Ironman Wisconsin - Triathlon

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
73F / 23C
Total Time = 15h 56m 19s
Overall Rank = 2160/2544
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 110/118
Pre-race routine:

Night before, laid out morning of clothes and nutrition.
Ate dinner with JLT, Deb and Sue at Monte's Grill -- delicious! Had herbed feta, sauteed onion grass-fed burger on GF bread, cole slaw and shared a piece of key lime pie with JLT. Left full and satisfied, but not over full.

Morning of, woke up calm, went to the bathroom (3 BM's before race! *smiles*), drank coffee and got dressed: swimsuit, yoga pants, long sleeve DC shirt, lulu hoodie, socks and slip on sandals.

Nutrition: Ate 1 piece GF raisin cinnamon bread + almond butter + banana + cinnamon in the room w/ coffee, agave nectar + cinnamon. About an hour before race start, ate a blueberry LB; 15 minutes pre-start had Clif chocolate cherry gel.
Event warmup:

Not much of a warm-up.... We did see Nash and Nic as we shuffled to the water. It's like tradition to spend the swim start w/ them, so seeing and hugging them warmed my heart and brought me to tears.

JLT and I were together up until we stepped in the water. There really wasn't much time to warm up. From the moment we woke up, we kept moving from one place to the other until *poof* we were swimming! :)
  • 1h 50m 23s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 52s / 100 meters

My entire pre- and race mantra was "Stay calm and trust me". Even getting into the water on Friday afternoon for a quick acclimating swim was super easy and anxiety-free. So when it came to race day, mimicking that approach paid off immensely.

It took a while to get in the water, and once in, I swam past and behind the ramp. Treaded water mostly feet down, some on belly. Then the cannon went off! and I swam!!!

It was choppy for sure and (yum) the water tasted delicious! Anticipating and simply moving with the waves and churning helped tremendously. I didn't fight it or get mad/scared. Just let the water move me. And to tell you the truth, aside from getting frustrated re: sighting, I enjoyed the swim. Kept reminding myself this was only a warm-up to the rest of the day... take it easy, stay relaxed, enjoy this.

It was challenging to find my place in the water w/o folks around me all the time, but after the 2nd loop, it cleared out.

Making a last minute glue repair to the wetsuit wasn't a good idea because the dried glue rubbed against my right arm pit. it hurt the second half, but did not effect my pace or form.

On the back straight away, my left arm got tired. It felt as if it didn't know what to do (out of fatigue). My brain kept sending it signals to go through the movements, yet half way through the stroke it said, "What do you want me to do again?" This wasn't upsetting or even concerning, just curious. I took a few moments on my back, kicking to move ahead, then flipped back over to finish, It seemed to help (head & body).

SIGHTING: Lord have mercy!! Yes, the chop was high and current present. It's obviously apparent now that my left stroke needs strengthening. Several times i found myself swimming way to the L and even sometimes to the right, esp. during the first third of the swim. Sighted more frequently which helped (on the back straight away) and found a great rhythm. Cut off a lot of folks, but got cut off, too. Lots of touching, some grabbing the first half. Got the impression there were a lot of scared athletes out there who just wanted to finish that swim.

MENTAL: This swim was 100x's better mentally than Door County Half Iron. In DC, I was overly concerned, anxious and tense about making people mad re: my 'lack' of swim experience (like they knew) and skill. Sure, I kicked, touched and bumped into a lot of folks at IM... big deal... they got me, too. On Sunday, I gave myself permission to do what I needed for a successful swim, respecting others around me, yet keeping focused on what I needed for success. It worked like a charm.

About half way through, a dude looked at me and said, "Hey, are you Amy Friese?" "Yeah, I am." "I watch your videos.. they're great!" Oh my goodness.. that totally made swim. Kept smiling for sometime after that. Of all the places.... (Saw Efren again on the run.)

By the time buoy 3 appeared (came up sooner then anticipated), I could see swim out and got excited. Wanted to haul it in, but kept my pace steady. Sighting on those last few buoys was very touch w/ the chop and angle they were placed. But eventually, I saw volunteers and heard Mike talk which was my signal to stand up and get out of the water. Holy crap... I just finished swimming 2.4+ miles!!!! I was elated!!!!

Jenny Thorpe stripped my wet suit. It was amazing to see her smiling face. :) Running up the helix, I heard/saw Dave. The smile on his face was heart melting... like a proud father. It reenergized and calmed me. His look told me that I'ld be fine the rest of the way.... just keep going, Friese, is what I imagined he'd day.

There was so many other folks I saw on the helix, too... Jess & Trae from PRO, Nic & Nash (I think)... Who I saw where is all mashed together and it really doesn't matter. They were there and feeling their support was truly empowering.
What would you do differently?:

1. Take swim class focusing on form and speed.
2. Strengthen my L arm/stroke.
3. Practice sighting more.

1. Swim faster for 1:30-1:40 time.
2. Have MORE fun!!

Transition 1
  • 16m 11s

Susan/Sue, the woman helping me in T1 was great! Getting out of the water was so elating, I was in little hurry to get on the bike. It did bother me a wee bit that so many bags were gone from T1, like I was "slow". Came to find out, a lot of athletes DNF the swim, so I was extremely satisfied to have finished.

Knew what I needed, yet felt nervous to get ready for the bike. Part of me was still reeling in the joy of being done with the swim. :) Eventually, I gathered my wits and got to business asking Sue for what I needed.

Drank half Mango Orange juice in T1 and took the rest with me + drank some water. Flew out the door and ran aaalllllllllll the way down to Simone. Hopped on at the mount line and enjoyed the helix.
What would you do differently?:

1. Stop being concerned about making the person helping me feel appreciated.
2. Move faster, w/o rushing.
3. Think through what I'd need when and in what order.
  • 7h 48m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.35 mile/hr

Took the first stick + loop at a conservative pace; when I felt like pushing, I eased back, reminding myself there was another loop waiting for me.

Let a lot of folks pass me on the stick. Surprisingly, it was easy. On the loop, several pros sped passed, too, which was awesome and cool to watch.

Dave popped up a few times and even ran with me up Emery's hill. It helped to hear him tell me I looked good, had a good cadence and was in great spirits. Oh my goodness... that hill is a BEAST, esp. since it's the final significant one on the course. A certain Scott & Colleen Stoltmann lovingly showed me the beers they were driving, too. Oh you just wait, Mr.... I'll have one for you on that hill next year as you power yourself up that hill! ;)

Used the restroom 3; once 1:45 into race, again about 2 hours later, just before Special Needs (same station as 1st stop; didn't take my SN bag) and then once more (can't remember when/where).

After getting into the 2nd loop and talking with a dude concerned w/ getting pulled off the bike course, math took over and i began calculating my ETA to T2. I told him to just keep riding, "If you're running by 5pm, you're good!" It got me mad that he was asking as we're going down/up a windy hill. JUST KEEP PEDALING, I told him (and myself).

The biggest concern on the bike was time. Time, time, time... would I finish in time; did I need to pick up my pace; how many people are ahead/behind me??? Screw it! It was extremely tough to do, but decided to give it my best and be happy with the result, regardless of whether I'd make it to the run.

Every once in a while, I'd look around, appreciate the beauty, talk to folks and remind myself today was my IM day. It really helped to put everything into perspective and celebrate this amazing journey and day. Oh, and it was awesome fun to FLY down those hills!!!

When shifting into lowest gear up hill at a fast pace, the chain fell off three times... last time up the helix. It made me giggle each time, with a little fear, frustration, and embarrassment sprinkled in.

NUTRITION/HYDRATION: Felt good and appropriate. Took water from AS several times to drink + pour on my head; when stopping to pee, also filled up on Perform using my bottles. Ate 2 Bonk Breakers + 1 Larabar + 1 piece GF raisin cinnamon bread, almond butter, banana, cinnamon (half way point) + several banana slices + 2 Clif gels + 1 Payday bar. The 'sandwich' at half way point gave me such a jolt of energy!
What would you do differently?:

1. Work on developing speed.
2. Get a new bike + accouterments!
3. Practice with electrolyte pills.

1. Would LOVE to average 16mph next IM.
2. Take fewer potty breaks.
Transition 2
  • 13m 39s

Angie helped me in T2. The bike was DONE and from here I felt home free! On the way into transition, Jody found me. It was awesome to see his smiling, proud face. Knowing he was there, only refreshed my desire to keep moving and finish.
What would you do differently?:

Less talk -- more move! :)
  • 5h 47m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 16s  min/mile

Only after staring to run, did I decide to let the fact a marathon was ahead of me sink in. "One mile at a time." With no watch (JLT & I decided to leave them behind, and free ourselves from pressure to go faster), my 8/2 or 7/3 run/walk plan was out the window. So, instead I ran to AS and walked through them. Took additional walk stops throughout, including up/down Observatory Hill. It was obvious a finish was happening, so why rush!? ;)

Saw lots of friends along the way... Jody, Dave, Ruth, Kaitlin, Stephen, Jackie Bro, Sandi, Travis, Matt G, and even Heather & JLT who were running together. Cindy (from the club) jumped in and run with me for about a block, too. Seeing Jody again was fantastic. Near the first 13.1 miles, I started getting nervous the finish would be too late for him to stay (silly me). So the next time I saw him, I confirmed he'd be there... "Of COURSE, Amy!!" was his rely. Whew... he was my main carrot, after all.

NUTRITION/HYDRATION: Felt the need to take something to eat or drink at each AS, which lead to a bit too much at first + some gas/slight cramping. After 2-3 potty stops and nothing from the next two AS, everything was running smoothly. :)

Ate 1 LB + mini-Bonk Breaker + lots of banana pieces + LOTS of chicken broth (a live saver!) + water + Perform. Most of the time, alternating sips of water + Perform worked great.

Got a second wind after mile 22 (took ibuprofen at 20) and just felt like running, so I did!

MENTAL HEALTH: Focusing on one mile at a time was the lifesaver. Thinking "20 more miles" was not in my repertoire! I do remember thinking, "It will feel so good to pass that 20 mile marker and next time, knowing I've ran that far." Yep, I was right, it felt amazing!!

Talked to a few folks along the way including Chris who recognized me from the videos. We walked together in the last 5 miles for some time which was fun.

I decided to run the last mile to finish strong. Rounding the Square, there was Dave, just as he'd promised, that proud smile still there. :) As I got closer to the finishing shoot, made sure no one was close ahead or behind me... clear! Barreling down the shoot, the lights were bright and cheers deafening. Off to the R, I saw Jody, Deb, Sue, Ruth smiling and cheering. I ran faster, threw up my arms and crossing the line, became an IRONMAN!

Kim Kelley gave bestowed a finishers medal, hat and t-shirt to me. Heaven, pure, heaven to be done and with my friends... including JLT who finished in 5:14. When Kim asked what I thought about IM, "It was.... interesting" was my response. She found that highly comical. I remember thinking at that point, it wasn't all fun or horrible, but a fair mix.
What would you do differently?:

1. Run less early in training; more and/or further later in training.

1. Run more and/or faster for a 11:00-12:00 overall pace.
Post race
Warm down:

Silver jacket wrapped around my shoulders, chocolate milk in my tummy... a few quick calf and quad stretches while talking to friends.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Tight L outer thigh and quad. Reaching over to low-five folks sent this side into soreness (around mile 13). It was nagging, but not debilitating; tired hip flexors near the end of the race, too. Ibuprofen at mile 20 helped.

Event comments:

I am an IRONMAN. :) Molded in the hellfire of countless open water swims, 100 mile rides, and 3:30am training runs. Not to mention the inflated grocery bills, social sacrifices and soft-induced moments of intense anxiety + eating.

Training has endured a year and finally, it's official and over (for now). I feel proud, humbled, thrilled, relieved, satisfied, thankful, and still in awe of what I accomplished on Sunday. I think my performance was terrific and training consistent.

My mantra that day was, 'Let go... Surrender... Trust Me'. There were a lot of instances that made my stomach quiver and nerves unwind... those moments of self doubt, worry. After countless unsuccessful attempts to analyze my way through or wish them away, I simply had to let go.

Near the end of the bike, the decision was clear: no amount of worrying would make this easier or me faster. So long as I gave it my all and did all I could do within my control, I would accept whatever was given me that day. Finish or not; fast or slow; easy or difficult, I trusted me and God to get me through the day. It was truly my only and best option, so I trusted like I had done so many times before, but this time, I really meant it. It felt raw, pure and liberating.

That was my goal from the get-go (w/o realizing it). To "leave it on the field" and "give it all I had". What's even more exhilarating is there's so much more in the tank and a deeper pain cave to explore. For this first IM of mine, scouts were sent to clear a safe passage, assess needed armor and spy on the enemy. I can hardly wait to see who goes in for the assault and the artillery they carry in 2015. See YOU on the course then, my friend;)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-18 12:00 AM
01:50:23 | 3862 meters | 02m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 113/118
Overall: 2262/2544
Performance: Good
Suit: Long sleeve Rocket Science wet suit + swimsuit
Course: One full loop in Lake Monona; Big + little buoys for sighting: 8 big yellow out + 1st corner + 9 big orange back + third corner. The one-loop mass swim start takes place in Lake Monona in downtown Madison. Spectators will have a panoramic view of the swim from the Monona Terrace, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Water temperature is typically around 70F. Originally from:
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 16:11
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:48:27 | 112 miles | 14.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 113/118
Overall: 2292/2544
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: 16 mile stick + two 40 mile loops + 16 mile stick "The bike course takes riders 16 miles out of town before beginning two 40-mile loops in rural Dane County. These loops are extremely hilly, with many tough climbs and turns on each lap. Athletes get a lift as they pass through the renowned crowds at the festival in Verona." Originally from:
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: ??
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 13:39
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:47:39 | 26.2 miles | 13m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 110/118
Overall: 2160/2544
Performance: Good
Course: Spectator support on this run course is unparalleled. Athletes will complete two loops through downtown Madison, the University of Wisconsin campus, Camp Randall Stadium, State Street and the scenic path alongside Lake Mendota. The run course is quite challenging with multiple hills on each lap. Originally from:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %??
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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