2013 Ironman Wisconsin Recap

Here’s my video recap:

Here’s Mike Reilly actually saying my name

ACS and Thank Yous!

  • Raised $3,246.35 dollars.  That is awesome and incredible!  I spent many mundane hours running, biking and swimming thinking of the great people who donate to the cause.  Truly – Thank you!
  • During the race, I didn’t set up miles for people, but I repeatedly went through the list of donators in my head, mainly on the bike – if you’re curious, ask me – I went through the list afterward and can name at least one memory associated with each donators name
  • Total for four events $8,751.46 – I was planning on this being the last event I do, but raising $1250 would get us to $10K….we’ll see – never say never.
  • Also thank you to the entire population of Madison, volunteers and spectators. It was an incredible event.
  • Thank you to Erika for putting up with me and twelve months of obsession with this race.
  • Thank you to Abbie, Jake and Kyla for putting up with my boring stories and always cheering me on!
  • Thank you to the Big Man for all the gifts and opportunities you’ve given me
  • Thank you to all my family for the support.

The Training:

  • The biggest influence on my training was the book Going Long – Erika got it for me a year before the race – as a “Congrats for Registering” present.
  • There were two Youtube videos that gave good strategy for race day.  Dave Scott on Training Peaks and Rich from Endurance Nation
  • The cool places I went:
    • I covered about 40 miles of the Gunflint trail on my bike.
    • For the swim, I trained in 3 different lakes and one pool.  I was thinking about adding the ocean to that list, but then two sharks swam by (seriously).
    • I biked the former Ironman bike ride 100 mile loop that starts in Lakeville.
    • I ran a few times in Myrtle Beach in super hot weather and on part of the Myrtle Beach Marathon course
    • I ran some dirt road hills on the Gunflint trail – they are so long and steep.
    • I biked in new places in Minneapolis I didn’t know existed.
    • I biked through my old stomping grounds, Rockford twice.


  • The video covers the deraileur hanger breaking and my search to find a new one.  It was about three hours of searching and driving around on Friday, and the race wasn’t until Sunday.
  • My car with the roof top luggage carrier is about 6’ 9.05”, the parking ramp that was easy to get to was 6’ 9” and the top rubbed the ceiling in one spot.
  • I found a $2 bill in the parking lot on Saturday before the race – that’s gotta be good luck!
  • The weather was close to perfect for race day – 90 the day before, 70 and overcast race day (a little windy, but I can’t complain), 90 the day after.

The Swim:

  • The wind and current were against us for the longest stretch.  The waves were bigger than I had trained in.
  • My major mistake was on the last turn
    • My goggles were fogging up and instead of watching for markers, I tried to be in the middle of swimmers – this added a lot of distance.
    • The waves, wind and current were with us, but I couldn’t adjust.
    • There were people on my right, but I couldn’t see anyone on my left – the left would be the straight line
    • I saw a dude on a paddle board pointing with his paddle to go left
    • My garmin said the total swim distance was 2.59 miles instead of the 2.4 it could have been.  That could save some time and energy
  • I started just outside the water ski jump, I got into the water about 6:50 and treaded water for 10 minutes, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
  • I ran into a bouy about 3 minutes into the race – I haven’t seen it in any pictures, but I hit it square on.
  • I saw one dude without a wetsuit, just a speedo – I thought it might be a wet suit like Miley Cirus’s skin colored outfit.
  • Without trying I stayed with the same group most of the way – one red-stripped wetsuit, one blue-stripped wetsuit, a dude with a big beard (jealous) and a pink stripped wetsuit girl.
  • It was so fun to run up the helix – everybody was screaming and it was packed!

The Bike:

  • There was another tux shirt, I saw him about mile 20, he was coming out of a outhouse, I was going in – and we high fived.  He was a head of me most of the way, but I guess I passed him near the end.
  • At mile 70 I went into an outhouse and Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” was playing super loud – I thought of Townie, JD and Rodney Dangerfield dancing.
  • The X10 has three front crank rings, most road bikes only have two (I was kind of embarrassed about this) – it was huge to have it geared so low that I could spin up all hills.  I passed so many people on the steep parts of the hills and I saved my legs for the run
  • I consumed a lot more calories that I planned, but that was very good.  Someone asked me what the toughest part was and my answer was getting enough calories, yet still keeping my stomach happy – it worked.
    • I started putting the wrappers in a pocket and ended up with: 3 cliff bars (250 calories each), 3 bonk breakers (250 calories), 3 chomps (90 calories) and 3 GUs (100 calories) – that’s 2070 calories in food that I saved the wrappers for.
    • I also had at least two bananas (100 calories each)
    • I drank at least 6 gatorades (150 calories each) – 900 calories
    • That put me at (not including the stuff I threw away and if I had more gatorade) 3170 calories over 6 hours and 45 minutes or 470 calories per hour.  Everything I read says 250 – 450.
    • Salt tablets – I took them for the first time (bad thing to do on race day, but they worked) every hour on the hour.  Stomach was a bit shaky after 1.5 hours, but it was great after that.
  • I wore my Tux bike shirt – which was awesome because everybody was yelling “Classy” or “Tuxedo Guy” or “Bow Tie Man”, etc.  Another racer asked me as I passed her, if I was “the tux guy”.

The Run:

  • I wanted to run the way Erika ran in Chisago, we would stop to watch her and many people were in survival mode, then Erika would ran by smiling.  I used this idea to keep things in check during the bike.
  • My plan/goal was to run the first 6 miles at 9:15 min/mile, then do the next 12 at 8:45 to 8:34s, then give it all I had left and not be passed from mile 18 on.
    • The first 6 miles averaged 9:12, actually the first 5 was 9 and the 6th was a big hill and a bathroom.  It was challenging to not run faster when I knew I could
    • The next 6 were at 8:35s.  The next 6 I started to fade and had to deal with that hill again and were at 9:04s
    • The final 8.2 I was battling and passing a ton of people.
  • At mile 18.5 or so a dude passed me, so I attempted to stay with him, I got a bit competitive, and he’d pass me, then I’d pass him at the water stops.  At mile 20 he said I had a good pace and asked if I we should finish this up fast.  He became my new best friend.  I could only stay with him for two miles, then I faded
  • I dropped a “Jesse Pinkman” on the crowd at the 1/2 way point/turnaround – I yelled “I’ll be back in two hours – <<Jesse’s Favorite Word>>!!!”
  • My goal was to beat my first marathon time from 9 years ago – 4:26, but my secret goal was to keep it under 4 hours – I made it by 16 seconds!
  • As I crossed the finish line, I wanted to pay tribute to Harvey Lewis who inspired me many times this summer, by copying his Badwater 2012 picture.

The Fans:

  • The fans on the bike had me in stitches the entire day.  I saw more guys in speedos…image
  • There were signs referencing the Honey Badger, twerking and the “I Ain’t Got Time for That” Lady.  My favorite was “Go Random Stranger Go”
  • There were lots of faces on sticks (like “FatHead BigHead”), but there was one that was about 6 feet tall, mounted on a 2X4 – I was laughing so hard at the guys holding it, they made me ride under it every time I passed them.
  • There was a clown in a corn field with full make up on – freaky!
  • The crowds on State Street, which we did four times, was unbelievable.  Bars and restaurants with patios right up to the road we were running on.
  • The last 1/4 mile I couldn’t hear myself think – just loud and packed with people.


  • Big thanks to Erika’s (and my) friend Madonna, who is a two time Ironman – soon to be three timer!  She was with Erika and walked with us to get my stuff.  Heck, she carried most of it, as Erika was holding me up.
  • I couldn’t eat the pizza they were serving, but I did devour a sub, about 10 cookies and a Coke-a-cola.
  • Erika and I went to Applebees where I did find my appetite and I had a greasy burger, fries and a Summit.
  • The waiter asked if I had done the ironman, said I didn’t “look as bad as that guy!”  And pointed to a guy with a finisher shirt, hobbling to his car.

Here are the official results.

Here’s the swim:

Here’s the bike:

Here’s the run:

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