Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
72F / 22C
Total Time = 11h 33m 51s
Overall Rank = 385/2452
Age Group = M55-59
Age Group Rank = 5/92
Pre-race routine:

I drove over by myself on Thu, arrival time about 6pm. Athlete check-in on Fri, short swim in the am. Athlete dinner and pre-race meeting Fri night. Barb & Scott arrived about 11pm on Fri night. Sat am, short 12 min run and about a 6 mile ride. Breakfast at Perkins. Bike check-in and transition bag drop off done by 1ish. Drove the bike course. Watched some golf on TV at the hotel and then Olive Garden for supper about 6pm.

2452 total starters, 1793 men and 656 women. The numbers don't quite add up, maybe the pros are not included in the gender numbers. My overall ranks are for the men only.
Event warmup:

Nothing really on Sun morning. Thinking back I was planning to stretch some but forgot in the excitement of the moment. Barb & Scott were w/me the whole time. They were great the whole day, BEST SUPPORT CREW EVER!! I got a little choked up after I had my wetsuit on and was getting ready to head down the helix to the water. I think I left about 6:20. When I got close I went to the side and waited until 6:40 to head into the water. I stood in the water off to the side, swam a little. Finally went out and found a paddle board to hold on to. After the pros left at 6:50 I drifted towards my starting spot about 1/4 of the distance from the inside buoy and the ski ramp. I had planned to swim inside the buoys. Then withoutt warning the cannon for the AGers went off. I was still 20-30 yards from the front but there even people behind me.
  • 1h 25m 6s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

It was crowded but not all that bad. I was pretty much right on the buoy line thru the first 2 turns. Sometimes I would have to swerve to miss a buoy. The corners were crowded but not bad. On the back leg I stayed on the buoy line till towards the end I got wider than I'd been but only maybe 10-12 yards. Heading back towards the start and the exit, I lost the buoy line and just went with the flow. This was where I had the most contact. One good shot to my left goggle but no issue.

I did pull off my top and use a wet suit stripper for the bottom. I had it pretty well started and it came right off.
What would you do differently?:


Based on some of my longer OWS at FA I felt I could swim a 2:00 pace. 1:25 was my target so almost spot on. During my IM training I had the most apprehension about the swim. Long OWS at FA made me realize I could swim the distance at an acceptable pace. I swam for 1.5 hours a couple of times and did one 3 mile swim. Great for my peace of mind.
Transition 1
  • 10m 56s

I jogged up the helix, moving steady but not pushing it. It was great getting cheered on by all the people. Barb & Scott had planned to be somewhere at the top. As I got out of the helix I began looking for them and couldn't find them. Finally I saw them down aways directly across from my bike. High Fives were in order. It meant so much to see them so many times on the course. This was just the first of what turned out to be many.

Into TA, found my bag and went into changing area. I was wearing my Desoto 400 mile bike shorts and tri top. No helper right away but then someone came over. I had a small towel and did dry off some. I put on arm warmers and transferred gels, Endurolytes, and 2 salted nut rolls into my bike shorts. My Power Bar Energy bars (6) were in my bento box on the bike. Took some time to fit my sunglasses on right and headed out. Skipped the suntan lotion since I put some on at the hotel and had arm warmers as well.

I was the 3rd rack in and had a long way to go to get to the bike mount and the helix at the other end of the ramp. I ran barefoot, no socks on the bike, carrying my running shoes. Part way down I turned on my Garmin which I had left off but mounted on the bike. They weren't a whole lot of volunteers around the mount line but I got a bike mechanic guy to hold my bike and leaned on him to put on my shoes.
What would you do differently?:

I suppose I could have gone a little faster but my plan was to be steady and careful in transition. I had a long day ahead and a minute or two in TA was not a big deal. Forgetting something would be.
  • 5h 49m 30s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.23 mile/hr

The stick was new to me and I took it conservatively while we were still in town. My goal was to keep my avg HR around 130 and max out about 145 on the hills. At my 2 HIM this year I was 144 & 146. I had my Garmin set up so one of the displays showed my overall avg HR and speed. My goal was to finish about 6 hours with a avg speed of about 18.6. Easy for the 1st 40, work a little more on the next 40, and go harder if feeling OK at the end.

My 1st check at mile 20 had me at 127/19.4, so I was happy with HR and glad to see some extra speed. Hadn't done any real hills yet though. Every 20 miles I would check my overall avgs to make sure I was staying within my HR goal and see what my speed was like. I was staying pretty much with my plan and was happy to see my speed higher than anticipated.

I knew how I wanted to attack the hills - maintain speed from any downhill, keep cadence and effort steady as long as possible, not overcook the effort when it got hard and to maintain the effort over the crest of the hill into the downhill. Also stay aero as much as possible and not get out of the saddle. It was little tough on the major hills because of all the spectators lining the hill and urging you on. I just kept smiling, stayed aero and eased up a bit when it got hard. There was temptation to blast hard but I resisted. I often passed people who were out of the saddle, hammering away and that just gave me more confidence to stick with my plan.

The 2nd Verona loop I kept my steady effort the same. I did work slightly harder on the hills but only a little. After seeing Barb & Scott for the last time I had about 25 miles left. Started doing my mental games, like all I have left is like a short common ride I do at home. Or the last part of a longer ride from a certain point. There was one more hill on the stick left but it went well. The wind was most noticeable on the way back on the stick but not bad.

I passed Marie and chatted with her for a bit on Marsh View Rd on my 2nd loop. I passed Dan on the big hill going into Mt Horeb but didn't even know it. I was working my plan on the hill and passing a group and did hear my name but never even thought to look. In my hill zone, sorry Dan. I also passed Jessica on the inward stick. She had an ungodly 59:57 swim split.

I ended up eating 4 energy bars and 2 salted nut rolls. 3 maybe 4 gels. Endurolytes 2 x 4 times. I peed on the bike 5-6 times.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I felt relaxed and in control the whole ride. Never had any issues. My bike performed flawlessly - thanks go to Joe for that.
Transition 2
  • 04m 51s

Different than most tris, we handed our bike to a volunteer and did not have to rack it ourselves. I did not get out of my bike shoes like I normally do. I just unclipped and got off and then wobbled big time. Quickly recovered. Grabbed my Garmin and put it on my wrist band. I then used a volunteer to lean against to take off my bike shoes. I did not want to run/walk with them on.

I had a volunteer with me right away. He dumped my bag and took care of my bike stuff. I had ended up wearing my arm warmers the whole ride. Took off bike shorts and put on tri shorts, socks and shoes next. I got up and realized I had not put my left shoe on so did that. Switched sunglasses. My helper got me a glass of water and I was headed out. Got smeared with sunscreen. Checked my Garmin and it was not in multisport mode so I had to end the bike segment and start a run. Took my time and walked while doing this. Scott was right there just outside of transition and got a high 5.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe leave shoes clipped into bike like normal races.
  • 4h 03m 28s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 17s  min/mile

IMs are all about the run. I've had issues with calf cramping at my 2 HIMs this year and in the past, also at my last 2 marathons. How much of the marathon would I be able to run?

About 2.5 weeks out I got some CEP compression socks, then sleeves to use here in Madison. I ended up wearing the sleeves for the entire race.

My goal was to avg about 10 min miles and hope the easier pace and effort on both the bike and run would allow me to run the whole way. My plan was to go easy early, 6 miles, keep HR around 130 and avg about 9:30? then see how I felt. HR more critical than pace. It was really hard to dial back the pace first mile but my HR was just over 130 so I was ok with it.

On the first loop, after the State St turnaround when I was back on the bike path I started running with Adam Lauderdale. We ended up running together until about mile 25. He's 28 from Elgin IL and also a first time IMer. We had similar goals, 12:30 overall time. We had both listened to an Endurance Nation podcast about how to approach the run. My HR had now dropped into the high 120s and my overall pace was just under 9:20.

I walked up the middle 3rd of Observatory Hill and after mile 3 started walking thru the aid stations. I started drinking coke about mile 6 and also water and Perform. I think I ended up eating 5 gels. I had 1 cookie and grapes 3 times. I peed about 4-5 times, never stopping, just letting it go.

It was so helpful to have someone to talk to. It seemed like the aid stations just kept coming up so quickly, is it really another mile gone? Barb & Scott were still showing, they had mtn bikes and got lots of great pics. Adam had this "The Right Stuff" an electrolyte liquid concentrate that he said works great at eliminating cramps. He gave me a vial in case we got separated. The miles just kept going by. We were both feeling good and exceeding our expectations.

At mile 20 we started to pick up the pace, getting closer to 9:00s. HR went up some but I was feeling great. As long as I didn't get any cramps I knew I going to be able to basically run the whole marathon and have a great IM time.

About 1.5 mile out around the tunnel, I said let's run our race here at the end but meet up in the finisher area. I wasn't going to stop atthe last 2 aid stations, I didn't think anything I took at this point would help in the short time left.

I gradually pulled way from Adam, concentrating on good running form and breathing. The last stretch is uphill on State St and around the capitol. I was running strong and feeling great. I ran past the special needs area knowing I would see the finish line. I made the last corner and gave a huge shout cause I knew my perfect day was almost over. I sprinted down the last straight away which is slightly downhill. I was giving skin early on but then just started pumping my right arm and screaming. I had passed a few people and there was no one in front of me so I wasn't going to mess up any finisher pics. I flew across the finish line and almost bowled over my catchers. I had done it and done it way beyond my expectations - 11:33:51! I was an IRONMAN!!!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go a little harder by HR on 2nd loop, push the HR closer to 140. I was so conscious of my cramping issues on my halfs I wanted to take it easy and be able to run the whole way.
Post race
Warm down:

I was a finish line catcher in 2010 so I knew the drill even though I was a first time finisher. I got my finisher hat and tshirt and my space blanket. Stood in line for my finisher pic. Drank some coke and water. Spotted Barb & Scott. Waited for Adam who finished just over a minute behind me. We got some pics, I met his parents.

I started to get chilled so we went into the Terrace and I changed into clothes. Scott needed to head out to Duluth to make a Mon 8 am class. We picked up my transition bags and bike and headed to the cars. Scott took off and Barb drove us to the hotel. I ate the rest of her subway, and some other stuff, had a few beers and watched the replay of the BMW golf.

We did go back to watch the end, arrived about 11pm. Barb went to the Terrace to read/work. Hooked up w/Joe Ryan and his buddy Mike. We saw the last official finisher plus 3 others who finished past 17 hours. Got a free beer at the Great Dane and went back to hotel. Went to bed about 1:10 am but I know I was still awake an hour later. Finally fell asleep but was awake at 6am.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing, I exceeded my best case scenario by about 45 minutes.

I don't think I made a bad decision all day long. I had a plan and executed it. I never had a down moment or negative thought. It was a phenomenally positive day with great results! My best race experience ever!!

Event comments:

Volunteers were great, thanks to all who helped out. If you've ever thought about volunteering at an Ironman, I strongly encourage you to do it. I had 2 great years of volunteering - bike handling in T1 and finish line catching in 2010 and body marking in 2011.

I also want to thank all who supported me during training and the race itself. Team Ewen truly is the BEST SUPPORT CREW EVER!! Barb & Scott did a great job on site and Trisha helped with posters and updates from home. Thanks to all who were on the course cheering and calling out athletes names. It really does make a difference.

My IMWI Facebook photo album is here

My IMWI 2012 finish video is here

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-09-12 12:00 AM
01:25:06 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 37/92
Overall: 1581/2452
Performance: Good
My official pace is 2:12 but the math works out to 2:01.
Suit: Desoto Black Pearl
Course: IMWI switched to single loop here in 2012. The front was 1500, then 300, the back 1800 and 200 and 600 to get back to start.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
05:49:30 | 112 miles | 19.23 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/92
Overall: 313/2452
Performance: Good
Avg HR = 128 Max HR = 155 Here are my official splits 56 mi 56 mi 2:47:28 4:23:30 20.06 mi/h 94 mi 38 mi 2:08:35 6:32:05 17.73 mi/h 112 mi 18 mi 53:27 7:25:32 20.21 mi/h Total 112 mi 5:49:30 7:25:32 19.23 mi/h
Wind: Little
Course: A 16 mile stick out to Verona, then 2 40 mile loops and 16 miles back on the stick to Madison. I had ridden 3 Verona loops as the course raced in May and 3 loops with a slight course change due to some road construction in Aug. Driving the course on Sat was beneficial to see the course w/o the detour and remember everything. We knew where Barb & Scott would be, on the Hwy J hill a little out of Mt Horeb and then almost due east to a straight fast section on Timber Lane. They were able to see me 4 times with this plan, miles 33/74 on the hill and 46/87 on the straight.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 91
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:51
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:03:28 | 26.2 miles | 09m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/92
Overall: 376/2452
Performance: Good
Avg HR = 133 Max HR = 184 Official Splits 6.5 mi 6.5 mi 58:31 8:28:54 9:01/mi 9 mi 2.5 mi 23:18 8:52:12 9:19/mi 13.2 mi 4.3 mi 40:45 9:32:57 9:33/mi 19.4 mi 6.2 mi 1:00:17 10:33:14 9:43/mi 22 mi 2.5 mi 22:47 10:56:01 9:04/mi 26.2 mi 4.3 mi 37:50 11:33:51 8:54/mi Total 26.2 mi 4:03:28 11:33:51 9:17/mi Garmin Splits 1-8:16-133 2-8:56-131 3-9:21-133 4-9:02-134 5-9:22-130 6-9:35-132 7-9:21-129 8-9:17-128 9-9:14-128 10-9:18-128 11-9:42-126 12-9:21-127 13-9:40-129 14-9:28-128 15-9:42-128 16-9:37-126 17-9:05-131 18-9:53-131 19-9:58-128 20-9:16-130 21-8:57-136 22-9:00-138 23-9:16-136 24-8:53-140 25-8:41-141 26-8:20-148 .39-8:04-160
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5