Tuesday, September 16, 2014

IM Wisconsin 2014 Race Report

Well here it is for all the marbles.  One year after signing up I'm lined up in the water and ready for a long day of racing.  I'm calmed relaxed and ready to take on the day!  IM Wisconsin here I come!

Quick Background
Of course with any Ironman race you have to be early with the signup.  When this race opened in September, I was on the computer and signed with 10 minutes of the opening.  What had I just gotten myself into!  The winter months went by and I was mainly training for the Little Rock half working on my run speed and some distance.  With the LR Half in March, I would soon start the real training for Wisconsin.  Well life changed a little after March, I was out looking for a new job and along that time I got into Ride the Rockies.  Well I decided I wanted to do some traveling and train at the same time.  So in May, I was in Asheville riding and hiking and then June was a month in Colorado which included Ride the Rockies.  I was seeing great places and meeting new people along the way. Of course, by July it was time to buckle down and train for Ironman. I knew I was behind on the running, but I was good with the bike.  In July, I finished IM 70.3 Racine in 5:21 a PR for me.  I was feeling good.  In August, I went up to Madison and rode the course followed by a trip to Milwaukee to get my USAT Coaching Certfication.  September would come quickly.

I arrived up in Madison on Wednesday.  Since I decided to come up a day earlier than planned I stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown on Wednesday before moving to Doubletree on Thursday.  Both hotels are great places to stay for this race.  Both were around a mile from the race site which was not to bad.  They were also close to many restaurants and State St.  The DoubleTree actual sits on the run course, so family could easily watch the run and go to the room if they needed.

On Thursday, I checked into the race and got my race wheels that I rented from Race Day wheels onto the bike. I rented a Zipp 404 front and Zipp 808 rear.  It was great setup.   However, when I brought the bike back to the room I noticed I was having a issue with break.  It was back up the race site where I went to the Trek Tech Support that was setup.  The mechanics were great and had the brake fixed in about an hour.  They had to rerun the brake cable.  I had planned on short run, but by then had already walked around enough for the day.  Lunch was at a place called the Mediterran Cafe which was very good and Dinner was at the Great Dane, good beer and hamburger.

Friday was the day to get on the bike to test the wheels and shake out the legs.  I was going for about an hour ride.  Well about 25 minutes into the ride, a bee decided to dive bomb me and sting me on the tongue.  I had some small swelling but nothing too serious.  It was the first time I had been stung in over 10 years and probably more!  The rest of Friday was spent relaxing again.  I had lunch at the Old Fashion with dinner at El Dorado grill.  Lunch was the best of the day.

Saturday again was full of nothing with a short swim in the morning, lunch again at the Old Fashioned followed by some pizza for dinner.  Nothing attacked me today, nothing broke.  I set up my bags and bike and now it was time to race.

Race Morning
I was up around 4 the morning after a good nights sleep.  I was nervous and could tell because I was having trouble trying to eat my bagel and peanut butter.  I got to the race site around 5:15 and put the remaining nutrition on my bike and went down to where the swim entrance was and relaxed in the grass.  There I sat and ate a bonk breaker bar and sipped on some gatorade.  6:30 was approaching so I put my wetsuit on and dropped off my morning gear bag.  Someone let me know that it is best to get the water first because it can take a half hour to get everyone in the water and people can miss the start by still being on the "beach".  I was one of the first ones in line and waited and in the water we went.  I swam out to the first all the way to the left.  My plan was to start towards the back there and go.  I floated around saw the awesome crowd on shore and at 7:00 the cannon fired and we were off!

My goal for the swim was to stay relaxed and just get over the contact knowing that it was coming.  My plan was to hopefully get out the water in 1:30.  The course is one 2.4 mile swim, so it was a rectangle with a slant into the finish.  The first turn buoy is around 1200 meters.  This first part was not that bad contact wise.  Since I started along the buoy line I knew the turn would be crowded and it was.  Going up to the second turn the hits came a coming and after making the second turn it quitted a bit, but about half way the contact started again to the third buoy.  The whole time I was relaxed and keep swimming forward.  Finally coming to the 4 turn the final stretch was in site.  I actual took this turn incorrectly and got off course a little.  I knew something was wrong when I no longer had any contact!  I pushed towards the finish and came out in 1:22.  Much better than I was hoping!

You usually don't talk much about transitions but this one is pretty awesome.  You run up the spiral on the parking deck with the crowds lining the whole way.  It makes the run up seem so much easier.  You head into the convention center grab you bag and go.  I also found advice that you shouldn't put your bike shoes on until you get to your bike or close to the mount line because it is a long transition.  My bike was near the mount line, so I ran with my shoes all the way to my bike.  A volunteer handed me my bike and it was off to the bike we go!

Having ridden the course the month before, I knew what to expect.  The goal was take the hills easy the first loop and see what happens the second loop.  My goal was to finish around 6 hrs.  The first 5 miles are on some trails and through some parking lots before finally getting on the open road.  I keep it easy and started taking nutriution in.  I was surprised that about 10 miles into the bike I started to get a headache.  Note in the future, keep some tyelnol.  Figuring it was dehydration or lack of food.  I started my nutrition a little heavy probably at first.  The first loop was crowded with bikes and people.  You had to be careful on some of the rollers out there because they would get crowded with bikes.  The crowd support was great on the 3 sisters and was massive in Verona.  The second loop the headache persisted and I was starting to feel nauseated.  By the special needs station, I had finished two bottles of Gatorade and two bottles of water.  Along with 7 gels and 2 bonk breakers.  The second loop I was fighting the headache and nausea.  It got pretty bad around Mile 90.  I keep pushing to the finish though hoping for a quick rest in T2!  I continued trying to take nutrition in, just so I would feel better.  I came into T2 right at 6:00hrs just as I had planned even with a headache and nausea. 

Just some other notes on the bike, I love this bike course.  It was a challenge and fun.  The crowds were great and volunteers were awesome.  The weather was perfect 75F.  Towards the end I could feel the heat a little.  The wheels were great and I think really helped.

Biking up the spiral to T2, I was ready to be off the bike.  I ran inside the convention center grabbed my bag and sat down thinking I only have a marathon left.  I lingered for maybe just a moment to recover and it was off to the run.  I stopped at the bathroom to pee and it was onto the run.

Maybe it was the adrenline, but as soon as I started running, the headache was gone and the nausea left!  My plan was to run between aid stations and walk the aid stations and the one big hill on the course.  I hit the first 6 miles feeling great!  I was walking taking nutrition and thinking that this would be perfect!  The crowds were great and I was feeling it!  However, as I got to mile 12, the nausea returned with a vengence.  I was left to a walk run for the remaining 14 miles!  I saw my parents and sister and she remarked later after I had given her a high five that my hands were cold and clamy which this around mile 12.  I passed through the turnaround point knowing that the next 13 miles would be tough.  I still keep a smile on my face.  I would try to run when I could and then I would be close to sick and start walking again.  I talked to people along the way and had as much fun as possible.  I tried to stick the Heisman pose when I was in Camp Randall Stadium and just generally tried to remain upbeat.  I knew I was about to be an Ironman.  Finally around mile 20 as it was getting dark, the nectar of the gods came out.  Chicken broth was on the course.  I started hammering this down hopefully to help out.  I started to feel better by mile 24 and finished the course with a better run walk towards the end.  I had a great time on the course.  The run course is flat with one big hill.  It is a nice relief from the hilly bike course.

As I approached the capital again, it was time to run it in!  Ironman Wisconsin is about to be complete.  Apparently, I couldn't do simple math.  I was thinking my finish was going to be close to 13hrs.  Well to my surprise, I see the clock at 12:27:16 and here Mike Reilly say RICHARD MAGUIRE you are an IRONMAN!  I crossed the line got my medal, shirt, hat, and picture.  What an awesome day this was.  All the training had paid off and I was an IRONMAN!

 I'll leave with a couple of videos I found also.  Great day and thanks to all the volunteers and my family for the support on the course and training!

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