Ironman Louisville - Triathlon

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
89F / 32C
Total Time = 14h 56m 40s
Overall Rank = 1798/2600
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 227/274
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 4, and actually slept pretty well the night before. I had everything laid out, drank about 1/2 a bottle of Naked Blueberry smoothie between waking up and getting in line for the race. I got dressed and headed to transition. In transition, I got my water bottles ready, then headed off to the swim start. It's a good walk from transition to the start, with a long line of athletes.
At the swim start, I waited in line for awhile for one last trip to the bathroom, then dropped off my morning clothes bag, and walked a very long way to the end of the swim start line. It was probably 1/2 mile or so to the end. Then, it was just a matter of waiting for the start. We heard the cannon go off for the Pro Start, watched them fly past in the water, then heard the race cannon start and the line started moving. The line moved really quickly after that, and we were at the start in no time.
Event warmup:

No warmup, just waiting in line.
  • 1h 14m 18s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

This was probably my best swim ever, but also the toughest. Because of the unique start, there is a constant stream of people. This was good and bad: it meant that sighting was easy because you just stayed with the pack, but I was also fighting contact and dodging swimmers the whole way. I've never had a swim with so much contact, but I dealt with it pretty well. I just kept my head down, and focused on trying to have good technique. About half an hour in, I felt like I hit a pretty good rhythm and knew I'd be fine for the rest of the swim. By the time I crossed under the 2nd bridge, I knew I'd had a decent swim; my arms were tired, but I told myself I wouldn't need them anymore. I was pulled out of the water by a volunteer, and was thrilled when I saw the time on my watch.
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing, this was a 10/10 swim for me.
Transition 1
  • 10m 1s

I took my time, could've gone faster, but I knew it was more important to be ready than fast. I changed from my swim shorts to my tri top/bottom, lubed up, and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really
  • 6h 41m 25s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.74 mile/hr

I started out the bike feeling good, no problems. I had my Speedfil full, and two water bottles behind my saddle. I took a Perform and a Bonkbreaker at the first aid station, and made sure I needed to refill water. My nutrition plan was this: 1 Perform and 1 Gu Roctane/hour, with as much water as I could drink, at least 8 oz. when I took a Gu. Clearly, as you'll see later, this plan didn't work. I'm not sure why yet, because it had in training.
Soon after the start, there's an out and back section that is pretty steep, and scary with so many bikes. I did fine navigating that, hit 40 mph on the downhill. I focused on working through the gears and making sure not to over-exert myself on the uphills. Then, got out of that and headed out to LaGrange, still feeling great. I'd say I felt 100% for the first 30-50 miles. Went through LaGrange and really loved all the fans there, nice and loud. I saw my family at the turn in Sligo, which was awesome. I did my 2nd loop and was still feeling fine, but it was the last 20-30 miles when I felt like there was a problem, a pretty familiar one. My stomach was feeling tight and full, and it took effort to get anything down, like I was forcing water down. I can't see how I was dehydrated, as I peed multiple times during the ride. I just kept trying to drink, as I knew I needed fluids, but it was a battle. I knew my bike split was going to be made on the last 22 miles, but I just didn't have it: Mile 85 was the last time I was able to get my HR up to 125, from there on my HR went down to as low as 112. I so wanted to push, and just couldn't.
What would you do differently?:

I have no idea, this is what I have to figure out for next time. This was a nutrition that had worked for me before, on similar hills and in similar weather. I'm going to figure this out...
Transition 2
  • 13m 15s

I knew I wasn't doing well. I, thankfully, found a seat right in front of a fan and went ahead and changed into my running shoes, dried out my shorts, re-applied chamois cream, then just sat for a few minutes and tried to get myself together. I poured some water on my cooling sleeves, then headed out, still not feeling well.
What would you do differently?:

Not much I could have done.
  • 6h 37m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 11s  min/mile

Ok, here's where the real drama starts. I started out just walking at first, but I saw my family and didn't want to walk past them, so started running. I was hoping that if I took in fluids and some food, my stomach would re-adjust. I kept up the running, making sure to walk every aid station and get water, Perform, and whatever food seemed appealing: I took some orange slices, potato chips, pretzels. I knew the avg. pace for my AG was around 12:00/mile, so I figured if I could hold around that, I'd have no problem. I was actually doing that pretty well for the first 15 miles, holding between 11-13"/mile, which was tolerable. I'd still finish just fine, just a little longer than planned, maybe 13:30, or 14:00 if worse came to worse. Then, between Miles 15 and 16, I got lightheaded and started seeing stars, and I knew I was in trouble. I went to a curb and sat down, knowing it was better to take a timeout, recover, lose the few minutes I'd be sitting, and then push on. thing I knew, I was waking up on the pavement, with people telling me not to move. I remember thinking, "I passed out. F&*^."
Two medics, a great volunteer, and a police officer were there helping me. The medics told me an ambulance was on the way, and I immediately told them no. I asked if I could refuse, and one of them told me this was America, I couldn't be forced to do anything. So, I said that I just needed a little while to get myself together. They took my blood pressure, 102/56, which wasn't great, but I was so close. They asked if I wanted a bandage for my head, which I had banged up when I passed out, and I said no. The volunteer said, "You sure? It looks bad." I asked the medics if it would DQ me, and they said no, so I took the bandage, got up, and headed out, actually feeling better than before I sat down. I looked at my watch, knew I still wasn't in danger of missing the cutoff, and starting running slowly. Looking at my splits, I was able to run until Mile 20, when I started to feel the same way, and sat down. At that point, I realized I was going to need to walk the rest. I still had plenty of time, but I knew that if I passed out, all the willpower in the world wasn't going to get me across the finish line. So, it was time to walk. I knew I wasn't doing so great: I wasn't sweating, and I wasn't hot. I took in water, even though I wasn't thirsty, and tried Perform. But it still felt like I was forcing it, so I didn't take in much.
I knew I looked like a monster, with a busted face, but, at this point, I started seeing people worse off than me: people on the side of the road getting help, and, even worse, people with the glow rings, which meant they were on their first loop...with 2 1/2 hours to go. I felt so bad for a lot of them: I knew so many of them wouldn't make 13 miles in 2 hours. I was really feeling bad about all the people who would be worried about me: I knew they'd see on Athlete Tracker that I was having problems. I'd seen Nate after I got up from passing out, and told him what happened, but made sure he knew I wasn't stopping. I knew my parents would be worried. My amazing parents ended up walking out to find me, and we walked the last 2 1/2 miles together. It really helped to have them along giving me support. I felt ashamed of my performance, like I'd let everyone down, but I wasn't stopping. Anything was better than a DNF. I collected myself at the Finish Line turn, zipped up my tri top, and ran through with some dignity. I'd earned that finish line. It was bright, loud, and amazing, just like I'd thought it would be.
What would you do differently?:

No idea yet...wear a helmet?
Post race
Warm down:

I went and sat down after a really great volunteer guided me through getting my shirt, hat, and photo. I said I didn't need medical help, but then my dad showed up with a guy in a wheelchair and told me I was going to the med tent; he wasn't asking. So, I took a ride in the wheelchair, feeling silly. I got into the med building, in the Conference Center, and it was like a Civil War triage center: everyone on cots, some people doing really badly, some doing ok. I got a cot, then got help from a couple nurses and a doctor, who were all great. I made sure to joke with them; I couldn't imagine what they thought about all of us crazy a-holes who paid for this. They took my blood pressure, 72/56, which isn't great. I got IV fluids, and felt like a new man, even had to pee immediately. They took a look at my head, said I didn't really need stitches, or anything, flushed them out to make sure there wasn't gravel or grass in there, and then told me if I could hold down fluids, I was free to go. I drank some Perform, talked to a guy next to me from Wisconsin, who had been feeling dizzy and nauseous, and then headed out. My parents had collected my stuff from transition, they really were amazing. I got back to the finish line just in time to see the last finisher of the day, 15:59:40...amazing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Obviously, nutrition, but I don't know the answer. I was as trained as I could've been. I just have to figure out how my stupid stomach works.

Event comments:

The volunteers were AMAZING. They were extremely supportive, helpful ,and positive. They even knew when to let me be crazy and back off. If you needed help, they were there. If you didn't, they let you do your crazy race. Seriously, a fantastic race crew all around.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-12-14 12:00 AM
01:14:18 | 3800 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 141/274
Overall: 1100/2600
Performance: Good
Course: You swim upstream through the small channel, then turn out into the main channel. From there, just follow the buoys to Joe' s Crab Shack and Transition.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:01
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
06:41:25 | 112 miles | 16.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 191/274
Overall: 1430/2600
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 123
Wind: Little
Course: The course is like a lollipop: out and back, with a loop you do twice.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 75
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 13:15
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
06:37:41 | 26.2 miles | 15m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 227/274
Overall: 1798/2600
Performance: Bad
Course: Very flat, 2-loop out-and-back course
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5