Tuesday, September 22, 2009

IM by the Numbers

I've had no desire to read/write anything triathlon related since IM Wisconsin.  I still don't, but I'll post the numbers before I lose the sheet I wrote it all down on.

2397 Individuals started IM Wisconsin assuming everyone finished the swim.

Swim - Super thrilled with time.  Ten minutes better than I swam it four weeks prior at the Madison Open Water Swim, and my pace was better than any 1/2 iron swim I've done (Racine excluded for obvious reasons).

1:32:00 (2:10/100yards)
1968/2397 overall
304/356 age group

T1 - Still my best event relative to the field.  Dressing myself for all these years is really starting to pay off.
644/2397 overall
105/356 age group

Bike - Also thrilled with time.  On the fast side of where I thought I would be.
6:32:11 (17.1 mph)
1278/2397 overall
220/356 age group

90 didn't finish the bike

T2 - Second best event relative to the field.
843/2397 overall
123/356 age group

Run - Craptastic, wanted to puke for first 6-8 miles.  Walked.  By the time the stomach was better had huge blisters on both feet I'm still dealing with.  Fun.

5:46:41 (13:14/mile)
1601/2397 overall
251/356 age group

131 didn't finish run

Overall - I'm ok with it now, all things considered.  Only disappointing when I think of where I could have been with any reasonable run.

1480/2397 overall
239/356 age group

My one interesting overall fact about the race numbers.  Even if you take into account the 221 that didn't finish the bike or run.  My run ranking (where I walked almost all of it), was significantly better than my swim rank, which I'm still thrilled with.  This either says something about my swimming ability or the difficulty of an Ironman run.  Not sure which.

Pictures and report still to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Word of the Day


Huge blisters on both feet, two nasty sunburn stripes, and extremely sore quads and calves. Race didn't go down exactly as planned, but I had a great time, and in 14:04 and change got to here those wonderful words.

You are an Ironman.

Full report w/ pictures to come. Just don't hold your breath.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Race Morning

All that's left is the waiting. It's been a huge wave of emotions already this morning. From nausea to calm to fighting off tears. The next 90 minutes may be some of hardest of the day. The waiting, it's the hardest part. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My crew

My support crew will be sporting the above shirts at IMoo tomorrow. Say hi if you see them.

Race week has gone by in a flash.  This time tomorrow we'll be swimming. Gidde up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Race Strategy

Since I can't seem to focus on anything but Ironman, I'm going to lay out my race strategy.  I've kept it simple, as it only has two parts.  For lack of better terms, they'll go by "One Bite at a Time" and "All Day Baby".

One Bite at a Time
Somebody, somewhere out there in blogland (I'm to lazy to try and find it), has a quote that goes something along the lines of "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."  This is how I intend to attack the course on Sunday.  One bite at a time.  The ironman elephant is much to big to consume in one bite.  I think that is why it's so daunting from the outside, once you break it down into it's components, or subcomponents, it becomes much more manageable.

For the swim, I'm only going to focus on the next turn buoy, nothing more.  I can't swim the next leg until I get through this one, no point thinking about it, or the bike, or the run.

I've dissected the bike course many times both physically and mentally.  Sunday my focus will be simply to get to the next point; Verona, Mt. Vernon, Mt Horeb, Cross Plains, back to Verona, repeat, then back to Madison.  One bite at a time.

And although the run is two loops, I simply can't take that big of a bite.  The run will be aid station to aid station and nothing more.

All Day Baby
This would be my pacing strategy.  Find a pace that is comfortable and I can hold, well, all day.  The difference between a dream swim and a bad one is maybe 15 minutes.  Absolutely no reason to push hard in the water.  Nice and easy, relax, settle in and swim, and swim, and swim.  And then swim some more.

Same theory applies on the bike.  Although with the terrain of the Wisconsin bike course, it's really not a pacing strategy, but more of a "level of effort" strategy.  Pace is going to vary greatly from moment to moment.  My level of effort needs to remain much more uniform.  So we settle in, find a comfortable effort level and just go.  That's the theory anyway.  I'll need to be extra vigilant and plan to focus on riding smart.

The run, for at least the first 20-miles, will be much the same.  Find a comfortable pace and go.  If by some miracle of nature I have anything left in the tank at the 20 mile mark I'll reevaluate and go from there.

And there it is.  Ironman race strategy 101.  I should get my coaching license and write a book.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Race Week Nerves

Today is Tuesday.  I think my nerves are all but shot.  I'm keeping food down but it doesn't feel like it wants to be there.  That's not good. 

I don't even know what it is.  I'm not obsessed with the weather, or gear, or race strategy, or nutrition, or anything.  But it's still there, the knot in my gut which seems to be growing exponentially as the days disappear and Ironman looms closer.  Yes I've committed close to 2 years getting ready for one day.  But in reality, regardless of the outcome life will go on, and it won't matter one bit whether I finish in 13 hours, 17 hours, or DNF.  Yet the nerves are still there.  It's stupid, and I hate the fact that I'm letting it get to me.

Four more days.  One more day of work.  Check-in on Thursday.  Prep-day Friday.  Bike check-in Saturday.  Race Sunday.  Piece of cake.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Ironman signs started popping up around town last week. Today I came into work and this was sitting in the lot. On top of that, race numbers were published today. Yours truly is 938. Starting to feel way to real.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


These aren't goals per se.  More of a guide to let friends/family know where I should be when.  It's quick and dirty, but with the unpredictability involved, I'm not putting any more thought into it. 

I'm not fast, 90% of the athletes will be out and gone before me, don't worry about it. 1:30 would be an absolute dream swim for me.  Anything over 1:45 and I think I'll be disappointed.  If I can swim straight and avoid any major issues I should be able to break 1:40.

So out of the water between 8:30 and 8:45, out of transition 10 minutes later, 8:40 - 8:55.

Assuming nothing harsh in the way of weather, no real mechanical issues, I'm guessing 6:30 - 7:15.  Any faster than 6:30 and I'll be absolute toast for the run.  Goal is to go out for a nice easy ride.  I'm just fine with an uneventful 7 hours.

So on the bike:

Into Verona - 9:28 - 9:49
Back to Verona - 11:54 - 12:32
Back to Verona again - 2:20 - 3:15
Back to Madison - 3:08 - 4:09

Total crapshoot, but to try and narrow it down, best case scenario I think will be 5:00.  Worst case, well... who knows could be 7 hours+, but for arguments sake, let's say 6.  We won't talk about any other possible outcomes.

Out of transition - 3:18 - 4:19
Finish first loop - 5:48 - 7:19
Finish - 8:18 - 10:19

Total time - 13:18 - 15:19

If I was a gambling man, and I guess I am, I'd put the over/under at 13:51.  Two years ago when I started this journey I thought 14 hours was doable, now, less than two weeks out I'm still pretty much right there.