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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 644/
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 118/
Pre-race routine:

I became an Ironman here in 2010, and was looking forward to coming back for the second time. Unfortunately, my training was sporadic as I juggled work, family, and an injured foot. It's a pretty safe bet that I was the most tapered athlete at the race.

Given my lack of training, I had a race strategy of hammering the bike and holding out as long as I could before I started a death march on the run. Great plan. Never thought I could improve on my time of 13:10, and honestly was prepared for a long shuffle/walk in to the wee hours of the night.
Event warmup:

Last time I didn't get in the water until 6:59. This time I was in by 6:45 and had some time to relax and find an appropriate spot to line up. Found an area where everyone around me all said they swam at about that same pace as me. Liars.
  • 1h 28m 36s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 06s / 100 yards

I suck at swimming, by far my biggest weakness. The switch to a one loop course was supposed to improve the contact, but I felt I was boxed in for pretty much the entire swim. Which is odd since I'm so slow, there couldn't have been that many people left in the water. I also didn't like that I couldn't check my pace the way you could at turns 2 and 4 of the old course. I finished the swim exactly one second faster than in 2010. Woohoo, two years of master's classes paying off!
What would you do differently?:

What can I do. I suck at swimming.
Transition 1
  • 09m 55s

My wetsuit got caught first on my watch and then on my timing chip, which probably cost me about 30 seconds. The two poor strippers were frantically pulling and apologizing. I wasn't worried about the extra time and just relaxed while they did their job.

Saw my wife and boys near the sunscreen ladies and went over for a high five, then I was off. At least off to the johnnies. Damn coffee.

It is a bit depressing to see all the empty bike racks. On the other hand, it sure does make it easy to find your bike.
What would you do differently?:

Apparently make sure my watch and timing chip are under my wetsuit.
  • 6h 17m 5s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.82 mile/hr

My taint and my bike have never been on good terms. About two months ago I bought a Cobb saddle and dropped my seat height, dear lord what a difference that made. Confindent with my new found comfortable-ness, I went out looking to improve on my none-too-stellar 7:00 bike time. First half flew by. Felt great spinning up hills and pedaling down them, passing a lot of people on the way who decided to coast down. I love this bike course, and the number of fans seems to have doubled since 2010. Also, much love to the pace booty in the white shorts, whoever you were.

The second loop went just as smooth and fast, with one exception. The temps were so low that I wasn't sweating, but I also didn't change my nutrition plan which included a lot of drinking (it was tough training in the St. Louis summer this year). That meant I had to pee, often. Try as I might, I could not pee on the bike. I ended up stopping four times. That's also when I found out that maybe my saddle wasn't quite as fine tuned as I thought. It burned to pee. It literally buckled my knees it hurt so bad. I can only assume this is what chlamydia feels like.

Overall this was one of the best bike rides I've ever had. Aside from the STD-like bathroom breaks that probably added a good 5 minutes to my time, I rode strong and fast (for me) throughout. Ended up passing about 750 people, which is both a testament to my improved biking skills and my horrible swimming skills.
What would you do differently?:

I really need to learn how to pee on the bike. Stopping four times is just ridiculous.
Transition 2
  • 03m 17s

One more (painful)stop at the johnny. Otherwise, in and out in 3:17. I was pretty happy with that.
What would you do differently?:

Again, figure out how to pee on the bike.
  • 4h 08m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 28s  min/mile

Intentionally left my GPS watch and home so that I could run by effort. I run a 3:30 stand alone marathon, and I'm pretty sure if the stars aligned I could run an Ironman marathon in under 4 hours. So when I saw my first mile was 7:30 I knew I better back way off before this run blows up in my face. It just felt so effortless. The first three or four miles flew by while I willed myself to run slower. Even walking through each aid station I was running 8:00 miles. By about mile five I had finally managed to settle in to a comfortable 9:00 pace. That's also about the time my stomach revolted. Solid food wasn't an option, gels definitely weren't going down, so I switched to Coke and water, and when they finally started serving it, the broth. But I still threw up about a 1/4 mile after every single aid station. Not full on vomiting, just bringing up whatever I had tried to swallow down. How many people can say they've vomited on the field at Camp Randall Stadium, three times (sorry 'Sconnies).

Around the halfway point, I realized if I could finish with 9:00/miles I'd come in under 4 hours on the run and 12 hours on the day. But by that point my pace had creeped up to about 9:30 and I took the easy way out. I would have had to stop walking the aid stations and I was afraid that would just make my stomach issues worse.

Once I decided to not push the run, I settled in to having fun. I stopped and hugged my kids each time I passed them, danced on command at an aid station, high-fived every little kid I saw. It's amazing how much better you can feel when you let the crowd pick you up. The group of four ladies that had the sign "She's not wearing underwear either" were the greatest. Around mile 23 I decided I felt good enough to go ahead and end this race. No more walking from that point on. My legs were pretty tired, but as the crowd grew heading back to State St, the pain just disappeared. Did a full-on (sort of) sprint around the Capital and made the final turn. Since I was already bunched up behind four or five people, I stopped when I heard someone yell out my name. It was my sister holding my youngest. Went back and gave my little man a big kiss, then headed down to the finish line. Some guy went flying past me in an all out kick about 3 seconds before the finish. Kind of made me laugh. Heard Mike Reilly call out my name for the second (and hopefully not the last) time, and for some stupid reason decided I had to throw up a Usian Bolt pose. To di world! I may have been a bit delirious by that point. It's probably for the better that I did it a step before the finish line and therefore it doesn't show up in my actual finish line pictures.
What would you do differently?:

I was so very tempted to push the last 13 miles and try for both a sub 4 hour marathon and a sub 12 hour race. It would have been fun to see if I made it or crumbled. But in the end I'm not upset for playing it conservative. I finished with a smile and before the sun had set. And I passed another 300 people on the run, so really I can't complain.
Post race
Warm down:

Finish line catchers led me through the crowd to get my medal, shirt, and hat, then over to the post race photo. Possibly one of the worst pictures of me ever. Photographer snapped it right as I started to tilt to the side and had to be caught by the guy next to me. After that, sat down and revelled in my glory. Then my two kids jumped in my lap and it was back to the real world. Gathered my bike and bags and walked the mile back to our hotel. Hobbled back out to State Street to eat dinner on the sidewalk and cheer on the other athletes. Amazing to see the different attitudes as it neared midnight and athletes headed in to that last half mile. Some continued the death march, while others looked like they're running on air.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I missed so many workouts in July and August that surely would have led to better times. But I also improved all three legs and both transition times, and knocked over an hour off my overall time. So really, I have absolutey nothing to complain about.

Event comments:

Can't stress how much I love the course, the fans, and the volunteers. As much as I'd like to try other Ironman races, I don't know that the Madison experience could be topped.

Last updated: 2011-12-20 12:00 AM
01:28:36 | 4224 yards | 02m 06s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 09:55
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:17:05 | 112 miles | 17.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Wind: Strong
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:17
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:08:13 | 26.2 miles | 09m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Pancake flat with one tiny little exception.
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]

2012-09-12 11:33 AM

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St. Louis
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2012-09-12 1:47 PM
in reply to: #4407703

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You ran a 4:08 IM mary on low training and an injured foot?! You're a better man than I.

Congrats on a great race.
2012-09-12 6:32 PM
in reply to: #4407703

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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations & great job!  Impressive times...I don't care what you think about them, they're awesome!  PS - In 2011, I barfed (blood!) just outside the entrance to Camp Randall that makes two of us
2012-09-13 10:44 PM
in reply to: #4407703

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Extreme Veteran
Rochester, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Nice improvement over last time!  This was the 1st race I've been able to pee on the bike and it's great not having to stop.  It takes thought and effort to make it happen but it can be done.  I found it helps to get out of the saddle with the leg down on the side where the pee will come out.  Then just let it go. 

Next IM hopefully you'll have no injury issues and better training and really kick some butt. 

You are an Ironman!

2012-09-13 11:06 PM
in reply to: #4407703

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Oh man and I was all impressed with my one flying vomit on the bike. That's a lot of barf for a pretty awesome race dude! Congrats.

2012-09-13 11:06 PM
in reply to: #4407703

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
dude I would kill for that marathon time. Nice job.

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