Ironman Louisville - Triathlon

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
91F / 33C
Total Time = 12h 23m 23s
Overall Rank = 457/2400
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 78/300
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 2AM and had ate a fruit pouch, a couple bites of spaghetti and drank some sports drink. Went to the bathroom and then went back to bed. My alarm went off to wake me up after what seemed to me like a few minutes (actually 2.5 hrs). Got up, took a shower said goodbye to my wife and walked the 3/4 mile to transition, making sure to keep sipping on my sports drink the whole way.
Event warmup:

I really did not warm up for the event per se. After I got to transition I aired up my tires and loaned my pump to a couple other athletes, one of which broke my pump.... After that I made my way to the swim start which was about another mile walk. I have to admit that I was pretty shocked to see the length of the line at the swim start. Since it's a time trial first come first served start people were sleeping on the sidewalk and pretty much camped out. I had to walk barefoot for what seemed like forever and a day just to reach the end of the line. After getting there I talked with the athletes around me, some of which had done the race before. One of the athletes (don't remember her name) told me that she got a bacterial infection in her mouth after swimming in the river the previous year. I was a little concerned because it rained pretty heavily for the previous 2 days before the race. There was a sign by our hotel right on the river that said, I shit you not, "Avoid skin contact with water after rain".... needless to say, I made a mental note NOT to swallow any water on the swim. After about 30 minutes in line I saw my Wife, Kids and my Dad. I was pretty happy to see them. Right after they showed up the line started moving pretty fast. I'd say within 20 minutes we got to the swim start. Along the way we got to see the pros swim by and struggle through the current on the way out to the tip of the island. I was very surprised at the current. It seemed like they were moving really slowly at points.
  • 1h 12m 44s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters

Beware of the water here. It turns anything of light color to a dookie brown. Outside of that I had a good swim. Nice and relaxed, long gliding strokes and just taking it easy. I was very conscious of not going out too hard and getting my HR out of bounds. Once I hit the turn I picked up the pace and really got into my stride. Before the turn it was hard to be consistent because people were all over you. There were plenty of aimless wandering swimmers that would swim back and forth into me. I was a lot more aggressive on this swim than I have been in the past. I did not kick people but I forcefully pushed people off of me.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I was happy with my swim.
Transition 1
  • 07m 43s

T1 was pretty insane. As I came out of the water I was cheesing pretty good. I felt great, saw that my swim time was faster than I planned for and was just really happy to be through the first part. I ran up the chute past the walkers and hollered out my number to the bag runners. My bags were right by a sign so it was easy to direct the runners exactly where to go. I got my bag quickly and then headed into the changing tent. It took a sec to find a seat because the whole tent was jam packed. People were just meandering about..... as if there was not a race going on. I packed all of my items in such a manner that I could methodically put them in my pockets or use them etc. After getting situated I sprayed myself down with sunscreen and ran out of the tent. Stopped by the sunscreen station and all of the volunteers were already helping others so I helped myself. Ran to my bike and headed out of transition. As I was going under the T1 Bike out inflatable I heard my Dad yelling my name and was super happy that I did not miss them. Hopped on my bike and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out a way to shave off some time, even though transition is ginormous.
  • 6h 07m 12s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.30 mile/hr

I think I was pretty paranoid about hydration so at every aid station I took on a bottle of water, a bottle of perform and slugged down as much water as my stomach could handle right away and then the rest of the time between stops I would alternate between perform and water. I also took salt tabs every couple hours and was taking a gel every 30 minutes (all of which I brought with on the bike). I even snagged some gu chomps and munched on them to break up the gel monotony. Overall I was well hydrated. I can neither confirm nor deny peeing on myself......

I was not paying attention to anything other than cadence and HR until I hit the somewhere around mile 80. I picked up the pace and pushed up my HR to the top end of zone 2 for the remainder of the ride. I felt really good and felt like I had a ton in the tank so I was comfortable doing so. On the final 20 miles or so I had a pretty comfortable pace going.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
Transition 2
  • 06m 5s

T2 was a lot less hectic than T1. There were not nearly as many people in the changing tent and it was much easier to get my stuff on and get out of transition. With the same methodology I used in T1 I had everything in my bag so I would not forget anything. I put on some more sunscreen and headed on out.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe move a little faster.
  • 4h 49m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 04s  min/mile

I think the best decision I made for the run was to fill my arm coolers with ice. I was doing everything in my power to stay cool on the run. Even with my hat, arm coolers and tri top full of ice I was still super hot. The first 6 miles were great. I felt really strong and good and was surprised that my legs did not feel heavy like they usually do running off the bike. My hydration on the run was pretty rough, at least in comparison to the bike leg. Perform was not agreeing with my stomach and neither were gels. I was drinking water and about every hour some salt tabs but I could tell that I was starting to fade because I was not taking on many calories. I tried coke and regretted it, as it was nowhere near flat. I was burping for the next couple miles. The winning combo was water and pretzels. Surprisingly enough I could eat as many pretzels as I wanted and my stomach was digging it. I kept this up throughout the remainder of the race and did not try anything else because it was working. I did not walk at all except for the water stops. A couple took longer than I wanted because I needed ice and it seemed like several of the stations were getting low or did not have just ice. If I had not been stuffing my arm coolers with Ice I think it would have been a completely different run for me. The volunteers on the run course were great. They helped me stuff my arm coolers and clothing with ice and made sure I got everything I needed. What was really cool was to see my Dad at the mile 3 aid station. He was volunteering and I almost went right by him. He hollered at me "Hey Alex!" and I snapped back to reality. He walked with me to the end of the aid station and we chatted briefly until I started running again. Lots of cool spectators cheering you on along the entire way. I tried really hard not to look at distance completed/left and pace. I focused on HR the whole way and made sure I was in the zone. I was getting a little concerned that my HR was so low, as usually it's the opposite. I decided not to worry about it too much because I felt great. Around Mile 20ish, right around the last turn I started to flag a little bit and really had to struggle through (mentally) not walking. I just focused on making it to the next aid station. After a couple 2-3 miles I started to feel better and picked up the pace significantly because I felt pretty good and kept that pace to the finish. As I approached the finish I could hear the spectators and was really ready to cross and finish. The closer I got the more I was smiling. I could not help it at all. I was looking for my family the whole way across the finish. As I got closer some dude was sprinting around me to the finish.... butthead. Anyways, about 30 yards from the finish line I heard my Dad hollering from behind me and turned around and saw everyone. My son was on my Dad's shoulders and looked pretty wide eyed. I'm not sure he even knew it was me. I turned around to wave at them and before I knew it was across the finish line. I walked to the end of the chute and waited for my wife and family. We sat a little ways from the finish for about 20 minutes or so while I collected myself.
What would you do differently?:

I think I could probably have pushed myself a lot harder on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

No real warm down... lol. My warm-down consisted me walking through the finisher's chute and plopping my butt down on the nearest suitable seat.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Definitely the heat. I was pretty paranoid about the heat and the effect it would have on me. On one of the longer training sessions I had this year I bonked on the run because I was severely dehydrated and it devastated my ability to run. I did not want this to happen during my race so I took it easy where I could and probably over-hydrated. I was a little concerned about electrolyte loss with the excessive urination but took salt tabs to compensate.

Event comments:

This race was a great race overall. The race was very well supported and the volunteers were great. Everything was on time and very well organized. I was able to quickly check in and get my packet without issue. A great part of the race are the spectators. They were cheering athletes on all along the bike and run, more so on the run but it definitely makes a difference.

If you're thinking about doing this race I would highly recommend staying at the Galt House hotel, which is where I stayed. It's the host hotel and was fairly nice. The reason I recommend it is because packet pickup and Ironman village is inside the hotel. There's also restaurants inside the hotel that serve buffet breakfast (not free) that's pretty descent. Anyways, the location is close to transition and made it much easier to get everything done easily, especially with my family (pregnant wife, 2 & 10 year olds) in tow.

Last updated: 2014-06-13 12:00 AM
01:12:44 | 3800 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 143/300
Overall: 980/2400
Performance: Good
No HR data for the swim
Suit: Tyr Torque Lite
Course: The course is a time trial start with the first 1/3rd of the course going into the current. Once you hit the end of the island you swim a couple hundred yards further to the turn buoy. Once you hit the turn you can feel the difference in swimming with/against the current. It's much easier on the way in from the turn.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:43
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
06:07:12 | 112 miles | 18.30 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/300
Overall: 639/2400
Performance: Good
Avg HR on the bike was 139. I tried really hard to maintain zone 2 throughout the bike leg. I was surprised by some of the hills. I saw that there was ~5400 ft of climb but that means nothing to me really..... Some of the hills were pretty significant but I spun up them and maintained a level HR as much as possible. Never went anaerobic at all.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: The course is a nice course for the most part. There were some rougher patches of road but generally speaking the road surface was good. The roads were all still very wet from all the rain. As I was saying in the previous section I was surprised by some of the hills (up and down). It was a little more than I was expecting but I did not have any problems whatsoever with the hills. I did see some pretty serious crashes on the descent though. You have to be careful on the descents because speeds can get close to 40 miles an hour, I think I topped out somewhere around 36.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 06:05
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:49:39 | 26.2 miles | 11m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 78/300
Overall: 457/2400
Performance: Good
My AVG R for the run was actually lower than on the bike. I'm not sure how this was possible but I was pushing to get my HR into mid zone 2. It felt like I really had to push hard to get my HR to raise significantly. In the latter part of the race I was going faster than I had all day and was in zone 1.9.... WTF??? I just rolled with it.
Course: The course is a two loop out and back and generally flat with a couple small hills, if that's what you want to call them. Toughest part of the run was having to run by the finish line on the way out to the your second lap. Pretty tough to see. Other than that there were lots of areas with nice shade trees but it was a really hot and humid sun.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4