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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 13h 16m 16s
Overall Rank = 1094/
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 23/
Pre-race routine:

Normal, english muffin w/ PB & Honey, half cup of coffee w/ creamer, water.
Event warmup:

None except treading water before the start.
  • 1h 25m 1s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

Mass start, I got in early and found a nice open spot halfway between the ski jump and shore. As 7am approached the entire area filled up. I was surrounded by tons of bodies that were already kicking and elbowing.

When the cannon went off I knew it would be bad but was not prepared for how bad it was. I immediately started to hyperventilate, dog paddled because otherwise I was getting kicked in the face. Drank a ton of lake water trying to catch my breath. I tried to swim toward shore more but there were people everywhere, kicking and elbowing.

The entire first loop was chaos for me. I was too nice and would let people pass me when they started to touch me, but as soon as they passed there would be another, and another. I swam past the first turn buoy because I was finally happy to have some open space and didn't realize I was past it. As soon as I got back on course it was chaos again.

My calves started cramping as I started the 2nd loop (which I thought about not doing and quitting) and kept cramping the rest of the time. I flexed my feet to stop them from locking up and was able to finish.

The wetsuit stripper guy I picked was awesome. He didn't waste anytime. I had already taken the top part off my shoulders, so he pulled it down to my thighs, told me to get on the ground and he ripped the thing off. Loved my stripper guy!
What would you do differently?:

Practice swimming while being physically assaulted.
Transition 1
  • 09m 14s

Long run from lake up bike path, helix (which was lined with people cheering - awesome!) and into the building. I was so happy to be out of the water I actually enjoyed running up the helix!
What would you do differently?:

Pick up the pace once I got to my bag. I had a great volunteer that helped, but I was so shaken up from the swim I was not thinking clearly and it took me a while to let her know what I wanted/needed.
  • 6h 18m 2s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.78 mile/hr

Awesome bike course (minus all the bumps and holes in the roads), loved almost every minute of it. The hills were not bad at all, not what I expected from everything I read. The 3 hills of any significance were lined with happy, crazy, costumed people so it was so much fun. Tom was on the first hill, I was very happy to see him. The 2nd time through the 3 hills hurt a little bit, but still were not bad. I dropped into my granny gear and spun up it, kept HR low.

My lower back felt bad early on, so I took an Aleve. It helped a little. I also stopped at mile 40 & again at mile 82 to use the port-a-potties. The kids at that stop were the best. They held my bike, asked what I wanted and by the time I came back out they were ready to load me up and send me off. Getting off the bike a couple of times really helped my back.

After the 2nd loop, heading back to town, I felt really good. I passed a ton of people. Riding up the helix was not bad. I had been worried about it, but actually really enjoyed all the people cheering. I cheered back at them and the two guys I was riding up with gave me strange looks. Hey, I was just having a great time!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing other than do a better job of hydrating. I started to get a burpy upset stomach somewhere on lap 2 so I stopped eating and drinking. I started to feel better, but really should have done a better job drinking earlier on. I think I took in too much at once and that started the shoshing.
Transition 2
  • 06m 20s

Very slow in the changing area. I decided to change into running shorts (Lululemon Fastest - yes!) and I'm glad I did, but I put them on backwards and couldn't figure out why they felt so weird. Lost some time turning them around (and I'm not one that likes to be naked in front of a bunch of people either!) but eventually got myself put together. Again I had a great volunteer helping me.

As I exited the building there was the sunscreen. 3 people came at me with white hands and started rubbing sunscreen on me. It felt a little odd having 6 hands all over me.
What would you do differently?:

Pick up the pace, narrow down what I really want for nutrition better. I had so many options in there it was overwhelming trying to figure out what I wanted to take with me.
  • 5h 17m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 07s  min/mile

I didn't feel very good from the start. I know I was dehydrated from lack of drinking on the 2nd part of the bike. I tried to take in water but my stomach didn't feel good. I can't remember how much I ran initially, but I started walking pretty early on. Any hill, no matter how little it was, I walked. I ran when I could, walked when I couldn't. I started eating the Ruffles potato chips for the salt and they tasted like heaven at first. They seemed to be helping a little, so I ran when I could. I think I had one gel, but that didn't sit well, so I stuck with the potato chips. I could still feel sloshing so I didn't drink much at all. Finished off the tums I had with me. At special needs I stopped for more tums and some pepto bismal. The pepto really helped but I only had a few so after about 20 minutes I started feeling bad again.

I will say that I had a great time out there regardless of how bad I felt. I cheered with people, thanked the volunteers, and really enjoyed the course instead of feeling sorry for myself. I kept saying in my head "Honey Badger don't care" and "make it work" and "dig deep".

At one point, I guess it was on the other side of State Street where you have do to the turnaround - people were cheering for me, "come on Karen, you can do it", and they motivated me to start running up to the turnaround and back down. When I started running the cheering that followed almost brought tears to my eyes. They were cheering for me!

There is so much more I could write about the run, and the entire day, but overall I was in survival mode but enjoying every minute of it.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out the stomach issues. (On a positive note, I did not get blisters this time which was a big concern for me going in. I consider that a huge win!)

Pack more emergency "OH $%*&@^#" medicine to choose from.
Post race
Warm down:

Found Tom, stood around for a little while, sucked down as much water as I could get my hands on, and eventually sat down because I felt like I was going to pass out.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

stomach issues

Last updated: 2010-10-03 12:00 AM
01:25:01 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/
Overall: 1639/
Performance: Below average
Suit: BlueSeventy Axis Sleeveless
Course: Two loops, counter clockwise, rectangle shape.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 09:14
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:18:02 | 112 miles | 17.78 mile/hr
Age Group: 23/
Overall: 1061/
Performance: Good
Course: Out, 2 loops, and back.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:20
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:17:39 | 26.2 miles | 12m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/
Overall: 1094/
Performance: Below average
Course: Two loops
Keeping cool Drinking Not enough
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]

2011-09-13 12:34 PM

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2011-09-13 12:54 PM
in reply to: #3684454

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Dirt Road
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin


Honey badgers don't care.

2011-09-13 12:54 PM
in reply to: #3684454

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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats!  Looks like you really rallied after the swim and persevered to a strong finish.  Excellent!!!
2011-09-14 6:45 AM
in reply to: #3684454

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Winder, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Great job, Karen! You had some challenges and you totally rocked it! Having a physical swim makes for a tough start but you persevered and got through! You rocked the bike and the run! I don't think I could run a 5:17 marathon and you did it after swimming and riding. What a great race and yay for no blisters! 

So, which one is next?

2011-09-14 6:56 AM
in reply to: #3684454

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-09-14 10:46 AM
in reply to: #3684454

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Great race and report Karen....Enjoyed watching your training...Congrats Ironman!!!


2011-09-14 12:35 PM
in reply to: #3685993

Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
steve1128 - 2011-09-14 11:46 AM

Great race and report Karen....Enjoyed watching your training...Congrats Ironman!!!


Thanks Steve.  Sorry I didn't get to meet you.

2011-09-14 1:28 PM
in reply to: #3686292

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You did so great!  WHOO!  Way to go!
2011-09-15 7:44 PM
in reply to: #3684454

Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Nice race Karen.  I felt something similar during the first part of that swim - not exactly a friendly affair!

Good work working that run.  And let me know if you find any "OH $%*&@^#" medicine that works!

2011-09-15 8:45 PM
in reply to: #3684454

Western WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Congrats!  Glad you had a great day even though you had to deal with some suck!  Way to go!

2011-09-17 2:10 PM
in reply to: #3684454

Sous Mon Diadème
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations, Karen!  Way to overcome the swim and tummy issues to keep moving forward.  

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