Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
80F / 27C
Total Time = 11h 31m 8s
Overall Rank = 348/2397
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 62/368
Pre-race routine:

3 Days of hanging out with BTers and roaming around Madison. It was great hanging out with AJ (amyjotris) and Craig (firstnet911), Laura (Whizzzzz) and Chris (Coredump), Kristen (LazyMarathoner) and a bunch of other BTers. What a great group of peeps. I wish we had ordered t-shirts before the race this year, we would have really stood out!

Friday evening I ate with AJ and Craig in the VIP section (Thanks to PHLY Insurance for the tickets). We were joined by pro triathlete Paul Fritzsche, who is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and some of the PHLY Insurance guys and their families. I regret that I didn't get over to the BT table.

The morning of the race I slept pretty good. I got up at 4:30 and had a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. I jumped in the shower and just hung out for a bit. My plan was to get over to transition by 5:15 and down to the water around 6:15 to hang out and relax and get away from all the nervous energy in the transition area. That didn't quite work out as I was well hydrated and had to take a pee every 10 minutes. The lines were rediculous!! After loading up my bike with nutrition and putting an empty water bottle in my T2 bag I gave Craig a call to give him my bag. He was up in the VIP area with AJ, where there were NO LINES for the bathrooms!! Mental note to self: If you have a VIP pass, USE IT dummy!!! I met him on the rooftop where the view was spectacular! AJ and I got our wetsuits on and we all started to walk down to the swim start at about 6:25. It took a little while to get down to the start. I walked into the water with AJ, gave her a few words of encouragement but mostly told her to have a blast out there and take it all in, then swam out to watch the pro start.
Event warmup:

Warm-up consisted of swimming out to the pro start, hanging out talking with Paul Fritzsche and wishing him luck then trying to find a position up front for our start. A lot of people were getting pretty aggressive trying to get up front. I started asking people what they were planning on swimming and heard a lot of 1 hour times, a few 55 min times and then a couple 50 min times. I drifted over by the 50 min swimmers for the start.
  • 56m 12s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 20s / 100 yards

Started off right behind a couple guys that had goals of a 50 min swim. When the cannon went off I took off and immediately realized that I had nothing in my legs. A couple people went by me and I just stayed relaxed and did my best not to get kicked in the face. I could not see anything but green under water so I was sighting almost every stroke just to see where the feet in front of me were. After about 200 meters I was ready to just swim back to the shore and DNF the race. My legs felt like crap, my effort was way too hard for the pace I was swimming at and I just wasn't enjoying the swim at all. The negative thoughts stayed in my head for the first leg of the race. I was looking at my watch every 100m and was holding about 1:28 - 1:30 for a pace. I was getting the crap kicked out of me from this guy on my right side that kept trying to get left. He elbowed me a couple times in the ribs before I grabbed his shoulder and said "DUDE!! IT"S GOING TO THIN OUT IN A MINUTE OR TWO!!" That didn't stop him so I swam over top of him and got to the outside and let him go left. This left me out in open water but at least it was peaceful out there. I rounded the first buoy with no problem and actually found a set of feet to follow leading into the second buoy. I looked at my watch and was surprised to see 13:22. I got into a nice easy pace for the next leg as I continued to follow my pace feet. I rounded the third buoy and 4th buoy without incident and looked at my watch and saw 13:20 for the next split. I was actually shocked to have done the first loop in 26:42!! Starting the second loop I lost my pace feet and just tried to keep my stroke long and started to really focus on front quadrant swimming. I found another set of feet and as I rounded the 2nd buoy my 3rd split was 13:51. I was slowing a little but for most of that leg I didn't have a draft so I was pleased. As I started the next leg I looked over and was swimming stroke for stroke with a girl that was following the same group of feet. I noticed that she was smiling as she took a breath and I smiled back and for a few strokes I almost started laughing. Neither of us were working too hard and this really showed when I looked over and saw her swimming backstroke!! I thought about throwing some butterfly or breast stroke in but figured that my shoulder would not appreciate that. It was holding up well doing just what I was doing. As I swam by the start buoy I got another split and saw 13:38, the draft was nice! Now it was just a matter of getting back to the swim exit. As I sighted the exit I couldn't believe how many people were in front of me. I kicked it into high gear and must have passed 10-15 people before the exit just to get a better swim placing. :-)

Going from being ready to quit after 200m I have to say that I am pretty pleased with this swim. I'm still calling it below average for pace but I did have a nice attitude adjustment in the middle somewhere.
What would you do differently?:

I am really not sure. I felt pretty good during the Gatorade swims the previous two days but just didn't have any energy in my legs on race day. Going from being ready to quit the swim and DNF to laughing and joking around with another swimmer during the same race definitely had me in a better place mentally at the end of the swim.
Transition 1
  • 07m 29s

Exiting the swim I started to search for my strap and couldn't find the damn thing! I approached the wetsuit strippers and started to pick one out when I heard my name being called. I looked around to see if it was a BTer volunteering as a stripper when I looked in the middle of the runway and saw TRIXIE!!! She must have liked that VIP pass and the access it gave her! I think I gave her a hug before I got my suit stripped but I'm not quite sure. The run up the helix was a lot harder than I had expected or remembered it to be. My legs were exhausted and I eventually just started walking and high fiving a few of the hands as I came to the top of the helix. The volunteers were yelling out my number and the one poor girl in the bag area was bouncing all over looking for bags. I smiled at her and said "Don't worry about mine, there's no rush!" The look she gave me was priceless. I picked up my bag and thanked her for being here then went in to change. I grabbed my helmet, socks and glasses and put them on then carried my shoes out to my bike. The volunteers couldn't find my bike but that was fine, I knew where it was and once again thanked the volunteers for being there.
What would you do differently?:

Had I been actually "racing" I would have been more concerned with getting in and out faster.
  • 5h 32m 18s
  • 112 miles
  • 20.22 mile/hr

There are a few changes on the bike that I made the night before the race. 1) I adjusted my cleats because the new (used) pedals I put on didn't have as much float in them. 2) I adjusted the angle of my seat a little because of the chafing I was getting on long rides and 3) I completely changed my nutrition plan. Nothing new on race day!!! Riiiiggghhhttt!!! :) Back to the race at hand. After a relaxing T1 I clipped in my pedals and headed down the helix with a big "WHEEEEEEEEE!!!" I told the guy ahead of me that it was required that you yell wheeeee when you go down the helix. I don't think he was in a joking mood. I looked at my HR as I went down John Nolan Dr and saw mid to upper 150's which was a lot harder than I wanted to go. I also noticed that I forgot to start my Garmin AND put my Gatorade bottle on my bike! DOH!! The other thing that I noticed was that every bump I hit it sounded like my headset was going to fall apart. It was fine on Saturday but I did have to tighten it before I sent it out last week. Oh well, we'll just have to see what happens. I'm not stopping to tighten it now! I got through the no passing zone and onto the road and still felt no energy at all in my legs. This became very apparent when I was in my 23 cog and wanting to stand up going up THE BRIDGE, 2 MILES INTO THE RACE!!! This was the second time I thought about just turning around and forgetting about this race. Hell, I got these VIP passes and would have a blast cheering people on. At least I have a couple miles of flat road ahead. Lets see how my legs do when I get some spinning in. The flats felt better, my HR was in the 130's and I was seeing 24 and 25 mph and the thoughts of turning around had faded. I wasn't sure my headset was going to make it, each bump (and there were a lot of them!) it sounded like it was going to explode. Why does carbon have to echo every creak or clunk? When I hit the rollers before the loop I still had nothing in my legs, this was going to be a long ass ride! I decided to not look at my speed at all and just focus on keeping my HR down and my pedal strokes smooth AND having as much fun on the course as I possible can. The nutrition plan was simple: Each hour I was to have 1 Gatorade, 1 gel and 3 Shot Blocks. I was alternating 4 Shot Rocks with 3 Shot Blocks every other hour. People were going by me like crazy but I didn't let it get to me at all. The crowds were starting to assemble and I was thanking everyone I could for coming out to cheer us on. I hit the first aid station and grabbed a Gatorade and a water then stuffed a banana in my pocket. The volunteers were great as usual and I nailed the goal with my empty bottle and let out a "WHOOP!! WHOOP!!" as I left the aid station. Back to business and back in the aero bars I went. Pedal strokes were smooth and I was taking it easy going up the rollers and taking my nutrition in on the uphills as people passed me. When I reached the crest of each hill I got back in aero and reminded myself that I OWN THE DOWNHILLS!!! It's good to be the (fat) king!! :) Most of the time I was blowing by the guys that flew by me on the uphills. I found myself apologizing to them as I went by but said that I have to take advantage of the gravity on the downhills! I was having a ball out on the course and it was very easy keeping track of the nutrition. I got passed by Antonio (a friend from home) around 24 miles in, he was looking great and I wished him well and hoped he would have a great race. My headset was still clunking with every damn bump and it was really starting to annoy me. I figured that I would take a look at it if I had to stop and use a bathroom. Somewhere between the beginning of the loop and the long strait road with the big rollers Barry Manilow crept in my head with Copacabana! WTF?!!! I swear it lasted a good 40-50 miles, I tried to pass it off to a few riders but it didn't work. I am not sure if Rhinestone Cowboy or Copacabana is more viral. I know you're singing it, admit it!! ;-) Where was I? Downhills are my friend, that right. The downhill curve before the first "big" hill was another chance to let out a "WHEEEEE!!!". I reached the base of the hill and just sat up and grinned the whole way up. The crowds were just starting to form and the characters were definitely out in full force. The guys in girls bathing suits were cracking me up. All I could think of was Borat! The other hills were a riot as well. I saw Craig (firstnet911) but didn't hear the bull horn and Trixie slapped my ass as I went by. I had to go pee but just couldn't get myself to go on the bike. I didn't want to pull over and I figured that I just need to keep drinking and eventually I'd be able to let it go on the bike. I finished the first loop and was dead on my nutrition plan. My fuel tank was full and the cruise control was still working. At 56 miles my time was 2:45, I was shocked because it felt as though I wasn't working that hard. Onto the second loop! I said "Hello again" to some of the families sitting in their yards and they remembered me from the first loop. That was cool! Must be the Captain Aquaphor suit. (Or the NeverReach that looks like it's coming out of my ass!) Followed the same plan on the second loop, don't look at the speed and keep on top of the nutrition plan. I started pouring water over my legs at the water stations, that really felt good on the legs and seemed to keep me fresh. I lost my Mentos container that had my salt tabs, Advil and Tums in it. Oh well, I PROBABLY won't need them anyways. I had managed to get about 6 salt tabs in between the start of the swim and now, I should be good. At about 65 miles I came up on Antonio again and he wasn't looking so good at this point. I slowed down and told him "Take it easy and let your body recover a bit. You'll get back on track!" As I came to the hills the second time around there were a lot of people on the first loop. I came up on one guy that was dreading the hills and I tried to calm his nerves by saying something like this. "The hills are only as long as 1 song in a spinning class, you can ride for one song! Would you like a song? I can sing one for you! HER NAME WAS LOLA, SHE WAS A SHOW GIRL!!" He turned around and sarcastically thanked me. I was cracking some jokes going up the final hill and as I got to the top some guy FLEW by be doing at least 20 mph GOING UP THE HILL!!! I looked at one of the guys in the crowd and said something like "HOLY CRAP, I NEED HIS LEGS!!". I caught up to the guy on the strait road ahead and asked if I could borrow his legs for an hour or two. He laughed and said he was just messing with my mind and that it looked like I was having too much fun going up that hill. He had Kona coming up in a few weeks and was just racing MOO as a training day. It worked ..... it definitely messed with my mind! I hit the end of the second loop and still felt pretty good. I grabbed a Shot Rock and it slipped out of my hand and fell into my bento box. When it hit it made the same sound I have been hearing for 100 frickin' miles!! What I thought was my headset was actually the Shot Rocks bouncing around. Those things have a hard shell!! It was nice to be able to get into the left lane to go back to Madison. The rollers going back hurt but I was able to keep my HR down and didn't worry about the people passing by me like I was standing still. I still couldn't go pee but at this point I figured I'd be able to wait until T2. It was nice to be back on John Nolan Dr and the Terrace was a sight for sore eyes. My ass was ready to get off this bike!! I slipped my feet out from my shoes before the helix and cruised up the helix effortlessly. I let one guy go by me as it appeared that he was in a bigger rush than I was. Rode up to the valet parking, grabbed my Garmin off the bike and headed into T2.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. Having this as my 3rd century ride of the year is not the way I would recommend training for an Ironman. (My 2nd century was at IMLP)
Transition 2
  • 05m 26s

The first thing I noticed when I got off my bike is that my back didn't hurt a bit. Thank you Bryan Dunn for the bike!!! I jogged into T2 and 2 volunteers came over to help me. Gregkl was one of them and I can't for the life of me remember the other. Thank you both though, you guys were great! I changed out of my tri shorts and top and put running shorts and a tech shirt on. WOW! That was comfortable! I thought about Amymengle and her putting deodorant on in transition but forgot to pack it in my bag. Another thing that I changed for race day was that I was going without a fuel belt for the first time. Keeping with the theme of "Nothing new on race day". Shoes on, cap on, slapped some Aquaphor on my legs in case there was any chaffing, grabbed my water bottle, had a gel and went looking for a bathroom to PEE!! (Not poop!)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing except remember deodorant! :-)
  • 4h 49m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 04s  min/mile

I started the run and immediately noticed that my legs felt great, my stomach felt great and I didn't have to poop!! I am liking this very much! The thought going through my head was fast feet, easy effort and don't look at the watch. Just before the first aid station I looked at my avg pace and saw 7:28! Whoa!!! Real it back in there brother, you got a long way to go! I briefly stopped at the aid station to fill my water bottle and grabbed a sponge to wipe the salt off my face. My watch beeped for the first mile and it was 7:48, that's better but I still need to back it off. I saw Tony as I came around the first turn and he said Schmize was just ahead of me. The next few miles were 8:44, 8:59, 8:58, 9:03, 9:35. I saw Scott a couple times and I noticed he wasn't putting any space between us even with the walking I was doing. He must not have been having a good day. At this point my training or lack of training came into play. I started walking more and just decided to walk when I needed to, run when I can and keep moving forward. That became my mantra for the rest of the run. I would say that when I came up on people walking and got a lot of "Amen brother!" comments. The first 1/2 marathon was filled with 9:30ish splits and as I was coming around the turn to head back to the courthouse I saw Scott's wife, Holly. She told me to catch up to him, he wasn't feeling good. So I did. (Holly, why couldn't you have told me to catch up to him and bring him home under 10:30?) I caught him at the aid station before the courthouse and really thought that we could run this second half together and get home under 11 hrs. At the turn I was at 2:02, I needed a 1:57 second 1/2 to break 4 for the marathon. My legs had a different idea. I can't remember how long I actually ran with Schmize but I know we had a lot of comments about the smiles on our faces. At one water station I told him to go ahead as I needed a little more time to walk and he went on. I got to the football field and as I came up the ramp at the end I stopped and walked. When I looked over to my right I saw Kristin (LazyMarathoner)! I think I must have walked with her for a good 2 miles. That was a lot of fun! I saw Hillary a few times on the run and yelled at her but she was pretty focused today and had her game face on. I saw Paul Fritzsche a couple times and on his second loop he actually stopped and asked how my race was going. He asked if I had to stop for anyone on the bike, I said no. Then he asked if I came across any bodies on the swim and I said "Nope! It's been a good day!!" He didn't have the race he wanted but what a great attitude! He is great for this sport! There was a lot of walking going on out there. It was hot and humid and it was effecting a lot of runners. I was taking in a lot of fluids and really had to pee. For two miles every john had someone in it. I was on the dirt trail running with a guy when I just decided to let it go and I'll "flush" at the next water station. We got to the next station and he went in the bathroom and I "flushed". :-) Of course I explained to the volunteer that I was "just cooling my legs off". Ran/walked with another girl for the next mile or so who was doing her first IM. I left her and started to try and run more but kept meeting up with people and just socialized at this point. I saw AJ heading out on miracle mile, she looked good and said she was good. With about 4 miles left I came up on Whizzzz, she had a great smile and looked like she was taking it all in. I shuffled in the last few miles with someone that I can't remember his name. He was great company and he broke off at the last turn to give his family hugs. It was great to tell the volunteer that I was heading down the chute and not out for another loop. I headed down the finish chute pushing my hands up in the air to get the crowds going and actually don't remember Mike Riley saying my name. Oh well, what a great time!!! I got caught by some of the best HANDS in the business Peggy (Maggyruth). Craig and Trixie were there too! It's great to see friends after such a long ass day! Thank you!!
What would you do differently?:

Train more before my next Ironman. Life gets in the way and you just have to do what you can when you can. The run leg was the only leg that I didn't feel like bagging the day. Overall I am very pleased with how everything turned out.
Post race
Warm down:

After the finisher pic I went over for some pizza and subs, went down to get my bags and bike and rode down to the hotel for a shower. Walked right back up to watch for more finishers. As I got back I went into the VIP area and looked at the food and thought "Why the hell did I eat pizza and subs?" I chowed down on some steak, turkey, potatoes and BEER!!! Now that's recovery food!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of serious training. I love the fact that I can enter an Ironman and finish with a respectable time while having a blast and walking a lot of the run but one of these days I have to put together a great race and really prove to myself what I am capable of. Who knows when all the stars are going to line up for that to happen.

Event comments:

I love this race and will return for another. This is the perfect venue for a first Ironman because of the fan support and for the veterans it offers a challenging course with great crowd support. Did I mention that there was a lot of crowd support at IMMOO? :-)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-02-06 12:00 AM
00:56:12 | 4224 yards | 01m 20s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/368
Overall: 45/2397
Performance: Below average
No HR data as I was wearing my Garmin strap. I'm pretty sure it was in the 160's as it always is. Effort overall was a 6/10.
Suit: Orca P-Flex Sleeveless
Course: 2 loop rectangular course in water thick and green enough to have been pea soup!
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:29
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:32:18 | 112 miles | 20.22 mile/hr
Age Group: 36/368
Overall: 207/2397
Performance: Average
1st 56 miles: 2:45 AHR 138 / 2nd 56 miles: 2:47 AHR 138 - I would have to say that the "cruise control" was working !
Wind: Little
Course: Lollipop style course with 2 40 mile loops. Hilly with rollers and 3 standout hills. Approx 4300' in overall climbing.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:26
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:49:46 | 26.2 miles | 11m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 136/368
Overall: 833/2397
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loop course that takes you all over Madison. State Street is lined with people cheering, a peaceful trail with a nice breeze off the lake and a loop around Camp Randall Field on the turf! This course had everything!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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