I ONLY SIGNED UP FOR A 70.3 THIS YEAR SO MADISON WAS THE ONLY IRONMAN I GET TO EXPERIENCE IN 2018. THAT IS, UNLESS I VISIT KONA AGAIN...ANYWAYS, MADISON IS A GREAT TOWN DESPITE THE GENERAL NEGATIVE FEELINGS TOWARDS WISCONSIN. I MEAN THEY DO HAVE SOME SOLID CHEESE AND GREAT BEER! AS FAR AS IMS GO, THIS IS PROBABLY THE CLOSEST ONE AND IT’S EASY TO GET TO. NO MESSING AROUND WITH FLIGHTS OR BIKE CASES, JUST HOP IN THE TRUCK AND GO. I STAYED AT THE SAME HOTEL AS I DID FOR THE FULL WHICH WAS A SOLID FIND BY SHERPA KIA AND JUST HAPPENS TO BE WHERE I RAN INTO MATT FROM BASE. I GOT CHECKED IN AND TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE HOT TUB AND FOAM ROLLER, IT WAS GLORIOUS.
SATURDAY ROLLED AROUND AND IT WAS TIME FOR ATHLETE CHECK IN AND BIKE CHECK IN. I WOKE UP EARLY TO MAKE SURE I GOT EVERYTHING SQUARED AWAY BEFORE THE RAIN AND STORMS ROLLED IN. AS OF THAT MORNING, US ATHLETES WEREN’T SURE IF WE WOULD BE SWIMMING OR NOT DUE TO ALGAE SO I ELECTED TO ACTUALLY ATTEND THE ATHLETE BRIEFING. WITH THE LATEST TEST, THE DETERMINED THE WATERS WERE “SAFE” FOR US TO SWIM IN AND IT WAS GOING TO BE A FULL 70.3 RACE! I RACKED UP STEALTH AND HEADED BACK TO THE HOTEL.
SIDE NOTE: PEOPLE COVERED THIER BIKE SEATS WITH PLASTIC BAGS TO “KEEP THEM DRY” WITH THE INCOMING THUNDERSTORM. LIKE YOU REALIZE WE ARE WET FROM THE SWIM AND JUMP ON OUR BIKES RIGHT?
TO KILL SOME TIME I MADE A TARGET RUN AND STOPPED AT THE VERIZON STORE THEN TOOK IN A LITTLE 3 MILE STEAMY RUN. AROUND 6PM I WENT ACROSS THE STREET TO DOOLITTLES FOR A CHEESEBURGER, FRIES AND A BEER. THAT WAS MY FUEL OF CHOICE AND IT WAS AMAZING!
LIKE NORMAL, I DIDN’T EXPECT TO GET MUCH SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE BUT THE THUNDERSTORM MADE DAMN SURE WE DIDN’T GET MUCH SLEEP. MORNING CAME AROUND AND I GOT READY AND ATE THE NORMAL BAGEL, YOGURT AND APPLE AND WAS OFF TO OLIN PARK. THEY HAD SHUTTLE BUSES FOR US BUT IT WAS ONLY ABOUT A 1/2 MILE WALK FROM WHERE WE PARK SO I WALKED BECAUSE IT WAS ACTUALLY EASIER. TURNS OUT WHEN I GOT TO TRANSITION WITH MY BIKE PUMP IN HAND IT WAS CLOSED. I GUESS THE LIGHTNING IN THE AREA MADE THEM CLOSE THE PARK. AT THIS POINT I WAS ALREADY SOAKING WET FROM THE RAIN AND WE WERE LET INTO TRANSITION AROUND 5:15A AND WE DID OUR THING. WE WERE SCHEDULED TO START AROUND 7A AND T1/2 CLOSED AT 6:30 SO WE ALL MOVED OVER TO THE SWIM START ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL.
ON THE LAKESIDE OF OLIN PARK WE ALL REALIZED THAT LAKE MONONA WAS A LITTLE CHOPPY, LIKE WHITE CAP CHOPPY FROM THE STORM. WE WERE WET, COLD AND THEN LEARNED THE RACE WAS DELAYED BECAUSE THE VISIBILITY WAS TOO POOR FOR THE LIFE GUARDS IN THE WATER. AT THIS POINT I HAD ALREADY WATCHED NUMEROUS PEOPLE CALL IT QUITS BEFORE EVEN STARTING THE DAY. AT ONE POINT THERE WAS A STEADY LINE OF PEOPLE TAKING THIER BIKES OUT OF TRANSITION AND GOING HOME. SURE IT WAS SHIT CONDITIONS BUT THIS IS AN IRONMAN RACE, NOT A LITTLE 5K. WHY WOULD YOU GO HOME!?
LIKE ALWAYS, THE SWIM SUCKED AND I AM LIKE TERRIBLY SLOW. THE SHOULDER STILL BUGS ME FROM THE LITTLE OOPS I HAD BUT THAT IS THE ONE AREA I NEED TO WORK ON FOR SURE. WITH THE WEATHER, THE PLAN WAS JUST TO SURVIVE THE SWIM AND GET ON THE BIKE AND HOPE THE RAIN QUIT. WELL THE RAIN DIDN’T QUIT BUT IT DID LET UP AND GETTING IN AND OUT OF T1 WAS LIKE A TOUGH MUDDER. THE WHOLE TRANSITION AREA WAS A DISASTER AND A MUD HOLE. BEFORE THIS RACE I DID HAVE SOME NICE NEW WHITE BIKE SHOES...
THE BIKE, WHAT A BLAST THAT WAS WITH THE COLD RAIN AND SLIPPERY ROADS. WHILE THE BIKE COURSE ISN’T AS TOUGH AS THE FULL AT MADISON, IT SURE HAS ITS FAIR SHARE OF HILLS! NORMALLY BIG HILLS MEAN NICE DOWNHILL SECTIONS BUT WITH THE WET ROADS AND WET BRAKES, I DIDN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE SECTIONS VERY WELL AS I WANTED TO MAKE SURE I WASN’T GETTING PEELED OFF THE ROAD BY THE PARAMEDICS. ANYWAYS, THE BIKE WAS OK WITH SOME REALLY FUN PORTIONS OF THE COURSE. THE ROADS WERE PRETTY SMOOTH AND WE LUCKED OUT WITH HAVING LITTLE SIDE WINDS WHICH FOR THE PEOPLE WITH RACE WHEELS, WE APPRECIATE THIS! 56 MILES LATER I BACK INTO T2 WITH ABOUT AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 18MPH AND TOP SPEED OF LIKE 32MPH. AT THIS POINT, TRANSITION WAS A SHIT SHOW AND MORE LIKE A MUDDY BOG THAN ANYTHING. PEOPLE WERE CARRYING THIER BIKES AND PEOPLE WERE SLIPPING AND SLIDDING ALL OVER THE PLACE. WITH THE RAIN NOW BASICALLY OVER WITH WE WERE ALL PRETTY EXCITED TO BE ON THE RUN COURSE. AT THIS POINT, THERE WASN’T A CHANCE ANYONE HAD DRY SHOES OR SOCKS AND WE TOOK OFF ON THE LAST 13.1 MILE RUN WITH SOCKS, SHOES AND LEGS COVERED IN MUD. THE FIRST AID STATION WAS BASICALLY A PLACE TO RINSE YOUR LEGS AND SHOES OFF WITH WATER. WHAT. A. DAY.
My run last year was brutal so I knew I had some room to make up time this year. While I haven’t been training a lot, for some reason less is more this year with some more focused training. Coming off a marathon PR at Fargo about 2 weeks earlier I was looking forward to the run. We made a loop around Lake Monona with just some gentle rolling hills. At this point I was just slowly picking off runners and only a handful of people passed me on the run. I tried to keep up with the nutrition but after my disater on the bike the damage was already done!
Side note: I forgot to tell you that this dumbass forgot to put his nutrition on the bike and all I had was gatorade! A 56 mile bike ride with just gatorade, brilliant!!!
So, the 8:30/mi pace for the half marathon was just about everything i had without totally bonking and risking being worthless for Grandmas. If not for Grandmas I might have pushed harder but for me, just wasn’t worth it. With all of that, I climbed the final hill and ran down that glorious IRONAM carpet and crossed the finish line. I must have looked a lot worst than I felt because the volunteers seemed to be worried for me. i was just worried about finding some chocolate milk and food. Turns out there was no milk of any kind which was pure crap since we were in Wisconsin and this race used to be the Milkman triathlon. Way to blow that one IRONMAN. Idiots!
That’s IRONMAN Wisconsin 70.3 for you. In a nut shell it was cold, wet, slippery and muddy. But most importantly, it’s a new 70.3 PR at 5:58:05
Later dudes, time for bed because I’m writting this in a dorm room at UMD the night before Grandmas.
#TribeRacing #TribeRules #wattieinkhitsquad #baseperformance
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6