Being partially employed, I'm always looking for good job-hunting tips. These seem legit:
>> Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Before leaving the house the morning of the race, I tweeted this:
THERE WERE 2 PARTS TO MY RACE PLAN:
First, Dr. Folske said it'd be best to take it easy up the hills and just "let some people pass" me. Running hard up hills would make my achilles angrier quicker. So I have Doctor's orders to be wussy on the hills. Nice. I can do that.
Second, after getting through the worst of the hills and onto Summit Ave, I wanted to up the pace and start running harder. That's around mile 5.5. I noted last year when I first did the Loony Challenge that I could have ran the middle miles harder, but was just a little too timid (unsure of how long my tired legs would hold up).
RUNNER'S TO YOUR MARKS... GOOOOOOOO!
Pharmie saw me just a block after the start:
I chatted with Casey from my Y early on in the race - she's never raced with me and she LOVED my shorts. Mile 1 was a good start in 6:19.5. I'd been doing a lot of my longer runs with portions at 6:20 pace, so I'm "comfortable" at that pace. Just after the first mile marker, we crossed the Mississippi River. I ran next to Tom R for a bit, and we chatted as we came to the short nasty hill across the river. Here's a photo from Terrance showing the pack in the 10 Mile Championship race in front of us climbing that hill:
One of the lead females on that hill, and you can see by
the retaining wall in the background that it's PRETTY steep!
I'm the one in pink. The one who doesn't appear to be moving at all.
But then we climbed THEE HILL on the course: the hill behind Coffman Union that climbs for a WHILE! I counted as people passed me: 15 got me on that hill. But I caught MOST if not ALL of them in the next half mile. THAT hill DID show up in my splits: that half mile was the slowest of the race in 3:26.3, followed by a pretty speedy 3:03.1 to make mile 3 6:29.4.
Photo from Marisa just after the 3rd mile marker.
I hit the 5 mile mark in 31:59 and I was a little bummed with that split. I was HOPING to negative split the race (as I've done 3 out of the 4 years I'd ran it in the past), but I was worried that I was currently on pace for about 1:04. (Mile 5 was 6:23.9, which was slower too.)
I hit Summit and upped the effort. I was really working hard. But it wasn't showing in my splits: mile 6 was 6:27.9, and mile 7 was 6:26.2. My goal of 1:02:30 was slipping away, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was still having a decent race AFTER racing a 10K and 5K the day before, and that 1:02:30 was a pretty lofty goal.
Also, with around a 5K left, my left calf started getting a little tight. My right calf followed suit just after. They both got sore/tight and stayed there, so I was never in fear of having to stop. I actually thought that if I had to stop and walk ever, I might be done running in this race all together; my heels would probably tighten up too much right after stopping to walk that it'd be too painful to start running again. I knew I'd be pretty tight post-race, and I tried to keep thinking about my form.
Nipply bright photo from Terrance at mile 7.5.
Confused-looking, double-chinned, super un-sexy looking photo from Joshua at mile 8.
At mile 9, I realized that I could break 1:03 if I ran a sub-5:40 final mile. It's a downhill finish, so I thought it was possible. My final mile has been 5:40 or faster each of the previous 4 years I've done this race. I gutted it out. But the first HARD half of that mile was 3:01.9. Dang.
At the Cathedral, I heard some cheers for me. Pete was there to get my yearly "running past the Cathedral" photo:
2009, 2010, and 2011. Now I have a photo at that spot from all 5 years. :)
Marisa's photo of me suffering down the final hill with 0.2 to go.
Tom R sent me this photo of me in the finisher's chute saying the
"camera got focused on the crowd, perhaps an American Flag bias?"
Steve Stenzel, TC 10 Mile
1:03:05, 6:18.50 pace
106 out of 9150 overall
15 out of 537 in the 30-34 age group
31:59 first 5 miles, 31:06 final 5 miles.
At the 5 mile mark: 129th overall, 18th in my age group. (So I caught a few people on the way to the finish.)
I passed 165 runners, and was passed by 6 runners between the start and mile 5.
I passed 22 runners, and was passed by 2 runners between mile 5 and the finish.
Guess who was waiting for me just across the finish line? Evan was RIGHT there! I never saw him all race, but he just finished 14 seconds faster than me! (Remember, he was doing the Loony Challenge and had a 0:03 lead after the 10K and 5K the day before.) I had NO idea I was so close to him! But I raced a good race and could NOT have made up those 14 seconds, let alone made sure to finish at least 4 seconds in front of him to beat him in the Challenge. He had a slower 2nd half of the race, so I apparently was catching up to him (he ran a 31:19 and 31:31, so I was 25 seconds faster than him over the last half of the race).
I chatted with LOTS of "race buddies" in the finisher's area, and got an official post-race finisher's photo with Dena who was 33 seconds over her goal. I was 32 seconds over mine:
Instagrammed just after the race: "Happy with my 'personal worst' 10 mile time at the
#TC10Mile today. Calves were screaming with 5k left. 2:00:00 was my best possible
outcome for the #LoonyChallenge, and with my 38:33 10k and 18:54 5k yesterday,
I'm unofficially at 2:00:32. Now, who wants to massage my legs?..."
4 FINAL RACE THOUGHTS:
• NEVER have my calves been so sore after a race. My quads were sore and tired (which is to be expected), my hamstrings felt just fine, but my calves were SUPER tight. I couldn't properly walk down steps the next morning, and they were bad all day. Yesterday (2 days post-race) they were better, but far from perfect - they maybe went from an "8" on Monday (just shy of limping) to "6.5" yesterday on a 1-10 pain scale. And maybe they're a "5.5" today. As long as they keep feeling better, I'm not worried. If they stall out, I might have Dr. Folske rub them out.
• Never felt good/fast in this race. My legs were slow/heavy from the start because of the 10K and 5K the day before. I just never fell into a rhythm. I'd feel good 1 mile about a good split, and then crappy the next.
• I ran the 10 Mile about as good as I could have. I think my slowest final mile ever at this race shows that. And the fact that I perceived an "up" in the effort around half-way, but my times didn't drop at all. I was not being too timid - I raced about as good as I could have throughout. And I don't say that often.
• The cashier at Nina's Coffee Shop had no idea that I paid for my hot chocolate with a sweaty crotch $20. (See first photo in this post.) That $20 stayed put nicely. And there was no odd chafing.
I went up the hill past the Cathedral to cheer for the marathon runners. I walked back and forth a lot (covering nearly 4 miles) which was good for my tight legs. I stretched them out really well twice too. Soon, I spotted Pharmie:
Looking focused in the pink.
Running off towards the finish! (Right in the middle.)
A photo I Instagrammed yesterday from mile 26 of the Marathon.
We got home, put the boys (and Mama) down for a nap, and then Charlie showed off his fresh haircut that night as he looked like a pimp with beads and a snake in the playroom:
"Twin Cities Marathon #15 is in the books! This one hurt early, probably secondary
to the 9.3 miles raced yesterday as part of the Ultra Looney Challenge.
Thanks everybody, for your well wishes and a special thanks to those who
came out to cheer! The spectators truly make this race special."
>> Monday, October 05, 2015
My lovely Pharmie and I raced the TC 10K and TC 5K on Saturday. We did this last year with her brother and (then) fiancée Angela (now wife).
From last year's race report.
We witnessed a forklift deliver this massive rack of finisher medals.
Blurry (because it was dark-ish) traditional potty shot.
We chatted with some buds in the starting area - here's fast
swimming buddy Aaron G. who was also doing the Loony Challenge!
2,300+ people with me in the starting chute ready to start the 10K!
Welcome to Minnesota: it was a little breezy and 40-45 degrees.
"RUNNER'S TO YOUR MARKS... GOOOOOO!"
The rising sun lighting up the Cathedral.
Behind the "Loony" runner in the Boston coat. "Well, gotta keep up with him, I guess..."
Still behind the Boston guy on Summit (before the first mile marker).
Still behind the Boston guy heading downhill and then back up to Dale Street (around mile 1.3).
Finally NOT the Boston guy in front of me! I passed him somewhere around mile 2.
This is just after the turn-around near Hamline Ave.
A half mile later, the blvd between the 2 directions of Summit Ave came together, and
we were running towards the rest of the runners who were still heading out.
Still just hopping around with the tall guy in yellow.
Then it got lonely:
Looking down from Dale Street, with our final hill in the distance.
Evan in front of me.
But the funny thing is (and this is totally true) that I had the thought "Well, if someone beats me, I'd much rather have it be someone that I know."
Mile 5 was even slower: 6:21.3. I was pretty pooped from going out at a decent pace to stay with Boston guy, and now I wanted to try to stay with Evan. I hope I wasn't being dumb.
On Evan's tail on the freshly paved part of Summit with less than a mile left.
Still with him heading down the hill by the Cathedral.
Still with him crossing Kellogg Ave.
Steve Stenzel, TC 10K
6:12.24 / mile pace
21 out of 2324 overall
21 out of 878 men
8 out of 145 in the 30-34 age group
I had to wait around for an interview that I was going to do for a local live morning show, so I grabbed a selfie with the 2 hilarious Medtronic cheerleaders:
Totally channeling Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri.
Post-interview with Todd Walker from Fox9. Pharmie finished her 10K FIVE minutes faster
than she thought, so she was pulled into the interview too! I'll share a video link if it surfaces.
"5K RUNNERS: ON YOUR MARK... GOOOOO!"
I didn't run with my camera for the 5K (just like last year). I was hoping for around 6:00/mile pace like last year, but after that pretty fast 10K, I didn't know what would happen. My first mile was right on: 2:57.3 and 3:04.3 for 6:01.6.
We hit the turn-around, and I noticed Evan wasn't far behind me. Like "just a few seconds" not far. My legs were pretty tired, and I started thinking about the 10 Mile the next day. I concentrated on form like I did near the end of the 10K. No heel strikes. Mile 2 was slower: 6:14.6.
I finally cracked 6 in the final mile: 5:58.4. And my final 0.11 to the finish was at 5:43 pace - that's fast, but far from "all out sprinting" fast.
Oh, something gross happened in the final 2 blocks of the 5K. The woman who came in as the 2nd female was running just in front of me to my left. I saw her cock her head back over her left shoulder for a second, and then bring it back to the front again. "Ummm, I think I better get a little farther off to her right side," I thought to myself. Sure enough, a second later, she cocked her head back again and barfed over her left shoulder. And then again. And then again. Three little chucks over about 5 seconds. She NEVER slowed up or broke stride, and that was the final 0.11 where my Garmin at me at 5:43 pace. Solid work, speedy barfing woman!
Steve Stenzel, TC 5K
6:05.00 / mile pace
32 out of 2696 overall
31 out of 980 men
4 out of 115 in the 30-34 age group
I turned around as soon as I finished, and guess who was RIGHT behind me. Yep. Evan. And he started a few seconds farther back, so he actually beat me. TC in Motion shared this photo of the female winner on their Facebook page:
I SWEAR I'M NOT PISSED HERE! I must have been "in between" faces and just caught at a
weird time. I wasn't pissed that Evan finished right with me. I swear. Pretty funny, though.
Lots of 5K runners heading down the hill toward the finish.
• Pharmie was a few MINUTES faster at these 2 races than she was last year, but I was just a bit slower. I was 7 seconds FASTER in the 10K compared to last year, but I was 16 seconds SLOWER in the 5K, so I was 9 seconds slower overall at this point. That was quite comparable, so I was fine with that.
• Evan had a 0:03 lead on me after these 2 races. He was 0:01 faster in the 10K and 0:02 faster in the 5K. But I knew he was a better distance runner, so I wasn't holding my breath that I'd beat him in the 10 Mile the next day. Still, we were both ready to RACE on Sunday!
• My achilles held up OK over these 2 races! The day before, I finally was able to see Dr. Folske for some much-needed A.R.T. on my heel. He didn't work a MIRACLE, but I was happy with how well it still felt after the 10K. Here was the scene the day before in an Instagram of mine:
Caption: "Wrangled these 2 during a final Dr. Folske visit before racing this weekend.
#DadLife #TC10Mile #LoonyChallenge"
• I was glad I wore my wind-proof briefs under my shorts. It was in the lower-to-mid-40s, and I didn't want to worry about Pepé getting too cold. And really, when do you ever overheat and think "oh, if only my junk and ba-dunk were cooler." Never. You never say that. So I added that extra layer of warmth down there and happily went on with life.
We got home, relieved the babysitter, and Henry sat to stretch with me:
I love this guy.
And to the park. (And then both boys got haircuts too.)