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Ironman Wisconsin - Triathlon


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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
72F / 22C
Overcast
Total Time = 11h 55m 21s
Overall Rank = 511/2400
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 83/400
Pre-race routine:

Thursday...rushed to squeeze in a quick bike/run at home. Got into town about 3:30/4pm. Registered. Walked to Union/Terrace with friend/fellow participant..sandwiches on the terrace, avoided beer..great weather, great night.

Friday...swam about 25 minutes around 8am. Got breakfast at Teddiewedgers....BIG MISTAKE! That egg/cheese/bacon/sausage bomb sat in stomach for hours. biked a little bit around noon. No run. Met a friend for late lunch at Marigold and vowed to not have any more nutrition mistakes rest of weekend. Went to whole foods to prepare for carboload. Athlete dinner friday night. Family arrived late friday.

Saturday...quick walk around farmers market with family, stayed inside most of day to avoid the heat. Dinner at Eldorado with family and friends. Tried to sleep
after a 600-700 gram carboload day.



Event warmup:

I have to say, I have developed something of a routine. Woke up 4am, out the door by 4:30. First to drop off special needs, then get my AMERICANO at SB's. Loaded my water bottles in bike and gear bags, filled up tires to 120 (not a lot of heat predicted...usually fill a little less cause increases with heat). Went down to lakeshore path to chill/listen to music to family came down. At 5:45, dark, pretty empty. Had some time to relax, chill before the craziness before the start. Becky and kids met around 6am along with my mom and sister. Body glided up, suit on, able to hit the EMPTY portapotties next to swim start at 6:40 to PEE and then into water.
Swim
  • 1h 06m 11s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards
Comments:

Started second row and a little wide of ramp. Again..as every year, people around me had expected swim times all over the place. I know I swim best when i can stretch out with my arms and get into a rhythm. I dont mind starting wide and aiming for the turn buoy. But this time i think cause of the current / wind, my path was too wide for too long. On almost all the buoys, even with avoiding the bunching up of people, could hav probably hugged the course line a little better and swam a bit more than I needed to. Looked at watch at halfway point (30 minutes) Probably could have saved a minute out there on the course. Took in some water with the waves once or twice, but no big deal. Felt like my calves were going to cramp once or twice but they held out and no issues like last time.
What would you do differently?:

Pick better lines, not swim too wide.
Transition 1
  • 08m 11s
Comments:

Wetsuit off quickly (thank you wet suit strippers), ran up the helix at a controlled nice pace. Got my bag, had a helper right away.

Then nothing went very quickly...

Problem 1. Socks. Must have taken almost a minute to get those bad boys on. Wanted to go without but all training rides were with socks so too scared ditch.

Problem 2. Arm Warmers. Last minute addition to T1 bag. So cool in AM. figured I could ditch them on the ride when i warmed up. Again, wet arms does not help getting arm warmers on....More like forearm warmers.

Problem 3. hutchinsonFastAir...was putting it into my tritop pocket. Rookie mistake. Kept popping out. Needed to have it secured on the bike somewhere.

Problem 4. Race belt. Would not with the rule change normally wear on bike but the athlete tracker GPS i rented was attached. I vaguely remember having trouble getting the belt on / twisted and had to stop and redo while heading out...ugh!
What would you do differently?:

train without socks
tape / secure items to bike that I can
ditch arm warmers (didnt need them)
Bike
  • 6h 13m 43s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.98 mile/hr
Comments:

The plan....
first 30 min take it EZ
Then first 35 miles, watts 120-150
miles 35-77 150-168 watts
miles 77 to finish 168-180's watts
oh...and not fall off my bike!!

Nutrition ~1000 calorie bottle on bike (infinit/carbopro) 3 x hr for 300 calories and cliff shot blocks on the hour for additional 100 calories (400/hr total)
Water in aerobottle / hydrofill.

The training...relatively speaking, under trained on the bike but probably about what I can expect to be able to get in . One hundred miler and 3 80+ milers (all on the course). But for family and work, this is what it is....

So, 4th time doing this I know what to expect. The combo of a strong swim and being weak on the bike leads me to being passes by MANY people. I again, was prepared to keep my ego in check and really hold back. With the wind at my back on the stick out for really the first 20 or so miles, moving very fast. Felt ez, HR low, watts were a little high so intermittently backed off. Looking now at data, did not keep watts below 150 though.

Around mile 35 my left knee started to hurt. Have had some issues with it this summer on the bike early on and went away really on its own. Has problems on my last long ride. This cropped up EARLY! It seems to spike a bit around mile 50 but riding through Verona and the crowds, the intensity simmered down for a while. It would come back around mile 85 or so with more of a "bite" to it...along with some other wear/tear issues.

First times thru the loop though was overall good. Nutrition was working fine
Got off the bike to pee x 2 (first in cross plains before the hills and on second loop in Mt Horeb aid station) Thought maybe taking in too much fluids?

Before the first set of hills at about mile 40, felt overall pretty good minus the knee. Got a little worried when I didnt see Becky and the kids on Timber road but just hoped to see them on the second loop.

Somewhere before 1/2 way, my garmin told me the batteries on Quark were low..WTF? Last time it said that, the quark went out 20 minutes later. I had just changed the batteries too? Started to get a little nervous and paid more attention to RPE, HR and then would look at watts so i could get a better "feel" of things. Luckily it was a false alarm and pwer didn't go. I did get some strange blips on my readings which led me to recalibrate. Dropped my chain doing that, and lost a minute to hop off.

Also dropped my chain on one of the minor hills on the second loop. Hopped off and another women had her chain wedged in between the small and big chain ring. I tried to work with her for a few minutes to get it unstuck. Unsuccessful...and now covered in chain grease both hands. Probably spent a few minutes doing this. More problematic was getting back into the pedals on the hill. Took a minute or so to do that successfully.

Mile 80, actually felt pretty good and dialed things up a bit as per the plan.
Saw everyone on the hills (Peter, Clay, John) and Brett, Chris, Scott (Scott ran with me up Timber....giving me a nice emotional lift!) Then after the second go around up the hills, my back, neck, knee were done with me. Pain was radiating down my neck to my arms so aero was out. I felt like a big wind sail going back into Madison into the wind. Seemed like the ride would never end. Was really worried about my knee and how it would handle the run. My neck felt pretty crappy and thought maybe to check with the ART people in transition but in the past, the back and neck stiffness has improved once i'm upright and running. And then I started telling myself to FOCUS. The ride was not over and it was at mile 109 that i wiped out last time. This was not happening today. No mind wandering. pay attention to the road and the riders around me (i was being passed by EVERYONE at this point....Why were they not sore and tired too?) Passed the spot where i fell in 2011 (didnt see the pothole) and finally up the helix and ditched the bike!
What would you do differently?:

technical issues....secure my front aero bottle better (came loose a few times)
pace better at front end (again,went out too fast)

not drop chain...TWICE!

Training wise...this will always be my biggest limiter. Hard to find time to put into saddle. But if im not riding more, maybe more core strength and upper body/back strength to hold aero more comfortably?)
Transition 2
  • 04m 5s
Comments:

This transition went better. Changed socks, shoes on no prob. No fumbling with a bag of gu's like last time.swapped glasses, ditched the fastair from my back pocket. . Took 800 mg motrin with some water in transition. Grapped a film canister full of salt stick tabs and put in tri top. Grabbed hydration belt with two 8oz bottles (water in one, napalm infinit gel in the other). Started to run out and realized again....race belt on backwards with number all twisted. Lost 30 seconds adjusting that...
What would you do differently?:

other than the race belt issue, probably could have taken motrin on the run. Maybe save a minute?
Run
  • 4h 23m 11s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 03s  min/mile
Comments:

ah...the run. My biggest regret from 2011 was not being able to really run after falling on the bike. For me, like most people, the run is where I have learned the most about myself and learning about what my limits are (or are not). In 2007, and 2009, the second half of the run was characterized by slowing of my pace and increased walking with a slow drifting down of my HR. The question was had I hit "my" limits of training / endurance and had to slow down, or had I hit my "mental" limit of dealing with the suffering of pushing myself on the run. My fall denied me of a chance to test myself in 2011 and was waiting for my chance for almost 2 years.

Coming out of T2, didn't know what to think about my knee.
The plan, hold comfortable pace of 9:45 or so for first 2.5-3 miles) then go to a race pace of 9:20 when running, walk EVERY aid station.

Despite knee, pace was sub 9 min...so hard to keep it in check at start of run. Family and friends were all there. Saw Madison, Maya, Beck..high fived/hugs and then up to capitol. Saw Michelle and Tim on the concourse. Started down state street. Heard my name shouted out from afar, and saw Renee running about 1/2 block away! Shouted back and made the turn off state. Between being so excited to be off the bike, the downhill trend of the first part of run, all the energy of family/friends/crowd ...so hard to hold back. Then paired up with a guy..some 22 year old first timer and he helped me keep it in check. Ran the first 4 miles or so with him at about 9:45/pace. Chatted a bit (he plays water polo too in Santa Clara) After the aid station though after the Stadium I was feeling pretty good and the knee was feeling better (thank you motrin) and started to pick up the pace. I was getting passed here and there but was also passing some people (which after getting passed by hundreds of people on the bike, its nice to start rebuilding my ego a tiny bit). First hour went almost perfect to plan. All splits were under 10 min with walking aid stations. Water intake was good, took a salt tab, but calories as usual was looking to be a problem. Took the napalm/infinit twice but not really feeling that great with it. At about 1 hr felt a little dizzy. Had just taken my second salt tab so was pretty sure it wasnt a Na issue. My last infinit hit had been around 1:05 and wanted it out of my system before trying something else. Waited till 1:25 and tried a little perform. Seemed to go down ok. So at each aid station after that, I would take in a little bit more and see how it felt. Not sure when, but started taking two cups of perform, and never stopped. Took some water in between aid stations but two cups perform at each station was the new plan.

So...now the question for me was how long could i keep this up. I was in uncharted territory. No stand alone marathon. Only one 2:40 training run this year. But this was the challenge again that I wanted....

Took the turnaround and saw Jen and Jonathon at special needs (didnt need my bag), saw the time at the finish line and realized there was an outside chance of coming in under 12 if I could somehow keep up this pace. With about 10 miles to go, noticed my hr drifting lower below 130's and pace creeping up to 10 minutes. Had a 11 min mile walking observatory, but boom, right there at the top, Peter, Clay, John were there to cheer me on and recharge the batteries a bit. State street is amazing at this point to send you out to the lakeshore path. Saw Brett, the Chris, Laura. I could hear Scott yelling at me from behind, that i trained to hard and too long to not push it or something like that. Once on the lakeshore path, just tried to hold a rhythm and a good pace. With about 5 or 6 miles to go, everything on my right leg felt like they were on the edge of cramping. Took another salt tab (Didnt help). Slowed down a tiny bit but was more worried about transitioning back to running from walking the aid stations. I would just more gradually ease into my moving pace at this point. It was about here with 4-5 miles to go, restarting my run after the aid stations was getting really hard. Both knees were not doing to hot, my quads hurt on top of almost cramping. I could tell there was something funky going on with my right foot/toes with blistering. Surprisingly,the things i thought i would be battling at this point were not really a problem. My piriformis was doing fine, the pain in my left foot was at bay (had been dealing with some foot issues the last 3 weeks). But only had about 40 minutes to go to the finish. 40 minutes...Just sort of listened to my breathing and try to stay relaxed..Somewhere i read, relaxed is smooth, smooth is fast. Well, I wasnt really fast, but figured trying to be relaxed and push things instead of "itght" and "force" myself to keep a pace. With about 3 miles to go, I realized that if i didnt cramp up, I should be able to go sub 12. Saw my coach with about 2 miles to go.. Confirmed i was on pace, but said don't settle.. Push it if i could. Told him about being on the verge of my entire right leg cramping. Finally back on state street, with the crowds again, the cheering, music... I know its about to be over. The pain kind of fades, and tears start to come. 2 years in my mind thinking about this, about 5 - 6 months physicaly preparing. The opportunity to push past what I have been able to do, break down my own perception of my own limits. I looked for Becky and the kids and gave them a high five before heading thru the finish line. Not sure if a saw Renee before of after crossing.... Things got a little blurry there for a bit. My catcher got me some water and some chocolate milk as well as a foil blanket. Found Becky and the kids again and the tears came back. Gave Beck a huge sweaty hug and thanked her for giving me this selfish gift...For the time to train, and prepare for this day. So I can try and challenge myself this way.



  • What would you do differently?:

    On the run...nothing! Probably my best execution. Stuck with the plan, the pace. Held back early, able to keep a solid pace at the end. Never walked except aid stations and observatory on the second loop. Besides the finish time of under 12, and a new PR for a marathon 4:23
    Post race
    Warm down:

    not much. cluster at the end of the IM. Hung out with family and friends for a bit. Took some pics. Food didnt taste too good nor did it feel too good in my stomach. Wandered to hotel to shower, change, and head back out to watch some friends finish.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    Training on the bike...(it is kind of what it is)
    As far es execution on race day, could have paced better early on, might not have been such a difficult last 20 miles...

    Event comments:

    Volunteers Awesome!
    Fan support--have not been to another IM distance but i gotta believe that dynamics of location of bike and run in relationship to city and campus make it amazing.

    The race report has a lot of little nit picky details to remind me next time in 2014.
    I found reading over my old races helped a lot in preparing for this one. Usually im not a "minute lost here or there" kind of guy, and worry about how FAST my transition times are over the course of a 12-13 hr day. Im never gonna get a kona slot or be in the hunt for any age group awards. My goals are on a more "internal" or "personal" level than a time (although sub 12 was icing on the cafe. This was the most satisfying race so far... A goal was set, and ultimately achieved and the process of preparing for it didn't destroy my family or alienate me from my kids (as one is 15 and the other 12....sometime the less they see of their Dad....the better). I think ive stressed less over missed workouts, tried to make them less solitary and made some good friends along the way.

    Ive signed up for 2014..the first time that i have not decided to take a year off. I had things still to resolve after my bike crash in 2011. I couldn't have asked for a better day. It will be hard to top this for 2014.


    Profile Album


    Last updated: 2013-08-26 12:00 AM
    Swimming
    01:06:11 | 4224 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
    Age Group: 21/400
    Overall: 182/2400
    Performance: Average
    Suit: sleevless
    Course: Rectangle, one loop, buoys on Left
    Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
    Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: High
    200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
    Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
    Waves: Navigation: Below average
    Rounding: Good
    T1
    Time: 08:11
    Performance: Below average
    Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
    Jump on bike:
    Getting up to speed:
    Biking
    06:13:43 | 112 miles | 17.98 mile/hr
    Age Group: 92/400
    Overall: 530/2400
    Performance: Average
    Avg watts 166 NP 187
    Wind: Strong with gusts
    Course: stick out, two loops and then back in
    Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 81
    Turns: Average Cornering: Average
    Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
    Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
    T2
    Time: 04:05
    Overall: Good
    Riding w/ feet on shoes
    Jumping off bike
    Running with bike
    Racking bike
    Shoe and helmet removal
    Running
    04:23:11 | 26.2 miles | 10m 03s  min/mile
    Age Group: 83/400
    Overall: 511/2400
    Performance: Good
    1 9:12.8 2 9:46.3 3 9:53.0 4 9:37.1 5 9:29.8 6 9:58.4 7 9:38.6 8 9:38.6 9 9:41.4 10 9:38.9 11 9:45.6 12 9:48.4 13 10:04.5 14 9:29.1 15 9:44.8 16 9:57.6 17 9:55.2 18 10:04.2 19 11:37.7 20 9:59.5 21 10:45.3 22 10:16.7 23 10:21.5 24 10:27.1 25 9:56.4 26 10:07.9 27 5:01.4
    Course: two loops
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %0
    Overall: Average
    Mental exertion [1-5] 5
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    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:
    Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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    2013-09-10 3:56 PM

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    Veteran
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    Chicago and therabouts
    Subject: Ironman Wisconsin


    2013-09-11 9:27 AM
    in reply to: #4852185

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    Expert
    1090
    1000252525
    Menomonee Falls, WI
    Gold member
    Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
    That's a great race report and a great triumph at Ironman Wisconsin for you.  Congrats on executing that superb run - very impressive.
    2013-09-12 6:29 PM
    in reply to: sbsmann

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    Expert
    2198
    2000100252525
    Mastic Beach, NY
    Bronze member
    Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
    Congrats Ironman and really a great race report. I enjoyed all the detail that you provided about your race. I think you did a great job with the way you executed your race. I'm glad you got some redemption for 2011 and were able to break 12 hours. Great race, congrats again.
    2013-09-24 11:55 AM
    in reply to: #4852185

    Iron Donkey
    38593
    500050005000500050005000500020001000500252525
    , Wisconsin
    Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
    Sub-12!!!  WOWZA!  And yet ANOTHER great job!!
    General Discussion-> Race Reports!
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