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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
47F / 8C
Total Time = 14h 55m 17s
Overall Rank = 1647/2296
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 54/92
Pre-race routine:

Went to bed at 8:30, couldn't sleep. Kept thinking about my parents in Hurricane Irma in Naples FL. Think I fell asleep right after checking watch at 9:45, woke at 1:08am. Mind started racing again. Morning checklist, things to add to transition bags, and again visions of my parents being in a hurricane right at that moment. Never did fall back asleep. Got out of bed at 3 to paint my toenails pale blue (something I realized I had forgotten to do) and take a quick shower so I could shave.

Had my sole water, David got up and made Kelly coffee and french toast for everyone. Had 2 pieces of that w PB and a greek yogurt (Oikos triple zero berry flavor). Filled my profile bottle w root beer and the flask with Hammer (had 3 different fruit flavors so just mixed them all together, had 5oz). Had made the 2 PBJ sandwiches last night and let the dry out a little, cut them into eighths and put each half of 4 slivers into snack bags to tape to my bike. Put 2 into the Bike Special Needs bag in a tupperware so it wouldn't get crushed, and put a bottle of root beer in there too in case I ran out on the bike. Had a water bottle filled with it on the back left seat cage, rubber banded a boxed tube to the middle, and left the right open in case I decided to put a handoff water bottle on that side. Luckily it wasn't hot so didn't need extra water for cooling off. Put neon pink thin long sleep top in Run SN along w a bottle of Coke in case they were to run out of that. Wore my Coeur tank top and shorts with Marji's sweatshirt and my good black running pants to keep warm. Wore old Newtons w the given insert and put pink flip flops into morning bag. Added snack bags with tissues to add to transition bags. Kelly gave me a large Smart Water bottle to put into my profile chamber, grabbed a water bottle to drink on the way, as well as Steve's little jar of PB and a banana and a Hammer for the start. NO bathroom results. Uh oh...
David was driving Kelly's truck so he could tow Jim's boat, he dropped us off right at King and Wilson so we dumped our SN bags. Kelly accidentally put her bike water bottles in one of them so ended up having to run back to get those (yikes)! We went to body marking then into the bike coral to set up. A guy across racks had a pump, so 5 or 6 of us got to use it, I filled both my and Kelly's tires to 110psi. Water in the big chamber, small root beer, flask in place, sandwiches taped to frame, and root beer water bottle on back left. OK bike, see ya in a bit!
Went to T1 to switch things out--pulled out my turquoise jacket and put in the black one I got from Vinny's yesterday. Added tissues. Sat down w Steve while Kelly ran back to SN and ate the banana w PB. When Kelly got back she wanted to use the bathroom--Steve said the indoor ones were long lines (except for the Men's urinals) so she and I went out to the portas but there were long lines there too. Figured I'd just hold it till the swim cuz it was so cold out I couldn't stand there (just in my tri outfit). Came back in and put my wetsuit on--it was 6:15 so we started heading down and I ate my Hammer with Smart water that was left. Very congested on the helix and was taking a long time--too many spectators in the way, and the staging corals were on the opposite side of the start arch. Pro's took off at 6:40 and Wave 1 at 6:45, we weren't even the the start much less the corals. Someone opened the fence for us as Wave 2 was getting in the water so we at least were near the front of our wave. They did not allow warmups so I needed as much time as possible to acclimate and get my face in the water before the cannon went off.
Event warmup:

Temp 47 in the morning, up to 70 peak afternoon.
Had no idea where to stage myself so ended up going just to the right of the ramp and in the front third of our wave. I keep saying I want to go inside at the start since that's where I end up after the first turn, but I just haven't done it. Cannon went off and the day began!
  • 1h 25m 55s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

Was frustrated with the frequent encounters of other swimmers that resulted from this new wave start. I'd suddenly come up on slower people (or those swimming diagonally) and people kept coming up on me. I actually really wanted the swim to end this year to put an end to that. Usually I don't want the swim to end (cuz it means biking!) Mass start allowed us to seed ourselves so we were in our set spot for the whole race with less movement
What would you do differently?:

At least there were 990 finishers who were slower than me! One year I will just have to start inside and see how it goes, Wasn't sure how to seed myself with this wave and it didn't matter much cuz of the waves in front and back. I did at least some swimming this year when David dragged me out, so I think that was definitely helpful, but more swimming would likely be beneficial. I was happy with my time as I had gotten 1:36 at MOWS.
Transition 1
  • 11m 36s

It was really cold out--only 52 degrees, and I was shivering going up the helix even though I was breathing really heavy. My bare feet do not like the long run--I could feel stiffness in the big toes and worried about my surgical sites. Was good to get in the building and onto carpeting. Got my bag OK and had a woman grab me in the changing room to help. She did everything I asked and was helpful. I dried off, pulled on the pink shorts, clipped the helmet, put on my blue daisy biking socks and shoes, put on the black jacket I bought a Vinny's yesterday and zipped it all the way up, grabbed sunglasses, and headed out. Took a sip of water then tossed the cup exiting the room. Stopped for a sec at the sunscreen people, 2 of them quick did my arms, back and thighs, with a dab on my nose. Ran to my bike yelling out my number. The lady who had my rack was confused and went way to the right for my bike, but since it was 4th in I just grabbed it myself. We checked the tires for flats then I started jogging to the mount line. Got on, clipped in right foot, buzzed down the helix, and struggled a minute trying to clip in the left. Luckily there really wasn't anyone around me. Man, was it cold! my teeth were chattering so hard my jaw basically became a big locked up cramp! I just couldn't get warm. It was a little better in sunny spots but Brrr!
What would you do differently?:

I could go faster on the helix I guess even though I was breathing pretty hard. Definitely need to go faster in the changing room.
  • 7h 49m 10s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.32 mile/hr

So I'm one of the slowest bikers out there, only 271 people were slower than me. (Other than the 602 who didn't start/finish) Luckily I had a decent swim time so I had some padding, and didn't blow my was so I was set up for the run.
What would you do differently?:

I should not have tried those PB balls. Even though they were skippy, which is what I eat, there was probably some other stuff in them that my stomach didn't like. Or, my lack of morning poo was the real culprit. I think because this has happened most times it's just the aero position that hinders digestion when going hard--my training rides were aero, but not as long, not as hard, and I didn't cram in that much during the first 30 miles.
Also consider a new bike? I had 2 gals comment that my bike was their 'first tri bike' Yes, it is aluminum, and yes, it is 10 yrs old. And yes, the seat screw is messed up so the seat is lower than ideal and can't be fixed because it's the part of the frame that is damaged, and yes, I likely would go faster with carbon. But, I'm not here to win, and I was definitely stronger this year, and even though my time was still slow, everything worked well and my set-up is perfect for this race. It lead me to a good run.
Transition 2
  • 05m 41s

When I got to the top of the helix, I was checking out the catches, and there was David--he saw me and got into position, and I was able to ride into him and get a smooch! He told me Kelly was on the side (oh shit!), so I looked over at her and we both started crying. I went over and gave her a big hug, then had to get inside. Talk about high to low! Jogged into T2, yelled out my bag number, but went up the wrong aisle (1300 not 1400). The 1400 person had my bag and gave it to me and I went into the changing room. There were no volunteers available (the room was very busy) so I seated myself and dumped my stuff out. A gal came over to help both me and an athlete who sat across from me. Helmet off, shoes and socks off, pink chamois off. Sprayed my feet with Trislide then an old pair of Balega running socks. Shoes on. Lippy on. Jog out, grab a sip of water then dump the rest when leaving the room. Someone was on the massage table and I realized my quads felt fine this year so no need to stop. Out the door and David was there. Another kiss (no porta stop) and headed out and up the hill.
What would you do differently?:

I was pretty happy with this time--it was fastest T2 by far. I did waste time searching for my bag and then trying to find a free volunteer--shoulda just sat down instead of going up and down the aisles. But this was my fastest T2 ever since I didn't stop at the porta (since I had done so at bike SN)
  • 5h 22m 58s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 20s  min/mile

So I had a faster run than 919 people which I was happy with, but surprised my swim ranked higher than my run! It became an absolute mental game. At each mile marker I would recalculate how much time was left to get in the 14-hr range and how slow I could do each mile. Almost screwed it up because my brain miscalculated the 6:50 start as though I had an extra 10 mins. Thankfully I just wanted to be done so chugged more than i thought I needed to. Here are the mile markers/pace from the IM site:
Mile 4.2) 41:59=9:56min/mile
Mile 6.4) 1:06:17=11:42
Mile 8.9) 1:34:13=11:14
Mile 9.8) 1:48:43=15:36 (porta stop)
Mile 13.2) 2:29:17=12:07
Mile 17.3) 3:16:25=11:30
Mile 19.4) 3:45:45=13:51
Mile 21.9) 4:21:00=14:13
Mile 22.8) 4:34:55=14:59
Mile 26.2) 5:22:58=14:08
As always, the finish line is so incredible. I passed the 'youngest' participant just before the last turn--he was wearing a cheese head hat and stopped to hug/talk to somebody. The last turn is where it really hits you--what you just accomplished. Both sides of the red carpet are filled with people cheering--I gave high 5's to a few on the right and started bawling. I heard Mike Reilly say my name as I crossed, and the guy in front of me I had passed earlier--he had a bible verse on his back and as I passed him I said "phil 4:13". He kneeled down and as I got to him I bent over (no kneeling going on) and put my arm on his shoulder and said a prayer of thanks to God who got me here. All the glory to Him! I said as we both stood up. It was a pretty incredible day!
What would you do differently?:

Go slower in the beginning. I feel so good at the run start that I have a hard time holding back and get excited to 'bank' the extra minutes for the end. Must. Go. Slower. Otherwise nutrition was right on with the Coke and Broth. Was nice to get complimented by 2 fast guys on the first loop who assumed I was on the second loop with them. Ha! Too slow of a biker for that! This was my fastest IM run by 1/2 hour.
Post race
Warm down:

The finish line catcher was awesome. He got me my shirt and hat and carried them for me, got my medal, and went to get a mylar wrap. He brought me to the photo area and reminded me to take the shirt off my waist. He got me to the exit where I found David who gave me my morning sweatshirt, then into the food tent. I grabbed 2 turkey subs (nothing else sounded remotely palatable) and came out to where Steve and Kelly were to eat. Then it hit--that icky nausea/gonna pass out feeling from not having blood pumping to my head anymore (standing still too long). Went over to the curb to lay down and get my legs up--David gave them some karate chops and massaged them which helped. I felt much better and just wanted to get to the car. My feet, however, did not want to be walked upon! David had already loaded our bikes and claimed our bags, so we walked the block to the BMO parking lot. I got in the back, but even sitting was too upright (here comes that feeling again), so I had to put me feet up on the front seat to get some blood return. It was a long ride home and I didn't feel great since that back seat couldn't recline, so once we got home i lay on the recliner and ate a turkey sandwich. That definitely helped. Kelly fell asleep on the floor of the living room. Took a super hot shower to warm up, then ran my legs/feet under cold water a few minutes. Chatted w Steve for a bit then got Kelly and him downstairs, then to bed. It was around midnight. I pretty much crashed. I think I woke a couple hours later and peed massively, but fell right back asleep till David got up for work in the morning. Texted Steve who was up. Ate a yogurt. Kelly had a really bad headache (not enuf caffeine), so we stopped at McDonald's on the way to Monona Terrace and I got and egg mcmuffin. Legs felt stiff but not too painful, could go up and down stairs pretty well. I lost 4lbs from Sunday morning to Monday morning (116 to 112lb)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I definitely trained much more bike this year than ever before. It didn't make me faster but did set me up for a faster run. You can never do enough hills or long rides. I definitely need to do more leg weights in the winter including squats. I think training at a chug pace was good cuz those muscles never cramped up. Swimming more helped, but I never did any drills or speed work--watching videos helps! Other than training even more, which I don't want to do, the mental aspect can always be fine-tuned to keep pushing through even on hills and shorten the rest stop walks.

Event comments:

This was my 5th IM WI and my fastest time by an hour (no thanks to Barlow). I definitely trained the most for this one, and my experience helped on decision making. The last 6 miles of the marathon are a total mental game as the body is begging for a break, and that does get better with age. Even though I am 5 years older than my previous best, I was an hour faster, and I am in the best shape of my life. Maintaining fitness and muscle mass with weights is vital, and having a supportive husband who pushed me to do workouts I wouldn't have otherwise is the reason for my success. I will be his Sherpa next year so he too can become an Ironman. I love doing this race since it is so close to home, especially now that I live right here in Madison. But the toughness of the bike course, and fact that my job has no leeway once school starts makes it difficult to execute and recover. Perhaps a flatter course at the end of august would be a better option for me in the future. Although I've said that before, so likely I'll be back!

Last updated: 2017-05-20 12:00 AM
01:25:55 | 4224 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/92
Overall: 1305/2296
Performance: Good
Was quite a battle as we started, had a few clear gaps then would get stuck behind someone then get push down/aside by someone from behind. Had to sight on every breath to be sure no one was gonna punch/kick me! Had someone on my feet that kept getting up in them--I kicked something very hard and bony (their face?) TWICE! Get off me! It actually seemed like the pink caps were less willing to get out of the way and swam into me. Opened up a little before the first turn, got a little bit into a rhythm then swam up on some people as I noticed I was drifting outward. Felt like I was weaving all over the place. Really didn't see any buoys, just followed the herd until I could see the far red buoy. Got right against it on the turn and Mooed, stayed inside the rest of the way. Second turn not bad, then it opened up more until the waves behind would come up. Actually seemed to get more congested as I got to the 3rd turn. That one confused me a bit and I ended up way outside. Worked my way back along the buoys--was stuck behind this chick that just wouldn't let me around her--she ended up hitting me in the head--actually apologized--then I finally got clear of her. The 4th turn REALLY confused me as people were spread all the way to shore and buoys were way to the left. Knew I'd end up at the shore but didn't want to angle it too quickly so tried to stay a bit left. I ended up peeing 5 or 6 times when all was said and done, last time on this stretch. Felt pretty good. Shoulders could definitely feel it, and index fingers were numb. Was trying to do a strong pull like David showed me. It got really congested as I got near shore, people standing and walking in, so I swam up to the mat. The guy next to me and I both had gravity issues trying to stand, so we finally grabbed each other and walked up the bottom of the ramp together. Got my goggles and cap off, and was just grabbing my string when the first stripper on the left opened up so I went to him--he unzipped me, we pulled out my arms, I quick sat down and he yanked it right off my legs, arm out to pull me up, handed me the wetsuit, and off I went! Thanks, Dude, great job!
Suit: Vortex full
Course: Counter clockwise 'rectangle' from Laws park at Monona Terrace. Water was smooth going south and east, then little annoying chop heading north. Smooth going west then south again.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 11:36
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:49:10 | 112 miles | 14.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 71/92
Overall: 2024/2296
Performance: Average
As noted above, it was dang cold! Maybe that made me work harder than I wanted--Bike stats: 18mi: 1:11:31 (15.27mph) 40mi: 2:39:48 (14.68mph) 50mi: 3:18:36 (15.00mph) 62mi: 4:15:46 (13.12mph) Stopped at SN to replace my sandwich (only 3 pieces gone but ate the last one and added 4 more) and used the Porta to pee. There was a line and Eddy was 2 people ahead of me. He hugged me and lifted me off the ground, said he felt great. I took off my jacket and left it there. 88mi: 6:10:18 (13:88mph) 112mi: 7:49:10 (14.28mph) Wind was SSE initially then SE most of the day up to 9mph. Probably the best we could hope for on that course. Since I hadn't ridden Whalen at all I was quickly reminded how bumpy it was. I was pleasantly surprised that the hills weren't as bad as I remember them, and the loop came up quickly. I was less frozen at that point, but really wasn't comfortable and ready to remove my jacket till mile 30.
Wind: Some
Course: 16-mile stick out, 40-ish mile double loop (with Barlow on first loop only, thank goodness), 16-mile stick back in. I felt really good so figured I'd try to take in more calories than previous years to keep me strong for the run which is where I was putting my money. I didn't eat/drink anything other than a tiny sip of water and root beer for the first 10 miles. Then started a sandwich sliver every 10 miles, and added a big swig of Hammer around 25. Ate a Skippy PB ball around 15 and 25 and sipped root beer intermittently. After mile 30 my stomach started to cramp. Oh boy, not this again. Guessing it's the PB ball or the Hammer, so no more of those. Too crampy to eat at 40, 50, and 60. Saw David shortly after SN on Valley Rd turning onto Sugar River Rd, he rode with me till Hwy G. I tried to sit up as I thought these could be gas cramps and as some air moved around I started to feel better. Took in a salt packet around this time. Root beer seemed to do OK, so I tried a sandwich bite around mile 70 and it seemed OK. David popped up again on S and had yogurt for me, but I didn't want to go there since I was doing better. Had topped of my root beer at SN so just kept sipping on that, and had a sandwich bite at 80, 90, and 100. Never did touch the left side. Refilled the water chamber at every other stop and tossed what I didn't use. Wasn't hot enough to carry a bottle in my right cage. My butt couldn't stand the seat anymore so kept standing a lot on the stick back. Feet were just killing me the last 30miles. They were burning and wanted out of the shoes so bad! Wind was a little issue but legs still felt pretty good. After Barlow felt a pain to the surface of my right inferomedial patella--so weird. Didn't seem to get worse and didn't hinder me in any way. Not sure what caused it since I walked up Barlow like I have many times in the past. Heading North was great as the wind was helpful. Dr Elaine was at Olin park right after the underpass holding a sign and cheering. Thanks! That powered me the rest of the way.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
05:22:58 | 26.2 miles | 12m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/92
Overall: 1377/2296
Performance: Good
Felt great starting out and tried to tone it back, but averaged 9:56min/mi for the first 4.2 miles. Saw Janel on the square--was so happy she was there! Just wanted to stay around 11:30min pace to be as close to 5 hrs as possible. Started taking Coke and water at each station since the chic broth wasn't ready yet. First got that at the mile 6 water stop. Then kept alternating them, taking broth wherever they had it since not all stations did. Had a bite of banana somewhere in there (can't even remember which loop now) which seemed to do OK but didn't want to push it so didn't take anymore. Saw Frank and his family on State St after mile 6 then again up at the square at the end of the first loop--his kids were so cute yelling out my name and encouraging me. Frank got a couple of photos too, as did Janel. Obviously walked up Observatory Hill, but started walking up the less steep hills as well to conserve. Right after mile 9 my morning poo kicked in, so I stopped at the porta to take care of that--had a lot of abdominal cramping so that took a few minutes. Legs were just fatigued, no specific pain, but tired. Feet were killing me! The bike shoes were bad but now they weren't happy running either. Fortunately my heel pain was never an issue. I know it was there, but I totally ignored it so can't remember how bad it even got. The soles of both feet just didn't want to run anymore. Felt good to walk, but the pace was way too slow, so tried to keep "chugging" and tried to encourage those around me to do so as well. Here are my mile times off my watch: Mile 1: 9:51:02 Mile 2: 10:34:57 Mile 3: 10:51:98 Mile 4: 10:56:04 Mile 5: 10:43:66 Mile 6: 11:00:81 Mile 7: 10:40:24 Mile 8: 11:50:60 Mile 9: 11:23:86 Mile 10: 15:20:95 (stopped at the porta--finally, my morning poo)! Mile 11: 11:13:47 Mile 12: 12:30:55 Mile 13.1: 12:31:90 Mile 14: 11:05:19 Mile 15: 12:27:70 Mile 16: 12:07:02 Mile 17: 12:59:46 Mile 18: 13:20:21 Mile 19: 13:54:89 Mile 20: 13:09:47 Mile 21: 14:52:68 Mile 22: 13:36:27 Mile 23: 14:32:19 Mile 24: 13:51:69 Mile 25: 14:29:54 Mile 26.2: 13:20:00
Course: Double loop around the Capitol, Camp Randall, the University, and State Street. Fairly hilly. Stopped at SN to grab my thin, pink long-sleeve top which I tied around my waist. Was on the verge of needing it the last few miles at it got down into the 60's, but I maintained my body heat so long as I kept chugging (was actually sweating the whole way)
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %3.4
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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

2017-09-16 10:36 PM

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New user

Waunakee, Wisconsin
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

2017-09-16 11:22 PM
in reply to: #5228138

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great report and congrats on a great race! I'm a teacher too, so I hear you about how tough it is to do a big race at this time of year (I just returned from 70.3 Worlds half a world away). Kudos for getting it done and enjoy your recovery!
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