Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
hot!F / 0C
Total Time = 15h 02m
Overall Rank = 1677/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 66/
Pre-race routine:

Pre Race activities:
The timing of this race is really brutal for me. I am a teacher, and school started the day AFTER my race. So I started back 3 weeks early, wanted to get everything ready for that first week ahead of time. Thursday was finally here, and I got to fly out after school. Kathi my ultimate roommate picked me up at the airport and we met the others at dinner. I convinced the rowdy ones to go to my beloved Wet Willies for a frozen drink.
Friday was get registered, pick up my rented zipp wheels, and go for a short ride day. I ended falling asleep 2 hours for a nap—those Galt House beds are deadly! Thank god I got out for a ride, since my gears weren’t shifting well. One of the benefits of staying at the host hotel is that Inside Out Sports is right inside. A mechanic fixed the derailleur for me, and I was off to a massage and the banquet dinner. It was disappointing, Mike Reilly wasn’t there and his backup wasn’t good. Most of the night seemed adlibbed. Oh well. Even Kathi and I were starving by 10 and ordered some food from the the hotel.
Saturday was my favorite day. We had the practice swim first, then an easy bike, and then the Undie Run! The swim didn’t go well. My shoulder hurt the entire time . I turned off early, worried that I was doing some real damage. I began to think surviving the swim was my only real goal of the race! Easy bike ride, then we met in the lobby in our underwear. Yep, undies. It was hilarious, we made a pyramid in the lobby. Our group I think was a hit, and we only lost the biggest group because the local Louisville tri group had more! Our run was more of a run to the potties and back, just long enough! It was really hot, and I wanted to get off my feet. Got some food with Sherpa Extraordinaire Alice, and then headed back home for a nap. Kathi and I got our breakfast for dinner once again, and turned in for bed at 8. Oh! Alice gave us the funniest present, our Ironballs. Basically everything we would want before, during and after the race. My favorite was the vomit bag. Ha! Oh and depends.
Race Day!
4:00 we were up, got our bottles ready, got dressed, and went down with Alice and Kathi to transition. Got there at 4:35, got in at 4:45. I couldn’t inflate my tires, was going to wait in line to get them to pump it, and decided that it was going to be hot enough to inflate them a little more. Got to see all the girls which was nice, then headed over to the swim line. Despite it only being racers in line this year, I was only a little farther ahead of the last time I did this. Now was hurry up and wait time. Sat with Melinda, Kim, Madalyn, Lizzy, Sandi, Kathi, Jim, Lisa, and Erin. It was fun to have people to hang with, including the McNabbs, the Peters, Madalyn’s family, and our awesome sherpas Susie and Alice. Its quite awful, all you want to do is get going, but you have to wait. And of course you have to pee. Repeatedly. It became a funny joke. I think we all had puddles we were standing in…

  • 1h 19m
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 05s / 100 meters

I love this swim start. All of a sudden you’re running down the ramp and jumping in. I had gotten my shoulder worked on and taped, and I was just hoping to survive. I had one jerk swim right on top of me—ridiculous b/c there was plenty of room. He smacked me in the face and I jumped up to scream at him. Typical ass that just had to be on someone’s feet and was going through anyone in the way. I can’t stand this about swimming in races. I wish there was some way to stop this from happening…I think it would possibly end some of the recent issues that have been happening.
Anyways, I had a decent swim. As typical, if someone was not sighting well and was bumping into me, I’d just pull up and wait for them to swim their way and swam around them. It costs me a lot of time, but I just can’t stand contact. I did have to push a bunch of people with my arms to the side, but I tried to put the least amount of pressure on my bad shoulder. There didn’t seem to be a lot of current, and after as I talked to folks, they all agreed. It normally gives you a good push when you get around the island, this time it just seemed flat. The swim also by most accounts it was 400 m long. I made it under the two bridges and thank god saw the finish. 1:19, my worst IM time, but considering it was long, non wetsuit, and I was worried about my shoulder hurting, I was ecstactic.

What would you do differently?:

See a doc earlier for my shoulder, since it was sore post that 112 mile ride end of June. I just swam through it, thinking it was tired.
Transition 1
  • 07m 41s

saw my coachy (his nickname ) Scott and Laura, and I ran past my bags! They had to call me back. Oops! My volunteer was awesome. She helped me turn on my GPS (my athlete thingy is awesome!!! Get this for your race!), and put away all my stuff. It’s the first time I had someone to help me and it really did make a difference. Grabbed my bike and out I went. I even choked up a little seeing the crowds. I think I was so worried about that swim I was happy to be out doing what I loved most!
  • 6h 53m
  • 112 miles
  • 16.27 mile/hr

the leg I felt most confident about, and yet when I started, I had bad feelings about it. Negative thoughts. Then I decided it is TOO long a day to feel like I didn’t want to do it, I had horses to see and volunteers to thank. I decided I was going to thank everyone, be the most gracious guest I could, wave and smile to all the spectators. It really did change my mindset! I ended up having a great first 60 miles, averaging 17.3 miles—awsome for me! My only real difficulty at first was refueling. I had baggies with my Perpetuem measured out, but I had to stop. As much as I liked this stuff, it cost me at least 15 minutes in bike time. The funniest thing was that in packing I had put my premade baggies in my water bottles. In making my bottle the day before, I took out the baggie and filled it. But I couldn’t seem to get any fluids in easily. When I went to refuel, I noticed I had a 2nd baggie I left in there!! Too funny. No wonder I couldn’t get anything! Fixed that, and off I went. I also had started to get a headache, plus my shoulder was really hurting in aero position. I took 2 advil, which is not what I wanted to do (I should have had Tylenol) but since I expected the headache on the run, that’s where I had my Tylenol. Might have been what caused later problems…
My highlight was stopping in L’Esprit to pet two Thoroughbreds on the side of Ballard School. I stopped, put down my bike and ran since they were right on the fence. When I was going back to my bike, I saw many cyclists smiling at me, a couple said, “that was so cool!” to me. Why not pet a horse? After all, I was trying to be positive.
Oh, I forgot to mention I saw one cyclist miss a downhill turn and go skidding over a guard rail-crazy! By the time I got to him he was popped up. Thank god. Also in La Grange a cyclist ran right into the back of a car that stopped suddenly. Honestly, the drivers in Louisville are terrible, probably the worst where I’ve ever biked. It can make for a dangerous race. Plus we had the 20 mile stretch where some jerks threw tacks on the road (I think I saw at least 15 people with flats, and one guy I talked to got THREE). And, there were two men that were jumping out from around a bush trying to startle people off their bikes! Unbelievable.
Anyways, saw my coachy and Laura dressed up in costumes, and they switched for the second loop! That was a hoot. And La Grange always gives me a boost. But I noticed that I could not eat anything. Everything was just sitting in my stomach, not absorbing. I had added two salt tabs to all my powder, plus took a couple extra. That was enough for all my training rides! But whatever reason, I just couldn’t eat. I kept trying to force feed myself, and drank a lot of water. Then around mile 90 the wheels literally fell off. My quads were aching. I only had 17 miles left, and I was already trying to take it easy since around mile 80 I could feel I was struggling. Well, I was going up a little hill (nothing compared to earlier) and my quads just locked up. Both of them! I pulled over, tried to unclip, and my entire leg cramped in the process. WHAT THE??? That had never ever happened to me. I’ve done plenty of races in 100 degrees, today didn’t seem that hot by comparison, and I had taken in my salt. Maybe I just didn’t get in enough calories? No idea. I had some cyclists go by trying to encourage me as I stood there, head in my hands, trying not to puke, since I suddenly felt nauseous. Forced myself to get back on the bike, telling myself my race is done. I just have to get to T2, its only 13 miles. Well I had to bike with my toes pointed down, coasting whenever possible. So frustrating. I got there, but my last split was 14.2, if that tells you how badly off I was.

What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I did what I had done all along. I do want to get away from having to stop to put my nutrition in the bottles, since even though I was pulled completely off the road, I still had some guy "rearend" me at a stop. I need to streamline the nutrition. Unfortunately I like variety. Decisions, decisions.
Transition 2
  • 13m 55s

where I saw my angel Susie Rocks! I told her I was doing really poorly, and hadn’t decided if I was going to attempt the marathon. She massaged my legs with biofreeze, handed me coke and was a wonderful supportive friend. I also so Lizzy, who was my biking race buddy (how many times did we leapfrog?) and Cathy and Michelle in the tent! Gave them a hug, and decided I’d try to do 13 miles, even at a walk.
  • 6h 27m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 46s  min/mile

: or walk, as it was. Saw Pat McNabb, gave her a hug, saw Alice and told her she needed to call my mom to let her know I was possibly DNFing. I didn’t want her to worry if I was moving slowly, since she was watching the GPS. Then I finally saw Laura and Coachy Scott. I told him how worried I was, he told me to take in lots of salt. Managed to actually run out and back on the bridge, seeing Shelly, Slake, Michelle, Cathy, Jim, Kim, and Kristin. So awesome seeing so many people!!
I tried to stretch my quads out but that was a big mistake. My hamstring grabbed immediately. I held a parking meter to balance while it settled, and some people came running over to me to check me out. I told them oh, its just going to be a long long day! Settled into a trot, walk, trot, walk. Along the way I met many many cramp casualties. Handed out salt tabs and tums to 5 different people! It was funny since the rest of the time, I’d see them and they’d yell “there’s my tums buddy!” or whatever I game them. I made it slowly to the turn around past Churchill Downs, and there I saw Kristin. She came to me and just started crying, she had a terrible headache and was miserable. Since I had basically talked her into the race, I promised to just walk to let her catch me.
She finally caught up to me at mile 13, and we walked the next 6 miles together. This was my favorite part. We talked to everyone, and even played Jenga with some college boys who were so tickled we stopped that they offered us a beer. We also applied Vaseline to our butts in Special Needs, much to the delight of the crowd. chafing! Good lord. This was my first time not changing in an IM, and I still haven’t figured out how to run in tri shorts that long.Finally after getting some chicken broth down and another Tylenol, Kristin was ready to run, and unfortunately she’s a lot faster than I am. Plus all the walking had caused enormous blisters on the balls of my feet. Then I saw Cathy Tucker, who wasn’t able to eat anything on the run, and decided to stay with her. I could have hobbled along and knocked maybe 30 min off my time, but at that point, it didn’t seem important at the time. I knew we had plenty of time even if we walked the last 7 miles.
We ended up with a little “posse” as I called them for quite awhile. A girl from Louisville doing her 3rd IM, and a guy from Columbia, MD doing his first. I was speedwalking along, pulling them to doing a 15 min mile. Plus I got to see Slake looking GREAT, Shelly, Kristin on her way back, Melinda, Drew, and Lisa, who were killing it!! Kim and Sandi were also looking really strong, and I got to commiserate with my friend Rob and Greg. Kathi also kept up with a run every time I saw her. It was so great to see so many friends doing well…even the ones struggling were going to finish. Cathy wanted to run and I said let’s just wait till mile 25. We got there, and finally saw the turn left to get back to 4th street. After that, it was a blur. Cathy told me to go ahead, and I just picked up speed. I was by myself, the way I’ve ended every IM, unaware of the time, and just so tickled that after thinking I was done in T2, here I was crossing the finish line with almost 2 hours to spare!!

What would you do differently?:

I probably need to racing with friends! it makes it hard for me, if I see someone struggling, I tend to forego my own needs If I was racing by myself, I may have just kept running. But you know, I probably would make friends with someone and helped them too. Its just my nature...
Post race
Warm down:

Lisa was there at the finish, and gave me a hug. Cathy came in right after and they took her begrudgingly in a wheel chair! I made it slowly to the massage tent, got my morning bag, and managed a slice of pizza. So different from last time! I was actually hungry! I couldn’t hang around though. My chafing was so bad, and I couldn’t stand on my feet. I had a two inch blister on each of my feet, and I smelled like urine (good lord, I could smell myself!) So I decided to get back up to the room and take a shower. Ordered some pizza and hung out with Kathi and Alice. :)
The next day Kathi had scheduled a tour of the backstretch at Churchill Downs for us. Honestly, it was what I was most looking forward to! After a listless night of sleep, maybe 3.5 hours tops, we headed over and got to watch horses work out on the track for 30 minutes, plus tour the barns. AMAZING. Finally it was time to take a quick nap, get food, and head to the airport.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My stomach shutting down, that is for sure. I had ridden in 105 degrees several times, I thought I had this figured out. 5 century rides, 5 80 mile rides. So frustrating. And since I couldn't get enough nutrition, I assume thats why I had leg cramps? No idea, as that its never happened before.

Plus, my decision to walk early was a costly one. I thought I was getting salt in to reduce the cramps, which it did, but the blisters! Since my walk gait is so different, my feet just weren't adapted to walking that far.

Finally, my shoulder issues, but I don't think that was so much of a limitation as was my refusal to just swim through contact. The stopping to let others go by me, well, I have to either just deal with a slow time or deal with the contact.

I thought I was done with the IM distance. The problem is, that wasn't the race I'm capable of. I know I"m capable of a 6:20 on that bike course, and I'm capable of a 5:30 marathon. Getting all that together is another story. Sub 14 is entirely possible...and I'll be back to get it.

Event comments:

I do love this race. Even with the tacks, and the bad drivers, I do love love love this city. The volunteers, with the southern hospitality, are amazing.

The horses are everywhere, and they even have the buglist from Churchill Downs come play "My Old Kentucky Home" before the race. What can I say, its my heaven. Horses and triathlon!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-03-26 12:00 AM
01:19:00 | 3800 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
Age Group: 26/
Overall: 770/
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:41
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:53:00 | 112 miles | 16.27 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 13:55
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:27:00 | 26.2 miles | 14m 46s  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]