Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
76F / 24C
Total Time = 14h 29m 14s
Overall Rank = 1755/2398
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 67/106
Pre-race routine:

I arrived in Madison on Friday early afternoon, after several late nights at work earlier in the week. My emotions ranged from super excited to super anxious - mostly I couldn't believe that the race was already here! Wasn't it just yesterday I volunteered and subsequently signed up for this? Once on site, I actually found myself less nervous as I registered, picked up my bags, etc. Went for a swim in a WAVY and CHILLY Lake Monona - mostly to wear my sleeveless wetsuit for the third time and confirm that it was, indeed what I wanted to wear on Sunday. Remember - no new equipment on race day!

Saturday I dropped off the transition bags and my bike, and organized my spectator bags for my wonderful friends and family who were coming to support me. I was so excited to see them along the course! Went to dinner with my family - this is where problem number 1 of the weekend happened. I thought I was ordering an old standby - pasta with arrabiatta sauce. Well, this particular arrabiatta sauce had a CRAZY amount of red pepper in it. It was tasty, but did not agree with my digestive system. Lets just say that I was up most of the night with digestive issues the night before the race. Got up for good a bit before 4am to try and eat, and could not even smell food. Well, this is not good. I'm about to embark on a LONG day and I can't eat breakfast. I've had a nervous stomach before races before and know how it usually feels, but this was different, and I've always been able to choke down my pre-race meal. Not this time. Digestive system was not happy with me. I decided Gatorade would have to be my pre-race calories...

Got to the race and dropped off my special needs bags and loaded my (luckily) liquid nutrition on the bike. Got to have one of my training buddies, Becky, body mark me! I saw her throughout the day volunteering and she was so helpful! Tried to eat a PB&J and literally could not choke it down, the smell of food was making me nauseous. Stomach was feeling bloated. Not fun. The fact that I couldn't eat was also making me more nervous! I was really hoping my stomach would start to feel better once the race started…but really, my stomach was off all day from the start. On with the show!!
Event warmup:

None, its an ironman.
  • 1h 14m 27s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

For the swim, I positioned myself to the shore side of the ski jump, about four rows back. Got super excited when Mike Reilly started asking us who was going to be an ironman today. I couldn't wait! Cannon went off and getting beat up started. I had expected a rough swim so overall the roughness was what I expected. I was focusing so hard on getting around people and avoiding flying elbows, that before I knew it, we were at the first corner buoy! Moo'ed with the rest of the crowd and then continued on. I would say I spent about 50% of the swim with relatively clear water and 50% mixing it up. Never got kicked super hard or the goggles knocked off, but definitely took a couple body blows. And what was with all of the super hard kickers!! We have over 138 miles to go, people! Why are you kicking so hard!???!! I had to stop 3-4 times and take a 20-30 second rest and let my stomach settle. Still feeling the effects of the digestive issues from the night before, but I pushed through. My shoulders/arms started to get really tired the backside of the second loop. Just relaxed and try to keep my form smooth. Saw about 1:15 on the clock when I got out of the water. Just about right - I had been expecting 1:10 or so, but this was fine given the contact and the stops to let my stomach settle. I was just happy to be done swimming without any major issues!
What would you do differently?:

Start a bit further toward the front. Swim rain more.
Transition 1
  • 10m 37s

Got my wetsuit stripped and ran up the helix. Took my time in transition as I didn't want to forget anything and really I was just trying to soak up the experience. I had a really helpful volunteer. Stopped at the porta potty as expected given my stomach problems and ran to get my bike from Becky. Out the transition and down the helix, 10 minutes was fine with me!
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 58m 42s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.05 mile/hr

I bought a bike after I signed up for the ironman a year ago and basically started from scratch with my bike fitness. I am so excited that biking has become a part of my life over the past year! I rode the course this summer probably about 10 times, as I just fell in love with it. I was pretty excited to be out there one last time for the year and enjoy the beauty of the course. My goal was to average 16mph including two planned stops. I figured this would leave me enough legs to handle the marathon. It was REALLY hard to hang back on the stick and the first part of the loop. People were flying and clearly on a high from feeling fresh early in the race. The rules about drafting are silly hard to follow if you start the bike in the middle of the pack. Seriously, it was end to end bikes the first loop. Luckily, since my swim skills seriously outpace my bike skills, I was spending most of my time being passed, which was fine with me. I'll see you later, all you men who are going to blow up at mile 85!

Second problem of the day - my fully charged garmin decided to conk out 20 minutes into the ride. Don't care that I couldn't see cadence and speed, but I would have REALLY liked to see my heartrate (especially since I knew it was already elevated due to my stomach issues) and have the beeping for nutrition! Luckily, I had worn a backup timex, and was constantly checking that to stay on top of my nutrition. Every ten minutes I took a swig of regular strength infinit and every 20 minutes I took an extra 4 ounces or so of water. Goal was ~200 calories of infinit per hour and about 36 oz. of liquid. I was going to have a snack size Pay Day (~100 calories) at the end of each loop. I made it to Cross Plains before my stomach said get to a bathroom quick, and that was where I had planned to stop so it worked. Stretched a bit and started on the sisters - I LOVE THIS PART OF THE COURSE! Was able to see my family and friends and was so excited to see them out there! High fived my brother at the top of the hill, and almost took my arm off. Finished the first loop in about 3:20, a bit ahead of my plan.

Started out on the second loop and the wind had picked up significantly, it ended up being one of the windiest times I had ridden the course this summer. Going down G and 92 was pretty brutal. And I could tell everyone's mental state had changed. It was much quieter out there on the course! Again, barely made it to Cross Plains before my stomach gave out and stopped again for bathroom/stretch as planned. The second time to the hills, I felt pretty great. Some were walking up the hills but my legs could handle it. Saw the family and stopped for a minute or two to talk to them and let them know how I was doing. Again, just trying to enjoy the day, and I was!

I think this is about where I stopped paying close attention to my nutrition. By the time I was back on the stick on my way to the terrace, I was feeling pretty thirsty. Being tired, I was not paying as much attention to my watch and stupid broken garmin wasn't beeping at me. Just tried to drink as much water as I could on the way back, as it was definitely hotter. Up the helix and get me the H off of this bike! Right on target with my time though! And no mechanical issues (I'd take a broken garmin any day over a mechanical!).
What would you do differently?:

More biking! Have a Garmin that works!
Transition 2
  • 10m 37s

Again took my time in transition. Super helpful volunteer who I chatted with along the way. Change to running shorts and body glided up my feet - did not want any blisters, and I only ended up with one small one in the end. ANOTHER stop at the porty potty. Saw my husband on the way out of transition and said "well, my stomach survived the swim and bike, but now I'm about to start jostling it around with every step and this could get REAL interesting". Any runner knows that a jostled sensitive digestive system will send you running for the nearest bush and I was honestly worried that I would have to stop at the porta potty every mile. It didn't get quite that bad, but read on...
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 55m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 34s  min/mile

I LOVE to run. Earlier this year I qualified for Boston. I was a runner before I was a triathlete. I was so excited to be out on this course in particular because I would be able to interact with the wonderful crowds. So how in the world did I end up with an almost 6 hour marathon? MY STUPID STOMACH!

Started out running probably about 9:30 pace (but really I never had any idea how fast/slow I was going since my garmin had died). Walked through the aid stations (drinking water, having a couple potato chips for salt) and up the hills as planned. 3 miles in, first porta potty stop. Continued running through Camp Randall and saw my fam on state street! Stopped to talk to them, I just loved seeing them out there! I volunteered last year at the turn around on state and Tony 2 Goggs who I volunteered with was there again - high fived him round the corner. On my way back to the turn around, I started having serious problems keeping my stomach happy. I couldn't hold any kind of pace without triggering serious nausea. Tried to run 5 minutes, walk one minute. Around mile 8-9 I started having chicken broth at the aid stations. Shortly after that, for about five miles, I felt amazing! I thought I had pulled myself out of disaster and my stomach had decided to cooperate. I even told my family and friends that I was back!

No dice though - around mile 16, things came to a screeching halt. I could not run without almost throwing up. I was so nervous that if I started throwing up, I wouldn't stop. More porta potty stops. I tried to run one minute walk one minute and I could not run for 30 seconds without triggering issues. This was a dark moment. I have ten miles to go and I can't RUN??? At this point I had no idea what to do - I have been drinking and the chicken broth had seemed to work, but now things had gone to awful so quickly. I was even more frustrated as my legs felt fantastic! They were sore, but nothing crazy and I had energy left to give but I could not get my stomach to agree. At the second time at the state turn around, I was almost in tears when I saw my family. I wasn't worried about not finishing, but I was so frustrated with the prospect of walking ten miles, especially when my legs felt so good! My husband got my family and friends to spread out, and the rest of the race, someone was at every mile waiting for me. So amazing. They truly got me through this race. I was just chugging water and trying to choke down more broth in the hopes that I could salvage something, but I never felt any better. About mile 22 I found Stephanie, who was also walking the last few miles. We chatted about our days, and before I knew it, it was mile 25. I'll be darned if I'm going to walk the last mile of my ironman! It was slow, but I ran that last mile! Overall, I was over an hour slower than my expectations, but I crossed that finish line with a smile! I had done it - I am an ironman!!!
What would you do differently?:

Get an iron stomach? I will never know if my issues were related to the night before or something else over the course of the day.
Post race
Warm down:

Took a few pictures with my amazing support crew, who I can't thank enough. Went over to the med tent to see if they could do anything. They weighed me and I had only lost ONE POUND during the race. Hmm. Apparently I had been drinking enough! Still was not hungry in the slightest and my stomach still was not right. I will never know if things would have been different if I hadn't started off the day down for the count. But that doesn't really matter and one thing is for sure, I had so much fun out there. I knew I wasn't going to break any records in any case, so I wasn't afraid of stopping to chat and interact with my support crew or the volunteers. I hope that made the day more interesting for them too. This race is so full of amazing volunteers and spectators. To the hundreds of random people that cheered my name as I ran or rode by, THANK YOU! You made the day I became an IRONMAN amazing!!!

Next day I woke up and wasn't all that sore - definitely have been more sore in the last few marathons I've run. Kind of made me mad since I know I had more fitness left to give. Two days later I was already thinking about when I'm going to take on my next ironman. I can't believe how much training and racing this race has changed my life. I am in the best shape of my life, I have discovered my love of biking, and I have been able to reevaluate what is truly important to me (and no, its not JUST triathlon :) ). I can't wait to take on the next adventure!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not my fitness - legs felt great! All-day stomach issues definitely didn't help things..

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-10-14 12:00 AM
01:14:27 | 4224 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/2398
Suit: DeSoto Sleeveless
Course: 2 loops of Lake Monona.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 10:37
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:58:42 | 112 miles | 16.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/2398
Wind: Some
Course: Stick and two loops - no major hills, but relentless with the elevation changes. Beautiful course!
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 10:37
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:55:26 | 26.2 miles | 13m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/106
Overall: 0/2398
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5