Thursday, September 17, 2009

Race Report Ironman Wisconsin 2009

As from the previous posting you can probably get the just when I say that we are close to race day but there were a few things that still needed to be done such as short easy workouts so that our bodies didn't get too tight and stiff from not doing anything. I met up with the group from the training camp early Saturday morning for a swim in Lake Monona after dropping my bike off with Jim (a bike mechanic) so that he could check it and make sure everything was in proper order to get me through an intense 112 mile ride. We ended up swimming about 1/2 mile easy-I felt great! No shoulder pain!

Following the swim Cindy, Jake, and I headed to Monona Terrace to do the unthinkable......sign up for Ironman Madison 2010! For me it wasn't a big deal but for Cindy and Jake that's pretty gutsy since they hadn't completed an Ironman before!

I spent the rest of the day hanging with the gang, not getting as much rest as I had hoped for but my nerves were not going to allow me to sit and rest! As the day went on my nerves increased, I became much more irritable and anything would set me, dad, Corrine, Erica, and Leann caught the brunt of that-Sorry! I was even nicknamed Tri-Zilla!

Sunday (Race morning) came EARLY! I was up at 3:45, actually before since the amount of sleep that I got was minimal! I did my usual race routine and then I was out the door. Dad walked with me to Monona Terrace and I don't think that we said a word to each other the whole time we walked! Granted he walks so fast that I have to keep a steady jog in order to keep up with him. Once, making it to Monona terrace, I sat down on the bridge for a minute to recuperate my thoughts since we were a few minutes early. I then headed down to get body marked, the volunteers (one on each side of me) wrote my race number on my arms and my age on my legs. I then headed back into the terrace to find dad before heading into the transition area to fill my bottles and my tires. Cindy and Jen showed up shortly after I arrived which seemed to ease some of my heightened nerves. I helped Cindy and Jodee get their bike tires all pumped up and then headed out to find dad and drop off my special needs bags. Then, we made our way into Monona Terrace to find the girls again. The place was a ZOO! While we were waiting for the race start dad left, but Cindy's and Jen's families along with Jen's college friends met up with us to see us off to the start.

Jen, Cindy, and I headed down to the start about twenty minutes before the canon and ten minutes before the pro start. We walked in circles down the helix of the ramp as a million people were wishing us luck-it was like we were walking down the red carpet at the Emmy's or something! Jen, Cindy, and I stuck together until we got in the water when we went our separate ways. I went to the back of the crowd since I was nervous about being swam over (don't ask me why). The swim start for some reason freaked me out the most! Maybe because Louisville was a time trial start or the mass of people, but anyway once the canon fired I found myself swimming over the top of people! This is probably the biggest change I will make next year-start in a different position in the pack. I took the swim easy, since I wasn't sure how my shoulder would hold up towards the end. There was a ton of bumping, kicking, and grabbing, etc going on-I even got swore at one time! I did have a couple guys grab my legs and try to pull me under or back, which I didn't tolerate very well and gave them a nice strong kick to a body part! I don't know why people need to act that way! I executed the two loops of the swim without much of a problem to come out of the swim with a time of 1:16. I was happy with time since it was faster than my Louisville swim time. Once I made it to shore a couple volunteers helped me out the water. I reach back to break away my zipper on my wetsuit so that the wetsuit strippers could get me out of it but my biggest mechanical issue of the day happened! My zipper got stuck-this has happened multiple times over the past two seasons! Two male volunteers had to come over to help me out of my wetsuit! Once out I was on my way up the helix and into the changing room. I quickly got changed and the volunteer stuffed my pockets with fuel. I headed towards the exit of the changing room when I came upon a friend that I train with and wished her luck (they had lost her bikes shoes).

After T1 (transition 1) I quickly found my bike and then click clacked my way to the far end of the transition area before I could mount my bike. I circled down the helix and then out onto the bike course. The Madison bike course is one of the hardest and technical bike courses of all the Ironman races and is made of up of pretty much two sections the "stick" and the "loop." The stick is the route out to the loop which for the most part is pretty flat although does have some technical spots to it such as sharp turns and bike paths. The loop is very technical and hilly! Over the course of the training season I spent several weekends training on the bike course to prepare and educate myself on how best to maneuver the course which made a HUGE difference! So getting on the bike course was the part that I had looked forward to most of this race-surprisingly! I love the course, I welcome the climbs but even more enjoy the downhills! Fun Fun Fun!!!! I felt great on the bike! I took the first loop of the course moderately easy so that I had a good amount of energy for the second. I had people to cheer me on throughout the whole course which even added more to the excitement on the bike segment! And every ten miles I shaved off I had another bike tip to look forward to (Cindy, Jake, and I came up with bike tips every ten miles during a training ride which is a great way to break the ride up into smaller segments). I have included the bike rules with the extra flare:

Here are the 11 bike tips/rules for success on Sunday:) With a
little added flare:)

1. Keep your knees in, we are not bow legged.
2. Keep your heels down, we are not performing in a ballet.
3. Use all your gears, cause god knows you are going to need them!!
4. Scrape the shit off the bottom of your shoes, so they don't stink later!!
5. Don't forget to eat your brats and slam the cocaine filled
Gatorade (I'll have to explain later):)
6. Keep you mouth shut, wouldn't want to get any unexpected protein filler.
7. Say hi to the local natives...........aka cows.
7.5 Added bonus: Don't forget to fly by cocky men.
8. Keep smiling and don't forget we love to strain our bodies:)
10. You're on the stick, don't forget it's on a downward elevation
towards Madison.
11. Spin easy, you have a marathon to run after!!!!!!!

Once on the stick portion of the ride back to Monona Terrace, I started to pick up my speed a bit so that I could catch Corrine, Leann, and Erica in the transition bags. Their volunteer shifts were suppose to end at 3 pm. The stick is 14 miles long and I had a little over 30 minutes to get back once passing the hills on Walen. I made it with four minutes to spare! I gave the group a quick wave and hello before running into the changing room.

Once entering the changing room, I was greeted by a volunteer who took my bag and dumped it out so that I could direct her in what I wanted to do. A medical person was circling the changing room and came over and asked how I felt, which was great of course! The medical person stated that the heat index was 94 degrees! I didn't realize it was that warm-but I love the heat! I was out of transition in a little over 6 minutes.

Starting the run, I was feeling pretty confident that I was going to get a PR (personal record) which gave me a little added hop in my step. During the run I kept running the numbers-if I maintained that same marathon pace as my Louisville Ironman, I could break the 13 hour mark. My plan was to do 5 and 1's again as I did in Louisville, so I was expecting about the same time but hoped to break the 5 hour mark on the marathon segment. The run course was two loops although is a teaser going through the finish area of the Ironman course, it allows you to break up the marathon making the distance much more manageable. The first loop started off really well, I had minimal cramping which is often felt after biking. I just focused on keeping a steady pace and good form. I was pretty familiar with run course since, I had run most of the course the times training in Madison over the summer. However, there was one part of the course that I was not prepared for-Observatory Hill. Observatory Hill was bigger than expected and was another opportunity that I chose to walk. The crowds were enormous! And like the bike portion, I had my fan club out there to cheer me on!

After rounding through the finish line area, I started my second loop of the run. The second loop was tough! My stomach had started to act up a bit causing me to take 4 trips to the port-a-potty. I kept with it as I wanted to break the 13 hour mark so bad-And it was a realistic goal at that point. I focused on the people and hoped that their energy would pull me into the finish line. As I approached the capitol I picked up the pace knowing that I had less than a mile to go! As I rounded the last corner, I could see the clock which read 12:28! I had not only broke the 13 hour mark-I smashed it!!!!!

A PR of one hour and 18 minutes!

I had a great race day which I contribute to having a great group of people supporting me throughout the training season and more importantly race day!

So my plan for the remainder of the season is to do Twin Cities Marathon and then do the off season cross-training sessions that coach offers. I took a few days off from any kind of exercise. Thursday, I did a short and easy five mile run with run club. Also on Thursday, Cindy and I had a session with the personal trainers over at Discover Strength, who all were really excited to hear our Ironman stories. Friday, I biked a little over 30 miles with KLo and Margarita (they did 100 miles to prepare themselves for their upcoming Ironman races).

Today, I did 8.2 slow miles with Run Club! Today's run was really difficult for me!

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