Race Report: The 2022 TC 10 Mile!

>> Monday, October 03, 2022

My favorite (but BRUTAL) race! This would be my 10th TC 10 Mile and my 13th 10 Mile overall.

Pre-race "business" in our basement bathroom.

Hoping this 3-year expired PowerBar wouldn't let me down!

On the light rail with my marathon running cutie!
(Sorry, not trying to flex here... just staying warm!)

We went to meet my team, but I missed a last-minute message saying they couldn't meet where they wanted to, so I snuck into the Radisson Red hotel and used their NICE bathrooms. Then we headed to the "Corral A" for the TC 10 Mile where my wife dropped me off:

My wife grabbed a full body shot so you could see the pink plaid shorts as well. :)

Inside Corral A, I bumped into Laurie and Tom, and then later I chatted with Meg and Leah. Tom came back over and got a selfie:

Some YWCA teammates: Tom, me, Leah, and Meg!

I re-masked, lined up closer to the front but still a BIT back, and waited for the start. As I noted in Saturday's post, I didn't want to go out too hard. I wanted to ease into the race a bit, but then still shoot for a sub-62 if possible (and that's a tricky combo of DON'T GO OUT HARD, but also MAKE SURE YOU'RE FAST). I talked with Michael B and Diane H before the gun.

"5 SECONDS... GOOOOOO!!!!!!......"

I started a bit slow stuck behind some people. After 10-20 seconds, I was able to hop to the right to get some clear street and pass a solid number of runners. There was a guy at the first turn (2 blocks into the race) who got tripped up with another runner maybe 50' in front of me and went down HARD. My first half-mile split clocked in at 3:00, and I figured my adrenaline took me out a bit fast.

I passed and cheered on teammate Dan and clocked a fast first mile:

• MILE 1: 6:01 (3:00 and 3:01)

I hit the curving roads along the river and couldn't "run the tangents" well - there were too many people on the roads, so I knew I'd be giving up some time. I had 3 "Collegeville" runners in front of me (a local team), and I considered trying to pass them as I really gained on them on the downhills, but they pulled a way on the flats. But I decided to be smart and stay back a bit as I already turned in a first mile that was too fast. Mile 2 wasn't getting any better:

• MILE 2: 6:05 (3:00 and 3:05) "OK, NOW I'm getting a little worried! Don't BLOW UP here!"

I made it a point to start easing up. If I wanted to go out easier, THAT'S NOT WHAT I WAS ACTUALLY DOING. I took it easy up the hill around mile 2.5 and let 3 people pass me. I was still feeling OK, but I didn't know what the later miles of the race would hold: last year I ended up starting a BIT fast, and it maybe hurt me later on. This year I was in better shape, but I didn't want to push my luck 1/4 of the way into a 10 mile race.

• MILE 3: 6:28 (3:11 and 3:16)

That was a big uphill mile, and now we were on flat(ter) roads up on the St. Paul side of the Mississippi. I tried to "keep it strong" here without overdoing it, and mile 4 was pretty right on:

• MILE 4: 6:10 (3:08 and 3:02) "That's perfect. How long can you hold that?"

I was 10 seconds slower now than I was last year, and that was about perfect. In last year's race, I started giving up lots of time starting in mile 5, so I was trying to keep that from happening this year. Mile 5 last year was 6:26, but I kept it 10 seconds faster this year:

• MILE 5: 6:16 (3:05 and 3:10)

The only big difference compared to last year's race is that last year I was just using a "stop watch" because my Garmin had just died. This year I was getting 1/2 mile splits on my Garmin, but my not-being-able-to-run-the-tangents around mile 2 made my Garmin start beeping about 0:15 to 0:20 BEFORE the actual mile markers. So even though my Garmin said 31:02 when it beeped for mile 5 (just a few seconds slower than last year which was the goal), I didn't ACTUALLY cross the mile 5 marker until 31:18. That still wasn't bad, but I needed to be aware of that extra time if I ended up coming CLOSE to a goal.

That climb up past mile 5 sucked as always. Terrence was at the top and said hi. I tried to keep my breathing and heart rate in check. I felt better turning onto Summit this year than I did last year: still hoping for some Summit Ave magic!

• MILE 6: 6:24 (3:09 and 3:14) "I said... I'M HOPING FOR SOME SUMMIT AVE MAGIC!!!"

The same thing happened that USUALLY happens at this race, and my perceived "better fitness" couldn't do anything about it: I was bleeding time heading up that false flat on Summit Ave. I tried, folks... I did. But I couldn't "better fitness" my way out of this. I felt like there was a breeze out of the east that we were fighting, but I didn't know if that was just me looking for an excuse, or if we really WERE going to be bucking the wind for these final 4 miles.

• MILE 7: 6:25 (3:10 and 3:14)

Many of these half miles I'd think "alright... THIS one's going to be more like 3 minutes FLAT!" But then they never were. I had gone out too hard and I was paying for it now. I still think my fitness was better this year, but I didn't stick to the initial plan early on and it cost me! I was bummed, but also still shooting to see how much (if ANYTHING) I could shave off these splits as the race went on.

I knew I was at 43:47 at mile 7 last year, and this year I was a few seconds over 44:00. I TRIED to up the pace a bit to see if there was a CHANCE to keep them at or under 6:00/mile from this point on (to see if I could still be around 62 minutes total), but that was a long shot.

• MILE 8: 6:16 (3:07 and 3:09) "Sub-1:02 isn't going to happen. But don't give up TOO much!"

I wasn't that upset about the race. I was still trying to pick up the pace, so I hadn't completely thrown in the towel. But yet, my mile 9 splits were depressing:

• MILE 9: 6:22 (3:10 and 3:12)

I don't think I've had THAT slow of a 9th mile before at the TC 10 Mile. D'oh.

I still really tried to kill this final mile. I wasn't giving up. But there were areas that my legs just couldn't go any faster and I'd seemingly ease up for 10 seconds and someone would pass me. I was digging though. Tom R posted this photo from the finish line looking back up the hill past the Cathedral at 7:30 (when the 8:00 bells were tolling when I ran past an hour into my race with a few minutes left to run):

It WAS a beautiful morning!

I tried to use that downhill to the finish. I ACTUALLY PASSED 2 OF THE 3 COLLEGEVILLE GUYS THAT HAD BEEN IN FRONT OF ME AT MILE 1, but as I got close, they turned and high-fived and it looked like they were hardly working. Damn it... I just passed 2 guys out for a leisurely jog right before the finish line where I was dying. #BigMan

• MILE 10: 5:57 (3:06 and 5:50)


Steve Stenzel, 41, M, St. Paul

6:16.4 pace

142 out of 8469 overall
128 out of 3042 males
13 out of 519 in the male 40-44 age group

31:18 first half, 31:26 second half

Passed 90 and was passed by 17 from start to mile 5.
Passed 7 and was passed by 7 from mile 5 to 8.6.
Passed 3 and was passed by 4 mile 8.6 to the finish.

6:16 pace from start to mile 5.
6:24 pace from mile 5 to 8.6.
6:01 pace from mile 8.6 to the finish.

[Garmin: 1:02:45 for 10.06 miles (6:16.5 pace)]

Pace: big dip for the big hill at mile 3, then just randomness until a FAST finish.

Elevation: big hill around mile 3, short steep climb at mile 5, that TIME SUCKING
false flat for 1.5 miles, then some nice downhills right before the finish.

Nothing unusual with my heart rate...

... but a LONG TIME in Zone 5.

Check the lower right: there WAS a wind from the east!
(I mean... not much... but I feel a little validated...)

My Garmin map with pace colors shows me starting a BIT faster (note they are half-mile splits)...

... Summit Ave is all slower blue...

... and then I bust it down that hill in red.

One of the people that passed me up the hill at mile 2.5 was a woman who I then went back-and-forth with for a lot of the race. She ended up finishing with my exact same finishing time, but just in front of me as she must have started closer to the front of the pack:

Me DYING behind her just before the finish!

The guys on the team who I caught just before the line!

I ended up meeting up with that woman and her husband for the light rail ride back to our cars! We had a nice chat about running/training with kids as they have 3 kids under 5. I found her husband's time, and he posted a 59:59! And they commented about getting BACK to running with their little ones, so look for both of them to be crushing me soon! :)

And another guy I ran near for a chunk of the race had to come over in the finisher's chute to say hi. He said he NEEDS to get a pair of pink shorts, because all he heard throughout the race was people cheering for and commenting on my shorts! (He wasn't wrong.) It was great!

So not the time I hoped for, but learned a lesson about going out too hard. Back with more photos shortly, and a bit about my wife's 22nd TC Marathon!!!


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