||My First IM- Wisconsin 2009
Race Report- IM Wisconsin 2009
My IM experience started a year ago when I eagerly waited for 10:00 am the day after the 2008 IM Wisconsin and signed up online at 10:00:10 in the morning. I must have been asked 100 times throughout the year why I chose Wisconsin. I wanted to do an IM in 2009 that had a hilly course and Canada and Lake Placid were already sold out, so Wisconsin it was. Plus, my best friend Beth lives in Chicago only a 2.5 hour drive, so that meant she could possibly come to watch me race.
This was going to be my first Ironman and I feel lucky that Holger invited me to stay with him, Marvin and Joe Traba in a large apartment in Madison. I had already booked a hotel, but he convinced me to change my mind, and itís one of the best decisions that I made for this race.
On Wednesday morning, the weather forecast for race day was for rain with a high of 75 and low of 53. That had me worried quite a bit because Iíve never raced in the rain and I really didnít want my first IM experience to be such a wet one.
Luckily the forecast changed and kept getting warmer as the race got closer. Actual race day temps were 84-85 which was warm, but much better than rain.
I flew out to Madison with Marvin Thursday morning. We arrived there right on time, but unfortunately our luggage didnít. I didnít let this stress me out like it usually would because they assured us it would be on the next flight into Madison from Chicago. (and it was ☺)
Marvin, Joe and I decided to drive the bike course on Friday because we thought it would help to see the many rolling hills and sharp turns before race day- another really good decision. This course requires you to constantly be thinking about what gear you should be in. Most of the hills are short, but make you question whether you should grind up them in
your large chain ring or spin up it in your small one. The course is beautiful and takes you through farmlands with endless fields, barns, mills, corn stalks, cowsÖit has it all.
After the 2 Ĺ hour drive, Marvin, Joe and I went to register, which went really smoothly. We checked on our bikes at Tri Bike Transport. I practiced taking my back wheel on and off a few times because if I got a flat, thatís always a problem for me. Then, we dipped our feet into Lake Monona. The water was really warm- 75 degrees, very mirky and had tons of algae- pretty nasty compared to the Pacific!
I had my first look where our T1 and T2 would beÖin a ballroom and a parking structure.
We all went to the pre race banquet that night. I knew this was supposed to be an important meal so I filled my plate with the whole wheat pasta, baked potato and veggies. Iím not a picky eater, but the food was pretty bad and I didnít actually eat all that much ( In comparison to Holger who ate 2 full plates worth!) I have to say that the four of us had a really great time throught the whole weekend. They showed a video about Ironman that brought me to tears. This experience was going to be way more emotional than I thought. Mike Riley came to the stage and brought even more energy and excitement into the room. I was loving every minute of this!
The pre race meeting was next. One funny anecdote about this was that they announced that there were no ďbareĒ chests allowed during the race. They said running bras were okay for women and even for men if they were so inclinedÖ.Well on race day, I actually saw a guy running with a bra on..thatís a first!!
On the way back to the apartment, we all stopped off at a local fast food place called Culvers. The sign said ďFrozen Custard, ButterburgersĒ- so we just had to check it out. Since I didnít eat much, I had to get some more calories into me. We had many laughs in there because we didnít exactly fit the prototype of their customer. Later that night, I was off to the airport to pick up Shimshon, my fiancť. I felt really lucky that I was going to have 2 people there to support me!
Marvin, Joe and I went for a quick 10 minute swim in the lake which was actually much more pleasant than I thought it would be. The water had lots of green ďgunkĒ in it, but the further you went out, the less there was.
We picked up our bikes and were off for a 30 minute ride on the part of the course that we hadnít seen yet. Next, we dropped off our bikes, and T1/T2 bags. Shimshon is always there for me and is my IronSherpa! Heís the BEST!!
Saturday night, we made dinner at our place- pasta again, but this time it was yummy and I actually had seconds.
Beth arrived just after dinner and then it was lights out around 9:45. My mind was racing and I could not sleep. I think I slept 4 hours or less when the alarm went off at 4 am.
After eating a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, 2 eggs, toast, OJ and a cup of coffee, I was ready to leave.
We got to the race area and dropped off our bike and run special needs bags. I put all kinds of things in there that I never use like Red Bull, Vaseline, Lara Bars, Tums, Chewing Gum because I had no idea what the day would be like. I got to spend some time with Beth and Shimshon before I swam which was really comforting. I usually donít like to be totally alone before I start a race.
MY NUTRITION ON THE BIKE
On the bike, I had 2 bottles and my Aero bottle all filled with water/ 2 scoops of Carbo Pro and 1 Nuun tablet. I also put 2 bottles with the same in my bike special needs- one of them frozen (great idea!) My bento box had 8 gels, one Bonk Breaker, and a baggie filled with salt tablets, gum and tums.
This is an open water start and a counter clockwise double loop course- perfect for me because I usually veer to the left when I swim. There wasnít much wind and the lake was pretty glassy early in the morning.
I met a couple of women while waiting to get into the water and we all decided to start near the back of the pack. Iím a slow swimmer and was worried about being pummeled by all the strong swimmers and big guys out there. The gun went off and my IM adventure began! I felt really great out there. I swam slow and steady and tried to concentrate on my form as well as trying to find feet to draft off of. I checked my watch after the first loop and I was right on pace for what I thought would be my time- 44 minutes. I didnít hyperventilate at all which was a first for a lake swim for me. I came out of the water at 1:31, just about right. I wasnít even tired from my longest swim ever. The wet suit strippers went at it, then I ran up the parking structure helix, into T1 and was off on my bike.
SWIM TIME: 1:31
The course takes you through the town and then you ride a 40 mile loop twice before heading back. I felt really good for the first 40-50 miles. My bike computer said I averaged 18.8 when I crossed the first timing mat. At first, I was counting how many W45-49ers I passed, but then I lost track. In case you donít know how I race, I tend to be competitive out there. (mild understatement!). There are so many hills and turns on this course that you are always changing gears, braking to turn, but I was loving the ride. The spectators were awesome and would run alongside you to help you get up the steepest hills. I was drinking often and taking a gel every 13-15 miles. I also took a salt capsule every hour. There was only one point where I thought my stomach wasnít going to be able to handle everything, but that passed luckily.
I got a big surprise when I saw Shimshon as I entered the second loop of the course. Itís always a boost to have someone you love out there for you. The second loop seemed much harder than the first. I didnít know if I was just more tired or the day was getting to me. I think the wind picked up and the last 10 miles seemed mostly uphill. I loved having the chewing gum out there to break up the taste of those gels.
My average speed dropped some, but overall I was still happy with my bike split. I didnít have to pee when I was on the bike, so my only stop was to pick up my 2 bottles from the special needs. I didnít think I hammered the bike course like I usually do in a race because I wanted to save myself for the run. I read many many times that Ironman is all about the run!
BIKE TIME: 6:17
After riding up the helix, they took my bike (niiiice!) and I went into T2. It sure felt great to go into an air conditioned room after being in the sun for over 6 hours. I changed into clean socks, put on my running shoes, grabbed 3 gels and my baggie with salt tabs/tums, put on my visor and I was off.
I got to see Shimshon and Beth again as the awesome volunteers smothered sunscreen all over me. I started on the run and kept checking my Garmin because it hadnít locked onto the satellites yet. The run is a two loop course that goes through the University of Wisconsin, along a lakeside path and many streets lined with thousands of spectators.
I think I was running around a 9 minute pace which was my plan. My legs actually felt okay. Iím used to running a bit faster, so at this point, I felt like I could sustain this pace for awhile. I was able to turn on my Garmin at .8 miles.
I stopped at every aid station to drink Gatorade, maybe a little water and sometimes put some ice in my shirt to keep cool. I kept checking my Garmin and I was holding my pace pretty well. We got to run through the U of Wisconsin football stadium on the astroturf which was pretty cool. At mile 5-6, I had taken on so much liquid that I had to pee. I decided that I wasnít going to pee while I was running- it just wasnít worth the extra 1-2 minutes for me. I waited until there was an empty porta potty and went around mile 9-10, (hence my slower split for that part!) I have never run a marathon and thought it would get much much harder, but I really felt great out there. I saw Holger, Marvin, Joe and a few other LATri clubbers out there and gave them all a shout out. I hit mile 13, and saw Shimshon and Beth again at the turn around. I gave them both hugs and told them I was having a great race. Shimshon told Beth that I would probably ignore them and just run by because Iíve never stopped before during a race. This was an IM and I wanted to show them how much I appreciate them being out there for me. I grabbed 3 more gels from my run special needs bag and all I could think was that
I had 13 miles to go until I was an Ironman. I kept counting down the miles to go and trying to hold onto the pace. I was waiting to hit that wall that everyone talks about, but never did. This was my first marathon and I have to say that it was easier than I thought it would be. I was determined to run the whole time (other than the aid stations). There were many people walking, especially on my 2nd loop. I stuck to my simple nutrition plan because it was working perfectly for me. My pace was still okay and as I entered the last mile, I even picked it up a little bit.
As I turned onto State Street towards the Madison Capital and finish line, I was just so happy about my race and my whole journey to become an Ironman. I sprinted the last 150 yards with a huge smile and raised my fists into the air as I crossed the finish line to hear Mike Riley shout out,
Lynne Fiedler from Beverly Hills,
YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!
RUN TIME: 4:03
IM WISCONSIN TIME 12 Hours, 2 minutes, 27 seconds
8th place in my Age Group, but more importantly, right
where I thought I could finish.
Of course, Shimshon and Beth were right there after I finished as they were EVERYWHERE for me throughout the long day.
I first person I called after the race was my coach Gareth. I left him a message- I attribute a lot of my success on race day to his program and sticking to it. I didnít cut any corners and really worked hard for this. After calling and texting a few other close friends and family, it was time to get warm and hydrate. I was getting cold and light headed and laid down to get more comfortable. That was a mistake, and I nearly passed out. A woman suggested I go to Medical, but I really didnít want to. I just sat up, changed out of my wet clothes and into warm sweats, drank water and ate a bananaÖmuch better! Shimshon and Beth took really good care of meÖTHANK YOU!!
We stayed at the race until after midnight dancing on the bleachers, watching the finishers, listening to Mike Riley shout out to them all that they are an IronmanÖWOW- this was one of the best days of my life!!!
I want to give a special shout out to Paul, Greg and Liz who spent many many hours training with me --- I canít thank them enough!
I want to do it all againÖ I just donít know which one or when!
I know I can go fasterÖ
IíM AN IRONMAN.