Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
50sF / 0C
Total Time = 13h 54m 2s
Overall Rank = 1320/2439
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 188/328
Pre-race routine:

I started a few days prior changing my diet slightly. I based it on an article I found on the internet, basically reducing fiber, adding carbs and switching to sports drinks. I checked in on Thursday (I beautiful day) and also did a short swim. Friday was a rest day (and another really nice day out) and went to the baquet and met a bunch of really nice BTers. Did a lap of the swim course on Saturday (really nice weather), short bike and run also. Checked in bike and swim2bike and bike2run bags. indicates only a 30% chance of rain. Went to dinner with my brother, mother and her fiance and rest of family (wife and two kids). It is getting cold out, I added knee warmers and toe covers and a long-sleeve running shirt to add to transition bags.
Woke up about 4AM, downed an Ensure, had 2 english muffins with PB and probably something else I can't remember. It was cold and overcast but no rain (still only 30%) Drove to the Terrace with my wife, dropped off special needs bags, got body marked, pumped up tires and added food, energy drink and water to bike for first 60 miles. I put the additional clothes into transition bags and got my wetsuit on, said hi to some people I knew, kissed my wife and made my way to the water. I began to slightly sprinkle but being only a 30% chance of rain this couldn't last long.
Event warmup:

There was a bit of a "traffic jam" getting into the water and I was unsure if I would get in on time. I did however make it with about five minutes to spare and swam out to what seemed like a good place to start, at the back but near the bouys. I forgot to spit in my goggles but had used to no fog so hoped that would work.
  • 1h 58m 20s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 48s / 100 yards

I figured the swim to be my most difficult part of the race since I am not a very good swimmer (much better than a year ago but there is much work to do). The water didn't seem to rough when we started. It seemed to go pretty good at the start and I seemed to sort of get pulled along and the swim to the first turn went pretty good. My sighting was a litle off heading to the second turn and I swam a little wide. The long return swim was very difficult. The wind and waves seemed to have really picked up and it was very rough. My sighting went pretty good I was not getting beaten on much at all, just an occasional bump from someone. It felt good to get to the third turn and as I turned the forth to begin the last lap I checked my watch to see I had been swimming for 50 minutes, a little longer than what I was figuring. My goggles where fogged so I treaded water for a minute as I spit in them and which was hard because the strap was under my swim cap. The first part of the second lap went pretty good, I swam to a kayak to take a break and pee before the last long leg. The last leg was tough, I was tired and the water was still rough. I was passed by someone doing the backstroke, I tried that but did not like it. At one point I noticed someone beside me breast-stroking and I was a bit frustrated because I was not passing them. My stroke should be faster! I just kept on plugging away and eventually made the final turn and swam towards shore. I was nice knowing that this part was over, it was tough.
What would you do differently?:

I just need to keep working on my techinque. Getting down closer to the water earlier would have allowed me to spit in my goggles and hopefully wouldn't have had to stop to clear them. My start position worked good and never really had much trouble with other swimmers.
Transition 1
  • 11m 49s

It was nice to get out of the water! The wetsuit strippers made getting that off really easy. We had a run up the "helix" to get to the rooms to get your bag and then go to the changing room. Getting the undershirt and arm and knee warmers on when wet was a little challenging but I would be very glad for them. They had helpers in the changing room that would take your wetsuit, cap and goggles and help with stuff. I ran to the bike carrying my shoes so my socks got somewhat wet (which would be no big deal). I saw my mom, her fiance and my kids watching from the ped bridge and gave a wave. I found my bike pretty easily (most other bikes where gone) and ran to the mount line. My wife and brother were watching there and it was good to see them.
What would you do differently?:

Not too much. I ran up the helix and all the way to the transition rooms. Because of the weather it took a bit longer getting the extra gear on.
  • 6h 42m 45s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.68 mile/hr

It rained the whole bike, not a hard rain but a steady drizzle. The weather guy really blew that forcast! The bike is my strong part. I began passing people right away and pretty much for the rest of the bike this is how it went. I saw a bunch of people who were not dressed for the weather and was glad I went with the plan of over dressing vs. under. Everything on the bike went well, nutrition plan seemed to work (I had to stop and pee a bunch since I was not sweating as much as normal). It seemed like a normal training ride except for the rain. The spectators that came out in this weather were great. I saw a bunch of people I knew and that was great and a big boost. The three big hills had a bunch of people the first lap and made it the easiest time I have ever had going up them. I tried to just spin as much as possible. Turning back toward Madison was nice but then we hit a strong headwind which sort of sucked. Getting back to the terrace and knowing that the day was 2/3 over felt good. I climbed the helix out of the saddle and I was pretty confident I could finish.

I saw a bunch of people dressed as if it was 95 degrees out and was really glad of how I dressed. I was never cold or miserable and I know that can make for a very long day.
What would you do differently?:

My speed and time were a little slower than what I thought. I don't know if that was due to the rain, the energy expended in the swim or me just taking it too easy. I guess I would try to push a little harder.
Transition 2
  • 14m 16s

You hand off your bike to a volunteer who then takes it and you are directed back into the terrace. There were some cold people in there, just shivering under those foil blankets. I put my sleeveless jersey under the long-sleeve running shirt I had added that morning, put on a running hat, my fuel belt and grabbed my gels. I stopped and took some Pepot on the way out.
What would you do differently?:

This transition went pretty good. The extra clothes made it a little longer they they are worth the time with this weather.
  • 4h 47m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 58s  min/mile

I had a hard time getting my gels into the race belt. I didn't want to do this before hand because you had to wear your number on the bike and they would have been annoying. I therefore walked out of transition onto the course messing with them. I ended up putting half in a jersey pocket. Saw a bunch of family at the start of the run which makes you feel good. The first couple of miles were the hardest. You are used to being on the bike and see the signs, Mile 2 or Mile 15, and think to yourself "I sure wish I was at mile 15, I really have a long way to go." I started to get my running legs a little before mile 3 but the fuel belt was bouncing and driving me CRAZY! I saw my friends Sean, Marlow and their kids right before we turned into Camp Randal (the University football stadium) and thru the belt to them. Change of plans! I was now going to be using the course stuff, Gatorade and Cliff Shots! You are supposed to stick to your plans but realized that the belt would drive me crazy. I then had a goal of running to the water station Possum had said she was working at. I was feeling pretty good, had a strong run up the big hill, and was going at a confortable pace. I saw Possum and stopped to talk a bit before she told me I was looking good and to get going. That was around mile 7 or 8 and then I decided I would try to run to halfway, 13 miles. This was my pre-race goal, run half way and then it was ok to walk. I had done this in the half IM I had done and this distance many times in training. They had the Special Needs bags at half way and I stopped, put on dry socks and a dry shirt. I put my sleeveless jersey back on over the top for the pockets with electrolytes and other meds. I then headed out hoping to run to 17 or 18 miles. When I got that far, I still felt pretty good. I think 17 miles was the longest I had run in training, any distance over that I had only done once before and over 10 years earlier. When I got to 17 or 18 I felt great and pushed on thinking it would be good to run 20. After that I started thinking about the possiblity of running the whole thing. The only other marathon I had run was over 10 year earlier and I had hit "the wall" at mile 20 and had to walk between running stints. The rest of the run went pretty good. I was so pleased that I had run the whole thing. The IM finish was great. Coming down the shoot I was looking for my wife. I had seen her earlier and told her to send the kids home and out of the rain. I was hoping to cross the finish line with her since she had done so much to help me prepare, had been so supportive and basically had sacrificed a summer so I could train for this event. She was about a block from the finish but behind the baracade. I should have asked some people to help her over but at that moment didn't think of that. She told me to go and I did. I forgot to get high fives that last little bit and closed my eyes as I crossed the tape (I then remembered that they take pictures). I was "caught" by the volunteers. I felt pretty good I told her and I did. I expected to be about to collapse but was ok and actually felt good. My brother was able to be in the finish area and it was great to see him there.
My pace was very consistent the whole race. I don't think I ever got into the Ironman Shuffle mode.
What would you do differently?:

Might sound silly but plan for the finish. I was really happy with my whole run. I guess I would have skipped the fuel belt all together but really wanted to have those close to me cross with me. I would have liked to have them in the finsh photo also. I guess this means I will have to do another :)
Post race
Warm down:

I got some food, pasta and pizza in the race area. We had tenantively planned to go to a local restaurant for a little party and I still wanted to do this. I had a beer (which I had for the most part had cut out of my diet) and dinner. I realized that I was very tired and started to loose my appetite. I had hoped to go back to the finish line to cheer those last finishers but was too tired.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think the weather affected everybody. I still need to work on my swim technique and should be able to get a fair amount of time there. I could have pushed harder on the bike also. I am extremely happy about my run.

Event comments:

Man, can't get any better than the volunteers and spectators that stood out in this weather. Everybody was so supportive, helpful and positive. I had spectated previous and was so impressed by the whole event and now having competed I am even more impressed. My brother mentioned what an emotional event it is and I have to agree. The view of the finish line when coming around the final corner is great. Knowing that your year of work has gotten you through, that you have completed your goal.
I can only imagine how hard it is for those that were not able to finish. It takes so much time, money and dedication and it most be so tough to not make it to the finish for whatever reason.
Congrats to all that finish, congrats to all who started. It is an event that I want to repeat. I want to cross the finish line with my wife and kids!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-03-27 12:00 AM
01:58:20 | 4224 yards | 02m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 319/328
Overall: 2359/2439
Performance: Average
HR Max 160, Ave 146. - These are way too high for my time. It means I am working too hard for how slow I am going.
Suit: Ironman Stealth
Course: A rectangular course in front of the Monona Terrace Convention Center, two long legs and two pretty short ones.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:49
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:42:45 | 112 miles | 16.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 166/328
Overall: 1050/2439
Performance: Average
HR Max 166, Ave 131. - These are both pretty good and within what I should have been. Average is pretty good and means I was saving some for the run.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: About a 12 mile ride out of town and then two loops before returning to town. There are a fair amount of hills, three big ones for sure but many other smaller ones. Very few flat areas.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 14:16
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:47:20 | 26.2 miles | 10m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 144/328
Overall: 1073/2439
Performance: Good
FIRST RUN SEGMENT [10:58/mile] SECOND RUN SEGMENT [10:57/mile] - HR Max 173, Ave 123. - The average is probably a little off because I never turned it off when I finished (I am sure my run time was not 23H 59M 59S). It was probably pretty good though. I may have been able to push a little bit harder.
Course: Two loops througout downtown Madison. Fairly high number of turns and one big hill.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5