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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
82F / 28C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 2353/
Age Group = W 18-24
Age Group Rank = 22/23
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:30, had some grapes, a bagel, and a bottle of water, got dressed and drank a Diet Coke to give me some caffeine. Tried to shake of some of the prerace nerves. Walked down and put nutrition on the bike, checked my tires and went to go put a few final things in my gear bags. Got body marked and then went down part of the helix to just rest and get mentally ready for the day.
Event warmup:

About 40 minutes before the start, I walked down and put on my wetsuit. Very tearful saying goodbye to my family after the wait. Waited till about 20 minutes before to walk over to the water, ran into Paul and got several hugs and words of encouragement. Then climbed in about 5 minutes before the pros started and found my spot in the water. Treaded water and waited for the national anthem. Teared up at the sound of the national anthem and got ready to go.
  • 1h 38m 30s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 20s / 100 yards

I seated myself so that not many people were directly behind me and I was by the boat ramp and about 1/3 of the way from the start and when the gun went off I was actually fine for a very long time swimming before I ran into anyone. Watching the terrace move by on the first leg of the swim was amazing and I really moved very quickly. I looked at my watch at the first time and saw around 18 minutes. The turn was congested but I fought through it and headed out onto the backside. Started to feel a little drained and certainly constricted by the wetsuit and the temperature of the water. Made it to turn 3 and 4 and was very envious of those started to the swim exit. The front part of the second loop felt like forever and the buoys were not in line so I started to swim on the inside of those. I would swim breathstroke for a bit and then push for awhile with crawl. I finally made it to the turn and wasn't sure how the backside would go because I was started to feel fatigued. Just kept pushing over and over on the backside knowing I would be out as soon as possible. Some people were pushing around hard out on the backside and I swallowed icky lake water several times. The chop was also starting to pick up and that was making it harder. Finally made the last turn and kept pushing for the arch to get out.... wasn't able to put my feet down till about 10 feet from the water's edge but the crowd was loud and it made me excited... I was through the first part of the course.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, I didn't spend enough time in the open water and not enough time in the pool this past summer. I started hating the water but now I know I have got to find a way around that and be in there for longer sessions. I got out of the water fatigued and my stomach was not doing well. I was also really thirsty telling me I should have had more to drink before I even started.
Transition 1
  • 12m

Got out of the water, found two not busy wetsuit strippers, laid down and we had major trouble getting the suit off around my hips... finally got it off, they helped me up and I started the walk up the helix... saw my parents which was wonderful and kept going.... when I got to the top, I started to jog a bit and got my bag and into the change tent. Had a chair and a volunteer all to myself and she helped me get ready and read me the stuff on my inspiration bracelet... she was great... thank you... then left my stuff and started out the door to my bike... didn't run but kind of brisky moved... had the suntan lotion people do me up a bit and got my bike handed to me by my bestest friend Angie... walked to the mount line and got on the bike... time to go.
What would you do differently?:

Not much... the transition was good... maybe grab some gatorade at that point... I was happy with it even though 12 minutes is long!
  • 00m
  • 70 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr

I don't know where to start... I never thought it would end this way. I started off going down the helix, having trouble clipping in but I did finally. Fed off the spectators and knew my friend Paul would be uphead to take my picture, smiled when I went past him and just started to settle in for a long bike ride. I knew I needed to remain controlled and keep it steady, but the problems started early, no gatorade on my bike. My stomach was a bit upset from the lake water and I was thirsty so I started downing water as I pushed out to Verona. Hit the first good hill and spun up it... the spectators were just pulling me along, but I knew I just didn't feel right or good... I was way too tired this early on. Continued to push... saw a guy get a yellow card for passing over the center line and just kept going. I didn't know how far the aid station was but kept going trying to spin up the hills and push down them. I was getting passed but I kept up in spirits. The hill I walked up (the other way when I was training) came and I saw balloons and my parents sign and figured my friend Angie put it out there... finally got to the aid station, grabbed two bottles of water, a bottle of gatorade and a banana and started eating at it... finally made it to Verona and pushed through the city to the first big hill. I spun the best I could.... felt good for the first few hills and just kept pushing. Said hi and thank you to everyone I could. I played leap frog with a bunch of others for a long time... got off my bike at Mt Horeb and again and Cross Plains... I was started to feel really tired and I knew that the famous three were coming up... made it up the first barely, made it up the second because of Angie and the crazy fans. My parents were at the bottom and it was good to see them though they knew things were bad already... started to climb the third and barely up it I fell over and had to walk up the rest of it... it was so hard mentally to walk the hill. Got back on and kept going. Made it to the crazy plaza in Verona and the whole rest of my fan group was there going nuts. Got to the division between going home and a second loop and just wanted to cry... I knew I had 4 hours left before the cutoff and it was going to be an hour a segment. Started to push, and was having trouble getting my legs to respond... was having problems pushing fast even on the flats... could only average around 10-12 which just wouldn't cut it. Made it within about 2 miles of Mt. Horeb and had to get off my bike... Road assistance pulled up next to me and I was crying... I knew my day was going well. I put some ice on my neck and they talked to me for a bit. Decided to bike into Mt. Horeb to the aid station and go from there. Had to walk the hill and made it to the top... I knew no matter how much I wanted to deny it... my day was over... it took me over 1 hour and 15 minutes to make Mt. Horeb... way too long with what was left to go and I knew if I didn't stop now I could really hurt myself and I would get pulled off at the T2... which would be that much worse. I made the hardest decision yet and dropped out... I had yet to go to the bathroom many hours and bottles of liquid later... I knew I wasn't seriously sick but I knew that what was to come... well I would never make it.
What would you do differently?:

1. Put gatorade on my bike for early on
2. Train more hills
3. Train more distance
4. Train more swim to bike bricks
5. Train more hills
6. Train and figure out fool proof nutrition

A lot of little things went wrong... and they added up big :(
Transition 2
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Warm down:

I rode along with 10 others from Mt. Horeb back to the finish line. The van was quiet and I cried most of the way back. I had given up after a whole year of training and out there were my parents and friends still waiting for me. I didn't get access to a phone until we got back to the finish and they took my chip from me and my day was done. I called and left a message for my family and heard the second male come across the finish line. My phone and room key were in the room and I went up to the desk and they were so nice and gave me another... I went up to the room... called my parents, told them I was okay, and took a shower were my tears just mixed with the water. My parents finally came back and the tears just kept coming... I finally was able to fall asleep for a nap as my family called and let everyone else know what had happened. No one was disappointed with me but I was with myself. After my nap I walked to the bag area and got my transition bags, ran into my friend Paul who let me cry on his shoulder and talked about what happened. Many hugs later, I went to go get my run special needs bag because I really wanted my red jacket in it... ran into Angie my good friend and cried on her shoulder. Then went up to the room and watched the Packer game and drown my sorrows in a pizza with my parents. We left early the next day... I woke up feeling empty, like I had left a piece of me out there. I really wanted to sign up for 2010 but with starting nursing school decided 2011 was a better option to mentally heal and get myself back together. This is the first time I have been able to look back and not lose it. My mom described it perfectly when she said it was like Christmas morning but Santa forgot all about me and came to see everyone else. I know I will get over this and be strong because of it. This was truly a learning experience and will make me stronger... but right now it still hurts.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A lot of things... I need to better train... I need to have someone to keep me in line... I maybe need a coach... but I won't let my fitness level drop right now... I will be back to take revenge on the bike.

Event comments:

I think back onto this experience and now greatly admire those who can finish an Ironman... I knew it wasn't going to be easy... no one ever said Ironman was easy... but wow, this has certainly changed me for the rest of my life. I really need to finish this race. I will use next year to get stronger and then I will come back and make my peace in 2011. Thank you everyone for soooo much support!!!! I know you will be behind me when I try again and I love you all for it! Thanks to everyone who has gotten me through it... I don't know what the future holds but I know I will finally have the day when they call me an Ironman!

Last updated: 2008-09-29 12:00 AM
01:38:30 | 4224 yards | 02m 20s / 100yards
Age Group: 18/23
Overall: 2173/
Performance: Average
Suit: My usual long sleeved suit
Course: 2 loop swim... 1.2 miles apiece counterclockwise
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 12:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
00:00:00 | 70 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/23
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Wind: Little
Course: Stem from Madison, out to a double loop from Verona to Mt. Horeb to Cross Plains and back again... half way was Verona with their huge festival of fun
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/23
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-09-18 10:20 PM

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Mishicot, Wisconsin
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2009-09-19 6:36 AM
in reply to: #2414801

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

It was a tough day out there for everyone.  Rookies to seasoned athletes all learned a lot about themselves.  We never know what the day will bring is and we just have to learn from what happened and move on.

2009-09-19 8:22 AM
in reply to: #2414801

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Extreme Veteran
Dana Point, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I feel for you...

The race I am certain taught you a few lessons...

Work hard/smart, and do it in 2011!
2009-09-19 10:30 AM
in reply to: #2414801

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Extreme Veteran
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I'm sure that wasn't easy to write, but it's a great report.  You'll make it!  See you in 2011!
2009-09-19 10:44 AM
in reply to: #2414801

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A little slice of paradise
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I can really feel the emotion in your race report, and I feel for you.
It could have been any one of us out there, which does not make it any better I know. You can train, have your nutrition spot on and still 'life happens' at any race/any distance.
But, You HAVE to give yourself credit for being out there and  having the courage to start an IM, and to know you were ready to take that on.
That so Rocks ! 
Keep up the great attitude for 2011
"never forget your beginners spirit"
2009-09-19 10:45 AM
in reply to: #2414801

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
What you learn from this race will help you finish your next one! It was a hard day for a lot of people out there! I am looking for a redo in 2011, see you out there!

2009-09-20 1:24 PM
in reply to: #2415103

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Aw, sorry you had to stop. BUT I'm sure you'll get through it the next time. Go do what you need to do (nursing school), then come back strong in 2011! We know you can do it.

2009-09-21 12:30 PM
in reply to: #2414801

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Extreme Veteran
Green Bay, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Pam, you had the courage to start which is something MANY people do not have. Everyone is proud of you for that. Things just did not go your way this time, but you'll build off of this and things WILL go your way next time. Although easier said than done, keep your head up and know that so many people are proud of you no matter what. Smile

2010-02-08 5:12 PM
in reply to: #2414801

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New user

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
If it was easy, it wouldn't be an Ironman. Just imagine how good it will feel when you do accomplish this!
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