>Ten Questions With…Steve in a Speedo

>The reality is that if you’re reading this blog, the probability of you being a blogger yourself is about 99:1.  We all use our blog as an outlet.  A place to capture our race reports, our training logs, our fears about multisport.  Some of us use blogs as a creative avenue. 

For some athletes, their blog is an embodiment of their personality.  A true window into the soul.  A view into how freakishly funny or crazy we are.

Tonight’s interview focuses on one of the most prolific bloggers in our sport, Steve Stenzel.  Steve is a triathlete, husband, college professor, self-proclaimed nerd, and tremendously funny fellow living in the Twin Cities.  His blog has been recognized as one of the best sports blogs out there for the last several years.  You may have read his blog before (heck, you may even follow his blog regularly).  If you haven’t read Steve’s blog, I HIGHLY recommend it.  He’s funny.  He’s gross.  He’s a hell of an athlete.  He’s a fantastic writer.  In short, he writes a fantastic blog.

Follow Steve’s blog here.

Tonight’s version of “Ten Questions With…” is with Steve Stenzel…better known in the blogosphere as “Steve in a Speedo”.

Steve kicking it home in his recent 10-miler PR!

TM:  So what’s the backstory on “Steve in a Speedo”? How’d you get started in this multisport life?

SS:  My wife started triathlons in 2004, and I totally backed her. I was NOT interested in doing any of that, and she didn’t push me towards it. I took swim lessons as a kid, but I didn’t “know” how to swim. After watching her for 2 years, I figured I could give it a shot. So I learned to swim through the “Total Immersion” swim method (through a DVD and flashcards), and did my first tri in the summer of 2006.

TM:  What’s up with all the port-a-potty pictures on your race reports?

SS:  Everyone needs a hobby. Photos of me pre-race in a port-o-john is mine. It helps remind me that this all can’t be taken TOO seriously.

TM:  Ditto on all the costumes at races. What made you think doing a half ironman in a grim reaper costume or a 5k as a tomato was a good idea?

SS:  First of all, doing a 5K as a tomato is NOT a good idea. I did a 6K as a tomato, and THAT’S a great idea! Ha! But really, I just try to have fun in this sport. There are moments I take it very seriously, but there are moments that I just need to remember that this is all “for fun.” (Although the later miles of that half ironman in the grim reaper costume started getting a little less fun…. It had downpoured for a minute, and all that fabric was getting heavy.)

TM:  You appear to have no shame (as evidenced by pictures on your blog of blackened toenails, nipples rubbed raw, multicolor tri shorts, etc). Have you ever posted something only to think later, “what the heck have I done”?

SS:  Yes. Just don’t ask me to link to it….. 😉

TM:  It’s unbelievable to look at the number of races you’ve done in the past four years. What stands out as the most memorable and forgettable moments?

SS:  Finishing Ironman Wisconsin in 2007 is a great memory. It was only my 4th triathlon, and I was simply in it to take in the experience and finish. That day HURT so much, but I always catch myself thinking back fondly on that race.

Recently, working with coach Jen Harrison to try to break 60 in the TC 10 Mile was amazing. I’d never worked with a coach before, and she taught me so much about how to PROPERLY approach training.

I’ve really never had a race where I’ve thought “I’ll never do that again…” I have around 70 race reports listed in the sidebar of my blog, and I’ve enjoyed at least PARTS of all of them (even my marathon DNF). When I’m having a “bad” experience at a race, I think it’s important to stop and think “What can I do differently next time? What needs to be changed?” It doesn’t help anything to simply say “Oh that race just sucked.”

TM:  Swim. Bike. Run. What’s your favorite and why?

SS:  Run! It’s my strongest suit, and it marks the last part of the race, so that means the suffering is almost over.

TM:  Perhaps not a lot of your followers realize your background in photography. What drew you to photography? Which do you prefer – digital or film? What types of shots do you love to shoot the most?

SS:  I took 1 art class in high-school: a traditional B&W photo class. I figured “if I can make a living doing this, that’d be pretty great.” After 4 years of undergrad and 2 years of grad school, I’m pretty happy with how it’s all panned out.

In my personal “fine art” work, I shoot medium format film (going between a Mamiya RB 67 and a Holga). Then I scan my negatives, “fix” them up, and print digitally. But I have a few nice digital cameras for more commercial work too.

TM:  How did you get involved with writing for the “Examiner”?

SS:  I had heard about it, and I looked into it. I figured it was something that would segue nicely with blogging. I basically write articles and post slideshows of images that have to deal with the local multisport scene. When I thought about writing for them, I figured I’d just use it as a way to better connect with the local tri community. I just do it for fun.

TM:  You’ve won a bunch of “best blogger” awards. What do you think makes a blog great?
SS:  This was answered by your 4th question.  But really, my blog is just honestly me. I’m sure I’ve offended some people with the things mentioned in question #4, but that’s what’s great about a blog: they can just decide that “this guy’s not right for me,” and they can leave. (That’s not supposed to sound mean.) I can be a little crazy on my blog, and some people with LOVE it, and they’ll stick around and follow my blog for a while. Others will HATE it, and realize it’s not for them. The people that come back for more know what to expect, and I think they now LOOK for that.

TM:  This fall you met a huge goal of yours (sub 60 minute 10 miler). What’s your next big goal?

SS:  I’m THINKING about trying to get a new 70.3 PR this next summer. I’ve raced 3 half iron distance races, and none have gone great. So I’d maybe like to knock my next half out of the park.

TM:  (bonus question). You live in the Twin Cities. Vikings – love ’em or hate ’em?
SS:  Last year at this time: love em. At this very moment: no comment.



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