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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
83F / 28C
Total Time = 6h 40m 15s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I barely slept, but managed to get about 2-3 hours of sleep, got up and took a shower. I ate a PB&J on wheat bagel for breakfast around 4am, and then caught the hotel shuttle to race site at 4:30am.
Event warmup:

lots of nervous pacing and walking.
  • 1h 40m 12s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 35s / 100 meters

I seeded myself in the far right rear of group (possibly the last person) in order to avoid the washing machine effect, because a kick to my face or any other parts would have negatively impacted the way I felt the rest of the race, and I wanted to avoid that. I managed to catch-up to and pass some slower swimmers, which put me into the washing machine effect I was initially trying to avoid and survived without injury; only to have to make up extra yardage, because I was too far right of the first red buoy.

My sighting was decent, but I still tended to zig-zag a bit. I felt it was a good pace to conserve energy for the rest of the race, and was satisfied with my time.
What would you do differently?:

Seed myself closer.
Transition 1
  • 12m 5s

Forgot to pack a towel.
Volunteers were wonderful and very supportive and helpful.
What would you do differently?:

Pack a towel next time.
  • 8h 03m 33s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.90 mile/hr

Experienced neck pain prior to bike start (which I normally don't experience till after riding 80+ miles on my tri-bike). Sinuses started acting up, and I ended up with a runny nose for the rest of the race. I wear a nose plug on the swim to avoid this problem, and normally it prevents the runny nose syndrome. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me this time.

Mile 10, got a flat. I began to start questioning my decision to use my tri-bike versus my road bike, but knew I needed to stay positive and keep moving forward. I had the wheel off and bike support showed up very quickly to help me. While he helped change the tire, time seemed to stand still as I watched other cyclists pass me by. He cautioned me not to go fast on the turns and downhill because the glue normally takes 2 days of non-riding to cure.

My bike computer indicated the time spent changing the flat was about 12 minutes. I stuck to my plan to pace myself and conserve energy for the run. After 4 energy bars and 2 goo's my stomach rebelled, and couldn't handle any additional nutrition. Around 1pm, I could smell burgers, steaks, and chicken the spectators were grilling along the course. It made me sooooo hungry I wished I was doing a HIM instead.

On a positive note, I wasn't cramping on the bike.

The last 2 hills, there were many cyclists walking their bikes, but I had trained and wasn't having any of that! The sun beating down on my head drained most of my energy. I ended up crashing my bike into another cyclist riding at 9mph at mile 100. I started to seriously doubt my ability to do the run and complete the marathon portion.
What would you do differently?:

Many seasoned athletes had recommended that I have several centuries under my belt (which I didn't have) before doing the race.
Put in more mileage on bike
Re-evaluate nutrition
Transition 2
  • 13m 2s

I was feeling like I was ready to quit - but then I heard the crowd cheering which gave me a burst of energy and I managed to pass a couple of cyclists on the helix. The volunteers were encouraging, and motivating and inspired me to continue on.
Both my feet were numb and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to run (or walk for that matter), but my new mantra was "can't stop till you get enough". (tribute to Michael Jackson)
What would you do differently?:

Change into running shorts for the run. (I wore my tri-shorts, and the elastic rubbed into my skin.)
  • 6h 31m 24s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 56s  min/mile

My initial plan was to run/walk since I had 7 hours to complete a "walk-a-thon". The first aid-station I saw food (which I wanted to eat a lot of fast). I had several orange slices, pretzels, and finally COLD gatoraide. After that, I was too full to run. The sun continued to beat down on my head for the next couple of hours, which drained me of most of my remaining energy. I couldn't wait for the sun to go down so that the cool air would revive me. Once again, I changed my strategy.

On my way back from the first loop, I saw my wife (who I was hoping to see
at the beginning of the first loop). Never-the-less, she was a sight for sore eyes. I asked her to get me a 7-Up from the convenient store as I took a little nap on the concrete waiting for her to return. She walked with me for about 1/2 mile while I calculated how little time I had left, and drank the soda. Once she left, I began the walk-run cycle (but mainly walked).

As I reached mile 13 I got a cramp in my lower-left calf and had to start walking again. I saw Kelly and Linda at the turn-around but didn't have any energy to wave, so just nodded their way.

While at the special-needs bag location, a volunteer asked if I needed medical attention as I fumbled with my new compression socks. I know - never try anything new on race day, but I figured at this point - what harm could come of it.

As I continued my "walk-a-thon", I saw my good friend Kelly who started asking me a serious of questions (none of which I can remember). She noticed the dazed look in my eyes at the turn-around, and was concerned.

She suggested that I slowly sip some chicken-broth since I hadn't taken in any nutrition for the past couple of hours. After a few cups, she encouraged me to start running and helped pace me (because I started out running too fast). I was cramping from time-to-time, but mostly we ran. at mile 22, I felt nauseous and Kelly pointed to an area that I could throw-up at. I told her I'd prefer not to. I thought I could walk-off the nauseous feeling without throwing-up.

My inner thighs were extremely sore, and were preventing me from running. At this point, I had about 1 hour left. Kelly continued to motivate and inspire me, encouraging me to walk faster. At mile 25, Kelly split off from me and I managed to run with pain across the finish line. I was told that my wife, Kelly and other friends were on the side-lines cheering me on, but all I could focus on was crossing the finish-line to stop the pain. I didn't look to the left or right, just plowed straight ahead. I had so many emotions running through my head. At first I felt like crying, then I felt estatic, and then, I just wanted to finish - to be done and have it over with.

When I crossed the finish line, the volunteer at the finish asked if I wanted to go to the medical tent. I said no. She asked me if I wanted a blanket. I said no. She asked me if I wanted my picture taken, I said no, I just want to lay down.

I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her fortitude and kindness in helping me achieve my goal of completing this huge accomplishment. Without her help and support, I might not have finished.
Thank you Miss Kelly!
What would you do differently?:

Not sign-up
Post race
Warm down:

walked to the hotel shuttle pick-up (about 1/4 mile - felt an eternity).

Last updated: 2008-12-15 12:00 AM
01:40:12 | 3862 meters | 02m 35s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loops in lake
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:05
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
08:03:33 | 112 miles | 13.90 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Hills & hills and more hills...
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 13:02
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:31:24 | 26.2 miles | 14m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: 2 hills
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-09-15 3:28 PM

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Westchester, IL
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2009-09-15 3:46 PM
in reply to: #2407957

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome job overcoming all of the obstacles thrown your way!

I was cheering in the stands when you finished!

2009-09-15 4:38 PM
in reply to: #2407957

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Extreme Veteran
Algonquin, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You got to the finish line!  That's all that matters.  Now you can brag for a lifetime, Ironman.
2009-09-15 5:53 PM
in reply to: #2407957

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Extreme Veteran
Racine WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Griz, holy crimany, I didnt realize you had all those issues on the bike. But you stayed strong and motivated thorugh all the adveristy on the bike and run and all that matters now is that you toe'd the line and then you crossed the line. Congratulations IRONMAN!
2009-09-15 5:57 PM
in reply to: #2407957

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Racine, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Griz, way to hang tough through SO MANY obstacles.  I'm sorry I didn't stay to see you finish.... You are truly an IRONMAN.

2009-09-15 7:17 PM
in reply to: #2407957

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Wellington, North Island
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Awesome job at the race Griz. Despite some of the challenges you faced, you kept going and that's what matters. I knew you could do it! I'm really proud of you.

2009-09-15 9:15 PM
in reply to: #2407957

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin


Way to hang tough, DAWG!


2009-09-16 9:13 AM
in reply to: #2407957

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Way to fight for what you worked so hard for!!!!  You rolled with the flow and achieved your goal Griz.  CONGRATULATIONS!!! 

2009-09-16 9:18 AM
in reply to: #2407957

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great to see you out there Griz-great job on handling the heat and adversity....congrats!
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