Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 14h 09m 52s
Overall Rank = 1311/
Age Group = W 35-39
Age Group Rank = 51/
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for this race in mid-July, but had been doing the training (and riding some StG fitness) to not start from scratch. Shelly, Slake and I arrived in Louisville on Friday and went to the athlete's dinner with some teammates. Not nearly as exciting without Mike Reily. We picked up Laura and Scott, our sherpas, from the airport that evening.

Saturday was the practice swim and some downtime before dropping our bags and bikes off and an early dinner. Got to bed around 10:30 pm or so which is later than usual, but I was feeling ok with it. I took 2 tylenol PM which helped me fall asleep.

Alarm went off at 4:30 am and I was feeling rested and good. Ate a PB&J sandwich and had coffee. Was nice to have a bunch of people around (Shelly, Slake, Laura, Baldwin, & Rob) as a distraction. We got our stuff together and left the Galt House a little after 5:30 am to walk to the transition area. It's never usually an issue for me on race morning, but I didn't have to go to the bathroom before the race (even after coffee) which was a little concerning. Besides this, I wasn't too nervous. I am sure it was a mix of it not being my first and having a fun group of racers and spectators to keep your mind off things.

Got to the TA and Slake helped pump up my tires. I let a bunch of air out the day before because of the high temps. Had 3 bottles of dilute Roctane and an aerobottle of water. A tad excessive, but I wanted my own nutrition as Perform is usually too sweet for me.

Once we were all done in the TA, the 6 of us walked the 1+ mile to the swim start. We got body marked and then found a nice open area to put on sunscreen and our swimskins. Had a mini Clif bar earlier and then a GU and some water before the swim.

At the race expo, we were able to score Race Day VIP passes which was awesome! Our wristbands got our 3 racers and 2 sherpas into the VIP sections. At the swim start, it included real bathrooms in the boathouse (instead of waiting in crazy long port-o-potty lines) and gave Scott and Laura some good swim viewing spots and food.

We hit the bathrooms again before walking towards the end of the line. At this point, it was almost 7:00 am and we decided to just wait on the side of the line until it came to us.
Event warmup:

No real warm up. We jumped on the end of the line and walked towards the swim start. There are ramps leading down to the water and we started jogging once we got to the bottom. Said our good lucks, waved to our sherpas and dove in the water. We probably started the swim 20-30 people from the back.
  • 1h 08m 56s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 28s / 100 yards

I felt really good (and confident) starting the swim. I'm not a huge fan of the TT start, but it was nice to not have the anticipation of the gun going off or have it be a complete mess to start with thousands of others. I had no issues navigating the channel, even with the sun rising and us swimming into it. Had fairly clear water for the most part and felt like I was passing a ton of people. Once we got past the island, the water got a little choppier. It felt like the turn buoy was really far away (I don't remember it being further out in the river). Made it to the buoy and took a left to swim down river. My sighting was really good and I was swimming on the right (versus near the shore) to try to get more current.

For the most part, I had a lot of open water and continued to pass people. It felt like it took forever to get to the first bridge. Being a point to point swim, I didn't really have an idea where I was distance wise in the water so while I glanced at my watch, it didn't do much. Made it under the 2 bridges and the swim exit was in site. I looked at my watch when I got to the buoy I swam out to the day before during the practice swim as I knew what it took me to swim back the day before. Was not thrilled with the time, but kept moving forward. Hit the stairs at the swim exit and was disappointed with my swim time. I had hoped to come out about 3 minutes faster. Told myself that it was a long day, the swim was done and in the books and don't get negative over 3 minutes.

Went with the lightly tinted goggles which was perfect. We had "tail sun" on the long stretch back and anything darker would have been too dark. They only fogged once which I cleared and it was never an issue again.

I've been swimming a lot more with masters and I definitely have a good IM swim in me. Today was just average.
What would you do differently?:

Push harder the whole way. I typically get bored and lazy during an IM swim and loose focus to continue pushing the entire way. Maybe if there were feet I could have jumped on and stayed with, it would have been a little easier to do. I reall just need to learn how to swim hard the whole time.
Transition 1
  • 05m 19s

I had some minor issues getting my swim skin unzipped, but finally managed to get it down to my waist.
Ran down the sidewalk and saw Laura and Scott jumping up and down with their signs screaming. Gave them a wave before grabbing my T1 bag (had no issues finding it since it was right near the end of the row and had black/pink duct tape on the top).

This was the first race where I wore a tri top and the same tri shorts for the entire race. I saw a few women sitting on the grass outside the women's tent entrace and thought I would be more efficient myself so I did the same. I dumped out my bag and peed in the grass as I got my socks/shoes/helmet/sunglasses on. Stuffed my med zip loc bag and 1 GU flask in my back pocket and another GU flask and my salt tab container in my cleavage.
I already had my arm coolers rolled up so I slid them on my wrists, packed all of my stuff in my bag, tied it and gave it to a volunteer as I went through the tent. The sunscreen station was right on the other side and I made sure to hit that before getting on the bike. Rolled my arm coolers up as I jogged/walked to my bike. Found my bike with no issues, got to the mount line and I was on my way.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was a good transition for me and it helped I didn't do a wardrobe change. Goal was 6 minutes so I'm happy I was under that.
  • 6h 56m 50s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.12 mile/hr

The first part of the course is flat...added with the tailwind, it was nice to be able to warm up without having my HR go through the roof right away. I set my interval timer to beep every 30 minutes so I could eat. My legs felt good and I used the first 30 miles as a warm up. I heard from a coach on our team to break the course up into mileage chunks of 30/30/30/22 and mentally, that really helped.

Hit the out and back still feeling pretty good. The sun was out, but the temps weren't really hot yet. I felt good on the hills and felt like I got passed a million times. I kept reminding myself to not get caught up with it and to race my own race.

I had to pee and knew I was between aid stations so I pulled over near a guardrail and some spectators to pee. Oh well. Nothing they hadn't seen before. They were funny and kept yelling to the racers, "nothing to see here". Around mile 35, I saw Laura and Scott in their costumes - a nurse and a bizzaro lifeguard with huge boobs and crazy pubic hair (I think the costume's name was Ineeda Waxin'). It was so nice to see familiar faces out on the course and their costumes were hilarious! I stopped to chat for 1-2 minutes before continuing on. LaGrange was fantastic! Music and tons of people lining the streets! Slake passed me around mile 48 and we exchanged some "good lucks".
The loops of the course are the hillier sections with the last 22 miles downhill/flat. I really remember the hills being a lot worse when we did this race in 2009 so it was nice having some extra riding confidence. There were a few short/steep climbs and I kept reminding myself how it was nothing compared to StG and I was so much stronger than that.

My head started hurting and my stomach was feeling off. I popped 2 Excedrin Migrane somewhere out there in the first loop. I was staying on point with eating every 30 minutes and tried to coninue with drinking enough, but am pretty sure I failed at that. Riding through every aid station, I would grab a bottle of water, squirt it in my helmet vents and up the back, on my arm coolers and then some in my aero bottle. I'd grab a 2nd bottle at the end of the aid station, squirting myself again and drinking some. I stopped at the aid station around mile 58 for a port-o-potty and some sunscreen. I saw Rob here and we chatted a bit as he rode past me.

Made it to Laura and Scott again (this time they switched costumes - hilarious). I was feeling off. Headache, stomach ache, and shaky. I had 3 bottles in SN which was right past Laura and Scott and Scott suggested I chug luquids.

At SN, my bottles were still icy (froze them the night before and had them in a soft cooler). I grabbed my extra tube and C02 and stuffed them in my back pocket. My new bottles were still cold/icy and I made an effort to continually drink/eat despite not feeling great. The volunteer at SN mentioned someone threw tacks on the road up ahead and to be careful. While I saw a ton of people changing flats, I thankfully didn't get one.

It was warming up on the second loop and the sun was strong. I turned on the last road and had a headwind for the return trip (~33+ miles) back to town. There were tons of guys sitting on the grass under trees with their helmets off having blown up. And I was happy to have made the clear decision early on to race my race and not get caught up. Stopped at the aid station around mile 88 to pee. I realized I had gone through all of my salt tabs at this point. Was going between eating GU and Chomps to see what was sitting the best. Neither were really, but I knew I needed to keep eating.

I think the thing I'm happiest about with this ride was my mental state. It was hot and I wasn't feeling great, but I never was completely miserable and wanted to quit (clearly, I saved some of those feelings for the run). I think a huge part of that was the suffering I did in St. George. Regardless of the hills or wind on Sunday, I kept reminding myself how much harder StG was and how I got through it.

The final 10+ miles, while into some wind, was nice and flat with some shade. I kept thanking all of the volunteers and police working the intersections.

Cruised into T2 happy with the bike. My goal was 6:45 and I think my actual moving time was around that if you take out the 6 stops I made (1 to pee on the side of the road, 2 to see Laura/Scott, 1 SN, 2 aid stations).

What would you do differently?:

Maybe stop less, but all were necessary...well, maybe not the stops to see our sherpas, but it was a definite pick me up.
Transition 2
  • 06m 33s

I pulled into T2 and kept reminding myself to take my Garmin. Happy to hand off my bike, I ran down the sidewalk and easily found my bag and jogged to outside the women's tent. It worked in T1 so I found a spot in the shade on the grass and dumped out my bag.
Body glided my feet before putting on my socks and shoes. I grabbed my small med ziploc bag along with my visor and sunglasses and put everything else in my bag.
I filled my small handheld water bottle in the tent and was off.
What would you do differently?:

I think hurry more. I was kind of out of it and felt like I was moving faster than I was. I have improvements to make here, but was kind of in a daze.
  • 5h 52m 14s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 26s  min/mile

AND the IM run. I've yet to even come close to mastering it.
I started the run and my legs felt great. I even said that to Laura/Scott when I stopped to see them the second time. It didn't feel like I had ridden 112 miles. The issue was my head and stomach. The temps were warm, but it didn't feel oppressive. Within the first half mile, I saw Laura, Scott and Alice. I stopped to chat a little and they said some other FeXYies weren't too far ahead. I walked up the bridge and ran once I got to the flat part. I saw Amy at this point who was probably a mile in front of me. We both said how miserable we were and I told her I was going to try to catch her.

As I was coming off the bridge, Laura and Scott were there. I remember telling Scott that all I wanted to do was walk. He told me no. So I ran...until about a 1/2 mile ahead and around a corner. The issue wasn't my legs. Anytime I put anything in my stomach, I felt like I wanted to puke. I knew I needed to keep eating/drinking though since I was already in a calorie and hydration hole.

I switched my watch to the usual 8' run/2' walk interval, but couldn't keep up with it. I then tried jogging street light to street light. Any running (or eating) would just further piss off my stomach. I saw Shelly and we stopped to chat on how tough the day was and not what we hoped for.

I never thought of quitting or even wanted to quit. But I didn't want to be out there on the marathon for as long as it looked like it would take me. I've done it before. Saw Slake and Rob and they always looked to be in good spirits and moving at a good pace. I saw Amy soon before I got to the run turn around. I stopped and cried to her. I was just so miserable wanting to run, but not being able to based on my stomach.

I started eating GU at a few of the aid stations, but tried different things as the run progressed to see if they'd sit better. Perform, oranges, chicken broth, ice, coke. Just really anything to get some calories in, regardless of how little.

Coming back into town was nice since the crowds picked up. Laura ran up to me around mile 14 and said she had a buddy for me. Amy was standing there chatting with Scott waiting for me. It was so nice to have a friend at that point of the day. We jogged some before stopping at SN where we both vaselined our asses on the street. Classy. Passing through town now, my spirits were lifted. My head was hurting less (took a total of 4 excedrin migrane and 1 tylenol during the day) and my stomach was a little better. We both stopped around mile 17 to hit the bathroom and my stomach felt a ton better after that. Saw Slake, then Shelly and then Rob all heading back to the finish.

Amy and I can pretty much have fun doing anything. We were doing a run/walk combo and made some friends along the way. She commented on how funny and random my conversations were with the other racers, but I can't recall what I said. We even stopped to take a turn at a big Jenga game some boys had in front of their place. They were so surprised we stopped and offered us beer and then water. We took our turn, politely declined and kept moving...and we didn't knock over the Jenga game.

Around mile 19, Amy told me to go ahead. I thanked her for the priceless company and started to jog. I tried to keep the 8/2 intervals and was doing ok, but at around mile 21, my chest felt tight and my breathing was shallow. I could only get it under control by walking. I kept walking at a fast pace as I was so ready to be done. Some guy asked if I was from NYC because I was walking so fast. I did some math and knew it would be tough to break 14 hours. I took in minimal calories the last 5-6 miles, but would take something at each aid station. It was pretty much a bandaid just to get to the next aid station. I knew I was rolling the dice. I linked up with a few other athletes here and there running or walking, but for the most part, I was solo. I was still having the weird chest feeling and felt out of it/dizzy/lightheaded so kept focused on the white paint of the bike lane and kept walking.

It's a great feeling knowing you have less than a mile left of the day. Made the left turn and then the right turn and started jogging once I could see the finish line. I saw Laura, Scott, Slake and Shelly on the side of the course cheering. It was so awesome to have them out there on the race course and sideline all day. I turned around to make sure I had a clear chute and tried to enjoy it as much as possible. Typically, the chute is painfree, but I really kept having to tell myself to not puke in the chute. And I reminded myself to smile...I was at the finish...and that's a good reason to smile. I took a quick turn around at the finish to see it from the other side (thanks for the idea from StG, Brad) and happily crossed the finish line for the 8th time.
What would you do differently?:

Oh wow...I'm not sure.
I was in semi-rough shape starting the run. We were talking about this yesterday in the car that it's easy to say what you'd do now that the race is over or that you didn't go hard enough. At the time, I felt like I did the best I could.

I think my issues on the run stemmed from the bike. I needed to drink more. I also debated on whether or not to wear a normal bike helmet or my black aero helmet. I ended up going with the aero helmet and not sure if that was a bad decision or not with the heat and sun.

My goal time for the marathon was 4:45 which clearly didn't hit.
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I put my hands on my knees and wanted to sit. The volunteer was great and tried to keep me moving. She offered me a wheelchair to sit, but I told her if it meant anything more than sitting (meaning I'd be carted away), I was fine. I made sure to not mention any chest or breathing issues as I had no interest in ending up in the med tent. Got my medal, hat and shirt before a picture.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat and probably not enough liquids. I knew it was going to be hot going into the race. In talking to Brad last night, I don't think I ever really tried out my exact raceday nutrition. I typically did long rides with Roctane drink, GU, Chomps and mini Clif bars. I had been having some stomach issues on the last 1-2 long rides and figured it was the Clif bars so I didn't have any race day. Looking back, I never did long rides with the intended nutrition I had for race day which wasn't a smart move.

There's always a lot of reflection and "what if's" in looking back on an IM race day for me and things I know I could have or should have done differently. And each IM I seem to learn something new.

Event comments:

The race was definitely organized and the volunteers were amazing. There were a ton on the course and all were very helpful. Each aid station had plenty of everything and the water bottles (even at the last aid station) were cold.

In the end, it was a good race. Had the fair share of highs and lows.
I know people think doing 3 IMs in the span of 9 months is insane, but I really do love the distance. Looking forward to some downtime (just a little) and some focused training for IM Mont Tremblant in 2013.

Last updated: 2012-07-11 12:00 AM
01:08:56 | 4156 yards | 01m 28s / 100yards
Age Group: 10/
Overall: 245/
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra swim skin
Course: Up the channel, around the buoy in the middle of the river, then left to go down the river.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:19
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:56:50 | 112 miles | 16.12 mile/hr
Age Group: 36/
Overall: 1215/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Lollipop shape course with a short out and back done once.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 06:33
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:52:14 | 26.2 miles | 13m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 51/
Overall: 1311/
Performance: Below average
Course: Short OAB on the bridge before two OABs ending at 4th Street Live.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4