Home Triathlon Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 2019 Race Recap

Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 2019 Race Recap

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To paint a better picture of my situation going into this race:

  • This race was for the purpose of getting another 70.3 distance under my belt on a very difficult course, in preparation for Ironman Lake Placid 140.6 in July of this year.
  • The positive of this race was the timing with the race season as well as competing on home turf!
  • The negative is that pretty much all my long training rides on the 70.3 course had left me feeling so sick or crappy. Which made my confidence in myself for this particular race pretty low.
  • The week before the race was probably the highest mileage I have done for IMLP training and I was really exhausted and in need of rest.
  • I flew from DFW-MSN the day before the race after being back home in Texas the past 4 weeks visiting family. I went straight to athlete and bike check in.

Morning of:

All week leading up to the race there were threats of rain and storms during the time of the race day. But thankfully when waking up at 4:30 AM there was no sound of rain against my windows. I checked the weather app and now instead of 85% chance of storms it was 15% chance or rain! After changing in my race suit, drinking coffee, eating oatmeal with PB and half a banana, my Mad Dog triathlon friend from Texas who came to stay with me to race this half iron and I headed to transition. We ordered an Uber and were there in about 5 min max. The weather was great but it was cloudy! I set up my transition, pumped my tires up, and headed to our team tent to relax. There I got my hair braided by an Ironworx teammate and got my wet suit on.

Swim:

Now that Ironman doesn’t do mass starts, you have to get into your estimated swim time waves right before race start or you risk starting later with the slower group. Even though of course your time doesn’t start until you enter the water, it is good to place yourself according to swim time. This can avoid you swimming around slower people and make your swim smoother, not just for you but for everyone. I managed to sneak into what I thought I would do for a OWS 35-40 min pace group. The water temp was 72 degrees, The weather was absolutely perfect 67 degrees and I felt awesome with coming back from the Texas heat. I was able to start my race alongside my friend Ava who is an extremely great triathlete-specifically on hill rides! Officials divided us in groups of 4 and we would go every 5 seconds.

And I was off! The water felt amazing. My swim felt awesome. I didn’t have to fight anyone in the water!

Swim time: 36:15 min

(Unfortunately on the swim portion two men had heart attacks. 1 passed away and the other in critical condition. That is always so frightening to be in a near death experience but in the water. I did not hear about these two men until after I finished the race.)

Transition 1:

I ate shit. I love to run out from the swim strong. It is one of my favorite things to do in triathlon. I love being able to run fast in T1 and T2. Well I turn the corner and on the wet grass I completely landed on my right hip. I got up quickly out of embarrassment. I got to my bike, loaded up everything and got going!

T1 time: 5:14 min

Bike:

The portion of the race I feared the most. The day before the race I was finally back on my own bike since I had been using a road bike borrowed from a Mad Dog friend while in Texas to keep training. I know my butt missed my OWN saddle. I was happy to get back on my own bike and I was pleased to feel very comfortable at the start of my bike. This bike course is very hilly but the first 10 miles are relatively easy. At about mile 6 I saw the ambulance doing c-spine on an athlete who had crashed. Apparently from talking to other teammates they witnessed some car and triathlete close calls or collisions. I saw some cars that disobeyed the patrol officers and would get in the way of the race or some fast drivers who would speed past us on the country roads without any warning. Despite all of this, I was feeling great on the bike and I think this was because of the weather being so perfect. Overcast, maybe a little bit of drizzle but no sun and no heat. The struggle on this portion was avoiding to draft off people. The course would get really congested and you would see a row of 4 people riding next to each other while someone faster would want to pass without getting into the other lane because often times the road would be spread 4 wide. I would find myself stuck behind 4 people and trying to pass all of them but not being able. I was very afraid I would get penalized. That is a different story on the hills. On the hills it doesn’t really matter if you are on someone’s wheel, but once the hill is over with it’s time to practice getting out of draft zones. I loved all the hills on the course and I actually had fun out there and felt like I could have either gone faster or go further. I tried to be conservative and keep my HR at around 160.

Bike time: 3:36:58 Hours

(*** The elevation on my Garmin 735XT seems incorrect. The Ironman Website claims the elevation for the bike course is 2400ft whereas my watch tracked a little over 1k…., it definitely felt way more thank 1k!)

Transition 2:

By now I had seen a lot of teammates either out on the bike or now at T2 cheering me and others on. It was so nice to have people/friends here in Madison! I ran strong with my bike into T2, changed quickly, drank more Gatorade Endurance, and went on my way.

T2 time: 2:47 min

Run:

I kept telling myself “This will feel so short, I have been running 14+ miles lately. 13 will feel like nothing!” Well I felt it once my socks were soaked and I started to feel blisters forming. I would take advantage of each mile aid station to relax my feet and help out my blisters. The Lake Loop is a route I run or bike often with tiny rolling hills. At this point for my run it was still overcast and feeling wonderful weather wise. I powered through making sure I ran all the mile between aid stations and finished strong the last mile of the race to the finish line!

Run time: 2:09:56 hours

Closing thoughts:

I honestly wish my run would have been a little faster but overall I am very happy with the day’s efforts. I also believe I could have pushed more on the bike and that just makes me even more excited for IMLP. My swim is up to par on what I usually do in an OWS. Of course my pool swim times are much much faster but I will take it! 

Overall time: 6:31:09

This was not a PR but with my first half ironman on a very flat course (Galveston) being 6 hours flat and then Tri Fort Worth (a non-half Ironman brand distance) being 6:45 hours with rolling hills but no where near as hilly as Wisconsin, I am very pleased that in 2 years I was able to see some improvements. I would love to do this race again next year and possibly make this my A race if I decide to focus more on shorter mid distance vs full iron training again for next year!

-Special thanks to my sherpa for the day, Rachel! Thanks for the support future roomie!

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