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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 40m 48s
Overall Rank = 1852/2550
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 84/139
Pre-race routine:

Friday morning, Lisa (lisac957) and Amber (InnerAthlete) picked Dave and me up and we drove up to Wisconsin. Between all the stopping to pee (hey, we were in hydration mode), we didn't arrive until close to 9:00. We had dinner at Chili's, then proceeded to set off the smoke alarms in our hotel suite, nice! The next morning, the three of us went for a quick bike ride east of town - a little chilly, but beautiful out! - and then went to the expo for athlete check-in. It started to feel "real" then. We perused the Ironman shop and bought super cute cow print tri tops and I got a pink M-Dot visor. Everything took a lot longer than we anticipated, and by this time the lake was super choppy, so we bailed on our planned swim, and headed back to the hotel for a while, before going back to the athlete dinner. I really enjoyed the program - especially the "Ironman statistics." We were sitting right behind the oldest competitor (73 or 74). I had thought he was just somebody's grandpa! (he beat me, btw)

The following day, us girls did a short run and quick swim in the lake, then checked in our T1 & T2 bags and bikes (thanks to my awesome hubby Dave for watching them while we did our thing!). We then went to get some coffee and hit the farmer's market for a little bit. Then we picked up Lisa's mom at the airport, and went back to our hotel to chill for a bit before meeting the rest of our support crew at Bucatini for dinner. Had a good time there, but now I was starting to get really nervous about the big race. Even though we were back at out hotel before 9:00, and everything was ready, I couldn't sleep. I just laid there for hours with my heart pounding and feeling slightly sick. I probably got 3-4 hours of sleep total that night, but that's to be expected, I suppose!
I was wide awake at 3:15, and got out of bed and had my first bagel & PB. The three of us got our gear together and were on the road to the race site just before 4:30. I'm glad Lisa was so organized about our schedule because we got to park so close to Monona Terrace in our "usual" spot.

Once we arrived, we just pumped our bike tires, dropped off our special needs bags, and returned the pump to the car. Tony (mr2tony) found us in Monona Terrace amazingly enough - the place was packed! - and he hung out with us while we waited for the race to start. We all had our second breakfasts, and finally it was 6:15 - time to put wetsuits on and start the march down to the swim start. Amber took off ahead to get in the lake, but Lisa and I were really nervous, and stuck together! It was SOOO nice to be starting the race together, since it feels like we've been on the journey together all year, since volunteering/registering a year ago!

Right at the swim entrance, there was a sign that said, "There will come a day when you cannot do this. Today is not that day." I think that was my favorite sign of the day, and I really needed to see it right then! We got in the lake and headed for the middle back section, and treaded water while the other athletes entered the lake and someone sang the national anthem. I also remember hearing Fall Out Boy playing - that pumped me up, and I was ready to GO!
Event warmup:

Treading water for 15 min and trying to acclimate to the cold. Wishing I'd sprung for a full-sleeve wetsuit!
Swim
  • 1h 27m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards
Comments:

I'd heard so many horror stories about IM swims, that I was prepared for and expecting the worst. But I seeded myself in just the right spot, and when the gun went off, I had nice open water. I thought it would be only a matter of time before I hit the melee, but it really wasn't bad. In fact, I would say this was the most enjoyable OWS I've ever done. No panic moments, no rough contact; sure there was a good amount of bumping around, but for the most part people were courteous. And I was actually enjoying being in the middle of it all. I would sprint right between the huge slow dudes thrashing around, and ran the gauntlet between two breaststrokers. At one point, I got someone's finger in my mouth(!), and also pushed some lady away that kept running into me. But it was never crazy violent. And by staying in the thick of it, I'm sure I held a straight line. My sighting was much better than usual, and I tried to draft whenever possible. I was expecting a slow swim (I did this same course in 1:33:something three weeks ago, but I really focused on the second lap, and imagine my surprise when I exited the water in 1:27:xx.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was about as good as swimming gets for me. It was completely enjoyable!
Transition 1
  • 12m 18s
Comments:

When I exited the water, I was so happy, but also pretty dizzy. I was totally expecting this though, so it wasn't too bad. I got wetsuit stripped, and then started the long run to & up the helix to the change room. When I got there, it was a complete madhouse. There were no free volunteers, so I just picked a spot and went over to get ready. After a minute or so, a lady came over to help me. She helped my get my bearings as I was still pretty dizzy, and helped me put on sunscreen (I didn't want to get the sloppy seconds outside!), but I didn't do much else in T1. I ate a tiny bit of a payday bar and put the rest in my jersey to eat on the bike. Opted not to wear arm warmers or jacket as it was sunny and would have been 70 within an hour. That was a good decision, and I was a little cool, but never cold on the bike. I also saw Laura (Whizzz) in T1 and got a quick hug before heading out. So nice to see a friendly face!
What would you do differently?:

nothing
Bike
  • 6h 48m 31s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.45 mile/hr
Comments:

I was really looking forward to this bike. It's always my favorite part of a race, and I had ridden this course enough to be very comfortable on it. I started out easy - you kind of have to because there is so much congestion for the first few miles and a no-passing area. I felt really good right away; very happy to be out there on the IRONMAN bike. :) I tried to keep the pace comfortable, but not too easy. On the hills (even small hills), most people around me were slowing waaay down, so I tried to just spin fast, and I passed a ton of people on every hill, without too much effort. I saw Lisa's family after the first big hill, but didn't see my mom, sister, or Dave. At mile 50, the first pro passed me. Dang, he was flying! Very impressive. The rest of the first lap was pretty uneventful, mostly flat, but I really enjoyed riding through Verona, with all the spectators. I did stop at special needs to get a granola bar, but hadn't packed any GUs (???) and forgot to put on sunscreen, so it was pretty much a waste of time.

Ok, time for the second lap. I was averaging around 17.4 mph for the first half, and very pleased with that, but then I started to feel a little tired, and realized, oh crap, I have to run a MARATHON after this (and not just a marathon, my FIRST marathon). I was already getting a little tired in the legs, and still had all the hills to go, so I was worried, and deliberately pulled back my pace a little. I was also worried about cramping on the hills, so I ate my jelly bellies, and I could feel a sugar boost after that. At the second hard hill on the second lap, all of a sudden I saw Laura again, and she ran next to me for a moment and then Kelly (misskelly) was there, too! I hadn't seen anyone in so long, that was a great motivation! And just a couple miles down the road, I finally saw my family! They made cute signs, too! I was so happy to see them out there. Right around then, I had to pee, so I stopped at a port-a-potty, and was thisclose to falling over the wrong way, but I luckily saved it, and a policewoman helped me get off without trouble, and held my bike. I had decided NOT to pee on the bike in the race, a couple minutes here or there wouldn't make or break my day. I felt so much better after that, and here I was riding on one of my favorite sections of the course. I made it up the last big hill, and then started getting choked up, thinking of what I was doing, and how this was the freaking Ironman! That was one of the high points of my day. What an awesome feeling.

The rest of the bike was fine. I saw my family one more time out on the stick, and that was great, but I was also getting significantly more tired. I really dropped off in pace for the last 20 miles; I was ready to get off the bike for sure! Greg (Gregkl) passed my with just a few miles to go. He was looking completely fresh and had a nice, high cadence going - I wished I had that energy! My own legs were just turning at maybe 75 rpms, haha. AND I had to pee really bad for the last 10 miles. So it was great to ride up the helix (which was surprisingly not steep at all), and hand over my bike to a volunteer.
What would you do differently?:

Take it a little easier on the first lap probably.
Transition 2
  • 11m 10s
Comments:

T2 was pretty simple: grabbed my gear bag, went into the changing room, and changed. I had a volunteer the whole time this time, and she was great. I changed completely into a new sports bra, tri top, and running shorts. I also put a ton of body glide on my feet and and the volunteer mixed up some Ironman Perform in my handheld bottle. I stopped outside to get more sunscreen (yes, from the communal slops, whatever, better than being burned I guess!), and use the potty.
Run
  • 6h 01m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 48s  min/mile
Comments:

If you're actually read this far, you'll know that this was my first marathon. I have had a lot of running issues in the past, with various injuries, so I hired a coach to make sure I could finish the race. We really focused on running and I felt well-prepared for the run. I'd done 15,16, and 20 mile runs in preparation and usually averaged around 11 min miles for those, so I felt good. Of course, I'd never biked 112 miles first! haha

Right as I started the run the 3rd place pro was coming. That was so cool, but all I could think was dang, he's already done! I felt pretty good at the beginning, muscle/joint-wise, but had terrible, painful stomach gas for the first few miles. Luckily, I had some gas-x in my endurolyte baggie and two of those did the trick. My plan was to run the first 16 miles in 3 hours, and then reassess. My super secret goal was to finish the IM between 13 & 14 hours, and I thought I could do it if I didn't have any problems, and indeed was on track for a long time. I had my handheld bottle, which I refilled on the course as needed, and I took Gus and bananas for the rest of my nutrition, as well as the usual endurolytes. However, I let myself stop and walk a little at mile 14... just couldn't keep it up anymore, and from there on out I would walk a little every mile. I was really worried about rubbing on my left pinky toe (I've been having this issue the last month, since I got new shoes - despite them being the same model/size as before), and when it started hurting I think I must've changed my gait to accomodate it, because my foot is really hurting now, a few days later.

I did meet lots of people out on the run (a couple friends of IRL friends), and saw both Amber and Lisa a few times, but was on my own for probably 90% of the marathon. I saw Jen (jschmitchicago), Kelly, and Jon (jowisc) on state street around mile 19 and that was another huge mental lift. Saw Tony right after them. Running on state street was awesome - one of the highlights of the marathon, but too brief. The worst part was running back on the dark trail - it seemed to never end! It started getting harder and more painful to run (surprise, surprise) as it got later, and I just wanted this run to be OVER. At this point, I knew I was going to miss my 14 hour goal, so it was easier to justify walking. I knew I'd make it in before 15 hours easily, so I ended up walking most of miles 23-25. The mile 25 aid station people were crazy excited and motivating; they were cheering so hard just for ME, and make me get all emotional again. I tried hard to run it in from there, but had to walk again until I reached the capital square. Running around the capital was so tough and painful, UNTIL... I reached that second to last corner... I knew my family was going to be at the last corner, and the pain just melted away. I saw my husband there and gave him a big hug and he told me he loved me (my sis got a great pic of this moment!), and then I hugged my mom and sister before heading down to the finish chute. All the months of training and early mornings and late nights were worth it for that one minute. I crossed the finish line with my hands held high and the best feeling in the world!
What would you do differently?:

nothing
Post race
Warm down:

My finish line catcher took me to get my medal (which is completely awesome!), finisher's hat & shirt, and photo. I left the finish area and walked back to where my family was. Amber was already there - she rocked the run and finished an hour ahead of me! Neither of us were feeling very good, so we split my pepto bismol and then went to get some pizza at the food tent. For the first time in my life I think, I didn't finish my pizza, but I had enough. Visited the porta-potties again, and felt much better after that. We watched Lisa come in to the finish, and then saw all our BT friends again at the finish line. What a great way to top off the evening!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

probably not having done an IM before and not knowing my true limits. I'm very happy with my performace though, and have no regrets. I feel like I did my best, and it was a completely amazing day!

Event comments:

Ironman Wisconsin, I love it! Great race, great support, great course, great volunteers! It doesn't get better than this. :)




Last updated: 2010-04-11 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:27:09 | 4224 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 79/139
Overall: 0/2550
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless ProMotion
Course:
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 12:18
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
06:48:31 | 112 miles | 16.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 58/139
Overall: 0/2550
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course:
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 11:10
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
06:01:41 | 26.2 miles | 13m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 99/139
Overall: 0/2550
Performance: Good
Course:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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

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2010-09-15 9:05 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Olathe, KS
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin


2010-09-16 5:38 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Master
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Lafayette, IN
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Linda, awesome RR!  Well written, you give the reader a nice feel for the day.  Nice race too!  Smart execution, sounds like you used your head the whole time.

It was nice to meet your husband, Dave.  You two are a nice couple.  And it was nice seeing you on the course. 

So, should we have a reunion at Lawrence 70.3?
2010-09-16 6:39 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Champion
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Ames, IA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Sounds like it ended up being a great day for you.  Nice job out there!
2010-09-16 8:01 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Member
290
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Marshfield Wi
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Way to go Linda! Until we get there I don't think anyone knows what that second half has in store for us. Great job Ironman!
2010-09-16 8:53 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job, congratulations! Good RR too. Good job on getting through that run.
2010-09-16 9:04 AM
in reply to: #3101218

Iron Donkey
38600
500050005000500050005000500020001000500100
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
WOOT!!
YOU...ARE...AN...IRON(WO)MAN!!!!


2010-09-16 10:16 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Champion
5460
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Whizzzzzlandia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I was so excited to get to see you on the bike!

Congratulations and welcome to the club.

xxoo
2010-09-16 11:27 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Kansas
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Well I already wrote this to you on your run inspiration card, but I am soooo glad we did this journey together. Even though a lot of it was "virtual" through BT or email, you've been an amazing source of inspiration and motivation to me. Here's a little flashback for ya...

2009 - EEEK THIS WILL BE US NEXT YEAR!


2010 - WE DID IT!
(and oops we indeed were standing on the wrong sides, but whatever!)
2010-09-16 12:01 PM
in reply to: #3102128

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Member
31
25
On the ward.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Awesome accomplishment!!! You two ladies Iron(wo)men are too impressive!  
2010-09-16 5:19 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Pro
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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats Linda! It sounds like you really nailed your race plan and kept pushing when it got hard. This is a great description of the course as well, loved reading your report. Enjoy the recovery!
2010-09-16 8:18 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Veteran
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Oak Park, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Congrats Linda!  You worked SO hard for this and totally deserved the great day you had.  I'm glad we could provide a little pick-me-up at Mile 19.   Was great to see you again!!



2010-09-17 8:47 AM
in reply to: #3101218

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Champion
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Way to go Linda!!! Good job making that course your beeyotch. It was great seeing you out on the course (even though I missed you a couple time despite best efforts!). So proud of you for putting in the work and the time. Congratulations IRONMAN!
2010-09-17 1:17 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Expert
1028
100025
Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats Linda!! You put together a fine race.

It was great to meet you at the athlete dinner.
2010-09-17 2:18 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Veteran
287
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Channahon,Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great report on an even better race...You nailed it!!! Congrats Ironman!!! You passed me on the bike as if I was standing still...for a Sprint employee.....not to shabby!!!!
2010-09-17 3:54 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Champion
7158
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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job on the race and completing your first marathon! Job well done.
2010-09-17 7:00 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Veteran
368
1001001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You DID IT!
I'm so glad you had a great day out there! You're so much braver than me doing your 1st marathon during an IRONMAN!


2010-09-17 7:30 PM
in reply to: #3101218

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Master
1448
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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome race... awesome race report... congrats!

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