This is a blog I wrote about a month away from Ironman Wisconsin, but never posted because I thought it might jinx me. I also thought it was outlandish, especially because I had covert designs on being a long-shot for a slot at Kona (10:37 was the magic number in my age group). As it turned out, Kona was silly talk, but considering I finished in 11:58, I don’t feel as bad about actually “saying” this stuff and never beat myself up for aiming high. Following are my unedited predictions and actual times at Wisconsin.
SWIM PREDICTION FOR IMWI
I swam Muncie 70.3 in 37 minutes and felt like I took awful lines. Hopefully it won’t be so confusing at Wisconsin (it was and more). I think the Muncie set-up was nice and anxiety free because everyone was so spread out, but Wisconsin should offer more swimmer-ahead-of-me sighting and less chance that I will get way off course. I also hope to get caught up in the man-made-current.
37 minutes at Muncie and I felt good at the end. I believe I can be a little under double that, especially since I have swam a lot more since then and feel like my swimming is much stronger now.
Swim Prediction: 1:10 (Actual IMWI swim time 1:20)
BIKE PREDICTION FOR IMW
I know the bike will be tough, but I feel like I am going to rise to the occasion. I’ve done 110 on Natchez trace in the rain in under 6 hours. I really feel like 95 miles in isolation on the Trace will be about the equivalent of Wisconsin. Add the crowd, etc and I’m thinking I can have a pretty good bike split. My ass is more prepared and as long as the conditions are right, I’ll be ready to attack with wisdom and not go over my limits.
Bike Prediction: 5:45 (Actual IMWI bike time 6:03)
RUN PREDICTION FOR IMWI
At Muncie 70.3 I really did feel pretty strong on the run. First and second half paces of the run were 8:12 and 8:35, but thought I could negative split if it weren’t for the burning feet. If my feet hold up, I really think I can fight through the rest of the pain and run a decent marathon. I could be completely fucked up on this thought, but I think on a perfect day I can hold a 9 minute pace. I think 10 is probably more reasonable, but also know that anything can happen out there. I’m gonna side in the middle of that and go with a 9:30 pace.
Run: 4:09 damn… we’ll see… I’d sure like to get that below 4. (Actual IMWI run time 4:23)
So… with transitions that brings me in around 11:15 or so, which would be phenomenal, but not Kona…. I would need to cut about 30 minutes off to be in that discussion and it will obviously have to happen on the run. When I think back to Muncie I know I could have done an 1:46. Times 2 that is 3:32 for the marathon. Yikes… I would need a 3:40 to be in the Kona discussion. This seems unreasonable, but like I said, I think my legs will hold up, it’s just the other things. Or, I could be totally crazy. I’m way over thinking this.
Predicted time 11:15 (Actual IMWI Time 11:58:58)
POST RACE THOUGHTS
I was a little ahead of myself with these predictions, but shit happens. In all honesty, a 45 minute miss isn’t as far off as I think it would have been had I hit my swim time. Right or wrong, that 1:20 swim put me in “play it safe mode” because, as the race progressed, a 12-hour goal seemed most “reasonable.” A 1:10 swim raises the stakes and likely would have made me take a few more chances on the bike to get that number closer to 5:45. That’s a reasonable 28 minutes right there and may have had me focused on sub 11:30 versus sub 12. The run was a wild card, but in retrospect I believe I could have knocked off another 10 minutes if I had the 11:30 target in front of me.
It’s easy to sit here and say these things, but talking it through has been a major key in my progress. I like to learn and keep pushing for higher levels. In retrospect, I think I ran a smart race. I could have pushed bigger gears on the bike and cut some time, but doing my first Ironman in sub-12 is a huge accomplishment. I am very happy with that time, but far from satisfied.