Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
95F / 35C
Total Time = 12h 49m 27s
Overall Rank = 688/2157
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 128/311
Pre-race routine:

My adventure into the world of Triathlon began 4 short years ago when I discover a pool swim sprint. Before that I did not think that doing any form of tri would even be possible let alone an Ironman. My first day in the pool I could barely swim 25 yards let alone 2.4 miles. I had not ridden a bike in years so 112 miles was inconceivable and running a marathon, well I knew I could run one of those but not after the swim and a bike ride.

So I drove to Kentucky with my wife on Friday morning and they drive was longer than expect but the excitement of the race made the drive go fast. Arived in town around 3pm and headed straight to the expo to check in. This was quite chore compared to local races. First line to get your race number (which I already knew) and then get weight (207, 11.8% BF and 56% hydrated) then next line to sign release form (can anyone tell me why there is a parental consent line when you must be 18 to race?) next line to get numbers, cap, chip, etc. Then next line to get chip checked then get free pack. Checked into the hotel and just hung out. Went to athlete meeting but skipped the dinner. Glad I went to the meeting because they let you know that there was a few gaps in aid stations. Saturday morning I went to the practice swim (did not go as well as I hoped) then I went to the expo again to look around since I did not do that when I checked in. My father-in-law drove into town on saturday to hang out with my wife during the race. Went to Fazolli's for dinner and then to a hooka bar (not my choice) for a little bit and then bed. Actually slept better than I hoped. Woke up around 4am and tried to eat but the thought of putting food in my mouth made me want to vomit. I heated up some food and brought it with me hoping I could eat later. Got to transition later than I hoped but looking back I don't know if it would have made any different. Put air in my tires and made sure everything was in my transition bags and headed to the swim start. Walked for a while to get to the start, got body marked, put on sun screen and then started to walk to the line (and walked and walked and walked). This line was crazy, they need find a way to have family member not save places in line. Talked to a kid in line (21 yrs old) who was doing his first Triathlon, Not first IRONMAN, first Triathlon period.
Event warmup:

The 3 miles plus walked from my parking spot to the end of the swim line and to swim start was warm up enough.
  • 1h 11m 5s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 50s / 100 meters

I had not swam in OW other than the practice swim in over 1 year but I felt good heading to the dock. You were basically a full spring jumping in. I made sure I was not going to land on anyone and took my leap. I am not a fan of jumping into water and getting it up my nose but I did a good job of not sinking and took off. I did my best job to stay outside to avoid the congestion. I knew I was swimming farther than I needed to but figured I was safer doing this. Only had minimal bumping other than the guy who stop and got a fist of mine in the back of his head. Felt good to the turn but never really pushed. Noticed the sand bar near the turn around and alot of people walking. I just tried to keep my elbows up and kept swimming. Made the turn in around 27 minutes which seemed slow but I just kept swimming. Still kept to the outside but slowly drifted to the buoys. The rest of the swim seemed to take forever. I could see the changing tents but they seemed too be miles away and not fast approaching. Slowly though they got closer and closer. The crowd got a little more congested near the exit so I just took my time. No reason to get gased at the end of the swim. Hit the stairs and looked at my watch. 1:11 much better than I thought. After the turn I was thinking I would be in at 1:20-1:30.
What would you do differently?:

Sleep on the great lawn. I could have same harder but really what would have been the point. Definately like the time trial start.
Transition 1
  • 08m 10s

1327 fastest. Avg was just under 8'.

Did not swim with my tri top since it was pretty lose. I had to stick my nutrition in my pockets and put on more sun screen plus made a quick pit stop before grabbing my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Find a tri top that was tight with big pocket and just pee on my bike.
  • 6h 12m 29s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.04 mile/hr

Going into the race and seeing the elevation chart and seeing splits from last year I expected the first 25 or 30 miles to be slow and the last 25 or 30 to be the fast of the day. I was way off on this.

Left out of transition and just tried to keep my HR down. I kept waiting for there to be hills and there were none until the out and back section. This part of the course was a little dangerous since there was 2 way traffic and people hitting the down hills hard. Definately have to be careful here. The hills here were steep but short and my training definately helped me here. At the second aid station there was girl who had wrecked hard so people slowed down to avoid her. At each aid station I was filling my aero bottle up with Powerbar perform in one compartment and water in the other and in the middle eating Cliff Bars, PB Crackers and granola bars. Once My food dwindled down I started grabbing extra fluids. I also took salt tabs about every 20 minutes. I had 2 extra water bottles on my bike as well. One with Mountain Dew for a mile 80 pick-me-up and one with 2 extra tubes and CO2 (after last year's tack incident I was paranoid).

Got to the La Grange viewing area averaging over 19mph and definately did not expect this. La Grange was very cool, they had barracades up for viewers to stand behinds so I just soft pedaled and soaked it all in. I kept getting concerned on the bike loop that I messed up and was lost since you would pass the 2nd loop distance markers before the first loop but figured there was not way I could get lost with that many people. I just keep taking it easy and tried not to push to hard. I realized part way through the 1st loop that there were be a head wind heading back to town so my speed would not go up like I had hoped. I just kept riding and filling my aero bottles and tried to enjoy it all.

People were definately having a hard time out there though. You could not go half a mile without someone laying on the side of the road from the heat or fixing their bike. I am not sure why there were so many flats I thought the roads were in awesome shape and very smooth.

I never really notice the heat but I was trying to dump water on my head at aid stations to keep cool. I started feeling sluggish around mile 70 and thought about drinking my MD then but ended up holding off until 80. Granted it was nice and warm at this point but definately helped. Around mile 90 while heading home I notice some small cramping in my groin so I took extra salt tabs and started to take it easy. Major cramps never materialized though which is good.

Hit the road headed back to transition, got out of my shoes early and got mentally ready to run. It was nice to have the volunteers grab your bike and not have to rack it.
What would you do differently?:

Drive the course before hand and not bring the extra bottle with tubes since I ended up not needing them.
Transition 2
  • 06m 56s

565 fastest. Avg 9:32.
What would you do differently?:

I was not changing clothes so I just had to put on my running shoes, grab my hat and hand held water bottle (best decision I made all day).
  • 5h 10m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 52s  min/mile

I had no idea what to expect with the run. I had done 5 centuries this summer with runs after and they all were under 9:30 pace so I thought I would be able to run at a decent pace at least for a while but I had not cramped at all this summer either. Also, I had been running with heavy clothes on trying to get used to the heat and this ended up being a good idea as well.

My initial goal was to try and run a few 9:00 miles (that quickly went away) and run around a 2' half-mary and then do what ever till the end. I knew quickly this would not happen.

I left transition and with all the people around I was running pretty good until I made the turn onto the bride. I started to cramp in my groin again, which fortunately seems to be easy to run though, so I walked up the little incline on the bridge to the first aid station. From this point I ran at around 9:30 pace as long as I could and then would walk when the cramping hit. At each aid station my goal was to dump ice water soaked sponges onto my head, grab some liquids and food, fill my water bottle with ice and water to squeeze on my body in between aid stations and then more ice sponges before leaving.

This plan worked great but I really could not sustain a run for a long time but knew I would finish so at this point I was not worried.

I kept chugging along and stayed under the trees for shade. There was actually more shade than I thought on the course which was nice.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe change socks so I did not blister.

Don't know if I could have done anything differnet other than ride the bike slower but I think in the end my time would have been the same.

The only reason I say I had a good run is it was an IM Marathon. If I ever run a marathon at this pace it would be bad.
Post race
Warm down:

The last 6.5 miles of the run was my warm down.

Got my medal, shirt and hat and my finisher photo and then headed into the LICC to get some food and use the bathroom.

Wish I would have hung out here more after the race to soak it up but my cheering crew of two was getting tired.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Living in Western PA and having cooler temps and knees that I was afraid to hurt training.

Event comments:

This was a great race with a few exceptions. I can't say enough about the volunteers and spectators. The time trial swim start is great if you are not a fan of getting beat up while swimming but part of me wishes I would have done a mass start IM.

I highly recommend this race just be prepared to be warm.

One week later I feel great. The first few days were a little slow but not bad. I need to get back to training this weekend but just cut it down dramatically to please the family.

This was great experience that I would definately like to do again (I just don't want to train for one again).

I ended up with my goal time but placed higher than expected. % Below. I thought maybe top 1/2 definately not top 1/3. Probably top 1/4 when you thrown DNF's in the mix.

AG Overall
Swim 26% 23%
Bike 50% 39%
Run 44% 40%
Overall 41% 32%

Last updated: 2009-09-26 12:00 AM
01:11:05 | 3862 meters | 01m 50s / 100meters
Age Group: 82/311
Overall: 488/2157
Performance: Good
Course: .75 miles up river between the an island and the shore. Quick turn around the the rest of the way in the middle of the Ohio River.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 85F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:10
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:12:29 | 112 miles | 18.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 154/311
Overall: 838/2157
Performance: Good
Average HR of 151.
Wind: Some
Course: This course is basically flat compared to what I am used to with only around 4,000 ft of climbing. My typical route would give me around 8,000 feet of climbing for the same distance. The route took you out of downtown to horse farm country about 16 miles and then a quick right turn to an 8 mile out and back section that was basically the hilly part of the course then another right turn and a few miles out to a 30 mile loop you do twice. The loop has a rollers and then it is downhill back to town (there was a headwind this year though). Bike course was very scenic and had all kind of people out cheering.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
05:10:47 | 26.2 miles | 11m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 138/311
Overall: 870/2157
Performance: Good
Avg HR of 139.
Course: The course on paper sounded pretty cool with plenty of sights to see but that was not the case. You do see downtown alot but when you run past the sewers you get to smell some nasty stuff. The view was not horrible, definately could have been worse just not what I expected. You did 2 loops of the course which was pretty much flat. The thing that stunk the worst was you actually ran by the finish line at the half way point. It seemed like the out section was on more of an uphill incline than the back so I knew heading back on the 2nd loop I should have an easier time. Heading to the end of the first loop you run through alot of the crowd and right by the finish line. This definately got your adrenaline pumping knewing what was waiting for you at the end but at the time suck as well. I ran the first 14 miles in 2:30 or around 11:00/miles. Slower than I would have like but I was feeling good and seemed to be getting stronger. I continued at this paid for about 6 miles and it seemed I could run more in between walks. Then mile 20 hit. I literally did not feel like running any more and I noticed hot spots on the bottom of my water soaked feet. I wanted to run the finish shoot and knew if the blisters formed this would not happen so I just walked the next 6 miles. Nothing eventful here, the sun started to set and cool off some. Honestly, I never really noticed the heat. My water/ice strategy was a great idea. I ended up talking to one guy for probably 4 miles who was really worried about making the cutoff after starting at the end of the swim line and getting 3 flats. Made the time go much quicker. The closer I got to the finish the more I thought I would not be able to run since my feet were killing me but when I made the turn and saw the light I started to run like I was on a cloud. I was trying to cross the line by my self for my finisher photo but I noticed a lady in front of me carryign this big banner. I did not want to be the guy who sprinted past her so I tried take it easy but she kept slowing down. I was getting extremely frustrated but hung back. Right as I got to the line some lady came running up and ended up in my picture but at least I was done.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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