Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 16h 24m 53s
Overall Rank = 2337/2550
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 116/129
Pre-race routine:

Went to bed around 8pm. Looked at the clock at 10:40 and 12:20 but fell right back asleep. Woke at 2:30 and mind started going. Just as well, went through my mental checklists. Steve got up around 3:30, we had the alarm set for 3:45. Ate a yogurt, banana, and 2 granola bars with peanut butter on them. Made some "peanut butter balls" (globs of PB rolled in crushed granola bars) for the bike. Did ok in the bathroom, but not great like I'd hoped. Drove across the street to Alliant to take the shuttle in. Parking would probably be fine, but Roy drives us back with the bikes in the truck so 1 less vehicle to worry about.

Dropped off the SN run bags, then tried to get into transition in the middle but couldn't get in without body markings. Walked around to get that done then went into transition to load up the bike. Put 20oz Perform and 34oz water up front, 5oz GU in the flask, 3 PB balls and a vial of salt in the bento bag, and an emergency throw-away bottle of water on back (last year they ran out of water on the second loop in Verona). Pumped up the tires to 110. Brought an extra (extra) tube, but decided 1 spare should be enough so left it in the morning bag. Had a GU at 6am. I put my cell phone and athlete tracker on my race belt in T1, then we went downstairs in the convention center to find a less busy bathroom. There were actually more men than women in the women's restroom! Had good results. Got the wetsuit halfway on, and at 6:30 joined the herd heading down the helix. Holy cow (no pun intended), but slow going! The pros went off and I wasn't even in the water yet. I got in, dunked my face, and swam to where I started last year as that was a fairly low contact position. Emptied the bladder, and suddenly the cannnon went off! My watch read 6:58 and I hadn't even switched to chrono mode yet. I quickly did that, hit start, and started swimming!
Event warmup:

None other than emptying my bladder! :0
  • 1h 30m 35s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

Some bumping initially, but then had a good rhythm heading to the first turn. Really did minimal sighting, swam fairly straight. Coming into the first turn things got really tight and backed up. Everyone was mooing and no one could even stroke it was so plugged up. This girl must have panicked and there were no kayaks around as I saw another athlete help her get on her back and pull her to the center of the circle to get out of the herd. I gave my moo and just tried to get through the mess. 2nd turn wasn't much better. I swam a little back and forth on that straightaway but not as bad as usual. I got kicked in the face multiple times and had to empty my goggles. Felt something in my right eye, but figured it was just the lakewater or maybe a piece of weeds--what can ya do? I was really worried about my toe getting nailed, and thankfully no one hit that although someone came down so hard on my heel I figured they must have cracked their own body part it hurt me that much. First lap took me 42 mins, so I was pretty impressed with that. Just really tried to focus on form. Didn't have heavy breathing at all or feel like I was working too hard. My left index finger went numb on the first lap, though. I initially thought it was due to my wet suit being too tight against my armpit, but if that were the cause my thumb would have to be numb too--must have been the cold water since it was fine once I got out. Peed on the long backside straightaway on the second loop (it's hard to start when you're swimming but once you do it's no problem to keep going). Some more jostling on the last turn and swim in but didn't have to slow down at all. No problems on the shore, I actually found my pull string this year (last year the strippers had to undo the whole wetsuit for me) and got my arms out. The stripper did a great job and I was on my way! Very excited to see 1:30 on my watch--that's 7 mins faster than last year, and with no training! I was 1988 of 2550--faster than 562 people!
What would you do differently?:

I would definitely do some swimming. Last year I did a couple of 2.4 mile workouts 2 weeks before the IM, but this year the gym pool closed those 2 weeks for cleaning. My last swim was 1.2 at Racine. I guess I'd also swim further away from the bouys to avoid the herd chaos--I stayed right along the inside and got physically abused for doing so. Luckily the toe didn't get injured, so all was good at this point!
Transition 1
  • 14m 5s

The tape on my big toe came off on the swim, so I had no support for the trek up the helix. I can't walk without shoes, much less run (uphill, no less), so I really hobbled up the helix. Once I got to the top I tried to speed up by double hopping on my right foot, but that didn't shave much time off transition. My volunteer was very sweet, but she tried to dry my body off while I was trying to take off my shorts, then she tried to dress me by putting my bike shorts and socks on. It really would be faster for me to just dress myself, as I had to adjust everything anyhow. I had ridden my bike once since breaking my toe and did fine without tape, so I decided to skip it since the shoe is so stiff. I drank a few oz of water before going out and stopped at the sunscreen people. They did a better job covering me this year, although they again missed that strip right in the middle of my back along the tri top so that got totally burned again. Oh well. My bike was right on the end of the first rack when you came around the corner. Good thing, as the volunteer didn't retrieve it for me. I had to run it all the way down the entire length of the racks, but got a good spot on the side to mount. I'm off! Oops, forgot to hit my watch split so T1 ended up with my bike time.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't break my BIG toe 2 weeks before the race! That was what slowed me down the most--last year I jogged up the helix which saved me a ton of time. I would also just dress myself as it would be faster that way too.
  • 8h 10m 10s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.71 mile/hr

Bike is not my strong suit, but I'd ridden out here several times this year to learn the hills. I had a good idea of what gear I needed to be in and when I needed to downshift. The ride out of town felt great. No wind, nice easy pace. When I first broke my toe my plan for this race to got balls to the wall on the swim and bike, then bag the run. My toe felt good, though, so I knew I'd want to attempt the marathon, so I had to save my legs for that. First loop felt good, my watch said 4:10 but that had T1 in it too--figured that was pretty good for me and I had plenty of time to meet the bike cut-off.

Ok, then the wind kicked in. Nice strong headwind (out of the west) on the road that goes to 92. Normally I go 18mph on that stretch, but was only going 12. I know it wasn't just my legs being tired, as I actually passed a few people on that stretch. Not many spectators left on the big hills. A couple going into Mt Horeb, and a handful on the 3 b*tches--but the ones who were there were awesome! Thank you for screaming at me! They definitely got me up those b*tches!

Nutrition was definitely a problem. Last year I had such bad stomach cramps on the bike I couldn't take in anything--including water--for 2 hours. I definitely over-compensated (or should I say under-compensated) this year. I drank approx 30oz Perform, 80oz water, not even 1oz GU, 2 1/2 peanut butter balls, and 2 dips of salt. I didn't feel like I was sweating that much, but looking back the wind was probably drying as fast as I made it.

I was really looking forward to the tail wind I was going to get for the ride back on Whalen, but as fate would have it, the wind shifted to the Northeast, so I got more of a crosswind than a full tail. That 'bump" after Fish Hatchery had me worried--I was barrelling down the hill, and the whole road seemed painted with "bump". I tried to slow down, but hit it full on with a loud 'bam'. I thought for sure my tire had blown and the rim bent, but my awesome kevlar tires held out. They may be heavy and slow, but they sure don't flat, no matter what I do to them! Really no spectators the rest of the way after Whalen. The bike catchers were awesome though, cheering like crazy. It felt so good to get off that bike! I finished 2442 out of 2482 who finished the bike--only faster than 40 people! (Plus the 67 people who dropped out after the swim).
What would you do differently?:

Find the middle road on nutrition. This year was much cooler so I got by without taking much in, but this didn't give me much headway for the run. I didn't want a full stomach as I had severe stomach cramps on the run as well last year, so I didn't take in anything other than water this year for the last hour, nothing the last 20mins. I need to do more bike time as well, with more hills and speedwork. My bike time was actually 17 mins slower this year, which I blame on the wind as I had done more bike training this year than last. Although I didn't get to do my last big double loop on 8/31 since I had just broken my toe, but 10 days before the race it may have actually hurt me more than helped.
Transition 2
  • 10m 14s

I got the same volunteer I had in T1 and she wanted to dress me again! I changed my shorts and decided to go ahead and put on fresh sox as well. I did not put the carbon insert in my shoe nor did I tape my toe--I didn't want to alter my gait so I thought I'd see how things went. I had all that stuff in my SN bag in case I got that far and needed it. My right eye felt really irritated. It was bothering me a lot with the wind, but I figured it was just dry. The volunteer kinda looked at me funny and asked if my eye felt ok as it was really red. Well, what can you do? My vision was totally blurry, but there was nothing to help that now. What I really needed was some Coke! Last year when I was so sick with stomach cramps, nausea, and dizziness, it saved my life. They didn't have any in transition, but said there'd be some in about 1/2 mile. I did stop in the porta potty to pee for the first time since the swim. There was a tiny mirror in there, and holy crap, did my eye look bad--bright red and the sclera (white part) was swollen. What can you do? I covered it up with my sunglasses!
What would you do differently?:

Again, just dress myself and simply speed things up a little
  • 6h 19m 51s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 30s  min/mile

Legs stiff but feeling surprisingly good. I knew I needed carbs, so figured I start with Coke right away since it helped me so much last year (and I took it the entire way for Racine). First station was out. Ok, I'll just take some water and get Coke at the next one. Second station out. Ok, more water, but this isn't funny...I can't drink perform on the run or that will definitely cramp me up. I had 6 shot blox in my pocket and 1 gu...that will not get me through a marathon. Third station, bingo! Coke! They gave me a cup with only 2oz. That's ok, I'll get some at the next one...only to find there was no more...anywhere! How is this possible? Didn't I pay $550? Didn't my entry fee include the following: Coke!? So I did a strategy of walking up anything that was an incline, no matter how slight, and run on flats and downhills (except I walked down the steep ramps). I started the run at about 5pm, and quickly calculated that if I kept my pace at 15 min miles, I'd finish by midnight. Every mile I did faster than that, was minutes into my "bank". This definitely kept my mind busy, and distracted it from the pain in my toe. It wasn't horrible, just there, but easy enough to ignore. I met some nice people while walking--it's always interesting to hear other people's stories. My run pace was pretty good...there were a few people who had faster walking paces than I, but then I'd pass them and we'd keep going back and forth. Last year my run was a shuffle, and my walk was baby steps. My legs definitely were tight in the hammies again this year, but not that bad. They actually felt a little better running than walking.

But carbs were an issue. I took in the broth, which helped, but I needed frickin' coke. I aplologize to all the volunteers I screamed at to run to the store and just buy some--the race goes for another 6 hours! I took 3 of my shot blox, and even drank some perform but knew I'd have to save my Gu for the 2nd loop. As I came to the turnaround, Roy was there. I handed him an empty cup and told him "find me some Coke and meet me after special needs". They can't DQ me for outside assistance for something they are supposed to provide, can they? I stopped at SN to get my long sleeve shirt in case I ended up unable to run (I was shivering at the end last year as the temps dropped and I couldn't do much running at all by the finish). I surveyed my toe "products" and pain pills and decided 'screw it, I made it this far, what's another 13.1 miles of pain?" By now my pinky toe was getting a pretty good blister, so that actaully hurt worse than the fractured toe. I took my sunglasses off when the sun went down, so the blurred vision in my right eye was quite apparent--with my glasses on I just blamed it on sweat. Which, BTW, got into my eye around mile 5 and blinded me--luckily I had just grabbed a cup of water so I used it to flush my eye out. That wasn't fun in front of all the spectators on State!

So I mention to the volunteer in special needs, that had I known they'd run out of Coke on the course, I'd have put a 12-pack in my SN bag. She said she had seen some earlier, and she ran and got me a can! Yea! And when I came around the corner, there was Roy holding a can as well! So I walked miles 13 and 14 (well, jogged a little trying not to spill my precious Coke) trying to sip down as much coke as possible. This was killing my time though (18-min mile anyone?), so I set the can down on a portable light thinking I could grab it on the way back if necessary. I continued to take in broth, and of course there was still no Coke out there, so I had a couple of bananas. Miraculously at Mile 20, they had Coke! "The last 2 cups" they guy said, offering them both to me. I only took 1 knowing that everyone behind me needed Coke as well. I had finishe my first looop in 3 hours, which gave me 4 hours to finish the second. I kept doing the math in my head and banking my minutes, and my new goal became not only to beat last year's time of 16:49, but to be done before 11:30. I got a text message from my friend Sarah at mile 24, so I walked a bit to send her a message back, and I called Roy and my brother to let them know I was heading in. I ran most of the way (except up hills) back, and had a really strong finish. Steve was along the final turn, so I slapped his hand, and high-5'd everyone along the chute. I saw Heather right before the finish line, so I reached out to her--she is actually in one of my finisher photos and my right arm is outstretched to her! I didn't hear Mike Reilly call my name this year, which was just as well, as last year he not only said my name, but he was standing at the finish line and gave me a high 5.

I had my finisher's photo taken, and my brother met me there--he had finished in 14:10--yeah, boy! Heather came and gave me a hug, then when I got out of the finisher area Roy was there with my bike and bags! We chatted for a bit, then I started to feel light-headed and nauseated (just like last year), so Steve got me a sandwich and I laid down and put my legs up a wall. I felt fine like this, but as soon as I stood up I felt like I would pass out and/or puke so I had to lay back down. Roy went to get the truck, but had to park a block away. We heard the final finisher cross, and by then I was feeling well enough to at least get to the truck. I was nibbling on the sandwich, which I think was helping. I later had some leftover ravioli in the hotel room, which did me the most good.

We loaded the bikes into the truck (ok, Roy and Steve did, I just laid down in the back seat of the truck with my legs up). Roy drove us to Alliant,and they transferred the bikes and bags to Steve's van. We figured we'd just leave them there overnight instead of bringing them up to the room--if someone really wanted to take them, they could have them, as you feel like you'll never ride a bike again at that point!

Run was 37 minutes faster this year, making my overall time 25 mins faster! I finished 2136 out of the 2398 people who finished the run--faster than 262! (Plus the 153 who didn't post a run time).
What would you do differently?:

Better nutrition on the bike, and somehow have access to Coke on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Once we got to the room, I soaked in an ice bath for a good 20 mins, then took a steaming hot shower. Ate some ravioli, a bottle of water, then bedtime at 2am!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1, Poor nutrition. I was so worried about stomach cramps that I did not take in enough carbs. Luckily it wasn't hotter or I would have been more dehydrated (I only peed once in 16 hours after the swim) and likely wouldn't have finished. I needed more water as well. 2, Lack of training. I didn't do any swimming at all, and that probably took more out of me than I realized (definitely shocked my shoulders!). I just need to put more hours in all around, and with work and a 5-yr-old I simply can't fit it all in. I didn't sign up for next year (mainly because my marriage would end if I did), but maybe in a few years when Drew is older I'll be able to come back to this distance. I'd like to try a flatter bike course since I'm not a strong biker, but ultimately, it comes down to putting in the time.

Event comments:

Last year was my first IM and it was simply magical. I unfortunately compared this year to that race, and between me breaking my big toe 2 weeks before the race, them running out of Coke, not getting my size finisher shirt, running out of finisher items at the expo, the swim being too cramped, etc, this year was a bit of a disappointment. Crossing the finish line, however, is an amazing experience no matter how many times you do it, and is what will ultimately bring me back to the IM distance!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-08 12:00 AM
01:30:35 | 4224 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 93/129
Overall: 1988/2550
Performance: Good
Suit: full sleeves/legs
Course: Long rectangle going counter clockwise, double loop
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Bad
Time: 14:05
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
08:10:10 | 112 miles | 13.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 122/129
Overall: 2442/2550
Performance: Average
Wind: Cross-winds with gusts
Course: Hilly stick and double loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 10:14
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:19:51 | 26.2 miles | 14m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 112/129
Overall: 2136/2550
Performance: Good
Course: Double loop
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4