If you missed the first part of this two-parter, check out Days 1 & 2 here.
On Sunday, the last day of the WIBA event, the schedule was to run one loop of the two loop course. This was perfect as I had a 2 hour long run on my schedule.
We met at the top of Monona Terrace at 7:00AM. While we hung around, we exchanged stories from the previous day’s bike ride. Everyone I talked to was happy with how their ride went and the general consensus was that the course was a lot of fun to ride. I, as were many of my fellow WIBA-ers, were pleasantly surprised at how not sore we were. My legs were a little tired, but overall I was still feeling pretty fresh.
Before getting started, Robby and Stu gave the group an overview of how the transition area works for IMWI. From what I have heard, the IMWI transition is fairly unique compared to other IM races. The actual transition areas are indoors rather than outside under a tent. Also, the time spent in transition is a bit longer simply because of distance that you need to cover.
We all took off together and I settled in with the 8:30 pace group. This group, of about 10 runners included Skip and Jesse from the previous day’s ride, was led by Stu (of Simply Stu podcast fame). He was the perfect leader for a group because he is not only a Madison resident but also has raced IMWI 3 times. He went from a 16:50 his first year down to a 12:40 in third year! Talk about improvement. He talked pretty much the entire time about the run course and race in general as well as answering any questions people had. It made the time fly by.
The main topics on the run were about different types of nutrition and managing nutrition. I thought I would share some of the tips.
- Don’t drink the cola until you absolutely have to. The cola they have at aid stations on the run can be a lifesaver, but if you can at least wait until the second loop to take it, you’ll be better off because once you start drinking it, your body is going to start craving more.
- Try chewing peppermint gum or eating peppermint at the end of the bike. Stu mentioned this as something Lindsay Corbin started that has been catching on. Peppermint (or ginger if you don’t like peppermint) helps to settle the stomach and in a way cleanses the palate from all the nutrition you take in on the bike.
- Find some real food alternatives. Stu’s favorite included boiled red skin potatoes (with the skins removed), drizzled in olive oil and coated in parmesan cheese and a sandwich made with croissant, Canadian bacon, cream cheese, and jelly. I can’t say that either options sounds super appealing but they both sound jam packed with energy.
- Pack a second pair of shoes and socks in your special needs run back. You may not get this bag back after the run, so don’t put a new pair of shoes there, but a second pair can be a huge lifesaver and not only if it is raining. After 13 miles of sweating and running through wet aid stations, a dry pair of shoes could really improve the 2nd loop.
- Freeze a Gatorade and put it in your bike special needs bag. When you pick it up, you will be rewarded with a Gatorade slushy.
Overall, the run course was fairly nice. There are a couple of out and backs to add on miles that I am sure are mentally tough on race day but aren’t the worst thing in the world. Stu, unnecessarily, kept apologizing for all the construction on the course. Because Madison is a college town, most of the road construction projects happen during the summer. With the number of streets under repair, the course is going to be as smooth as butter come race day.
This course is a great course for spectators and from what I have heard, the crowd support is crazy insane. Stu pointed out a couple of his favorite spectating spots that I have circled in green below. Both spots allow you to see the runners at multiple times throughout the run.
As we finished up the first loop, we made a loop around the Capitol. This loop either begins your second loop or brings you right down to the finishing stretch. As we ran the loop, I just imagined myself turning the corner and seeing the finish line right in front of me. We ended up finishing with exactly an 8:30 pace. At the top of Monona Terrace, I decided that I wanted to run down and then back up one of helixes just to see what is like. On race day, we will have to run up the helix after the swim and then bike down and back up the other helix, so I wanted to get a feel for it. Everyone else ended up joining me and we ended up racing to top. I think that counts as both our hill workout and speed workout of the day.
After the run, I hurried back to the hotel. Breakfast was served until 10:00AM and I was starving. I managed to make it back just in time for some scrambled eggs and hash browns. After breakfast, I showered up, and began the long ride home after a great weekend.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a non-triathlon post coming up later this week.