Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
92F / 33C
Total Time = 12h 58m
Overall Rank = 623/1975
Age Group = 30-34 F
Age Group Rank = 22/86
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 1.5 hours before my alarm and just rested until no more resting could be done. I got up and prepared some oatmeal but had to make hot water using the coffee maker because there was no microwave, so my oatmeal tasted like coffee - ICK. I had a back-up plan of eating an Uncrustable so rather than my usual two bowls of oatmeal, I ate the one bowl of oatmeal and then the Uncrustable which would later turn out to be a poor desicion. I dressed and then woke a very sleepy Ron before meeting up with Jimmy, Leanne, Aldrin, and Rivi and crew in the hotel lobby for the walk to transition. Got into transition and put my water bottles on my bike and filled my aerobottle with water. I tried pumping my tires but was having trouble with the pump. I took my special needs bags to drop off and then I borrowed a pump to get my tires filled. I didn't like the way the pump was registering pressure so I wasn't real confident that my tires were filled where I wanted them to be but didn't spend too much time worrying about and then met up with the crew outside transition before walking to swim start. We stood around waiting for Rivi for a bit but nerves and anxiety got to us so we made our way to the swim start without him. Turns out Rivi had two flat tires on his bike so bike tech had to change them. The line at the swim start was already really long so we got into the port-a-potty lines. I had already used the bathroom twice before even leaving the hotel so I knew my nerves were getting to me a bit. We rendezvoused up again after the bathroom break and then made our way towards the back of the swim line but managed to get into the line somewhere before the end when a group sitting on the ground failed to get up in time when the line started shifting. Rivi got done in transition and then met up with us. I drank a Boost which I should have skipped but I wasn't thinking too clearly and never realized how many calories I took in when I ate the Uncrustable. We stood around chatting and talking about how nervous we were. Somehow Felix was able to spot us in line and came over and joined our party. I made another bathroom trip and then started getting really, really nervous about the race. We heard the pro gun go off and then I downed a GU and started getting even more nervous about the race and day. Sometime during the wait for the swim start, Ron was videotaping and he asked me to say something so I said "Go Me!" and that became my race mantra for the day.

Nutrition: 370 calories 3 hours before race, 240 calories 1 hour before race, 100 calories 20 minutes before race
Event warmup:

Just the walk from the hotel to transition and then from transition to swim start.
  • 1h 18m 8s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 51s / 100 yards

I really enjoyed the time trial swim start because it made for a much less crowded swim; and even the waiting in the swim line made for some fun and added to the race aura. We had two people jump in line in front of us as the line started moving. It turns out that one was the oldest competitor from Louisville doing the race so he was being filmed by the local news so we agreed to let him in so we could try and sneak in a little new coverage for ourselves - never got the news coverage, and my swim start got a little mucked up when the two people sat down on the dock and then slid into the water. I ended up jumping over them and into the water and I was off on my race. I slowly edged my way over towards the island as I was swimming the channel because I heard that was the best place to be to beat the current in that section, but I honestly never felt like I was swimming against current and didn't feel too much benefit for the current on the other section of the swim either. The turn buoy was a bit further from the end of the island than I thought but I didn't get really hung up on that and just kept swimming. Once we turned down stream I moved out (way out) towards the middle of the river, thinking I'd have a better push from the current. Being in the middle of the river gave me lots of open water to swim in but no feet to draft off of and left me wondering if I was too far off course. I had to alter my stoke a bit two times to try and re-seal my goggles which had a slow leak first on the right side and then on the left side. I would have let the water slowly seep in but the water was burning my eyes and I had heard the water wasn't the cleanest so I got a little bit nervous about just letting the water leak in. After the first bridge, I decided to start veering towards the other swimmers and started sighting more trying to really figure out where I was in the river. To me it seemed I was the only person way out in the river, but I was pretty sure I saw some swim caps out even further than me. Once we reached the second bridge, I decided to try and speed up a bit because I knew we where getting close to the swim exit. I got caught up in a couple of other swimmers here as I was trying to fight for the position I wanted as we headed towards the swim exit. I kept my swimming pretty steady the entire way and was pleased with my swim. When I hit the swim stairs I happily peeled off my goggles and had to squint from the burning sensation I was feeling - didn't make for very good swim exit pictures, but I don't think I've ever looked happy coming out of the water at any tri. I took a second to glance down at my watch and was thrilled to see 1:16 something on there. I have no idea where we crossed the swim mat because official swim time was 1:18 but I swore I saw 1:16 on my watch. My "perfect" race projection had a swim time of 1:15, and my "probable" race projection had a projection of 1:20 so I was very excited to know my predictions were pretty much on target and my race was well on its way.
What would you do differently?:

Stay near other swimmers and learn how to draft. I am assuming I did my more wandering out there than I was thinking as I swimming because there were very few swimmers were I was throughout much of the race.

Continue to strengthen my swimming and learn how to push the pace.
Transition 1
  • 03m 29s

I jogged the entire way from the swim exit right into the changing tent. I was a little annoyed with all the competitors walking and had to dodge a few people. I didn't come out of the water with a really high heart rate and jogging actually felt more natural than walking would have. With most of the others around me walking, I debated walking myself but really felt more comfortable jogging. I called out my race number as I reached the bag area, grabbed my bag and quickly went into the change tent, put on socks, shoes, helmet, glasses, and race belt. I downed a GU and took a sip of water before stopping for a spray down of sunscreen and then jogged to my bike. My bike was somewhere in the middle of my rack, and my rack was somewhere in the middle of the racks, so I took a slow jog so I could read the numbers on the ends of the rack so I wasn't wasting time going past my rack or bike. I grabbed my bike and ran towards the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I didn't mess around with much, and just did what I needed to do. I didn't over-pack my transition bags and kept things really simple. Really simple = very efficient transition.
  • 6h 42m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.71 mile/hr

I went into the bike nervous because a crew of friends had driven the bike course the day before the race and had some harsh words to say about the course. I was glad I skipped the driving tour of the course and tried to avoid listening to the comments they were making but I did catch that the hills come after mile 10 and never let up. I am not afraid of the ascents and have gotten more comfortable with descents but I was a bit worried about how to pace myself after hearing the comments. I took the first few miles very easy, but never felt like I needed to let my heart rate recover from the swim so I moved up into my big chain ring and cruised through the first 9-10 miles. As friends said, the race did get hilly after the first aid station. The out and back section on KY-329 definitely made me nervous about the rest of the ride. The road was very hilly and very curvy. The course was very crowded and there were lots of riders shouting as people were trying to manuever around each other. I didn't have any trouble with the climbs, but the curves on the descents and the crowds on the course had me very nervous. Shaun (Cubefarmgopher) passed me right near the turn-around so I was excited to see him having a great ride. As I made the turn off of 329, I said good bye to the road and made a wish that I wouldn't have to see that road again. I couldn't remember the course route so I was unsure if I would have to travel the road again on the second loop. I breathed a sigh of relief later in the ride when I realized it wouldn't be on the second loop. The LaGrange loop was just constant rollers and it felt like you were going into a headwind for at least 3/4 of it. The temperature seemed to make a rapid rise and the heat, hills, and wind definitely got to me by the second loop. My stomach starting getting touchy by about 50 miles into the ride, and I stopped at one aid station for a potty break. I stopped for my special needs bag and switched out and mixed my Infinit bottles. I saw/heard Ron on both loops through LaGrange and heard Felix cheering on the second loop and saw Anica and Amy on the second loop. It was definitely a pick-me-up to see and hear people you knew cheering for you. I spent a lot of the second loop trying to decide what to do about my stomach. I decided to stick with my nutrition plan as much as possible until I was puking. I never actually got sick but definitely felt close a few times. I altered my plan slightly and went from sipping Infinit every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes and that helped lessen the nausea but never eliminated it. Some time on my second loop, Karen (KSH) came by and we chatted for a few minutes. She was in a much happier place than I was at that time (I wasn't in an unhappy place but I was definitely working hard and wasn't nearly as happy as she was) and seemed to be riding a tad stronger than I was. I'm not sure if she was one her first loop or second and I never thought to ask her. Once I got through the second loop, I started to push my pace a bit more because I knew the ride was almost over and I knew I would need to pick up my pace to hit my 6:30 goal. On the last downhill before turning on to River Rd, I went into a big gear and hammered the hill as much as I could. I reached a max speed of 41 mph - that is huge for me because a year ago I wouldn't go over 30 mph without freaking out. I kept a strong pace and cadence on River Rd but I knew I was off my goal pace. Total ride time was right around 6:30 but with the bathroom stop and then the special needs stop I was 12 minutes over goal. I was definitely pleased with my effort and a little bummed I had some GI distress but I never got really upset over the slower than expected ride. There were some sections of the bike course that were annoying due to the cracks in the pavement, but for much of the course the roads were in great shape.

Nutrition: sips of Infinit every 15 minutes for the first 5 hours, then every 20 minutes for a total of about 1500 calories. I took a GU at the top of every hour, plus one as I was finishing the last few miles for a total of 700 calories.
What would you do differently?:

Hold back some on all the pre-race calories to avoid the stomach upset.

Figure out a way to lessen the stop time at special needs. If I decide to stick with Infinit, I will have pre-made bottles in special needs rather than wasting time mixing stuff up at special needs.

Push the pace harder on long training rides so I can push the pace harder on long IM rides.
Transition 2
  • 05m 24s

As I was on River Rd I debated whether or not to get my feet out of my bike shoes. I have gotten very quick and confident with a flying dismount in shorter races but wasn't sold on doing it at the IM. I was worried that after 112 on the bike, I wouldn't be able to easily get my leg over my top tube so I opted to leave my shoes on and skip the flying dismount. Jogging in the bike shoes on the grass after 112 miles was no fun. I jogged as much as I could through the chute and called out my race number and grabbed my bag and waddled into the change tent. I found a seat, stripped off my tri top and put on my running singlet. I didn't have a volunteer helping me so I got a little hung up trying to get stuff in and out of my bag but I did ok and then trotted outside for another spray of sunscreen before I trotted onto the run course.
What would you do differently?:

Even if I don't do a flying dismount, get feet out of shoes to make the jog to the change tent a little less uncomfortable.
  • 4h 48m 53s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 02s  min/mile

The course was hot and there was no shade in the early parts of the run. My stomach was very unsettled and I was really unsure what to do nutrition-wise on the run. I came off the bike having to use the bathroom but didn't want to "waste" the time in transition so the first 1.5 miles was covered pretty quickly (well compared to the rest of the run) so I could make it to the port-a-potty on the the return section of the bridge. After coming off the bridge, I jogged as much as I could between aid stations because I convinced myself that even a slow jog was faster than a walk. I told myself over and over again that every step forward was a step closer to the finish line. I jogged between the aid stations, but walked every aid station, plus a little extra. I had to make another bathroom stop by about the fourth aid station. Right around 13 miles my stomach stopped hurting as much and I felt better than I had since the GI issues started on the bike, but by then the race distance had already taken a toll on my legs and body and I couldn't increase my speed by much. I was able to see/hear from Anica, Amy, Ron, the girls, the in-laws, Aaron, Dollar, Jess and Felix at the start of the second loop and that was amazing and kept me from being bummed that the finish line was right there yet I had another 2.5 hours to go. On the second lap, I shortened my walks through the aid stations and tried to pick up my pace but fatigue kept the pace slow. Due to the out and back and loop nature of the course, I was able to see others I knew making their way so that helped keep my mind from totaling focusing on my fatigue and discomfort. I also got to see Felix at multiple spots on the run which was a big pick-me-up and helped get me through a couple of rough spots. By the start of the second lap, the sun had dropped to an angle that was giving the course some more shade so I wasn't having to dump water on my head and my shirt and shorts finally started to dry out a bit which was a relief because I could feel the chafing from the wet clothes and the multiple bathroom stops. Once I hit the turn-around point on Southern (near mile 20), I knew even if the stomach acted up again or my legs started cramping I was going to be able to get to the finish line. By the time I hit the motivational mile (mile 24 I think), I was smiling. I started telling the volunteers and spectators that I was going to be an Ironman; and I was just happy. I made one last stop at the port-a-potty and then started preparing for my finish. As I turned onto Chestnut (mile 25), I saw Anica and Amy and was so excited. I passed quite a few people in the last half mile and managed to position myself so I would be crossing the finish line alone. I turned on to 4th Street and was nothing but smiling. I heard my family as I passed and saw Felix as I passed him and think I managed my final race course "Go Me!". I threw my arms in the air and celebrated my Ironman finish as I crossed the line.

Nutrition: I have absolutely no idea idea how many calories I took in on the run. I ate a little bit of pretezels, had a couple of cups of chicken broth, sipped on Coke once or twice, took in a few GUs, and managed a slice of orange at one point but never stuck to any nutrition plan as I wasn't sure what my stomach was going to do.
What would you do differently?:

Avoid the stomach upset on the bike so I could avoid the multiple bathroom breaks on the run and run faster.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the finish chute with the help of a volunteer. Took a finish picture and then met up with Felix and my family. My legs immediately tightened up after I stopped so I had to say good bye to my family and continue to walk to keep my legs from spasming. A walk around the block did me good and then I joined Aldrin and Ron at the finish line to wait for others we knew. I drank a recovery drink and just watched as people were finishing. Ron and I tried to get some food in 4th Street Live but the food court was closed. I started to really fade and feel sick while waiting for Rivi to finish, so once he crossed I made my way back to the hotel for a shower and an Uncrustable because I couldn't find anything else to eat.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stomach issues on the bike and run. Issues on the bike were likely due to too many calories pre-race. GI issues on the run have been happening ever since my kidney issues during training and were likely unavoidable but were compounded by them starting on the bike.

Just not knowing the IM distance

Event comments:

WTC puts on a good show and race. I was a little more impressed with the venue and race set-up in Madison but I still had a wonderful time in Louisville. It was a bit of a bummer not to have Mike Reilly declare me an Ironman, as Mic Mike from Europe just wasn't as good an announcer. I thought the pre-race meal and awards banquet in Madison were better, in part to Mike Reilly being a better announcer and the venue in Madison being a little more intimate and with better food. The Galt House (the official race hotel) is a very nice hotel but the crowds there made for long waits for elevators and it got very frustrating. I upgraded my room to a suite (as we had 4 adults and 2 kids) which gave us ample space and a refrigerator but required you to use your room key just to be able to push the floor on the elevator which was annoying and a pain with overcrowded elevators. If I go back to Lou, I will likely stay at another hotel to hopefully avoid some of the crowds and allow me to get a room with both a fridge and a microwave. The volunteers at the race did an absolutely amazing job and really helped make my day go smoothly. I owe them, as well as my family and friends, a huge thank you for helping make my Ironman dreams come true.

Last updated: 2008-04-01 12:00 AM
01:18:08 | 4224 yards | 01m 51s / 100yards
Age Group: 24/86
Overall: 634/1975
Performance: Good
Suit: Goody Tri Top and Shorts
Course: Swam in the Ohio River. Swim started in a bit of channel and went out against the current a bit past the island that created the channel and then reached the turn buoy, before turning and swimming in the main river down to the swim exit.
Start type: Dive Plus: Shot
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:29
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:42:06 | 112 miles | 16.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 36/86
Overall: 951/1975
Performance: Average
FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 22.5 mi (1:19:22) 17.01 mph; SECOND BIKE SEGMENT 21.4 mi (1:22:21) 15.59 mph; THIRD BIKE SEGMENT 30.5 mi (1:55:20) 15.87 mph; FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 37 mi (2:05:03) 17.75 mph
Wind: Some
Course: 112 miles around Louisville. 10 miles out of Louisvile, and then 92 miles in the KY countryside, followed by 10 miles back into town.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:24
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
04:48:53 | 26.2 miles | 11m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/86
Overall: 623/1975
Performance: Below average
FIRST RUN SEGMENT 4 mi. (38:43) 9:40/mile; SECOND RUN SEGMENT 4.3 mi. (50:03) 11:38/mile; THIRD RUN SEGMENT 4.15 mi. (47:33) 11:27/mile; FOURTH RUN SEGMENT 3.5 mi. (36:47) 10:30/mile; FIFTH RUN SEGMENT 4.3 mi. (48:17) 11:13/mile; SIXTH RUN SEGMENT 4.15 mi. (50:30) 12:10/mile; FINAL RUN SEGMENT 1.8 mi. (17:00) 9:26/mile
Course: Two lap course through Louisville
Keeping cool Average 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