53 half mile.

MILE 4: 6:06.2 "I don't know if my legs have a negative split in them, but GO FOR IT!"

SPOLIER ALERT: They did NOT have a negative split in them. I just never felt great in the last 2 miles. I wasn't DYING... but I just couldn't do anything more than just slower than 6:00 pace. I was not expecting that after training with so many negative splits lately. One possible explanation is that my heart rate ramped up and never came back down. I was curious to see this post-race:

Notice I went downhill as my HR slowed up a little around mile 3.5, then
when I tried to find another gear, it SPIKED and just STAYED UP THERE!

My hope of a fast start to the year was dashed, but I kept working. I was thinking I'd see 2:50-3:00 half-mile splits, but mile 5 was 2:58 and 3:05.

MILE 5: 6:03.7. "Ugh."

Yes, it was still raining. And yes, that kinda sucked. I was trying to catch a woman in front of me who had been within a block in front of me for the last 1-2 miles. But I never gained on her. I noticed I could maybe break 37:30 with some fast splits, but those sub-3:00 half-mile splits never came: mile 6 had half-mile splits of 3:03 and 3:02.

MILE 6: 6:06.2. "Wrap this up, Stenzel."

I thought I was running DECENT tangents, but my Garmin was slowly beeping a bit father before each mile marker. So I still had 0.26 miles to go at mile 6.

The winner was Daniel Docherty who did well in the TC Marathon a few years ago (and who went to my boys' school!). He was running along the last half mile of the course cheering people on when I ran past. He made his 30:39 look easy a few minutes before I saw him:

These upcoming finish line photos are from Tom R,
and I'll have another post later with lots more of these!

These were the bright shoes of Heather Kampf that I followed
for a while. She pulled away to take the W with a 35:28.

The "rabbit" I could never catch!

I fought past this guy in the orange within the last 0.1-0.2 miles.
That's my black shoulder and arm just in front of him back there.

Within 50 feet of the damp finish line! Not enjoying life.

A wider shot: holding off the guy in orange, with my former
student back around the bend! She was the 7th female in 38:07!


Steve Stenzel, 41, M, St. Paul

6:07 / mile

64 out of 825 overall
8 out of 99 in the 40-49 M age group

First 5K: 18:58 / Last 5K: 18:58


• I just could NOT get anything going to pass anyone! Usually, I start off a bit easier and then pick people off. In this race, 31 people passed me in the first half as I only passed 15 (and all of those 15 passed were in the first 0.2 mile as we started off). And then in the last half, 2 people passed me and I only passed 4! (And 3 of those 4 were at that one spot when I upped the pace for a minute.) That shows how rough it was for me.

• My Garmin pace map showed speed in STRANGE spots for me. This map shows a red (fast) first half mile, and then that random red burst in speed around mile 3.5, but the the rest of the race was mainly green (slower):

Odd places for speed. There should be a LOT more red in the closing miles!

• I'm pretty happy with my age group placing! One of the guys I passed in the last half was in my age group as I was a spot farther back at the 5K mark. But 2 out of the 3 guys who finished right in front of me were also in my age group, so 30 sec faster would have placed me better. (And in a "normal" 5 year age group, I'd be 5th out of 58. That's how they FIRST noted it, but then it changed to a 10 year age group which put my 8th out of 99.)

• Perfectly even first have vs second half is the sliver lining I guess! I was planning on a big negative split, but at least I can say I was consistent!

• What happened to me at this race? I don't fully know. It wasn't all the weather, but it was part of it. Partly going out a BIT too hard, but I don't think that was really too big of a deal. Partly not having the fitness I'd have hoped. Partly just having an "off" day. I think I need to work in more solid tempo runs into my training and not try to rely on these "at pace" miles in the middle of my long runs. Ideally, I was gunning to be 60-90 sec faster, and I don't know where that time went.

• The GOOD NEWS about your body not letting you push as hard is now my legs and feet aren't beat up! My calves were a bit sore post-race, but then fine that evening. And they felt pretty normal yesterday. Whenever I have a slow race for some reason (like if it's hot), the sliver lining is that my body gets back to normal quicker.

So this ended up being my 4th fastest 10K out of 5. In other words, my 2nd slowest. I was only slower at the HOT Victory 10K in 2012.

I finished, grabbed a drink of water, thanked some volunteers, and started jogging backwards along the course towards my car in St. Paul. As I was running into the wind across the Ford Bridge, I realized the rain had STOPPED. Yep, it rained for my whole race and stopped within minutes of me finishing. Fudge nuggets.

Back in my car. WET. With a race number that looks like it had been through the wringer!

I leaned over on my arm rest for a moment.

I wrung out my hat just after taking this photo. SOAKED. (But I don't really look it!)

View from my car as it was raining BEFORE the race
vs. how it was now AFTER the race. Shitty timing!

Soaked shoes with socks stained from the bright new laces.

After quickly changing into some dry clothes at home, I drove back to the course (just a mile from home) to find my windbreaker I chucked off. I cheered on some of the half marathon runners as I back-tracked to the right spot. It was right where I left it behind a fire hydrant:

A few runners on the left, with my jacket in the mud behind the fire
hydrant to the right! Also, beautifully cool and not raining any more!

Here's a bit more Garmin data:

Pace graph. Faster to start and a little burst just over half way.
No usual slow climb in speed to the finish. Rough.

Heart Rate. Ouch.

Foot strikes. I try to be around 180, and notice my turn-over rate
started slowing up as I started suffering. Clomp clomp clomp.

Back shortly with more damp photos!


Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments! Have a great day!


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.