Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 14h 58m 17s
Overall Rank = 1349/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

My alarm went off at 4am and I got dressed while everyone else was slowly rousing.

I gobbled down my 6" Italian sub, got all of my nutrition and gear together, applied my special body marking, and then tried to decide whether I wanted to try the bathroom before leaving. Since this was my last shot at comfortable porcelain for the day, I went with it.
Event warmup:

Walked to transition, got my bike set up, and dropped off the Special Needs bags.

There was a 3/4 mile walk to the swim start, so I slowly meandered that way with Kenny, Mike, Gary, Brandon, and Smarty (umm?). Got a spot in line, which was already HUGE, and just chilled with my iPhone watching some YouTube, listening to my iPod, and snapping a few photos.

Two trips to the port-a-pot told me that I was well hydrated and ready to go.
  • 1h 25m 15s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

I jumped in and started off at a comfortable pace. With so many people fanned out, there were plenty of feet to choose from, but none that were actually able to pace me. I would find a set of feet, start drafting, and 4 strokes later, I would be slapping their ankles. Otherwise, I'd find myself getting dropped and didn't want to push my pace that fast.

I hit the turn-around at 31 minutes and thought I'd be set for a nice PR but the current that I had been expecting never materialized.

At one point, I went to take a breath at the same time that my face was underwater. I took in a bunch of water and had to stop for a couple minutes of a coughing fit. I finally calmed myself down and then pushed forward, breathing/coughing on every stroke until my lungs felt clear again. I also had to adjust my stroke 3-4 times to re-attach my watch since the velcro is starting to go and wouldn't stay closed.

I settled for a 1:25 which was a bit back from my target, but nothing catastrophic.
What would you do differently?:

Train more to find the right set of feet
Transition 1
  • 02m 39s

This transition ROCKED!!!!

I had clipped my shoes on the bike, so this transition was simply to grab my bag with my helmet and sunglasses, get some sunscreen and get going.

They handed my bag to me and I started opening it before I hit the tent. I never even broke stride through the tent. Helmet was out the bag, goggles and cap were in the bag, and I dropped the bag on the way out.

I grabbed my bike, said "Come on Bagheera, let's go for a ride." I must have hit a rut because the front wheel popped up almost as if she was rearing and ready to go. :)
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 06m 24s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.34 mile/hr

This was my weapon and where I knew that I had strength. I took it out nice and steady, feeling the flatland, and warming up the legs. I quickly got my nutrition going and was singing some snappy tunes in my head. ("Her name was Lo-La. She was a showgirl." I hate you, Bob!)

After the bumpy bridge, I reached around and felt that all my water bottles were secure so I was happy....until I leaned down to take a drink. My aero bottle straw was GONE!!! All I had was the hard-plastic straw. That meant that I needed to keep my bottle almost half full to be able to drink from it. Thankfully, that never proved to be too much of an issue as the water stops were very well spaced on the course.

The out-and-back section was really fun. I cracked it loose on the downhill and hit a max speed of 46.1 miles per hour! I was FLYING!!! The climbs were pretty easy also. Just a simple steady cadence, and soon it was all over.

I passed a couple of BTers and made sure to give a requisite shout-out as I went by. I did slow up a bit after passing Kelly to see if she would pick up the pace and try to chase me to snap the GPS tracker like she threatened to, but she never took the bait. :)

Once I hit 393, the winds really started to kick in. Thankfully, I've trained in FL so I know how to physically and, more importantly, mentally deal with headwinds. They were uncomfortable but I knew they were all part of the game. How they ended up continuing for 3/4 of a circle, I don't know.

On the first loop, I did drop my chain once making a climb on Ballard School road, but it was a simple fix and I was quickly back underway. Rolling through LaGrange the first time was a blast. I took time to sit up, do a little Princess waving, and even throw a shout-out to the HTFU sign.

As I was about to start my 2nd loop, I tried to shift into the big ring and, all of a sudden, found myself holding my bar-end shifter in my hand. It had popped out of the bar end. That meant that I couldn't get any leverage to shift into the big ring for the way back (which proved to be a bit of an issue).

I didn't let the shifter problem bother me because the heat was starting to take its own toll on my body. I was drinking plenty and staying hydrated, but I realized that I started to miss some of my feeding times, especially when it came to my solid foods. I stopped at Special Needs for a few minutes to secure my M&Ms and fresh crackers/cookies in my bento box, and study my turkey sandwich. I wasn't quite sure I wanted it, but took a bite of it anyway. Then I knew for SURE that I didn't want it. I handed the bag back to the volunteer and started on my way again.

The 2nd loop through LaGrange was fun, but I could tell I was starting to cook. I figured that I was still within striking distance of my 6 hour bike split so I kept the pace up, making sure that I wasn't cranking my HR up TOO much.

After we turned back onto 42 to head home, I greeted the "Louisville 33" sign with a blown kiss. I was going to enjoy the ride back. I was trying to keep a steady speed but, because I no longer had a big ring, I kept spinning out the crank. Even trying to keep a pace as easy as 23-24mph was causing me to spin at 110+ rpm. The first signal that I wasn't going to be able to push it was that my adductor muscles started to twinge and cramp. They simply weren't trained to fire that fast for that long.

Also, the heat had taken such a toll that I actually couldn't eat anything solid for the last hour of the bike. I could take a couple sips of eFuel because I knew that I needed the electrolytes, but nothing with any substantial amount of calories. In hindsight, I should have taken a bottle of gatorade at the last couple of aid stations, but I wasn't thinking that way at the time.

On the way back in, I caught a glimpse of a sign for the BTers and threw it a kiss because it helped to lift my spirits.
What would you do differently?:

Work to devise different nutrition strategies for hotter conditions.
Transition 2
  • 13m 42s

I rolled in to transition and handed off my bike. Jenn (Jungle Jenn) and Tammy (tnickerson) were there to greet me with a smile and a a photo. Too bad I felt like stir-fried crap to be cheerful.

I took my bag into the change tent (after asking if I could just go sit in the women's change tent for a few minutes to pick up my mood) and quickly realized what I hadn't thought of; a towel. The guy next to me was nice enough to loan me his towel to wipe off my feet and legs.

I took my time getting situated and someone brought me cold water and gatorade to drink while I got ready. Then, I walked out of the tent and did a quick interview with Aaron and tried to trot out of transition. Ran into Jenn again and she took a photo and pep talked me a bit. I was having a cramp on the outside of my foot and it was hindering my run.

What would you do differently?:

Realize when I'm going to want a towel. Get out of the tent faster.
  • 7h 10m 18s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 16m 25s  min/mile

*singing*The Wheels Of The Bus Fell Off Real Quick, Off Real Quick, Off Real Quick. The Wheels Of The Bus Fell Off Real Quick and I Just Had To Walk.

I knew that, heading out, I was low on calories. It's something I've accounted for in my training. It's something my coach as talked through strategy-wise. What I didn't expect was the absolute level of CRAP that the aid stations would have to offer for food.

At IMWI last year, the aid stations were stocked with cookies, candy, chips, pretzels, grapes, watermelon, oranges, bananas, coke, water, gatorade, etc. At IMKY, all they had were hard, thick pretzel sticks, oranges, and bananas. I started taking Coke and pretzels. I could barely choke down a single pretzel stick, and don't even ask me to think about how the banana made me feel.

The temperature was blazing and no matter how much I tried to get my engine to turn over to start running, within a minute, it would stall out and I would resort to walking. The legs were fine. The cramp in my foot loosened up. But the engine just had no gas.

I started at 15min/mile and just went down hill from there. By the time I came back in to the turn-around, I was just mentally and physically numb. Jenn came running up to me and I actually shoved her away. (Sorry, Jenn!) I stopped to talk to Jess and Andrew and tell them to let my mom know that I was okay and that I would finish but it wouldn't be pretty.

My hamstrings felt like they were ready to peel off of my femur and my feet were starting to blister. My running socks had been tested for a 3 hour run, but not for a 7 hour walk.

As I was headed out past the college for the 2nd loop, Chris (ckinsey) came up and we started walking together. We walked together for the next 14 miles. I don't really remember much of what we talked about; except our despair that the glow-sticks did NOT, in fact, give you energy to run like we had envisioned from other racers. All I know was that together, we kept moving forward. Several times, we traded debates about sitting down and, each time, the alternate played the "strong guy" and kept the tired one from sitting down.

So, when we finally hit the 24 mile mark, Chris took off to see if he could run it in and I kept plodding along. Finally, when I turned the corner and saw Mile 26, I started to run. I was running as fast as I could. I felt like I was SPRINTING to the finish.

Watching the video later, I realized that feeling and reality are two very disparate elements when you are talking about an Ironman. The video is in my IMKY album if you want to check it out.
What would you do differently?:

Not get behind on my bike nutrition. Be prepared with better socks (but at least mine weren't stretched out like Kelly's).
Post race
Warm down:

After finishing, I saw Tammy, Jess, Andrew and Bob. I got my finisher bag and had my picture taken. Given the way I felt, I was quite happy with my finisher photo in front of the backdrop.

Bob walked me to the Athlete's Food area and got me a plate of rice and chicken. It sounded tasty, but I could only eat a few bites. I debated a massage and realized, instead, what I wanted was a shower. So, Bob walked me back to the Galt House and headed out.

I laid on the floor outside my room, kicking the door, for Jess or Andrew to open it. I figured, worst case, Aaron would come back to find me sleeping in the hall and let me in.

Event comments:

This was, by far, the most grueling test of endurance that I've ever pushed my body through. When I started doing triathlons, it was with the purpose of finding out where my breaking point was. How much was I willing to punish my body in the name of a sport? Today brought me the closest I have ever felt to that point, but I never crossed it.

No matter how bad my day got, I was not going to quit. No matter how many times I wanted to just stop and sit down, I didn't. No matter how many times I passed EMS, I never asked for help. I was going to finish this or they were going to drag me from the course. I was out there for more than myself. I was out there for all of my friends who couldn't be.

Thanks go out to Jess, Andrew, and Aaron for getting up early and keeping me sane throughout the day. Apologies go out to Jenn for being rude on the course when I was feeling cranky and all you wanted to do was show your enthusiasm.

Most of all, very special gratitude is owed to two special women:
Christine: You left us before your time and before you had the chance to accomplish this goal for yourself. You were in my heart all day and helped me get through the low points and keep moving forward.
Terri: You have helped me to become the man I never knew I could be. You have become one of my best friends. You have shown me what true strength looks like in the face of adversity. You were on my arm and in my head all day long. When I wanted to quit, you wouldn't let me. When I came running through that finish line, you were right there with me. From the bottom of my heart; Thank You.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-11-13 12:00 AM
01:25:15 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: None
Course: Out and Back
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 02:39
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:06:24 | 112 miles | 18.34 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Lollipop w/ 2x loop plus an out-and-back
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 13:42
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
07:10:18 | 26.2 miles | 16m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: 2x Out-and-back
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4