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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 16h 32m 11s
Overall Rank = 2080/
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 384/
Pre-race routine:

Got up about 3am and ate (banana, yogurt and PB&J sandwich), then went back to bed. Got up about 4:15 drank an Ensure, showed and gathered my stuff and headed out.

Dropped off Special Needs bags - Added some things to my Transition bags - Checked the Bike (tire pressues, added some nutrition, etc.) - Got Body Marking - Headed Down to Swim prep area.

Event warmup:

Continued hydrating and staying relaxed. Took in some nutrition about 6:30am, then got on the wetsuit and headed for the water just as the pros got started at 6:45am.
  • 1h 23m 49s
  • 4224 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

I started out near the bouy line, but stayed back in the pack. I am an average swimmer, but I cannot start fast - hard to recover the HR back down after a sprint start. So, I start near the back and then have to swim through the slower swimmers. It is kind of a pain swimming through slower swimmers (many of who have navigation problems), but it is better than going anerobic early in the swim and frustrating the rest of the day.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Just get a little faster, which will hopefully come between now and IMAZ with getting some volume in the pool through the winter.
Transition 1
  • 15m 27s

Out of the water we had to run up a "helix" (parking garage ramp that is like a cork screw) to the 4th level of the convention center. Then inside to change.

After changing inside the convention center it is a good long run through the bike area (which it did most of with my bike - my bike was pretty close to the entrance of the bike corral).

Took a moment to get mounted on the bike after stopping to put on my shoes. I didn't want to run as far as we had to on concrete with my shoes on so I carried them from T1 through the bike corral.

After mounting our bikes we had to ride down the helix at the other end of the parking area. Kind of tricky riding down the cork screw with a bunch of other riders around.
What would you do differently?:

Just be a little quicker in the changing area.
  • 7h 57m 53s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.06 mile/hr

Felt really good on the way out on the 16 miles. Got started on the nutrition plan and was feeling like I was going to have a nice comfortable ride on a sunny, cool WI day.

That all changed about mile 12. Shifting started to go to crap. The bike wouldn't shift between chain rings, and the cassette was also not shifting well - this wouldn't be good with the "hills" coming out near Verona. At about mile 18 I found out why the shifting was going to crap, my crank came off.

Fortunately, it did not break, it just came unscrewed. After spending about 10 minutes or so trying to calm down, it started to settle in that my day might just be over at mile 18 if I can't get this fixed.

I was also fortunate that all the parts were there, and that my McGyver skills were working fairly well (after I calmed down and realized I could get the bike fixed and my day wasn't actually over at mile 18). I put the crank back together and used a couple of the sizes on my mini multi-tool (my multi-tool doesn't have a wrench big enough for a crank - but who's does?) and cramed them into the crank and tightened it up enough to get going. All this after race support said it would likely be quite a while until bike support would be by, if at all.

Race support did tell me that the aid stations did have tech support, so at the next aid station I would stop for assistance. Well, about a mile after the fiasco it got worse. When I tried to shift the chain came off. You see, all the shifting while my crank was coming loose had screwed up the derailuers and everything was all out of wack. So, I had to ride with only a few gears.

The few gears I had would not be sufficient for the "hills" out at Verona, and I was starting to think my day was going to be a wash out, or at least a real struggle to make the bike cutoff. I stopped at the next aid station and the "tech support" they had was a multi-tool - Great!! So, I moved on after the aid station radioed tech support and told them of my situation, and they said I could wait, but they would be about 30 minutes or more before they got to that aid station. I decided to move on. I had it together and could ride, which was better than time ticking off with me sitting still at the aid station.

They said it would be a while, if at all, until they caught up with me, but when/if they did they would get my attention and check the bike. It all worked out to some extent. About 5 more miles up the road I ran into a different bike support vehicle and they had time to check mine out. After making sure I had the crank together right and tightened up okay, the tech checked and fixed my shifting for me - he had it shifting better then it had since I got it. This was a God send, with the Verona "hills" coming up.

THIS BIKE COURSE IS AN ABSOLUTE PAIN IN THE ASS, and to describe it as the winning pro did, "How about the bike course? It was fucking hard, ja!"

After the four stops and about 45 minutes or so, I was on a mission to make up time. That was a little bit of a mistake because I lost focus on nutrition and went the distance between two aid stations without taking in anything other than about 20 oz. of water - NOT GOOD!!

I spent the next 40 miles or so chasing my nutrition, but did finally get to where I felt good again with about 10 miles to go on the bike. One of the reasons it took so long to get things back in line was the hills - there are three (actually four if you count one that is separated from the other three) hills out by Verona that are right in a row and close enough together you cannot fully recover from one before getting to the next. These hills are all 7% or better and prett long. They just sap all the energy from your legs.

Additionally, about half way through the bike (for me) some clouds rolled in with a little breeze, and dropped the temperature. Many riders were saying that they actually felt cold at points on the course with the clouds and wind.

Overall, the bike was an adventure, but I was generally happy with my time given all the problems and the hills. I was hoping for about a 7:00 to 7:30 on the bike, and without the 45 minutes or so with the crank I would have made that time.
What would you do differently?:

Not have my crank fall off, and stay up on the nutrition so I don't have stomach issues the second half of the bike.
Transition 2
  • 16m 48s

I was a little slow in T2 because I used the time to warm up a bit and get in some hydration and nutrition. I was hoping my stomach would calm down so I could run.
What would you do differently?:

Get there without stomach issues so I could change and go.
  • 6h 38m 14s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 12s  min/mile

Right out from the start I was having stomach issues, and they hampered me throughout the run. I visited the portolets at least 20 times during the run.

I was dumping a lot of water - fortunately each stop was just to urinate, but I had to go constantly. I had plenty of energy to run and felt good other than the stomach pain and having to urinate constantly. In any event, those things kept me from running much. Walking as much as I did also resulted in some pretty serious blisters on the balls of my feet, which even as my stomach was feeling better kept me from running a whole lot.

There are also a lot of hills (and turns) on this marathon course. I would say it is a less that desirable marathon course, but it is what you have to do to finish IMWI.
What would you do differently?:

I need to get my nutrition dialed in better (which includes a better understanding of electrolytes and salts), maintain it on the bike, and increase my running base so I feel more comfortable running even with some stomach issues.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk around a bit, hit the food tent and then hung around to watch the final finishes come in; including Frank Farrar at 16:56. Way to go Frank!!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike crank - Stomach Issues - Hydration - Nutrition - Electrolyte Balance

Event comments:

Overall, a good race because I FINISHED - the only goal for this race.

Also, a quick shout out to all the volunteers -- You All are GREAT, without you this is not possible. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU!!!

"Tim Geiger, You are an IRONMAN!!" - Mike Rielly at 11:32pm CDT Sunday, September 9, 2007 in Madison, WI.

Last updated: 2006-11-28 12:00 AM
01:23:49 | 4224 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 1495/
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Energie Full
Course: Two Loop, Counterclockwise
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 15:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:57:53 | 112 miles | 14.06 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 2034/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: It is a 16 mile out, then two 40 mile loops, then the 16 miles back to T2.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Too much
Time: 16:48
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:38:14 | 26.2 miles | 15m 12s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 2080/
Performance: Bad
Course: Two Loop course through urban Madison and UW campus.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4

2007-09-16 3:39 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Peoria, Arizona
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin

At the end of the day - I FINISHED, which was the only goal for this first IM.

IMAZ will have a time goal.  I'm not sure what it will be yet.

Again, a big THANK YOU to all the volunteers - you are GREAT!!


Next, the mDot tattoo.  Where?  Prolly the left calf - any suggestions?

- Tim

Edited by SwmBkRn 2007-09-16 3:42 PM

2007-09-16 4:34 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
WHOOP WHOOP YAY You congratulations
2007-09-16 4:43 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Extreme Veteran
Green Bay, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congratulations, IRONMAN!!!!! Great job working through the bike & stomach issues also!
2007-09-16 5:56 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Nice job with the McGyver work and sticking it out.
2007-09-16 7:42 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You see, watching all that crappy TV in the 90's paid off! Way to McGyver your way through the bike and will yourself through the run. It doesn't matter how long it takes-- when you cross that finish line you're as much an Ironman as the one who finishes first!
2007-09-17 2:31 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Extreme Veteran
Peoria, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Hey All;

Thanks!!  Yeah, who'd a thunk all that TV watching would actually pay off.


2007-09-17 2:54 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
ARE YOU KIDDING ME????  Your crank is that messed up and you can still finish?  YOU ROCK!  Congrats on an awesome race Tim!  Cool!
2007-09-17 3:00 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
You had a rough day out there.. but you hung in and kept moving forward to finish! Great job IRONMAN!
2007-09-17 5:18 PM
in reply to: #966737

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Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
All I see here is an IRONMAN. I think your report is a great source for seeing the things that can go wrong out there. That you kept your head and chalked up an Ironman. That is big! Good job. War stories for the future.
2007-09-19 11:05 AM
in reply to: #966737

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Dude, you are for certain a true IRONMAN for dealing with that bike scenario!  Way to beat the odds!

MDOT tat - I don't care for tats myself, but if you wish to mark up your body, most persons that I saw that have them have been putting it on their calf for optimal visibleness.


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