Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
85F / 29C
Total Time = 11h 07m 21s
Overall Rank = 221/2397
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 34/356
Pre-race routine:

I took a little different approach this year and decided to avoid the crowds until Friday afternoon. This way, I could keep my mind off the race and also stay away from all the nervous energy in the village. Got up to Madison around 2pm and registered. Went to the hotel, unpacked, and then went to the athlete's dinner. Sat with all the Donks and BT folk, listened to the athlete's meeting, and headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, I slept in. Hit up the expo to drop off my transition bags. Went to get some lunch and watch the badger game with jabruanski and Holly. Then we headed to dinner on the far west side with dumpster, whizzzz, misskelly, markk, and cindyk. Nice to have a nice calm atmosphere away from the hoopla.

Went to bed pretty early. Slept until about 2am and started feeding myself some bananas and powerbars. Went back to bed and fed myself another banana and some run infinit.
Event warmup:

Went to the same spot at the base of the helix we had last year. Just chilled and talked with my coach, whizzzz, jtopin, jabraunski and others. Was really in a good place and calm.

Hit the water about 6:45 and went to the first red buoy to go seed myself with some fish.
  • 59m 1s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 32s / 100 meters

After the pros went off at 6:50am, I moved over to the red buoy and used that to hang onto, so I didn't have to use any extra energy. Went to the bathroom (I am pretty sure I was the only one that did that b/c the water was so crystal clear out there ;)

I was about two rows back and hoping the crew went out easy. It was actually thinner than last year, as they were actually letting people start on the inside of the buoy. The first 200m, though, were much worse than last year, as I got a heel to the cheek, and a bunch of elbows. Found a nice comfortable pace and started looking for some feet. First set was too crooked, so I let him go. Then I grabbed on to this dude that was swimming fast, but slowing to sight. I stayed on his feet for 1.5 laps, until another guy wanted to draft off him. Instead of fighting, I just drifted behind him. Worked great and the three of us finished together..with me doing the least work ;)

What would you do differently?:

Nothing at all. I was really thinking I could get near 1:00 and *maybe* even below it. Not only did I go below it, I used much less effort than last year. Pretty uneventful swim...which is a good thing.
Transition 1
  • 05m 49s

This is pretty quick for that course. I really concentrated on getting this right, as last year I did 8:15. I figured I could easily chop off 2 minutes, and ended up chopping off almost 2.5 minutes of free time. It wasn't a 100% smooth, though. Once I got up the helix, I went to grab my bag with the green ribbon on it and unknowingly took the one next to it. I looked down as I was entering the changing tent and saw the 1054 on it. Whoops, had to go back and get mine against the traffic, which was not easy.

Got to changing area and grabbed a volunteer. Dumped out the bag, and he handed me my helmet and shoes (which was all that was in there). I didn't even sit down, and I was off. He said he would pack the wetsuit, goggles, and cap. Put on my helmet on the way out. Figured I was cruising pretty good, so I stopped by the porta-john and went to the bathroom. I had a baggie in my shoes with my pit stop and tools and stuck that in my rear pocket. All my nutrition was on the bike, as were my gloves and sunglasses.

Called out my number and a volunteer was waiting for me with my bike. Put on shoes and then jogged the rest of the way to the helix with my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Grab the right bag and learn how to go pee while swimming. That would have put this in the lower 5s or better. But, very happy with this transition since if I was to jog it and not stop at all, it would take at least 4 to 4.5 minutes because its stooopid long.

Off to the bike and I was already 8 minutes faster than last year.
  • 5h 31m 42s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.26 mile/hr

Started off the bike and the HR was quite high. So, I soft pedaled until it came down. Put on my gloves and my sunglasses and just really tried to find a rhythm. The nice thing about being out of T1 so fast is that there were not a lot of bikers around me like last year. Once I found a good cadence, I gradually started to increase the watts. Plan was to take it easy for the first hour and then shoot for upper zone 2.

Somewhere on Whalen, I hit my first speed bump of the day, as a bee stung me in the left arm and it HURT. Didn't slow me down, but didn't help me either. Hey, its IM, acknowledge and move on. Really, did a good job of getting some calories in me, once the stomach settled and pretty much stayed on my nutrition plan the whole ride.

Made it to the first hill out on Sauk Pass and knew my family would be there. That was a good lift and I spent the rest of the next loop trying to get back there to see them again. Somewhere on my way to Mt. Horeb for the second loop, my back started feeling tight. I did my best to keep it loose on the downhills, which seemed to be working OK. As I was heading toward my second round with the big 3, another bee flew into my mouth and stung me on the lip on its way out. WTF? That was actually the 4th time I have been stung on that course, and 3 of them were during the race.

This one hurt much more than the first one and my lip started to swell instantly. I wanted to get some ice or at least cold water at the next aid station, but no dice, more warm water. My lip felt like I had a double dose of novicane shot into it. Drinking out of my aerobottle was even difficult. The swelling didn't come down until I got on the run.

The rest of the ride was uneventful, as I was trying to keep the watts up but couldn't with my back getting even tighter. I had to continually come out of aero and many times stretch it, which meant no pedaling. I thought this was interesting in that this never happened in training (other than HHH) and didn't happen last year, either.

Other than the garfoot/witte roller coaster rides on the loop, my favorite part of the bike is circling around the Alliant Center and then coming out on John Nolen. You can see the lake and the capitol and the Helix. It looked like paradise as I continued to pedal towards it.

Took the feet out of the shoes, up the helix for one last climb where I saw that Holly and my cousins waiting for me! They were awesome and everywhere all day.

Was hoping to pick up another 10 minutes here over last year, but only picked up 4. Much of that was due to that last 1.5 hours of battling my back. Still, a very good ride and now I was ~12' better than my first IM.

Hydration/Nutrition: 4.5 servings Infinit, 3 servings GU chomps, salt tablets, and ~6 bottles of water (poured some in my helmet and on back).

351 cals/hr; 42oz/hr, 480mg sodium/hr
What would you do differently?:

I think the long swim, combined with the ride worked on my back a bit. Need to do more corework (like superman's, etc.) so my back is stronger.

Transition 2
  • 03m 40s

I took a little more time in T2 than I planned but I wanted to get the back stretched out before going back out in the hot sun. Volunteer was great in getting the stuff out of my bag and getting me on my way, as I stretched and put on my socks/shoes. All my nutrition (gels, sports beans, salt caps, aquaphor) was in one zip lock. I grabbed that and my garmin and was off. I stopped in the portajohn for a bathroom break (this was good, as it meant I was hydrated). Left my garmin outside the john, so it would acquire the satellite.

Even though it wasn't as fast as I wanted to be, it was faster than last year. So, again, 4 events, and 4 improvements.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I took my time to make sure I got my toes lubed up (paid off, as no blisters this year), and back stretched out. This should easily be 3' or less for me.
  • 4h 27m 9s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 12s  min/mile

With some of my long runs and the fact that I was on the low end of my wattage range on the bike, I really thought I could put together a nice marathon. I know it was hot, but I wouldn't allow that to alter my confidence. I would be drinking a lot of water and taking in a lot of salt becuase of the heat, but I figured if I could keep the HR down, I could run the whole thing minus the aid stations (planned to walk every one of them)....Anyway that was the plan, and sometimes are plans don't always work out ;)

The first mile is downhill, and unlike last year, my stomach was not bloated. I felt hydrated and I averaged at least 350 cals/hr on the bike. I was hot and uncomfortable, but not bloated. I actually started off by holding back, having been to this rodeo before. Got to the first aid station took two cups of water, a sponge soaking, and off and running until the next aid station. In this heat, I know I lose about 3.5-4 pounds per hour, so I knew I needed two cups of water per aid station.

Around mile 3 my stomach didn't want any more fluids or food. Every cup of water, I had to force down. I felt full, so I figured I would just back off the calories for awhile and just drink water. Mile 4, I forced down a GU and my stomach didn't want it. By walking, I could keep it down, but as soon as I started to run, I could feel the GU in my throat wanting to come back up.

OK, so this isn't going as planned. Which happens in an IM. I just kept trying to run in between the aid stations, letting that throw up feeling dictate my pace (i.e. as soon as it felt like it was coming up, I would slow down the pace). This seemed to be working, and I wasn't getting passed by as many people as I thought I would be.

Holly was on state street at the six mile turnaround, and she was with my cousins (jabraunski and his mom). They were everywhere. [warning: sidebar] I know I try to say it a lot, but I don't say it enough. Holly is so supportive of what I do, and is really there for me whenever I need her. My friend Chris, who was there, as well, has told me I should write a book (or at least a magazine article) on how to keep your wife and family happy while training for IM. Sure, I do my part, but she is awesome on how she really, really gets into the whole process. I could tell you how we spent a half hour together figuring out the best way to tape my tubular to my seat, but I am sure I have bored you enough. The point is, if I didn't have my life, I would be very jealous of the person who did! [sidebar ended]

Holly informed me that I was doing great and that I was in 18th place in my AG. That surprised me, because I was going so slow, but I tried to use it as motivation to pick up the pace. I wasn't tired, its just the heat was getting to me, I was uncomfortable, and probably should have let myself throw up. It *may* have helped.

After leaving State Street and the throngs of people, I was really starting to lose the war. My "walk the aid stations" strategy had turned into keep "walking well beyond the aid stations" strategy. I still thought I could keep it under 10' miles, even with the walking. I was popping saltstick tablets every 30 minutes and they seemed to help, but they were not the silver bullet I was looking for.

After what seemed to be an eternity, I was making my way back up to the capital, and rstocks (Bob) had finally caught me and informed me that he was using the same run/walk strategy. Perfect. Lets run together, as misery loves company, and maybe we can still salvage a sub 11 IM. As we made the turnaround together, I forgot about the pain and just talked with Bob. Not sure about what, but it was working. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting Bob, he is truly one of the good guys. I found out later that Holly told him to catch me, b/c she figured running with someone would help us both (see, she is on top of this stuff).

So, we made the turnaround, and my next mile was sub 10' again. Hey, this strategy could work. Holly was back on state street, so I ran ahead of Bob and gave her a kiss. This is when she changed her strategy from encouragment (first time I saw her on the run) to something a little more critical ;) She said to me, "10:16s (must have been my turnaround split)isn't going to cut it. I run 10:16s, not you! Dig deep, its hot in Hawaii, too". Bob, got a chuckle out of that one.

She was right, though. Bob wasn't feeling good at the next aid station and told me to go ahead. I should have maybe pushed him a little more because, I know it would have helped us both, but I thought I had the strength now to keep it going sub 10'. I did not. Once I was alone in the pain cave, it seemed hotter, and I felt more like junk. Around mile 15/16, probably around Observatory hill is the first time I really felt like I had given up. And that did not make me happy. No, I wasn't worried about not finishing or anything like that, but I know I am stronger than that. I had beat up the course pretty good the first time, and today IMWI, with the help of the heat, was beating me down. Don't take it the wrong way. I was still enjoying the moment and the crowds and the fact that I am blessed to be able to do this sport, but I wasn't happy that my body was winning the battle over my mind.

It didn't help that my left foot was hurting like it did in Boston. This didn't happen at SOR, so I thought I was past that. It continually got worse, but I continued to trudge on. My "walking well beyond the aid stations" strategy had now turned into "walk whenever the hell you want. Walk the hills, walk the path where people aren't, jog to keep it under 12' miles" strategy. Although, this strategy seems like a sound one, I hope to never use it again ;)

Around mile 25.5, I got passed by two people in my AG and they looked even worse than I felt. So, I decided enough is enough, and I made it my goal to pass them back before the finish. It hurt, but I got them (one by 4 seconds). And, I felt good that the Schmize could get a small victory on what seemed to be the longest run of my life. Oh wait, it was the longest I had ever run (err walked) in my life.

Mile Splits and Avg. HR:

1m: 7:38, 138ahr
2m: 7:53, 144ahr
3m: 8:25, 144ahr
4m: 8:14, 148ahr
5m: 9:13, 141ahr
6m: 9:45, 138ahr
7m: 9:05, 141ahr
8m: 9:41, 135ahr
9m: 9:51, 132ahr
10m: 9:49, 133ahr
11m: 10:02, 131ahr
12m: 10:41, 125ahr
13m: 10:56, 119ahr
14m: 9:59, 123ahr
15m: 11:05, 119ahr
16m: 11:27, 120ahr
17m: 10:28, 121ahr
18m: 11:04, 119ahr
19m: 12:12, 117ahr
20m: 11:09, 121ahr
21m: 10:06, 126ahr
22m: 11:48, 117ahr
23m: 10:50, 124ahr
24m: 10:17, 127ahr
25m: 11:13, 125ahr
26m: 12:01, 114ahr
0.2m: 8:56, 133ahr
What would you do differently?:

I know that I am a heavy sweater and heat doesn't like me. However, I knew the heat was going to be there and really didn't want to use that as an excuse. I even told Holly that I was going to use it to my advantage. I figured if the heat hurt me, it would hurt eveyone else more. That was NOT the case, though. I don't think this would have been so bad, had we not been training in 55-65 for the last month. The body (at least mine) just can't acclimate to that kind of heat after training in the cold for so long.

For those of you that were wishing for warmer weather when we had the mid week forecast, I plan on bombing your places. And you know who you are ;)

The other thing was with my stomach. It either shut down from the heat, or from too many calories in the heat at higher intensities.
Post race
Warm down:

Made it to the finish line and bscharff (Ben) was there to catch me. I had so much salt on my shorts, shirt, and arms, Morton was there waiting for me, too.

Everyone kept asking me if I wanted water or gatorade or anything. That was great, but all I wanted was pizza. Holly was able to hook me up with some and it tasted very good. Took my picture and headed over to the med tent for some ice for my left foot. Iced it down and talked over the race with Chris (golferchris), Holly, Brett my coach, and eventually coredump.

Headed up to my hotel room, took an ice bath and watched the Packer/Bear game. Went over to the great Dane to meet jszat and sgoener and have some food. I had a couple of beers, buffalo wings, and cheese curds. They were even better than the pizza!

We watched the end of the game and then went to watch Whizzzz finish and just missed her. Shoot. Was able to talk with her and Chris and she decided to shower at our hotel and then we would go and watch the midnight finishers. Although, its always a great show, it was less dramatic than last year. After the final finisher, we headed to our room, and I was sleeping within 10 seconds of going through the door.

The next morning, I found out that I had figured out the best way to assure that you get your Special Needs bags back. You just don't turn them in! Yep, I totally left them in a chair in my room. Luckily, I had all my nutrition on my bike and didn't need any of the other things that I had in the bags (tums, gas-x, more nutrition, spares, etc.). Whoops ;)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat. That is it. It beat me down like a drum.

Still, I had a great race and I was able to improve my overall position in my AG from the previous year (top 12.5% to 8.9%). And that shows progress, which is a good thing. If an 11:07 in the heat is my worst IM ever, I will be able to live with that for sure ;)

Event comments:

I can't imagine a better venue than IMWI. Crowds are huge and there are people everywhere. The volunteers are everywhere and they help so, so much. I love this race and I will be back again...but not until 2011. Next year is about short course.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-01-02 12:00 AM
00:59:01 | 3862 meters | 01m 32s / 100meters
Age Group: 14/356
Overall: 108/2397
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: One large rectangle - 2x
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:49
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:31:42 | 112 miles | 20.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 28/356
Overall: 199/2397
See below.
Course: Hilly.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:40
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:27:09 | 26.2 miles | 10m 12s  min/mile
Age Group: 72/356
Overall: 502/2397
See below.
Course: On the flat side, however there are some nice climbs on Observatory.
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]