In today’s Ironman Wisconsin training news, some white trash family stole my backpack while I was swimming at the lake. I’m out there helpless and it’s just like the that old travel checks’ commercial. Total BS by them.  “Hey, how about we take the kids to the lake today and steal some shit?”

Anyway, I hope they put my extra goggles and paddles to use to change their lives for the better.  In the meantime, if you see some loser wearing my glasses around Nashville, feel free to punch him in the nose.

Correction from yesterday’s post: I’ve been informed by Steena at Swim, Bike, Run, Roar, the new hill at Ironman Wisconsin is not “Barton” road, but “Barlow Road,” and have made the change in my previous entry, but still stick to my point that I’m more worried about the lack of fan support there than I am the hill grade.  Not that I’m taking the grade lightly, but you know what I mean.

Now, onto the meat of the Ironman Wisconsin post.

TOP THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT:  The Madison Vibe

I love getting to Madison on Thursday to enjoy the city and the pre-race hoopla.  It’s so cool just hearing the stories.  2700 racers in town that have all been through the same grinding work schedule to get there.  All these people with the same goal.  It’s just a celebration of positivity.  Not to mention my Badgers play on Saturday, and while I’m not going, I love the energy a football game brings to that town.

2nd TOP THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT:  Seeing the lake.  

It’s quite possible I think about Lake Monona more than anyone in the country that lives outside of Wisconsin.  I’ve watched so many swim videos from Ironman Wisconsin over the years and the very sight of the water gives me chills.  I remember when the put out the buoys on Saturday.  It was my first Ironman and I’d never seen how f*cking far it actually looks from the shore.  I was kinda blown away and a little intimidated, probably because you can barely even see the farthest buoy when you’re way down by that bike shop, which is also a pretty awesome place, but they won’t make this list other than right in this little part.  That said, they were in full swing and super helpful giving my bike a last minute tune up.IMG_0580

3rd TOP THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT:  Laying out gear.  

Something about laying all the gear bags out in the hotel room kinda makes it real.  I say to myself that I’m going to keep it simple, but in the end, I always load up extra crap I don’t seem to use.  Especially in Special Needs bags.*  I put like sandwiches, pizza, Tums, a salad, etc.  And it always seems to go to waste because the last thing I feel like doing at Special Needs is stopping to have a meal.  That said, for the Run Special Needs bags, I’ve put extra socks inside and actually stopped to change them because the other ones were so wet from dousing myself with water for 13 miles.  And, you guessed it, the new dry socks were wet in exactly one mile.  Not to mention I could barely get up off the curb after changing them.

4th TOP THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT: The Race Meeting.

Not really excited about the race meeting, but I’ve been missing a lot of important information at my races this year, so I think I’ll be checking it out.  Wait, do they have these for Ironman?  I think they do.IMG_0579

5th THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT:  The Race Expo

To me, this is sort of like hanging out in the clubhouse before a round of golf.  Everyone checking out the gear and thinking trying something new that day will make them better.  There’s shirts and about 8 million other Ironman Branded items you can take home and give to friends that don’t give a rat’s ass about Ironman.  “Hey, I got us an Ironman door mat and candle holder!”  It’s kinda crazy how much stuff they sell, but some of it is cool and it’s sort of the last place you can talk shit, but don’t, really, because you’re more anxious than cocky at that moment.

Of course the race itself excites me, too, but the entire experience is the gem.  It’s Spring Training and everyone has high hopes.  It’s friends, family, and teammates.  It’s a Super Bowl pre-party and, on this particular Sunday, you’ll be out on the field in front of 75,000 fans.

Ironman Wisconsin Helix
This is a wide shot of the helix from near the Swim Exit

* Special Needs Bags are “extra things” you can have about halfway through the bike or run.  Usually it’s stuff like extra tire tubes or water bottles full of your favorite nutrition drink so you don’t have to use the Gatorade they hand out.  I’ve heard of everything from Advil to Beef Jerky.  It’s also a place where people give themselves a little treat or something . . . kinda like an incentive.

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Ironman Wisconsin – What's Got Me Excited

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