Friends, I unexpectedly found myself in Madison, Wisconsin this past weekend. Some unfortunate circumstances had put me out of Ironman Canada (at the end of the bike) and I found myself toeing the line for another IM two weeks later. Ironman take two.
The race got to a less-than-ideal start for me as my arms seemed unusually flat while warming up for the swim. I settled into a pack for the first loop, but faded considerably on the back half and was three minutes off the second pack coming into T1. I tried to hussle up the helix to make up some ground, but apparently my heart rate can only reach 200 so little progress was made.
As I was running towards my bike down the long parking lot I realized that while my arms had felt blah; my legs actually felt pretty good. I had only seen the bike course by car, but I could tell it was honest course that would force everyone to work. As the bike went along I made up ground on some and lost a bit to others, but my overall position in the field had improved. I came into T2 feeling a little fresher than usual and the prospects of a good run seemed well in place.
I started the run in 10th place and had moved up into 6th after a few miles. All seemed well and good, but unfortunately mother nature came calling around 10K into the run and I was forceced to take a number of pit stops between miles 7 and 11. At this point in the race I stopped concerning myself with anyone else and just tried to look after me. In the past,I have made the mistake of focusing too much on others in a moment where I need to sort myself out.
It took a little while, but after another 4-5 miles I started to feel a little better and I had not given up my 6th position. However, 7th place was close behind and 5th was not too far up the road so I tried to give my all in the closing miles to better my position. The effort was good enough to hold my position, but not change it, and I crossed the finish line just under nine hours to take 6th Overall.
My performance in Madison was not my best to date, but I really felt I was able to maximize my day by applying lessons learned in the past. I enjoyed racing in Wisconsin and I would welcome an oppurtunity to return there some time down the road.