I am still not sure how I want to write this report since I did not have the race I wanted but it still wasn’t a total loss. But first I wanted to give thanks to those who supported me during this Ironman ride. First, I want to thank my girlfriend who had to put up with all of the early morning and early nights and me not being able to go out ever and not wanting eat anything but salads. I also want to thank my parents for coming to all of my races and supporting me. And my friends who have looked the other way at all the times I have not been able to go out because of training and racing.
I also want to thank the Snapple Triathlon team for selecting me this year and I apologize for not crushing dreams at Ironman Wisconsin! And also a HUGE thanks to all of our great sponsors! All of the gear, nutrition products, and support made this all possible!
Lastly, I want to thank my coach JonnyO for getting me to the start line with the fitness needed to put on a good show just couldn’t get it done on the day. But I know that the future will bring some good results!
Now I guess I should get to the report…
First I will give some thoughts that went through my mind during my walking during the marathon. “Well this feels good, looks like if I run a good marathon I have a chance.” “This perform is warm and this water is too.” “Well let’s just walk this one aid station and get some calories in.” “Well I am NEVER going to do another Ironman, what’s the point?!” “I think I can run it in to the finish so let’s book it and if I collapse so be it.”
So as you can see I had a wide range of thoughts, as most do, during the marathon. I came off of a pretty good swim, a not so good bike, so I had some time to make up if I wanted to qualify for Kona. I want to make this short and sweet because I don’t want to relive the race too much.
Swim: 59:49 (1:32 min/100 meters 17th AG/85th Overall)
I was expecting to swim about an hour based on my half swim times and my training. I started off all the way on the inside about 15 yards from the buoy line. I was the furthest person so the left so I knew I would have a pretty clean start. Got going and got into a good rhythm and just kept swimming. It was pretty nice that I didn’t really think,”wow this is a long swim!” I tried to stay on some feet but it didn’t seem like anyone was swimming straight, or maybe I wasn’t. My calf started to cramp a bit so every now and then I would flex my ankles to try to stretch it out. Got out of the water and saw my time and thought “right on schedule”. Got to the wetsuit strippers then started up the helix when I felt my right glute start to lock up, “oh sh*t!” I was hopeful it would release and let me ride but I was not that positive. Love my Xterra Vendetta wetsuit! I have had my best times this season wearing it and would not wear anything else!
Bike: 5:43:47 189 NP (19.55 MPH, 25th AG/182rd Overall)
Got to my bike and the glute was not releasing so I had to stop and stretch a few times. I did have some thoughts about dropping out right then because I did not want to have the same struggle of a race I did in 2012 but quickly told myself I would give myself an hour and if I was still hurting by then we would revisit that thought. But thankfully after about 10 miles it released but it still didn’t go away completely so I just couldn’t generate the power I wanted. I knew my chance of finishing top 3 in my AG would depend on my run so I kept riding conservatively and letting people pass me.
The hills weren’t as bad this year and I kept them nice and easy then hit the downhills like my coach told me to and it was a fun way to ride. I did not have any jitters hitting top speed which was 42.5 but I think I could’ve gone faster if I wanted. I kept ticking off miles and getting my Osmo nutrition in and felt ok coming off the bike. I knew I was behind where I wanted to be time wise but figured if I rode decent and got my nutrition down I could run a good marathon to catch up.
Got off the bike, ran through transition, made a quick bathroom stop then headed out with the legs feeling pretty good. I also used a “homemade” Louis Garneau skin suit top to get a bit more aerodynamic and get some more sun coverage and it worked. I found an old cycling skin suit at a bike shop then cut the bottoms off. It was a bit tough to put on when wet but it worked! No sunburns!
Run: 3:54:29 (8:56 min/mile, 20th AG/154th Overall)
Coach told me to go on a nice easy run to start the race so that’s what I tried to do. I kept having to slow myself down the first few miles but I was talking to myself to make sure I was going easy. All was going well until about mile 9 when my stomach started to get unsettled. That never happens to me so I got a bit worried. Then at mile 12 I walked an aid station to get calories in since even though I tried to get in fluids everything was warm so it made it tough to drink or eat anything. I had some miserable middle miles where dropping out came into my head again but I started to walk with someone who felt like me and we chatted a bit and both kind of said “if we have to walk it in we walk it in”. So I kept putting one foot in front of the other and tried to think positive.
At some point I told myself to stop being negative Nancy and try to have some fun. So I started to play the high 5 game and give everyone who wanted a high 5 a high 5. That helped a bit then at about mile 20 a little girl had a sign that said “tough here and get a speed bust” (or something along those lines). So I of course jokingly, or so I thought, hit it and started to run. I figured it would only last a little bit but I quickly realized that my stomach wasn’t hurting. Well great! My girlfriend and parents were waiting at like mile 21 and I knew they realized that something went wrong so I got to them and gave them the run down and told them I would be able to keep up at least 9 minute miles to the finish.
So with my legs hurting like hell but working and my stomach feeling better I started to run again. And for the last 6 miles I kept a sub 8 minute pace and when I got to the last few miles I just took off. I knew I was hurting but I just wanted to be done. I got into the finishers chute with a woman in front of me so I slowed down to give her her own finish and I started to give out some high 5s. I was looking for my girlfriend and parents but couldn’t find them. I guess I looked right at them but didn’t realize. Now it was my turn to cross the finish. “Jeremy Rielley, a teacher from Chicago, Il you are an Ironman!”
Finish: 10:46:26 (20th AG/154th Overall)
Right after the race I was obviously VERY disappointed because I trained all year and pretty much put all of my eggs in one basket. But after a few days of relaxing and thinking I realized all was not lost. I had a good swim, a decent bike and a good finish to my race. Now I am trying to figure out how I want to attack next season. My coach and I have been talking about doing another Ironman but doing it later in the season and not making it the only big race of the year or we do an Ironman and make it just another race. Now that race will never be “just another race” but having some other big races in the early part of the year and summer take some pressure off of the Ironman result. My bike accident put a lot of pressure on Ironman Wisconsin because I lost a few races while recovering so I basically only had two big races in the year which can lead to a lot of disappointment if one does not get the desired result.
Now time to recover then get back into some loose training and find some running races and maybe bike races for the rest of the year then hit the winter hard with a good block of training on my weaknesses!