RACE REPORT: Raspberry Run 1 Mile

>> Monday, July 18, 2022

I've been clear about my intentions: this was a "go for sub-5:00 or die trying" race, as noted by the (unusual for me) short track workouts lately. I had been dreaming about how much I was going to suffer. I NEEDED to be thinking about that because I don't think I do well "holding on" to the suffering... and that's all a 1 mile is... it's just acute suffering.

I bought some GUs at packet pick-up on Saturday, and I liked their countertop.

The race was yesterday, and at least the hottest part of the day got pushed back a bit because we had some sprinkles in the morning. It was humid (and still hot), but I kept telling myself that the heat didn't have time to be a factor in such a short race.

Pre-race basement bathroom selfie.

I had on the "bowl full of sunshine" shorts from the 70s,

Selfie with teammate Mike at the race!

Looking down the race course.

I found the starting line.

I wanted to jog the course and see if they had the 1/4 miles marked like they have in the past (and test my Garmin as I just reset it to take 1/4 mile splits automatically). I ran into the Mill City team warming up:

The 1/4 miles were marked like this! Here's the 1/2 mile mark, obviously.

Hopkins has a thing for raspberries.

Running back towards the start.

Awwww yisss.

Cooling off in my car, with the race course blocked off just a 1/2 block behind me.

I sat in my car until 11:47 (with the race starting at 12:00). Once I got out of my car, I chatted more with Mike before the start. He asked if I had any goals, and I said "I've been hitting the track to see if I can go sub-5 one more time!" Mike smirked and said "Well I'm seeing if I can go sub-7... one more time!" So we had our goals!!

I lined up closer to the front than I ever had before! I was only 2 rows back, and I was right near the middle of the street - prime location! We had a 2 minute warning, and I just kept reminding myself to suffer.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1... GOOOOOO!!!!!!"

I'm usually shooting around people, but this time I was having people pass me - it wasn't BAD (like I didn't really slow anyone up), but I watched people around me pull ahead of me for the first 30 seconds.

It didn't take long to settle in and actually start catching a few people back! That happened before the first 1/4 mile marker. And I could tell I started fast (with people running past me which made me want to chase them) and that I was already slowing up. I was curious what my first 1/4 mile would be - it would set the tone for the race!

• FIRST 1/4 MILE: 1:12.1. "Solid! But now you actually need to speed up! You were slowing up by the end of that 1/4 mile, so if you just hold this current pace, you'll be bleeding time!"

So I felt good about that split, but now it was up to this next 1/4 mile to make sure I didn't give away too much time. I kept it strong here. And I was happy to see the next split:

• SECOND 1/4 MILE: 1:14.1. "Under 1:15 is all I needed! I think I've got this!"

I don't remember a thing about this next 1/4 mile. I was suffering and just going. Embracing the pain.

• THIRD 1/4 MILE: 1:13.8. "Sub-5:00 is in the bag! Now how low can you go?!?"

When I'm feeling good about my splits, I tend to actually go FASTER to see how good I can make them, and not ease up thinking "I have this so why push any harder?" I was going for broke. I heard a few cheers for me by name in the closing 1/8 mile, and I was hashed. My legs almost gave out at one point and I had an awkward stride to not collapse with 40 seconds to go. I could tell I was slowing up, but that was a good sign: I had ran this so very well and so hard.

From Tom R: that's me back there in the middle... suffering.

WHAT A FACE. I was gunning for that finish line. Holy hell.

I had a pack in front of me and couldn't see the finish line until I got pretty close, but I saw a firetruck spraying water in the distance and knew that would be just past the finish line, so I was running to that!

• FINAL 1/4 MILE: 1:14.7. "DONE!"


Steve Stenzel, 41, M, St. Paul


56 out of 461 overall
52 out of 262 males
7 out of 47 in the 40-49 age group

[Garmin: 1.0 miles in 4:54.7]

UPDATE: the timer officially had me at 4:55.7 before EnMotive's results rounded up to the nearest second. See my official results here.


• I have no regrets post-race! I raced hard and I gave it everything! There was nothing more I could have done on that race course to gain another second or 2.

• It was funny to see how many people were kicking for sub-5:00 in the results! Like I said, there was a pack in front of me, and the results show that. And then the results show a bit of a break. And look at the un-cropped version of that last photo I shared: there's a GAP behind me right around the 5:00 mark:

And then a WALL of runners back there from 5:02 to 5:07!

• I wished my results were 4:54.x like my Garmin said and not 4:56. (I wish the timing company didn't round to the second, so I bet I was just a few tenths fast, and then they rounded it up another full second. Dang it.) It's the opposite of what happened last time I did this race where I had 4:57.x on my watch but the results had me at 4:54. Oh well. UPDATE: see this post to see my OFFICIAL official results of 4:55.7.

• The biggest thing I'm happy with here is my age graded results. (In case you don't know, it's a measure of how good you are FOR YOUR AGE - it compares your time to the world's best time at your age. It's a metric I find myself watching more and more as I get older, which is totally not surprising.) Ten to 15 years ago, my "best" races were in the low 70s for my age grade percentage. My fantastic TC 10 Mile in 2010 where I ran my personal best of 59:05 had an age graded percentage of 74%. Many 5Ks lately have been floating around there as well. But this 1 mile was the first time I found myself in the 80s!!

• My pace chart shows me exactly what I thought it would: a fast start and then hurting before the finish line. I was sub-4:45 pace for the first 70 seconds or so, then flirting with my average pace (the line across the chart) for the middle 1/2 of the race, then a spike in speed seeing the "3/4 mile" marker, but then getting slower as I got closer to the line (dropping to 5:06 pace):

My cadence shows me "clomping" more around
the painful 3/4 mile mark as well. Good-bye proper form.

• Oh, and how about my teammate Mike? He wanted to get sub-7:00 one last time. He NAILED it with a 6:38! I think he has PLENTY more sub-7s in him!! :)

I posted these 2 pics post-race with these comments:

I don’t do well in the heat, so there’s nothing like a race at noon on a day like today!
I ran my first sub-5:00 mile in my 20s. My last 1 mile race was 4 years ago when I was in my 30s (and it was sub-5:00). I altered my training over the last few months to see if I could go sub-5:00 in my 40s, and I hit it. Twenty-something me probably wouldn’t have believed this. #MissionAccomplished #MaybeSub5InMy50s? #No #Nooooooo #DontHoldMeToThat #IWasJoking

"New personal record" according to my new Garmin.

Never seen this before: apparently this warmer run helped with me heat acclimation?

Back with more shortly! It's time for a bit of an easier week on my legs!


T 8:55 PM, July 18, 2022  

Mend the shorts! They can still liiiiiiiiive!

(not that I've done this with anything of ours, of course ...)

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