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Ford Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ford Ironman
86F / 30C
Total Time = 13h 33m 7s
Overall Rank = 1238/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 49/
Pre-race routine:

Shredded mini-wheats with almond milk, coffee, pepcid and potty trips. Found the gang in transition, pumped up tires and applied GU and Quintana Roo tattoos. Fought nervousness by hanging with Doug, Becky and Katie. We could not find Karen. The tension was horrible.
Event warmup:

Found Karen in the water before the start, so we got to float around together for 15-20 minutes. Much less stressful to float with the buttercups.
  • 1h 21m 27s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Well, the mass start is something to behold. Luckily, I got smushed between two dudes at the start and they shielded me for a while. Then, I was on my own. I have never been hit, kicked or swim over by more clumsy oafs in my life. Did what I could to swim around the outside, which was AWESOME! That water was delightful. I was the furthest person from the buoy at the turn and no one was MOOing!! The only problem was that the boat people kept waving me back in, so I would go in and get caught up in the disaster and then have to migrate back out. So, I could have done a better job here. I even saw Doug swim by me at one point. Surreal.
What would you do differently?:

Ignore the boat people and swim my own race.

Lube up better. My wetsuit chafed my underarms something awful.
Transition 1
  • 11m 49s

Well, clearly, I am not lightning-fast. This was a long transition but I clearly messed around too much.
What would you do differently?:

Not use the wetsuit strippers. I am faster than they are because they don't know that my calves are huge and my suit does not pop off of my feet like everyone else's seems to do.

Practice my transitions.
  • 7h 29m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.96 mile/hr

Well, the plan was to go la-di-da pace, so I did.

Unfortunately, I failed to heed Doug's advice and take my Garmin and my bike computer failed (again), so I had no idea of the actual pace until I did the math (in my head, so it could have been off) at each of the mile markers (on the 10s). It was OK, though. I sang my happy song as I watched the entire field pass me (including Karen in mile 1 or 2), which was fine. I admired the bikes, the kits and the scenery and did not exert myself. Seriously, I passed no one in the first 40 miles. I even stopped to pee twice!

The stick part of the course was very rough and people were launching stuff everywhere (bottles, gel, tubes, CO2, pumps, a Garmin (with strap) and even an entire hydrotail!). I realized at some point that both of the rubber-bands suppporting my aero-bottle had broken and it was sagging and rubbing my wheel. After supporting it with my arm for many miles, in a moment of grace, I saw a rubber band that someone else had launched on the road. A moment of panic. Should I stop? It it cheating to pick stuff up off of the road? I stopped, turned around and picked it up and put it on. Yes! Have to stop to adjust another time also, but I was set!

My nutrition was 2 bottles of Gu Brew (280 cals), 2 packets (approx 2 TB each) of peanut butter (200 cals), 3 pieces (approx 1.5 banana in all) of banana (150 cals), 3 GUs (300 cals), and 3-4 bottles of Perform (525-700). After the first 30 miles, I made sure that I drank a bottle of Perform every aid station because I was worried about being low on salt. I had some kind of solid at or immediately after each aid station unless I felt full. If I could not do math, I ate something. This worked fine because it spread the calories out. Adding all of this up, I was taking in approximately 194-217 calories per hour.

The bike was scenic and beautiful and I loved it all. It was nice to fly down the hills (as my check-in volunteer friend advised) and see how far I could get up the next hill without actually working very hard. At one point, we passed the Candinas chocolate factory, except that there was a tree in front of the sign, so I read it as "Candiass" : ) HA! I got several miles of giggles out of that. And, the three bad hills were just like the Tour de France, with spectators lining the road on both sides and screaming and running alongside. It was completely fabulous. I can't describe how cool those hills were. I almost didn't notice the hill because there were so many yelling people and silly signs and speedos. "Honey Badger Don't Care" "Smile if You Peed Yourself Today" : ) It was AWESOME!

Unfortunately again, I got what I call my big bad headache (I get them occasionally - I think they are sinus) in mile 3 of the bike. It hurt very badly and I thought I had my "oh $%^&" bag in my bento, so I put off taking any drugs because I was worried about taking anything during such a big day. Even when I stopped at special needs to get my extra rubber bands, I didn't get that "oh $$%^" bag because I thought I had it, so I suffered the whole bike. The last 20 miles were excruciating. Every seam and bump in the road felt like someone was hitting me in the head and my vision tunneled. I started to worry that I had some kind of brain problem and pedaled faster to get out of there.

Finally, we got to the helix and it was not bad at all to climb on the bike. Yes!
What would you do differently?:

Take the freaking advil! My headaches don't go away. No need to suffer for 7 hrs.

Probably left time out on the bike course, but I will have to work on the pacing better to see how much faster I can go and still run.
Transition 2
  • 08m 35s

Well, heck. Other than a fairly speedy potty stop, I have no idea why this took 8 minutes. My volunteer, though very friendly, was not very helpful. Had to explain why I needed a bunch of stuff. The lady next to me was really nice as we basked in the comfort of our clean running shorts. : )
What would you do differently?:

Get my ^&**( together. Jeez.
  • 4h 22m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 01s  min/mile

Fabulous run. See, if I go slower on the bike, I CAN run after!

I had a blast on this run. I talked to everyone, sang songs, airplaned every turn and thought about my Atlanta peeps at each timing mat. It was great. The crowd support was fantastic. I have never seen anything like it. Running out of the Terrace, there were a zillion people and smiling faces, then out on the parkway, people were hanging out and picnicking and we saw all kinds of folks on the trail by the river and the turn-around at State Street was completely off-the-chain. Doug's family and Tom were there and made me feel like a rock star. I totally cried after I saw them. : )

I felt really good - just trucked along through mile 15, when I took a potty stop before my 2nd loop of the stadium. My tummy felt like it might be headed off of the rails and I was worried. I was already working on my "cope with the potty stops" plan, but it turned out OK and I continued on, but had to decrease the calories from that point. Moved to the chicken broth, which nearly made me hurl the first time, but was fabulous after that. I cheered for everyone (the Endurance House people, the SkinStrong guy, the firefighter in full gear, the DC tri-club, the Blink guys, the Get Fit Atlanta folks, the BT Donkais) and met some really cool folks. By the way, I don't know about you, but every time I saw the Endurance House people, I wanted to call their name and say "John/Jane Doe is in the HOOOOOOUSE" but no one thought that was as funny as I did. So, I just yelled "Go HOUSE" at them. I met one guy was from Boulder, CO (lives there part time) and he was a full lap ahead of me. He was talking himself down, so I talked him up! : ) I got to cheer him in to the finish as I was making the turn and it was awesome. It made me completely forget that I had to turn around do the whole run again.

On the back stretch down by the river, I was singing (out loud) and ran out of words, I told the folks around me that it was their turn to sing. Crickets. Then one guy said OK. I made him pick the song and he selected "The Piano Man" by Billy Joel. Karma, I tell you. See what I get for complaining about Wendy's music in spin?! Anyway, this guy was run/walking and whenever we came back together, we would sing some more. It was great! La, la, la li li la la; La la la li li la la la LAAAAAA! He was the only other singer I found, but that was OK. I sang to myself, the Ford dancing girls and the aid station volunteers too. I counted down each mile how many miles to the beer. The folks at the pub on the way back in thought that was awesome.

The plan was to go 10 mins per mile average (not including potty stops) so that is what I did, except that I didn't have to use the potties at ALL! Only the one pee stop! That is unheard-of! The no-fiber diet pre-race worked great again! I tried to keep an even pace while stopping at all aid stations to get ice/water and broth. On loop 1, I walked up Observatory with a nice lady who DNF (her only DNF in 10 yrs of racing) last year and I think that was a good plan because it gave us a little break so we could FLY down the other side. We quickly passed the guys who ran up the hill and they did not pass us back. I walked this hill both times and also the steep part outside of Camp Randall Stadium.

The whole run, I kept waiting for the pain to show up. In mile 15 of the Publix Marathon, my feet/knees/legs started to kill. In this race, that did not happen until mile 22, and not really bad until mile 24, which is great! Until mile 4.78, I could not feel my feet, so the numbness probably kept me from starting out too fast and the advil I took for my headache probably helped me not hurt so both of these things were good. And, I knew from my last half that the numbness eventually goes away and it did, which raised my spirits, so it was fine.

Nutrition was 1 GU in mile 2 (choc), pretzels in mile 4 or 5 (coughing fit), GU at mile 8 (blueberry-pomegranate ROCtane), GU at mile 11 (mandarin), pretzels somewhere around here (more coughing, so I abandoned them), GU at mile 14/15 (plain), chicken broth at every aid station after that.

I saw Doug early in the run and he looked great. Becky was also looking great when I saw her. When I finally found Karen, she was well ahead of me and I told her so. She was kicking ass!! : ) I didn't see Katie, though. Finally found her at the turnaround down by the park. She looked great too! I caught up with her in the last few miles when we were on our way back downtown and after she made me understand that she was on her 2nd loop also (not enough calories in the chicken broth, apparently, so I was pretty loopy and dumb), I made her run it in to the finish with me. We sped up at the end because I thought she was trying to speed up. So much fun!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe see if I can down get around 4 hrs! Whee!
Post race
Warm down:

Hung around with Katie and Karen and waited for Becky. Had a Pepsi and some pretzels. Told the guy in the corral that I did not need a helper! YES!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Pacing on the bike, inability to swim in a straight line.

Event comments:

LOVED THIS RACE! The lake was beautiful, the bike was rolling and fun and the run was just plain fabulous. The crowd support was amazing.

The post-race food from WTC was weak, but there are tons of awesome restaurants in Madison, so we went to the Great Dane, which was fabulous. Some other racers gave us an ovation. : )

Last updated: 2010-09-25 12:00 AM
01:21:27 | 4224 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 69/
Overall: 1399/
Performance: Average
Suit: Zoot Sleeveless
Course: Rectangular course, repeated twice.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 11:49
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:29:06 | 112 miles | 14.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 93/
Overall: 1937/
Performance: Good
15.26 13:56 18:07 I think that the calculation between the 2nd and 3rd sections is wrong. I was not going that slow in the second part and not nearly that fast in the last part.
Course: Lollipop shape out from Madison, around 2 loops and back. Rolling hills with the three big climbs done twice. Roads are rough in places, so secure your stuff to your bike. Tons of people lots gear.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 08:35
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:22:10 | 26.2 miles | 10m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 49/
Overall: 1239/
Performance: Good
Will update with lap data. Edited to add splits: 1 - 8:55 oops, too fast 2 - 9:32 3 - 10:07 4 - 10:10 5 - 10:32 6 - 10:55 Observatory 7 - 9:38 8 - 9:39 9 - 9:49 10 - 10:05 11 - 10:15 12 - 9:37 trying to keep up with Boulder so I could cheer him in 13 - 9:46 14 - 9:14 15 - 9:25 16 - 11:20 potty stop and walk up hill after stadium 17 - 9:43 18 - 9:57 19 - 11:40 Observatory 20 - 9:37 21 - 9:48 22 - 10:11 23 - 9:44 24 - 9:52 25 - 9:31 26 - 9:46 0.43 - 8:23 : )
Course: Several out and back sections around the University of Wisconsin, Madison, including Camp Randall stadium. Very cool course with HUGE crowd support. There are some hills, but you can walk them with no trouble and get back to the running.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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

2011-09-14 1:16 PM

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Subject: Ford Ironman Wisconsin

2011-09-14 1:37 PM
in reply to: #3686401

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome race report Steph!  I almost felt like I was right there with you, oh wait...

You totally gained on me during the run and would have passed me if it had been a tad bit longer.  Way to not eat the paste and rock the run!!

I saw that aero bottle band too, and thought about picking it up as an extra "just in case".  So glad you got good use out of it.

2011-09-14 3:07 PM
in reply to: #3686401

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations....You had a great race!  I am so happy for you.  Sounds like the swim went just fine in that position.
2011-09-14 4:37 PM
in reply to: #3686401

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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin

great rr, great race!!   LOL'd at the rubber band, LOVED IT!!

Nice job, Ironman!

2011-09-14 6:37 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2011-09-15 5:46 AM
in reply to: #3686401

Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on a great overall race.  I always love your remember things that make it obvious you had a good time.  I would not be down on your bike pacing.  I would say the risk of over doing the bike and having a bad run (i.e. see my race reports) is too great in IM.  So, I say you did the pacing in all three PERFECT!  

2011-09-15 5:55 AM
in reply to: #3686401

Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin

That was probably the happiest IM race report I have ever read!

Great job on nailing your race and doing what you planned to do! You set an awesome PR! Great job!

2011-09-15 11:30 AM
in reply to: #3686401

san francisco
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
What a great race report (and race)! Sounds like we had similar fun on the bike minus your big headache, poor you! Terrific attitude and yes, let's both get closer to 4 on the run next time! Thanks for sharing and thank you for the boost out there on the run! Hope we can meet someday.
2011-09-15 12:00 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Rock Star!
2011-09-15 12:31 PM
in reply to: #3686401

North Metro ATL
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
I am so proud of you! That is a prefectly executed plan! That is extra awesome on the no porto potty tour OR hives!!! Yippy! Congrats!
2011-09-15 2:04 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
I think you captured the 'joy' of the event perfectly...Great RR and great day of racing!

2011-09-16 3:28 AM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Way to turn your run around after last years suffer fest for the two of us, although you were still managing to smile a whole lot more than me.  You are a rock star!
2011-09-16 3:45 AM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats!! Loved reading your RR!!
2011-09-16 8:55 AM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
This was just a great report to read. You can tell how much fun you had on the course and that is nice to read. It was really nice meeting you and Doug at the swim on Friday. Great job.
2011-09-17 2:22 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Sous Mon Diadème
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Hooray for Iron Steph!  There is just in this race report, from the description of the bike course, your inner struggle over the rubber band to singing on the run.  Your training was amazingly consistent and you did an outstanding job of executing your plan on the course (with no paste eating ).  Congratulations.
2011-09-17 5:46 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin

Impressive race you put together!

Bike pacing was dead on since you were able to run so well.

I agree that of most all the IM RR I have read, yours showed you had a blast out there and you soaked up energy from both other athletes, volunteers and spectators. Bummer about the headache...glad it went away finally.

2011-09-19 9:30 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Wow! Can I just say you did FANTASTIC!!!! Way to rock that run! I just love how happy you were! Singing I love it! If I was able I would totally sing with you! Congrats on a fine job!
2011-09-20 2:35 PM
in reply to: #3686401

Subject: RE: Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Next time, take the advil! great race but you knew that already.
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