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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 9h 29m 20s
Overall Rank = 16/2452
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/393
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4 am. Cup of tea, oatmeal with coconut milk and whipping cream, oatmeal cookie, chocolate Gu. Went outside at 5 am, and the rain from the night before had dried up pretty well. Quite windy though. Previous two years were very still, and I don't have any experience swimming in rough water, so got a little nervous about that possibility.

Drove down to the swim start with Mary and Dad. West Madison is still asleep at 5 am on Sunday, so it's a quick drive. Best part is pulling into the Monona Terrace area to see it humming like a bee hive.

We parked at the usual lot on Wilson. While getting out of our car, Chris and his Mom pulled into the spot right next to ours. They were coming from the Clarion at the Alliant Energy Center; crazy coincidence.

We walked together to transition and put the finishing touches on the bikes. For me that meant inflating tires and putting on the bento box filled with Mary's homemade waffles, which would be the only solid food for the next 11 hours or so.

Deposited the pump and other bike stuff back in the car and then went on to body marking. Was looking for Mike here, but didn't see him. Then down to wait for the swim start. The breeze was strong, so a little chilly.

Event warmup:

Got into position just right of the ski jump around 6:50, and about 4th row back. Previous two years at IMWI I started wide right. Lots more pre-start jostling near the ski jump. Didn't enjoy that a whole lot.
Swim
  • 1h 07m 5s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 35s / 100 yards
Comments:

The contact was worse this year than the last two years. I am sure that is due to starting more toward the center rather than wide right. It didn't let up until the second turn, by which point I was swimming inside the buoy line. That might have made for a slightly longer swim, but I had gotten tired of the contact.

The swim back toward the Terrace was much further out into the lake and into the wind. I got a few mouthfuls of water, but it wasn't as bad as I expected.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not a great swimmer, so I wasn't too disappointed with this effort. It was an IM PR, and 4.5 minutes faster than 2011. While I swim faster than this in a pool, the contact plus siting mistakes take their toll.
Transition 1
  • 05m 47s
Comments:

Plan was to chow something down during T1 but stomach was full of Monona swill.
Bike
  • 5h 05m 30s
  • 112 miles
  • 22.00 mile/hr
Comments:

Windy!

I ended up riding by about 300 people. I'd rather not be so far behind after the swim, but it is fun talking with people for a few moments while riding with them. I saw my training buddy, Chris, around mile 20 (he had hammered out a 1-hour swim!). Tried to convince him to ride with me, but he wasn't interested. Things gradually thinned out the further we got into the course, but even the more widely spaced riders gave me something to focus on as I tried to reel them in. That's helpful from a mental perspective, if nothing else.

I like to talk out on the bike course, and the number one comment I got from people was frustration with the wind, particularly on the climb into Mt. Horeb. The headwind + hill made that climb seem interminable. At least the rode surface was smooth this year.

The highlight of the ride for me was the climb up to Old Sauk. Dad and Mary were watching there again, and this year Mary ran up the hill with me on both loops. Max HR occurred here when trying to keep up with her. Fun!

Got passed by one guy on this ride. He was in my AG and passed me like I was standing still around mile 10. I knew Brunold was going to win the AG (barring a mishap), so I figured this guy was going to push me back to 3rd, at best. He ended up struggling on the run, but I still can't believe how fast he was riding!
What would you do differently?:

Bike fitness was not quite what I had hoped for this year. Tests leading into race were below 2010 levels. I focused too much on endurance this year and not enough on strength. Live and learn.
Transition 2
  • 02m 10s
Run
  • 3h 08m 50s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 13s  min/mile
Comments:

Came off the bike feeling pretty good (once I was able to walk again!). Had a quick transition and then headed out to run, where I soon saw Dad, Mary, John, and Danny. Those guys were out on the run course with me all afternoon, which was GREAT. It was a real boost and a lot of fun to see them at a few spots on each loop. Thanks guys!!

Early on during the run someone told me that I was 8th OA amateur. Within the first ~3 miles I caught three of those in front of me, and I didn't see anyone coming up from behind that looked like they were picking up much ground.

That put me into 5th OA (as far as I knew), which was ahead of my previous best of 7th. The main issue now was whether I could avoid breaking down like I had in every other IM marathon. And, unlike previous years, there were no early signs of cramping in my hammies or calves. Looking good!

I caught site of the Madison Monster -- Brunold -- once I hit the Lakeshore Path. He was looking solid, per usual, and I told him so as he stormed by in the opposite direction. Shortly after that (or was it before? I forget) I caught the guy that blasted by me around mile 10 on the bike, moving up into 4th.

Next it was up-and-down Observatory hill, high-fiving my Dad at the bottom. Then, on the way into State Street, I saw the two other AG guys that were in front of me, and they looked to be holding a pace similar to mine. They were coming back from the turn around just as I got to State Street, so they had a sizeable lead. There is no such thing (for me) as picking up the pace during the IM marathon, so the only way I would catch anyone was if I faded less than they did on the back half.

Other than a quick 2-minute restroom break, I spent the rest of the run focused on trying to stay fueled to minimize the coming fade as much as possible. To that end, I walked about 5 steps at every aid station to suck down a coke, a perform, and a water. I also made it up-and-down Observatory for the second time without walking. That was the first time I'd managed that, and it gave me another boost of confidence.

Around mile 20 I noticed that I was finally closing the gap on one of the remaining AG athletes in front of me. It's all a bit of a blur now, but I think I finally passed him around mile 22-23 as we exchanged a couple words with each other.

At that point the next guy was too far ahead to catch, so the only remaining carrot was time. It seemed that I had a chance to crack 9:30, but I was having a hard time thinking clearly enough to figure out if I could do it! I thought I had a shot, so instead of relaxing I picked up the pace as much as I could and ran, letting form and nutrition go for the last couple miles.

Seeing 9:39:xx (pro time, subtract 10 min) on the finish clock was a sweet ending to a nearly perfect race.
What would you do differently?:

Prior IM run times:
3:28 (IMKY'09)
3:30 (IMWI'10)
3:20 (IMWI'11)

Goal this year was the same as it was the prior two years at IMWI -- have a decent run. The third time was the charm. The difference this year was that my legs were finally resilient enough to endure the sustained pounding delivered by 26.2 miles of pavement. It took four years of running to get there.

This year also answered the question that had been in the back of my mind after previous IMs -- had I faltered on the run due to riding too hard? I strongly suspected the answer was a 'no', and am now sure of that. I rode the same effort this year that I had the previous two years at IMWI.

My only regret for the day was that I didn't get a picture with my run support crew, Mary+Dad+John+Danny, after the finish. Nuts.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with Mary, Dad, John, and Danny around the finish area. Felt great and was able to eat solid food right away. Grabbed the gear once transition opened and headed back to Aunt Mary's house to see the rest of the family.

Event comments:

This was a nearly perfect end to three straight races at IMWI. The icing on the cake was seeing my training buddy Chris have a stellar day with a 10:15, cutting about 50 min off his PR!!

The fun course, volunteers, and spectator support along with proximity to my family make IMWI my favorite race, by far. Unfortunately, I'll be watching it from afar next year. Going to miss it.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2011-09-23 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:07:05 | 4224 yards | 01m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 56/393
Overall: 335/2452
Performance:
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 05:47
Performance:
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
05:05:30 | 112 miles | 22.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/393
Overall: 20/2452
Performance:
137 AHR 148 MHR
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 02:10
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
03:08:50 | 26.2 miles | 07m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/393
Overall: 20/2452
Performance:
Lap / Pace / AHR: 1 6:39 144; 2 6:46 145; 3 6:49 143; 4 6:42 146; 5 7:09 143 6 6:46 143 7 6:56 140 8 7:05 140 9 7:06 140 10 7:09 142 11 6:52 143 12 7:04 147 13 6:48 140 14 7:03 141 15 7:15 143 16 7:31 141 17 7:11 142 18 7:32 142 19 7:28 141 20 6:53 139 21 7:30 140 22 7:21 139 23 7:55 143 24 6:57 144 25 7:36 149 26 7:37 149
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2012-09-14 7:32 AM

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Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin


2012-09-14 7:55 AM
in reply to: #4410986

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Veteran
238
10010025
Mukwonago, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great RR,  congrats!
2012-09-14 8:41 AM
in reply to: #4410986

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Expert
1121
1000100
Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Wow....way to blow away your PR on the IMWI run.  Impressive numbers & great job.  Congrats.
2012-09-14 8:48 AM
in reply to: #4410986

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Master
1376
1000100100100252525
Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on an awesome race.  
2012-09-14 11:28 AM
in reply to: #4410986

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Extreme Veteran
1136
100010025
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome results!  I remembered you from Rev3 Knoxville earlier this year and had to check out the race report when I saw it.

Surely you earned a Kona slot; did you take it?

2012-09-14 12:41 PM
in reply to: #4410986

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Master
3058
200010002525
South Alabama
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Great job Rob! Really solid work in S/B/R with splits I can only dream about. Congrats!

Randy 



2012-09-14 1:53 PM
in reply to: #4410986

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Awesome job and RR!  Really enjoyed the read.  Congrats.
2012-09-14 2:26 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2012-09-14 2:32 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Iron Donkey
38641
50005000500050005000500050002000100050010025
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

That's some super-phast time!  Congratulations!

2012-09-14 5:09 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Champion
7595
50002000500252525
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats Rob.  You're an inspiration.
2012-09-14 7:45 PM
in reply to: #4410986

New user
8

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Awesome race buddy. I knew you had it in you.


2012-09-15 8:34 AM
in reply to: #4411495

Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
wbattaile - 2012-09-14 12:28 PM

Awesome results!  I remembered you from Rev3 Knoxville earlier this year and had to check out the race report when I saw it.

Surely you earned a Kona slot; did you take it?

Thanks!  Didn't take the slot, maybe when kids are older.

2012-09-15 9:03 AM
in reply to: #4410986

Champion
19812
50005000500020002000500100100100
MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Impressive race!

I enjoyed reading your thoughts during the race, what you did right and what you might change.

Knowing you are in 8th starting the run, moving up and counting each person you pass is incredible and those out and backs gave you an idea where you are relative to others.

You finally got the run you knew you had in you.

16th OA even with pros wow!

2012-09-15 10:49 AM
in reply to: #4410986

Expert
1260
10001001002525
Norton Shores, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Incredible performance!  Well done.
2012-09-15 2:27 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Master
1529
100050025
Living in the past
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Wow! Simply, wow!

And well done, and congrats multiple Ironman, and wow!

2012-09-15 5:42 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Expert
924
500100100100100
Western WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You are an animal, Rob!  Congrats on a super successful race and thanks for sharing it with us!!  IMWI rules, hu? Are you in for another next year?


2012-09-16 5:32 AM
in reply to: #4410986

Veteran
190
100252525
Lakeville, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Wow, what a race! It's great to see a guy with your kind of talent be so humble about it. You can see what a huge impact you have on this community and how much you inspire all of us. Keep up the fantastic work!
2012-09-18 9:41 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Member
247
10010025
Loves Park
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Amazing job! Crazy impressive splits.
2012-09-19 10:29 AM
in reply to: #4410986

Member
56
2525
Virginia Beach
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Way to smoke that course. Great Time
2012-09-19 6:54 PM
in reply to: #4410986

Expert
1360
10001001001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great race and amazing time!
2012-09-20 5:56 AM
in reply to: #4412853

Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thanks for the kind words all!
TriRx - 2012-09-15 6:42 PMYou are an animal, Rob!  Congrats on a super successful race and thanks for sharing it with us!!  IMWI rules, hu? Are you in for another next year?
Unfortunately, I'll won't be there for IMWI 2013 -- going to miss it!


2012-09-20 8:16 AM
in reply to: #4410986

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great job, Rob!
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