Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 14h 40m 26s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Slept well all things considered. Got about 5 hours or so of sleep. Had my ear plugs in so I didn't hear my phone alarm, luckily Scottie heard it. He set a back up alarm but it was for Friday so that could have been disastrous! Ate a bagel as soon as I got up before I started getting nervous, drank some OJ and had some mediocre hotel room coffee. Took a shower, got dressed and packed up bottles before walking to transition.

Once at the bike I added bottles and nutrition to bento box, tires were good and Scottie adjusted my back brake which was rubbing. Dropped off special needs and activated Athlete Tracker and Garmin in my bike and run bag. Things went pretty smoothly and I got out of there as soon as I could, too much nervous energy for my liking.

Walked the mile to swim start, stood in a porta potty line for ab out 20 minutes then walked to the end of the swim line which was down by the end of the island at that point...not ideal but I was not getting in line at 4am! Was able to sit for about 20 minutes before the line started moving. Drank a bottle of water while waiting and had to pee so bad before the start but I was not about to squat behind the Hummer like most people were doing!
Event warmup:

Lots of walking, too much for my liking actually. I also hate that we weren't able to jump in the get acclimated, this really calms me down. My practice swim didn't go so well the day before (mini panic attack which I haven't had all year) so to say I was anxious about jumping in the water at the start was an understatement. I would have given anything to jump in somewhere beforehand.
  • 1h 30m 53s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

Ran down to the farthest dock and then jumped in off to the side to avoid getting clobbered by anyone. The water was warmer then the previous day so once I floated to the top I took assessment of my heart rate....felt ok so I started swimming. Whew crisis averted! The channel is a tad narrow so I tried to stay near the edge but I started drifting to the center and got into a bit of traffic, then I some more aggressive (ahem, male) swimmers sort of attacked from the back so I tried to move to the right. I felt great though and my heart rate stayed in check. Once we reached the end of the island we still had to get out to the turn bouy which was tricky to see since the sun was in out eyes but I just followed the crowd. I would have preferred to take this wide right again to avoid too much contact but I was too much in the thick of things to move over that much. Luckily it wasn't too bad so I just fought through it and tried to avoid the breast stoke kicks.

Once around the bouy it was just a straight shot to the finish. So thankful the sun was behind us, sighting was super easy. I stayed to the left of the sight bouys where there was a ton of "clean" water until we got near the end when the kayakers were pushing us to the right of the bouys. Encountered a few kicks and arms but nothing major. I thought the end would NEVER come. Many said the swim was about 1/4 mile long, which made me feel better because my time was slower then IMFL but I've been swimming more and stronger then last year. But I felt great, not tired at all so that's what matters.

I tried to soak in the swim, I have actually enjoyed my open water swims as of late and I know this will probably be my last Ironman swim for a while so I tried to enjoy it. Reached the stairs, got some help out and jogged to transition.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, would have LOVED to have an accurate swim so I could feel better about my time. Felt wonderful though and was very happy with this swim.
Transition 1
  • 07m 14s

Change tent was crowded as I expected so I went to the exit near a fan and put on arm coolers (last minute purchase that I am very thankful for!) helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes..then bike shoes off because I needed socks, added nutrition to my back pockets and I was off. I swam in my tri top and bike shorts which worked out quite well. I stopped at the porta potty (why can't I pee while swimming!) grabbed my bike and I was off!
  • 7h 16m 3s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.41 mile/hr

It felt great to be on my bike. I never thought I woudl say that! Again, I just wanted to enjoy this...the race is the reward for a long summer of training so I wanted to have fun. The first 10 miles or so is pretty flat so I stayed in aero, got myself settled, had a Honey Stinger waffle and started drinking water. I knew it was going to be hot (about 95 degrees) so I could not slack on the hydration. The one good thing about training in the heat all summer is that I knew I had to drink a LOT to not get loopy and get off the bike strong. Alan and Scottie both passed me on the bike which means I beat them out of the water...muahahaha, they might always beat me on the bike but I love that I can still beat them in the swim!

Got to the out and back which I was nervous about, we drove this part of the course and I knew there were some mega hills, I dropped to my small ring (Scottie would be proud, I never get into my small ring!) and decided to just spin the hills to keep my legs fresh. Lots of traffic since it was still early in the race but I stayed to the right to avoid any issues. I still am not comfortable getting into aero on steep downhills so I just stayed upright and relaxed. The hills weren't any worse then what I have done on Jack Bennett or Lystra, glad I did those hills all summer! There was a pretty nasty crash on an uphill at all places, a woman lost control of her bike and went over the edge of the road and hit the side pretty hard, very scary but she was conscious so I hope she was ok. Very happy to be completed with this leg and onto the two loops.

The loops were pretty consistent rolling hills except for the stretch in La Grange which was relatively flat and allowed me to stay in aero. the La Grange festival was awesome, a great pick me up!! I saw/heard Scottie's parents as I flew through downtown, so glad they were about to come and see us! I decided to stay in the small ring for the first loop but actually stayed in the small ring the rest of the race. There were a couple pretty steep hills and I didn't want to burn by legs out. Plus it was starting to heat up so I wanted to stay smart.

I took 2 bottles of ice cold water at each aid station, one for my aero bottle and one for my arm coolers, body and head. This worked perfectly because by the time my arm coolers were drying off I would be close to the next station. Keeping somewhat cool with the water really helped my mood! I drank almost all three of my Infinit bottles, 1 Honey Stinger waffles, 1 mini Bonk Breaker and my bag of Combos and Chomps. I drank almost a full water bottle each 10 miles and yet I only stopped at the special needs area to use the porta potty. By the way, Special Needs was around mile 65 or so...I wasn't a fan of them being so far past the halfway mark, I needed that little break! I had a great volunteer add more powder to my back bottle while I used the porta potty, re-applied chamois cream (heaven!) and was back on the bike.

The second lap was pretty lonely, near the end of the first loop we were getting passed by those finishing their second loop so there was a constant sound of disc wheels whoosing by. I was very excited to be at mile 90 and on the way back into town. I tried to keep my head in the game by eating, drinking, cooling off and just spinning the hills. There was a stiff headwind on the way back but I tried to not let it get to me, I had plenty of wind in Florida so I know how to deal with it. Lots of people were pulled off on the side of the road with what I assume was heat exhaustion, I was so thankful I was still feeling relatively good. My stomach felt a tad weird but no cramping or nausea.

Turning onto River Road was the best feeling ever, I knew the road was flat and I could just relax and spin out my legs. I was so thankful I didn't have any bike mechanical issues or flats, saw lots of people changing flats...later found out someone threw tacks on the road....some people!

Handing my bike off felt Mom calls it "Bike Valet Parking." I trotted over to the volunteer with my bag and happily went into the change tent.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was mentally prepared for the heat and hills, those 5 century rides this summer paid off. I never got down on myself or felt helpless like I did in Florida.
Transition 2
  • 10m 30s

Took my time to change into my running skirt, wipe off a bit and had another porta potty break to get myself prepared for the run.
  • 5h 35m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 49s  min/mile

I was SO happy to be running. Not just because this was the end of the race but because I was actually able to run. Last year I had an IT band issue that led to me walking about 18 miles of the marathon in Florida. I was so happy to be healthy and able to run! I decided to run to each aid station and walk through each to get hydrated and rest a tad. My legs were tight but nothing painful. My stomach felt better then on the bike. I only wanted ice water at the aid station, so I woudl take a cup then dump ice down my tri top, I figured it woudl benefit me to keep my core temperature down. The hottest part of the day was at the start of my run. I took a few salt tabs since I wasn't drinking the Perform, I woudl also occasionally take an orange slice for a bit of flavor. It's interesting how your body craves different things, last year it was chicken broth and bananas, this year it was ice water, oranges and the occasional cup of chips.

I saw Scottie on the out and back and ofcourse broke down in tears, I was so happy to see him! He said he was dehydrated but was able to walk run. He told me to catch him lol. I continued on with my walk run, feeling pretty up beat as I saw friends on the course. Then right around the time I had to pass the finish line to go on my second lap I started to get crabby. passing the finish line is not a new thing, same thing happened in Florida but here you literally run down 4th Street, see the finish, get cheered on by spectators only to turn the corner and keep going...that just plain sucked and sorta took the wind out of my sails.

Special needs was right there so I got my salt and vinegar Pringles and decided to walk and eat until I got to the aid station. I wish I had a drink in there, something to cleanse the palate...luckily I had some gum which helped a ton.

I continued on with my walk run until about mile 20 when I was just done. My legs were so tired, achey and sore. I felt very gassy but I couldn't tell at the time if it was gas or soemthing else. Then I started to feel woozy, the heat had caught up with me. Apparently others has stomach issues and dehydration issues as well. So I reached the point where I was no longer happy running so I walked. I ended up walking 4-5 miles, which was a bummer because I probably could have run but I just didn't want was definitely the dark point in an otherwise positive race..I guess we all have our moments. At about mile 25 or so Jonathon caught up to me and we walked a bit, then he decided to start running, I just didn't have it in me to run. Then I came upon an awesome spectator who said I was so close to the finish, after this I could stop moving, eat, drink a beer, put my feet was just the motivation I needed. I just wanted to stop moving. I woudl run to a traffic cone and then walk, then run, then walk until i turned onto 4th street. I was finally at the finish line, I could see the lights I could hear the crowds.

I ofcourse start getting emotional, I can't believe I did this again. The finish line really was the best thing ever, tons of lights and people and music. There was a girl in front of my so I slowed so we both could have our glory moment, then I just went nuts, cheering, fist felt amazing. I didn't care that I didn't meet my time goal, but I knew I did the best I could all things considered. I thought about my parents who were tracking me and almost lost is but I was just so incredibly happy at that moment when I heard my name...Jennifer, You are an Ironman. It never gets old.
Post race
Warm down:

I was caught by a lovely man at the finish line, then I felt like I was going to puke, he directed me towards a trash can where I bend over...not two seconds later the girl behind me also came over and actually did puke...I suddenly felt ok and was ready to walk.

I got my picture, my shirt, medal and hat and chatted with my catcher...who had already completed the race off :)

It felt so good to be done! It felt good to just walk. I met up with Scottie's parents who let me know he had been escorted to the Med tent for an we walked to the convention center to check on him and get me some food. I dreamt about solid food the entire run and when I get to the pizza, I could barely get a slice down. The chocolate milk was fantastic though! Scottie came out of medical without an IV, he was checked over and deemed ok to leave. We then met up with the rest of our crew to discuss our days. Then I got a massage which was wonderful as usual!

Thankfully Scottie's parents retrieved our bike and bags from transition, I can't imagine walking back to get that stuff...I will be forever grateful! I was so happy to not be in any major pain, just massive soreness but no injuries! We showered up then went to have a beer at the bar but I was only able to get halfway done before I felt like I could sleep right there in the bar, so off to bed it was.

I am sad I missed the finish line but I had no desire to walk all the way back. I slipped into my recovery tights and was out cold in minutes.

Event comments:

Well Louisville certainly lived up to all of the hype...lots of heat and hills. The town itself was quite fun, it was so nice to stay in the host hotel and be able to walk everywhere. The volunteers as usual were AMAZING! All ages were out there helping and I was just so appreciative. While I am not sure I would do this race again, just because I like to try new venues, I would recommend it for sure to anyone that likes a good challenge!

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Last updated: 2012-01-13 12:00 AM
01:30:53 | 4156 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:14
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:16:03 | 112 miles | 15.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 10:30
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:35:46 | 26.2 miles | 12m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
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]