Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
72F / 22C
Total Time = 14h 23m 19s
Overall Rank = 1713/2573
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 289/376
Pre-race routine:

Walked down from the Marriott hotel with my race buddies about 5:15 so that we would arrive at transition right after it opened. We weren't too worried about our place in the swim start line because we are all pretty strong swimmers.
Checked out my bike and tire pressure, filled my aero bottle, and loaded my nutrition. Dropped off all my bags and then we began the long walk to the swim start. We got there about 6:30 and the line was over a half mile long!
The difficult part was that the morning was 46 degrees and it was hard to juggle all of my swim stuff and keep warm.
Event warmup:

Nothing much, mainly trying to keep warm and conserve energy for a really long day.
  • 1h 13m 3s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters

So this is where I'll admit that I severely under trained for this event. My family had been relocated from the midwest to the east coast in July and it really blew a hole in my training plans. Most of my swim practices were 45 minutes or less and only once did I swim a 2 mile practice session. That being said, my goal was to push to make the turn and then take advantage of the current that Louisville is famous for.
The reality is that the current was almost non-existent this day, but I still had a very good swim. Just kept things nice and steady with only occasional pushes to get past slower swimmers.
I made a decision to take the turn wide and swim further out in the channel and I think this was good as most of the swimmers tried to stay very close to the island and I heard many talk about how chaotic their swim was. For me, I really didn't encounter many people until close to the final bouy when I had to turn in towards the shore.
What would you do differently?:

For my swim, I don't really think I would do much differently. I actually liked not having too many "long" swims and felt this kept my shoulders and body fresh. I was actually 2 minutes faster than my previous Ironman swim time. I've always been a pretty strong swimmer and don't know that I could do much more to improve my times.
Transition 1
  • 12m 22s

What can I say, I'm a slow transition person during a full Ironman. It was a long run up the beach into the transition tent and then again to the road, but I didn't do much running and I took my time to dry off and catch my breath in the transition tent.
Because the early morning was so cold, I took extra time to dry off and put on my arm warmers before leaving to grab my bike.
What would you do differently?:

I should probably stop slacking in transition, but what can I say? It's going to be a long day no matter what.
My biggest issue in transition was that right as I was coming in another competitor stepped on my big toe with his bicycle cleat! Needless to say, that would come back later in the day...
  • 6h 41m 40s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.73 mile/hr

So again, undertrained. I never rode more than 60 miles during my training and knew this was going to be rough. However, I decided to just go for it and leave it all out there. I will also say that I underestimated just how hilly this course would be and the strong headwind on the backside of the loop and on the way back to transition was just murder.
I'd been working all season to become a stronger biker and really wanted to try to keep my average pace over 17mph (compared to 15 in my first IM). This seemed to be working, and for the first 60 miles I had almost an 18mph pace despite the hills! Sadly, by the time I finished the first loop, I knew that I would be in trouble and from mile 60 to 69 I hit the hills and the wind and my average speed dropped all the way to a 12! The rest of the way, I was able to hold a 16.7 average to slightly recover myself, but I also knew that I was burning myself out and would pay on the run!

What would you do differently?:

Keep training, I know that I've still got room to get better on the bike. Also in the future, more long rides to try and prevent such a drop-off in my performance
Transition 2
  • 12m 27s

Pulling into transition, I actually lost my legs once I got off the bike and almost spilled. Thankfully there was a volunteer right there who caught me and I handed over my bike and took off down into transition once more! I took a few extra minutes in the tent to rest my legs and my backside from that ride, but tried not to sit for too long or I might never have gotten up. So I got my shoes and visor on, strapped on my race belt and headed out for a little 26 mile run...
What would you do differently?:

I just really need to be better about getting in and out of transition
  • 6h 03m 47s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 53s  min/mile

So as I mentioned several times already, I knew I was going to be in for a long evening thanks to my lack of training. Included in this was a decision to try something different and not carry any of my own water or nutrition, but to rely on the course. Although they always say nothing new on race day, I've done it a few times with success and this was no different. I will probably do this in future events also. Finally, because my legs were fried from that bike, but my plan was to just do a very easy run and put a walk break in every half mile. This pattern worked out perfectly with the aid stations, so it basically looked like run .5, walk .2, repeat. I did this perfectly for 13 miles, but then my legs just wouldn't go any further, and it really became much more of a walk. I went from a 10:45 average and dropped to a 13 and all the way to 17 for the final section. Honestly at the turn I wasn't sure if I even wanted to keep going, but thankfully the crowd there was great and my wife actually ran out there for about 200 yards just encouraging me and telling me not to stop. So as painful as it became, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.
At mile 24, I decided that it was time to just do whatever was necessary and "run" the last two miles. It hurt, but let's face it, everything hurt by then, so I just kept pushing. Within a half mile, I could hear the music and the crowd and started to get that final burst of adrenaline! I made the last turn onto fourth street and there it was! Nothing left but to run down into that yelling crowd and the finisher's chute! I was giving the crowd high fives and smiling all the way to the arch and got to hear those awesome words, "Arick Tuhro, You Are An Ironman!" for the second time!! I'm pretty sure that no matter how often I hear that, it will still be amazing.
What would you do differently?:

better training
Post race
Warm down:

Walked down through the chute and just rested against a railing for a minute. My wife and sister-in-law were there and handed my flip flops over so I could pull my poor feet out of those running shoes. Talk about the best feeling ever!
I left the chute and we walked over to one of the several restaurants by the finish line for a little food and a post race beer!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training

Event comments:

So I'm glad that this race was moved to October as the weather was beautiful for a race! However, I think the swim start was very chaotic and stressful trying to get all your stuff on and organized with a line that just took off. Lots of people struggled to get on their wetsuits and I saw people forgetting goggles and swim caps. Otherwise, the swim was really nice and the volunteers throughout the day were just awesome!
The bike course is extremely tough, and the unusual headwind made it even tougher. There are really only two complaints that I have about the course. 1.) It was very lonely for the most part with only a couple of sections that had a lot of people. 2.) The extra out and back that they put in was awful! It had two monster climbs that you had to do and because bike traffic was going both directions, you would often get stuck on the climb behind slower people that just killed your momentum. That section was apparently new this year and was just brutal.
Despite the cool idea of the finish being in that section of fourth street, I actually thought it lacked the energy of my previous Ironman experience. I also thought it was horrible to have the finishers food and stuff be set up a few blocks away in the expo center. I know it sounds really pathetic to complain about a couple blocks when I just went 140.6 miles, but then again, I just went 140.6 miles! Would it be too much to ask for food and an area to sit down be right outside the chute? Also, when I finally got into the expo center all they had was cold pizza and water and soda. No chocolate milk, no alternatives, just greasy pizza. I walked out and went into a nearby restaurant for some real food.
The city of Louisville really comes out and supports this race, and it is a beautiful town. That being said, I would not come back and do this race again.

Last updated: 2015-03-11 12:00 AM
01:13:03 | 3800 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 164/376
Overall: 950/2573
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless
Course: About 900 meters upstream and then turn into the channel and swim the rest of the way back down to Joe's Crab Shack
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 12:22
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:41:40 | 112 miles | 16.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 234/376
Overall: 1337/2573
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Oh my god, can you say hills??? Roughly a 20 mile out and back and a looped section that you have to do twice
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 12:27
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
06:03:47 | 26.2 miles | 13m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 289/376
Overall: 1713/2573
Performance: Bad
Course: Very flat two loop course. The first mile is heavily lined with spectators and they are then scattered along the course, but there are lonely sections. Finishing your first loop right in front of the finish line is a brutal mind screw, but otherwise it's a friendly course with a pretty cool finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4