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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
62F / 17C
Total Time = 11h 46m 29s
Overall Rank = 531/2207
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 82/305
Pre-race routine:

I have notoriously long race reports. I also always like to give a little background leading up to the race. Jump ahead if you just want the race details (and it will still be long!).

As far as my training was concerned, I had originally hoped that I would be cruising off my fitness gains from Lanzarote. Unfortunately, due to a toe issue (general health, not overuse issue), I had stopped almost all of my training for about 5 weeks. I had to scramble again to build my fitness and had okay results at the Door County tri (half IM) 6 weeks out from IM Moo. I didn't think I was ready (for the SF Marathon 4 weeks out from IM Moo, but I surprised myself at how well I did. Three weeks out, I felt strong on a moderate century. So, fortunately, I felt pretty good about my training level again by the time IM Moo rolled around.

Flew to Madison. Came out this early because I had no idea how my toe would react again to flying. Fortunately, my toe ended up being a non-issue (ironically, I would later stub it very badly when I slipped and almost fell running to my connecting flight at O'Hare on my return. at least it was AFTER the race). Turns out DW won't be able to join me at this race because of work, but I do have one of my best friends KL (she was my best man at my wedding!) coming up from Chicago on Friday. I stayed at the Sheraton on John Nolen Drive at the end of Rimrock. Given that I booked this fairly late, this was a great option for getting to Monona Terrace for everything as well as easy access to the start of out/back section of the bike course, and running near the lake. The disadvantage is that there isn't much within immediate walking distance of the hotel.

Raining today. Not clear what it means for Sunday. Did some grocery shopping for supplies and such.

Went for a short little run to loosen up my legs. Put together my bike. My rear brake was sticking. Took it over to Williamson Bikes and they took care of my very quickly.

Had Nepalese food at Himal Chuli, which DW and I didn't have time at which to eat when we were here 6 weeks ago. I had the Tuck-Pa, a "very spicy vegetarian Tibetan herder's soup mixed with broccoli, cabbage,carrots, and mushrooms in a blend of Nepali herbs" with momocha (vegetarian steamed dumplings) and roti (flat bread leavened with yogurt). Because it was a soup, it wasn't quite as substantial as I had wanted, so I probably would have been better off with one of the Tarkari's they had available.

Went to the swim start for the gatorade swim (gatorade had a booth set up where you could check in a bag while you swam and they'd give you gatorade when you were done). Was supposed to meet up with the BT group, but there were so many people here and I had no idea what anyone looked like (all look same...kidding) or what they were wearing so I just went ahead and swam myself.

Water was pretty warm to me (low 70s) since I'm used to doing my OWS in the SF Bay (low 60s would be warm) and the water had likely cooled off thanks to all the rain the previous day. But it was nice. Was trying to stay in taper mode so I didn't want to do a whole loop. I only swam out to a few buoys and back.

After the swim, i went over to registration. Pretty long line already of people waiting for registration to open at 10:00. Everyone was wearing race t-shirts and such from various triathlons, marathons, etc. It's kinda interesting how everyone is identifying themselves with the race they did. Of course, I certainly can't be critical of anyone since I'm wearing my Wildflower t-shirt.

Registration was well organized and briskly. It wasn't crowded at all because they had various stations for the registration very much spread out in the convention center (on different floors, in different areas) so no area was crowded and waits were all brief.

I went to the fairly large NA Sports booth set up to sell all the stuff. i bought two IM Moo t-shirts, a bike jersey, and a tri top. Almost $200, which wasn't horrible (esp. compared to when I bought less at IM Lanzarote for about 200 euros...ouch). They no doubt do good business on merchandising.

I was a little surprised to (later) find that there wasn't an athlete's race guide/program in my race bag (not sure if this was the case for everyone or just me). I ended up going online to find out that the "mandatory" pre-race talk was at 7:30pm and signups for the 2009 race were 9-11 on saturday.

In the afternoon, I went for a short ride since I wanted to make sure my bike was okay. I did the out section to Verona (the start of the loop which is done twice on race day). There weren't many people out on the course, but there were a good number who seemed to be driving the course. DW and I did this stretch and one loop on the course when we were out here 6 weeks ago so I knew what to expect. I was surprised at how good I felt (tapering works!) and seemed to cover the out section to Verona pretty quickly. Ride back was equally speedy and uneventful.

My best friend KL (she was my best man at my wedding) arrived from Chicago at about 6pm. I haven't seen her for a year and a half. She'll be able to stay about halfway through the race before heading back to chicago. I'm thankful to be able to spend the time with her and have her for any part of the race she can.

We took off to Essen Haus for some German food for dinner. Okay, maybe German food isn't the best choice for pre-race food, but i did pick something fairly innocuous, the Huhner Schnitzel (chicken breast sauteed in a Marsala wine sauce with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic. also came with fried potatoes and sauerkraut (yum)) after starting with the split pea soup. KL started with the liver dumpling soup (I had to have a taste of course) and sauerbraten. She also ordered a side of spaetzle, which actually wasn't very good. She also had an Optimator (had a taste...yum...and I was bummed I couldn't drink myself). We also ended up having the apfel strudel and the chocolate mousse torte for dessert. i just had a small bite of each and really wasn't that impressed with either.

Time flew by and suddenly we were going to be late for the pre-race talk. We hurried over to Monona Terrace and by the time we arrived at the auditorium, they were already talking about the bike. There was reference to no passing zones on the bike ride (but they obviously had mentioned them previously), so I didn't know exactly where they were. I also didn't know exactly how the transitions were going to work (I knew they were in the convention center). I wasn't too worried about it since I figured the transitions would be a bit more obvious when I did my bag drop on Saturday.

It's strange...I have to admit that I was feeling very unworried and almost blase/unmotivated about the whole race. maybe it was because I had already done my A+++ race this year. maybe it was because DW wasn't here. i wasn't quite sure to make of it.

Saturday morning, I finished packing up my transition bags. My tires are mostly flat just from overnight, so i want to make sure they are okay. I inflate them both and neither one of us hear any air leaking so I assume it's just a slow leak and I'll need to inflate them right before the race. no biggie.

KL and I headed over to drop off the bags and my bike. Could see the whole length of the parking structure on level 4 would be the bike holding area. Could see that after the swim, we would be running from the helix and into the convention center. I dropped of T1 bag in one room and T2 bag in the other. Then downstairs to the IM 2009 race pre-registration.

KL and I then checked out the shops inside the convention and the ones outside near the finish, but nothing of interest. We headed over to State St. so she could see that area and a bit of the campus. Had lunch at Kabul restaurant for some Afghani food. I had the Karayi Murgh (chicken breast sauteed ith onions, tomoatoes, green peppers, topped with poached eggs, served with seasoned rice) and a cup of mashawa soup (chick peas, kidney beans, split peas, rice, meat, dollop of mint yogurt) and KL had the lamb pita and the masahwa soup as well.

After lunch, we walked down State St., went through the student union.

Picture at the student union terrace on lake mendota.

KL did some shopping at a few stores on the way back on State St. I was ready for a nap so we headed back, but first drove Observatory Dr. since DW had recommended checking that out (which was also a bit on the run course).

As we were heading back, the Badger game had obviously recently ended since there were streams of people dressed in red walking. It was pretty obvious when we passed the stadium, so it was good to note where that was since that was also on the run course.

I napped for a bit back at the hotel and then it was getting close already for an early dinner. Decided to go for Italian for innocuous pre-race fare. We called the hotel concierage for a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant. They said Tutto pasta on State St.

So, we went there, but being right in the middle of downtown, it wasn't exactly a hole-in-the-wall place. It was really packed, nuts-to-butts-packed, in fact because of all the Badger fans at the bar. We didn't have to wait too long though for a table, so that was good. I had the Rigatoni Salsiccia ("Large tube shaped pasta sautéed with olive oil, onions, Italian Luganega sausage, red and green bell peppers, and mushrooms, in a light tomato basil sauce." I didn't eat the sausage though. Yawn.) and KL had the Rigatoni Alla Norma ("Large tube shaped pasta sautéed with eggplant, olive oil, garlic and Buffalo Mozzarella in a basil tomato sauce, finished with shaved aged ricotta."). Could see a few other IM people eating here as well.

More shopping from KL after dinner and then it's back to the hotel to get to sleep already!

We're up at 4:15am. I had initally considered getting up at 5:00am, leave by 5:30am which should have been plenty of time for the race start at 7:00am. However, the hotel told us there was an ironman shuttle at 5:00am, so we figured we'd take that.

Made some coffee to start. This, of course, is coffee that I brought with me and had roasted myself since I've been roasting my own beans for several months now. These were Kenya AA beans. Had a banana, granola bar, and a peanut bar.

I check the weather forecasts, but they don't really tell me anything new. Accuweather is predicting rain a little bit in the morning and a little in the early afternoon with temps up to low 70s.. NOAA just says 20% of thunderstorms and temps in the 60s.

I'm wearing my Zoot/Gu team kit and warm up clothes. I have my swim gear and morning sweats drop bag. KL and I head downstairs.

There are several people up and about in the lobby. We step outside and we can see a school bus ahead on Rimrock, but it turns down John Nolen and doesn't stop by our hotel. Someone says there is a shuttle from the Alliant Energy Center. There's a group of 3 guys driving downtown so they offer to give us a ride, so we take it. Not much traffic and parking was easy to find (or at least these guys knew exactly where to go). Thank you guys whoever you are.

We head straight to the bike area. There are a lot of people here this early at the race. My tires are flat as expected so I pump them up. I fill my aero water bottle with cytomax and it's ready to go. Body marking is just outside the bike entrance area, so I get that done.

KL and I just hang out for awhile. It's still dark out. More and more people are flowing in. Lines for bathrooms are starting to get longer so i decide to hop in line. There's a guy behind who's really chatty (in a good way). It's his first IM. he says he's a nervous talker. he talks about how he went in the hotel already, but sometimes there's that second one. he said he hates that feeling of being in a wetsuit and having to go. he tells us how he was at one race and 5 minutes before the start, he has to go and has to run to the bathrooms. He's amusing...definitely a nervous talker.

It's still a bit chilly outside so KL and I decide to go inside. I drop a couple extra CO2 cartridges in my T1 bag and add a long sleeve tech shirt in my running bag in case it's cold. It's pretty clear to see how the transitions will work. After running up from the helix and into the convention center, we run into T1, grab our bag and the dressing rooms are in an adjoining room. T2 is located across the hall from this changing room, so we'll just run there to get our bag after the bike. Looks very cleanly laid out.

We hang out inside before the race. A lot of people are just sitting around here too so we plop down along with all of them. KL hasn't attended a tri before so she gets to admire and covet all the male tri bodies.

When 6:20 rolls around, I put on my wetsuit. I left my body glide behind so I bum some off of someone (thank you again whoever you are). We head down to the swim start. The helix is packed with spectators. I drop off my morning sweat bag and slowly move along with everyone to the water. They asked us to start entering the water at 6:30am because it takes that long to get all of us into the water.

The pros take off at 6:50, before I'm even in the water. I finally get into the water and it's warm. I head out to the ski jump ramp. It's already full of people handing on to it. I decide to place myself to the left of the ramp and about 25 ft. back from the front. Swimmers keep filing in. It's getting crowded so I can tell it's going to be a washing machine at the start. The sun is out and the sky is nice and clear, so it looks like the weather is going to be decent as long as nothing rolls in later in the day.

Soon enough, it's time to start.
Event warmup:

eh, I'm too lazy to do any kind of warmup. Save my energy. Plenty of time to get warmed up during the race.
  • 1h 11m 48s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters

The horn goes off and there's plenty of incidental contact, more than any other race I've been in which isn't surprising given that this is the largest mass swim start race I've done. There are so many of us and I'm a middlish swimmer so I don't expect much clear swimming. There's plenty of incidental contact. I'm swimming up on some people and being swum up on. If someone continues to swim up on my, I start flutter kicking both to propel myself just a bit faster and to deter the person behind me from swimming onto me. I get some kicks to my side. I take one on the chin (not recommended).

I try to stay relaxed, but it's hard to get into a rhythm because of all the bodies in the water. I'm not feeling great because I'm still not yet warmed up. At some moments, it's blocked by swimmers ahead of me. Other times, I have swimmers coming up on both sides of me. I go from yellow buoy to yellow buoy with a red one somewhere in the distance marking the turn.

Things open up a little bit so there's less incidental contact, but I still come up on people every so often. The first turn is another opportunity to mash it up with everyone. I make sure I kick through the turn and it's really not that bad. It's a much shorter distance to the next turn buoy and now it's onto the back stretch. The buoys are orange along this stretch with a red turn buoy somewhere in the distance.

I'm finally feeling warmed up now. I'm even able to draft just a little bit. I just focus on swimming steadily. After coming around the third buoy, I'm pointed towards the jump ramp and the start/finish area, but I, of course, have one more loop to go. There's the 4th red turn buoy and it's off onto lap 2.

It's definitely opened up much more so I'm able to swim a bit more steadily. i also decide to swim just on the inside of the buoy line where it's not so crowded. I work my way back outside the buoy line so I can make the turn. I continue this way on the back stretch. This sure seems a lot longer than the first loop. I make it to the third turn buoy and start heading towards the ramp which is clearly visible and close to the swim exit.

I start kicking a bit more trying to get a little blood flow into my legs. I swim until I can reach the bottom with my hand. I stand and walk out of the water not needing any help from the volunteers there.
What would you do differently?:

Probably nothing. I'd like to think I'm a faster swimmer, but I'm not. On all 3 of my IMs I was in the 1:08-1:12 range and my halfs are usually in the 35 minute range so this seems right.
Transition 1
  • 10m 57s

I unzip my wetsuit and pull it off my arms and to my waist. I'm at the wetsuit strippers so I pop onto my back and two strippers pull my wetsuit mostly off. it gets stuck on my ankle, but one more tug and it's off. I thank them and then head towards the helix. I have to keep my goggles on because they are prescription and I'm sure I looked like a big geek running with them on.

I'm jogging up the helix with others. The helix is lined with spectators cheering us on. Up to the 4th level and over into the convention center. into the T1 room. Call out my number and the volunteer grabs my bag and hands to me. I'm head over to the adjacent room which is the changing room.

There are plenty of people in here, but there are plenty enough seats. I pull on some bike shorts on top of my tri shorts. i decide to forgo arm warmers, gloves, wind breaker, vest, or any other additional item and hope it's warm enough and doesn't rain at all. I grab my gus, a couple energy bars, and a couple extra C02 cartridges since I'm worried about my tires. The volunteer takes care of packing all my stuff into my transition bag. I drink a cup of water on my way out and I'm out into the parking area.

There are volunteers to slap on sunscreen, but I don't need any since I have a nice solid tan base. I need to take a leak, so I stop to do that. There are even volunteers to direct you to available port-a-potties. I take care of business and then it's into the bike area. I give my tires a quick check and they seem to be okay. I jog (awkwardly in my bike shoes since I've never really learned to mount them on the pedals and do it on the fly) the length of the parking lot and over to the mount area, which is just before the other helix.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. This was a long transition and for most it is going to be long just because of the layout of everything, but the pros manage it in under 5 minutes.
  • 6h 09m 50s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.17 mile/hr

The weather is perfect. It's sunny and mostly clear and not cold at all. I hope it keeps up.

I start hydrating/nutrition fairly early since I assume I'm in the hole already from the swim. The first part along John Nolen and Rim Rock is very flat. Then we enter a tricky no pass zone where we wind around on some narrow bike/pedestrian paths and under a bridge. Of course, there's a guy who didn't see the signs about it being a no pass zone and passes a bunch of us before we yell out at him.

McCoy road is terrible (big bumps at the expansion joints), but at least it's short on this stretch. The segment out to Verona is not very crowded. I have no idea how I'm doing since I didn't catch a view of a race clock since the swim start, but it doesn't really matter since I can only do what I can do.

I guess I've learned that it takes me about 15 miles or so to feel warmed up. in those first 15 miles, I kinda feel crappy, but I know I just need to ride it out. Still, thoughts of self doubt and malaise creep in. I'm passing some, although I'm also being passed by some. It's mostly rollers through here. The uphills aren't too bad and the downhills certainly are fun.

In Verona, there are spectators here cheering us on. I'm feeling better now and I'm able to settle into a steady rhythm. Special needs is located here for use on the start of the second loop. Regardless, I didn't leave a special needs bag so I'll be sure to steer wide of riders stopped here on the second loop.

At around mile 30, we have our climb up to Mt. Horeb, but it's not really that bad. There are spectators cheering us on along the final stretches of the climb.

There are some rollers after this. Before mile 40, we're treated to a great downhill stretch. There are signs here to slow down. This takes us through some great country roads.

That which goes down, must come up so around mile 40, we have another climb. There are people cheering us on and giving us words of encouragement. there's a woman beating a drum to cheer us on. As we get closer to the top of the climb, the streets are lined with people. I actually get out of the saddle to climb, something I normally never do, but I think this was a mistake (i.e. not ever getting out of the saddle) I made at lanzarote since it fried my quads.

I'm passing people, but I'm getting passed by a lot. At one point, I kinda feel like I'm going through molasses. I also can't hear the whoop whoop noise from my disk wheel. I suspect my tires is flat, but I can't tell while on the bike, so I ask one of the other riders who is slowly passing me. She says, yes, it's flat. Argh. Okay. I pull over. Grab my C02 inflater and a cartridge from my jersey and pump up my rear wheel. I feel the front wheel. It's a little soft, but seems okay.

Okay, we're off again. Much better! I hear the whoop whoop of the disc again and I'm rolling much better.

I'm not sure what town it's in, but as we're starting to get near the end of the first loop, there's a stretch where we make a turn near a school. The streets are lined with spectators. There's an aid station and then there's an amazing stretch with barriers lining the streets with packs of spectators all along it. The street is totally covered in chalk scribblings. The crowds cheer and it's quite amazing.

Finally, at mile 50 something, it's the point where you either branch left to head back (if you've finished your second loop) or you turn right into Verona again to start the second loop.

The second loop pretty much goes the same. my legs still feel pretty good. I'm not hammering. I feel like I'm getting passed by a heck of a lot of people, but I stick to my race.

At some point the wind kicks up and we have a good headwind for much of the first part of the loop.

I am paranoid about my tires. I ask a couple riders at different points if my rear wheel is okay and they say it is (and I can still here it whooping). At one point, I'm a little worried about my front because it feels softer when I hit the bumps than the rear. I ask a rider about this and he says it looks a little soft, but looks okay, so I continue onward.

When it comes to the junction at the end of the loop, I'm glad to be turning left to head back. Now I have the rollers in reverse. With about 10 miles to go, there is a street crossing with a slight downhill. I hit it fast and my front rim bottoms out as I hear the large crack noise of my rims hitting the bump. Yeah, the front was obviously deflated. I pull over. I inflate the tire. I check to see if my rim is cracked anywhere. Not that I can tell... Rear tire is still okay.

I get back on and I feel like I have a new lease on life. Even at this late stage, I now find myself passing people. My legs still feel pretty strong.

The return stretch on Rimrock is slightly different as they take us through the Alliant Energy Center (course description had us doing this on the out section). I'm passing several people here. I pass a guy who has his age marked as 70(!) on his calf. Wow. Back onto Rimrock and then onto John Nolen. i see riders ahead and I'm gaining on them. I pick off a couple along this stretch and then enter the helix before I'm able to pass one last rider. We wind up the helix and ride to the dismount line.
What would you do differently?:

Change my tires before the race if I suspect there are issues, esp. for an A race like this!!! I probably lost about 5-10 minutes just to inflate the tires the two times. But I don't know how much time I lost by slowing down by riding on deflated tires (twice!) and how much extra I took out of my legs by doing that. It's a little frustrating, but I'm frustrated at myself for not doing what I should have done. I should have likely been under 6 hours so lesson learned...
Transition 2
  • 03m 56s

I stop and get off my bike. A volunteer grabs my bike and another ushers us into the convention center. I head into the T2 bag room get my bag and head into the changing room. Weather is good so I don't need any additional clothing. I grab extra gus Decide to skip carrying a bar. A volunteer puts all the rest of my stuff away. I grab a cup of water and I'm out the door.

There are volunteers out here putting on sunscreen. i skip that and head for the port a potties. I didn't go at all while on the bike so this is a big relief. I realize I'm still wearing the pair of cycling shorts I had pulled on over my tri shorts in T1. Hmmm, I guess I'll try to run in these and see how it goes.

What would you do differently?:

Remember to take off my cycling shorts!
  • 4h 10m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 32s  min/mile

I see a race clock for the first time since the start of the race and it says 7:36 or so. Great. That means I can run a 4:20 mary and still finish comfortably under 12 hours. I know the course is pretty flat.

At the start, we run around the capitol and on state street. There are many people here. We get shouts of encouragement. I also get cheers of "great smile" and I even had one of "great teeth." Thank you mom and dad for the orthodontist.

Just like on the bike, it takes me awhile to warm up on the run. in fact, it take me almost 6 miles to warm up sometimes (something I remember from having done the SF Marathon 5 weeks prior). So, I kinda feel like crap. Even so, I'm reeling people in and passing them.

I greet a fellow Zoot/Gu guy. he's a little ahead of me on the return of the first little mini out and back section. There's a 38 year old woman named Michelle (she had some coach or team support cheering her on) that I'm jockeying back and forth with and would for almost the whole run. She would run ahead of my, but then walk the aid stations where I'd pass her and stay ahead for awhile until she passed again.

I start into my nutrition and hydration by taking gatorade at each aid station (about every mile) and sponges to cool off my head and neck.

At just a couple miles into my run, Hillary Biscay (I only know this because other runners are cheering her on) is coming in on the tail end of her first loop.

A few miles in the course, we go into Camp Randall Stadium. It's kinda cool to run around inside the stadium on the turf, although I actually thought the stadium would have spectators in it cheering us on.

At around mile 4 or so, I'm totally surprised to find one of DW's friends, AM, who lives here in Madison. We stare at each other briefly and then have the shock of realization and exchange hi's. I'm thankful to have a familiar face out here. She did say she would come watch the race, but I didn't think I'd actually see her with all the crowds.

There are a couple of small hills here. I just take small steps and keep running. Thankfully, that's pretty much all the hills on this course (except again on loop 2).

My friend KL says that I'm psycho because based on the race photos, I look like I've been smiling the whole race. Maybe I was because everytime someone cheered me on, it really did make me smile.

After the out and back stretch on the other part of State St., I decide I'm going to stop and use the port-a-pottie. I also decide I'm going to take these frackin' bike shorts off (previous 3 run pictures show me with the shorts. next 3 do not!). I don't know how much impact they have on my running, but they can't be helping and they're probably holding water. This takes me a little time, but it's worth. I ended up throwing away the bike shorts in the trash (these were the first pair of cycling shorts I ever bought, but they were decent 8 panel Cannondale shorts!).

I don't know if it was the little break I took to remove the shorts, the removal of the shorts, or that I just warmed up, but I suddenly felt pretty good. My body went into it's running endurance mode and the next miles were pretty effortless. I continued to jockey back and forth with Michelle. I pass my fellow Zoot/Gu guy again (since I lost time in the bathroom).

DW's friend AM had moved and caught me again at about mile 8 to cheer me on which was great. She asks me if I'm done and I tell her I have one more lap. She looked like she was on her way out, but I'm glad she was there to cheer me on. The course is lined with signs made to cheer on their racers.

Another out and back stretch out to Lake Mendota Dr. and then it's back to the stretch that overlaps again with the out section.

In the last mile or two on this first loop, I'm passed by the cyclist who is leading the lead woman, Hillary Biscay. She looks beat but she's moving way faster than me. Not far behind her is the second woman place woman, but she looks even more beat. The crowd is cheering her on to catch Hillary, but she doesn't look like she has it in her.

At about 1/2 mile out, there the special needs is on the other side and the volunteers are calling out race numbers so that by the time you swing by the other side, your bag is ready. I don't have any special needs bag on the run either so I just steer clear of the area.

At the turnaround of lap two, the runners coming out of T2 are joining in. I'm very thankful that I'm on my second and not my first.

I'm still jockeying back and forth with Michelle, but there's also another guy with a white and lime green shirt too. He's definitely running faster than I am, but he's doing a run-walk thing. I shoot ahead but he passes me when he runs. he stays ahead until he walks again.

Into Camp Randall Stadium again.

It's about mile 15 and I take another gel. I have one more gel that I'll save for mile 22 and that should carry me through to the finish.

I'm starting to pull ahead of Michelle since she seems to be taking longer and longer walk breaks.

Before we get to small hills, lime green shirt guy passes me, but walks the hill. Everyone walks the hill. Everyone except me that is. i just take baby steps with my same cadence and I pass a bunch of people.

At the little out and back on state st., I can see I'm pulling away from Michelle and would stay ahead of her for good (I was curious about her race results and she finished 6 minutes behind me which was good for top 10% of her AG. Wow.).

At one of the aid stations, they have chicken broth. I remember reading in AbbieR's IM Lou race report, she called this "sex in a cup" to which I could relate.

I hadn't seen lime green shirt guy for awhile, but he passes me and it turns out it's for good. There's another guy in blue and yellow team kit that is doing a run walk thing too. He is way faster than me on the run and when he blows by me, I say "great job," but either he didn't hear me or he was ignoring me. he and I will jockey back and forth until mile 24.

Around mile 18, I overhear someone say it's 5:30. So, I know I have 90 minutes to do the last 8+ miles. I know this means I only have to do 11 min/miles to break 12 hours, but i know pace has dropped off some.

DW's friend AM is still here and she's cheering me on (how cool is she?). She's says she's so inspired (she used to run) and I make her promise to come out and visit us.

At mile 22, I try to grab my gel in my pocket, but it's not there. it must have fallen out. I hope I have enough gas to keep my pace up.

Blue yellow team kit guy and I have been jockeying back and forth. At mile 23 something, I pass him while he's walking. He passes me again. At the aid station about 2 miles out, he walks. I take some fluids, but keep running and pass him. he starts running behind me.

With only 2 miles left, I kick it into gear. he's stays behind me for a little bit, but he drops off after awhile. I just keep pushing myself and don't want to look back because I know he's a faster runner, but I'm hoping I have the better endurance and finishing kick.

The last bit around the capitol square is slightly uphill and I can feel the fatigue in my legs, but my mechanics are good and I feel loose and I'm passing a lot of people.

I make the final turn and I can see the finish line ahead. There are two runners ahead, but one of them is running with 2 kids/teens (although rules, pre race talk, etc. were very clear about only one...Thanks Ed Wegert #169). I'm gaining on them fast. The volunteers who are doing the finish tape for the racers are going super fast to handle the 3 runners finishing in less than 5 seconds and they manage to do so successfully (great job).

I don't think i would have been too happy if my finish line photo had been blocked by him while he wasn't following the rules, but in this case, no harm, no foul.

What would you do differently?:

No complaints here. I think this was a solid run for me.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish, one of the volunteers comes up to me. She makes sure I get my chip removed, that I receive a thermal wrap, my finishers cap, asks me what size shirt I am and gets that, gets me gatorade and water, asks if I want a finisher's photo taken (I pass on that). I'm impressed with how supportive they are. At some point I glance back at the clock and saw 11:47 so I'm pretty pleased.

Another volunteer comes up to talk to me and it's crea0029 (Hi Pamela!) from here on BT. She was volunteering and saw me finish. I'm glad she came over and introduced herself since we missed each other at the Door County Tri in July and weren't sure if we'd cross paths here (and amazingly we did!).

I head over to the food tent. I get some pizza, which of course is some of the best tasting pizza I've ever had (call it situational gastronomy or something like that). I want to eat faster, but my jaw is tired from all the chewing. A volunteer comes by and asks us if we need anything, but I'm good for the moment. I chat with the guy next to me. I have a turkey wrap. Another volunteer comes by and asks us if we need anything. I heard someone else ask for cookies so that sounds good so I ask for some of those.

It's a walk back to the convention center to pick up my stuff. Transition bags first. I put on my jacket and sweats. I head over to my bike. my rear tire is almost completely flat and my front is really soft. Yeah, that figures. I have to walk back to my hotel (with the three bags, I wouldn't be able to ride). it's 2.25 miles away which is a pretty long way after having done 140.6 I guess it's my own private 142.85.

Back at the hotel, I call DW and my friends. I snack a little more and drink water. Shower. I give thought to those that are still out on the course. I go to bed and take my well earned sleep.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I PR'd by about 23 minutes (previous PR was on an easier course) and broke twelve hours for the first time, so I can't complain about that. I'm annoyed at myself for not having dealt with my tire issues before hand (hindsight is 20/20, but how dumb was that. no one to blame but myself...which I do). I don't want to sound ungracious, but still, there's that little bit nagging me that says I know I had a bit of a faster time in me...okay, got that off my chest.

Last updated: 2007-09-10 12:00 AM
01:11:48 | 3862 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 111/305
Overall: 736/2207
Suit: blue seventy helix
Course: Course is a two loop swim in Lake Monona on a rectangular course. Mass deep water start. Turns at the corners are marked by red buoys.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 10:57
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:09:50 | 112 miles | 18.17 mile/hr
Age Group: 124/305
Overall: 732/2207
Course: An out segment to Verona, two loops, and then a return from Verona back to Monona Terrace. Course features rolling hills with a couple climbs on each loop. Moderate elevation gain (approx. 7500') total
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:56
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:10:00 | 26.2 miles | 09m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 66/305
Overall: 444/2207
Course: Run course is two loops on an out and back course that almost folds back on itself. The course features a run partially around the capital square, onto state street, over to and inside of Camp Randall Stadium, out to the far end of campus, heads back in near lake mendota, back to another part of state st., back out along lake mendota again, an out and back stretch to lake mendota dr, return on the same first part of the out section (not into the stadium again though). Yeah, i know it sounds kinda complicated. Check the course map on the website!
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-09-14 8:44 PM

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San Francisco
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2008-09-14 9:19 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Congrats on a PB!

You had some issues but overcame them.

Great race report!

2008-09-14 9:22 PM
in reply to: #1673648

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Just wanted to respond and THEN read this report since it was getting late here.

I saw you come in since I was a volunteer catcher.  You looked MAHvalous!


2008-09-14 9:35 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Modesto, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Forget the tires, you need some steel toe boots ! Great race on a great course !
2008-09-14 11:00 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Arch-Bishop of BT
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

great report!  congrats on a great race!


2008-09-15 5:53 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race report!  And awesome job on the PR!!!!!

2008-09-15 7:10 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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The Redlands, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin



Wuaoooo!!!! Awesome Race Report!!!
Full details...Excellent Pics...!!!
It's Super Donato!!!

Edited by velorider62 2008-09-15 7:12 AM
2008-09-15 8:20 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Wow! Amazing performance! I just love reading your race reports! The pictures are great!  Before my IM, I'm going to set aside a day to read thru your past race reports

I am just in awe of how happy you look out there and how strong you are at the end of the bike and on the run! You are an inspiration! Congrats on the PR  

2008-09-15 10:43 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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Dodge County, MN (out in the corn)
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job, D!  I love reading your RR's.  Thanks for the lunch-time entertainment.
2008-09-15 2:02 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome RR as usual.  You make it sound so easy and I love your pics with smiles, etc...

 Can't wait to see your times next year!!!!!


2008-09-15 6:14 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Fayetteville, NC
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations!!!  You did an awesome job.  I love your race reports.  There are so many details, I feel like I was there in person.  I really like the pictures you included.  I love the smiles in all the run pictures!   I do the same thing - no matter how I am feeling in a race, as soon as I see someone I know I am all smiles.  Great job - you are awesome!!

2008-09-16 9:00 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on the race!!  It was so nice to meet you too!!  Thanks for all the advice so far and maybe I'll see you around next year!
2008-09-17 8:00 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Of course they love your smile in WI! They don't call it the "Cheese!" state for nothing, you know

Great race--weird about the tires, though. I think I'd ditch those tubes if you haven't already.


And, as usual, a stellar food report (always my favorite part).

2008-09-17 9:54 AM
in reply to: #1673648

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I'm hungry.

Great race report! You kick serious a$$
2008-09-18 4:36 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great RR as always, love the detail!  You look waaayyyyyyy to happy in all of your pics!!  Congrats!
2008-10-02 1:11 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Are those smiles just when you see the camera?  Excellent - excellent race.  I read your marathon RR too, and another great job, especially considering you rode a century the day before.  There is no question you are becoming a Seasoned Ironman.

2008-10-02 1:43 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Cheesehead, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Mr. SMILEY! Wow! Smiles say so much. Great race!
2008-10-05 8:17 PM
in reply to: #1673648

No excuses!
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Awesome race report, love the pics, great job!
2008-10-15 1:36 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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NW Suburbs, Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race.  And very nice (and long ) RR.  I may have been the zoot/gu guy in front of you.  I remember seeing you a couple of times.
2008-10-17 11:56 AM
in reply to: #1744613

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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

GREAT race and RR from one foodie to another.



2008-10-17 1:34 PM
in reply to: #1673648

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I always love reading your race reports.

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