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Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 - Triathlon

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
64F / 18C
Total Time = 6h 39m 45s
Overall Rank = 1243/1868
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 43/68
Pre-race routine:

Saturday lunch was fish with Drew (and shrimp at home). I spent the afternoon clearing my watch and reading previous race reports. We checked in and dropped off our bikes around 3:00. Zeroed out the computer and put it in the bento box in case of rain. Also put my bike into a low gear to make it easier to get going. It was hot, sunny, and very windy. Weather tomorrow is supposed to be 60's and rain for most of the race, although it shouldn't rain during the night (so hopefully no mudfest again). For dinner we had spaghetti/meat sauce, and cheese bread. Ice cream for dessert. Made 1/2 PBJ on oat wheat bread, cut into 1/4's and left out in the air to dry out.
Opened 2 12-oz bottles of Coke and left the caps off to let them go flat. Put 2 bottled waters on the counter, and 3 Gu packs (2 for the Bento box, 1 to eat prior to race). Decided I'm not going with Gatorade this year at all. Also put the profile chamber and 2 straws by the liquids on the island. Packed individual event bags so everything was protected in plastic: Swim bag w wetsuit, cap, goggles. Bike bag with shoes, blue daisy socks, glasses (clears which got switched to shaded in the morning), pink chamois shorts. Run bag with running shoes (old pink ones in case it's wet and muddy), visor, and race belt with reinforced bib number attached (Gu in pocket). Had another bag with large maroon towel and white hand cloth and peri bottle. Put those into the IM backpack with the helmet in the outer pocket. Laid out my Coeur kit on the bathroom counter with the timing chip on top, next to the trispray. Got to bed around 9:30-ish. Fell right asleep but then was up multiple times during the night. Not a good sleep.
Event warmup:

Was actually awake before the alarm so got up around 4:10. Weighed 121.4 lb. Used the trispray to neck, chest, and crotch (worked great!) and then put on blue Coeur kit. Timing chip on! Hair in high pony. Marji's sweatshirt. Checked the weather and all the rain was taken out! What!!?? Still a small chance around 11:00 but nothing else, and the wind not above 5mph ENE. Wow! Sun may even peek through while on the run, so I switched out my clears back to shaded. Ate a Kashi almond bar with PB, had 1 piece of french toast with a little more PB, and half a Triple 0 yogurt. Grabbed the tire pump and loaded everything into the van, left the house at 5:03. Driving past the colliseum, David decided to park in the lot behind the businesses there, right along the bike path. Worked out really well and didn't have to deal with the Alliant. Got body marked going in (number on both arms, age on left calf). David pumped up my tires right away then went to his rack. Ended up only using 1 coke (12-oz) in the small profile, and I think 1.5 water bottles in the large section (can only fill to the leak). Put the sandwich in the bento box--was pretty dried out and had 2 Gu in there. Ate a banana as I set out my stuff: maroon towel under the tire of the bike to my right with running shoes, visor, and belt up top; bike shoes w a sock in each, helmet (with glasses inside), and pink chamois shorts to the front (with white washcloth and peri bottle on the left. Put on my wetsuit as it was only 64 degrees, the water was 72. Grabbed the half-filled water bottle to bring with me to the start, as well as a vanilla gu. David had gone earlier to warm up. I set the water/gu down along the fence and got in--typical cold shock at first getting the water in the wetsuit but then it was ok, just swam a few strokes, mainly wanted to get my face in. Came out and had to get my water/gu which was up by the 27-minute area, passed David coming in as I was heading back toward the 43-min area--quick hug, kiss, and prayer. Since warmup was closed everyone was trying to get into the corral, so I was truly swimming upstream and it was getting more and more packed. I couldn't move at all beyond the 37-40min group, so figured that was close enough--I know I'm gonna have some contact but that's ok. Ate my Gu and sipped water just before 7 thinking I'd have a good 30-40 min before I got in. Surprisingly, this new setup (4 lines of people being sent off every 5 seconds) was much more efficient than the single file mess through the mud last year, so I started at 7:16:43am. According to my watch, that was 5 seconds off, but whatev's.
  • 45m 33s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 24s / 100 meters

I went out pretty hard since I was with this faster group and knew there'd be fast people right behind me. It was really calm and I could actually see the next buoy, so I figured I stay inside. I hadn't peed during warmup since I thought I'd be standing in it for a while, so I peed pretty early on, then twice more out, once on the left turn, and a couple of times coming in. I got shoved a few times and some burly guy bashed the right side of my head with his elbow hard enough that even though it didn't hit my goggles, it broke the seal of my left eye. This was about halfway out on the first stretch. I had to empty that sucker out at least 15 times as it kept filling, just couldn't get the seal again (but didn't stop and tread to make a full effort, just lifted and squished it down coming up for sighting). I wasn't working too hard, felt pretty good, and my temp was actually good--no frozen hands or feet! I was actually enjoying the swim when someone started blowing a whistle over and over. I looked up but no one was next to me and nothing was in front of me, so I figured the action was right behind me so I just kept going. Soon, a boat came in directly behind me, then took off toward shore making a bunch of waves. It looked like someone in the back of the boat was leaning over--I figured it was probably someone doing CPR. I was about 2/3 of the way back on the last stretch. The last little bit went pretty quick--the chute narrowed so it got a little crowded in there, but it was nice to be able to swim right up to the shore. I had done some drifting to the right on the way back, but the first 2 legs I went pretty straight. Much better than previous years. I pretty much stuck to the buoys first 2 legs, was 10 yard off them coming in
What would you do differently?:

Well, as usual, I haven't swam at all since the Pewaukee Oly last july other than that one OWS on Thursday. So, training would be a possibility. I did get knocked around quite a bit, so I truly need to start with the 43-min folks to avoid that. Also, swimming the buoy line probably invites that as well, but I can't not swim there (some mental block I have) so I guess I won't change that. I was satisfied with my time--not my best, but not worst either.
Transition 1
  • 05m 37s

I really wasn't dizzy at all since the water was warm, so I lifted my goggles and went to the strippers (apparently this year they changed the term to "peelers"). David's friend from Master's was there, him and another guy got me peeled and pulled me up, grabbed my wetsuit from them and started jogging into transition. So nice this year that it wasn't a mudfest! Took my goggles and cap off as I turned into transition, then counted off the racks and easily found my bike. Only a couple of people were already gone. Shoved my stuff above the running gear. Pulled on the pink chamois shorts and sat down on the grass, used the washcloth to dry my feet and get the grass off, put on socks, then shoes. Glasses, and helmet. Grab the bike off the rack and start jogging to the Bike Out. No river to jump over this year! Got to the mount line and went up a bit to get away from everyone. Reset my computer and got going!
What would you do differently?:

Well because it was overcast this year I did not put on any sunscreen, so that saved me a few seconds. I could be more efficient at getting my socks and shoes on, and adding the biking shorts takes time, but whatev's. This was very average for me.
  • 3h 30m 58s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.93 mile/hr

Wow! So this year I didn't start any bike training until 2 weeks ago, when I dusted off the cobwebs from winter and pulled my bike out of the garage. I did 6 Country loops (20 miles each) over those 2 weeks, always followed by a 1-4 mile brick run. That's it! I had been doing a lot of rowing at Anytime, though, and I think that got me into decent biking shape, as I felt really really good the entire way. I took the tiniest sip of water when I got on the bike, and maybe another sip around mile 5.Had a sliver of sandwich at mile 10 with a sip of coke, then took sips of coke and water till the next sandwich at mile 20. I can't believe I had no stomach issues! Never using Gatorade again! This also left my flask and back holders empty--since it was so cool out, I wasn;t drinking much so I skipped the first 2 water stops. At mile 30 my split was 1:50:38! Wow, I was gonna crush the 4-hr mark! This was 16.22mph and I had observatory and the other 2 big hills coming up. After getting to Paoli, I had a 3rd sliver of sandwich--this was around mile 35. My stomach was totally fine, legs felt strong, and breathing was very relaxed, even on the big hills. I did stand up a few times, more to stretch my legs than needing the power, but that did help on the last few hills too. I couldn't tell how much water I had left, so I did grab a bottle without stopping on Purcell Rd just to top off that tank. At mile 45 I couldn't decide what to do about that last sliver of sandwich--I was a half hour ahead of pace and had my last sliver 5 miles late. I decided to just eat half of it. At mile 50 I started sucking on a vanilla gu--I just let it hang from my mouth and occasionally squeezed it over a couple of miles. Had just a few sips of water, and a sip of coke by the Alliant. Came in strong, can't believe how well that went! The lack of wind was wonderful!
What would you do differently?:

Well, as you'll find out on the run section, my nutrition felt right-on for the bike, but I screwed it up. It was warmer than I realized, so I should have been drinking more water. I also should not have had that last bite of sandwich--next year, nothing after mile 30 other than water and tiny coke. I only had half of the chamber (6 oz), so I think that is a reasonable amount. I think the Gu is Ok, although maybe I should have that at mile 45 instead (coming down Whalen). Otherwise, I've got the hills timed really well and know when/where to shift. I could spot the roadies on every hill--they would furiously grind up, pass me, then coast down, whereas I slowly worked up and pedaled down, passing them, having used much less energy. This year only 35 people passed me on the bike! I was a bit worried, though, how this faster time would impact my run...
Transition 2
  • 03m 46s

Pretty average T2. They changed the In a little, made it a bit longer in case there was a river. Jogged a little. I counted my racks but the numbers didn't match so I did go 1 rack too far (the numbers on the north cluster were different than the numbers on my south cluster--duh!), and had to backtrack. I was shocked that only 3 bikes were back on my entire rack--usually I'm one of the last ones! Got the bike racked, pulled off the shorts to my feet and sat down, pulled off the shoes, then shorts, then put on the running shoes. Traded the helmet for the visor, and clipped on the belt. Quick glance and everything and started running. I really had to pee, but last year it went away on the run so I figured I'd hope that would happen again.
What would you do differently?:

Jog in a little more and not take so long changing. This was a very average time.
  • 2h 13m 51s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 13s  min/mile

So, I started going making a cognizant effort to keep the cadence up. Started passing people right away. Almost freaked out when my first mile was an 8:52! Skipped the first 2 water stations. Tried to increase cadence up the rollers and use gravity downhill. Did walk up parts of the 2 big hills. Stopped at the 3rd station at mile 3 and realized how thirsty I was was! Took Coke as well. As I tried to get my cadence to go up, my stomach started to cramp, causing me to slow down. Trying to power down the hill was the worst! Ok, I probably took in too much on the bike, and at that last stop. I skipped the next 2, but was getting really hot and really thirsty. The Regnier's were at station 6, so I took water, ice, and coke--just a tiny sip of coke for the calories. Still really thirsty. I dumped the ice down my top and back which helped a lot. My stomach was getting worse as I think I was taking in too much water, but I was clearly dehydrated, and my blood was probably so thick I just couldn't digest. I though about puking so I could start my stomach over, but if my pace was slow enough I could keep jogging and never had to stop (other than walking through the water stops). Each mile kept getting slower, and I didn't want to screw up the progress I had made on the bike, so I decided I would just start taking ice at each stop instead of water and suck on that and dump a cup down my top so I had a supply. Then I didn't have to stop at all so my pace didn't deteriorate much more. I can't remember where, but maybe every other I took a sip of coke as well, but no more cups of water. My stomach didn't get any worse, or maybe it was because there were no downhills, but I was able to just keep plodding along. I did manage to pass 184 people along the way!! I was honestly shocked to see how good my time was (well, for me). This was my 2nd fastest half iron run time.
What would you do differently?:

Make the changes on the bike as noted, hydrating more there, then starting with the ice sooner on the run and not gulping so much water. As always, focus on keeping cadence up! Would have nice to have my new purple shoes as they have much better cushioning. This was a long way to go with my old shoes--feet were overall sore!
Post race
Warm down:

The catchers were great, got my chip off and walked me to the medal and hat. I slammed a bottle of water right there (so thirsty), and grabbed another, then a third. Because I was a half hour ahead of pace, David missed me at the finish line. I wandered through the food tent (without getting anything), then down to the beach, then back up along the finish line thinking he may be there watching for me. I just had to keep walking as I knew I would feel awful if I stopped. I then went to the food tent to get 2 turkey half subs, some chips, and a couple of orange slices. I ate the oranges and nibbled on the chips, and headed to transition to look for him. He was there yapping with a rack mate, so I went to my rack to start packing up. I was quite sore, legs had a lot of lactic acid. Luckily I had all the plastic bags so was able to keep the wet stuff separate and load up the backpack. Still had the chips and sandwich and put those in a plastic bag too. Finally went to the porta to pee--hadn't gone since the swim and while I don't think it was part of my stomach cramps I'm sure the full bladder didn't do me any favors. Walked the bikes back to the car (had the backpack on and the swim bag over my shoulder too). Location worked out to be ideal as we just went under the road along the bike trail. Will park in the lot that's a little closer next year. Dumped the fluids out of my profile, only had 6 oz of root beer, hard to know how much water--prolly 1 full tank when all was said and done. As we were driving home, Terri called--she was headed to the ER for a ruptured Achilles tendon. Yikes! Luckily, we just had some sore muscles! Ate one of the subs in the car and finished the chips, had another bottle of water. Took a hot shower to get clean, then let cold water run on my back and legs for 5 min or so. Realized the only hotspot I had was the middle of my sacrum, a couple inches above the tailbone, was an abrasion--not sure why but will need to spray that spot next year. Otherwise no wetsuit hickey and chest/crotch were fine (other than soreness from the seat). Weight was 119.8 (down 1.6# even after the sub and water). Picked up Little Cesears pizza for dinner, had 2 slices of that as well, and more water. Went to be around 9 as I do have to work tomorrow.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Couldn't have asked for better weather--the cloud cover helped keep it cooler but the sun did start to peek through and it got warm quickly on the run. 75 degrees was quite hot with the humidity, and I was sweating like a pig, and I didn't think about ice right away. Even once I did, I didn't start sucking on it till mile 6 or 7. I lost a lot of speed on the downhills with the GI cramping. I hadn't done much running in May--did quite a bit in March and April on our trips. My last long run was a 10-miler on a treadmill on May 15 (9:21 pace) and a 10k on April 13 (8:54 pace). The only days I worked out were Wed, Sat, Sun--Not sure why I didn't get up early on the other days as I typically do before a big race (funny but that thought never crossed my mind--I guess cuz David wasn't getting up early for his Master's swims). Definitely could have benefited from more miles. I think my little ride/run on Friday and the Saturday rest day set me up to be well-rested for today, and I was vigilant about rolling my legs those 3 days before the race as well. My hamstrings had been quite tight once I started biking, but they felt great today. I think the rower was a good full-body workout and is what allowed me to perform so well. Doing those intervals really helped my breathing to stay relaxed on the big hills, and to persevere on the run. I was quite happy with this race!

Event comments:

I really enjoy this race--I preferred the bike course the way Milkman had it, but Ironman does a nice job with plenty of rest stops and supplies. It was great that finally, their 3rd year, they were able to figure out to get us into the water before the race for a warmup. It's a shame that despite that, 2 people, Mike McCulloch (61) and Todd Mahoney (38) died on the swim leg. The water was certainly warm enough (Ironman Racine always had Lake michigan water in the mid 60's) and calm enough (no waves at all until the rescue boat came through), so the conditions can't be blamed. Both athletes were very well-trained as well. A 'medical event' can happen at any time, and if it occurs while you are in the water, you're just kinda screwed. God knows the number of our days, and both men were fortunate, it a way, to go while doing an activity they loved. The sport itself should not be blamed. Nor should Ironman, as they always have plenty of lifeguards, SUPs, kayaks, and boats. I'm sure I'll be back next year, although it's certainly a roll of the dice as to what the weather will be!

Last updated: 2018-09-23 12:00 AM
00:45:33 | 1900 meters | 02m 24s / 100meters
Age Group: 45/68
Overall: 1392/1868
Performance: Average
Suit: Vortex full
Course: Long out, short left, then long back in. No sun and calm so sighting was very easy
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:37
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:30:58 | 56 miles | 15.93 mile/hr
Age Group: 47/68
Overall: 1427/1868
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Same course as last year, a few more roads were paved including most of Whalen. So glad it didn't rain--the country club and observatory hills are bad enough with the steep downhill then 90-degree left without the pavement being wet!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:46
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:13:51 | 13.1 miles | 10m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 43/68
Overall: 1243/1868
Performance: Good
Mile 1: 8:52:67 (4:34:41) Mile 2: 9:18.39 (4:44:00) Mile 3: 9:19.56 (4:53:19) Mile 4: 10:01:04 (5:03.20) Mile 5: 10:22:16 (5:13.42) Mile 6: 10:23.29 (5:24.06) Mile 6.6 1:00:51=9:31 pace per timing mat Mile 7: 10:12.11 (5:34.18) Mile 8: 10:12.91 (5:44.31) Mile 9: 10:57.89 (5:55:29) Mile 10 10:41.36 (6:06.10) Mile 11: 10:42.15 (6:16.52) Mile 12: 10:23.93 (6:27.160 Mile 13.1: 12:23:17 (6:39.40)
Course: Loop around Monona, same as last year, although they added that stupid jut-out back in right at the end.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %-1.6
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2019-06-16 4:59 PM

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Subject: Ironman Wisconsin 70.3
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