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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
73F / 23C
Total Time = 11h 38m 16s
Overall Rank = 466/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 91/341
  • 1h 11m 13s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

40%-50% effort. Wanted to just take it easy because I know for an IM race, going 50% effort or 90% effort is just going to get me 10 minutes....not worth the effort since I had NO IDEA how I would perform only 156 hours since my last Ironman.
Transition 1
  • 11m 45s

took my sweet ol' time to put on an extra jersey and arm warmers.
  • 6h 05m 53s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.37 mile/hr

Modified my nutrition from last week so that I wouldn't have the same gastro issues on the bike as I did at IMKY. It worked. I felt only slight gastro issues for about 20 min, but fixed it and never felt them again. Had a HR cap of 150bpm (which is my maximum lactate steady state heart rate) but raced most of the race at 140+hr except for the hills where I rested (literally). Since I was "scared" of the marathon and expected the wheels to fall off on the run of this race due to my "mission of 2 in a week" I took it TOTALLY EASY on the hills.

What does "totally easy" mean? Well, with no exaggeration, I rested on the hills. Climbed them at about 30 rpm, sat up out of the aerobars, and let my heart rate drop during the climbs to around 130bpm staying relaxed and breathing through my nose. Yes, I was going up hill around 3-4mph (no joke) but I really didn't want to blow my legs out and walk the marathon...too long of a day.

My right knee started to bother me and get tender around mile 40; which scared me because I felt this was IMKY rearing its ugly head (can you say "injury"). I felt that I may be overdoing this 2 Ironman thing and this was just one bad idea I I babied it on the bike pressing more on the left leg...but stopped that pretty quickly once I realized my overcompensation was going to cause something else to hurt by the time the 112m bike was done. The knee didn't get anymore tender once I stopped babying it, but it also didn't get any better.

Wind on the 2nd loop picked up a bit, but nothing serious. Around 10-13mph is all, nothing I haven't ridden in before so I just stuck my head down and kept working...keeping my HR firmly into the 140-148bpm HR just below my MLSS HR. It worked well because I finished about 5 minutes faster than my IMKY bike split. I was happy but not surprised at my split getting off the bike.
Transition 2
  • 08m 34s

took my time again to take off my arm warmers and extra jersey, went to the bathroom and got sunscreen on.
  • 4h 00m 54s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 11s  min/mile

My coach, Brett Petersen from Petersen Performance Lab (we all know and love him....ha ha ha) told me that I should pretty much ignore my HR and run by RPE since my HR would probably be doing weird things by this time, esp after an IM a week ago. He told me to run at an effort that felt like I was working just a little bit...but not too hard.

Ok, check.

Out of T2 and started runninng at this RPE...just a little work, but nothing too hard. 1st split 8:34min/mile. For those of you who don't know me....that's historically VERY fast for an IM mile split for me. But I didn't question it, felt good, and was running at the appropriate RPE so I kept it up.

Well I ran like Forrest Gump. I just kept runnin' and runnin' and runnin' and miles 4, 7, 10, 13, all came and went and I didn't slow down! I thought to myself....what the hell is going on? I walked the hills to save my legs because history shows that the wheels fall off the bus around Mile 18ish for me and it's then just a survival fest for the rest of the race. But it didn't happen. I kept churning out 8:25-8:30min/miles and figured eventually the bus would stop, I would have to get off and walk but I didn't care and just kept up my RPE where I was told to.

A fellow racer who slowly passed me about mile 18 asked..."how do you feel?" I replied "unbelievably amazing." He turned to me with a look of confusion, didn't say another word and just kept going...but that's how I felt.

Oh, the 2nd loop I walked a little slower on the hills because I really thought the bus ride would stop and I wanted to save my legs the best I could.

Well once mile 20, 21, and 22 came along and I was still throwing down 8:30min/miles I just couldn't contain myself (although I did). I was so amazingly excited about what I was about to accomplish, those goosebumps you get at the end of an Ironman with the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs just for you (for that minute and a half) and they have the rock music playing and Mike Reilly is yelling to everyone "you are an Ironman"...yeah, those goosebumps...well, they came around mile 23 when I thought about what I was about to accomplish. Goosebumps, goosebumps, goosebumps.

I cross the finish line in the daylight (something I've never done before in an Ironman) and crushed my PR by over an hour with an 11:38 finish time.

A miracle occurred in Madison, Wisconsin and it happened on Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 6:38pm when I crossed that finish line.

I have no idea how I did it or why it happened but to this day I still can't believe what I have accomplished...something honestly well beyond what I expected or even thought I was capable of.

I must tip my hat to Brett Petersen. He's an unbelievable coach that obviously knows what he's doing. I have no idea what he puts in that flux capacitor of his to spit out the weekly training plans he gives to me...but he obviously did it right.

After 12 years in the sport of triathlon, several 24 hour adventure races, 10k rucksack runs in the military, blah, blah, blah, I thought I knew my body and its athletic ability. Guess not! Smile

I am firmly planted on Cloud 9 and the view is amazing from up here.
Post race
Warm down:

ate a bit, sat around, and didn't really do much. i figured I didn't have another Ironman to do again, so why bother? :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I could have run faster and cycled faster but I didn't know what to expect and really thought the wheels would fall off on the marathon towards the end.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-11-04 12:00 AM
01:11:13 | 4224 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 124/341
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: full
Course: 2 loop
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:45
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:05:53 | 112 miles | 18.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 136/341
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: out and back with 2 loops
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 08:34
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:00:54 | 26.2 miles | 09m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/341
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-09-13 12:28 PM

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Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2008-09-13 1:21 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job on putting together back to back IM Steve!  Excellent race report and performance.  Congratulations!!
2008-09-13 3:48 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Absolutely amazing Steve.  You did your wife and the cause proud.  Incredibly amazing race.
2008-09-13 7:06 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

You rocked it Steve!

Congrats on PBing an IM under unusal but cool circumstances.

So next year you going for three in a row? Canada and KY are same weekend next year...

Great race report!!

I love that you have been in this sport a long while and still are learning you have more in you than you think!

2008-09-13 7:23 PM
in reply to: #1672286

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Truly inspiring and an AMAZING accomplishment, Steve!!

Congratulations on your PR, but more importantly, on your tribute and awareness!

I think I saw you come in, too, when I was volunteering!


2008-09-14 8:31 AM
in reply to: #1672286

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West Bend, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

STEVE!!!  You shouldnt make that seem so easy- its makes crazy people like me want to try

You are like superheroish


2008-09-14 12:17 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Amazing and inspirational story - thanks for sharing it.  Congratulations on the accomplishment of your goal!!
2008-09-14 12:24 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Terrific race report and overall interesting approach to your race given IM KY.  I actually saw you on the race course (remember the arm warmers!). Way to go! 

2008-09-18 4:29 PM
in reply to: #1672934

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
tripletmom01 - 2008-09-14 8:31 AM

STEVE!!!  You shouldnt make that seem so easy- its makes crazy people like me want to try

You are like superheroish


hey you should do it.  there is at least 1 other guy I know who did it and he beat his IMKY time too...not sure if it was a PR though.  and as we all know the female winner did IMKY too.

 i may be onto something here.  if you want to PR and Ironman, you have to do an Ironman during your taper.  


2008-09-18 4:33 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
2008-09-23 2:18 PM
in reply to: #1672286

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Winter Park, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

STEVE! What an amazing race!  And your last entry cracked me up...people in my office are wondering what the heck I'm laughing about.

I'd just like to reiterate what everyone is saying about your inspiring race report and the testament to your training and physical awareness.  I may just follow in your footsteps next season (I'm not even close to doing full IM's yet) and put a couple of Tri's back to back looking for my own PR.

I'm still laughing!

Edited by eddievolly 2008-09-23 2:32 PM

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