Ironman Madison 70.3 2018 Recap!

11 Jun

It’s the morning after myself and some friends raced in Ironman Madison 70.3 Triathlon! And sadly, I can’t sleep past 6:15am! So here I am writing and processing the events of the previous day! (My girls are sleeping still! Lucky!)

The weekend has been fun, our hotel the AC Hotels by Marriot is fabulous! And I do enjoy the town of Madison and of course being with friends and my family! But the weather well that’s another story! Had the race been Saturday morning the weather was beautiful, calm winds, dry! Sunny and warm. But of course, we could not be so lucky! Sunday morning about 1am I woke up to go to the bathroom and heard the thunder and thought ugh! Then when it was finally time to go to transition that morning it was light rain, but you could tell it had poured rain hard as the transition was mud and wet! Then as we all stood in transition trying to stay dry, trying to keep our gear dry and just laughing and saying ugh! The thoughts that ran through all our minds was will this very hilly/technical and difficult bike course be safe? With wet roads, potential puddles and flooded spots, fast downhills into quick hard left or right technical turns and then wet wheels/brakes, mud on tires will we have braking power? The race organizers kept saying race is on as planned so we left transition with swim gear and headed to the swim start. At this point the rain was coming down hard, we were all shivering cold and soaked! Then the race got delayed 30 minutes because of this weather and more and more people started getting bikes out of transition and going home, deciding not race and be safe! This thought went through my head over and over! This was not an “A” race for me so I really did not want to risk an accident on the course in these conditions. But after standing on the beach a bit and seeing all my friends I coach and traveled with line up to swim I said well crap I can’t be the one guy who does not give it a go! So off I went into the choppy rough waters and started swimming! The swim I’m frustrated with because I’ve worked so hard on this and know I’m a much better swimmer than my time shows! But the chop was really hard for me to stay on course and find a stroke that allowed me to breathe and not swallow in the waves. I found that stroke got into a groove but then realized I swam way off course! Even bumped into a kayak. So I just stayed relaxed and swam and fought the waves, fought around other swimmers and made it to the beach.  A 38 minute swim is nothing great but for these conditions I guess it’s OK? Clearly sighting and holding a straight line in open water is something I need to work on.

Transition 1; call this mud wrestling? Ha.. the transition area which is grass but turned to pure mud was nasty! Made it to my bike but the mud was so bad, I had to carry my bike out of transition to the mount like, not run and roll it like normal. Needless to say transitions were not fast on this day!

The Bike course; Well on a nice day this is a very tough bike course, almost 3000 feet of climb I believe over the 56 miles, lots of steep hills, fast downhills into tight left or right turns that are very technical so you have to ride the breaks and be cautious. It’s a really hard course to get into a groove and really sit down and ride. And the roads in most areas and rough as hell! But now we mix in the weather conditions we were dealt! Rain, strong winds, wet roads, mud roads and well this bike course just got stupid! My plan on the bike was take it easy, be safe and ride smart! I did not try and drop the hammer and race the bike course hard, sure there were some sections I felt safe enough to ride tempo and I did but I was really slow and cautious on the downhills, the corners all that stuff! Plus, what makes this bike course slow is we spend a lot of time on bike paths getting in and out of town and the bike paths had standing water sections, were slick and nasty! The bike paths were so bad that my dear friend Liv had a wicked crash at the end of her bike ride coming back to transition. She wiped out hard, very cut, Bruised, road rash. Finally finished my bike ride and made it back to the pig pen. Mud mess we call transition! Again, had to carry my bike not roll it, cause by now things were even worse! Got to my spot and racked my bike went to put my run shoes on and saw that I had feet covered in mud, lucky I had a towel lying there and wiped them down some before putting on shoes. But as we ran out of transition the mud was so slick, sloppy, thick you had to be very cautious! The run started out great for me, my cadence was quick I was feeling good and I was clicking off some nice miles, maybe too fast? But it felt good. The issue of why my run blew up as it went on was for whatever reason my low back was tight and locking up in massive pain everything we had to run up a hill and this course is not flat it gently rolls so the up hills my back hurt! Then because of the rain all my nutrition got ruined that I kept in my bento box on my bike which means I rode 56 miles with no food only my water bottles with F2C Nutrition drink mixes (Glyco-Durance and Ultra-Durance) and when I went out onto the run, my cold slippery wet hands dropped my nutrition I had left in T-2 for the run so I was back to nothing! My run was rocking for 6-7 miles, then slowed slightly but not much just from 6:30pace to 7 min pace which was fine. But after some Red Bull and a coke at an aid station and no food my stomach got a little tipsy and my energy level was draining! So finally at my 9 aid station I saw they had cliff blocks and I like those so I stopped and asked for them, and then asked them to open the package cause my hands would not function! But now my body was really shutting down some, my low back was so tight and the mental games were trying to mess with me. But I stayed focused and kept running moving as fast as I could other than a couple short walk breaks so I could eat the blocks and chew them! Which those slowed my run average down and killed my time a little.

Finally hit that finish line, which you run up a steep little hill to get to! And then went off to medical to get warm, and a massage, nothing major in medical just needed some warmth as I felt like almost hypothermia. They worked on my low back for me and gave me some chips and slowly started to come back to life. My finish time was nothing great, but I am fine with it, I had low expectations that morning once I saw the weather, I choose to take it safe and conservative most of the race and focus on safety and cheering on others! I was just proud to finish! And not be hurt from a crash or fall!

The excitement of the day really was in my group of friends/athletes I coach and train with! We had three first timers for this distance and they did truly amazing!! We had Liv who had a really bad bike crash and still gathered herself got up and ran the half marathon and with a pretty fast time! (True Grit, toughness, determination, and heart!) The first timers, Becca, Julie, Ricardo all had quite amazing times breaking 6 hours all of them for these conditions and this difficult course is simply awesome! So I’m really proud and honored to be part of this journey with all of them! Becky well she is a crazy beast and rocked it! 2nd place in Age group and top 10 overall female! And a parking ticket to go along with her trophy! 😊

Lessons were learned, fun was had, emotions were expressed, frustrations occurred, but in the end it was a successful and joyous weekend and life is good!

Much Respect to all finishers of the race yesterday there was nothing easy about it! Celebrate finish lines, not finish times!

Thank you so much, Liv, Julie, Becca, Ricardo, Becky for months of sweat and pain, and tears and fun! Thanks for the motivation, the inspiration and the fun! You all are warriors! You all have HEART!

And last but not least my amazing family!! Shannon and Bella I simply could do none of this without you! You motivate me and inspire me to be great and I’m always trying to make you proud! All the sacrifices you give so I can do this crazy stuff means the world to me! Shannon is seriously like wife of the decade! Love you both so much!! More than maybe I show sometimes!

Thanks to all the cheers and support from friends and those that train with us! Without you these finish lines don’t become real!

Peace and Love! Be More Kind! Let’s do this again!






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