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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
82F / 28C
Total Time = 12h 21m 1s
Overall Rank = 639/2700
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 106/
Pre-race routine:

**** Warning this is not a race report that everyone is going to enjoy.... it is dark and uses raw language and descriptors. It may be something to consider skipping if you prefer. I wrote this as a description and a catharsis of sorts. I wanted to personally remember the pain and the darkness along with the good things.... it is as much for me as anyone else. YOU ARE FAIRLY WARNED ****

Up at 4am.
Followed the plan to a tee.

Oatmeal 2.5 hours prior. Fluids, 1.5 caffeine pills.
Event warmup:

Swam in the lake for a few minutes. Was in the water 20 minutes before gun.
  • 1h 08m 36s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

Worst Ironman swim to date. First loop was not terrible and was about 32 minutes. Started to fall apart on second loop as I had swallowed some lake water.... but something was off.... couldn't figure it out, but felt weak. Seemed to slow down a lot.

I was correct, second loop was 36ish.
Minimal contact except one kick to my nose.
Transition 1
  • 06m 36s
  • 5h 36m 56s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.94 mile/hr

My HR is usually a bit high in the first 15 minutes of the bike after a swim. It persisted REALLY high. I suspected I would ride near a HR of 130 and 220 watts. My HR was in the 148-155 range the whole time.

Something was wrong. I tuned it out as I was very focused on staying positive and just KNEW things would improve.

Was supposed to ride conservatively first with 215-220w and then progress as the race moved along. Kept the power goal for awhile but was conservatice..... lower 210s. HR was still waaaay too high. Tried to hydrate and take in nutrition. No luck.

Watched as lots of people surged ahead of me on the course. Especially uphills I was getting dropped. I looked at the PM and watts said 260-270 which is where I had aimed to climb the hills so there was no panic.

Saw Rob (Wiky) at some point on the bike. Say mile 20? I dunno as I was rapidly finding myself in a daze. Out of it and things seemed to be dreamlike. Rob gave me some encouragement, as did I too him. He raced on ahead.

Something wrong again. No urge to pee at any moment on the bike. Nada.

OK mile 40 or so I was still averaging 21+mph which was goal pace, but felt like it was all going to fall apart soon. Slight nausea, feeling weak and simply just not strong.

** Then I was heading downhill and all of a sudden I noticed my pedal had sheared completely off my bike!! WTF. cleat was attached to the shoe on the left foot, but completely detached from the bike.

I was able to stop without crashing. Took a few minutes to actually get the cleat off the shoe. Then I looked at it.... it had completely pulled away from the spindle attached to the crank. It looked broken? I was so out of it by then that I didn't really panic. I remember saying "well this could be the end of my race?" in a soft unconcerned voice. An older man came up and said "positive thoughts.... positive thoughts". I simply took the pedal and pushed it in as hard as I could. Something clicked and it stayed. I was completely unsure if it would stay on, but stangely I wasn't sure if I cared as I felt so rotten by this early stage of the bike. Felt ill.

Continued on and saw Chasingkona on a climb. Not sure where I was at that stage. Not sure at any point thereafter where I was on the course.

I've done a lot of tough races before and know that there can be tough patches so I didn't panic and tried to hydrate and keep up the nutrition.... but it was not settling well.

As the bike went on I knew I was in BIG trouble. Was making very poor decisions, especially on turns. As a result I took them extremely slowly as everything seemed 'goofy slow' to me, including my response times.

Definitely went into a dark place on the bike and remember thinking that the MOST important thing was not to jeopardize mine or another racer's safety so I was careful at turns and slowed to let others go ahead until I felt it was safe. Didn't ride aero very much as my back was going into spasm. Felt bloating and neausea worsen as well in aero. Just stood up and pedaled.

Power dropped to 150 watts for the last hour. For those that care that is stoopid easy effort normally. Zone 1. That's all I could do.

Tried to stay positive thinking that Kona was not going to happen, but maybe I could get it back on the run. Maybe I would?

I had read a great story about Peter Reid. He is a former Kona champion x3 who won Kona once despite feeling terrible on the bike and throwing up the whole time. He recovered for the run and chased everyone down.

I'm no Peter Reid, but I was trying to stay positive thinking that this was the worst and that things would get a little better.

I was dead efffin' wrong about that....

Overall power for the ride was in the 190s, which is a very, very easy effort. This would have been recovery ride type effort.
Transition 2
  • 02m 9s

Knew there was some trouble.
  • 5h 25m 44s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 26s  min/mile

** Warning, skip this section if you would like to avoid a very raw and umpleasant description of what went on. Really, think about not reading this **

Well.... not good. There is a lot that is going to be written in this section and it is not for the meek.

Mile 1: Trouble. Big effin' trouble. Labored breathing to climb a slight hill and then HR through the roof. The HR monitor stopped working soon after. It didn't matter. Ran down state street and I finally accepted what was happening for my day. I accepted that this race was changing from a legitimate Kona attempt to a race of survival. Back was in spasm and couldn't run straight up, had to lean forward a bit. It was extreme effort to muster a 8:30 mile downhill, which is a problem if you easy long run pace (Zone 1) is close to 7:30 min/mile.

Mile 2: Problems escalated, but refused to walk. Walking is not for me right?? Right??

Mile 3: Was walking as I could not climb even modest grades without extreme exertion. Was in new territory as I had never walked until late in the IM marathon before and my run training was phenomenal this year. I believe I had in excess of 15 runs greater than 16 miles since January this year. I was prepared for the struggle of ironman wasn't I?? Wasn't I??

Things became less and less focused and I had to run/walk from here on in.

** I debated HEAVILY pulling the plug at this stage. Kona dream was over (I knew that 4.5 hours earlier, but was now fully aware) and I hurt. I hurt worse than I could have ever imagined. Back went into full spasm so I could barely even walk. I poured ice down the back of the tri suit and it helped a bit. Quads were frozen, achiles was screaming.

The hard part was that there was still 23+ miles to go. I wasn't sure I could actually make it.

I thought of the following things. (No joke, this is what I focused on).

1. I am not a quitter.
2. I have daughters to raise and they will never ever, EVER see their Dad quit. I also said to myself that i am a Dad first and foremost and that if I was in 'danger' that I would stop as they needed their Dad to be Ok more than to finish a effin' ironman. (Truthfully here is where I was lucky as I was making very poor decisions at this stage and for several hours earlier on the bike and that how would I objectively know if I was really ok?? I wouldn't....)
3. I thought of a really good friend that was supposed to be racing alongside with me this day but couldn't due to illness. I knew he was tracking me and I knew it would matter to him that I didn't quit. That friend knows who they are.
4. I thought of my beloved wife who was out there, but more (much more) on her later. I don't want people to think that I had her 4th on the list.... just I was trying to focus less on her as I teared up when i thought of her as I wanted to be strong for her. She had put up with a lot with this training and I thought hawaii was going to be my thankyou for her and we would make it a fun avacation.
5. I thought of the others struggling on the course. MOPers, BOPers. They were struggling to survive as I was. Yeah I wante to be a 'little boy' and run home crying because Kona was gone and I was capable of so much more with my current level of fitness and training. I just couldn't do it. I thought it would be highly disrectpectful, so I continued on.
6. Lastly I knew that I was already in a dark place in this race and that I would be for some time after. I felt that I would heal better and faster if I gave it my 100% all to finish, rather than quit early. I wanted to START the healing now.

I talked with a lot of people on the course. First guy was a Canadian who had done IMLP in 10:30 this year. He was walking. We walked and then ran together for a bit. I finally was able to pee.... used a porta potty (FYI there was no usage of porta potty's in my raceplan as I had another approach planned, but it seemed prudent to alter things here).

Then began the slow process of 1 foot forward, then another, then another. Put a few more feet of the course behind me and then there were simply a few less feet to cover until the end.

Guy #2 was next. His name was Dave. Like me he had targeted 10 hours as a finishing time for this race, also like me he was walking and back was in spasm. Same exact issues as me I think. He could not run at all (I couldn't either but I could shuffle down hill almost like a run). He was one of the 2 strangers on the course that was really, really significant for me. Why?? Because he was me. By that I mean, same training, same goals and same disaterous result. There was one little tiny difference though.... He was planning on DNFing once he had finished the first run loop. He said he had done multiple IMs (like me) and had given up much in free/family time for this goal but did not want to walk another 4 hours to 'just finish'

** Man this was tempting logic wasn't it? I had done a lot of IMs. All American USAT ranking for 3 consecutive years. Won my AG at Musselman. I didn't need to prove anything to anyone did I?? Did I?? I hurt so damn much I just hurt so much. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!!!! I wasn't effin' quitting. I was not doing it, that was our little difference.

I said "anyone can be positive and strong when things are going their way, but let's see if I can be strong when everything is going the wrong way" let's see....

I thanked him for his comraderie and then I ran for a bit on ahead.

** Again, this race report is not for everyone. Perhaps it's not for anyone, but rather a catharsis of sorts and something to allow me to remember what happended on this day. So stop reading if you didn't like what you read already.... it gets a LOT worse.

Knew I was heading up State street getting near when Tracie and KK (Andy's wife) would be. I had sort of dreaded this moment. I knew despite my limited mental focus that she knew there was a problem. She knew that I was waaay behind schedule on the course. Do I look strong and smile? Do I pretend that I can't see her well? Started to cry thinking that I didn't want her to see me this effed' up.

Get it together dude. Get it effffin' together.

Saw her.... I said "Not good" She hugged me. I said "I'm efffed". I felt terrible as there was a little 10 year old nearby and I think they heard me. If there was one thing I wish I had done differently in this race it was that curse.... but I wasn't myself at that stage. I didn't stay long with Tracie, but I could see when I looked back she was crying.... I don't think she had ever seen me completely broken before.

Completely broken.

Saw my coach, he hi-fived me, but I felt terrible. Felt I had let Dave down. What the hell was going on?? I knew I was trying hard enough. Trying hard enough to the point of severe spasm and difficulty with breathing.

I said to myself as I was getting near the 13.1 mile mark that I was going to definitely try to finish this race.

My daughters do not have a father who quits when things get really tough. They do not. They do not!! My friends do not have a friend that is a quitter. My parents did not raise a quitter. I knew my Dad and Mom were tracking me online and that they would be proud of me if I gave it my best to finish. they knew I was not a quitter. lastly Tracie was not married to a quitter. She was not. She was not!!

I took off my Nathan belt as my back hurt too much. Gave it in special needs. Wasn't using the malto mix anyway. Definitely ran harder through Madison, but knew it couldn't last as the nausea built up.

I drank a lot of coke, Ironman perform and water. Orange slices as well.

Starting lap 2. Ouch. Darker place. I said that maybe a way I could make it through this race was to help and encourage a few others who were struggling. Maybe??

I would talk to walkers who looked rough and ask where they were from. I would ask if I could help them with anything. We'd talk about family, lives etc. I'd encourage them to run a bit and then we's walk. I'd eventually press on ahead but wished them the best. Stopped for several guys throwing up and offered cold ice or just someone to talk to. I told someone off who was laughing to a degree at a guy puking.... he was encouraging a photographer to take a picture. He actually agreed and apologized.

Just kept going on and on. Mile 15.... means only 11.2 miles to go etc. Mile 15.1 means only 11.1 miles to go etc.

I did see Greg on the run but was pretty out of it. Did say hi. Hoped my friends Rob and Andy were doing better than me (Rob was.... he killed it). Andy DNFed.

Pure darkness for awhile.

Met another guy struggling. His name was Mike. He was cramping fiercely and walking slowly. We talked for awhile and we I convinced him to run a bit and we did. Then we walked for awhile. Talked about the fact that we could help each other through this tough patch and reach closer to the finish. It started off as me helping him get motivated and in the end he was actually encouraging me. He really helped me. I did run on ahead after about 30 minutes, shook his hand and thanked him for being a really positive influence for me in the race.

Getting near the last 5K was starting to feel more positive as I was starting to really feel like I could actually finish. Did more running but was careful as I was getting more and more out of it.

Came into town and saw the crowds which helped motivate me. I picked up the pace quite a bit here as I just wanted to get to the end of the race. I was going to be very, very careful about making sure I could find Tracie in the finish chute. I looked everywhere and could not see her. Then I heard this crowd of people chanting my name. It was a large group who knew Tracie was calling me but she has a quiet voice.... I went over and hugged and kissed her....

She said "You are so strong for finishing this, I am proud of you!!"

I came through the finish line and leaped up at the timer and then crossed.

I saw a pic (my finisher photo) of me at the end. Not pretty. Definitely out of it and dehydrated.

Met Tracie and I said I was fine (liar). we went to get my bags and bike. I got the transition bags and she got the bike.

Unfortunately I started to fall apart physically. Could not stand up straight and was hyperventilating. Extremely nauseous. Had to sit down and they called over medical.

** Wow what great care they took of me. I'm serious this was a highlight for me. The day had been mean as hell and then there were these incredibly kind people who took care of me.

A doc who walked me to a vehicle to get to the med. tent. There were some great nurses.... one in particular who was a cardiac nurse who kept me in good spirits.

My body weight was down 13 lbs!!

Tried to drink broth first and then they decided that an IV would be best. IV helped a lot.

They had a PT who did some massage therapy on my locked up calves. This helped. A surgery resident then watched over me and took great care of me.

I can't say enough good things about the people in that medical tent. They were amazing people!! I wish I could thank each and everyone of them in person now. They even updated my condition to my wife, and yes that's why you sign the HIPPA waiver.... to allow them to let your wife know stuff about you in med tent when you can't talk to them right away.

After about 2 hours they let me go, and Tracie found me. She walked me home.

** I hated the amount of stress that I knew I put on her with all of this. The training and then the disaster race and then the medical. She was justifiably worried about me and I wished there was some way I could lower this. I tried to be very positive at the finish line and get my own bags and bike to reassure her, but ended up making it worse as I sort of collapsed from this after the race effort.

Post race
Event comments:

This was an incredible year of training. I made sacrifices. My family made sacrificies. Financial sacrifices were also made.

My Swimming volume was huge this year. I rode a ton of very purposeful miles.

My running was better than it has ever been with 16 runs or so of 16 miles or longer.... always on tired legs after a long ride the day before.

I had avoided injury and illness for the year.

I had a solid coach and nutrition plan with a power meter to help control training and racing purposefully.

I tried my best from every angle to have a breakout performance in this race. FTR I had targeted:

Swim 1:05
Bike 5:15-5:20
Run 3:25-3:30.

I came nowhere near any of this.

This report is not about analyzing what was the cause of the problem. No I didn't bike too hard, swim too hard or run too hard as my paces were all by far my worst IM efforts. I will try to figure out what happened later, but not today.

Do I regret taking a chance on something likely at the perimeter of my abilities (10 hours, Kona)?? NO.

Do I regret some of the time sacrifices that my family had to make?? YES.

Do I regret hiring a coach?? NO.

There are a number of things that I will think about in the post-race aftermath. I've been on this site for 5 years and have been competing in tri's for 5 years. This was by far my worst result and I have been much more poorly trained for a few events in the past.

Was there a lack of effort? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

I pushed on when many would have quit imho. Dropping 13 lbs in a race when you weigh 160 is pretty near the limit of what you can do without being pulled off the course by someone else. I pushed when My kona dream was over. I pushed when it hurt. I pushed when I was in the darkest of places. I pushed and pushed and pushed.

The hardest part is that I sacrificed a lot for this race. Training became less fun this year, and it resulted in a disater of a result. It has made me question my decisions, ie; was all of this a waste??

I am quite sure some people will say "But you finished, you should be happy with that". I am happy I didn't quit. I am.

Those who know me well know what I put into this race in regards to training and focus. I think most will understand my disappointment.

Yes I also realise that I am a very lucky man and in the grand scheme of things this is not as bad as so many things that could happen to you (illness, injury, loss etc). Yes that is absolutely true.

I will be on BT hiatus for awhile. I truly plan on leading another mentor group this winter and giving back once again to this great site as it has given me so much.

I don't know what my future plans are. Ironman next year?? Maybe as I hate the way this all ended up. What about all this fitness I have, should I do another race??

** I dreamed a big dream. I didn't make it but I took my shot. I have no excuses as I gave it all I had frineds.

Last updated: 2010-09-13 12:00 AM
01:08:36 | 4224 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2700
Performance: Below average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 06:36
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:36:56 | 112 miles | 19.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2700
Performance: Bad
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:09
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:25:44 | 26.2 miles | 12m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2700
Performance: Bad
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]

2011-09-14 8:55 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I found myself in a bit of a dark place as well on Sunday, but not the level you experienced.  I appreciate the honesty in your race report, and also respect the drive and determination to aim really high and then have to accept you are crashing, but refusing to quit.  Great RR Fred, I know you'll bounce back.

2011-09-14 8:56 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You are amazing!!!!  Thanks for sharing your painful story.  So happy that you gutted it out though. 
2011-09-14 9:12 AM
in reply to: #3684729

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Rudedog55 - 2011-09-13 1:40 PM hurts and heals, you love it and you hate it.  You spoke it, an that speaks volumes about you as a person. If i had not read hundreds of your posts before, this report would have told me all i needed to know about you. That my friend is honorable.

Enjoy your time away, we will all look forward to your return.

Wow, normally I have a lot to say, but Rudy summed up my thoughts perfectly and I have nothing to add but I'm proud of you, buddy.
2011-09-14 9:39 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Fred just totally EPIC to even finish having lost 13 pounds!! No one can take away what a superb athlete you are... sorry day just didn't go as planned.  You are tough as nails.  Amazing!
2011-09-14 10:12 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
It is possible to do everything right and still not get what you want.  This was one of those days but you soldiered forward and are a great example for your children.  Also as  BOPPER I salute you.  For many of us Kona is not even in the realm of possibility and the race you had would be a dream for many of us so thank you for respecting that.  God bless you that kona is in your realm.  In the end I bet you will learn more from this day than from a day when everything went perfectly.  You did the best you could with what you had on on that day and that is all any of us can ask of ourselves.   Without taking all the risks you did in preparation for this race  your KQ dream would probably have not been as good and we all must take risks.  So, I will say CONGRATULATIONS on finishing....not "just" finishing but FINISHING and doing your very best on that day.
2011-09-14 10:24 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug.  Re-evaluate, reload, and do it again.

2011-09-14 1:51 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I didn't think that was hard to read at all Fred, in fact I found it quite inspirational and will probably reflect on it next time I am having a bad race.  Thanks for the honesty.  You don't need to prove anything to anyone but yourself
2011-09-14 1:53 PM
in reply to: #3685952

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

I am so sorry that you did not have the day you wanted, Fred.  As some of the posters have mentioned, you are one of the people whose posts I read with interest on here.  

I don't know if this means anything coming from me, since I am not competitive at the level that you are, BUT good on you for not giving up and for sharing your day and your kind words with other racers.  I was that guy at Louisville last year and I gained much from the experience. 

2011-09-14 3:59 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Marin County, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thank you for the very honest race report! Sounds like a doozy.

I had a back muscle seize at IMSG this year, and that was a pain like no other. Way to keep it going! Maybe next year we'll both rock the Kona bus!
2011-09-14 4:34 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Dirt Road
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thanks Fred you have helped me again.
2011-09-14 4:50 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Omaha, NE
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Thanks for the honesty Fred.  I have been following you building up to IMWI (not in a creepy way).  I was pulling for you and watching you progress as well during the race.

All I can say is you've been an inspiration to me as well as many others, so enjoy your time off and heal up.

I also want to say that your RR is a good reality check for many of us newbies who dream of KQ'ing one day.  It's not as simple as training for a year and doing it, there's a lot more to it than that.  

2011-09-14 5:16 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

I loved this report, Fred. Like others have said, the honesty is much appreciated and even when we have a great day in Ironman, it's a really difficult day filled with obstacles. I'm nowhere near your athletic ability, but in 2009 when I trained for my first Ironman (IMWI), I did everything right. I made tons of sacrifices - took vacation time to train in the middle of the week all summer, had minimal social life in a year I was going through a divorce, made big financial investments in coaching, equipment, etc. My training was perfect for my goals, I was fit, I was strong, I was ready. Then 14 days before the race I woke up and couldn't walk. 10 days before race day I was diagnosed with a torn PF and couldn't race. I had an absolute breakdown. In the end, I found myself walking out of T2 against doctor's orders and I walked an entire marathon with a severe limp after doing the best-ever swim and bike I had ever done at that point in my tri life. I walked for over 7 hours with a lot of other really broken souls and I crossed the finish line at nearly 11pm, over 3 hours past my goal time. I know how hard it is to be forced to readjust goals and push through immense pain. While my goal wasn't the caliber of Kona, it still meant a lot to me and I was disappointed. But in hindsight, I learned more about myself, this sport and the incredible people we share it with on that day and I will never consider it my "worst" race. In some ways it was my best because I took so much away from it.

I think you'll take a lot away from this too, and the example you set for your girls about never giving up is priceless. Because of you, they will think anything they dream is possible. That is a really incredible gift.

You're a great athlete. You'll bounce back, I have no doubt. You said to me at the athlete's dinner that some days we wake up more fit than other days. For whatever reason, Sunday was a less fit day. You'll have better ones and I'm sure it will be very soon. Heal and enjoy your family, see you out there next season.

2011-09-14 6:13 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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New user

NE Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin


An outstanding story and one for which you owe no apologies. Learn what you can from the experience, both from a sporting and a personal level, and move forward.

Kiss your wife and girls and remember what is truly important in life. If you never put your wetsuit on again, your greatest accomplishments are sitting with you around your dinner table.

Best of luck in the future. I echo the comments of others that your posts are among those that I feel I need to read because there will be something of value in them.

There is a compact crank on my tri bike, and my legs have you to thank for that.


2011-09-14 8:30 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Gloucestershire, England
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

The most inspirational race report I've ever read. 


2011-09-14 10:14 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Sun Prairie, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Fred, sorry to hear about your tough day.  I too was really struggling, the run was kind of a blur for me as well.  I do remember seeing you along the path along the lake front.  The heat and course really took it out of the entire field.  There was no comparison between the amount of folks walking the run in comparision to last year.  This year IM WI took it's toll across the board.  I saw both the #1 and #2 pro males walking the marathon, this speaks volumes. 

Way to gut it out and finish after a long day. 

It was great finally meeting you and your wife at the dinner banquet.  Hope to see you being a great mentor again in the future.  I know I have learned a lot from your advice.


2011-09-15 9:00 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I think there are a lot of "take aways" that you'll learn from this day.  Sometimes, the hardest part about being an athlete is the expectations.  The worry about failure.  In other eyes, your own eyes, people's eyes who barely know you.  Truth be told.  You have to love to want to do this and it sounds like you were having a tough time with your training this year.  You mention it was not fun any more.  Bottom line has to be "fun."

Congrats on toughing it out and sticking with it on a day when you could have packed it in.  When it's not fun, it's easy to quit.  Clearly that's not something you were willing to do.  People should envy.  

Rest up... Heal up, and get your mind back in order.   

2011-09-15 10:16 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Chicago and therabouts
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

as others have allready said more eloquent than myself, the honesty of the RR is appreciated.  To give people the opportunity to get some insight into your thoughts and psyche during the most challenging of times is a gift.

From a medical perspective, I read your report and don't quite know how to put your situation together. The 13 lb wt loss as a result of the day makes sense, but the way you felt off, and out of it less than 20 miles into the bike, the way you describe taking turns,  and even on the swim makes one wonder.  difficult to see how you could get that dehydrated so quickly as an explanation for feeling off. 2 years ago, a lot of people at Madison had sig problems with keeping hydrated.. Out of proportion for the heat of the day. suspect a fair amout of people took in some blue/green algae during the swim that affected them during the day.  There did not seem to be a high amount though leading up to the race, but you mentioned that you did swallow a fair amount of water. Were you battling a viral illess that popped up, any new pills, meds you took that you dont normally. (you wrote of taking caffeine pills in the am...sometime they can mess you up when taken with certain over the counter cold meds).. Prolly worth going over with your coach and and MD (who understands world of long distance tri's and who wont just go..."sure your gonna feel crappy during a 140 mile race")  when things arent as raw, but before you forget some of the details that might help.

It was nice meeting you and your wife at the dinner and the morning of the race.
I wish you and your family the best as you sort out your future goals.

2011-09-15 4:47 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Westlake Village , Ca.
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

As ChrisM mentioned, I found this report rather easy to read and I found myself cheering you on as I read

You're a great many ways. This is just another example of that. I would have quit after the pedal fell off. Inspirational stuff my friend.

Rest up....for god sakes eat something and let us know what the plans are for the future. Whatever you decide, your friends will be there supporting you....I know I will.

2011-09-15 8:22 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Western WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Fred, I wish I knew you in real life.  You are an inspiration not because of how fast you are (but man, are you fast) but because of how you pushed through on your worst of days.  Thank you for sharing your most humbling experience with the most honesty I've seen in a RR yet.  Enjoy your time off and remember that your daughters will know you did. not. quit.  You will be an inspiration for me, and possibly many others, when I get to that dark place.  Congrats, Fred.

2011-09-16 4:11 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Kudos and thanks for sharing.
2011-09-16 9:27 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Fred, I don't know you personally but enjoy your comments on the threads and the advice you give.  I agree with the others that this wasn't a tough read and I did find myself hurting with you and cheering you on.  It is sometimes more beneficial to read reports from top athletes about things going wrong and how the overcame and conquered.  I look forward to you coming back to BT after your Hiatus and contributing again.  Congrats on finishing and if you learned anything from this it is that you are tough as nails.  Best of luck in the future.



2011-09-16 9:40 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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san francisco
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thank you for sharing your experience on a race that fell short of your goals. It takes a true champion to tell the tale on a day like you had. Many of us can learn from your example. Very tough to do but very worth it on so many levels. Recover well, Ironman.
2011-09-16 11:08 AM
in reply to: #3684650

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Fred, I read this when you first posted it but have struggled with finding the words to say what I felt.

For me, and I think many of us here on BT, we wanted you to achieve your goal as we have watched your training and development from a FOP triathlete to a IM podium KQ contender.  As the day progressed and Ironman live updated your splits, I knew something was wrong and all of us in my family were pulling for you hoping things would improve.

You are bold for going after a very challenging goal, sharing it publicly, putting in the hard work training, preparing to have the fitness to reach your goal. As others have said I think your fitness was there, you just had a bad day.

Dark places and being tough mentally to push through something extremely painful knowing your goal has slipped away shows a depth of your determination and reflects your character.

Ironman is never easy....race day can throw at you many cruel obstacles that you have to overcome and this one had a lot.

I hope the 'wondering what the heck happened on race day' doesn't gnaw at you over time but instead you become proud of what you did and how much effort on many levels you put into finishing this IM.

I'm very proud of you and what you accomplished.

I think you have a KQ in you in you want to pursue that. My hope is that you find joy again in the sport and follow your heart where ever that takes you.

Fred you Rock!


2011-09-16 12:32 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin


You had a tough day out there for some reason but it certainly wasn’t because of lack of training or prep.  You’ve been an inspiration to many of us and have provided me with a ton of help and information in your mentor group.  It’s obviously painful that you didn’t reach your goals, but I'm sure you will bounce back stronger bc of this experience.  You definitely didn’t recognize me and my wife on the run when we yelled out to you (we were working the State St aid station).  You also didn’t look real good, but somehow you looked over and gave us a smile and that says a lot about your character.  Hold your head high and don’t beat yourself silly because of this race because it can happen to anyone, anytime.


2011-09-16 2:37 PM
in reply to: #3684650

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Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Nice, very honest race report. I know you worked extremely hard going into this race and the results did not equal the work you put in.

You have become a really complete (good at every distance) triathlete and as others have mentioned have been a huge benefit to other triathletes with your posts and training logs.

The race may not have been what you hoped for but you did the 100% best you could with what you had and did not give up, which is way harder than crushing it and having a great race. You took a shot and it did not work out but you took the shot which is what is important.

I very much look forward to more discussions with you and seeing you at future races!
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