Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
72F / 22C
Total Time = 10h 47m 42s
Overall Rank = 216/2207
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 43/341
Pre-race routine:

[OK THIS IS LONG - Grab a cup of coffee and be prepared for a novel. Hey - it's my first Ironman, and there is nothing like the first time. Its a long day out there, and even longer to prepare, so at least my RR should reflect some of that ;)]

Guess this started a long time ago, but race week started with me heading up to my parent's house in Janesville on Thursday. This was good to get me away from everything and spend some quality time with my Mom/Dad. As most of you know my wife is very supportive of what I do, and she was doing her best to minimize the stress during these 2-3 days before and during the race. She is the best.

Friday morning I drove up and met a crew of BTers for the Gatorade swim at 9am. Did a lap of the loop and felt pretty good about that. Then we all registered and Craig (firstnet911) and I realized we needed to get tickets for Amy Jo and Holly. It was still early and they were already out of extra tickets. Not good, as Holly was coming up in time to go to the dinner. After some talking, we heard that we might be able to get some tickets in an "airline stand-by" fashion. Craig and Amy were the first in line before the dinner, and we were able to get them in. And that was a good thing b/c the banquet was awesome. Food was OK, but the presentation after the food was solid. Mike Reilly is solid. Poor Danny (123). This RR is long enough w/o getting into that, but those that were there get it ;)

Got a good night's sleep on Friday night and Saturday turned out to be busier than I expected. With rain and cold on the forecast, I was rethinking my transition bag and SN bag strategies. Although, the forecast started to look better, it was still suppose to be 49 deg at 5am, and chance of rain starting at noon. I just decided to pack everything and then pick what I needed when I got to the locations.

After registering for IMWI '09, I spent some time with the family going through IM village. Good thing to have my Mother-in-Law in the house, as she said that I needed another bike jersey. See, Whizz, had made the statement that she always sees me in my PP jersey, making it appear like I only have one jersey. Well, I scored the nice IM Madison top (Suguoi). DJ and MuTri were giving me some issues in the shop as I kept on trying different ones on.

It seemed like we walked around for a long time. Finally decided to have lunch at Quiznos, but they were closed. More walking lead us to this restaruant and after a long wait, I was starving. So, without thinking, I ordered some fried cheese curds, just happy to be off my feet, but forgot that I had a race the next day and these might not be good for my system. I did have the turkey sandwich for lunch, and I think they were out of my system before race day, but read on.

So, finally went back to hotel, packed up the transition bags and finished up the final touches on the bike and dropped all that stuff off. Holly, her Mom, Cait, Cam went to Janesville to pick up Callan and drop off Camden with my parents. This would give me time for a nap. I laid in bed for about an hour, but didn't sleep. Just a bit anxious. So, I picked up the phone, which had about 5 text messages and 3 VMs, which I returned. Although, I didn't get any sleep it was nice to be off my feet and getting some relaxing rest.

Holly and crew came back and picked me up before dark to actually drive a part of the run course. Not for me, but to pick out a spot for them to view. Although, there are so many good spots, we had heard that the Univ. Hospital by the Janus Miles (8,20) was good b/c there was parking and not so many people, which was key since my parents were also going to be there and its hard for them to get around (my Dad has a gimpy leg).

We, then went to noodles and company and had a nice light carbohydrate full dinner. We laid out the plans for the next day. Not my plan, that was already done, but the support crew plan. Instead of going to Verona on the shuttle (b/c the kids would love that), we decided to aoid the large crowd there, too, and the plan was for them to be right after Old Sauk Pass hill. I then laid out the timeframes that I thought I would be there and also gave Holly, my MIL, and two oldest enough time to get back to the hotel to pick up my parents and the little guy to be back on the run course at the hospital. Yes, the support crew game plan was as tough to figure out as my own plan. Thats why I have to give out more props to my AWESOME support crew. Holly was doing everything in her power to make sure I was not stressed; and her Mom was handling the kids to make sure Holly (and I) weren't stressed, and my parents were also doing the same. When I had written my Mother-in-law about sponsoring me last year for this event, I said that WE are going to do an Ironman. I think she gets it now. Sure I did the training, but having them be all bought in, made it all that much sweeter at the finish line [yes, we will get to that point, but its an Ironman RR. And its my first one ;) ]

Once we made it back to the hotel, I did an OK job of falling asleep. But I got up at 1:30 to go to the bathroom. Grabbed a banana and some water and tried to get back to sleep. Never really fell asleep, but laid there until 3am. Then I printed out the run course from mapmyrun for Holly. Put down some guesstimates of when I would be around (this is difficult to do in a 1st IM, but I tried). Then I started my feed plan of getting as many carbs in my body as I could. I had 3 ensures, 2 cliff bars and another banana. I also had 20oz of Gu2O and a Gel.

Holly asked if she should come with me, as i apparently woke her up. Of course I said yes, so we headed down to the race. Dropped of my SN bags at their respective locations, and then loaded up the bike. Saw Steve- there right next to me in the rack (bid 940 and 941). He helped me get my front tire up to the righ pressure as it was being finicky. We then talked about how we were going to beat up the course and went our separate ways.

Event warmup:

Not much here, right? Its a long day. Holly and I walked down the Helix and I wasn't nervous or anxious anymore. It was going to be a good day weather wise, I had done the training, and I was ready to rock. We found a good spot so that Chris (golferchris) and his wife could watch with Holly. Holly and I talked for awhile, saw jtopin and chatted, too. I shot my last gel and headed for the water. I ran in PsuedoYams and asked him about his clothing options for the bike. It really didn't feel as cold as they predicted, so no need for the shells. Yams was primed for a great day, I knew that. But it was great to talk to him for some last second thoughts. I had been emailing him with a ton of questions leading up and it was great to kind of talk with him and Amy before getting into the water.
  • 1h 04m 18s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 40s / 100 meters

I had seeded myself with the people that said they were doing around 1 hr. In reality, I knew I would be around 1:05 or so, but felt getting run over by the faster swimmers, would be a better alternative. So, I was very close to the first buoy about 4 people back. This worked very good. The pace was kind of slow at the beginning as there was some jockeying. It wasn't as bad as I expected, but I was expecting it to be pretty bad. I had one instance where someone tried to grab my shoulder and pull me back, but a swift kick took care of that. I tried to find someone that was going just a bit faster than me and I did that right before the first turn buoy and that added to the mayhem. I swam alone for about 100m before I found my next prey. I hung with him for pretty much the rest of the way. He was going good and I could relax a bit behind him. I was trying to be courteous by not touching his feet, but when you are drafting like that, its tough not too. He turned around once and gave me a look, but other than that all was good.

I lost him with about 500m to go and swam behind a few others to the finish line. The crowd was going crazy and I was excited to get on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

1st IM swim, not much. I had a lot more juice left here and don't think I would want to go much harder. Maybe wait another 5' before getting in the water.

AG Place after swim: 61/341
Overall Place after swim: 341/2207
Transition 1
  • 08m 15s

OK - I pride myself on my transitions, but definitely got caught up in the whole Ironman hoopla and made some rookie moves (of course, I guess this was my rookie season, so maybe that is acceptable).

I jogged up the helix, but took it pretty easy. Then I got my bag (said hi to jszat), headed to room #1. Sat down and all the volunteers were busy, so I dumped my stuff out and tried to figure out what to wear. Took 4-ever to get the arm warmers on (needed these). Then took some gloves (did not really need). Took some salt tablets and my two gel bottles (had another on the bike). Then put on my socks and packed myself back up (in hind sight, should have had a volunteer do that).

Got my helmet on and ran out the door. Except I went the wrong way. Then I decided to go to the bathroom and passed the sun tan lotion people. While in the bathroom 4-ever, I decided to go back and get some sun tan lotion. Kind of a small comedy of errors, but hey i was getting my money's worth.
What would you do differently?:

Have a better plan on what to wear and bring. Yes, IMWI T1 is going to take some time, but 5-6' should be enough.
  • 5h 35m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.03 mile/hr

Took the ride down the helix and began the 112 mile trek. My plan was really simple. Just take it easy, keep the watts w/in range, fuel the body, and get the HR down from the swim. Took it really easy all the way through to the no pass zone. Once the HR was in range, I started to eat and drink. I had a bottle of water every 10 miles, which gave me 36-40oz every hour. Even on a nice day, I knew I needed this much water from my long training rides.

The stick was uneventful and then when we hit verona, you could tell the crowds were waking up. The Special Needs area was getting set up, so I slapped davidclough a high five and continued to the loop. Jockeyed back and forth with a few people until Mt. horeb. Loved watching the people hammer up that hill. I just stayed in my saddle and kept the HR down. In fact, on the first loop I never got out of the saddle and was aero 95% of the ride.

I love the garfoot area and just cruised through those downhills passing a ton of people all the way to cross plains. Scrolled through my speedometer at the 40 mile point for the 1st time and was at 19.8mph. Wow, didn't feel like that at all. Of course, I still had the big three coming up. Saw maggyruth and amyjotris at the base of the first one. The crowd really helps you get up these hills. Worked through the other two pretty easily and was on my way to Verona.

I had heard that this was going to be fun and it lived up to that. The whole town had to be out. And the whole road was ours. It was fenced off with wall to wall people. Road was all chalked and people were going nuts. Very encouraging.

With one more loop to go, I was feeling great. I had taken my last solid food for the day (two cliff bars) and also had started on the gels. Hit the second loop and saw DC again, but no need to stop for SN although I was starting to think about going to the bathroom at some point.

The next 15 miles wer the toughest part of the course on this day b/c the wind was starting to pick up. And it was right in our face all the way to Mt. Horeb. The great thing, though, was once we got to Mt. Horeb, it was downhill and with the wind. I went to the bathroom on that stretch. And then once more coming in. I did get stung by something (probably a bee) just as I made the turn going West towards Old Sauk Pass. Hurt like a mother, but only lasted a couple minutes.

Was great to get to Verona again, knowing i was headed back to the Terrace.

The ride back I was pretty alone. Passed a good number of people, but did not get passed the whole way back. I was still feeling good, but still taking it easy....definitely looking forward to the run, though.

What would you do differently?:

I think I nailed the bike. That was my best effort for the day given the impending marathon. I kept the watts steady and my HR stayed in check.

AG Place after bike: 49/341 - moved up 12 slots
Overall Place after bike: 227/2207 - moved up 114 slots
Transition 2
  • 04m 2s

I was determined to have a much better T2 and did. I had a volunteer this time and he had everything laid out for me while I put on my socks and shoes. Then I loaded up my jersey with the salt and gels, put on my hat and I was off. Hit up the porta-potty or this would have been in the mid 3s.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 55m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m  min/mile

I started off the run and right away I had some stomach bloating. I passed some gas, and it seemed to help. I clipped off the first few miles with relative ease and was definitely holding back knowing that it was going to be a long run. RPE and HR were both below targets and all was good. I was walking the aid stations to make sure I got my fuel and hydration. Really enjoyed this course. The people are out in full force. Running through Camp Randall stadium is very cool. Around mile 6, the bloating kept getting worse. Some times, it felt like it wanted to come up, but never got to the dry heave or gag reflex point. So, I figured I just needed some tums, which I had in my SN bag. I decided to just keep moving from aid station to aid station until the turnaround.

My splits were still OK, but my gait and cadence was off. I was slouching over b/c of my stomach and it was tough to get in that nice relaxed and tall form I like to feel. The ball of my foot was starting to hurt, which happened in training. It doesn't really slow me down, but does aggravate me. Saw my wife and ALL the kids, my MIL, my cousin Matthew (goes to UW), and my Mom and Dad all at the 8 mile inspiration area. That was huge lift b/c most of the course along the river has no crowd. Sure its scenic, but the water doesn't keep you moving like all the crazies yelling your name. I stopped and got some drinks, knowing I was going to see them in a mile. I caught up with Holly and gave her a big kiss. She said Eeeewwww (I am sure I was stanky wet and all), but I know she appreciated it ;) It was also great to see my parents at this point. They had never seen me do a triathlon up to this point. They just never got it. But I could see it in their eyes that they were behind me 100% and were caught up in this thing they call Ironman.

I hit the turnaround and again the crowd was going crazy. Slapped some high fives with Whizz, Dumpy, jowisc, jenschmitcago, startingtotri, and many others. Looked at my watch and I was sitting at 1:51 (8:30s) and figured if I could get this stomach thing figured out, I could definitely keep that pace b/c my legs were NOT getting tired.

I hit up my special needs bag and looked for the tums, and they were not in there. I mistakenly had them in my transition bag and left them there (later found this out). Damn, OK, well now its gut check time (pun intended). I still had half a marathon left and I still hadn't been able to solve my stomach issue. I knew I was hydrated, so I figured I would take in some more salt, and hit the broth. This kind of helped, but there were times where it hurt so bad, I just had to slow down. I couldn't pass gas for some reason [Never had a problem with this before, ask my wife ;)]. When I did though, it did feel better, but never went away.

So, now I am at mile 16/17 and the head games are starting to play. I started walking longer durations during the aid stations, trying to find the magic solution. Cola seemed to help a bit, but it wasn't great. Grapes were good. I would take a handful and just keep popping them in. Didn't help the stomach, but kept me busy.

I knew my pace was getting slower, but just tried not to walk except at the aid stations. I did walk the hills on University, but I planned on doing that anyway. From there, I saw a bunch of BTers and they all looked to be in good shape (DJDavey, Tripletmom, Mndiver, and many more). Also, got to see Hillary get passed at around 22 miles. I thought to myself, oh no, she is going to get second AGAIN. But I heard she passed the woman back. That is hard core.

Miles 18/19 were the worst, as I tried out the porta-potties and not much success in those either. I realized there was nothing I could do about the stomach, except HTFU. I did the math and realized that I could do 10' miles in and still break 11 hours, as well as bust a sub 4 marathon, so I got to work on that. I actually was able to pick up my pace the last 4 miles.

Of course, once you get back on State street and you don't have to turn around again, and you can see the capital, with all the people, it sure does take the pain away. Its slightly uphill that last mile, but you would never know it.

I finished very strong and really got into the crowd. It was so loud. I looked behind me and there was one guy about 30 feet back, but he was waiting for his son, so I had the whole shute to myself. And I made sure to take it all in (will have pictures in my album). Got to the middle of the shute and in loud plain words, Mike Reilly said, "Scott Schmeiser, another 1st timer from Cary, IL.....You... Are an Ironman" That was awesome. Very awesome.

Hit the finish line, grabbed the ribbon, and knelt to the ground and gave it back to them for the next guy and his son. Davidclough and deannas where there to catch me. I wanted one of those silver covers, but really didn't need it. Just looked like that was what everyone was doing. DC walked me over to Holly and we hugged and she cried, and I did, too. Definitely, an unforgettable moment. DC put my hat on my son, and I took pictures with the family and got my finisher picture.

Sure, I was tired, but I was walking fine and just looking for some pizza. David was eating a pizza on State Street at about mile 15 and I thought about it for the next 11 miles. Got my food and water and met up with my Mom who was crying her eyes out. She said, "I knew this was a big deal, but I had no idea how great it would be". She just kept crying tears of joy for me and I could tell how proud she was. Maybe it was better that she hadn't seen me race until now? My dad was pretty much the same way without the tears.

Here were my splits and HRs:

1m: 8:01, 140 ahr
2m: 8:00, 143 ahr
3m: 8:24, 141 ahr
4m: 8:02, 146 ahr
5m: 8:15, 145 ahr
6m: 8:57, 142 ahr (hill)
7m: 8:23, 141 ahr
8m: 8:33, 139 ahr
9m: 8:41, 137 ahr
10m: 9:17, 135 ahr
11m: 8:41, 139 ahr
12m: 8:59, 136 ahr
13m: 8:59, 143 ahr
14m: 8:50, 141 ahr
15m: 9:03, 141 ahr
16m: 9:17, 142 ahr
17m: 9:07, 145 ahr
18m: 9:07, 144 ahr
19m: 10:22, 135 ahr (porta potty)
20m: 9:45, 132 ahr
21m: 9:56, 129 ahr
22m: 10:44, 126 ahr (hill)
23m: 10:34, 127 ahr (porta potty)
24m: 9:22, 135 ahr
25m: 9:26, 136 ahr
26m: 8:53, 142 ahr
0.2m: 8:50, 152 ahr (the finish, yes)
What would you do differently?:

I think Gas-X may have solved my issues. Also, the gels make me gassy, anyway, and that is why I tried infinit in my training. Puking on that, though, didn't help. So, I may try something else next year.

AG Place after run: 43/341 - moved up 6 slots
Overall Place after run: 216/2207 - moved up 11 slots
Post race
Warm down:

After eating a bunch of pizza and talking with all the BTers. I can't believe how awesome the BT folk are. It makes it so much easier to have a support crew like this. I would name names, but everyone that was there, came over to congratulate me. Very good stuff.

We headed up to my room (right around the corner) where I got my endurox and ice bath. I showered and was actually feeling good. Stomach wasn't totally right, but the legs were good with the exception of the ball of my foot. Went down to see some more people finish. I just missed Steve-, but didn't expect him to PR on his second IM in one week. Way to go, steve, that is just incredible!

Decided to get my bike and bags and took that up to my room. Went over to the great Dane and met up with PeterAK, his wife, sgoehner, mrtony, whizz and dumpster. wE had a couple beers and some appetizers and then went to watch Midnight Madness. Now that was worth the price of admission. The crowd was just going crazy as these people were trying to cross the finish line. Mike Reilly was now out of his booth and running down the shute just willing them into the finish. It was great. Really great. I would advise anyone that is up there to go watch the last 10' of IMWI if they want to get inspired.

The next day I was going down the elevator and Lauren Jensen (5th female overall) was in it and I said Hi Lauren. She said Hi back and asked me my name. I explained to her that I was the guy that was tackling Leroy Butler on stage at Pleasant Praire award ceremony and she laughed and said she remembered me. She then asked how I did, I told her my time and that it was my first. She was pretty impressed and then even asked specifics. I told her my struggles on the run, and she said it wouldn't be an IM marathon if there wasn't struggles and pain. So, that made me feel good. And then she limped out of the elevator. She turned back to me and said, look at me, I can barely walk. She strained her achillies, I guess.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I hate to even write anything down here b/c I went sub 11 and broke 4 hours in the marathon on my 1st attempt at an Ironman. Heck, it was my first marathon, too. Although, I had trained for Chicago last year, I got sick and ended up in the hospital before the marathon.

But, if I have to write something, it would be the Stomach bloating, ball of foot pain, and screwing around in transition.

Event comments:

Best race I have ever done. The volunteers are incredible and they really go all out. I wish the water, cola, and gatorade was a little colder out there.

I think in a couple of years, we will have 2000 BTers at this race. Its crazy!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-09-19 12:00 AM
01:04:18 | 3862 meters | 01m 40s / 100meters
Age Group: 61/341
Overall: 341/2207
I think I was right around 32 at the half way point. Hard to tell, though.
Suit: Full w/ Sleeves
Course: 2 loops around Lake Monona.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:15
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:35:27 | 112 miles | 20.03 mile/hr
Age Group: 45/341
Overall: 226/2207
Whole ride was 182W, which was at the low end of my IM range. Probably a good thing. HR avg was 133, which was at the high end.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Hilly and some winds (especially on second loop)
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:02
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:55:41 | 26.2 miles | 08m  min/mile
Age Group: 52/341
Overall: 275/2207
See below.
Course: Run around the downtown and university.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]