Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 15h 30m 6s
Overall Rank = 1483/1975
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 230/320
Pre-race routine:

Pre-race routine started on Thursday morning. We started the day a little slow due to some technical difficulties with the car. There was a turn signal out so I had to replace the bulb. Once I purchase the bulb, I noticed it was the front turn signal instead of the rear one. Of course the rear one is crucial since there were 3 tri-bikes on the back of the van. I decided to change the bubl at a later time on got on our way. We made a pit stop for bathroom and drinks and back on the road. The closer I got to Louisville, the rumble in the jungle started. Once I was 50 miles out it seemed like my stomach was talking to me the entire way.

We got to the hotel with ease thanks to GPS. The bellhop lady (Charlotte) was great but there was no way she was toughing Nicki (bike). Once we dropped off our stuff we headed down to check-in.
What can I say about the emotions running through my body? Amazing to be on this journey. I was disappointed with my body weight at weigh in but I was well hydrated according to the scale. Then inside the athlete check-in to recieve my package. This was awesome and the volunteers were great. It was a very cool feeling when they placed my Ironman bracelet on, I was on my way and it was official.

Then I entered the place that no child with an empty credit card should enter (The Event Store). I lost my mind and credit card buying stuff. I eventualy exchanged some stuff later that evening and the next day in the morning. I still spent more money than I should've since I still had finisher gear to purchase on Monday. Then it was back to the room and later to have some dinner. We ate a TGIF and I had the pasta with seared salmon and it was yummie. I decided this would be my pre-race dinner on Saturday evening. I got a good nights sleep and ready for the next day.

Friday: Gatorade Pratice swim is where you get to swim a portion of the course just to get a feel for the water and the current. You start from the Great Lawn and can swim a total of 3 buoys and then head back to the finishing steps. My plan was to swim to the second bouy and then head back. I was feeling pretty relaxed since I'm much more comfortable with my swimming abilities then when I first started. I jumped off the dock and was just pass the the first bouy and headed to the sea wall on my right when I hear "are you okay?', this happened twice. I stopped swimming and noticed a triathlete from the Mexican group struggling. I asked him if he was okay and he said he had a cramp in his foot as the kayak came to his rescue. You won't believe what happened next?, my boogie man showed up. I thought what if I catch a cramp and of course I can't float so my heart rate was racing and I could feel it in my chest. I headed back to the steps at mach 3 not even worrying about my heart rate. I just wanted out of the water. Once I reached the steps, I called it a day, although it was diappointing it is what it is.

Then I went to Athlete briefing just to get the whole Ironman effect. We later took a short ride of the first 6 miles of the bike course since riding the run course would proably be a little to dangerous with traffic. The rest of the day was spent hanging out with friends and chillin until the Welcome Dinner. We all sat together at the dinner, and watched several inspiring videos. This really gets you pumps for whats to come on Sunday. The dinner is free for the competitors but it's a little over-priced for the family members. I got another great night of rest once back at the crib. This was after I staged some of my gear in each event. I was getting them ready for gear check-in on Saturday.

Saturday: This day seemed like it would never end. It started with the Gatorade Pratice Swim. My plan was to get in the water and swim until I felt relaxed and comfortable in the water and then head back to the steps. I accomplished this way before reaching the second bouy. It felt great to leave the water on a positive note on this date. Then I was back off to the room to pack my gear bags and turn in Nicki. Mandatory bike check-in went very well. The group decided to go together so we met in the lobby.
At the transition area you get walked through the entire transition area since it's huge. The volunteer (Art)was great and he made sure that on race day I wasn't lost. We then took a drive of the bike course, this took a lot longer than expected. After the 2 hour car drive, I thought that 7 hours would probably be okay on this course if I wanted to have something left for the run.

I then headed back to the room to take a nap while Anica got my dinner for the night. It seemed like this took forever but it really did. I then got up and situated everything for race morning. That's when Anica and Amy Shay arrived with the food from TGIF. Let me tell you that when Anica has a couple of Chocolate Martini's she turns into a chatter box and it's non-stop. It's cute but I needed to stay focused so Amy rescued me from the box. I got to bed at a decent time but I was up every 30 minutes using the restroom. I just couldn't sleep and I was nervous and pumped at the same time.

Sunday - Raceday
I got up and did the normal 3 S's with ease. I got dressed and made sure all things were a go. I tryed to eat a bowl of Honey Nut Cherrios but couldn't finish it. We then meet the group downstairs and headed to the transition area.

Once in transition, the devil threw me a curve ball. Once I had all my nutrition loaded on board, I noticed my front tire was flat. No problem, I had 2 spare tubes on nicki and an extra at mile 66 of the bike course. I changed the flat tire only to have another flat tire because the spare tube was also flat with a hole. This is when I started to freek out since I only had 20 minutes until transition was closing and only 1 tube left. The thought of not being able to race due to bike failure was very fearful and it almost brought me to tears. I then saw my angel from In-Out Sports who directed me to the bike tech tent. There I purchased 2 more tubes and repaired my flat. The labor was free but I payed for the parts later at the Expo on Monday (Life Savers). Of course, I was the last out of transition and the group had already headed to the swim start and body marking.

Event warmup:

I could call the running around in transition with a flat tire and getting Nicki ready to race a warm-up. The walk to the swim start (Tumbleweed) is about .75 mile. This is where I clamed my nerves down from my already hectic morning and drank my Boost. There you get body marked and wait in line for the swim start. I made a Prota-John visit to make sure everything was clear...all systems are a GO!!!
  • 2h 00m 49s
  • 3862 meters
  • 03m 08s / 100 meters

This was a dive in start off the dock. I couldn't dive in because I was wearing a speed suit and diving isn't recommended, so I jumped in and started swimming. During the walk to the pier, I noticed another swimmer already holding on to a kayak and she hadn't swam 50 feet yet. Once I jumped in, I immediately felt that my chip wasn't fastened correctly and I could fell it moving on my ankle. I had to be careful that another swimmer didn't hit my ankle and knock it off.

I must say this took a little longer than I planned for. My plan was to stay close to the shore to avoid the current and not work as hard. This worked out good for me but of course I suck at navigation so I have to sight more often then the usual swimmer. This causes my log legs to sink and then I have to work harder at getting level with the water. I just swam from one bouy to the next. In my head I thought turn left after the end of the Townhead Island, what was I thinking, I still had to swim 4 more bouys before making a left turn. This felt like it was taking forever. Of course, on the way to the first turn around bouy I was passed by many swimmers and had contact along the way but I stayed calm.

On the way back, I couldn't feel the current but that was probably because I was swimming closer to shore than in the middle of the river. I continued to sight and swim to each bouy not even thinking about the lack of kayaks in the area. I was looking for a kayak because my googles were on too tight and my brain was coming out my ears. I finally saw a kayak ans swam to it to loosen my goggles. Once I took the goggles off my swim cap came off so I had to readjust it. I then put the googles back on without adjusting them. I made it to the first bridge and felt like I was swimming on a treadmill because I wasn't moving forward due to some funny current. Once I made it pass the bridge, I spotted another kayak and had to get some relief for my popping out of my head eyeballs. once I took off the googles, I lost my grip form the kayaks and almost dropped my goggles. I then put them back on only to fill them completely with river water and sink at the same time. I made it back to the surface and decided to just move forward and deal with it before having a huge malfunction.

Once I was pass the second bridge it was only 4 bouys to the steps and on the the bike. I managed to stay calm through out the swim given all my mishaps. I just stayed focused on getting to Nicki.

Upon arriving at the steps, you would've thought I won the lottery. I turned around flip the river off and said I beat you. Then the celebration began as I ran up the chute. I was on cloud nine and had conquered my boogie man.
What would you do differently?:

During the swim...NOTHING. I did what I had to do, to make it to the steps. Opps, one thing...have another set of goggles that I used during training ready.

During training: A different story, I would probably do more kicking on a kick board to level myself in the water so I'm not swimming uphill. Probably some more swims with paddles.
Transition 1
  • 06m 46s

I'm normally pretty good in transition but an Ironman is different. The plan was to change into a dry outfit but I passed on that since I had plan B in place. I normally swim with a tri-top and I went without one underneath the speed suit. So this slowed things down a bit since I had to put a top on while I was already wet. I got some assistance from the volunteer pulling down my tri-top. I dryed my feet off, socks on, bike shoes on and out of the changing tent. I made a pit-stop at the sun-screen guy.....I MISSED MY SUNSCREEN GODDESS.

Very disapointing to enter transition and only have a few bikes in transition. I had a lot of work to do on the bike. I grabbed Nicki and headed to the bike exit. This is where I made another mistake that I thought of but didn't put into place the fix it. My bike shoes were full of mud and I couldn't clip into my left pedal. I had to stop again and stomp my foot and when that didn't work I scrapped the mud out with my fingers. I was finally off on the bike again with a lot of work ahead of me...passing people.
What would you do differently?:

Swim in my entire tri-suit, clip the shoes to the bike, and or carry them to the bike.
  • 6h 59m 20s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.03 mile/hr

The nutrition plan was in place:
15 minutes - 2 Shot Bloks
30 minutes - 1 Fig Newton
45 minutes - 2 Shot Bloks
60 minutes - 1 Gu
Repeat this process every hour until finishing.
Drink every time I looked at the straw and ensure it was empty prior to reaching the aid station. I also had 3:30 hours of Infinte that had to last until Special Needs (Mile 66) where I would re-stock my entire nutrition.

The plan was to take it easy for the first 10 miles then turn left onto State Road 42 for the first of many hills. Once I reached the first aid station the Aero-bottle was empty. As I approached the first volunteer with Gatorade, I would slow dowm and drink as much Gatorade. Then grab a bottle of water fill up my aero-bottle and then another bottle of water was drunk and tossed prior to riding to the end of the aid station. I repeated this process for the rest of the aid station.

Once I made the right onto Ky-1694 the one and only out and back which had some longs climbs. I decided that I would stay steady and be careful on the bike not to blow my legs out. There was a fast decents where I reached 43 MPH and I was lucky I looked up in time because an Ambulance was stopped in the middle of the road. I didn't have time to brake so I passed on the left hoping that the driver was already out and another biker saw me coming. I don't know how it happened but the biker was pretty banged up and in a shoulder sling. I continued until making it back to State Route 42 and turned left. Then onto KY-393 turning right and starting the first of two loops. This is where people starting their second loop started passing me, until this point I was doing the passing.

The goal was to keep moving forward feeling good and follow the nutrition plan. I had to stop eating Fig newtons after the 2 hour mark because I was feeling bloated so they were replaced by 1 Shot Blok. Just pass Mile marker 22 you make a left onto KY-14 and head to LaGrange and the festival where Team Rivera would get their first photo opportunity. I felt strong heading into LaGrange but it's a little disappointing knowing you have to do this stretch of road again.

Once you leave LaGrange it's just you and the open road and picking off other bikers. You turn left on Ballard School Road and if your not careful you struggle going up these short hills. This road is partially shaded with a water stop after you turn left onto Old Sligo Road. Then it's a right onto Lesprit Parkway and some beautiful homes on this road with horses in the pastures. Then left onto 153 and head north until reaching State Road 42 where you turn left again. Then it's a long stretch back to Ky-393 and the start of the second loop. Along this stretch I saw a lot of people under trees seeking shade. It looked like they were done for the day. At Aid station 47 and 58, I stopped and drenched myself with water top of my head, front and back. It was refreshing but I was dry probably within 15 minutes. It was also tough looking at the 75, 80, 85, and 90 mile markers signs and knowing I still had to came back.

Once I started my second loop, I felt a little tingle in my left quad so I took some endurolytes pills only 2. I also let up the pace a little to ensure finishing. Once I reached the Special Needs stop, I fixed my tow bottles and carried the extra formula in my tri top. I also decided to pass on the crustable and the pringles. I took the extra tube with me and dropped it off in LaGrange with Team Rivera at the second photo opportunity.

This section felt much better since I knew I was headed back to my running shoes and the unknown 26.2 miles. It was really cool to see the 80 and 90 mile marker sign. But what wasn't cool was seeing some other athletes struggling. They were off the road, under trees, leaning on fence post, and laying down on the grass looking desolate and hopeless. The heat was breaking people down and making them throw in the towel. I was feeling good and the nutrition plan was working along with the pace.

Once, I passed the 90 mile marker sign I started doing the math and realized I had to hammer the last 10 miles to make the sub 7 hour mark.
Once I made it back to river road and made the right turn, I dropped the hammer to the transition area. Once I turned right onto Whiterspoon Street, I did the pro thing and took my feet out of my shoes until dismount.

I felt good about the bike course and my nutrition plan was successful.

What would you do differently?:

During the bike...NOTHING. I listened to my body and managed this portion of the race.

During training: Another different story, hill repeats on Kennesaw Mountain at least 3 times a month and 2 Cartersville rides every month.
but let's not forget I have a full time job and several part-time jobs to support this crazy sport I love so much!!!!
Transition 2
  • 09m 3s

WOW, you would think I took a nap in T2. The plan was to change into a complete new outfit to run fresh. This was going fine into the older triathlete entered the changing tent and started yelling Vaseline, Water , and Gatorade like he was the only guy in the tent. I got so distracted that I forgot to apply some Body Glide near the boys and I payed for this mistake later.

I also had to make a Porta-John stop to empty the bladder prior to getting some sunscreen. Where is my goddess?

What would you do differently?:

Run in the same outfit, because I didn't see the difference. It was painful anyway.
  • 6h 14m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 17s  min/mile

The slowest marathon I have ever run but my most famous finish ever.

My plan was to run sub 11:30 minute miles for the first 6 miles then sub 11 minute miles until the halfway point then run a negative split to the finish.

Once I started I knew things were going to be tough. The first mile sub 11:22 but I felt my running legs were not here yet. Then the mile on the bridge was a wake up call. Once I reached mile marker 2, I had no power in my legs they were just moving because they had to move forward. I saw Ron teed and Anica at this point and told them it would be a long day.

I again tryed to test the legs during mile 3 and struggled to keep a sub 12:40 pace. It was for sure going to be a long day for me and my Mizuno's. I reached mile 6 at 1:16:05 this is an overall pace of 12:41, by this time I'm already starting to do math in my head to make sure I'm making the cut-off time. I'm already walking the water stops and getting as much fluids in me as possible. I'm also weting my run cap and taking sponges to keep me cool through out the run.

It seemed like I ran forever on Southern Parkway to the Turn around point only to run back the same way I came. After mile 6, I entered into the 14 minute miles. I never recovered into anything faster and my garmin died at mile 13. I reached my Special Needs bag and place my hat light on my run cap. I never turned it on through out the night. Once I reached mile 14, I saw Anica and she ran with me for a little bit. i told her that it would probably take me 3 hours to make it back to this point again since I had to do the same loop again. I can only imagine what was going through her mind at this point.

The toughest part was making a right onto Muhammad Ali Blvd to start the second loop after seeing the finish line on 4th Street Live. I had no Garmin so I ran from mile marker to mile marker ensuring I didn't run slower the 15 minute mile. I was down to 4 miles every hour and the ball of my feet were sore or felt like I had huge blisters. OHH, remember to the lack of Body Glide...OOUCHHH...Chaffing.

Somewhere around mile 17, a lady was walking faster than I was running. I decided to take a walk break and walk to the turn around. I thought mile 19 and she thought mile 20. At mile 19 there was no turn around, so I started running again until mile 21+ where I walked again. Yeah the turn around was just pass mile 20.

At this point, I was just happy with trying to make a sub 15:30 Ironman. I knew I had to run but I didn't want to end up in an ambulance just a few miles from the finsih line. I walked until mile 23, and then ran for a little bit and started to cramp so I walked at a fast pace. I have a new found respect for walkers. I decided to walk until mile 25 and bring it home. I started running somewhere after the 25 mile marker. Once I made the left turn onto Chestnut Street I could hear the finish line.

I then saw my friend and fellow Ironman Ron Teed, he was on the phone with Anica telling her that he found me. At this point, I was feeling like a million dollars all my pains disappeared. I had a new bounce in my step and was ready to becaom an Ironman. I had been waiting for this moment for 35 weeks of training and 364 day on the calendar.

I turned right onto 4th Street and just lost myself in emotions internally. I thought about my day in the water, the heat on the bike, and my struggles on the run. It was going to be over in a few moments. I then got ready for my moment at the finish line. The crowd was undescribable, it was amazing.

I was so overwhelmed that I didn't even hear the announcer say Richard Rivera your an Ironman.

This moment I'll remember it for the rest of my living days.
What would you do differently?:

During the run...NOTHING. I did what I had to do to make it to the finish line and become an Ironman.

During training: More interval work, hill repeats, and definetly push myself outside my comfort zone and run for myself at times. MORE MILES for sure on the legs...BASE WORK.
Post race
Warm down:

I got my medal....and my goddie bag. Oh, Anica gave me my Ironman Logo hat that I wouldn't wear until I finished. I drank some Gatorade took my finisher picture and headed out of the finish line.

I got congratulated by Anica, Amy, Leslie, Ron, and Aldrin. We then headed to the KIC to get some food, morning gear bag, and a massage.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Several things during my training affected my performance, but the ultimate goal was accomplished I became an IRONMAN.

I'm now thinking that I must return in 2010 for that sub 13:30 hour Ironman

Event comments:

I was very pleased with the entire weekend. The volunteers were awesome and amazing. I'll return to Louisville next year to pay-back to the sport and become a volunteer. I couldn't have done the race without the volunteers giving up their weekend for me to have some fun on raceday.

My only disappointment was after the Awards Banquet they wouldn't give me my Ironman bracelet back for my scrap book. I wrote the race director and email and maybe he can make this right.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-03-16 12:00 AM
02:00:49 | 3862 meters | 03m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 316/320
Overall: 1953/1975
Performance: Below average
TOTAL SWIM 2.4 mi. (2:00:49) 3:10/100m
Course: You start at the Tumbleweed resturant and swim up river for .8 mile and then turn left and head back down 1.6 mile to the Great Lawn. You also go underneath two bridges.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:59:20 | 112 miles | 16.03 mile/hr
Age Group: 261/320
Overall: 1603/1975
Performance: Below average
FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 22.5 mi (1:24:28) 15.98 mph SECOND BIKE SEGMENT 21.4 mi (1:24:27) 15.20 mph THIRD BIKE SEGMENT 30.5 mi (2:00:13) 15.22 mph FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi (2:10:12) 17.05 mph TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (6:59:20) 16.03 mph
Wind: Little
Course: After exiting the transition area at the Great lawn, we head East on River Road towards Oldham and Henry county. The bike course includes a two-loop section through LaGrange with several cahllenging hills. There are some Kentucky rolling hills with the opportunity to look at the horses. But the sun will for sure beat you down!!! There was a total of 9 Aid Station and 1 Special Needs stop located at mile markers number 9, 22, 35, 47, 58, 65, 66 Special Needs, 76, 88, and 103.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 09:03
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:14:08 | 26.2 miles | 14m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 230/320
Overall: 1483/1975
Performance: Below average
FIRST RUN SEGMENT 4 mi. (48:28) 12:07/mile SECOND RUN SEGMENT 4.3 mi. (58:58) 13:42/mile THIRD RUN SEGMENT 4.15 mi. (1:02:09) 14:58/mile FOURTH RUN SEGMENT 3.5 mi. (48:19) 13:48/mile FIFTH RUN SEGMENT 4.3 mi. (1:01:58) 14:24/mile SIXTH RUN SEGMENT 4.15 mi. (1:06:56) 16:07/mile FINAL RUN SEGMENT 1.8 mi. (27:20) 15:11/mile TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (6:14:08) 14:16/mile
Course: The run course emcompasses two loops that are mostly flat. We run past a variety of Louisville's well-known sites to include the University of Louisville campus, Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby and downtown. The course is a flat and picturesque course with the turn around point near Iroquis Park and the finsh line celebration at Fourth Street Live.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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