Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
76F / 24C
Total Time = 13h 57m 45s
Overall Rank = 1581/2984
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 80/180
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:30. Ate 1 egg, toast w/ PB, bowl of granola, banana, cup of coffee. Went to transition at 5:00, got body marked, nutrition on bike, pumped up tires, went to lower level of terrace to chill. Put on suit at 6:30 walked down to the swim start.
Event warmup:

Swam out to spot in lake.:)
  • 1h 12m 48s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

What a boxing match! My intent was to start to the right of the ski ramp in the rear and go wide to avoid the "scrum". While treading water I didn't realize that I was pulled out in between the ramp and a corner buoy near the front. So I just let fate run it's course. I was punched, slapped on the head numerous times, kicked(those breast strokers with their frog kicks are the worst!), swam over, under, you name it. I would find some clear water and then two minutes later I had caught the next group and would be duking it out again. I rounded the first buoy vertical because it was so crowded. But you know I could feel the overall draft of so many swimmers moving in the same direction pulling me along. The water temps were perfect though my calf muscles cramped 3X during the swim. Ouch!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I don't think I would have been as fast had I executed my original plan to stay in the back and on the outside.
Transition 1
  • 14m 54s

Took my time here. Dried off, switched from swim suit to tri shorts. Put on calf sleeves, socks, top, put Aquafor where it needed to go. Focus was to get HR down from running up the helix in front of my admiring fans lining it yelling encouraging words.

HR: 93/144/155
What would you do differently?:

Put the calf sleeves on before the swim.
  • 6h 59m 30s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.02 mile/hr

This was a perfect bike execution for me. I let everyone pass me the first 14 miles, let them pass me ascending hills and stayed right where I was supposed to be HR wise. I rode easy for the first 80 miles, then picked up the pace for the remainder. I was in low to mid zone 2 for the first 80 miles. Then high zone 2, some zone 3 for the rest. I took most of the hills barely hitting Z3 on the steepest ones only. My goal for my first IM was to finish the bike saying; " I could have went harder." I was determined not to overcook the bike.

I saw my wife, son and his girlfriend in Verona and it actually caused me to well up with tears a little it was such an encouragement. The crowds on the hills were so cool. I felt like Lance Armstrong in the TDF(only slower!)

Once I got past 80 miles, I was only passed a few times. I definitely finished strong. Spun up the helix easily at the end.

Nutrition was spot on! Used only Infinit, and ate 2 Sport beans(not 2 packs, 2 actual beans!) No gels, bars, powders, etc. Easy peasy! Blew past Special Needs.

I felt a huge difference between this ride and when I rode the course a few weeks ago. I was confident, the hills did not intimidate me, I let my bike go on the downhills(38 MPH top speed), and the road conditions were much better for some reason.
What would you do differently?:

Go harder. I think I could have averaged 18.
Transition 2
  • 07m 45s

Bike handler grabbed my bike, went into T2 change room and dumped out my bag, put my running shoes on,visor, some sunscreen on my head, changed socks, out the door. Sunscreen ladies lathered me up real good!

HR: 139/147/155
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 22m 48s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 19s  min/mile

Another near perfect execution for me. I was going to take it easy for the first 18 miles, then put my head down and drive the last 8.2 miles to the finish. I walked each aid station, ran in between. I took in Powerbar Perform and water at each station and around mile 14 I tried some pretzels. Not sure if that caused some GI issues but at mile 15 or so, I felt a slight twinge of not feeling good. I thought about pushing through, but remembered my nutritionist telling me to slow down if I start feeling rough. I slowed to a walk for about 2 miles or so, then a walk/run for another couple miles. I switched to cookies and even had some coke at a stop and the cookies seemed to sit well so I alternated cookies and the Perform drink with water for the rest. Then suddenly I felt stronger again(might be because Suzy(ssminnow) passed me and said something about not walking!)

I came upon Deb, Nathan and Sessily(Nathan's girlfriend) with about 4 miles to go and that boosted me a lot. It was funny watching my son running along side me clicking pictures with the camera on autofire mode. I told him that if he removed the lens cap, the pictures would turn out better! :)

Then with about 3 miles to go, I heard a familiar voice behind me and I turned to see my friend Steve coming up. He said,"Greg let's go, we can come in under 14 hours". At first I didn't believe him, but I dug a little deeper and picked up my pace. Once we got to State street and then circling the Capital, I was pushing as hard as I could and crossed the line under 14! I blew through the last two aid stations so I wouldn't lose time. Good move. If I had walked those, I probably would have been over 14.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Except no pretzels.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, went and got some pizza with Steve, took some pictures with his family and mine. Steve's wife is so cool! My wife, son, and girlfriend really got a kick out of her. Lot's of fun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training. Age? Time? Here is my little rant if you have made it this far.

I had many supporters through this process and have met many new friends. I trained to the best of my ability given the constraints of family, job, life and what my body can take. For me, recovery is very important. For the last 6 months there have been a few people making negative comments about my training and whether I was doing enough to do an Ironman. Comments like I should have double the mileage on my bike, etc. Well I know for some a sub 14 hour IM would be considered slow and maybe it is. But my goal was to finish and I also know there is a huge difference in the training to finish versus competing to win an age group award or Kona slot. I know my body, and I knew what it could handle without getting injured.

I also believe in the concept that the race is not only about fitness, but about execution. I may not be as fit as some, but at 51 years old, I'd like to think I have some smarts. I executed this race about as perfectly as I could. Some would say if you don't have some major mishap or epic struggle doing an IM, then you were you "cheated" out of some of the experience. I say that sound preparation, a smart strategy, and knowing to control what you can and dealing with the rest as it comes makes for a complete Ironman experience!

That being said,it was hard for sure. This was the toughest physical event I have ever done. I wouldn't stop moving forward because I was afraid that if I stopped, even for a minute, I might not be able to start moving again!

I also want to thank Marni, who insured that I would have a successful IM nutritionally. She outlined a plan one month out to prep my body and then set up my race nutrition so well that it was not even an issue. I felt strong and the pre-race meals worked great, no GI distress out of the water, none on the bike. You should contract her for at least a month to get your nutrition dialed in whether you race or not. I have tweaked my overall eating and feel better daily now. I don't have the ups and downs associated with blood sugar levels changing during the day.

I want to give a shout out to Steve a coach/teacher that I met through Suzy that allowed me to tag along as he did a last run through on the "do's and don'ts" Saturday. His advice was paramount in my success on Sunday!

And finally, thanks to my family who supported me during the process and picked up the slack for me around the house. My wife, Deb who always believed in me and was such a great help in getting through the training, and giving me the weekly massages without me having to reciprocate! And my children who are so proud of their Dad becoming an Ironman! I could not have done this without their support and encouragement. We will start up the Sunday breakfast/brunches again!

Event comments:

Don't knock the Ironman brand races. They are first class all the way. How many of us can be treated like a rock star for a day!

I have zero complaints or issues with the race.

And the Madison residents are awesome! Thanks Madison!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-09-30 12:00 AM
01:12:48 | 4224 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 28/180
Overall: 672/2984
Performance: Good
HR: Low/Avg/High; 79/101/136
Suit: Xterra Vortex Full
Course: Counter clockwise two loop
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 14:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:59:30 | 112 miles | 16.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 93/180
Overall: 1674/2984
Performance: Good
HR: 127/142/160
Wind: Some
Course: Hilly, "stick" out to Verona,then two 40 mile loops then back to Madison.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 86
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:45
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:22:48 | 26.2 miles | 12m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 80/180
Overall: 1581/2984
Performance: Good
HR: 107/138/157
Course: Two loop course through Madison, some college there :) and along Lake Mendota which was the most beautiful run course I have ever run on.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %1
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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