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Ironman Wisconsin - Triathlon

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 13h 40m 8s
Overall Rank = 1270/2990
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 158/270
Pre-race routine:

Kim and I drove up to Madison on Thursday and got checked in to our hotel. Friday I got checked in and picked up my packet, backpack, and other free stuff. Did a practice swim late Friday morning and then hit the athlete welcome banquet that night.

Saturday morning I took my bike for a short ride just to run through all the gears and make sure I didn't have any major mechanical problems. Got my bike and gear bags checked in at transition. Did a little walking around downtown Madison. That evening we were going to go to church then out to eat. We ended up going to WalMart to get a flat tire fixed and then out to eat. Had my traditional cajun chicken pasta at Chili's. Headed back to the hotel and watched the Nebraska football game. Went to bed around 10:00 but didn't get to sleep until almost midnight. Woke up around 4:30, ate breakfast and took a quick shower. Got dressed and walked down to the transition area, dropped off special needs bags on the way.

Transition was a zoo on race morning. Made it to my bike and put in my bottles and aired up my tires. Got body marked, headed inside to add a few things to my transition bags. Walked with Kim up to her VIP viewing area, gave her a kiss and headed towards the swim start.
Event warmup:

I put my wetsuit on while I was on the ramp to the parking garage. From there it was a slow penguin march to the water. Once in I swam out and found my starting spot. Treaded water for about 3-4 minutes and waited for the gun to go off.
  • 1h 16m 40s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

The start of the swim was really cool. Nothing like starting a swim with 2900 of your closest friends. The start of the race really wasn't too bad for me as far as contact with other swimmers. There was a little but it wasn't bad and seemed to spread out pretty quickly.

The first 1000 yards were pretty uneventful. It was easy to navigate, as long as there were people on both sides of me, and in front of me I figured I was in the right spot. At the first turn things got a little crowded. There was more contact at the turns than at the start. The next few hundred yards out to the next turn were pretty crowded but not bad. It got tight again at the next turn then thinned out going down the back stretch of the swim. The water was nice and calm, no big waves.

At the third turn buoy it was crowded again. I actually took someone's heal right to the face which felt great. The last several hundred yards in were uneventful. It's always fun getting close to the end of a swim and hearing the music and cheers as you make your way in. I exited the water and took a peak at my watch, I was very happy with my time and a little surprised.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. My swim went well, I felt like I paced myself well, and was comfortable the entire time.
Transition 1
  • 11m 58s

Wow almost 12 minutes in transition.

To start I found a wetsuit stripper and got my wetsuit pulled right off. It was a long run up the helix and into the terrace to get to my T1 bag. The changing area was fairly crowded. I ended up finding an open spot on the floor and changed there.

Used a small towel to dry off a little. Race jersey, socks, shoes, and helmet went on. Stuffed everything back in my bag. Grabbed a drink of water as i exited. I stopped at the porta-potties and pee'd. Ran to my bike, putting on my arm warmers as I ran. Got my bike un-racked. It was a maze of weaving in and out of people to get to the mount line. Got on my bike and headed down the helix.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, it was a little bit of a cramped, crazy T1. If it hadn't been for the long runs in and out of transition I'm sure my time would have been better.
  • 6h 47m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.49 mile/hr

The bike course and the hills at IMWI live up to the hype. The first 16 miles out wasn't bad at all. It was a gradual uphill but nothing bad. The course was pretty crowded getting out to the loop section. My plan was to eat a gel every 40 minutes, a full bottle of gatorade between aid stations, and sip water as needed.

Once we got to the loops the course was a little hillier but not bad. It felt a lot like riding some of the hills back home. The climb into Mt. Horeb was the first hill that really felt like work. It was fun going through town, there was a lot of crowd support. After Mt. Horeb the course gets fun for awhile, there are some big down hills and some fast corners. I really enjoyed that section of the course. Coming down 1 of the big down hills I saw 43mph on my bike computer. Getting near the end of the loop section it gets tough. There are 3 tough climbs that really test the legs. I tried to stay seated as much as I could but eventually had to stand up on some of the climbs. The hills can be deceptive as they don't look that bad until you're on them. There was amazing crowd support of the tough climbs, I saw the devil a few times, people dressed up, near the top of one hill there were so many people on the road bikes had to go up single file and people were running next to the bikes. At the end of the first loop my computer said I was averaging about 17.6mph.

I felt good starting the second loop. I stopped and got my special needs bag, the only thing I took was the Snickers bar I had in there. I was doing ok on my hydration/nutrition but was starting to fall behind on taking gels so the Snickers bar was a nice boost. I was probably stopped for 1-2 minutes in the special needs area. Headed back towards Mt. Horeb on the second loop the wind had picked up some and it was tough heading into the wind. I had to stop for about a minute to fix my bike computer sensor that had gotten out of line. The first half of the second loop was a little tough for me, I was glad to see the town come into view. I had to stop and pee at the aid station in Mt. Horeb the second time through. I took my arm warmers off there too, I probably lost 3-4 minutes stopping to pee.

The section between Mt. Horeb and the big hills was fun on the second time. I enjoyed the big down hills and it was nice having the wind at my back. Climbing up the big hills the second time was challenging but the crowds really helped.

I was glad to make the turn to head back to town. There was a little bit of climbing heading back into town but it was generally downhill. It was a good feeling to get back into town, the capitol building and Monona Terrace were a welcome site. The bike course ends with a ride up the helix which really wasn't bad. I was able to hop off my bike and hand it to a volunteer. I grabbed the gatorade bottle that was in my cage and chugged it on my way into T2.
What would you do differently?:

My bike time was slower than what I had hoped for. Granted I probably lost 5 minutes or more with my stop at special needs, fixing my bike computer, and stopping to pee. The big hills were tough and the second half of my ride was definitely slower than the first. I probably could have pushed a little harder on some of the easier sections and not taken the time to fix my computer. Overall though I got off my bike at about the point in the race, time wise, I was hoping for.
Transition 2
  • 06m 56s

T2 was pretty uneventful. Not near as long as a run in or out. Shoes and visor went on easy. Stopped and got sunscreened on the way out and saw Kim for the first time since before the start of the race. Headed out with my legs feeling pretty decent.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 17m 7s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 06s  min/mile

My run went well. I was hoping to run under 5:30:00. I ran without stopping for the first couple miles then started to walk the aid stations. Running down State St. and through Camp Randall Stadium were both a cool experience.

About mile 6 I started to do a rotation of 3-5minutes of running with a 1 minute walk break. I tried to time it so my walk breaks came near an aid station. The course wasn't too hard until you got to Observatory Dr. where there is a monster hill, nobody around me even tried to run up that beast. After the big hill it was fairly flat along the lake and bike path. I continued with my run-walk pattern for the rest of the first loop. You get to start your second loop about a block from the finish line which is a little tough mentally.

Starting the second loop I got my special needs bag and grabbed the Snickers bar again. I ran until the next aid station and then walked the aid station to eat my candy bar and get a drink. Throughout the run I did at least 1 cup of water and gatorade at every aid station. I also ate a little something at every aid station, mostly chips or fruit. The second loop was about like the first. My run to walk ratio went down a little, most of the second loop I was running for 2-3 minutes between walk breaks. I was hoping to run longer but this seemed to workout well. The crowd support was great all the way through the course. Towards the end of the second loop I was getting pretty tired and was ready to be done. I thought about trying either cola or chicken broth on the second loop but decided against it as I never used it during training, as it turns out chicken broth would have been a good idea, more on that later.

When I got about 4 blocks from the finish line the adrenaline rush of the finish kicked in. I felt great those last few hundred yards. The crowd was great, I got to hear Mike Riley call my name, when I crossed the line Kim was there to put the medal around my neck and give me a big hug and kiss.
What would you do differently?:

Drink some chicken broth on the course, I ended needing some salt after the finish.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my picture taken and got all my finisher's gear. I walked around a little and made my way into the food tent for some post race grub. I got a little pizza and some gatorade but just couldn't get it down. When the adrenaline wore off I started to feel numb in my arms and legs, my head felt foggy, I was cold, couldn't get warmed up, and I could tell I was breathing harder than what I should have been. Kim and a volunteer ended up walking with me over to the med tent.

I ended up spending about 20 minutes with the great medical staff. They really weren't too concerned but did end up weighing me and taking my vitals. They thought I probably just got a little low on salt, My skin and jersey were caked with salt. The ended up just having me sit for awhile, wrapped me up with an extra blanket and I drank about 5 cups of chicken broth. After that I felt a lot better.

When we left the med tent, I walked with Kim back to the transition area to grab my bike and gear bags. I got my morning clothes bag and headed to the massage room. The post race massage helped my legs feel a little better. After getting a massage and changed into my sweats we headed back outside and watched the last hour of the race. If you have never watched the last few finishers come across the line at an Ironman, you need to. It is by far the coolest part of the entire day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I don't think anything really did. I had a few troubles on the bike and probably could have done better with nutrition on the run but that's about it.

Event comments:

Ironman Wisconsin was a great experience. The course lived up to the hype for it's difficulty. I will say that the crowd support was great through the entire race. As always there were tons of amazing volunteers out there. I even managed to PR my Iron distance time by about 7 minutes. Given all the challenges of family life and having a career I feel very blessed to be able to complete my second Ironman.

Last updated: 2015-02-03 12:00 AM
01:16:40 | 4224 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 114/270
Overall: 968/2990
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra full body wetsuit
Course: 1-loop in Lake Monona
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
06:47:27 | 112 miles | 16.49 mile/hr
Age Group: 165/270
Overall: 1257/2990
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: 16 miles out, 2 40 mile loops, 16 miles back in.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:56
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:17:07 | 26.2 miles | 12m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 158/270
Overall: 1270/2990
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops through Madison
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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] 4

2015-10-04 7:35 PM

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Beatrice NE.
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2015-10-04 7:50 PM
in reply to: #5144708

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on your day! Looks like a win all the way around...
2015-10-05 10:40 AM
in reply to: #5144708

Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats and great job! I was working the Mt. Horab aid station and you guys inspired me to sign up to race next year!
2016-04-09 5:18 PM
in reply to: #5144708

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Thanks for sharing the details of your race.
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2005-09-19 12:18 PM tnickerson
date : July 2, 2014
author : mikericci
comments : 0
I'm a fairly good climber but don't want to blow up on the run. I'm 60 and have a FTP of 230 watts. Any suggestions?
date : March 30, 2011
author : mikeinlaguna
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I was in the moment, living a dream and on top of the whole world! Honestly, I wish everyone could experience that feeling because it truly cannot be described.
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author : Coach AJ
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Discussions on doing Ironman Wisconsin on a road bike and a training plan for back-to-back centuries.
date : November 16, 2009
author : FitWerx
comments : 1
Should I remove the PD Jammers bars and ride it as is, set-up for riding in the drops and hoods? Should I run my Easton Orion II wheels or my Hed Jet60 C2's for IMWI?
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Watch the highlights and tips of this years IMWI BT mini-camp put on by Birkierunner.
date : June 11, 2007
author : TriDDS
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If you would have told me that I would want to train over ten hours a week for a race that can last up to 17 hours, I would have laughed. But somehow, my ACL injury has refocused my outlook on life.
date : July 5, 2005
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It makes no sense to train hard for a year to hone that aerobic system only to have all that training undermined by a few anaerobic bursts on race day. So, how do you go about it?
date : December 13, 2004
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TriLover recently had the opportunity to interview Tim and Nicole. Read what the DeBooms had to say about triathlon, their support for each other and life.