Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|Out of the swim|
* One of the stressy moments of the day was when the water temps were announced. Temp at 6:30AM was 81. They announced that since it was above 78, the race was no longer wetsuit legal, so a choice had to be made - swim with your assigned wave (my wave took off 3rd) or start last if you wanted to swim with a wetsuit and not be eligible for awards (more than an hour after the 1st wave). Well, I wasn't going to be getting any age group award anyway, but starting later meant being way further back in the pack and right from the start and being out in the heat another hour. So the decision became much easier and I swam 1.2 miles without a wetsuit for the first time. I get tougher all the time.
|Bike into T2|
|Run out at T2|
* The bike was an out and back course in 2 directions so I saw Alison twice on the bike and she looked good. I tried to catch her after seeing her just before the first turnaround about 10 miles, and when I saw her just before the second turnaround she had gained a bit of ground on me but not much. I never did catch her though. Saw Mike at about my mile 40 and and told him to hurry up and catch me.
|crying as I walked, wouldn't look up|
|Can I stop now please?|
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
4) This is a great little race. No frills. Cotton tshirts. No chips. No times posted online. They barely advertise it at all, not on active.com or any other registration site, just a little blip on the Milton 4th web page. Registration is a paper only by mail or in person affair (*GASP!!*) only. And yet, there are a ton of people there, mostly locals who do it every year or a newby or two who decided to give it whirl since it's in their backyard. Kudos to Kris Koeffler for putting on an event the community can really get behind.
5) Five.... the number of people I passed after the halfway point. On this race, I know that I generally make the most headway on others after the 5K mark. Lots of folks can wing a 5K. I am not particularly speedy, but I keep a slow steady pace and can do some distance for a long time. So the rabbits take off and go hellbent for leather and I plod along doing my thing and pick them off on the back half when they fizzle out after the hill on the turnaround. Best of all, most of the folks I overtook appeared to be over the age of 10 and under 70..... so they were more in my age range than the people I usually pass :) I think there were at least 13 people behind me overall. I love that.
6) Phil and CJ (and Tucker, one of my favorite puppies) were at the crossroads that was both the 1 mile and 5 mile mark. You gotta love having a cheering section on the course, thanks guys. Shortly after seeing the Gredler gang, I came across a kiddo trying to attack me with a dinosaur machine gun style squirtgun. I was pretty hot, wish he'd had better aim - totally missed me with every drop of water.
7) After the 5K mark, I set my sights on a lady about my age up ahead. I spent the last 5K trying to catch up to her. She was running just a bit faster than my pace the first half and was slowing a bit. I tried to keep running when she did and to keep running a bit longer when she stopped for walk breaks. I made up distance on her each block, each mile. At the finish, I was just a few steps behind her. I patted her on the back and told her I'd been chasing her for miles and she gave me a good run for my money. If it had been an 11K, I'd have caught my pace bunny.
8)I love that the whole Wilkinson clan came out. I spent most of the first half as a Wilkinson sandwich, with Jack and Brendan leapfrogging with me off the front and Michele and Sparky leapfrogging on the back. Those kids did awesome. We stuck around for the end to cheer the kids, because really, that's what life is all about.... cheering in the next generation and lighting the fire.
|From my sister at the finish. All I see are eyes, boobs, and hips, everything else is a washout.|
|Coming up on the first corner just after the 1 mile|
|Heading into the last mile|
Sunday, June 19, 2011
2. Because of this, I spend my time on the run announcing to the corner marshalls that I'm last. Hopefully they appreciate knowing they can pack it up and go home. Its the least I can do for making them wait for me.
3. This night the water was much warmer than the last one (Tough to get colder, the last one was 54 degrees...). Wore a sleeveless wetsuit for this one.
4. There were a ton of people there this time. And they were still all smoking fast.
5. The swim went well. Felt fast and was able to pass up a couple pace bunnies by the end.
6. I took off with Alison at the beginning. We could walk out quite a ways. Before actually started swimming I was able to walk a few steps ahead of her and declare "I'm winning Alison, better hurry up!" She wasn't amused. :)
7. Took off from transition knowing I was doing really well for time. It isn't often I am out of the water before a bunch of people. Alison encouraged me to swim on the inside of the stream of people, which worked well. I swam out too wide somehow on the middle leg or I think I would have been faster yet.
|From last year|
12. Best thing about Aquathon night is Chipotle afterwards. Had a great supper with the Viemeisters, Zach, Steve, and Jamie. Yummo.
5. Once I took off on my bike, I quickly found my groove. I was out of the park quickly and headed out to the loop. There was no shortage of folks on mountain bikes to pass as I headed out. There are couple good downhills on the way out, but you have to turn right at the bottom of them and head up a monster around the corner. I hate it when there is no chance to enjoy a good downhill.
6. Then came the loop around Enchanted Valley Drive. It sounds very fairy tale-ish. The first part of it is- long winding downhill, coasting forever. Heavenly (but you know when you are headed downhill, the climb back up is never as satisfying). Then comes the climb back out of the valley. Into a headwind. uphill. The biggest hill comes up just before the turn to go back to "the stick" back to Gov. Nelson Park. Mile 15.....ouchie.
7. Headwind followed me back to the park. The bright spot in this is I got to pass a couple of my pace bunnies, including a freakishly fast dude on a commuter bike.
8. Once back to the state park, I was dreading the run. I got to a fork in the road by the ranger station that wasn't marked and I took the left one. I should have taken the right one, but it wasn't marked and since my wave started so late, there was already people leaving and there were pedestrians all over both paths. It ended up OK because it eventually dumped me out where I was supposed to be.
9. The run is a 10K trail run, first through a hilly open prairie, then through a hilly dirt path in the woods. I don't enjoy either type of trail and I especially am not a fan of hills. I sucked it up and ran as much as I could, shooting for a 80/20 ratio with varying success.
10. The last time we did this, it was really hot and the open prairie was insufferable. This time, it was cool, overcast, and had a strong breeze which made for a much better experience, even if I didn't like it much.
11. Shoe choice was poor. I wore my Gel Noosa tri shoes which let in a lot of trail debris. I have a pair of trail shoes, not sure why I didn't remember that I had them and wore them.
12. I was not last (there were I think 5 people finishing longer than me). I beat my PR on the course by 9 minutes, mostly on the run. I've decided I will probably let this course PR stand. If I ever start talking about this race again, please stifle my crazy-talk and remind me that I said I was never doing this race again because the bike is way hard and it's a trail run.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
3. Three. This is how many times Mike and I have competed at the Beloit Biathlon before this race. If you ask Mike, it was two, but he would be wrong.
5. Five. Number of friends racing. It’s always good to see a familiar face on the course, and this is no exception. Mike Wolfgram, Mike Norton, Mike Wimmer, Steve Knox, Brian Morgan – they all did a terrific job.
6. Six. The number of minutes I shaved off my previous PR for this race, mostly on the bike and transitions. Yeah me.
7. Seven. I had a great bike split. Ended up averaging almost 19 mph on the bike and wound up with a rank of 40/121. I wish I could somehow relate that kind of performance to the running legs. This has nothing to do with 6, but I couldn’t come up with a post for 6. I didn’t follow the convention, sue me.
8. Eight. The number of Cousins mini subs I think I saw Mike eat. Man he loves those things. These people do the post-race snacks up right! They also had chips, bananas, oranges, cookies.
9. Nine. The best thing about this race is that it does not start until 9AM. Do you know how much this rocks? There is nothing better than a race that starts later than 7AM. I love my bed and the more time I can spend snoozing in it in the morning, the better.
11. Eleven. The number of miles the bike is advertised as being. It is actually closer to 10. Much like the 2-mile runs, which are actually 1.65. On a positive note, it makes you look very speedy in the official splits!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Eclipsing all of that is knowing that Mike was unable to achieve his goal for that day. He can tell his own story, it's not mine to tell. It's ironic in hindsight that everyone's encouragement and attention to saying "You'll do it this time" were directed at just me most of the time prior to race day. It was a given that Mike was going to get there and be comfortably ahead of me, I was the one who would be racing the stopping of the clock. After all, he is stronger than me, faster than me, can go longer, harder, and endure more suffering than me before breaking. I wish we had had that day instead. Had the tables been turned, it would have been easy for me to concede and support because that was the performance that was expected of me really. I can see that every mention, every picture, every "atta girl" someone sends, crushes his spirit and sends him to dark places. I am not able to experience the joys that come with the achievement because the mere mention feels like rubbing it in Mike's face and I watch him become more and more hurt and distant with each word and picture. I hesitate even to post a race report as I know talking about my own wonderful day will feel like a kick in the teeth for him. I know he is a bigger person than what I am seeing right now, but I can empathize in knowing he is still licking some fairly large wounds.
And so, with no further ado, today opens the next chapter. I am done talking about Ironman until Mike is ready to move forward. The pictures will be archived, thoughts of the tattoo put on hold, the scrapbook mementos and Finisher stickers tucked away for later, and the conversation geared once again to what is on the horizon not what happened in the past. It would be great to celebrate and relive it over and over, but it is not worth the emotional costs at this point in time.
So what's next?
On the short term, I want to continue to work on my weight and lose that last few pounds that seem to be permanently affixed to my ass. Operation Eat Whole begins again today and will hopefully be a giant success without the concurrent pressure of trying to peak my endurance training.
I've also done zero activity for the last week, unless sofa surfing counts. So tonight, weather-permitting, I will try a short run and see where that goes. We'll take it from there, but I am intent on maintaining fitness through the winter. And taking my pup for nice long walks. And finding joy in life every day, because that is what it really is all about.
Brought to you by the letter J-Wim
Fortitudine Vincimus! (Through endurance we conquer!)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wimmers Do Wisconsin -Part Deux
September 12, 2010
Mike Wimmer ~ Athlete #1497
Jennifer Wimmer ~ Athlete # 2692
Race Start: 7 AM from Monona Terrace
2.4 miles/3.8K (2 loop course) in front of Monona Terrace
If you want to see the start, you’ll need to get there early (like by 6:30) There is no parking at the Terrace and parking in the downtown ramps may be tough. You can park at the Alliant Energy Center and take the free shuttle to the Terrace.
Where to watch:
There are several options here. Be aware that these areas are all quite crowded. Think early about where you want to be watching from and ease your way into position.
• from the sidewalk along the lakefront in front of Monona Terrace. (Good lateral view of the swimmers as they pass by twice)
• From the top of Monona Terrace (great view of the “washing machine” from above and there are vendors there selling breakfast items and drinks)
• At the swim exit chute (you can watch swimmers exit the water and get wetsuit stripped)
• If you want to watch the swim exit, please get there right away after the start. This fills up very fast and gets very crowded once the athletes start exiting the water.
Anticipated Finish Times:
Mike: 8:40ish AM.
Jenny : 8:30ish AM
T1 swim to bike transition:
wetsuit stripping at the swim exit in Law Park next to the Terrace building and run up the helix into the Terrace and dress for the bike. You can see this from the “grassy knoll” area. It’s packed there, so you may see us and we might not see you. Stripping is cool to watch though .
Roughly 10-15 minutes??
The Bike: 112 miles/180K start ~ 8:45AM
The course goes from Monona Terrace out to Verona where we do two 40-mile loops before heading back to the Terrace for the run.
The easiest place to watch is probably Verona at the High School aid station. That is roughly mile 50 so there is plenty of time to get there. The riders come by very quickly so it may be difficult to spot specific riders and it’s hard for riders to find you in the crowd, but it is very spectator-friendly here. There are usually area service groups that sell concessions, grilled sandwiches, etc here so bring a few bucks to eat lunch.
There is a free shuttle by the Terrace (corner of Wilson St) that will bus you to Verona. You could also drive to Verona and park by the library.
Good spectator spots on the bike course:
• Verona HS aid station (easiest to get to, bussed in and out from downtown area-see above)
• Mt Horeb HS aid station
• Timber Lane – very steep hill (the 2nd of 3 hills known affectionately as “the 3 Bitches”) This is the best option to actually see us (going very very slowly uphill) but it fills up fast and is a bit more difficult to get to. Athletes go by very slowly here and it is really easy to see them. You have to park in the residential neighborhood and walk down Timber Lane. If you want to go here to watch, ask us about instructions.
• Midtown Road- the 3rd big Hill. This is a less crowded option than
Lunch: You have lots of options here.
In Verona, you can eat at the stands along Main Street in Verona, or if you head south you’ll find some places to eat. You head up the hill to the corner of the course, there is a gas station in walking distance where you can buy a cold soda or snacks.
I recommend that you pack a few snacks and water in a backpack to bring with you. It is important you stay hydrated and nourished – it’s a long day for spectators too.
Anticipated Finish Time: 8 hours (@14 mph avg) ~ 4:45-5pm ~ This is a total guesstimate.
Mike is hoping to be off the bike by 4PM, Jenny by 4:30, but who knows.
T2 (Bike to Run Transition): roughly 5-10 minutes to change clothes/shoes
The Run: 26.2 miles / 42K ~ start 5pm-ish
The run will be more spectator-friendly than the bike. This is a 2 loop course and you should have several opportunities to see us if you move around a little. The finish line is near the Capitol. You can watch runners there, along the square, or further on down State Street. State Street is great because you see the athletes pass down and back. Once you see us running toward the Capital the last time, you will have time to get to the finish to watch us cross the line.
There will be a lot going on in this area, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Find somewhere to eat some supper; there are more options than I can list within easy walking distance. I recommend Ian’s Pizza (sold by the slice) on State Street, especially the Mac & Cheese pizza – YUM!
Realistically, we are looking at finishing the run between and 11pm and midnight, so find a place to entertain yourself, and be sure to find time to sit and rest – it’s a very long day! As the race winds down and it gets darker outside, the spectators usually start to move closer to the finish line and you probably should too. (There can be a shady character or two out there at night, so be safe!)
With all that said, anything can happen and times can be way ahead or behind. Ironman can get the best of people on the bike or more often on the run, so don’t get worried if we get off schedule.
The men’s winners will probably be finishing about 3:30-4:00pm. Women’s winners will likely be 45 minutes or so after the men’s winner.
Unless you are totally into the triathlon scene, spectating is frankly kind of boring. There is a tent by the finish line where you can make signs or you can bring chalk and write encouraging messages on the State St like “only 6 hours left” or “stop puking” or “you paid to do this??”
There is also an IM shop in the Terrace where you can look at or buy mementos or overpriced gear. Let me know if you need our wish list and sizes :)
Tracking your Athlete:
They have computers available in the Terrace where you can check the athlete tracker on http://www.ironmanlive.com/ and type in our numbers if you lose track of us – or if you can’t make it and are following from home. They are also showing it live on http://www.ironmanlive.com/ so if you can’t come and you’re interested you can watch the live feed and see some of the race and the finish line. (Be warned- we tried to use the live feed last week for IM Louisville and it was AWFUL to try to get this to work and only barely got it going before we saw our friend cross the finish line. If you use this, you very possibly might not see anything at all).
Taking care of yourself for race day:
• Wear comfortable shoes with good support and cushioning. You will do a lot of walking; flip-flops or cutesy shoes will not serve you well.
• Get a good night sleep.
• Pack a backpack with a few snacks, a water bottle, some money for snacks/meals, sunscreen, a disposable rain slicker, a light jacket for evening. Remember that you will have to carry it all day, so pack light!
• Be sure to get enough to eat and drink. This is an endurance sport for the spectators too!
• Take time to rest and relax. Find a park bench or piece of shade and get off your feet.
• Enjoy the ambience of the day ~ it can be very uplifting and exciting!
VERY IMPORTANT- We can receive no outside help so please do not help us. Do not hand us anything, including water, a jacket, hat, food, or anything. We may be suffering, but it is our choice. This could cause a disqualification. We paid good money to suffer so let us.
DON’T FORGET YOUR COWBELL BECAUSE YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH COWBELL!!
Many thanks to Mike Wolfgram from whom I pirated the majority of this guide, with some minor adjustments for pacing as he is far faster than we are! http://ironmike08.blogspot.com/2008/08/spectator-guide-146.html