Running with Two Boys

>> Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pharmie busted out our double stroller for a RUN for the first time. We've got a "Thule Chariot Cougar 2" that we've used as a bike trailer a bunch of times, but never as a jogging stroller. (Check that link if you want to see how it transforms from a "regular" stroller, to a jogger, a bike trailer, and a CC ski sled.) The boys both needed a haircut, so Pharmie loaded them up for a 6-mile round trip run:

Loaded up on the (sunny) sidewalk.

At the barbers once Henry got out to get his haircut.

After 2 haircuts! Ready to head home.

There's a shade/visor you can pull down, and here's Charlie sleeping underneath it mid-run.

Back home on the porch post-run! Six successful miles with Mama!

Pharmie said it wasn't too much harder than running with our single BOB stroller (that's the stroller you've seen a lot of here - like in Henry's first 5K win a week ago). One thing she liked about the Chariot is that the front wheel attaches a little "loose" - it wobbles and seems janky. But as she found out while running, that wobble helps you to steer a bit easier.

If you're curious about running strollers, here's a link to a "review" I did of our BOB stroller just a few months after Henry was born. All the info is still true.

And in totally unrelated news, the boys and I made our yearly trip to "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" yesterday. CLICK HERE to see lots of photos of their sweet soda selection in a post from earlier today on my "root beer blog" - I totally stocked up. Here's Charlie and I watching his brother and cousins play after getting sugared up:

Back shortly with race photos from Henry's and my 5K last week. I just saw the photos and MY GOD I LOOK LIKE HELL! Guess that's what happens when trying to race a 5K with a stroller...


Friday Funny 811: Responding with Sassiness

>> Friday, October 17, 2014

These people are sassy. I like them:

Technically, #15 is right. Right?

Lots more funny stuff on posted all week long on


Friday Funny 810: Preschool Knowledge About Bats

We had conferences at Henry's preschool this past week. (Yes, that's a thing, even for 3-year-olds, and it's adorable.) We saw a recent bat project hanging in the hall. Some of the quotes were pretty good. Henry's makes no sense:

We forgot to ask what the "pony basket" is. We're confused.
I'll ask his teachers next week and report back.

Here are 4 others that made Pharmie and I laugh:

This kid seems to be a Batman groupie.


Dads are gross like that.

Sounds like someone might have issues with his Mom...

Check out more funny things on!


Friday Funny 809: One-Star Reviews of National Parks

Mashable shared 10 reviews that were either 1 or 2 stars given at different National Parks:

Well... yeah.

Find more funnies all week long on


Friday Funny 808: Last Minute Halloween Ideas

If you still need costume ideas, don't fret. Just used one of these:

I'm pissed because the "50 Shades of Grey" costume has at least 65 shades. I mean, COME ON. It's not that hard.

Lots more funny stuff on!


Dead Toenail

>> Thursday, October 16, 2014

Well, here's what you came here to see:

I think that happened nearly 2 weeks ago during the Loony Challenge weekend during the 10K. It was sore after that race. It hurt for the 5K an hour later, but it wasn't bad. And then it didn't bug me much for the 10 Mile the next day. But that baby's coming off in a few weeks.

Oh, and remember my sore toes from a few days before the race? Well they feel much better even though they still kinda look like hell:

I'm a bundle of sexiness.


6 Final Thoughts from Henry's 5K Win

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I ended my race report from the ALS SuperHero Dash with a few photos of friends finishing, some photos of Henry playing, and then us heading home. I never really gave my final thoughts on my race and the event in general. So here are my final 6 thoughts:

• For a non-profit "fun run" race, it had mile markers and distances that seemed to be right on. That's surprising at times. I ran 3.12 miles (according to my Garmin), and the mile markers were always right around where it beeped. It was chip timed and the course was certified. That sort of leads into my next point...

• This race confirmed that my 2008 5K PR (which stood for 2+ years) was actually quite short. Possibly not even 3 miles. The Joe Plant 5K was held at Lake Phalen, and we didn't even complete a full lap around the lake. This past weekend, we ran more than a full lap. Here's a photo of Jon and I from the race in 2008 when we were sitting near the finish line post-race. The start line was up at the top of the hill (heading off into the distance) in the background, and then you'd come around the lake to finish in front of us:


So I think the 17:26 I ran back then was actually a slower pace than I ran during this weekend's 17:56. In 2008, it was the start of me gaining some speed, so I didn't know what I could do. But I'm convinced that race was short, and this weekend's race was right on.

• This sounds like some sort of "humble brag," but I was a little embarrassed at my margin of victory. I was "that jerk" that showed up and smoked everyone at a charity run. As Henry and I were catching our breath at the finish, I kept waiting for someone else to come through the tunnel. But second place was over 3.5 minutes behind us (and that was a Dad running with his teenage daughter - adorable), which was a little obnoxious. Sorry everyone.

• I ran my own race. When everyone is behind you after 50 feet, it's a race against yourself. It's fun to do that now-and-then to see how much you can really push when it's just "you against you."

• I lapped all but 7 or 8 of the nearly 100 10K runners. Looking at the "gun time," they started about exactly 6 minutes before us. If everyone held a pretty even pace, I would have passed all but the top 7, and maybe 1 more if she had a big negative split. Henry always asked "What are they doing?" when we passed a group of runners.

• This was my first 5K with the stroller, and it was my 5th fastest 5K since high school! (I'm not counting the 17:26 I ran at the Joe Plant 5K because that was obviously more like 18:10ish.) My other 4 better (non-stroller) times were my 17:49 at the 2012 Run for Blood, 17:48 at the 2008 Tesfa 5K, 17:23 at the 2012 Brian Kraft Memorial, and 17:11 at the 2012 Human Race 5K. So it's the fastest I've ran in over 2 years! And WITH my little dude!

No photos have some in yet, but I'll post some when they do. And here's my ALS Superhero Dash race report if you missed it.


Henry's First 5K: the ALS Superhero Dash

>> Monday, October 13, 2014

Henry and I got ready for the ALS Superhero Dash on Saturday morning. We got ready in style:

3 Batdudes.

It turns out that our Batman outfits were pretty lame. Look at the LEGIT costumes we saw at the race:

LOOK AT THAT WINGSPAN! Henry got a high five from that awesome Batman.

Henry found a 5-year-old Batman that he followed around the playground.
(And that's the porta-potty line in the background.)

Father/son porta-potty selfie. (With Henry's "gun" - a stick.)

Selfie with Rachel - the blog reader who won a free race entry!

Me, Henry, and Jen (the ALS Association executive director for MN, ND, and SD).
Thanks for the race entry, Jen! (I think Henry was distracted by a dog.)

My "loud" outfit wasn't very loud at a "superhero dash." There were a ton of great costumes and people just dressed up in funny ways. I was in my Tutti Frutti shorts, a Batman shirt, my bright Israman Triathlon arm warmers, and my bright "Winter BeGone" duathlon hat that I wore for the Loony Challenge last weekend. That'd all be obnoxious just walking around, but at this race, it was tame.

There was a kids race at 9:40, the 10K started at 10, and the 5K (that Henry and I were running) started at 10:05. We cheered on the kids race:

Oops. I didn't realize I was getting a photo of a TMNT biffing it in the background. Sorry kid.

Batman and Thor kept watch of the 5K starting line (it's right under their feet).

After running a 18:38 in the 5K at the Loony Challenge last weekend (having just ran a 10K and saving my legs for the 10 Mile the next day), I was HOPING to run around 18:00 flat. I'd have the stroller, so that'd slow me down, but I was also racing just ONE race, so I could go harder. My half-mile Garmin splits would have to average 2:54 to end up around 18:00 (mile splits of 5:48).

Henry and I were near the front, only about 10 feet from the starting line. I was a little worried that it'd be tricky passing some of the 10K runners once we caught up to them, but the 10K was a smaller race, and I was hoping they'd be nicely spread out by the time I got to them. Rachel and I were chatting, and then we suddenly heard "5... 4... 3... " It was time to race!!


I shot around a middle-aged-man and another person or 2 within the first 5 seconds, and then I had clear paths. Sometime within the first minute, I snapped this photo showing open trails:

There's a 60-year-old woman walking up there, but it was otherwise empty.
Yes, this was during the race.

I realized I was running pretty hard. No, really. PRETTY HARD. I glanced down at the "current pace" on my Garmin, and it was saying 5:14 pace. Pretty hard. I hit the first half mile in 2:42.0 which was 5:24 pace. Whoa. I knew I'd paying for that shortly.

I started catching some of the 10K runners right at the start of the 2nd half mile. I had to say "on your left" a handful of times, but everyone moved right over. It's a bigger issue passing people with a wide stroller.

A lot of people shouted "NICE SHORTS!" The best reaction I got when passing a group of women was simply "Whhhhhhhhhhhhhaaattt?!?" I think they were commenting on the pace. I slowed up a bit in the 2nd half mile, but was still faster than my hopeful average pace: I ran a 2:51.2 for a first mile of 5:33.2, which was just a second over my 5K PR pace. Nice and fast. But I started feeling pretty bad about life a minute later. I was hashed. (But it's a 5K - that's how they're SUPPOSED to feel!)

There was a slow climb followed by a SHORT, STEEP downhill when making a SHARP lefthand turn. I forgot how to work the stroller in that section: I started braking because I knew the stroller would get away from me. And being I had to make a sharp turn, I pushed down on the handlebar to make the front wheel pop up to turn. But I forgot the handbrake only brakes the FRONT wheel. Yep - the wheel that was currently not making contact with the ground. Oops. I nearly got thrown from the stroller on that corner, and I was MOVING. We both survived. Everything was good.

If you don't believe me, I just downloaded my Garmin data. Look at this:

4:58 pace in the middle of a 5K?!?!? Wow.

In the first part of mile 2, I knew I was slowing down. I knew I'd see a half-mile split of 3:00+ in this mile. So I was pretty thrilled to actually get 2:59.0 and 2:56.9 for a second mile of 5:55.9.

In one spot, we ran over a lot of goose poop, and Henry shouted to me "Daddy, I see a LOT of poop!" This boy is going places. I can feel it.

I ended up saying "On your left" about a dozen times or so. A few times (when the bike trail and running trails were really close together), I'd just jump from path-to-path with the stroller - Henry likes the occasional bumps. But running through most of the 10K runners wasn't problematic at all.

We saw the park in the distance, just down a sharp hill. We came down to mile 3 in 5:51.4 (even half mile splits of 2:55.7 and 2:55.7). We ignored some people pointing to the start of the 2nd loop of the 10K - I don't think they were ready for us 5K finishers. We ran under the tunnel and hit the finish. I ran the final 0.12 in 0:37 (5:03 pace).


Steve Stenzel, Saint Paul, 33, M

5:47 pace

1st out of 480 overall
1st out of 45 in the 30-39 age group

I collapsed on the handlebar of the stroller for a few seconds to catch my breath. Then I went around to high five Henry on his win (I don't think he understood that we won). Then Henry made a volunteer laugh really loud when he said "That was a long run Daddy. I'm tired." I rolled my eyes at the volunteer and said "Yeah... [gasping for air...] *YOU'RE* tired..."

Henry and I stuck around by the finish to cheer. We saw Jen's hubby finish strong! Just after him was "race entry winner" Rachel, and I got a sweet photo of her winning her age group:

Good looking ankle, Rachel!

Cut me some slack - it's not like I majored in photography.

Oh wait...

Well it's not like I teach photography at major colleges and universities in the Metro area.

Oh wait...

Whatever. Here are a few more photos from the finish area:

Jen finishing! (With style.)

Henry enjoyed some popcorn at the finish.

And then we went to throw rocks in the lake.

Henry slowly backing up a hill because we had to get going and he was stalling.

Rachel getting her medal for 1st in her age group. ANOTHER AMAZING photo of Rachel.
Sheesh. Sorry Rachel.

Henry and I getting our medal and goodie bag for winning.

A vendor was taking his booth down, and he offered Henry 3 helium balloons. Henry
LOVED THEM! This was a photo I took as I was running back to my car with the stroller.

It was great on the way back to the car - running past some other runners, they kept saying "And he's STILL running!" In the parking lot, THREE different Dads came over to say something like "Hey, weren't you the winner? Running with this little guy? Nice work, man!" It was pretty cool. Great crowd.

After a big morning, I heard some heavy breathing in the backseat on the way home:

Still holding his sticks.

Medal, 3 pairs of FitSoks from Run N' Fun, and a $25 gift certificate with a $100 purchase.
Thanks ALS Superhero Dash and Run N' Fun!

There were a few photographers out there working for the ALS Association, so I'm sure some great photos of Henry and I will turn up. I'll post those as I see them.


Henry's First 5K WIN!

>> Saturday, October 11, 2014

Henry and I just got back from the ALS SuperHero Dash. They had a 5K and 10K (certified and chip timed) that raised over $75,000 for the ALS Association! Here are 3 quick photos from the event, with a full race report coming soon...

Henry and I "taking care of business" in a porta-potty pre-race.
(He's got his "guns" [sticks] that he's been playing with lately.)

Getting our first place medal and award from Jen, the tri-state ALS Association director.

POOPED on the way home. In fact, I got him out of the stroller just after we finished the race,
and he made a volunteer laugh as he overheard Henry: "That was a long run Daddy. I'm tired."

Henry had a great time, had lots of good post-race snacks, and he was even given 3 helium balloons to take home! It was a great morning, and a solid time (that I'm happy with) for a "stroller race!" Thanks for having us, ALS SuperHero Dash!

Back with a full report and lots more photos shortly. (Including how I nearly wiped out with the stroller for the first time...)


Friday Funny 807: Funny Running Things

>> Friday, October 10, 2014

I don't always post JUST funny "athletic" things on my tumblr page, but here's 10 funny running things (and a few cycling things mixed in too) that have recently been scene on tumblr:


Lots more funny stuff (like this) posted all week long on my tumblr:

p.s. Henry and I are racing the ALS SuperHero Dash tomorrow morning! Check back for maybe a quick photo, and then a race report soon! Happy weekend!



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