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IMWI Race Strategy


I am two weeks post Ironman Vineman. Which means I am 4 weeks and 1 day away from Ironman Wisconsin. Did I realize these events were 6 weeks apart when I signed up? Racing in California was for the venue. It's gorgeous, I wanted to experience it. The swim was a dream, the bike was challenging, hilly, but biking through the country vineyards felt like a unique opportunity. And the run was hard; it made me proud to be an Ironman. My strategy was simple, enjoy California.
And I did.

Racing in Wisconsin feels crazy. I've heard/read that it's a tough course. Top 5 of the toughest Ironman courses as a matter of fact. It's going to be a beast. When I signed up I probably took a deep breath and jumped. Have my wings grown on the way down? Am I ready for this challenge?

Planning my race strategy, I work backwards...

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I'm happiest on the RUN. The run hurts the most. Emotions are a roller coaster. And it sounds like the course is too... "The run course is quite challenging with multiple hills on each lap." This is somehow both daunting and thrilling. Part of me questions my sanity and part of me bellows, bring it on!
The run course is also known for having the best spectators on the Ironman circuit. We cruise downtown Madison, the University of Wisconsin campus, Camp Randall Stadium, State Street and the scenic path alongside Lake Mendota. I'm going to use this as motivation ~ support.

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The BIKE scares the hell out of me. I'm not horrible on the bike, but I'm not fast either. I have quite a bit of bike time under me since GOBA. I hit centuries pretty regularly and wind doesn't scare me. You know what does scare me? "...loops are extremely hilly, with many tough climbs and turns on each lap." I don't know how much climb I have in these girls (my legs). IMVine was 4,000 feet of climbing on the bike. I did okay in 6 hours and 20some minutes. I felt it on the run though for sure. IMWI has 5,000 feet of climbing. I guess I can expect a 7 hour ride or so. I don't feel like my training ground is comparable to the hills I'll meet in Wisconsin. I truly hope what I gained in California will spill over to Wisconsin. Funny that I basically used an Ironman as a training race for another Ironman. Insert the CrAzY!!
I just want to come off the bike strong, feeling satisfied with my effort, and not exhausted for the run.

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SWIM strategy is usually survive. I'm feeling pretty confident in the water lately. Vineman really helped. I had such a great swim over there. But I also got a little break with the water being too shallow in one spot to swim. There will be no break in Wisconsin. I'm going to start slow, stay steady, maintain comfort, and get it done. 2.4 miles, do not stop. Stay calm.

This will be my 11th Ironman. Just because I've done 10 doesn't mean I can kill the 11th. There are too many factors to go in over confident. I raced with humble confidence in California. I don't feel the  same for Wisconsin. I feel more like, what the fuck was I thinking, who do I think I am, how can I even!? Fear. And that's exactly why I will go do it.