Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
84F / 29C
Total Time = 13h 41m 55s
Overall Rank = 55/
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 1075/
Pre-race routine:

I stayed at Galt House (Host Hotel), and it was really nice to have everything really close, in the same building. I ate pasta on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

On Saturday, we swam about 500 yards in the Ohio River, Biked 7.5 miles on River Road, and then Ran 1.55 miles. Everything seemed to check out ok.

Drank two bottles of "The Right Stuff" on Saturday afternoon and evening.
Event warmup:

Alarm went off at 4:00. Ate a Banana, took another bottle of "The Right Stuff", and then ate a Powerbar. I met the other T3'ers at 4:30 in the Lobby and headed down to the Transition area.

Unfortunately, I forgot my Bike Special Needs Bag which only consisted of 4 plastic containers of "Infinit" powder to mix for the 2nd half of the bike.

I felt strangly calm, especially considering my last Ironman ended in a DNF swim. But today, because of our training, I was ready for the day.
  • 1h 46m 54s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 34s / 100 yards

It took us about 25 minutes to get to the start of the Time Trial start. Once again, as we were moving to the start of the race, I felt very calm and confident. As we got to the dock, and began jogging to the water, I was excited and ready to go.

The first portion of the swim was very calm. I had a few collisions with other swimmers, but I tried to stay way to the right to avoid congestion. As I got to the top of Toehead Island, I noticed that a few people were standing up and walking. Stood up, adjusted my goggles, and then went back down into freestyle swimming.

As I rounded Toehead Island, I again stayed way to the right. I didn't quite make it to Indiana, but I was probably closer than 95% of the others in the race.

Even though every race official always said "DO NOT EXPECT ANY CURRENT IN THE RIVER", I didn't believe them. I fully expected a current to push me to the finish BUT I WAS WRONG. In fact, I've heard of many people having their best swims at Louisville, but I could tell this was going very slow for me.

As I climbed out of the water, I looked at my watch and saw 1:45. Then I looked at the distance, and found that I had swam 2.75 miles.
What would you do differently?:

Stay closer to the action, and practice staying on track.
Transition 1
  • 09m 54s

Felt so good to be out of the water. I knew it was a VERY slow swim, and just wanted to get out of there, and on the bike.

I felt I already had a good suntan from training so I bypassed the sunscreen guys. ... and I'm glad I did.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 23m 8s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.54 mile/hr

In my previous long training rides, I always got caught up in races with faster riders. So my theme for Ironman was to ride easy, and NOT race, trying to keep my pace around 18mph.

I had also earned a reputation for staying in my big chain ring for most of my training rides. Today, I planned to use both rings equally.

I started the race with Infinit in my front aero 20oz bottle, and both 24oz bottles behind my seat. I also had 40oz of water in my Speedfil. I successfully drank 20oz of Infinit each hour, and an equal amount of water. As I approached the Special Needs bags, I remembered that I didn't have mine so I started taking Ironman Perform as a substitute for Infinit. Fortunately, I seldom have any stomach issues so everything felt good.

One nice thing about being a slower swimmer is that I get to pass lots of people on the bike. This gave me tons of confidence, and made me want to push the bike, but I also remembered that I need to take it easy IF I wanted to have anything left in my legs for the run.

It was so cool to see my family three times on the bike course. I felt bad that I couldn't stop and talk, especially when I saw other athletes stopping and talking to their families, but I knew they understood that I had "Unfinished Business" and needed to keep moving.

I LOVE MY SPEEDFIL!!!! I learned that it is important to communicate with the aid station volunteers, yelling at them (nicely) to remove the bottle cap on the water. This allowed me to shove the bottle into my speedfil and I never needed to plant my feet on the ground. At one point however, I did need to stop for about 15 seconds to open an Ironman Perform bottle to put in one of my 24oz bottles.

Like so many others, I was shocked at how hot the bottom of my feet felt on River Road. I had this sensation during one training ride, but this day was even worse. I worried that it would carry on to my run, but after dismounting the bike, I never thought about it again.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I may have been able to push a bit harder, but on this day, with the heat in the coming marathon, I felt it best to take it easy.
Transition 2
  • 06m 28s

T2 was fast. I grabbed my bag, ran into T2, and realized I only needed to lube my toes, switch socks, put on my shoes, and grab my running hat. I bypassed the sunscreen team again, and ran out.

Once again, it was so encouraging to see T3 families there yelling for us. Todd Petri told me that Kathy was only a couple minutes ahead of me, so I took off trying to catch up.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 15m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 02s  min/mile

As I exited the Transition, I felt tired, but also felt comfortable and ready for a marathon. As I got on the bridge, I met Kathy, and we both felt good, but I could tell she was looking very strong.

As I hit the turnaround on the bridge, I suddenly felt that my quads were ready to cramp so I backed out of the pace, and stuffed cold sponges on my quads under my tri-shorts. This helped a bit, but I still felt they were ready to cramp so next time, I stuffed ice under the shorts. Eventually, I used every aid station to dump ice water down my shorts. So much for the cramping issue.

Kathy and I planned to do a 3:30 run / 1:30 walk. Even though I felt I could have initially pushed harder, I stuck with the plan. After 4 or 5 miles, I started looking for excuses to walk more, and I did.

It was so helpful to see so many T3'ers out on the course. If I happened to be walking as a T3 jersey approached, it made me start running.

As I was within 1/2 mile of the final turnaround, I saw Kathy again. She was temporarily struggling, but I knew I couldn't catch her because I was feeling weak too. I hit the turn around, did my share of walking for a few more miles, but then started to feel better. I ran most of the final 3 miles, bypassing the final aid stations.

For the past six months, I had planned my finish line approach. I was going to high-five the crowd on both sides, and then look up, point to God, and thank Him for all that He's done for me. But somehow, like all too often, I forgot about God when I got to the finish line.

And it was such a good feeling to see Bob & Lynn at the finish line. As always, they are just amazing in their selfless giving for all of us.

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

After the volunteers handed me off to my family, I stumbled a bit, and of course that caused some concern so I went to the Medical Area for observation. They quickly determined that I was dehydrated so I got 2 bags of the (very popular) IV. I then saw Kathy in the Recovery area and we had a chance to talk about our races.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat may have been a factor, BUT I have to say that I never felt bothered by the heat throughout the day. I felt like it was a normal summer day, with average temperatures. Yet, according to almost everyone, the temperatures reached into the lower 90's, so that may have contributed to my need for walking more than I had planned in the mid-section of the race.

Event comments:

Several years ago, James, Chris & Pat had a vision for the Tremont Triathlon Team. Without their vision, I would never have entered or finished this Ironman. With 21 T3 athletes on the course, this day was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I also need to thank Kathy Petri who allowed me to ride along on her training plan with her Triathlon Coach (Val Gattis, Victory's Edge Multisport Training). Since December, Kathy kept me accountable to the training plan, and pushed my training further than ever before. Because of this, I rode twice as many miles, swam twice as many miles, and ran more than any single year in the past.

  • .. and yes, I am soooo thankful to God for my health in these "Golden" years. When I was in my 30's and 40's, I never would have imagined that I could still be PR'ing in my 50's. Thank YOU so much!!!!

  • Profile Album

    Last updated: 2012-09-07 12:00 AM
    01:46:54 | 4156 yards | 02m 34s / 100yards
    Age Group: 143/
    Overall: 2248/
    Performance: Below average
    Suit: Speed Suit
    Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
    Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
    200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
    Breathing: Good Drafting:
    Waves: Navigation: Bad
    Rounding: Bad
    Time: 09:54
    Performance: Good
    Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
    Jump on bike: No
    Getting up to speed: Average
    06:23:08 | 112 miles | 17.54 mile/hr
    Age Group: 80/
    Overall: 1357/
    Performance: Good
    Wind: Little
    Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 70
    Turns: Good Cornering: Good
    Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
    Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
    Time: 06:28
    Overall: Good
    Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
    Jumping off bike
    Running with bike Good
    Racking bike Good
    Shoe and helmet removal Good
    05:15:31 | 26.2 miles | 12m 02s  min/mile
    Age Group: 55/
    Overall: 1075/
    Performance: Good
    Course: Bridge run + Out & Back X 2
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Good
    Mental exertion [1-5] 4
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    Good race? Yes
    Course challenge Just right
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time? Yes
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? Yes
    Post race activities: Average
    Race evaluation [1-5] 5