Monday, September 10, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

Hello from the other side of the finish line in Wisconsin! I want to make this short (ish) and readable, so I'm skipping the pre-race hoo ha.

I made it to transition in plenty of time thanks to college roomie Heather (the only time we've seen 5am together after actually going to bed). And then of course I proceeded to waste time doing nothing, be the last pro in the water and almost miss the start. good one.


Once again, my friend Linsey Corbin really helped with my race execution yesterday. She sent me a thoughtful note the night before the race which somehow REALLY stuck with me throughout the entire day. I kept replaying her lines in my head (especially the "Stay positive" and "be stubborn" parts. Here is a piece of it:
"Be smart early on. Don't hammer over those hills. Fuel fuel fuel. Stay positive. Pick it up in the back half of the bike and take some risks on the bike. Do your thing on the run. Be stubborn and keep your head in it."


Swim: 1:01 -2.4 miles
Well, I wanted to break an hour, but the swim went so poorly that I was actually relived to see only 1:01 on the clock. I got a great start (usual), went out way too hard (usual), and then couldn't stick on any of the feet that passed by me. Ended up swimming the vast majority alone, but had a little time dangling on Whitney Garcia's feet before she too dropped me. The swim course was one big loop and the long back 1750 meter stretch seemed straight upcurrent into some chop. Nothing else to say other than I've never been so excited for a swim to be over! I was 7th of 10 pro women but just a minute behind 3 of the girls.

T1 - 4:51
Did you know IM Wisconsin is worth it simply for the transitions? Holy moly. You run up "The Helix" which is just a fancy name for a corkscrew parking garage ramp (albeit designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) . The Helix (and most of the course for that matter) is LINED with screaming fans 4 deep. Tour De France style. So awesome. Both transitions are also really long and you run through buildings and conference rooms, so you can save time by keeping your foot on the gas. I T-1d well and passed a girl in transition.

Bike: 112 miles (5:30 - 20.35mph)
Ok, the bike is hard! My SRM showed just shy of 4,000 feet of climbing and it's all up and down rollercoaster for both loops of the "lollipop" shaped 2-loop course.
Bike course...photo by Ali Engin
On the longer climbs, again, the spectators are INSANE! Costumed up, drinking beers and hollering like hell. Made me totally look forward to the hardest sections which is a bonus. I rode more or less alone for the whole ride. Whitney, Charisa & I traded positions a couple of times, but we were rarely even in sight of each other as we all went through our own high and low patches. I made sure to keep it "rolling buffet" style and crammed in at least 300 calories an hour. I used my SRM (power meter) to help me keep my watts up and for this, for me, its invaluable. I KNOW when I'm slacking and just need to focus to pick up the pace. For me, I never used it to reign myself in as that is certainly not what I need on the bike.  The landscape is so beautiful it can be distracting. Like a giant portrait of Americana, I kept looking around thinking what great Instagram photos I could take. I had predicted I would ride 5:30 and that's exactly what I did. Actually had a solid ride (for me) just a couple minutes slower than some solid pro women. It was pretty windy yesterday and I'm told it was one of the windier years. Nothing scary, but long stretches of stiff headwind can do a number on your speed and menality. I knew I was in 6th on the bike about 14 minutes back from first. A long way, but I forced myself to stay positive, knowing that I could eat into that lead a bit if I ran my race.
T2- 1:56...nailed it ;)

Run- 26.2 miles - 2:59:54  (6:51/mile pace)
How the heck did that happen? I'm still not quite sure! I started out running and my Garmin was all fritzy, so I just spent the first two miles settling in (which was probably 6:20 pace oops!). Then on a short out and back, I saw that 5th, 4th, and 3rd place were just minutes ahead. I caught up to Charisa and we ran into 3rd & 4th positions as a mini team.
Me & Charisa- doin' work
The other girls were running well, but we were blazing. Our split for the first 6 miles was 6:31 average. We chatted with each other and were both feeling good. Neither of us was breathing hard, so we just went with it and told each other we could push ourselves up to the podium with some good team work. The splits coming back to us had us taking a couple of minutes out of first every few miles we passed. First I was 14 mintues back, then 9, then 6, then 4...Oh crap we were doing this! When I was weak, Charisa ran strong and I followed her heels keeping her in sight. When she struggled, I took the lead and kept us moving. We were charging. It was crazy. Not to mention, we had the same Zoot kit on and looked twinny so we got great support from the crowd as they noticed us with the 3rd place bike escort. Somehow (foggy here), mile 14ish, I got a little gap which extended, but we both continued to chase down Cathleen and passed her by maybe mile 17? Word had that the new leader, Elizabeth Lyles, was running fast and seeing her in the opposite direction confirmed that. I had moved into 2nd and it took every ounce of suffering, mental, and physical toughness I had to not give up those last 8 miles. They were simply brutal. The first 18 miles, I had chatted, and smiled and soaked it all it. The last 8 miles was purely head down, in the zone, get it over with- I knew Charisa was just behind and had the power to close strong. I've never hurt so bad yet kept my head in the game so well. Kind of helps when you're not off the back I think.  I ran into the finish chute, absorbed the moment for once and fist pumped at the line for my girlfriends as its my standing cheesy "move" now and a wink to them as I know they follow along at home.


Thank you to all of the volunteers, the Madison community and especially my homestay Joann. This has been the most amazing Ironman experience and I hope that people from all over the world can come here and appreciate the best America has to offer. A truly American experience and finishing in downtown Madison in front of the capital building tops it off right.






total cheese, but it's tradition. and Wisconsin, where cheese is appropriate



So, ended up with a new IM PR on a challenging course (9:38), 2nd place woman overall- my first IM podium, and a sub 3 IM marathon. Was the first time women have broken 3 on the course (I think) and Elizabeth Lyles, the champ did as well, running a 2:59 as well. Only 3 men broke 3 hours running yesterday, including Ben Hoffman who set a course record (8:32) and ran 2:56. Girl power! Triathlete mag article of how the race played out here
interviews
TGIO (O for Over, of course)
Post-Race, we went back to State Street to eat some food, have a beer, and watch the late night competitors on the run course
The boot...Earned it! 

Always fun to be reunited with The Biscuit (Hillary Biscay)
Thank you also to my friends and family who have supported me, trained with me, and keep me motivated to pursue my dreams. Winning one of these one day is now on the bucket list! Thank you to James, as I owe half of my progress to him, for supporting me (and literally dragging me along) the thousands of miles of literal and figurative road we traveled together. It is bittersweet being here without him.

And to my sponsors:

Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. My Ultra TT 5.0s carried me to sub 3 IM Marathon- couldn't do it without the shoes. seriosuly. Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & Race Day Wheels  and my new SRM powermeter.. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! Thank you also to TriBike Transport for making my travelling FAR easier and taking the stress out of travelling with a bike. 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze. 

27 comments:

Beth said...

Girl power indeed!!! Such a fantastic race Beth - and not just the run!! Happy to have seen all your hard work pay off! Congrats!

endurancegirl said...

i am in awe!!!!

Libby said...

Whoa!!! Stud!!! Phenomenal race. This makes me so happy. You are freakin incredible!! 2:59?!?!!!!!!

SixTwoThree said...

Awesome. I couldn't think of many guys who could do a sub-3 last night. Ha! I was right! So happy for you!

Molly said...

It was SO much fun to cheer you on from my computer yesterday and see you fly through that run course!!! Recover well!

Carrie said...

Been reading/following you for years, but rarely comment. So exciting! Look at you- 2nd place! Very proud of you.

Born To Endure said...

Yuppppers!!! YOU are awesome!!!

Ana-Maria RunTriLive said...

Dropped a Holy $hit in front of my 7 y old when I saw you moving into 2nd! Awesome job!

cheryl said...

AMAZING!! Congratulations on such a great race!

Dolly said...

Unreal! I love following you online because you are phenomenal!! You will be atop the podium in 1st place soon. :)

R said...

Woo Hoo! Great result and great report! I am totally stealing "Be Positive, Be Stubborn."

mtanner said...

Fist Pump Power! Love this! You are AMAZING! Thank you for being YOU :)

allison said...

Congrats!! Super strong finish.

Rose said...

WAY TO GO! That's amazing girl! Super stoked!

JC said...

Holy S^&T - that was AMAZING! Your fist pump ROCKS - YOU ROCK! Super CONGRATS!

Kelly said...

hey, that's my Triathlete.com article! Glad to hear I got it mostly right. When I saw you were running into second, I was like 'oh shit, I know her!'

kiki said...

You are so cool! Well done.

Alison said...

Congrats - way to go!!

e photography said...

you're amazing....

The Suffer Seeker said...

2:59 and you couldn't even muster a double fist pump? :)

Krista said...

Congrats - you earned it!

Adrienne said...

Amazing! Wonderful to see how far you have progressed over the years. An inspiration that hard work pays dividends!

Heidi Austin, PT, DPT said...

congrats on your rockstar performance.... killer marathon... Way to go!

Unknown said...

Great job Beth! I recently moved to Encinitas and also did IMWI this year as my first IM. I LOVED the whole experience and seeing someone from my new hometown (you of course) do so awesome added to the experience. Congrats on your win today at Superfrog!

Jeannine Hillmer

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD said...

Fantastic race! I enjoy all your posts!

Marni Sumbal, MS, RD said...

Fantastic race! I enjoy all your posts!

city said...

thanks for sharing.