IMWI 2016, 09/11/16

Race recap 2016 Ironman Wisconsin. This was my second Ironman WI. Last year, I fractured a rib and separated my shoulder the week before the race and was told by my doctor to drop out. I think most are familiar with how that story played out. I had good health this year leading into the race.

Perfect weather...started in the 50s and went up to low 70s and sunny. Lake Monona water temp 73. It was a crowded swim as all 2900+ athletes start at the same time for this race. I tried to stay just inside the buoys (which is legal as long as u go around turn buoys). The pull that you get from swimming behind that many swimmers is unlike any other type of triathlon. I ended up taking it a little too easy and finished the 2.4 mi swim in 1:22. I stubbed my toe on either a volunteer or other swimmer before getting my wetsuit off. It hurt, but I didn't think much of it.

There were changes to the 112mi bike course. Road construction in Cross Plains took out two steep, short hills. They were replaced with a 1.9mi steady, steep climb up Barlow Hill. When I rode this in late July, it was eye opening to say the least. I had no idea what to expect then and contemplated when do I hop off before falling off. It was easier y'day with that course knowledge, though there were MANY people walking their bikes up the hill. Unfortunately the winds picked up later in the ride and I struggled to generate necessary power to keep the 17mph avg I was hoping for. My saving grace was that the wind was at our backs for much of the last 20+miles and I was able make up some ground to finish in 6:52, a 16.2mph avg.

A mediocre swim and bike meant that I needed a good marathon to get back in the game. The toe I stubbed after the swim was rather tender to the touch and black and blue in T2. I was pretty certain the fourth toe on my left foot was broken, but it didn't bother my foot strike too much, so I figured I'd just try to mind over matter it for the next 4+hrs.

I ran well here last year despite the injuries, so was confident that if I could avoid cramps, it was possible. I received free samples earlier this year of the new Hot Shot anti cramping product and had high hopes it would work well for this race as it had in training. I took one bottle before the swim, bike and run, and at special needs on the bike and run. Anyways, I started the run at a comfortable pace in the mid-9s/mile. I hit the half marathon point around 2:07. My energy seemed to come and go, but was generally good w/ a HR in the high 130s. The fan support is incredible, especially along State St and other areas in the center of the UW campus. During the second half of the marathon, a few of the aid stations brought out chicken broth, which gives the body a shot of sodium and always seems to give me an extra boost. As I reached the closing miles, I realized breaking 13hrs total time was a possibility. But when I hit 25mi on the run at 12:50 on the clock, I knew I just didn't have enough left to run 1.2mi in <10mins. A 4:25 marathon gave me a 13:04 finish time, 40 mins better than last year.

Not long after I finished, the toe was hurting more and went to medical to join Andrea and have a doctor look at it. He agreed w/ my 'expert' opinion and said I should have it X-ray'd Monday. That did indeed show a broken toe, which will unfortunately put me out of Chicago Marathon. I deferred to 2017. I guess this will be forced post Ironman recovery while I wear a boot for ~~4wks. Hopefully there will be time for golf and a little basketball after that.
Next years calendar will include half Ironman races in Oceanside, CA, and Chattanooga, TN, then Ironman WI in Sept...and health permitting, Chicago Marathon in Oct.

Many thanks to all friends who showed up to support...and to all the awesome volunteers who make the day seamless.