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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /2550
Age Group = 30-35
Age Group Rank = 0/293
Pre-race routine:

Went to bed around 9pm. Woke up at 12am. Finally fell back asleep around 3am. The alarm went off at 3:30am. Got up, had a turkey and cheese sandwich. Got dressed. Got everything organized. I was really nervous about getting there so I made my cab reservation for 4:30am. Got to the race site by quarter to 5. Dropped off my special needs bags. Checked over my transition bags. Ran into some tri club friends, some volunteers, some participants. We chatted a bit, but I really just wanted to be alone. I wandered down to the swim start which was mostly deserted except for the people setting up the Jumbotron and timing stuff. I found a nice tree, set my watch and fell asleep for a half hour. Woke up around 6am to find there were people all around. So I leisurely started getting ready for the swim.
Event warmup:

This is where I'm going to discuss my lead up to IM. I found out in June that the pain I ran through all spring was a bone spur on the anterior head of the Fibula where it meets the talus bone. I decided to not do surgery because it would have meant no IM. But it also meant that running was very painful. I did a lot of walking.
  • 1h 25m 3s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

I loved the swim! We were allowed in the water about 25 minutes prior to the start. I'm at home in the water. I got in almost as early as I could. As soon as my toes hit the water, all the nerves and concerns melted away. There was nothing left to do but race. The fact that there was a good chance I wouldn't finish was gone. I swam out, found a nice place to relax and then waited.

I thought I found a decent out of the way location. When you look at pictures from the terrace looking at the start, I am pretty much smack dab in the middle. ten feet to the left and 10 feet back from the ski ramp.

The swim was uneventful for me. I got slapped a couple times, almost got kick once, as I was passing a dude he switched from freestyle to breast stroke and I came with in inches of getting kicked in the face. There were no other close calls. But I found that as long as I didn't try and swim over someone, and instead slowed up or went around when I saw or brushed their feet, there was little chance of getting kicked.

I was timing myself on half laps, and I hit each mark on pace for a 1 hour 20 minute swim. I'll take the 1:25.

I swam an easy pace, and may have been able to go under 1:20 if I'd been a little more aggressive getting around people, but I'm just not that type of guy.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe start somewhere else? I didn't have issues, but was slowed somewhat by other people. Not sure why poor swimmers line up in front.
Transition 1
  • 09m 24s

I thought it went well. It's a long run up the helix. I felt like I did it as fast as need be. My goal including the run up the helix was 15 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

  • 00m
  • 112 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr

Aside from the stabbing pain in my ankle, I felt really good. I rode a relaxed pace and while slow, I hit the time checkpoints exactly as I wanted to. But my ankle was toast.

I'm glad I knew the course. I absolutely blasted the downhill on Garfoot road. It almost makes the whole course worthwhile by itself (I was built to go downhill).

I got paced by a dude towing a trailer full of adult beverages and wearing a cheese hat. Made for good laughs when I complained to spectators that he was making me look bad.

Going up the climb on Midtown road, someone had a sign that said "Do a wheelie." The whole reason I have a safety lever on my bike is so I can wheelie it easier. So I obliged, and in the process totally blew my wad.

The pain in my ankle was bad enough that I would have stopped in Mt Horeb on the first loop if my wife had been there. She was going to try and meet me there, but worse case she would meet me in Verona. When I got to Verona I was riding so slow looking for her and my daughter that people we asking if I was okay. I ended up missing them. I continued to the special needs area and decided to call it quits. There was no way I was going to make it another loop with my ankle as painful as it was. I borrowed a phone from a volunteer, called my wife and we arranged to meet at the McDonalds in Verona because it was the only landmark I knew how to get to and tell her where it was.
What would you do differently?:

Not have a wrecked ankle.

Either get a taller cassette or ignore the wheelie sign. Probably wise to get the cassette because I have a hard time ignoring signs like that.

Practice wheelies on the road bike.
Transition 2
  • 00m
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Event comments:

Post race I wondered if I could have gotten through the pain. It was a tough decision, but I think it was wise. One thing I regret was hiding from my friends how messed up my ankle was. I don't think I wanted to say out loud how much the pain effected everything. Swimming inflamed it. Riding hurt but was bearable (when I had not swam for 1.5 hours prior to the ride) and I could walk. Telling others would have meant admitting to myself that my chances of finishing were slim.

I am writing this recap 1.5 weeks post surgery, and feeling as good as I could about the race. Prior to surgery the doc thought that I could have an inflamed ligament that was getting pinched, a separate issue from the bone spur. When the doc went in to remove the spur and scope the area around the ligament he found that it was barely intact and most likely the main culprit of the pain I was feeling. He removed it completely (apparently it's not a needed piece, about half of the population isn't even born with that particular bit) It wasn't until a week after the surgery, when I went in for my first post op that we really discussed it. He said I he couldn't believe I trained all summer in the shape I was in.

I guess I can be happy with how far I made it considering the circumstances. There was no way I was not going to start. I also think I gain a lot. I think that when I go back in two years I won't feel like a first timer. Getting to the start was the most difficult thing and I've already done that.

I won't be able to go for it next year. The wife is pregnant and we are expecting #2 in April. With Heather's permission I'll be volunteering next year to sign up for IMWI in 2012 so I can finish what I've started.

Last updated: 2010-10-09 12:00 AM
01:25:03 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 292/293
Overall: 1619/2550
Performance: Good
Suit: Profile Designs Full suit
Course: Two loops around a rectangular course.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:24
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
00:00:00 | 112 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/293
Overall: 0/2550
Course: lollipop. Out, 2 loops around a course and back in the same way.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
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: 0/293
Overall: 0/2550
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2010-10-09 9:58 PM

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Eat Cheese or Die
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2010-10-10 8:33 AM
in reply to: #3143363

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Chenequa WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Its a tough decision to pull out from a race, but a good racer knows when to do just that.  You were smart and better luck on your next IM.

(You reminded me that I haven't posted my RR for IMWI either... thanks)
2010-10-10 11:22 AM
in reply to: #3143363

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Although you didn't hear the are an Ironman for training with that injury.  Daaaang.  Good job listening to your body (maybe a bit late) and pulling the plug.  You'll be stronger for 2012.  Have fun with the fun of bringing #2 into the world. 
2010-10-11 2:11 PM
in reply to: #3143363

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Germantown, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Having never done IM myself, but really wanting to, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to stop.  Really good job training on what must have been a very painful summer.  Now that you know how to prepare for the race and how the swim and bike are, you should do very well in 2012.  Imagine how training will go when you feel good! 

Edited by kbreitz 2010-10-11 2:13 PM
2010-10-12 5:32 AM
in reply to: #3143363

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

I am sure the decision to quit was tough, but it was smart.  More damage to that ankle is not what you need with a baby on the way.  I saw that sign too and wondered who would be crazy enough to do a wheelie.  Now  I know.

2010-10-13 8:07 AM
in reply to: #3143363

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
That's too bad that you had an injury that whole time.  I have to agree with Terri here - any lesser of a man would have quit immediately.

You have some experience now that'll carry over to your next IM - the one that you will officially finish, and finish in an awesome time.

CONGRATULATIONS with #2 coming!!

2010-10-14 12:24 AM
in reply to: #3146523

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Eat Cheese or Die
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it, even more then I would have expected to.
2010-10-15 12:34 PM
in reply to: #3143363

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I would imagine that pulling out of an Ironman midway is actually harder than finishing the dang thing.  

Showing restraing and judgment (if we overlook the wheelies) takes alot of courage.   Congrats to you for having the stones to pull up and not completely wreck your body. 

There will be other IM's in which you can wheelie.   Good luck on your recovery!
2010-11-22 12:07 PM
in reply to: #3143363

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Some say training for IM and getting to starting line well trained and uninjured is the hardest part of an IM journey.

Hope your ankle heals up quickly and you can get back at things without pain. Pushing through the pain all summer to train and the mental struggle with all that w/o letting friends know what was going must of been difficult on many levels.

Glad you listened to your body and stopped which must of been extremely difficult.

This experience and training will help you when you toe the line next time.

Congrats on the new baby to be!
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