General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Wisconsin Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 16h 14m 6s
Overall Rank = 2293/2550
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 322/352
Pre-race routine:

I made the decision to do Ironman WI, after being forced to take the entire 2009 season off with a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery to repair a labral tear.

Two days before my surgery, I made contact with a buddy who I haven't spoken to in more than 20 years. He completed IMWI in 2007 and reassured me that it was completely do-able. We both committed to volunteering for the 2009 race then signing up for IMWI 2010.

Immediately after signing up for the race, I forced myself to go to swim 2.4 miles to see what kind of training I was going to need. I suffered dearly through that swim as my shoulder still wasn't right.

Over the next several months, I continued to work on my swimming and would mix in a little running and biking.

Beginning in January, 2010, I met a couple new friends who work for a city adjacent to where I work. We began meeting on Saturday mornings in my basement and rode on our trainers to Spinervals DVD's. The Saturday sessions becmae known as the "sweaty (smelly) basement".

By the beginning of March, we began to ride outside and the official training season began.

I thought training was going well until I competed in the Verona Triterium Triathlon, my first olympic distance race. Verona was a complete suffer fest. The only thing that made me continue without quitting and giving up on triathlon all together was knowing that I had already invested so much in to IMWI. I suffered through the bike and run and was fortunate to meet another BT'er, TRIRX. Tracy eased my mind while keeping me moving forward through Verona. I learned that I needed to spend a LOT more time in the saddle. After the race I met another guy, who was an accomplished iron distance triathlete. Ken explained to me that the bike portion of Verona made that race a "half iron distance exertion". I wanted to believe Ken, but I just couldn't buy it.

In July, I completed the Racine Ironman 70.3, my longest race to date. My goal for Racine was to finish and to work on my nutrition, which was a BIG problem at Verona. I did the race and being in the last wave suffered through a torrential downpour on the bike and 93 degrees on the run. I had an absolute BLAST!!! This race helped build my confidence for completing IMWI.

The next month and a half, I built my mileage quickly and spent several days on the IMWI course. We even rode 80 miles on the course during a tornado warning. I felt pretty confident that I would be able to, depending on weather and nutrition, hold a 16 plus MPH average.

For several days leading up to the race, I began getting a severe head cold. I tried to control the congestion using a virtual cocktail of over-the-counter drugs including emergen-C, and Nyquil. The bug effected my appetite and my sleep for several days, but I forced myself to eat and sleep.

I arrived in Madison on Thursday, 09-09-10, still feeling horrible. On Friday I did a very slow 3 mile run then headed to the lake for a short swim. I met up with a buddy who I had trained with over the past several months and attempted to swim. There was an east wind and the waves were bad. I swam 5 minutes before giving up.

Feeling defeated, I proceeded to registration. While in line, I spoke to a guy who lives in Madison. He mentioned to me that the wind would be from the west on Sunday and that would tame the waves significantly. This made me feel a little better, but as the clock ticked toward Sunday, I became more nervous that I wouldn't be able to make the swim.

On Saturday, 09-11-10, I got up and swam a little bit ~.5 miles. After the first couple hundred yards, I was able to control my breathing and heart rate enough to feel comfortable with the next day's swim. (I thought) An hour after my swim, my nerves began playing with me again and I had myself convinced that there was no way I would make it out of the water. I told my wife, about my concerns and she did her best to ease my mind, reminding me that I had swam more than the 2.4 miles every week for the past several months.

I returned to my hotel and packed my transition and special needs bags, then brought my bike to transition. I'm sure you could have seen my heart thumping through my shirt.

I spent the rest of the day laying low. Took a nice nap, then took my wife out to the bike course to find a good viewing location for her. I was still nervous and even begged my wife to let me back out of IMWI. The distances were driving me crazy.

Later that evening, we went to dinner with my training group. They all knew I was sick (as was my buddy Jeff) and they all knew that my nerves were making it worse. We enjoyed our routine pre-race pizza then headed for our hotel rooms.

After returning to our hotel room, I put my gear together and hit the sack at about 9:00 PM, after a nice snoot of Nyquil.

On race morning, I got up at 3:30 AM and had a smoothie (400 Calories) and a sports drink. Then I swallowed my medicine-cocktail in hopes to have a clear head by the time I walked to transition.

Once I dropped off my special needs bag, I made contact with Jeff and Steph (AKA Bob & Betty Brookfield), my training partners. We wished each other luck and went our seperate ways. I hoped we would meet in the water, but with 2900 other swimmers, I doubted it.....

Event warmup:

Kerry and I moved toward the water at about 6:00 AM and I began to get my wetsuit on. My nerves were absolutely killing me (as they do before EVERY race). I again begged Kerry to allow me to walk away. I knew she wouldn't and I was secretly relieved. I told my wife that I would never do another triathlon because I just couldn't handle the nervousness again. She humored me by getting my mind back on this race.

I entered the water at about 6:30 and swam out to the buoys. While I was treading water, I was met by Jeff and Steph. Almost immediately upon meeting up with my friends my fear and nervousness went away and my head was focused on the task ahead of me.

A short time later the cannon went off....
  • 1h 27m 5s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

WOW!!! What an eye opener!!! This swim was tough. Not because of the distance, but because of the crowd. I have a tough time swimming over the top of people, so I was forced to stop and let traffic clear several times. It was a major disadvantage being tall. Each time I would allow someone to get ahead of me, I would be right back on top of them in a couple strokes. By the end of the second lap, I was so fed up with waiting for slower swimmers, so I just pushed my way through the crowd.

My swim time was about 3 minutes faster than I had estimated based on previous swim times.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't stop and wait for traffic to clear. I am convinced that this caused me to remain in traffic a lot longer and cost me a lot of valuable time. I would try to get ahead of the crowd and stay there.
Transition 1
  • 14m 39s

VERY SLOW transition time. I reminded myself several times as I ran up the helix and in to the changing tent, that this was not a sprint and that I had all day to be out there. I changed from my tri-suit in to my bicycling bibs and jersey (with large pockets)
What would you do differently?:

I would have tried to be in and out in less than 10 min. There was no real need to change in to a bike kit.
  • 7h 51m 10s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.26 mile/hr

I had trained on this course several times over the summer, but never quite figured out my nutrition plan. I was feeling pretty strong when I started out on the bike course. I averaged ~20 MPH on the stick and went through the intersection where I planned to see Kerry at 27 MPH, turns out I beat her there. My computer was set to beep every 15 minutes to remind me to drink and eat and I thought I was doing pretty well until I hit a long boring stretch of highway before Mt Horeb. This is where I realized that the only gel's I had packed were "Cafe Latte"....there is only so much Latte a guy can handle. I climbed the hill in to Horeb well and felt pretty good. At the Mt Horeb aid station, I grabbed a tangerine gel, a banana piece and a bottle of water to top off my aero bottle.

During this first loop I felt great! By the time I got to Verona to start the second loop, I was starting to feel hungry and noticed I was slowing down. I stopped at the special needs station and grabbed two fresh bottles of Ironman Perform and the food I had packed for myself. I have no idea what I was thinking when I packed this food bag. I packed Slim-Jim's, thinking the sodium would force me drink. I also had some granola bars some more Cafe Late gel's.

As I began the second loop, my stomach was very hungry. I took a slim jim, believing that it was a good comfort food and would make me drink more. My mouth was so dry that I couldn't swallow it. I tried to drink some more water and Perform and took some more nasty gel's.

When I got in to Mt Horeb again, I had to stop and take some fruit and yes some more gel's. I proceeded to Cross Plains then to the hills. I had very little energy left as I began climbing the hills. All I wanted to do was quit, but I reminded myself that this was normal and would pass as soon as I found some food I could eat. I made it up each of the remaining hills and back in to Verona. I should note that I twice saw the girl with the "Ironmen are Sexy" sign and laughed.... This helped my attitude a lot!

By the time I got back on the stick back in to Madison, I knew that albeit slower than I even dreamed of, I would certainly be in before the 5:30 cut off. At this point I gave up on my secret 14 hour goal time and just focused on finishing. I knew that I'd be back to transition before 5 and could just about walk the marathon and finish before midnight.

During my ride back to Madison, my legs started to cramp BADLY! My quads hurt so badly that I couldn't stand up, and I knew there was at least one other hill coming. Not to mention the helix back to transition. despite the terrible pain, I shifted to an easier gear and spun at `90-100 RPM
What would you do differently?:

Way too many things to list. Most importantly would be to find a good nutrition plan. No matter how fit you are, if you burn up all of your calories you can't be fast!
Transition 2
  • 18m 22s

When I got to the top of the helix and in to transition, I saw my wife and two kids. My mind was so tired and I was so hungry that I was convinced that I couldn't finish. I almost started to cry when I saw them, because I knew quitting would let them down.

When I finally reached the bike catcher, I told him that I wasn't sure my legs would work as they were terribly cramped. This guy was fantastic! He held my bike and gave me a moment to dismount. I went in to the changing tent and found a chair. I sat down completely deflated. Fortunately a volunteer met me with a couple glasses of water. This helped a little bit but I was so dizzy and had cramps in my legs and neck / shoulder. The volunteer's helped me get my jersey off and helped me with my shoes and socks. I had a couple more glasses of water while waiting for help from the "Active Release Therapists". One of the ART guys helped me pop the pinched muscle or nerve in my neck. After a little Perform, I went outside to use the porta-john (the first time since before the swim)

What would you do differently?:

It all comes back to nutrition.
  • 6h 22m 51s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 37s  min/mile

I sort of caught a second wind at the beginning of the run. It helped seeing so many people that I knew. The first 3-4 miles went quick, probably a little too quickly. I found myself cramping up again, this time in my gut. I made the decision to slow down and do a run / walk. During the first half of the run I saw my friends Jeff and Steph, and Tim and Diana. It was great seeing them but reminded me how much time I had lost. I trudged on and tried to get some food. The only things that sat well in my stomach were grapes and tangerine gel. I had a couple cups of chicken broth which helped my stomach a little bit, but it was probably too late. Between the bike and the first 13 miles of the run I had about 20 gel packs and my stomach knew it. I became very nauseous and the thought of another gel made me want to vomit.

About 1/2 way through the first loop, I ran in to another BT'er irongirl09 who kind of mentored me over the past year. It was good to see her and it took my mind off of my stomach and the now very large blisters which were growing on my feet.

At the 13 mile turn around the balls of my feet hurt so bad that I couldn't put any weight on them. I tried to keep running but my feet hurt too bad (yes, dumb idea wearing new shoes) I looked at my watch and realized I was in great shape to finish before midnight, even at my now very slow pace.

I walked about 9 of the last 13 miles, on the outside edges of my feet, trying to keep the pressure of of my blisters.

At mile 25, I decided I couldn't walk anymore and decide I HAD to run the last mile. I'm glad I did this despite the blisters. I was able to catch up with TriRX and had the opportunity to finish with her, (well she let me finish before her)
What would you do differently?:

I would not run a marathon in new shoes again. Actualy, I know better than to do that but I guess I was just caught up in the whole IM Taper madness :)
Post race
Warm down:

I was able to meet up with my friends and family, but because it was already 11:15, I decided I should get my bike out of transition and pick up my transition bags.

After that I went back to the hotel and CRASHED!

Event comments:

If it was not for my dismal nutrition plan, I think I would have made my "secret goal time" pretty easily. I think I trained appropriately for each of the disciplines based on my goal time.

In every race I have ever completed, anxiety and nutrition have been my biggest limiting factor.

I got in to triathlon four years ago after being diagnosed with pre-hypertension and being told by my doc that I needed to exercise. I was a little worried that my chronic asthma would limit me, but four years later I'm only affected by asthma when I'm not working out....

I could probably babble on about this race for months before submitting my race report so I'll end it ...........> HERE

Last updated: 2010-09-16 12:00 AM
01:27:05 | 4224 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 256/352
Overall: 1775/2550
Performance: Good
It took me a couple hundred yards before I was able to find a rhythm and control my heart rate. I just couldn't believe how many people were in the water with me.
Suit: Orca 3.8 full sleeve
Course: The IMWI swim course is a two lap rectangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 14:39
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:51:10 | 112 miles | 14.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 331/352
Overall: 2354/2550
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: The course is a two lap "lolly-pop" style course. The stick portion is 16 miles out to a two loop ~42'ish mile SUCKer portion. Traveling from Madison (Monona Terrace) out to Verona, Mt Horeb, and Cross Plains.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Time: 18:22
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:22:51 | 26.2 miles | 14m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/352
Overall: 0/2550
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat run between the capital and the UW campus.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
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

2010-09-23 8:00 PM

User image

Mukwonago, WI
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2010-09-23 8:18 PM
in reply to: #3115125

User image

Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race report, loved the pre-amble....we all have  a story to tell, right?   Nice job perservering through that run....look forward to seeing how you solve the nutrition issues for your next IM...I am guessing there will be one.
2010-09-23 8:26 PM
in reply to: #3115143

User image

Mukwonago, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
SSMinnow - 2010-09-23 8:18 PM Great race report, loved the pre-amble....we all have  a story to tell, right?   Nice job perservering through that run....look forward to seeing how you solve the nutrition issues for your next IM...I am guessing there will be one.

Yha, I probably wrote too much, eh?   Oh well I've had a week to go through it

YES there will certainly be another IM.  Probably 2012.  The honey-do list that I have recently received will take at least that long to finish. 
2010-09-24 2:16 AM
in reply to: #3115125

User image

Lafayette, IN
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
way to hang tough and finish!  You certainly acheived a goal through an epic struggle.
2010-09-24 8:43 AM
in reply to: #3115125

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
2010-09-24 9:17 AM
in reply to: #3115125

User image

Mukwonago, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I just re-read what I wrote.  I make it sound like I had a miserable day.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I had some nutritional problems, which I recognized at the time but couldn't fix.  Other than that it was among the best experiences of my life.   I loved seeing so many people that I knew and it was great seeing so many strangers cheering all of us on.

In retrospect, the day/race seemed like I was in cruise control.  Everything went well, except my fuel was low.  I finished and that was the BIG goal.  Next time I will concentrate on my time

2010-09-27 9:39 AM
in reply to: #3115125

User image

Sun Prairie, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on finishing Ironman!  I enjoyed your report, looks like you have a lot of great take aways and a great overall experience.
2010-09-28 10:10 AM
in reply to: #3115125

User image

Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats Ironman!
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Wisconsin Rss Feed