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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
83F / 28C
Total Time = 15h 14m 51s
Overall Rank = 1849/2397
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 295/368
Pre-race routine:

I'm a BOPper, thus why this RR wasn't written in record time, well, that and having 3 young sons that need my constant attention, Taz our dog, and an EXTREMELY patient wife that is dedicated to her profession which doesn't allow me to be a slug and sit on the computer all day padding my post count even moreso, but, I digress.

I had a few days to think about what I wanted to write, and it was hard to sieve through all the data and events that I absorbed in my tiny little brain. There are so many persons that I met, made friends with, trained with, conversed with, and had good times with to get through my training and race. The adventure, the fun, the pain, the constant struggle of BALANCE and needs, and endurement to get to this point, and now it has ended - almost seems all too quickly (except for that dang 1 hour and 51 minutes in Lake Monona ;) ).

To those that I may have seen but am not remembering your name, I apologize.
To those that I had the pleasure of meeting (and remembering your names ;) ), and trained with, and simply just hung out with whether online or in person, I thank you for being there.
To those that want to know what my experience was for my 2nd Ironman, read on!

First, I want to thank my friend and coach Paul Riehemann from Middleton, WI, for allowing me to be his guinea pig, and providing his concepts and plan upon me, to build me into a lean, mean, Ironman machine - okay, lean is more accurate at least. ;) THANK YOU, Coach Paul-dude! You were the one that got me started in the first place!

Next, I thank the Donkey Gang/Crew/Group/Pride/Nation for their giving nature, and tireless inspirations! You are the BEST group that anyone could be associated with. As DJDavey states - "EEEE 2 the effin' AAAWWWW!"

Coming up not far behind, is my BT buds - those online peeps that take their time out of their day to be there with a fun-filled fact, a weird or obscured bit of trivia, or a friendly greeting. BT Members are (once again, I need to quote another super person by the name of ZEERA) FANTASTIC!

Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, since I rarely mention them, I PRAISE my loving, very patient and tolerant wife, Dee, and my 3 sons, "Razor", "J-man", and "#3". I tried to be there as much as I could, but I still missed so much of their lives for the past couple of years. I've stared at some of the pictures that Dee took for the last couple of years of "Da Boyz", and just stared, wondering where the time went, wondering how they sprouted so quickly, and wondered what happened to my little men. It hits me hard. Their rib-breaking hugs and super smiles I've welcomed enthusiastically. Dee's and Da' Boyz' tolerance of me when I was in carpy moods at times for not being able to workout or whatever, was not justified - they deserved better.

Okay, let's get past the sappiness already. ;)

The pre-race started very early for me (almost two years), with getting time off from work in the morning on Thurs. and Fri. before the race. I believe that stuff started to go south for me when I showed up a tad late for the Thurs. morning swim with bertgwen, Lazymarathoner, and tri...
1). Was late for the swim.
2). Forgot the swim goggles in the car. Bertgwen had an extra set to loan me. They fogged up constantly. He warned me. ;)
3). Dead body wasn't found yet from the drowning in front of the Terrace on the swim route from the night before. Very morbid.
4). Picked up a one-inch vertical slice at the top of the ball of my left foot below the third toe, that went below the callous . I Didn't clean it out until after I got home 9 hours later.
5). Met Birkie. He started the bad juju. ;)

I registered early, and then went to the RaceDayWheels expo tent and had the ZIPP 404s put on, then took a quick ride before picking up #3 at the sitters.

Fri. morning met up with Mndiver, Lazymarathoner, Firstnet911 (and his snake friend), Amyjotris, Whizzzzz, Coredump, Tri... and his brother IronGuinness. (Sorry, don't recall the other BTer that joined us).
Met Jtopin and he lost his participant wristband while swimming. He eventually got another one. Had lunch with Deannas, Runs_with_Jasper, mchally, bertgwen, and a couple of other BTers (sorry, guys).

Sat. took J-man to the kids' race and he was able to get a photo op with Mike Reilly (in my album)! Had dinner that night at Biaggi's with a number of Donkey. Jszat and lara13 (wife), TriDDS and tri-n-spin (wife) and kidlets, Travisvb24 and Sandivb(withdigits) (wife), sgoehner (no wife ;) ) who had earlier reservations. In our group were DJDavey, Gofishltp, KimK, Schwimmycoach, Amyjotris and Firstnet911, DeannaS, WaveDOG, rcav8r (with wife?), and my wife and boys. Jszat waited around and had the NEW Donkey visors for those that wanted to purchase them. Yep - got one (nothing new on race day, huh?)!

Woke up at 3:45 a.m., had a nanner, had some water, had some whole wheat toast with peanut butter, and took some water with a NUUN tablet for the ride to Madison.
Carried my Special Needs bags, went to body-marking (got there early), and, while it was deathly silent with people walking around like zombies, I yelled out, very loudly "WAAAAAAAAVE DAWWWWG!!!", twice, but no response. People looked at me strangely, but I didn't care.
I told the guy volunteer that gave me first eye contact that I needed to be bodymarked. When he started to mark my calves, he said "Shaved legs. Thanks. This'll be easier". HEH, I chuckled, and told him that I just did them last night. *snerked again*. A couple of seconds later I saw Wavedog *bacon* and chatted a few minutes with him. I headed to the bike and setup the waterbottles and the aerobottle, checked the tires, and then went to T1, but had to wait until it opened up, so hit the bathroom early.
Ran into Scoobysdad and Force and chatted some. I thought I sensed some anxiety, but tried to keep it low key.
I headed out to the Capitol square to dump off the Special Needs bags, then came back and finally rethought and rechecked my T1 and T2 bags, just to make sure.
While waiting around, I met up with J_cow (mutri's brother) and his Mom, Joe_Runner and cweninger, who teased me and cracked me up when I was trying to get my Garmin to acquire the satellite signals by holding my arm up higher (yeah, kinda silly for doing that, but was worth getting teased about). After the Garmin acquired, I turned it off and placed it on the bike.
Sometime later, I met up with Amyjo and firstnet911, and was provided a BT tattoo to put on my shoulder.
Velcromom appeared and introduced herself. I think J_cow had a BT tat and gave me the last one, so I tried to put the tat on, but, duhhhhh, didn't read the directions clearly and effed it up. Velcromom was going to give me a shot in her RR or blog because of that, and a well-deserved one, too. ;)

Tri-n-spin, TriDDS, Travisvb(and digits), and Sandivb(with digits), and jszat showed up and tried to stay relaxed, but could tell they were getting nervous.

As persons were heading down the helix, I noticed the sunrise and how terrific it was. I can't describe it. I just can't. I would suggest checking the pictures that maybe online. It's breath-taking.

I had another potty break (in a port-a-potty, sillies) and then got into my wetsuit since it was almost time to close up T1.

I made it down the helix and noticed the many spectators that were already lining up. I had my morning clothes dropoff bag and asked a volunteer where I needed to put it, and another volunteer took it. I found my co-worker on the other side of the wall by the lake, and he showed me the Sham-Wow towels that he brought. I cracked up, cuz in '07 when he showed up to see me off, a number of swimmers came out of the water and asked if they could use his shirt to wipe their faces dry! HILARIOUS!

As Mike Reilly continued to talk on the microphone and the clock was counting down 'til start, I finally found the glasses table. The volunteer gave me a ziplock bag (new to me this year) with a piece of masking tape on it. He gave me a marker and had me write my number on the tape and then put my prescription sunglasses in the ziploc and sealed it.
I got caught up in the music and people around me (my short-term memory oops will come into play here later), and was doing some "white-man" dance moves. I was able to catch Deanna and the Donkai Flag proudly being displayed. Not soon after, DJDavey appeared and we wished each other luck (surprising that we forgot to flip each other off ;) ).
I know I saw Donnawiz prior to this and wanted to make sure that I gave her a shoutout.
Caught up with Travis and Sandi and a couple of others, made light of the mass amount of people around, slowly walked into the water, still favoring the not-yet healed cut on the bottom of my left foot, and yelled out MARCO POLO at least once, swam out a little ways, and gathered myself to prepare for another incredible Ironman open water swim start. Oh, I did relieve myself and raised the water temperature up about 0.0000002 deg. F - I hope it killed some of the blue-green algae. ;)
Event warmup:

Many months went by and numerous hours of prep training went into this, so that was the warmup! Oh, and having fun kinda dancing and singing with the music, smiling, and listening to the voices in my head questioning all the madness that was about to unfold! Oh, and then being stunned at Trixie's full lip-lock on her friend, Robyn. GREAT GOOGLY-MOOGLY! Yeah, stunned. Or was it mesmerized? Culture-shocked? Taken aback? Okay, so it wasn't a full lip-lock. Okay, I GOTCHA! It was a "I love you my best friend" kinda peck - very sweet and touching. Being in Madison, I should be used to that. But, I digress again. Wait, this is a race report I'm supposed to be writing up, isn't it. ;)
  • 1h 51m 6s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 53s / 100 meters

My swim is my downfall. I suck at swimming. I'm not a strong swimmer. I AM NOT A SWIMMER! ;)
I started not all the way to the back, but I "seated" myself quite a ways away from the horde in the water, off to the right and about 3/4 or better towards the back.

The countdown ended, the cannon went off, the music blared, the spectators screamed, clapped, yelled, and made whatever noise they could, the swimmers churned and splashed the water, agitating and excited the calmness, but yet the algae didn't disappear. Darn. ;)
I abided my time, stayed relaxed, and kept my cool as much as I could - concentrating on one stroke at a time, and breathing (yeah, don't forget the breathing), not worrying about anything, not even the algae this year ;) - well, okay, except for a couple of, uhhhh, a dozen of, uhhhhhhh, ohhhhhh, about a few HUNDRED of peeps that were trying to get around, under, over, or to the side of me. I wasn't in the worst spot, but even where I was situated I was still getting bumped, bomped, or held up! Unbelievable!
I managed to still stay maintained and just kept swimming, just kept swimming, just kept swimming ;)
No real issues. I sighted the best I could, kept my breathing under control, my stroke felt okay, and I didn't have any cramps (yet). I made the first lap plus 100 yards just under 51 minutes, so I was kind of happy about that.
On the second lap I started thinking about stuff other than swimming, like, I wonder how my kids were doing, who was here that I didn't get to see, Trixie kissing her friend was hot ;) , why was this big person on my right side still following me for the last 800 yards and why doesn't he get away from me, dambit?! Yep, Mr. Big Body, with the really awful swim stroke (like "I" have a good swim stroke), followed me for the longest time, and kept brushing up near me way too many times. I finally had enough and just slowed up to get away from him. Turned out that it didn't matter because I would eventually catch up to him, and when I tried to get by him, he would either drift in front of me (I wish I could say it was intentional, but how could he see behind him without mirrors, ya know?), or slow down, too. It was frustrating.
With about 500 yards to go, I finally got what I was hoping not to get - a !@#$%*& cramp. My nemesis of the swim. My swim may suck, but swimming is actually my nemesis' apprentice. My nemesis is the cramping on the swim. It took a minute or two of cursing and twisting, relaxing and flexing the cramped area. I talked with a surfboard volunteer before I got pizzed and DTFU'ed and continued on, with some tight pain in the left calve, left arch and ankle area. About 150 yards to go, most of the cramp subsided, and I was able to focus on the finish. As I swam closer, I started to feel the algae, and knew, with a great feeling, that I was seconds away to being helped up by a volunteer, getting up the slight incline, and then stepping on land, or getting grabbed by some algae and dragged under. ;)
After crossing the timing mat, I pumped my arms up into the air, shouted out, just like my first IM, "LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!", and bowed down and kissed the ground.
I was hoping Donnawiz was still around to help pull the wetsuit off, but, it wasn't to be.
I took my goggles and swimcap off, and then was helped from 3 fast wetsuit strippers that got me out of my wetsuit in NO time flat!
I heard my name at least once, but couldn't see too well, and jogged on up the helix. I found out today that one of my work boss' of another area was near the helix and yelled out to me, but I didn't see her due to all the excitement, commotion, and, something related that's coming up real soon.
Made it to the top of the helix, met Craig and Trixie, and Craig shouts "Where the he11 were you? I've been waiting for 2 hours for you." I felt like Mom was giving me a lecture, but I know, deep down, Craiggers man-loves me. ;) If I remember correctly, I believe I gave them hugs. That was enough to give me a quick charge, and off to T1 I went.
Hmmmmmmmmm, what did I forget??
What would you do differently?:

Be a better swimmer. Get rid of cramp issues. Learn to not be afraid of "mixing it up" in the crowd, or be a faster swimmer. DTFU more?
Transition 1
  • 16m 21s

Stupid, stupid me. Yes, what DID I forget? I forgot my prescription sunglasses down on the glasses table down by the swim start.
When I got in T1, I mentioned this to a couple of volunteers, and an extremely helpful volunteer ran all the way down from T1, down the helix, to the table, back up to where my bike was, and then back to T1! MY GAWD! I am SOOOOOO GRATEFUL to this guy! I wish I would have gotten his name. He deserved a lot of thanks!
So, I gained probably about 8 minutes because of that DUHHHHHHHHHH act.
So, while waiting, I put on my helmet, bike gloves, Donkey jersey top, race belt with bib #, and then my HR monitor, but smacked myself for not putting that on first. Grabbed the Gu Chomps, Sports Beans, EnervIT energy shots, and placed them in my jersey pocket. Packed up my wetsuit, cap and goggles into the bag. Talked with at least 2 other volunteers and the volunteer captain while waiting for the gracious volunteer, who went to get my Garmin, to come back. I thanked him several times, and he informed me that he gave the sunglasses to lady volunteer who has my unracked.
Grabbed some water, my bike shoes, and had a volunteer apply some sunscreen on me outside, went to the bathroom, and jogged to the bike.
J-man and someone else were yelling out to me, so I waved out to them.
Met the lady who had my bike, thanked her, got my sunglasses and put them on, thanked the volunteer again, and ran with the bike.
I made it to the mounting line, set the bike off to the side, put on my bike shoes, thought about how fun it was going to be chasing down a few hundred persons for the next 112 miles, then mounted up, and coasted down the helix.
What would you do differently?:

  • 7h 14m 49s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.45 mile/hr

I heard my name just a short ways away from the helix, but didn't catch who was yelling. I thought it was Donkey Deanna, cweninger and Joe_Runner, but not sure. SORRY!

Felt great! I was averaging close to 16.5 to 17 mph for the first couple of hours, according to my Garmin. Was feeling real comfortable.

Headed out to the stick and already passed a couple of people, and many, many more along the route. I saw Dave H., one of my really close friends from Deerfield, WI, sitting off in his friend's yard on Rimrock Road, yelling out good luck to me!
The ride was fine, but the heat was rising every hour. I stayed on my InfinIT solution, had a couple of nanner slices at the aid stations, and decided to do something stupid - I took a couple of vanilla Gu gels along the route. The contents were very warm and the flavor wasn't palatable. I trained in the heat several times before (even wearing the carrot arm warmers) and didn't have issues. I'm going to blame it on the Gu along with the heat - I didn't train with it, so it was something new.
I finally made it to the first big damn hill, where the crowd lines up along BOTH sides of the road and cheer you on noisily. Just off to my right side, I saw J-man's teacher from last year and her husband. They were smiling and cheering away. I said "Hi" to them and heard him say something like "you're unbelievable". It pumped me up a little as I was starting up that DAMN hill. I caught a sign that had "Make this hill your Beeyotch" or something like that written on it. VERY FUNNY! Not too much longer, Wavedog appeared on my left and started running along the side of me, and then I heard Craig on the bullhorn, either inspiring me or beeyitchin' at me to get my lazy azz goin' or sumptin' - I don't recall. ;)
Always good to see those Donks, let me tell ya!
More riding, more water and a couple of nanners (why do I keep typing "nanners" instead of the REAL NAME THAT THEY SHOULD BE CALLED?) at the aid stations.
I made it past the big crowd in Verona and cruised my way for another 1-1/2 to the start of the 2nd loop. However, after turning onto Old Hwy PB, I was prepared to stop and jump off my bike when I saw them - MY FAMILY!!!!! They were waiting for me on the gravel shoulder of the road by the park. I pulled over, unclipped, got off my bike (nope, didn't crash and burn and "join the club"), and, with J-man pointing the camera in my face, managed to give him and the rest of the family a big, sweaty hug and kiss! That charged me back up!
Dee told me to get going. I didn't want to, but reluctantly got back on the bike and headed out to start lap #2 within the next 1 mile.
I flew by KimK, but managed to thank her as I went by. I refueled at the Special Needs a mile and half later.
Many hot, grueling minutes later, I started feeling "crampy" or "bloaty" in my lower abdomen. By mile 80, I was not having a good ride, so I had to stop in the port-a-potties wherever I could find them - tacking on close to 30 min. for the toilet visits, thus shooting down the idea of breaking the 7 hour barrier. I handed my bike off to a volunteer and must have stayed in the port-a-potty for at LEAST 12 min. or better, before the volunteer said "Are you okay in there?". Told him I had some problems, but was getting ready to come out. I thanked him for watching my bike and told him I was sorry for taking too long.
The rest of the ride was slightly uncomfortable and I needed to slow down more than I wanted. However, I wasn't as bad as a lot of others that I heard about later.

Because of my "issue", I didn't focus too much on my surroundings, but did happen to remember the "Cross Plains Crazies" that were out - they looked like "flappers" from the '20s and were a HOOT! And before them, wss a gigantic cutout board of Elvis. This is what makes IM Moo so special! Not only you get that wonderful cow manure aroma therapy, but you get an Elvis sighting! What more could you want? Oh, yeah, who can't forget those concrete or ceramic Holstein pig lawn ornaments, eh?

I finally made it back, made it up the helix, took my feet out of my shoes, yelled out an EEEEAAAAWWWW confusing the catchers some, and jogged on in to T2.
What would you do differently?:

Identify the reason why I had gastro-intestinal issues after mile 70 or so. Was it the heat, the vanilla Gu gel, the nanner slices, or a combination of 2 or more those?? Not stay in the port-a-potties as long to avoid tacking on a lot more time?
Transition 2
  • 08m 5s

My personal transition volunteer helped open my T2 bag and dumped the contents out.
Sat down while trying to bend over and get my socks on. My lower intestinal region was still hurting with that "pressure" feeling, but I wasn't that bad off to give up. I told myself to not think about, stay calm, positive, keep a smile on my face, and just take in water and pretzels from here on out.
I had the volunteer help me put stuff back in the bag, thanked him, and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Have the ability to de-pressurize or rid the gastro-intestinal pain.
  • 5h 44m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 09s  min/mile

Usually, this would have been more enjoyable since I like to run. I met my family and many Donks on the way out, and then my bud and coach, Paul, with his son! I gave them fives, and he kept encouraging me like crazy! Such a great guy!
It took over 9 miles of "gutting it out" and taking in water, pretzels, and a couple of orange slices (no more nanners), and a couple of grapes, before the issue subsided. WHAT A RELIEF!!
I met SOOOOO many Donkeys on the course for the FIRST TIME since the day started, and it really, really (really?) jump-started me back to life!
The first Donk was enFORCEr, then Sensei himself, jszat. I was able to see sgoehner, then schmize, Scoobysdad, TriDDS and tri-n-spin, then travisvb(digits) but didn't see his wife, Sandi. Eventually I caught sight of Amyjotris and Lazymarathoner (who, was doing JUST AWESOME with her foot condition!), then Whizzzzz, who was also doing awesome with a broken toe and bad knees. YOU GIRLZ RAWK!
Many hours passed with meeting fellow competitors and spectators saying "Hey, DONKEY", or doing their best "EEAAWW", or making some reference to the Donkey. THAT is what kept me going! The energy. The spirit. The fun. The excitement. The interaction. WHAT A THRILL!
Along the way, I was able to chat with some cool competitors that were just making their way, wanting to finish.
I saw TriDDS and tri-n-spin going the opposite direction, so I jogged over to them and was going to stop and give them a five, but Jeanne thought I was going to approach her too fast so she warned me to stop (well, not in those words anyways, right Jeanne? ;) ).
Jszat caught me on my first loop, then walked and chatted for awhile with me. I asked how he was feeling and he told me what happened to him. I copped a feel of his makeshift wet sponge bewbies (sorry, Lara, what happens on the IM running course, stays on the IM running course. ;) ), and hobbled along.
I saw mutri and Tripletmom, Amyjotris and Whizzzzz later.
Bob, a friend of Tripletmom, walked, jogged, and chatted with me for his final 3/4 of a mile. He's such a cool, funny guy.
As I came in to finish my first loop, I met up with my brother. I was caught by surprise when I saw Mndiver off to the side with a few other great jock-strappin' Donks, and heard that he had to DNF during the bike ride. Next time, Bryan!
I made the turn-around and grabbed my Special Needs run bag to retrieve my regular glasses and glass case. A few seconds later, there was this recognizable voice. It wasn't in my head this time, but coming from behind. Someone started harrassing me, telling me to get my azz going and start running, and that this was a race. I dropped my head in shame ;) . I knew the voice. I couldn't let this person down. It was Trixie. You CAN'T disappoint her. I attempted some kind of woggle and continued on.

I met some more Donks, my family (LOVE YOU!!!!), and saw DJDavey finally. I stopped over and gave him a hug, and asked how he was doing.
I continued on, with my coach still yelling encouragement behind me!
I felt better as time went on. I picked up my jog pace and did power walks less frequently.
Just about a mile from the 1/2-way turn-around (after Trixie harrassed me ;) ), Robyn, Trixie's friend, and Trixie came up behind me. I stayed with them, listening in on their conversations, trying to contain myself from falling over laughing. I will do us all a favor and not repeat what I heard due to:
a). Getting my RR deleted.
b). Forgetting most of it from being old with a bad short-term memory and not getting it typed-up 4 days ago. ;)
Trixie departed and I walked and woggled with Robyn off and on. She would catch me, then I would catch her. Robyn was fun chatting along with. When we were just turning off of Univ. Ave., shhe had to use one of the port-a-potties, and I continued on walking briefly. I started feeling really good, though, and started jogging again. I didn't mean to leave her behind, though - I just wanted to keep moving since I felt really good at that time. REALLY!
There were many times during the course of the run that I got into the spirit of the event - if there was something fun going on, I stopped and joined in for a couple of seconds. For instance:
1). During the first lap coming out of Camp Randall and turning right out of the parking lot, there was a group that was blaring out music from a radio or DJ setup. When I heard Superfreak by Rick James, I started dancing. I got the crowd going and they cheered louder.
2). On State Street, some girl, with her 2 friends, was wearing a leather cowboy-style hat, so I approached her, took her hat off and put it on my head. I did a gentlemen's bow, tipped the hat, placed the hat back on her head. She gave me the biggest smile.
3). On the Campus/Library Mall, some percussionists were playing and a girl was doing some kind of belly-like dancing, so I jogged over and tried to polka with her - she accepted. A couple of moves, a turn, and then I continued up towards State Street.
4). Danced with the "Ford girl" that was on the microphone down by the timing mat near mile 10/22(?) on the path near the hospital (witnessed by Whizzzzz and Amyjotris).
5). A number of spectators would attempt to do the Donkey bray, so I would "EEEAAAWWW" them back. That always got a great reception.

I didn't see Tony 2Goggs at the State Street turn-around (or at least I didn't focus on who the person was that I low-fived there), and am kicking myself for that. Sorry, bro!

I don't remember passing Lazymarathoner, but eventually caught Whizzzzz and Amytrotris with about 4 miles to go. Whizzzzz's knee was giving her a lot of problems for a long time, but, as a true Donkey with that fortitude and spirit, kept it going strong. I walked with them for about a mile, laughing and having fun. Saw Kristin (Lazymarathoner) still pushing herself on. As AmyJo and Laura (Whizzzzz) and I got to the aid station, I took off.
With about 3 miles left, I walked with a guy that was from the Endurance House team. I asked how he was doing since the drowning of one of their own team members. After talking some, he showed me the wristband the team was wearing in honor of her. I told him that my wife worked with her sister and that she was going to be there to watch the race. For a few more minutes, I took off again, wishing him good luck and to finish strong.

One person that I finally remembered seeing on the course all 4 times that I passed her, was a very special person who has volunteered for many years. Karen is her name and she has to be in a wheelchair. Her spot would be front of the Fire Department, about 1/2 mile away from the finish. I would always stop, give her a hug, and give her peck on the cheek. Karen is a volunteer like no other, and I always went out of my way for her. THANK YOU, KAREN, FOR YOUR GREAT ATTITUDE AND BEING OUT THERE FOR US!

Now, with just a few short minutes to go, my day was almost over. I made it to State Street, with some people still hanging around cheering us on and in. I made it to Capitol Square. I picked up the pace. I saw a couple of more people in front of me and wanted to pass them. There was an aid station with less than 1/4 mile to go. I said "No, thank you" when they asked if I wanted Gatorade. I picked up the pace more. The 2nd to the last turn, to the right, more crowd support appeared. I passed a couple of people and the one person said, "Great job" and something else. I gave them the thumbs up. I started to hear Mike Reilly. I heard the crowd's shouting voices getting louder and louder with each aching, pounding step. There was the last turn, to the left to the finish line! I waved my arms up and down to get the crowd pumped more. I cupped my hand to my ear, indicating that I couldn't hear them. I was almost sprinting. I veered to the right slightly to give an extended hand a slap. I hit the timing mat before the finish line. I heard Mike Reilly announce into his microphone -
Phil Gillett (but pronounced as "gill", like fish gills, and "lit" instead of let), YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!
I was pumping my arms into the air and gave a "YEAH" as I approached the finish line, but, just before crossing the line, thought "SH1T, HE MISPRONOUNCED MY NAME! DAMNIT!".
I was greeted by a catcher, and had a mylar blanket draped over my shoulders (I felt like doing James Brown, but probably wouldn't have gotten back up). A couple of seconds right after that, and I saw Trixie with a finisher's medal. She approached me, said (I believe) "Here you go, Phil" and placed the medal around my neck. What a great ending of a long journey!
Another great welcome sight was seeing my friend, firstnet911, come up and snap some pictures off. He congratulated me.
I was given a nice finisher's hat, a finisher's (powder) blue t-shirt, and was asked if I wanted some water, to which I said "Yes, please". I looked around but didn't see Maggyruth or some other familiar faces. I think I missed some Donks on the other side of the fence, though. :(
What would you do differently?:

Not have the gastro-intestinal issues for 9 miles or better.
Not chit-chat so much? Nah.
Don't have fun with the spectators? Nah, again.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around dazed. Got my picture taken, then walked to the food tent and scarfed down a pizza slice, a sub sammich, drank some water and a 1/2 pint of milk. Saw TriDDS and chatted with him for a little.
I chatted with a guy that ran a sub-3 hour marathon one time and Boston, but didn't make the run cutoff and had to DNF.
I walked over to the med tent and had ice packs taped on to my quads. Walked down to the transition areas, picked up my bags, walked to the bike, and while walking the bike to get my 404s taking off I saw Firstnet911 and AmyJo and they asked if I was staying for the Midnight finish party but told them I couldn't. After getting my regular wheels back on, I walked the bike to the parking lot, called wifey, and got ready to head home. ;)

There was some pain, but I didn't think much about it.

A comparison, for those into facts and numbers and such:
2007 - 2209 finishers
2009 - 2397 finishers

Age group competed in - OLD ;) M40-44

1st number is 2007 result, 2nd number is 2009 result.

OVERALL PLACE - 1893, 1849 <-- Slight improvement
TOTAL TIME - 15:13:46, 15:14:51 <-- 1 min. 5 sec. slower.
DIVISION PLACE - 297/346, 295/368 <-- Slight improvement w/more persons
SWIM DIV PLACE - 345, 362 <-- GACK!
SWIM OVR PLACE - 2186, 2338 <-- GACK!
SWIM TIME - 1:59:44, 1:51:06 <-- I'll take that at least
SWIM 100M PACE - 3:10, 2:56 <-- Ooo, I was flying. ;)
T1 - 11:35, 16:21 <-- Stupid me forgetting my sunglasses
BIKE DIV PLACE - 300, 316 <-- meh
BIKE OVR PLACE - 1850, 1905 <-- Dang gastro-intestinal issues
BIKE TIME - 7:24:20, 7:14:49 <-- Improved, but refer to ^^^
BIKE PACE - 15.1, 15.5 <-- Effin' GI issues
T2 - 8:27, 8:06 <-- Changed into my running shorts, too
RUN DIV PLACE - 266, 248 <-- Dang GI issues in the first 9 miles
RUN OVR PLACE - 1645, 1581 <-- Better
RUN TIME - 5:29:43, 5:44:31 <-- GAK!
RUN PACE - 12:36, 13:09 <-- Dang GI issues and walking with other peeps (but that part was okay).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

***Heat and gastro-intestinal issues.***
Stopping to have fun with whoever I could - polka with the Ford announcer chick at the timing mat, polka with the belly-dancing-to-percussion chick on Library Mall, dancing to Superfreak just outside Camp Randall, etc.

Event comments:

Nothing beats Ironman Wisconsin. Nothing. It's top-notch!

People I wished I could have seen:
1). Lisac. Thank you for coming all the way from "out west" and volunteering!
2). 2Goggs. I'm in the doghouse with this one. ;)

People that I met along the way, in no particular order:
1). Jmeserole (casserole ;) ), working in one of the transitions, T2(?)
2). Rcav8tr - driving the SAG wagon with the Donkey Nation emblem on the back of the vehicle. I yelled out to him between Mount Horeb and Cross Plains.
3). Rcav8r - the Donkey-emblemed SAG wagon truck.
4). Jmwebs - Rush fanatic and aid station volunteer
5). Skavoovie and mchally - library mall aid station volunteer
6). Disturbed(digits) (Neal) - T1
7). KimK - bike marshall, Whalen Road
8). JoeRunner and Cweninger - ALL over, and beer drinking jock-strappers!
9). Gofishtlp - All over jockstrapper and volunteer
10). Wavedog - bacon boy, body marker, and ALL over jock-strapper
11). Donnawiz(bang) - wetsuit stripper
12). MissKelly - jock-strapper (well, she could have been a volunteer at one point, but that's when I saw her)
14). Trixie - ANOTHER EXTREME VIP JOCKSTRAPPER, and live phone-sex-on-the-course operator. ;)
15). J_Cow, sister and Mom - jock-strapper
16). YOU, who I may not remember. Thank you!

Participants, outside of who I have mentioned already:
1). Rstock3
2). IronGuinness and brother ...
3). TriMac(?)
4). Velcromom
5). Jtopin
6). YOU, who I may not remember. Sorry.

Now, I thank you for staying with this and thinking of me. I appreciate it.

Now, I will be changing my life some. I missed my family and made a promise to my wife that I would take a sabbatical from BT, or least, take a 90% post-padding reduction to be a better Dad and husband.

Thank you, BT!

Last updated: 2009-09-10 12:00 AM
01:51:06 | 3862 meters | 02m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/368
Overall: 0/2397
Performance: Average
Suit: Full, Pro-Motion
Course: Lake Monona, mass open water start, 2 loops on rectangular-shaped course, then swim to shore, all being checked for a physical and muscle reflexes, and then getting pummeled, pulled, swiped, booted, and rushed.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 16:21
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:14:49 | 112 miles | 15.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/368
Overall: 0/2397
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Down the Monona Terrace helix, on to John Nolen Drive to the Alliant Energy Center, out to "Lollipop" stick rural roads with some rolling hills, to 2 BRUTALLY HILLY 40+ mile loops in the country rural roads, and then back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:05
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:44:31 | 26.2 miles | 13m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/368
Overall: 0/2397
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loop out from the Monona Terrace, through the urban streets of Madison, on Capitol Square and the UW Madison campus area, and State Street, and back on MLK Blvd in front of the Monona Terrace.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2009-09-17 10:28 PM

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2009-09-17 11:23 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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Oak Creek, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Can honestly say that no one seems to enjoy themselves more out there than you do Phil...!!!  and no one certainly is as appreciative to all the volunteers out there as you are...

Congrats on becoming an Ironman x 2...!!!

I was in there catching when you came across the finish and you looked pretty pumped when you crossed that line...  very cool to see....

Great race...!!!  and awesome effort...!!!
2009-09-17 11:34 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great meeting you - funny with the tattoo.....

Loved the RR.....been waiting for it!!
2009-09-18 7:23 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

GREAT job out there fillup, you ARE a TWO TIME IRONMAN!!!!!


proud of you bigman!


2009-09-18 7:51 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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piece o heaven
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Great Job

Great RR

Great Big 2Timer

2009-09-18 8:10 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job Phil! Loved the stories. Perhaps no single person got more out of one day than you!

2009-09-18 8:12 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Living in the past
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job, Phil, and congrats on your second Ironman!

I was glad to see you on the course (twice, actually) and glad to see you work through the GI issues you were having.

The support of the Donkey herd is a great thing, no? I can remember back to my first significant interaction with the herd - a pizza dinner at Organ Piper's almost two years ago. I also remember the guy that made me feel the most welcome to the group - it was you. Back then you told me that your first tri experience was MOO 2007 and I thought you were nuts. Now two years later, I'm still convinced you were nuts, but I also now understand the enthusiasm and excitement you shared when talking about it with me.

While it sounds like you'll be pulling back a bit, I hope you aren't a stranger to the board and to the Donkey Nation. Congrats again.

2009-09-18 8:43 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race had a blast out there and enjoyed you interactions with everyone race day.

Congrats IM x2.
2009-09-18 8:57 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Toledo, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
What an awesome day!  And RR!  Although I've never actually met you, I can tell you're a genuine, giving and great person.  I don't know how you are able to remember the names of all the people you met... that amazes me.  Oh yeah, and didn't you run a race, or something?  Congrats! 

Fill, does you wife understand there has to be a taper for a BT sabbatical?  You can't just quit cold turkey!

Edited by olliedawg 2009-09-18 9:01 AM
2009-09-18 9:05 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Wow, now that's a race report.  By the way, Clint and I didn't just drink beer, we were in bike transition when you came out to get your bike.  Clint showed you which way to go and I was the next volunteer after him.  Too funny.  Oh, and here is the picture of that sunrise:

2009-09-18 9:55 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great RR Phil!


enjoy your family time

2009-09-18 10:30 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Inspiring and hilarious, as always, Phil! I always look forward to your uniquely "Phill-ish" take on things-- and I will surely miss it if you make yourself a little more scarce around these parts. But I certainly understand and have the same mandate to back off, which I think I'm ready for (at least for a little while). Great race. You are an Ironman TIMES TWO!
2009-09-18 10:56 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Sacramento, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Phil- Awsome race and even more awesome race report!!!
2009-09-18 11:06 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations, IronPhil!!  Great job on the race and a wonderful race report.  I loved your stories.  It was clear you had a lot of fun during the race.

I hope you don't disappear from BT completely, but I can understand you needing to take a break. 
2009-09-18 1:29 PM
in reply to: #2413744

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Quebec, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
A HUGE grats IronPhil, I guess that the day was far from being easy. But you made it through and had fun along the way. Thank you for such a great rare report

Way to go man!
2009-09-18 2:10 PM
in reply to: #2413425

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the alamo city, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
olliedawg - 2009-09-18 9:57 AM What an awesome day!  And RR!  Although I've never actually met you, I can tell you're a genuine, giving and great person.  I don't know how you are able to remember the names of all the people you met... that amazes me.  Oh yeah, and didn't you run a race, or something?  Congrats! 

Fill, does you wife understand there has to be a taper for a BT sabbatical?  You can't just quit cold turkey!

OD, Fill has said he would do this before.  He always comes back.

2009-09-18 2:49 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Holy crap.  I just finished reading your report and realized it is time for IMMOO 2010   Great report Fill Up.  Always a pleasure to see you.

2009-09-18 3:29 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats Phil....It was nice meeting you in Verona on that random Saturday or was it a sunday? anyway. Nice job....I'm the king of cramps in the water too, I lucked out and they didn't hit until the run!
2009-09-18 3:35 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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

Great attitude, great report, great race! Congratulations!

2009-09-18 8:58 PM
in reply to: #2413744

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Well gee. I can see why you didn't get that RR up for a few days. It wasn't just a RR. It was the Tri version of "War and Peace."

Let's see: You got up early.... The dead body story was creepy.... The sliced foot sounds painful.... I've never met Birkie; does this mean my juju is still good?

Hm. I'm still in the pre-race section of your RR? OK, moving along....

I suppose that dancing would be a good warm up.

Wow, you met a lot of people! (You even remembered their names!) And it sounds like you had a whole LOT of fun (despite the stomach issues). You even got to see Elvis!

Enjoy your family time. (When do you plan on telling them that you'll be going for #3?)

And most of all:

Congratulations Ironman x2!!! Great job!

Edited by D001 2009-09-18 8:59 PM
2009-09-18 10:48 PM
in reply to: #2413021

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Sequim, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Way to go Phil!  You are a 2 time Ironman. 

Now go spend lots of quality time with your boys.

2009-09-18 10:50 PM
in reply to: #2414830

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

mchally - 2009-09-18 10:48 PM Way to go Phil!  You are a 2 time Ironman. 

Now go spend lots of quality time with your boys.

Thanks for dealing with my road rage.

Thank you very much for the books for the kids!

2009-09-19 12:28 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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On your right
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race Phil, you really do seem to have a great time during the suffering.  It's an example to all of us aspiring Ironpeople.
2009-09-19 10:32 AM
in reply to: #2413021

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West Allis, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job Phil!! It was great cheering you on!! You truly are an inspiration!
2009-09-20 9:02 AM
in reply to: #2413021


Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

That is a long day and a lot to remember.  Thank you for sharing.

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