Dan The Iron Man
Waukesha South's very own Mr. Schreier recently completed an epic Iron Man race in Madison. Here is the story of his miraculous journey to the finish line.
Mr. Dan Schreier, the man, the myth, the legend. Well, maybe not the myth, but some of the things he does really are unreal. Mr. Schreier is currently Waukesha South’s AP Calculus teacher, along with instructing AVID and Algebra classes. Not only does he teach, but he is also the head coach of the girls & boys tennis teams. In addition to all that, Mr. Schreier is now going back to school at UW-Madison to get his Master's in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. And to think things couldn't get any crazier, he finished his third Iron Man triathlon this September.
An Iron Man is a strenuous event. It contains a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon (26.2 miles). Competitors are given 17 hours to complete it all. Often, people have to train for 6 months to 2+ years, depending on fitness level. The competitors first start with swimming. In the Madison Iron Man, where Mr. Schreier competed, the 2.4 miles are completed in Lake Monona. After swimming, the participants must bike the 112 miles. The finale is the full marathon through downtown Madison. The emotional end finishes on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, where there is a big celebration for all the finishers.
Our very own Mr. Schreier started training around January 1st, as he follows a 36-week training plan. When it comes to training, he tries to tackle 2 out of 3 aspects of the Iron Man (swim, bike, run) each day. Like most, he has a tough time working out in the morning. With two tennis seasons that fall in the middle of this training period, he tries to work out at night, either after school and/or tennis practice. Sundays are the only days he gets a break from tennis and school, so he tries to make them the days where he can work out the longest.
Despite having a full schedule with tennis, teaching, and his own education to worry about, Mr. Schreier remains steadfast to his workout routine. “It is a sacrifice game. There is always something you can be doing, whether it's school or prep work, tennis, master’s work or training," he said. One thing he has always advocated for was sleep, because it allows the body to be prepared every day. “Honestly, I just try to take it a day at a time and make decisions that I think are most beneficial to me at that point in time.”
Mr. Schreier has found inspiration and motivation through a multitude of people. When running in college, he and his friends would volunteer for the Iron Man, which is what overall inspired him to run it himself in the end. He has also been able to find motivation within his family, who all run too.
Mental toughness is something Mr. Schreier tries to teach everyone in their daily lives, and it all comes into play when he runs. He has learned to develop a mindset that quitting isn’t an option. “The race is long but it goes by somewhat fast. I try to drink it all in.” While running, he likes to remember that the mind and body can withstand much more than we think is possible.
For Mr. Schreier, the running is his favorite part of the Iron Man. He likes to see the big finish at the end, when a community is formed between the racers and observers. The loud music and cheering helps finish off the long 17 hour day, but is all worth it in the end. Throughout the whole ending, whether someone finished last or first, there is a lot of emotion from everybody watching, and it is overall a wonderful sight. “My favorite part was seeing everyone on the run. Running is my favorite part of the three and it’s always the one I’m most prepared for… Having tennis players, family, friends and former students on the course was uplifting.”
After exercising for 17 hours straight, it makes sense that someone could feel sore afterward. For most Ironman runners, the first week is particularly tough. The night after the race, it can be noted that most runners only get 2-4 hours of sleep. To help with his soreness, Mr. Schreier tries to follow an active recovery plan, allowing him to get up and back to running as quickly as possible. Compared to his past two races, Mr. Schreier felt great after completing the triathlon. After learning from past experiences he made sure he was careful throughout the race about eating and drinking.
Through all of it, Mr. Schreier has still been able to find joy in participating. He will likely be running another in the future, and we can’t wait to cheer him on. We are so proud of all the hard work and effort he has put in. He’s truly an inspiration and a role model for the students at South. Congratulations on a great finish, and we can’t wait to support you (and maybe some other former Blackshirts) in the 2020 or 2021 Iron Man.