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
72F / 22C
Total Time = 13h 54m 10s
Overall Rank = 1556/2839
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 67/135
Pre-race routine:

Going into this race I had some GI issues biking and running that popped up in the last month of training. I was a bit frantic about how my stomach was going to handle the race...there just wasn't enough time to sort out what was going on so some of my nutrition planning and execution was, unfortunately, not tested.

I ate a late lunch and skipped dinner because I was too full. I actually think this was even too much and next time I'll take my chances with eating a smaller meal later in the evening instead of trying to stuff myself earlier. I woke up at 3am and ate a PB and Honey on white which is a pretty tried and true meal before races for me. I added an ensure and took another one in case I got hungry.

Went back to sleep for another hour or so and got out of bed for good around 415. Hubby and I slept surprisingly well for this kind of epic event.

Walked down to Monona, loaded up the bikes, had great success with potty and started the process of putting the wetsuits on.
Event warmup:

Warmup? Heh. No.
  • 1h 28m 24s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 05s / 100 yards

OK, look, I am a middle of the pack swimmer at best and I was super pleased with this swim. The start, the sighting, the pace. My whole goal was to stay out of trouble, sight well, and keep a steady pace, and I did.

I had shoulder surgery in December and was not released by my Ortho until June. The whole IM was in jeopardy because I had no idea if the swim would come back to me in time for this September race.

My first swim in June was 400 yards. Basically I built, 100-400 yards at a time until I could swim the entire distance. My rules were: stop swimming when my shoulder started aching, no fast/hard sets, and no back to back swim days. Though I usually try to train like a swimmer, for this race I simply built and built the long slow swim until I knew I could make the distance without hurting my shoulder. I would have taken a 2 hour swim if that was what kept me in parameters, but , fortunately I was able to swim faster.

So, again, tickled pink with this effort.

So very tickled pink when I got out of the water, I forgot to take cap/goggles off and unzip my wetsuit. Ah, what can I say, the swim was over! Yay for me.

Overall rating this swim good...but let's just agree that that means "good for me."

Hey, it's my race report, I'll write it my way, ok?
What would you do differently?:

Not have shoulder surgery.

Also a word of caution on this course. Sighting is fairly straightforward with a few caveats. After you round the first buoy, the course goes pretty much south, but the shoreline creeps away to the southwest. Because the first line of buoys paralleled the shoreline, there is a big danger to swimming away from the buoys after the first turn because the sight picture changes.

Secondly, wear tinted goggles. You will be tempted to wear clear but the sun is in your face for the long leg back to the east. I also discovered that keeping the sunlight just between my neck and my right shoulder was a good crosscheck for my sighting.

With the exception of the turn buoys, you can swim inside the buoy line...I found clean water there quite a bit, and it sounds like a lot of folks never did, so I feel good about that.

Transition 1
  • 11m 12s

I hit the wetsuit strippers and they had to completely undress me because i was sooooo goofy getting out of the water. I was pleased to note that they even had a hard time getting my wetsuit off of my's not just me, I apparently have wetsuit proof heels. Have those removed. Actually I think I need to cut the legs about 2 inches. Yikes.

Next came The Greatest Transition experience ever. My transition fairy godmother undressed me, encouraged me, helped me find everything.

All I can say is, I wasn't super racing this for time. More important was making sure I didn't forget some key item like sunglasses. I also am pleased with all of the decisions I made for comfort. Dry bra, bike jersey with shoulders (spf) and pockets, arm coolers (spf). I am also pleased to have stopped and gotten a good lathering of sunscreen. I got some sun during the day, but mostly unburnt which was important to me. All in all, 11 minutes wasn't bad considering it was all very new and I was trying to keep everything under control.

One thing that worked well in both of my transitions was to take control and be a bit bossy with the transition helper. She was happy to do what I wanted her, and it helped me keep everything straight that I wanted to do. I think if I had let her tell me what to do I would have been more likely to forget something. Don't be afraid to run the show even though they are helping you. They don't mind.

Made the decision to run in my socks and hold my shoes until the mount line. A nice policeman held my bike for me while I put the shoes on real quick and boom, mount line and down the helix.

BTW, the helix is not as steep as you think it's going to be...just take it easy and calm. Some dipshit called out hold your line (not at me, my line was solid) as he was coming down. Really dude? Really? How about you calm down and not try to pass people on the helix. Tool.
What would you do differently?:

Unfortunately I was hungry during the swim, which I took as a good sign, but I decided to eat a honey stinger waffle in transition. Bad idea. Next time I will wait until I am well established on the bike to eat anything. That cookie just sat in my gut and caused problems. More on that later.

I peed after the sunscreen stop...not sure if it was worth the time or not.
  • 7h 09m 48s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.64 mile/hr

Relatively speaking, this bike was extremely conservative for me. I am a FOP biker. I know the course. My goal this day was to not ride the bike like a jerk and blow up on the run. I didn't want to be at mile 10, walking the rest of the marathon, talking about what a great bike split I had.

I also didn't want to crash and end my day or have to do the rest of the race in pain.

So, a conservative bike it was.

But that doesn't mean it wasn't FUN.

OMG, I have never, ever seen anything like the crowd support on this bike course. I know I have read reports on this race saying this very thing for years. But until you experience the madness that is the hills out of Cross Plains, you cannot truly understand what a zoo it is.

But back to the beginning. On the first couple of miles I saw the aftermath of one crash and witnessed another stand alone crash where the guy just laid it down right in front of me for no reason. It set the tone for the rest of the day for me as I really didn't want to hit pavement for some stupid reason.

I also started to have a dreaded gas bubble in my tummy from the cookie I ate in T1. It was at this point I started to realize I was going to have to spend the rest of my day managing my effort vs. my gut, and pretty much relying on liquid nutrition to get through the day. I felt an overwhelming desire to burp, but every time I would try, the liquid I had taken in tried to come out. And then, well, not too far into the ride, the liquid did come out. Fortunately I had this happen on my last ride in the Madison loops, so I had practice vomiting into my mouth and then spitting it out.

I am happy to report I was able to spit most of it out with only minor orange gatorade vomitus blowback on my arm coolers.

I continued to ride.

It also turns out that I had forgotten how to ride a bike and dropped my chain 3 times on the the first loop. As much as I am embarrassed to admit it, I feel it is important to share. I simply went into several downhill-uphill transitions in the wrong gearing setup and paid. Fortunately, even though I am a slow learner, I finally did come up with a better shifting strategy and improved my shoddy bike handling throughout the day. I am happy to report I dropped no chains on the second loop. So there's that.

After the chain-drop-extravaganza, I coasted into special needs and loaded up on whatever I felt I needed. As always, the volunteers were spectacular bag finding, bike holding rock stars. I left all solid foods behind, swapped my gu flask for the second one as planned, and soldiered on.

At this point, as always happens in the afternoons on the course, the wind picked up and life got a bit harder. I was running rented 404's (love) and bombing down the hills got a lot dicier with the stronger winds. I went from descending in semi-aero (one hand on a brake...yah I'm a big chicken) to descending upright with both hands on the brakes. Remember, one of the day's main goals was not to hit the pavement.

It really was a harder loop...I continued to smile and interact with the spectators but, frankly, my azz hurt. Fortunately my stomach calmed down and I resisted the urge to eat solid foods in case I went into another gas bubble situation.

I knew I had the distance made with plenty of time for the run but I continued to ride carefully with the marathon in mind. When I hit the stick, I felt happy, but that last 16 miles is harder than I gave it credit for. As I rode back into town, I was unsure of how I felt. My legs were sore and I was worried that even my super conservative approach was not going to be enough. The last few miles were a struggle to maintain focus...again, no crashing was the imperative...I had made it this far. The mantra became, don't F*** it up, don't F*** it up. Keep it simple, I say.

Good news is, the helix is not as hard to ride as it may appear at first, so that went well. And then, boom! Just like that, it was over.

I have to say, it took a lot of discipline to let people pass me and ride my ride. A 7:09 is not what I am capable of, but it was my plan, and I stuck with it. Hard to say if it was the right decision, but this race report could easily have been the story of a monster bike split and a pathetic walked marathon, and it's not, so there. It is what it is. And I own it and am ok with that.

Random thoughts and sightings throughout the day:

Things I almost ran over in no particular order: cartridges, bottles, spare tires, gu's, a baked potato.

People/freaks/inspirational things I saw on the course: nursing home patients loving the day in Mt. Horeb, a chick letting loose her bladder while riding (I dodged waaaay to the left and was simply impressed with her hydration), girls with cheese heads at the turn to Garfoot (Me: you guys look as silly as I do. Them: whoooo, yaaaaah, yayyayayay), Evil Clown squeaking his evil clown horn in the corn fields just before the turn up Old Sauk Hill, riding under the massive American Flag dangling from the ladder fire truck in Mt. Horeb, Chewbacca and the can can girl in Cross Plains, my bike team girlfriend taking pictures of Mox bubbas in Verona.
What would you do differently?:

Run a compact crank and a hill friendly cassette. Just because I *can* do it on my setup doesn't mean I should. If I were to do IMOO again, I would actually use an aero road bike with clip on aero bars. FOR SURE! That would give you the best of both worlds. And this course, you really need a roadie and a tri-bike at different times. I suspect as aero roadies become more popular and price accessible, you are going to see the majority of riders switch over to that setup for this course.
Transition 2
  • 08m 7s

8 minutes and some change. I felt surprisingly good once I got off the bike. I had another fairy godmother in transition, and took what I thought I'd need on the run. Honestly I could have sat here for another few minutes, but I just didn't have a whole lot to do. On a side note it seems like it would be weird to hand off my treasured green QR to a total stranger and happily run away, but it was really easy. Kind of like giving my kids to a babysitter for a night out on the town. Whooohoo, and not a look over my shoulder. Hahaha.

I did take a second round of sunscreen. With the sun damage I've sustained in my life, the extra 90 seconds were worth it. Even moving into the late afternoon. This was also the last time I peed foe about 9 hours. Just a bit of a personal milestone I kept in mind for the rest of the day (and night).
What would you do differently?:

Not a damn thing.
  • 4h 56m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 19s  min/mile

For me, this race came down to the run. I suppose it comes down to the run for everyone, but this is my race report, dammit, so deal with it. I really, really wanted to run the entire Marathon. And by run I mean walk the aid stations and the hills and run the rest of the damn thing.

And I did.

I started out crazy fast and I knew I needed to slow down. Discipline sucks. But I knew I had to do it.

And I did.

Here is where we talk about pacing and GI distress. I had a stomach ache that just wouldn't quit. I knew it was because I was pushing my capabilities, but at every turn, when I was assessing what i could continue to do, I knew my pace was forcing my stomach into near rebellion (I don't believe nutrition was my problem...pacing was). But as I was running, I realized thru constant system checks, that I could maintain a certain pace. It hurt, but at about a 10-1030 mile with aid station walks, I was able to continue.

So I did.

I didn't push myself into a puking, falling down mess, but I couldn't go any faster. So about a 11 min/mile pace it was. Here is where I will include the fact that my super cool, fast bike/fast run hubby was doing the race with me. I knew I would get out of the water well before him, but was expecting a pass during the first bike loop. He likes to go by about 2-3 mph faster than me and scream, whaaahaaaa, and then become a dot. So when I never saw him on the bike, I started to worry that he might be dead. Not really. Well maybe.

I got news that he was on the bike course behind me, so I felt better about my future at that point, and just figured I would see him on the second loop. No screaming ass slap there either, so I started to look for him on the run. And look, and look.

As he continued to fail to declare himself, I continued to descend deeper and deeper into self pity. My stomach limited me to 1030's and I felt more and more sad. My twin desires to run the Marathon and to forfukcssakewalktherestofthisgoddamnthing started to really do war.

So I kept looking, and finally about 7.5 miles I saw him on the switchback after the second state street portion on the UW campus. It made me so happy to see the babydaddy and even though I thought about giving up and letting him pass me, for some reason I continued to stick to my plan of running everything except the aid stations. Oh and at this point I gave up on everything except flat coke and water.

I saw him again on the desolate portion of the run along Lake Mendota, but kept going. In a way it was almost frustrating that he didn't catch me...I was too broken at this point to realize I was maintaining a decent pace and should have been happy.

Made it all the way back into town, with a fruitless stop at special needs, and finally got caught around mile 14. Stand up guy that he is, he walked a bit with me out of the 2nd aid station and gave me a pep talk (think the scene in Airplane where the passengers line up to slap the hysterical girl who can't stop crying). We agreed to stick together thru the stadium (did anyone else hate this) to get our picture taken together (photog had run out of batteries minutes earlier).

After that, I released him to do his worst and resigned myself to another 12 mile of lonely pain and suffering. But still I stuck to my plan. It is so weird to me that just telling myself I could walk the aid stations made me start running again at the end, but that is exactly what I did.

And for whatever reason, it worked. I just continued to do 1 mile repeats with aid station walk breaks, and as I got closer and closer (after 20 miles) my pace slowly increased. I even ate a cookie at mile 24 and felt pretty damn good.

I ended up pretty much by myself for the last mile and as I rounded the capital thru special needs, got pissed that it was so quiet and shouted at the volunteers to give me some love. They went crazy! It was great.

I hit the chute all alone...slapping hands and smiling and sprinting down the last 50 yards, it was fucking amazing. At the end I was just jumping up and down and pumping my arms and laughing and crying.

It was as amazing as graduating from Annapolis and getting my Naval Aviator wings. Just slightly less earth shattering as marrying the coolest guy in the world or seeing my babies faces for the first time.

One of the coolest things I've ever done.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was epic. Awesome. Amazing. Oh hell, adjectives don't begin to describe it.
Post race
Warm down:

Wrap up in a space blanket. Try to convince my catcher I wasn't mad as a hatter. See Babydaddy and screaming like a banshee. Of course, get pix!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Umm I've never done a 140.6 race before. Ever. Learning curve is kinda steep.

Event comments:

I have kids, a bum shoulder, a husband who trained for an IM at the same time as me. I am content. I know if I focused on this, I would improve and improve, but that's ok. This was more than enough for me.
I am at peace with how it all went and my time and my performance. I loved this race and am happy with this season and I have an idea for how the next race is going to go down.

And that is what it is all about.

Last updated: 2011-09-13 12:00 AM
01:28:24 | 4224 yards | 02m 05s / 100yards
Age Group: 77/135
Overall: 1769/2839
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Full Sleeve
Course: One large rectangular counter clockwise loop. First to the west, then north, east (long leg), south, and back to the west to the finish.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:09:48 | 112 miles | 15.64 mile/hr
Age Group: 77/135
Overall: 1797/2839
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind
Course: The national treasure that is the IMOO bike course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 08:07
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:56:39 | 26.2 miles | 11m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 67/135
Overall: 1556/2839
Course: Winding, looping course thru downtown Madison and the UW campus.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-09-13 12:27 AM

User image

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin
Mile 80 on the bike
Pain Face at mile 12 on the run...
Me and babydaddy! Done! How fun!

Edited by quincyf 2012-09-13 12:44 AM

2012-09-13 5:33 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2012-09-13 6:11 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Loved that race report. I'm so proud of you, I'm all teary eyed now. You are an amazing lady!! Congratulations!
2012-09-13 8:03 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Omaha, NE
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great RR and nice job on your run. Oh and Go Navy.
2012-09-13 9:15 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Wow, you saw a spare tire out there too?  Not a tube - a tire.  Amazing.  Sure glad we didn't run over it.

Nice job out there.  I've been lurking around your page the last couple months and wasn't sure how your shoulder was going to hold up and quite frankly was afraird to ask you.  Looks like you took a smart, disciplined approach to the rehab and it paid off because YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Congrats on a job well done!

2012-09-13 10:04 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Living in the past
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Congrats, Ironman!

Not sure how you and your husband pulled this off - training for an IM together - but you did and you guys had a great time competing with each other. That's most excellent.


2012-09-13 11:37 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations on a great race. Very well done.
2012-09-13 2:13 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Loves Park
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats to you both....great job!
2012-09-13 5:33 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Straight outta Compton
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Great race and great report!

I personally would have picked up the potato and eaten it.

2012-09-13 7:26 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Extreme Veteran
Rochester, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

First, congrats on a great race!  Way to stick to your plan!  I enjoy RR like yours with all the messy but pertinent details.

I have two suggestions based on your RR.  1) I wore compression leg sleeves (CEP brand) for the first time in a race due to cramping issues.  I had tried them out underneath my wet suit and they really help with the sticky heel issue.  At least for me.  I wore them for the whole race and had no issues with comfort and more importantly cramping.  2) My local bike guy swears by these chain catchers  I have never had dropped chain problems on my tri bike until 2x late this summer.  2 weeks out from IMWI I had him install one for me.  I figured better safe than sorry.  No chain issues during the race for me.  

Quincy, you are an Ironman! 



2012-09-13 7:39 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Ocean Springs, MS
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Quincy, my mentor, you are a badazz!!

2012-09-13 8:16 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Gurnee, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Never doubted that you guys would be the "Iron Couple"  that now formally you are. :-)

From 312 Night with Walter err wait I got that wrong again didn't I?     Through the shoulder injury,  The Chicago Mary after being sick, injured, not having run hardly.   I knew you would do it.  

It's been quite the fun adventure, racing with ya along the way,  discussing strategy, going through the highs and lows through out the year.      Getting to see the race nervousness along the way,  to the afterglow of  "WE DID IT!"    and hearing all about it the next day. 

Super proud of my friends and Magical Mys-tri tour co-mentor!

You are both Awesome! 

Just one question...  Now what??  lol



Edited by oriolepwr 2012-09-13 8:17 PM
2012-09-18 8:59 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great Job coming back from your shoulder injury.  I remember you posting after it and thinking that you were out for the race!
2012-09-26 11:37 PM
in reply to: #4408767

Vista, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Aunty Q-- Woo-hoo!! I know it's been a few weeks since your IM finish, but I just read your RR and am so damn happy for you. I felt the same giddiness when I finished CdA last year. It's a pretty GD amazing thing to have done. A BIG Congratulations to you! Are you still on cloud nine? Or is it 10, 11, 12? I hope you didn't have any post IM letdown. So glad I checked in to see how you are and see that you're an Ironman. Very nicely done!! Congrats to babydaddy too!
2012-09-27 11:20 AM
in reply to: #4408767

Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
awesome job out there and way to perservere on the run
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Ironman Wisconsin Rss Feed