Tuesday, August 28, 2012


For those interested here is the elevation profile and grade profile.  I can't get them to look good on top of each other and they are too hard to distinguish between the 2.

These were done with a Garmin Edge 500 by me on 9/11/2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin 2011

I would be joking myself if I thought I could ever go at this alone and be successful. My wife Jenny has been the driving force and my rock when it comes to me going back to try this crazy thing called Ironman for a third time. I know for sure that I would never have made it without her. I could never tell her how much I love her. It wouldn't be enough. My family for being supportive and understanding. Especially my 2 boys who make me try to be the best dad ever. My brother in law Jeff for biking my slower pace and riding the course with me the few times and because it was his first Ironman made it fun. I was excited for him and it put a little extra fire in my belly. My AWESOME sister in laws, nieces and nephews. My mom and Jenny's mom and dad for taking an interest in a sport that is very boring to spectate at times.
Second on that list is the SWAT group. Alison Viemeister in particular has been awesome in supporting me and being the best friend anyone could ask for. She would run, swim or bike with me at a moments notice and many times movtivated me to run (especially on Tuesdays) when I didn't want to. She wanted this for me as much as I wanted this for myself and that says a lot. I am lucky to have a good friend and great athlete to help me achieve my goals. She has no idea how much that meant to me.
To the rest of the people in SWAT that made Tuesdays awesome and made one day a week a lot less boring with training, you guys were great. It was super fun to see how excited everyone was for Ironman. Phil and CJ who get so excited about everyone's efforts it makes you proud to have friends like that. Ann Huenink who pushed me on runs to run harder. Zach Carr and Jamie Snippen and Steve Knox and Jeff Wildes who came and biked hard sometimes and pushed me to be better.
My super cool friends, co workers, and internet friends, some of whom I have never met in person, who motivate me to be better. I felt like a rock star last night and today when I had over 100 facebook messages. Those who sent messages to me and Jenny before and during Ironman it meant a lot and I felt like I had the support of the whole world behind me. My high school classmates and friends I have had for over 30 years who tell me how proud and inspired they are by me. It has all meant a lot to me. There are now 4 class of 86ers who are Ironmen that I know of. Me, Johnny Brown, John Cherf and Jeff Ryder. Theresa Churchill Hineline is going for it next year and WILL join us. I encourage any of you that are crazy enough to give it a try. :) I can't tell everyone what their friendship has meant to me.
It's hard to thank everyone who has supported me the past 3 years and if I forget to mention anyone, it's just because I'm tired. :) I carried each and every one of you on those 140.6 yesterday.
Well here we go:
It is very exciting leading up to race day. The energy that builds up is pretty cool and part of what makes Ironman so addictive. You train, do events, and talk about Ironman for months and months and it just keeps building and building and finally the weekend comes and the tents go up and the expo opens and you register and rack your bike and fill your bags and BOOM. Game on. I got up there Friday morning and spent some time in line and got myself registered and got my packet and stuff and Jenny and I spent some time in the expo buying gear. They had shirts and some other stuff that was greatly reduced. Some stuff was half off. Jenny scored a few shirts finisher gear from last year at half off. But the line to check out was over an hour long. But it was worth it. We walked around State Street and the Capitol and ate some pizza and then went back to Janesville.
I spent Friday night in my own bed and slept like a rock. Jenny got up early and went to the volunteers meeting and then came back to town. I got all my bags packed, bike ready, and loaded the car. We dropped off the dogs at the dog sitter and went to Madison. We got checked into our hotel then went down to the Monona Terrace and dropped off transition bags and bike. Right at that point I got nervous. Up to then I was feeling pretty good. As soon as had everything dropped off, my stomach went to knots. We had friends from town who were in Madison that we met for lunch and met my son and his girlfriend who were at the Badger Football game. We ate and then went back to our hotel and hung out and swam and then we dropped them off and went back to the room and it was time for sleep.
One of the best things I did before this Ironman that I had not previously done was began to consume more water and Nuun electrolyte tabs 48 hours before the event. The past 2 years had been warmer and I always felt a bit dehydrated. Never going to the bathroom and having the dreaded fire pee during the run on the first year. I think this was one of the things that contributed to my being successful.
Up at 4:45 and to the Terrace by 5:45. Got my bike tired pumped, my nutrition loaded on my bike, and put the GPS tracker in my bag on my race belt. The GPS tracker was very cool and I would recommend it to anyone doing Ironman. My chip strap broke when I was putting on my timing chip. The stitching came right undone. I figured out where to get another one and got that taken care of before going in the water. Put on the wetsuit, saw some people, hung out with my brother in law and Steve Knox and then it was time to get in the water. Some guy who was racing sang the national anthem. It was freaking awesome. I saw the guy on the run and his shirt said "I sang the national anthem" or something like that. His voice was just incredible. Within a few moments we were hustled into the water and after about 5 minutes of floating, we were off. Mike Reilly always says that the only thing you really have control of is your attitude. I took that to heart. No bad attitude, no matter what. The nerves were gone and it was just like any other triathlon. I stayed in the mix and got beat and did my share of beating until the pack thinned out. I don't think I swam too bad but found myself outside a bit a few times. The swim seemed really long but was about average for me. 1:45:42. Out of the water and looked for Jenny who was wetsuit peeling. She helped me get my wetsuit off and like always, told me she loved me and was proud of me and sent me on my way. The run up the helix to transition sucks. I saw my son Lucas and Chelsea and others and tried to hustle but it was tough. I got into the change area and someone helped me get my stuff together and I changed and I left the transition area, got sunscreened and ran the full length of bike corral picking up my bike about half way. My Ironman transitons always suck. Always. But I needed to have everything I needed and 7 hours on the bike requires comfort. 14:37 Ouch. Didn't feel that long but the clock doesn't lie. Really should work on those at some point.

The bike was pretty fun. I saw my cheering section a ton of times and every time I beamed with pride knowing they were out there to make this a fun day for me. Saw Matt Prest in Verona twice and seeing everyone picked me up and I always tried to let them know how much I appreciated it. I followed my nutrition plan to the letter. One pouch of GU Chomps every 45 minutes, 2 salt tabs every hour, one bottle of perform or bottle of water per hour as needed. I wound up drinking 5 bottles of water and 5 bottles of perform. I drank another bottle of water at one aid station because some didn't have the caps on them and my aero bar mounted bottle cage had the bottle horizontal so it poured out. I was able to request capped bottles at every aid station so it was all good. I never felt thirsty or hungry and never walked my bike or cramped on the hills. I credit the extra hydration and salt. I even went pee once. That never happens for me on the bike. I did lose my salt tabs over some railroad tracks in Cross Plains but got them back while serving a penalty for drafting. I got too close to 2 girls riding side by side as I was eating and drinking on the second loop and not paying attention and the guy snuck up behind me and nailed me for drafting. Shortly after that as I was passing some guy, he swerved way over and forced me into a big crack in the center of the road. My tire and rim went way into it. I thought I was going to crash but didn't. The guy was sorry but I was angry because he almost ruined my Ironman by not paying attention. The little adrenaline I got from that helped me pass a few people. 10 miles into the bike I saw someone crash over some tracks. Pretty narly too. I hope she was o.k. I saw a ton of flat tires too. Way more than I ever remember. On the second loop I saw people sitting with their bikes under trees taking in some shade and resting. I saw some people obviously done and waiting for medical. They were over heated and unprepared for the hills. I just kept churning the pedals. Putting on the compact crank and 11-28 rear cassette was a HUGE reason I could spin up the hills and save some legs. It made a big difference in my bike. My feet got a little sore on the bottoms from never stopping and putting my feet down. So a couple times on the last 30 miles I stopped for 2 minutes to put some pressure on my feet in different spots by walking around a bit. It helped a ton. I rolled back into Monona Terrace. 7:23:20. 15.16avg. I had hoped to be more like 7 hours or less so I started to get nervous. Some fuzzy math told me I was going to be running a lot. I got changed and headed out. There were several people in the change tent that looked horrible and were either just resting to recover or were done. Not sure which. Well I wasn't done. I had people following me and watching me and I wanted this so bad.
Another crappy transition at 10:05. Just sucky but I wasn't letting it get me down.
Run goals were simple. Run the first half in between 2:45 and 3 hours and do whatever was necessary to get the job done on the second half. My stomach started to hurt so I went to a water only mode for a while. I stopped at the aid station by the Kohl center and went pee again. I was trying to hold a 11-12 min mile pace and figured out pretty quickly that I would be faster and more efficient going to a run/walk. I found a pace that was comfortable and it was about 13:30 per mile. So when my avg pace on my garmin said 13:32 I would run until it went to 13:28 or less. Then I would power walk until it went back to 13:32 and I would run. I did this for the entire first half. Ran a 3:01 first half at 13:45 pace. I saw my brother and niece at the half way. It was awesome as I had no idea they were coming up. It fired me up to keep pounding. I couldn't get my garmin to start at first for about half mile and I think that is why there was a difference in what I was seeing. My stomach was much better so I started taking in some calories with coke, bananas, oranges and perform. At this point I saw several people laying in the grass obviously dehydrated and hurting. I felt bad for them. Knowing how bad it feels to get close and not finish. I saw a ton of friends and people on the run. My wife and Alison were everywhere again. It was so awesome for me. Well now I did some fuzzy math at the turn around and somehow figured I might not make it. I started saying to myself "I can do this" over and over and it really helped to hear that from myself. In reality I had about 5 hours to do the second half. So when I ran/walked another 5 miles I finally did the correct math and knew I was going to make it. I was so stoked. I knew at that point I could walk 30 min miles amost and make it. My legs were killing me. I was in pain and wanted to be done. One of the guys I did Carmichael Training Camp with, Dave something, came up behind me and we ran/walked and talked for several miles. It made the time go by really fast. He ran off with about 3 miles to go. I got to the spot where you cross this mat and if people have typed in a message for you it comes up. Well I had one buddy, Mike Wolfgram, who left me the saying Kia Kaha. It means stay strong. It totally pumped me up. I ran the path back to the aid station, but that was about the last of the running. I walked the last 3 miles in. With about 2 miles to go I see Ann Huenink smiling from ear to ear. She is another very cool person who ran some with me this summer and pushed me to run better. Seeing my sons, more family, my brother and friends and getting to the last half mile knowing I was going to make it was awesome. I got a hug from a very inspirational friend and a high five from her husband. Michelle Wilkinson and her husband are just awesome. Truely great people. Phil and Cj (who I saw a ton of times and really motivated me and picked me up) walked with me up to the corner where I started my jog to the end. The pain goes away and I high fived everyone I could. I ran down the chute and TRIPPED and fell on the mat just before the arch. Who does that? I felt sort of like a dufus, but then I heard several people had tripped and the mat wasn't taped down good. I thought I just tripped because I could barely get my feet off the ground to run. I got myself up ran through the arch smiling away. I had done it. I completed Ironman Wisconsin.

I got my medal, t shirt, hat and just wanted to go somewhere and sit down. We hung out for a bit longer and watched the fireman in full turn out gear finish. Got some pictures with family and went back to hotel. Ate some real food, drank a couple more water bottles. And went pee again. This is the first Ironman I have done that I have not struggled with hydration. It was another key to my success. I forced the water in me, even when I didn't want to.

Other than a little chafing and one small blister on the side of my foot, I have no real issues. I'm sore as hell but that's what Ironman is.

To all the people I saw, Robin and Blaine Blackburn who got me up the hill in Mount Horeb, Michelle Alswager who I saw a few times, Rob Regan (his wife finished as well and I saw her only once on the run), Suzy Jacobson Koehn, The Wilkinsons, The Gredlers, Natalie Else and fellow competitors Amy Bauch, Mike Rodriguez, Johnny Brown, Mike Bieber, Jamie Snippen, Dave from Carmichael Training Camp and a few others I saw, I can't thank you enough for being there and supporting me. I saw Chris Bintliff, Robby B, Ryan Griesmeier, and Will Smith who all said a kind word. It means a lot. I know there are people I am missing and I'm sorry if I didn't mention you here. Every time I turned around or came by a section I heard "MIKE WIMMER....GO MIKE WIMMER". It was incredible.

All the rest of you who sent me messages, tracked me all day, and generally were interested in my well doing, I also thank you. I hope I can repay you someday with the same happiness.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Waupaca Sprint and Race the Lake

Here we are 3 weeks from Ironman and up on the schedule was the Waupaca Sprint Tri.  They call it the long course because they have a super sprint and a sprint.  The long course is a half mile swim, 20 mile bike, and then the 3.1 mile run.  I had signed up for this a long time ago.  The race sells out and for sure is a favorite of any person I spoke to that had done it.

So Friday I loaded up the car and Jenny and I drove to Waupaca and got our packets and checked into the Village Inn.  Cheap room, and just what you would expect for a cheap room.  Not super comfortable but whatever.  I slept awful.  Tossing and turning and too hot, too cold, and just kept waking up.  Bogus.

Up at 4:45, breakfast and loaded gear from hotel into the car and drove down to the park.  Shadow Lake is the swim venue and it was looking very nice.  Your race number was based upon when you registered and the waves were based on bib number.  So it didn't matter what your age or sex was.   Waves were 50 people every 2 minutes.  Jenny and I were in wave 3.  Alison in wave 4.  My goal was to swim well and not let Alison get too far ahead of me, catch her on the bike and hold her off on the run.  FAIL.

We set up in transition and see Will Smith from the aquathon.  I knew right away he would win.  The guy is fast.  He has retired from being a pro because of injury but still races elite to stay fit.  He talked with Jenny and I and is a very nice guy.  I chuckle when he says "hey mate".  He's Australian and his accent cracks me up.  He even cheered Jenny on the run with a "Go Janesville".  How cool.

So Jenny and I take off in the swim.  Water was excellent.  I decided to stay to the outside, Jenny goes inside.  It was an out and back swim.  Big mistake by me.  I forget that sprint tri's are loaded with people who can't swim.  It was a disaster.  Every time I started to get going, there was another group of breast and side strokers and people just being in my way.  These people, of course, were all on the outside and away from the pack.  I had to breast stroke a few times to get out of traffic only to find more.  I got pounded by people and just overall had a really crappy swim. I came across a group of about 5 dudes that were breast stroking side by side and talking to each other.  COME ON MAN.   I swam 200 yards shorter than the aquathon and it took me 2 minutes longer.  A 20 minute swim for an 800.  I was pretty frustrated at this point.  There is a long run up the beach and I had to run all the way through transition to get to my bike.  Jenny was already there, Alison was GONE.  Jenny was gone way before me and I just tried to focus on getting my gear on and GO.  4 minute transition inlcluding the run up the beach and getting through transition.
Bike course was really nice.  At mile 5 I passed Jenny.  I passed quite a few on the bike and didn't get passed much.  Not many hills and it felt like it was about 90 percent down hill.  I just kept it cranking.  About half way on the bike, I had to cough.  I coughed several times and noticed I was wheezing.  I tried to get the junk out of my lungs but it wouldn't budge.  Not sure what the deal was.  I wasn't wheezing badly unless I really got my HR up there on the hills.  So I put my purse down and dealt with it.  Never caught Alison.  I rolled into T2 with a 58:30 bike for a 20.6 avg.  My best bike split ever.  I saw Alisons bike was there and her run stuff was gone so I knew I wouldn't be able to beat her or even be close.
2 minute T2 and started to run.  The wheezing got a little worse but I could still run.  Didn't have a great run.  10:58 per mile.  I wanted to run sub 10 per mile.  Finished with a 1:59:45 total.  I passed 4 people on the run and got passed by 87.  Seriously 87 people.  My run needs work.   Will Smith did win.  He finished in 1:12.

I had fun.  I wasn't last in my age group and I did a crazy dance for Jenny when she finished.  She told me to stop it.  Best thing was I didn't feel really gassed at all.  My endurance is pretty good right now and really I could have gone and done it again.

Jenny and I went back to the room and showered and got checked out and went to a great food place.  There was great pizza and they were cooking a BBQ that smelled amazing.  We ate and drove to Fon du Lac and checked into our hotel, the Executive Lodge in Fond du Lac and then went and got our packet for Race the Lake and then napped.  I needed the nap.  I had gotten a bad head ache..  It was a big upgrade from our Waupaca hotel and the bed was super comfy.

We got up at 5, ate breakfast and rode down to the start.  We started in wave 11 out of 12.  We rode pretty good and had a lot of people pass us at first.  Even with us averaging 18MPH, including a guy in toe cages and slippers.  Seriously.  Slippers.  At mile 20 we came across a rider down being attended to by paramedics.  It looked bad.  We skipped the first rest station and stopped at the second one.  The porta potty situation at the second rest stop sucked.  It took 22 minutes in line to get in.  Once we hit the 45 mile mark we stopped at the other rest area at High Cliff State Park.  We did the first 45 miles in 2:30.  There were a few more guys with serious road rash at that rest area.  Sounds like quite a few guys got into wrecks.  We had some doofus who kept passing us on the right with about a foot between us and the curb.  Finally I told him to quit it and pass on the left.  I was seriously ready to boot him into the ditch.  Does he not know I'm trying not to get injured for Ironman?
So we kept on chugging along.  The last 40 miles have some hills but nothing special.  We did run into a nasty headwind with about 20 miles to go and we turned out of it a few times but mostly it was right there.  Jenny and I started passing people who went out way too fast and didn't realize there were hills.  Including slipper man who was hurting at mile 80.  He was barely moving.  At the finish he stopped and let out a string of vulgarity I won't repeat.  And then it was over.  I felt great.  We had a moving time of about 5:30 for the 90 miles for about 16.5 avg.  Good enough for me.

As much as I like this event, I probably won't do it again unless I'm training for Ironman.  It's just not worth spending the night when there are so many other cycling events out there that are closer.

So now I need to have one more strong week with LOTS OF BIKING AND RUNNING and then it's taper time.  I feel better, stronger, and more fit than I ever have.

Time will tell.

Monday, July 18, 2011

CTS training camp and some lessons learned

IM Coaching

So those who are in the know are aware that because after the last IMWI DNF I waited so long to sign up that I had to go to a Carmichael Training Systems camp in order to get an entry.

So last weekend on Friday was the first day of camp.  I had to check in by 1pm for a swim in Monona.  Once again, I had to take some time off of the job I have had less than a month.  Even though I told my boss I needed days off as a triathlete, I never could have expected this.  Very cool.

So I get to their host hotel on Dayton St with my bike (more on that later) and we all head down to Monona to swim in the lake.  There was 10 of us and 4 coaches (more on the coaches later).  The water was awesome.  Perfect temp.  I still hate the rocks and gravel at the end of the concrete ramp leading in.  I just don't have Flintstone feet.  That shit hurts. 
We swam quite the distance.  From Law Park down past the terrace and farther than where the IM buoys will be and back.  We were in the water over an hour.  My swim is what it is.  I know I need to work on getting my hips up and pressing my chest farther down but unless I totally focus on it, I just swim like I always do.  I'm not looking to make huge swim gains at this point.  Just get in and get out alive.  I still will focus really hard during the swim and try to stay long and rotate and pull water under my body and all that stuff.  But the coaches were good at pointing out the defects in my swim.  It felt good to swim solid for over an hour.  I'm very convinced that I can swim the distance feel somewhat fresh out of the water.

Of course this had to be the weekend of my 25th class reunion and I needed to be back in Madison ready to ride the course by 7am.  So Jenny and I went to the pre reunion party at a local watering hole coincidentally called The Watering Hole for a couple hours and saw some classmates I had not seen in 25 years.  It was kind of fun and I really wanted to stay and hang out.  But Ironman calls and I'm not missing this call.  So I was home in bed by 10.  I haven't had but only a couple drinks in Hawaii in the past 2 years and it doesn't bother me so I was good.

Up early and got myself there and ready to go.  Having dropped off my bike Friday allowed their mechanic to go over my bike, fill my bottles, and have it ready to go for me.  Pretty cool.  We rode the stick and the loop and stopped every 20 miles and they provided GU products for us to use.  I really liked the GU brew and the GU chomps.  I think I may have to switch from Powerbar products.  The ride went pretty well.  I rode harder than I probably normally would as I didn't want to seem slow.  Most of the ride was done at over 17MPH.  We had 2 slow spots back in Madison in and out.  I was pretty stoked.  I have a lot of confidence about riding that course now.  It doesn't seem as hard.  After the ride they provided lunch and had a great talk on nutrition.  The light bulb came on for me and I realized a few things.

1- I don't drink enough on the bike
2- I don't eat enough calories on the bike
3- I should be eating something right before going in the water and as soon as I get out
4- Water, water, water and less sports drink

I have tried a few things on my last couple long rides that have really helped.  I eat more and more frequently and I drink 2 bottles per hour.  One gatorade and one water.  I have been feeling better and biking better. 
And bonus their mechanic had cleaned my bike including the chain and lubing everything up. 

After the ride and lunch and talk, some people paid extra to go have a swim stroke analysis done, but I didn't.  I went home smiling and feeling AWESOME because I had just biked the course better than ever.  I know the course now.  I know where I can make up time and I know where to conserve energy.  The compact crank I put on my bike and the 11/28 cassette worked well.  The rest of the campers had tried to get me to come back to Madison at 6am to start running the course.  I protested and agreed to 6:30am run.  UGH.

So I got home and was feeling good.  I got some fluids and relaxed and didn't go to my class reunion and instead I went to bed early. 

Woke up the next morning EARLY (for me anyway) and went back to Madison to run.  We all started as a group but I knew I would be falling back and I'm o.k. with that.  I'm not a super runner.  About 1/2 mile into the run on State Street, I see a young lady exiting an apartment still dressed in Saturday night's outfit with short skirt and heels and totally messed up hair and make up.  WALK OF SHAME.  I chuckled and was sure to make eye contact.  She looked hungover bad.  I laughed some more.
One of the coaches was biking and rode next to me for about 4 miles.  It went by super fast.  Pretty soon I was at 7 miles, then 10 and then at mile 11 I ran into some guys from the camp who thought they were lost and were walking.  I stopped and talked to them and with about half mile to go I walked it in with them.  I was very happy with how I ran.  11:30 per mile in almost 90 degree heat and I swear I could have turned around and ran the course again.  Once again I was very happy. 

Camp wrapped up with a tour of Monona Terrace and transition and another lunch and talk about race day logistics and pacing.  And with that I now have my entry and as soon as I get the code I will be an official participant.

At first I thought these coaches were kind of a joke.  I then took the time and looked them up and they are no joke.  The girl who did the most talking has bachelors, masters, all sorts of coaching certificates and has coached some pros including Norman Stadler.  She knows her stuff.  Most of the other coaches have similar credentials.  I picked up a few tips and I had a good experience.  Worth the cost?  Well I'm on the fence on that.  It was very expensive but included the entry.  I did get some tips, etc.

So I have a ton of confidence now.  I need to work hard these next 2 months and get my endurance even better.

Game on.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well a quick report.  Jenny and I drove down to Muncie Indiana for the inaugural Ironman Muncie 70.3 on Friday.  I feel like a dick.  I got a new job 3 weeks ago and have already taken 2 vacation days.  But whatever.  I love racing.

So we got here around 4 on Friday, got our race packets, and racked our bikes.  Water temp was warm (over 80) and it was super hot (mid 90's).  A bit worried I was.  But I continue to tell myself to only worry about what I have control over. 

So Ironman has a new twist on t shirts.  The official T shirt you can buy (not the free one you get) has a big M dot on the back and the m dot is made up of every one's name who signed up for the race.  DAMN COOL so I bought one.

Well here is the report.

Woke up 5 ish and got down to T1 about 6 (race starts at 8, but all roads are closed at 7-it's a closed course for both bike and run--very very cool).  Checked bikes, pumped tires, and then the announcement that it was not wetsuit legal but if you wanted to wear one you could but you would go in the last wave.  Well I just do not have enough confidence to race without it and I already knew there was NO chance I would ever qualify for awards so I opted to wear it and go in the last wave.  After all this is fun for me and I wanted to have a good race.

So we get down to the water, which was awesome with no waves and pretty clear and really a great swim venue, and waves start going at 8.  The 40 of us with wetsuits went at 9:03am.


Went great, even though I was the last guy in the water.  The very last guy.  I swam well and it was over before you knew it.  52:12.  I felt great.  Long run up a big hill with carpet on it in to transition.  It was already getting hot.  T1 was uneventful.  Went as fast as I could but didn't want to forget anything.  5:29.


Went pretty hard.  We had a good tailwind at first and I had rolled over 20 miles in the first hour.  Then we turned into a really stiff head wind.  I just kept pushing it the whole time.  I passed a lot of people and finally caught up to a couple big groups and passed them.  Being that I was close the back, I knew I wanted to get with some people.  Had another big tailwind section and another head wind section that sucked.  I ate and drank more than I ever have on the bike and it paid off.  I felt hydrated and ready to run.  2:56:56 on the bike for a 19MPH average.  I'm very proud of that.  I worked hard, but I left something in the tank so I was smiling.  T2 was pretty good and I actually had to go pee.  That never happens for me.  Saw Kathy Ball and Adam Ball which was totally unexpected and cool.  It was awesome to have someone cheering for you when you expect no one to be.  5:00 T2 included the pee.


Africa Hot. Seriously hot (95 degrees and not a cloud in the sky) and not much shade and hilly.  Not super hilly but non stop rollers and a couple big ones.  I felt great.  I had plenty of gas and I made a decision to not risk anything stupid happening with the heat.  I ran all flats and down hills, ran up half way on the hills and walked the rest.  I walked all aid stations (every mile) and filled my hand held bottle, ate oranges and bananas, got cold sponges with water, ice, and whatever I could.  I believe had it been cooler or had this been my A race, I could have ran more and faster but I didn't.

My goals were under 50 for the swim, 3 hours on the bike and a sub 2:45 run.  Met all goals except the swim.  6:44:01 for a half Ironman PR.  I would love to go sub 6:30 which will mean faster swim and faster run at some point but I am very happy with how I performed.  My endurance was better than it ever has been.  I have done Racine 70.3 under similar weather conditions and did 7:30 and walked most of the run. 

I'm hurting tonight though.  My quads and hips suffered a little bit today.  Not sure about my hips but they are a bit sore.

I'm going to bed with smile tonight.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 could be the year for me

Well here we are just 2 short months from Ironman Wisconsin part 3. Last year seems so long ago. I can barely remember the months leading up to it. It still stings a bit and I believe that may be what has led me to this point. Things are going good this year and I'm pretty sure I know why.

First off I decided to lose a few pounds over the winter and thanks to a Facebook group and some accountability, I was able to get my weight back down into the 230's from the 270's. That has made a big difference.

Second I made a commitment to train over the winter and not just lay around and run or bike once in awhile. I ran or biked 6 days a week. I went to the classes at Michael's Cycles and did a bunch of Spinervals in my basement. When spring finally did come, I was able to hit the bike without the break in period like past years and I felt really good.

Third I am following a true training plan. One that has me putting in miles. Way more running than previous years and more frequent bike rides and long weekend rides. I try to do more run miles than the plan calls for. I know the run is my weak spot and I'm working hard on it.

Fourth I put a ton of events on my calendar in an effort to keep my focus up and my training miles high. I have done a 5K race, 8K race, 2-1oK races, 2 Half Marathons, a duathlon, an olympic distance tri, and 2 aquathons.

The bottom line is the results speak for themselves.

In the races I have done so far this summer I have PR'd in my 5K time, Half Marathon Time, Olympic Distance Tri, Aquathon, and Duathlon. I still can't break my 10K PR but I have been within 20 seconds in one race and 55 seconds in another.

I finally rode my bike over 20MPH average in a race and most of my solo training rides have been a lot faster. I also am feeling a lot stronger on the bike. I have ridden the meat of the Ironman bike course twice now, having done 86 miles last weekend and I left feeling pretty good. I rode 2 loops faster than I ever have in training or racing and I don't have the same feeling about the course as I did before. I know I can ride it and put more effort into it than past years. I just don't feel scared of it. I guess you call that confidence. I know I have to eat more and make sure I drink and take salts. Cramps have been an issue the past 2 years. My plan is to ride a lot of hills and ride them hard the next 2 months. I have a couple good hilly routes.

Up next:

Aquathon this Thursday, Ironman Muncie 70.3 on Saturday. I'm going to really focus on being uncomfortable on the bike and run at Muncie. 6:30 would be fantastic but my real goal is to smash the legs on the bike and then get off the bike and run a sub 2:45 half marathon. Lofty goals for me.

Then Carmichael Training Camp on the Ironman Course next weekend. Then another aquathon and Waunafest 10 mile run. Then Point to La Pointe 2 mile swim, followed by Waupaca sprint Tri and Race the Lake 90 mile bike race the next day.

Then a couple weeks of training and the big show.

I'm swimming about the same, biking better than ever and running better than ever. I just hope I can put it all together on race day. No matter what happens, I know how hard I have worked this year. I'm really focused.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I don't know

It's been 6 weeks since my 2nd Ironman "setback" and my attempts to "get over it" and "nut up" have been less than successful.

Jenny and I spent 10 awesome days in Kona Hawaii and I'm not going to lie..it was a total blast. I haven't laughed or smiled or generally felt like that in a long time. Except for walking around the Ironman expo and looking at the gear and watching the World Championships (which were awesome), my whole time was spent not thinking about Ironman. It was nice. Being away from everything was great. It gave me some time to relax and be the old me. I didn't have to answer one question about what happened at IMWI. The only thoughts of the future was where we were going to hang out for the day and if we were going swimming or snorkeling.

Coming back to reality has got me to thinking about it again.

I have decided that until I finish an Ironman, I'm not going to be a poser and wear a bunch of M dot stuff. Truth is I didn't finish either time and I haven't earned the right to even be thought of as a finisher. I have boxed up all my shirts, shoes, jackets, visors and everything else for now and put them in the basement. It just doesn't seem right to be wearing the gear. It never used to bother me but it does now. I don't know why but it just does. If I fail again, all the stuff will get tossed and I will give up this goal, as hard as that might be to think about right now.

Since I have gotten back, I have been asked several times by several different people if I am going to sign up for next year and honestly, I don't know. I'm leaning towards signing up because I hate how I am right now. I hate how I feel sometimes.

There are so many reasons not to and only one reason to. I want it and there is only one way to get it. Waiting 2 years does not play out well in my mind. I find myself dwelling on it for hours a day now. I still feel incomplete right now. There is no reasons to do any triathlons for me unless they are training for or leading up to Ironman. The only fun part about doing them is training and hanging out with my wife and the anticipation of the event. One of the reasons not to do Ironman is that I am scared to death of not finishing again and going 3 straight DNF's. This has been hard.

I still get a crappy feeling hearing people talk about their IM experiences and seeing reminders of that day. I'm glad I got rid of all my mementos and all the pictures of me from that day. It helps not to see it or have to think about it. It sucks that I'm not a better person than that and that I can't enjoy every one's accomplishments. I try to not let it bother me, but it still does. Maybe it will get better later but right now I don't see that happening.

I know most people can't understand how I can let this bother me this much and wonder why I am being such a baby about it and honestly I don't know what to tell them. It does bother me and my attempts to act like it doesn't are failures. I was told that when you have big expectations and then they don't pan out, you get a big backlash of emotions from it and I think that pretty much summed it up perfect.

Every time I see any other local triathlete I just cringe because I know they are either going to ask me what happened at IMWI or will at some point ask me if I am signing up again. I try to look away from them or avoid them in hopes they won't talk to me. Maybe I need a Non-Finisher IM jacket. When you see people over the winter or during spring, one of the questions that always gets asked is if you are signed up for Ironman. It's the ultimate goal for me because I know that I will never see Kona as an athlete. It is the only goal for me. In fact I don't know a single triathlete that isn't an Ironman that hasn't tried to be except me. It makes me feel like a pretty terrible athlete and maybe I just am and should just try to accept that. Maybe Ironman is beyond me and this is as good or as far as I will get. I don't want to believe that but hey the truth hurts.

Part of me feels like I should keep trying over and over until I am successful because right now I don't see myself as equal to the other triathletes I hang out with. I am just the person who tried as hard as they could but didn't make it. Twice.

Am I going to try Ironman Wisconsin next year?

I don't know.