Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
hotF / 0C
Total Time = 14h 23m 51s
Overall Rank = 1421/2600
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 55/110
Pre-race routine:

stress out! :) The timing of this race was difficult for me, considering i was in the midst of pre-school meetings and was starting school just two days after the race. I was freaking out about details of getting my bike to KY (I was flying to save time) plus getting my school stuff done.

It was awesome to get to KY so early, I needed that time. We stayed at the Galt house, which was fantastic, and upgraded to a suite. I freaked out about the money, but I"m glad we did. what was another $150 at this point?

Thursday was about getting registered, ART, and a bike done. Which didn't. I got 20 min out and got a flat! My tubes wouldn't hold air either, I think b/c of the valve extenders.

Friday became our day to go to a bike store that a nice samaritan that stopped to help me suggested. Thank god I got a car! I got two new tires and tubes with extra long valves. All set. Then we decided to go Churchill Downs, which I just LOVE. I didn't want to spend any time around triathletes, they just stress me out pre-race! We came home and got a massage, and then went to the pre-race banquet.

Saturday was last minute details day. We finally got in the water for a mini-swim, then we had our underwear run (hysterical), and a short 15 min bike ride. Felt great. Dropped off the bike and bags, and went home. We decided to get room service since I really wanted pre-race pancakes. Awesome!

Race Day
Got up at 4:30, had 2 bagels and watched Jersey Shore. Great pre-race mind-numbing television. Walked the 1/2 mile to transition, send Doria to the swim start. Pumped the tires, put in the water bottles, and walked the other 1/2 mile to the swim start. Doria was 1/2 a mile back from the start in line. yikes. Looked like people slept there. I heard the first couple of people got in line at 1:30am! I met some nice folks as I walked, which helped settle my stomach.

I wish I brought something to eat/drink. 2 hours to wait is a long time!
Event warmup:

The mile walk!
  • 1h 17m
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

Just wore my bathing suit with the sports bra under it. Not the most attractive look as my sports bra is pretty tight, but it was effective. Since this was a non-wetsuit swim, I didn't want to swim in a shirt. Plus, I decided to go with my bike shorts instead of tri shorts.

Fun how we walked to the start, then they made us run down the docks and just jump in. I LOVED that start. So much better than a mass start!

The water was unbelievable murky. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Actually, you couldn't see your arm in front of you. My chip was loose, and I thought I'd have to find a canoe to fix it. Fortunately I saw that people reached the famous sand bar and could stand when we reached near the end of the channel. Thank god! I got to stand and rewrap my chip, defog my goggles, and take a break. Sure was nice to walk!

Then I was on my way back. Definitely had a bit of current to help me! And I managed to stay pretty clear of everyone, which is surprising since you had no way to see if you were on top of someone without looking up. I think I swam wide, but my MO is always to swim clear to not get flustered by the contact.

My arms were tired by the end, as that it was the first time ever I've swam straight that distance (I have swam the distance twice, but had done the 2 loop version, not a straight swim). I was pleased! When I saw the crowds, I couldn't have been happier! The exit is a little harrowing, as there are metal steps, but fortunately there were people in the water to help. My foot actually went through the step but they helped me up.
Transition 1
  • 07m 48s

I"m actually surprised this didn't take longer, since I had to take off my suit, goggles, earplugs, cap, and then put on my shirt, shorts, socks, shoes, belt, sunglasses, and helmet. And sunscreen, of course. I did it by myself. Could have had help, but I just did it methodically. My helmet and stuff inside fell off the chair so I had to scrape it up, plus I had a ton of grass on my feet. Aside from that, things went well.
  • 6h 56m 18s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.14 mile/hr

I went pretty methodically through this, not looking at what anyone else did. I was pretty scared from the time I did the course back in July where I completely bonked at mile 95. At least I had done 4 rides over 100 and felt confident about the distance, but it was the heat that worried me.

Took it very easy on the flats, and managed an 18 mph split for the first 20 miles! yay! then things got more interesting with the hills. The out and back is probably my favorite. We go past the biggest horse farm, with my favorite baby buckskin thoroughbred (who was out again, just a month older!). Plus I saw a woman driving two horses on a course and saw 3 babies cantering in a field. Yay!

The descent is awesome, I LOVED the sound of the wheels (ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!) and then we went up, up, and up. Sharp turnaround, back down (zeee!), and back up, then up, and up. I couldn't believe how stupid some people were on the downhills. Screaming at people to move over and just being really impatient. Give them time to react! The scariest thing is when I heard that one of the motorists hit a racer. The race official was stopped and I heard them saying on the phone, "It happened again, the racer pulled out in front and he clipped him. We need another ambulance." Apparently it happened TWICE on the out and back.

Off to La Grange. Those hills were tougher than I remembered. I just spun up them, and took my water whenever possible. It took some time since I didn't want to give up my Polar Bottles, but I had to do what was necessary. Probably wouldn't have bothered with my own bottles upon reflection. They certainly didn't keep the fluids any colder!

La Grange was GREAT. Loved hearing my teammates scream to me, especially since they seemed surprised. Like I was faster than they expected! :) Oh and my favorite signs I saw? "May you have the energy of 1000 chihuahuas", "140.6 miles and no status updates? Imagine that!", and finally "Eat Lightning, Crap Thunder!". Ballard School? thats another story. Ugh. I hate that road. And we did it twice. It is narrow and has sharp short hills. People would drop their chains and would get in the way.

When I finally got out of L'esprit, I was pretty beat up. My stomach wasn't happy. I kept eating my swedish fish and peanut butter and jelly and concentrated on the fluids. I didn't feel strong at all. This is when I started to see the carnage along Route 42. Felt better going to the second loop, but again, going through L'esprit was tough, and they had ran out of water. All they had left was hot Perform drink, which I had to take. UGH.

Coming back was really tough. I was beat up. The road was VERY congested (you'd get stuck behind a row of cars trying to pass a cyclist). Plus the number of strong looking racers on the side of the road was mind-boggling. It really messed with my head, and all these thoughts of coubt flooded my brain. If THEY couldn't do it....I actually convinced myself that running a marathon how I felt was stupid, and it was ok to stop. When the headwind started to blow on the flat 8 miles back to transition, I wanted to cry. Its all I was waiting for. I made a few pleas to God, and finally I made it back.

It is not what I was hoping, but considering I had to stop to fill the bottles, stopped to go to the bathroom, and that they didn't have water at the last 3 stops, and of course the headwind, I should be ok with it. Should. :)
Transition 2
  • 10m 29s

This was slow. Somehow I gave up my bike, got my stuff, saw my friends, whom I told, "this is going to be a slow, slow marathon. See you in 7 hours." I took my time changing, got water, went to the bathroom, and saw my friends again, who cheered me into running. Before I even realized it, I was on the marathon despite the fact that 10 minutes prior, I wasn't going to run. Distraction is good. :)
  • 5h 51m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 25s  min/mile

I was shocked at how good I felt when I started. I had to remind myself to walk at every 4 minutes. I forgot as we turned onto the bridge for the out and back. Oops. Saw a guy running barefoot. BAREFOOT! wow. Saw Tom at the end of the bridge, and that was a huge help. Saw Christy also who looked strong! Then I saw all my other friends and coach on the way out of town, and that was great. I felt fantastic, all things considering! Sara passed me at mile 9, and so did Fabrice, who was on his second loop, but not feeling well. I also saw Lisa who was KILLING it, and Ryan, looking strong. Awesome to see so many friends out there racing looking good!

We headed past Churchill Downs (yay!) towards some sketchier but interesting parts of town. Made you run a little faster! I continued walking the aid stations, not really sure what to eat though. That mango perform is not good, so I did my best to water it down. The powerbar gels are awful, so I stuck to eating pretzles with water to soften them and grapes, with some occasional oranges.

I also made a lot of friends along the way. I love this part of the race, everyone is suffering but is super friendly. The volunteers were stupendous! I saw Doria and Slake at mile 13.5ish, and Doria told me how proud she was. It made me cry. I was doing well, and was on pace to break my old record by over an hour. I couldn't believe how close you get to the finish at the turn. BRUTAL! Like, 200 feet? I turned and was happy to go, feeling slow, but confident.

Then I had a turn for the worse. My right achilles was really really sore. I had some awful chafing that burned, my glutes were done. I convinced myself to run through all that, which was slow and painful, but it was ok. What was not ok was getting dizzy. I was so dizzy by mile 19. And seeing an unprecedented number of people passed out on the side of the road (and I'm telling you, FIT people. Ones that you wouldn't expect) plus the number of ambulances...I was scared. I was so close, but if I passed out, I'd get pulled. I couldn't live with myself if I got pulled at mile 22. So I walked. As fast as I could. I caught up to Craig, who had passed me in the beginning of the bike. He was worse off than I was. And then I caught Christy, who really frightened me. She couldn't take any water at all. Even though she was going slower than I wanted, I wanted to stay with her. Its funny, when it comes to seeing my friends in distress, thats all that matters to me, even in a race. Yes, I would have liked to go faster, but really, whats 5 minutes, if she couldn't finish? So we walked, and she finally felt better after taking some tums and enduralytes. When I finally got to mile 25, I said I can do anything for a mile, and tried to take off. This was going to be hard! Thank god i saw Tom, who called to everyone to say I was on my way, and he ran in for about a half mile with me, telling me a story about everyone doing IM Coz next year. Great distraction.

I turned left, then right, and was blinded by all the lights! I high-fived people the entire way, just trotting along. I'd love to have done something more creative, but there's really not a lot of ability to think then, and looking back, I don't even remember it!
Post race
Warm down:

I felt terrific! Except, I was crestfallen when I saw the medal. No horseshoe. I called to Doria hysterically. She knew when she had seen me and knew not to tell me (good idea!) but since it did have a horse on it, I knew I needed to just get over that! I got my picture with a big grin and thumbs up, and went to the massage tent.

It took WAAAAAAY too long. I waited 30 minutes, and started to feel ungodly sick. Got my morning gear bag, and started to walk back with Doria, where she was trying to get me to eat, but my mouth was watering. I just wanted to get HOME. Saw everyone at the hotel, my coach went to get my bike and gear (YAY!) and I got to shower and ordered a pizza. Doria was incredulous at me, b/c I was running around packing. After all, we had to leave in the morning. She kept begging me to relax. Heh. I wish I would have gone back to the finish, but at the time, it didn't seem like a good idea.

Event comments:

The volunteers and people of Louisville are AMAZING. Really kind. I can't say more about them. Staying at the Galt house was convenient, but those elevators? Yikes. 4 elevators is NOT enough! It became such a pain. And some things were changed from my last IM. No finisher tape, no finisher plates, no finisher certificate. However, I did have some new amazing experiences. I got to do the pre-race underwear run, where my team won most colorful! And, I got to take a carriage ride with Bill the awesome Belgian, got to visit Churchill Downs (again!). Plus, I had my own Louisville Slugger bat made with the IM Loo logo on it!

Most amazing was at the post-race banquet, where I went to get a drink and saw a man wearing a finisher jacket with the design of the jersey I have coveted for the past 2 years with a racehorse on it. I told him how much I wanted the jersey, but had to wait till I could do the race, and now couldn't find it anywhere, even on ebay, and I'd love to buy it if I could. He told me me to follow him to his table, where I thought he was going to give me his email. He put down his drinks, took off his jacket, and said "Here, its yours. You've earned it." I was speechless, and just started sobbing. I managed to say, "its too much!". He replied, "it means that much to you, and I want you to have it."

What can else can you say about a race after that? Absolutely incredible!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-11-06 12:00 AM
01:17:00 | 3862 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 25/110
Overall: 0/2600
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:48
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:56:18 | 112 miles | 16.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 48/110
Overall: 0/2600
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 10:29
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:51:33 | 26.2 miles | 13m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 61/110
Overall: 0/2600
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]