I was still flying high coming off last years, "Triple Threat" I completed Ironman's St George in the most brutal conditions in its history and the last year of the full, Wisconsin and set almost a 2 hour PR, and finished up in Ironman Cozumel with the most DNR's in Ironman history in the swim alone-over 300. Note the swim conditions in Coz were due to the severe currents. Therefore I say the swim God's follow me wherever I go.....Hint....Kansas 70.3 2 years ago, Racine 70.3 this year. I welcome them with open arms.
The training year started for me in January when I started the OS-Out Season 14 week plan with EN-Endurance Nation. EN-Endurance Nation This is a very assertive plan that focuses on getting stronger on the bike(Power) and faster on the run(Speed). I did this during the week mainly alone in my basement which is called, "The Pain Cave" and then on the weekend a training buddy-Austin allowed us to set up in his heated garage and we trained together. Some weekends we would have 6 and others we would have ~ 10 and then 6-8 more joining in on the fun on Google Circles.
Our local Tri team-IM4RM was training together for a 100 mile indoor trainer ride called--IronGlüt #2. This is a 100 mile bike ride ride indoor on a trainer and must be completed within 6 hours. So what we would do is an hour of FTP(functional Threshold work) together, then we would watch a racing video that guided us threw the entire film-Often "Bear Mountain" out of New York and would then end with a free ride. We worked the crew up to 4 hours over the winter months. We had peeps joining us from Face Book that we had never met that have become very close friends and now teammates.
Mid April I started into my plan which they call the, "Get Faster Plan" again with Endurance Nation. In my honest opinion this is the hardest 8 week plan I have ever did to date. Again, it concentrates on Power/Pace but much more aggressive. Well, it worked-it pushed my power the closest I have ever been to 300 watts and my Temp pace on the run to around a 6:15 comfy mile. Note at this time I was also working with a local bike coach and really working on sprinting up hill and then being able to hold my pace over the hill and on the flat. Weekly miles on the bike were now pushing 200-250 miles a week. My weekly runs were around 35-40 miles. I was also swimming 2-3 times a week but only around 2500-3500 yard sessions each time.
The "Get Faster Plan" lead to my first half iron of the season and it was my first sub five hour half. Note it was not by a mere few seconds but it was a sub 5 so I was ecstatic!!
In June I started training for Ironman Wisconsin. This was a 12 week plan and again from Endurance Nation. I use their plan then the local coach would incorporate his stuff into this to include a twist here and there on the bike and a few different takes on the swim. During these 12 weeks I was also able to attend a few Tri Ralley's/Camps those being WIBA(Wisconsin Adventure Brick) and the Endurance Nation Tri Ralley. Each of these weeks I pushed my weekly bike miles to 450 and 500 miles, runs to 50-60 miles and my swimming decreased each of these weeks to about 2. I had the opportunity to ride the Wisc bike course throughout the summer around 20 times and it paid off knowing the course well on race day.
My wife and I drove up morning from Altoona, IA. Drive takes right at 4 hours. The last two years we have came up alone cause it is so boring for the kids. Its a great week/weekend for us just to be alone, meet new and old friends, and just hang out with each other. We have stayed on sight at the Manona Hilton and we can't say enough about how convenient it has been just being right their. We arrive, unload, give the car to the valet, and don't see it again till we leave Monday morning. We got checked in and had a beautiful room over looking the lake. Went to get registered for the race and it took at a max 15 minutes. I highly recommend arriving Thursday to get registered vs Friday.
For me is a day to get the bike and bags dropped off ASAP and too the room with my feet up watching football and drinking water with NUUN tabs most of the day. Met up with Troy Morris and his wife for our supper. My goal is no solid foods after 5. My pre race meal is always Pizza. There is a great spot we found that is just down the road from the Hilton. It is less then a 5 minute walk. Bedtime was around 8 and I toss and turn as usual. Up at 0230 for 2 strawberry Ensures ~ 700 calories. Then up at 0400 for 2 more Ensures, coffee, and I had a half bagel with one tablespoon of peanut butter.
For me its now real and I am starting to get a little nervous and just that almost ready to fly feeling. Down to the bike to put on the nutrition. My nutrition on the bike is 2 three hour concentrated bottles on a gorilla cage behind the seat, speedfil with 40 oz of water, Roctane GU's with 2x the caffeine in them, Honey Stinger waffles, and I carry a 6oz bottle of Coke in my pocket on the tri jersey for the last needed sugar rush on the bike. We then go back up to the room to take care of some last minute business, lube up the legs and arms and put on the bottom half of the wet suit. We then walked down to meet the EN team for a team photo and it was time to make our way to the lake.
Front wheel-Zipp Firecrest 404
Rear wheel-Zipp Firecrest 808 with a wheecover
G3 power meter
50/34 compact crank
Keo Look pedals
Laser Tariz areo helmet
Wet Suit: Aqua Gold Cell by Aquaman
Goggles: TYR Nest
Shoes: Asics Gel Nimbus 14
Temp at start 60's and high for the day was 75
Wind started at 12-15 mph
To me it was very humid. Yep it was 82% with a dew point pushing close to 70
Swim: Goal 1:14 or better.........Actual Time: 1:23:52--The water God's followed me again!!!
Coming out of the water my rank for age group was 183!!! Not too hot!!
What I noticed and smiled inside and started laughing out loud was it was windy causing slight white caps which meant for the longest portion of the swim the water would be breaking in our faces and pushing us away from the course. Guess what? That is exactly what happened.
After finally getting in the water after being pushed through the gate like a heard of cattle, I tried not to severe a toe on the rocks we were made to walk on and made my way to the far side of the ski jump and seeded myself 1/4 of the way back from the front in line with the site buoys. Treading water for about 15 minutes, back floating, and people watching was getting old and I was ready to race. The Pro's went, then prior to us racing they sang the National Anthem-LOVED IT!!!! Yep the tears welled up in the goggles and I knew when the cannon fired it was WAR. For me this was the roughest Ironman Swim I have had. I had contact from the beginning to the end. I was 4 stroking then sighting. Finally the first turn came and we all got bunched up and everyone was mooing. The long stretch was brutal and I took a few good strikes to the face but unfortunately I gave several myself. I am not sure but it just seemed like we stayed bunched up and made it that more stressful for everyone. I could feel myself getting really hot in the wet suit. I decided since I breath to the right to move myself to the inside of the buoys and go from there. I was now able to stroke and sight a little better. I had to shorten my stroke up cause of the small white caps and it seemed to really help. Before I knew it we were making the turn home so I decided to watch the bubbles and feet in front of me and not sight. Big mistake I was now about 150 yards away from the damn sighting buoys so took off on my own and set sale for the right course. I swam until my fingers/and both hands were able to strike the rocks below. I then stood up and exited the lake. I was so happy to be out of that lake!!!! Took the wet suit down to the waist, got to the strippers, laid down, and two of them grabbing each of my legs pulled the wet suit off, help me off the ground, handed me the wet suit, and off I went on my 3 mile transition.....oh and all uphill.
I change from the wet jammers to my tri kit, load all the goodies in the back pockets and out the door I went. Stopped to have some sunscreen slathered all over me and then ran the mile to my bike.
Bike: Goal was 5:50.......Actual Time: 5:40:47
Coming off the bike my rank was now 53!!! Now that's means I passed a few peeps on the bike. So after the swim I was 183 and now 53rd.
I have spent so many hours on my bike since January and have had the biggest gains on the bike this year. As stated above I was lucky enough to spend many days and hours on the Ironman bike course so I really knew what I had to do. Last year my bike time was 5:59 and my goal this year was to drop that by at least 10 minutes. Why ten minutes. Well I had 31 minutes of coasting time last year and knew I could decrease that and I was going to ride about 10-12 watts faster this year.
The first 30 minutes for me were rode at a scary #---.666 intensity. NO JOKE. This was pretty much the entire stick where I took the time to feed and drink until my stomach hurt. I knew coming out of the swim I was a bit dehydrated cause I got really hot.
My goal watts were to average around 200 watts and ride around .73 intensity. I came to this # again after riding the course several times and doing it at 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, and .75 intensity. .75 was a little high cause I had trouble running afterwards this summer.
On my joule I took every 30 minutes and turned it into an interval. Every 30 minutes I was eating and drinking. My ave calorie intake is around 675. Yes, you read that right....One GU, One honey stinger waffle and and hour worth of infinit which is 278 calories. I also was drinking about 20-25 ounces of water each hour.
For me the bike path was very dangerous and I remember vividly dodging 4 bike wrecks. It was like peeps were not paying attention, were trying to adjust, drink, or eat and they were all over the path. One person dropped their feed bottle and I am not sure how I missed it cause I swear I seen myself being launched off my bike. I was so damn glad to make it to the parking lot area and get into my own space.
My bike #'s were:
Work: 3459 kJ
TSS: 285.7 (intensity factor 0.742)
Norm Power: 198
Distance: 112.203 mi
Elevation Gain: 5987 ft
Elevation Loss: 5080 ft
Grade: -0.0 % (8 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 486 181 watts
Cadence: 1 110 92 rpm
Speed: 0 46.5 19.9 mph
Pace 1:17 0:00 3:03 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 47 7 lb-in
Altitude: 679 1070 844 ft
Crank Torque: 0 1257 169 lb-in
Temperature: 66.2 73.4 70.0 Fahrenheit
Garmin File can be seen by clicking here...
I had to stop once on the bike during the second loop on the 3 fast rollers. There was a jeep parked in the corn. I stopped to make myself pee cause I couldn't take the bladder being banged around anymore. Well trying to mount the bike on the hill in the wrong gear was ugly and my azz tumbled over sideways. Yep it happened but damn I felt much better.
Going through Verona my goal was to try and make the speed radar hit 30 mph. I stayed completely away from the aid station and just soaked all the cheers of the crowd in. The 3 beotches were not a bother for me and actually was able to stay aero for all of them the first loop then the second loop I came out of aero on the third one. For me that is the hardest one but after cresting that it is very fast all the way home. I was thinking of the wind that was to greet me on the stick. Well, I hit the stick and there was wind but it truly was not that bad. I was actually flying on the way home.
Making my way back in town I was feeling awesome. I ran out of fluids with about 5 miles left but really didn't care cause I was ready to be off the bike.
Finally making my way of the helix...one last insult to the mitochondria before dismounting that baby and getting to hand it off to Samuel Ritter!!!
Ran into the changing room and got the running bag. Changed out of the Tri bibs into a pair of running shorts and a running shirt. Threw on a pair of socks and the shoes. Out the door to the commode to try and urinate with no success. I then thought to myself I have peed once and this could/would get ugly somewhere in the run.
RUN......Goal Sub 4 hours.........Actual: 4:04:03
After the run was completed I went from being ranked 53rd to 37th so I can smile cause I was still passing a few peeps and rewinding my rank.
click here for the Garmin Run File
I got out the chute and was running WAY TO FAST as usual so I made myself really pull in the reigns but still ended up a little fast. I seen several friends that were yelling and that was way awesome and really picks you up. As in training my plan was to try and stay around 8:30-35 minute miles till mile 20 the run the last 10 K as fast as my body would allow me. I was walking through each aid station and alternating between Perform and Water. Every 3rd aid station I was drinking coke. Man I was feeling really good and thought I was going to demolish this marathon. I was lucky enough to run the course a few times this summer so new what was coming up and around the corners. I was able to run up observatory hill and the other hills the first loop. My only walking was during the aid stations. Coming down the chute to start loop 2 I was thinking damn it would be nice to be done. That is pretty damn mean to bring us within a couple respiration's of the finish line just to make us run away from it again. Well we were churning and a burning till mile 17........Then a bear jumped on my back and the thing people call "The Squatch" jumped on my front side. I had developed a blister on each big toe and those MF'ers would scream out loud with every foot strike. I got really heavy and was feeling light headed. I knew I was in deep shit cause I just ran full speed straight into the "WALL". The "SUCK" found me or I found the "SUCK" and it was rearing its ugly head. My blood sugar was low and their was very minimal stores left in my liver or cells. I made to aid stations and started eating and drinking coke after coke after coke, double fisted a few GU's then threw some broth in my mouth and that disgusting stuff came right back out!!! I just couldn't get it down. I was later told by one of the pro's to take it and dump the water in it for it cools it down a bit and makes it a little more tolerable. Well the heaviness disappeared and I was able to start running slowly but could not make it back to my race pace. I knew it was now survival mode and it was on. A few of my miles were like 10:30's and I was now getting frustrated but moved forward. Mile 24 I knew I had two miles left and tried to push it. I was just not successful at this put I was still moving forward. Coming up the block of the capitol felt like I was climbing and never ending mountain but I could now here the voice to soon be saying my name. I became very emotional and kind of started whimpering a little and really tried holding back the tears but it was not successful. I became overwhelmed with many different feeling and just left the mind and body do its thing. I came around the corner and took my last left turn on the run and it was all down hill!!! I started pumping the fist and slapping a few hands and then seen the clock. I then knew this was a PR day for me by almost 5 minutes and like any competitor wanted to just get across the line to stop the clock. I came across the line and came to an immediate stop and had a couple catchers hold on to me cause the body wanted to stop but wasn't sure how to handle it. I became very light headed but it was short lived. I spotted my wife-Alison immediately and again got big ole tears in my eyes and very emotional. I WAS DONE, I WAS A REPEAT IRONMAN WITH AN ALMOST 5 MIN PR on a rough day.
Overall Rank: 285
CONGRATULATIONS, CARL, ON YOUR FINISH!
I had the chip removed from my shoe, was given a couple chocolate milks, and skipped the finishers photo. I wanted to get up stairs, shower, hydrate a bit, and come back out to see my friends finish. I am not able to eat for about 2 hours afterwards cause I get nauseated.
The blisters I mentioned above turned into actual very large blood blisters. I have never once had a blister on the side of my large toes like that and would really like to figure out what caused it cause I would rather not feel that unnecessary pain again.
I knew my day was complete but several training partners were still on the course and I really wanted to see everyone finish. It was a true treat and it's something I will remember.
In closing I would like to THANK my wife-Alison JC Noftsger for always supporting me and pushing me when I was down and broken. Without you my love none of this would be possible. Thanks for putting up with all the training and traveling I did!!! To my son: Keegan and my daughter: Olivia-THANKS for allowing me to be away during the early mornings and for never complaining too much. To my coaches, my teams EN, IM4RM, and BOOM!!! To Kyle Robinson of Kyles Bikes and his entire staff, Mike and Tom from the Altoona Campus and way too many to name....all my training partners-----THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!
To the BOOM!!! team be very proud of yourself and hold your heads high weather you DNF'd, PR'd, or completed your first IRONMAN. The hardest part is making it to the start and toeing the line. I am looking forward to following everyone again this year and giving my advise. I am not racing Wisconsin next year but instead doing the inaugural Ironman Chattanooga.