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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
83F / 28C
Total Time = 13h 27m 33s
Overall Rank = 1322/2555
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 203/293
Pre-race routine:

In 2009 I completed IMCDA as well as several half Ironman's. I also did the Chicago Marathon and several half marathons. Needless to say my body was shot. Little did I know how much I would pay for that.

Against my better judgement on September 13th 2009 I decided to sign up for Ironman number 3. IMWI was my 3rd Ironman in 3 years. In the past I just picked training plans off the internet and did them. I decided to try working with a coach this year (best decision ever). I met Rich Swor and Brett Petersen via some friends from BT.

I started working with Rich and Brett in late November. When I started working with them I was already suffering from a calf pull. We started out focusing heavy on the bike and swim. Several rounds of FTP and Lactate sessions. In late December we brought back in running. Everything was going great until I hit late April. I suffered a bad hip strain (caused me to drop Escape from Alcatraz). We fought through that (ART, PT, etc....). We fought through that and got running again in June.

On the 4th of July I pulled my calf again running. It was back to limited running (ART, PT, etc... again). Through all of this Rich and Brett were great and really helped me figure out what to do, I would have dropped IMWI if it wasn't for them coming up with a strategy to get me to the start line.

We hammered the bike and swim so I was good there. August comes around and we start running again. I was able to get a few long runs in (15 miles was my max). In late August I got one monster brick session (2.4 mile swim, 90 mile bike and 10 mile run). That gave me the confidence that I could at least finish the race.

On September 10th we rolled out of Chicago for Madison. Did the usual stuff prior to the race. Check in, quick swim, quick spin on the bike, easy run, check in bags. All the fun stuff that comes with IM.

On September 12th it was go time. Did my usual routine of eating breakfast, heading down to the race, last minute bike check. My wife, parents and a crew of friends were there. I chatted with them till 6:30 and then made my way to the water. I went into the water at 6:50 and just floated till the national anthem and then it was go time.
Event warmup:

Not much of a warmup. Just swam from the shore to the ski ramp. Helped calm the nerves to get moving a little bit
  • 1h 24m 2s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

I started out to the right of the ski ramp hoping to avoid the mass fight that is IM swim starts. That didn't happen. The gun goes off and it is chaos. People swimming on top of each other, under each other and around each other. It was a tarzan swim for the first 500 meters.

I was hit in the head, had my goggles knocked off, kicked in the stomach (damn you breaststroke people). When we hit the first turn everybody came to a stop due to the congestion. I was way to the right hoping to avoid it. It took forever to make the turn. The second turn was the same way. At least by this point there was less contact on the swim.

After that I was able to find some clean water to actually swim in and settled in. This was the 2nd time I have swam the course. For some reason I was terrible with my sighting both times. With the wide start and horrible sighting I probably swam 3 miles.
What would you do differently?:

With the contact as bad as it was way to the right, I should have just started on the bouy line and dealt with it. At least I would have had more of a straight shot and not swam an extra half mile. If I do Madison again I need to figure out my sighting.
Transition 1
  • 10m 32s

Came out of the water and the wetsuit strippers got mine off in about 2 seconds. Headed up the helix (awesome crowd support there) and into T1. A volunteer grabbed my bag and I headed into the change room. Found a chair dumped my stuff out of my bag. Shoes went on, sunglasses and helmet went on. Out the door I went to get lathered in sunscreen (they missed a few spots, ouch).

My bike was at the far end. I had a long run in bike shoes to my bike. A volunteer got my bike for me. I hopped on and down the helix we went.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. With how big a transition it is and having to run up the helix I was happy.
  • 6h 20m 34s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.66 mile/hr

This was a bike PR for me by 17 minutes on the most challenging course I have done for IM. All the bike work this past year has really paid off. I was really happy with my bike. The hills felt much easier this time around (massive crowd support helps) than in the past when I rode them.

I took it easy on the way out of Madison. People were blowing by me, but I held back knowing I had 112 miles of hilly terrain. I was taking in water and Infinit on a regular basis and felt pretty good. We hit Verona for the start of the loop and I was feeling pretty good. Still kept it in check as I knew I had 2 loops and didn't want to blow up. Hit the hills for the first time around and just spun up them. It was great having the people cheering and running with you up the hills.

Saw my wife, parents and friends in Verona around mile 50. It was good to see them. Stopped at special needs around mile 58 and got resupplied. At this point it was starting to get hotter out and the wind kicked in. I started to take in a couple of salt sticks at this point. Got to mile 72 and hopped off the bike to pee (I respect my bike too much to go while on it). My friend was working this aid station and she held my bike while I took care of business. I hopped back on and hit the hills again.

After finishing the second set of hills my stomach was feeling a little quesy and I was having trouble taking in anything but water. I forced down a gel knowing I needed calories, but I think this is part of what came back to bite me on the run.

Hit the bike path and John Nolan drive and saw the Capital in the distance. Got to the helix and up we went. Hopped off the bike and handed it to a volunteer. I have a tendency cramp in my hamstrings when getting off the bike, but this time I didn't. Headed into T2.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Just keep working on getting stronger on the bike and hills.
Transition 2
  • 08m 9s

Headed into T2. A volunteer grabbed my bag for me. I hit the change room and dumped my stuff onto the floor. Shoes went on, compression went on, hat went on, nutrition in the bag. I filled my hand held water bottle, got sunscreen put back on (they missed a few spots again, another ouch), hit the porta pot and took off.
What would you do differently?:

Not spend 3 minutes in the porta pot
  • 5h 22m 28s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 19s  min/mile

I knew going into this that I would be in trouble on run due to my lack of running in training. I came out of T2 and was going to try and run to each aid station and then walk through them. That quickly turned into a run 4 minues and walk 1 minute. That was working up to about mile 4.

At that point I was hurting from lack of calories on the last 20 miles of the bike and the heat was getting to me. I switched to a run 1 minute walk 1 minute. This got me to mile 9. At mile 9 I saw my support crew and that gave me a short boost of energy. I was still taking in water at each stop and trying to choke down the garbage that is Perform.

From mile 9 to mile 17 I just walked some and ran some. Just ran when I felt like I could and walked otherwise. I did get a nice 3/4 of mile of continous running in around special needs (crowd support was awesome in that area).

Around mile 17 I stated to take in broth and coke. When I hit the portion of state street that goes through the campus (around mile 18) the coke and broth kicked in. I was able to give a good run effort from mile 18 - 21.5 miles. The cushioned run trail from 19.5 - 21 helped a bunch.

When I got off the trail and started to head back into the city around mile 22 I just didn't have it in my to run up the hills. I walked a lot of the hills and ran the flats and downhill. I also puked up everything in my stomach at mile 24. Just after drinking some more Perform. I felt a lot better after that.

Once I hit State Street a little after mile 25 I knew it was the home stretch. I picked it up and ran it in from there. Got to the finishers shoot and saw my wife, parents and friends cheering me one. Crossed over the finisher line and IM #3 was in the bag.

The finisher catchers got to me and I got my hat, shirt, medal and picture taken. They stayed with me until my wife got to me. Saw her and gave her a big sweaty hug.
What would you do differently?:

Not get injured so I can have some decent volume. Figure out what to do from a nutrition standpoint. I can't rely on the Perform crap that IM serves out there. I may have to start bringing Infinit in a fuel belt.
Post race
Warm down:

Finishing was as amazing as the other 2. It was great running through the chute, high fiving people, seeing my wife and family cheer me on.

After I finished, I did the usual finishers picture, etc... I just went and sat on a bench at the helix and relaxed. I was hurting pretty bad. My wife and dad went and got my bike and bags, while my mom and buddy stayed with me.

After about 30 minutes we headed back to the hotel. I was feeling much better. Took a quick shower and headed back out to watch the finishers. I ate some pizza and then headed over to the finish line. Hung out with Coredump, jowisc, jschmitchicag, whizzzzz and a bunch of other BTer's. At midnight we headed back to the hotel to crash.

None of this over the last 6 years would have been possible if my wife didn't support me. She has never said anything when I would be gone for long rides or head to Madison for a weekend. I owe her a lot. Also, want to thank Rich and Brett for getting me to the starting line in one piece and helping me fight through the injuries.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Leg injuries. I had half the run volume that I usually have for marathons and it came back to bite me. I was just happy I was able to fight through them and finish. IMWI is the hardest of the 3 courses that I have done. With all the issues I had in training I was very pleased with my finish. I'm taking next year off from IM and concentrating on shorter races. I'll probably be back for round 4 in 2012.

Event comments:

It is an Ironman. They have their act together and run great races. The only reason I don't give it a 5 is due to the crap Perform drink they serve. I would highly recommend IMWI. The crowd support is over the top.

Last updated: 2009-09-14 12:00 AM
01:24:02 | 4224 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 217/293
Overall: 293/2555
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full Zoot Wetsuit
Course: 2 loop rectangle shape
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 10:32
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:20:34 | 112 miles | 17.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 171/293
Overall: 1100/2555
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 15 mile out and back from Madison and then 2 40 mile loops through Verona. Course has some good climbs on it.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 08:09
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:22:28 | 26.2 miles | 12m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 204/293
Overall: 1495/2555
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loop run course though downtown Madison. Get to run through Camp Randall stadium twice (very cool). Course is fairly hilly.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-09-19 10:34 AM

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Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2010-09-19 12:34 PM
in reply to: #3106614

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job on a tough race! I suffer from some calf issues too and it can make consistent run training tough!
2010-09-29 12:07 PM
in reply to: #3106614

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I totally missed your RR and can't believe I never crossed paths.  Great job toughing it out, especially with the injuries.  You're lucky to have such a great support crew!!!
2010-09-29 4:01 PM
in reply to: #3106614

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Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats. I agree that Perform is nasty. Won't make the mistake of drinking that again.
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