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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 11h 42m 35s
Overall Rank = 243/2300
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 26/161
Pre-race routine:

Pre-race routine began on Thursday with a more strict fiberless diet. Each meal was chosen relatively carefully because I wanted to keep my tummy happy all the way through race day.
My dad flew to St.Louis from Spokane to go to Louisville with me, and I'm so thankful that he did. I would never want to attempt something like this without a faithful IronSherpa.
Thursday: I swam about 30 minutes and rode 20 in the early morning. All systems were GO. Feeling good. My dad and I left town around noon. We arrived at the Galt House at about 5:15PM. Check-in was a breeze, and the room was HUGE. We checked out 4th Street Live and got dinner at TGI Friday's.
Friday: I felt like I was busy non-stop! I explored the Great Lawn. Got checked in. Attended the athlete briefing. Drove the course - we stopped in Lagrange for lunch. What a great town. Everybody should go out there and chat with the local shop owners. That was so much fun. The people and atmosphere make this race a terrific venue, in my humble first-time-IMer opinion. Then I packed up gear bags, fussed around in the hotel, and finally met up with a great group of BTers for dinner at the KICC banquet hall. Capped off the day with a pretty lousy night of sleep. My heart was racing quite a bit, and I wasn't as relaxed as I'd hoped. That's when I called my wife and asked her to bring my pillow from home. You can't underestimate the little things that could be a massive difference-maker.
Saturday: Up early to have a good sized meal before doing a little swim/bike/run. The benefit of meeting up with BTers for this was also immeasurable. It can feel very lonely and intimidating wandering around with 2000 of the fittest people I've ever seen in my life. To have the luxury of a friendly face around nearly every corner is not to be underestimated. I swam a few minutes, took my steed out for about 20 minutes, and then ran a bit, per my coach's instructions. The majority of the rest of the day was spent kicking back. Quality time with my dad is such a treat since we live so far apart. I also finished writing my race script, too. Those final touches would be instrumental during the marathon. That evening, the rest of my crew arrived (wife, 16mo old daughter, and mother-in-law and father-in-law). We had a nice dinner at Rocky's Italian Grill across the river in Jeffersonville, IN. But rather than eating their food, I brought my traditional pre-race spaghetti pie dish, and just ate that. Nothing new, right! I was plenty tired, but still didn't get to bed until 11pm or so. I slept great until 1:45am. My stomach was waging war on me. My guts were gurgling. You get the picture. I guess all the nerves and anxiety finally caught up with me and expressed itself in one wicked tummy ache. That made me nervous, though! That wasn't in the plan. But it was out of the way, and I slept soundly until 4:30am. Rise and shine, it's GO time!
Sunday morning: I ate my standard breakfast of oatmeal, pb&j, and banana. I continued to sip on gatorate while waiting in line, as well. Once again, as luck woul have it, I got in line with some BTers, and thoroughly enjoyed their company. Laughing and chatting with these guys was so calming.
Event warmup:

Not neccessary.
  • 1h 28m 34s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 17s / 100 meters

What can I say, this took a little longer than expected. But I made the conscious decision not to check my watch at any time during my swim. It was all about the process. Thank God I had my watch though! I got kicked in the hand once, and the band came untucked from the little tucky loop. Yikes. That would have been bad. I quickly fixed my watch and was then promptly bitch-slapped by some guy's recovery portion of his stroke. That was a doozy!
I just kept going, one bouy to the next, doing my thing. Getting passed frequently while swimming is pretty standard for me, and I wasn't about to work extra hard to reverse that trend on THIS day. So, I asked myself constantly, "Are you doing everything you can right now to swim efficiently, keeping in mind that we need to get to mile 18 of that marathon in good shape?" YES. I focused on my key phrases: head and hips, stregth and length, rhythm and roll. I thought that if I looked at my watch and saw that I was going "fast" or "slow," would I really change anything? NO. When my elbows began to ache, I allowed it. I assessed the pain and decided that I wouldn't be needing my elbows later. I breathed in control and kept my wits about me the whole time.
Occasionally, people would swim over me, or at a 45 degree angle in front of me and I could never really tell if I was the one doing the poor sighting, or if they were. I'm going to go ahead and assume that I did some zig-zagging, though. There's nothing wrong with the scenic route!

What would you do differently?:

Sight more frequently, even though bringing my head up makes my feet sink. It might have been a good trade-off.
Transition 1
  • 06m 49s

I typically fly through transitions, but those are sprints! I was deliberate here. The bike ride makes or breaks an Ironman race, and I was intent on getting mine right!
I put on yellow bike jersey with 3 pockets - each stuffed with goodies!
I carried my shoes and socks to my bike (which was easy to find in the half-empty TA, by the way! haha!) and put them on there because the TA was pretty muddy. I saw my family as I got into my bike gear and told them I was happy to have survived the Ohio River. My heart rate was relaxed by this time, and I was ready to go.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 14m 23s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.95 mile/hr

My best ride of the year!
Starting out River Rd, I picked some stupid-easy gearing and just spun for a while. I didn't care how fast I was going, and I didn't care who passed me. My heart rate was in the 120's, so I was happy. I approached this the same way I approached the centuries I did this summer. My coach had me go very easy for anywhere between 30-60 minutes of each ride. It never failed me before, so I had complete faith in the plan on race day. Every 7 minutes, on cue, I followed my nutrition/hydration plan. I only made small deviations throughout the day to adjust for the conditions.
I was just taking my time in the beginning, like a liesurely ride through the countryside. I chatted up some people and that helped pass the miles by quickly. By the time we hit the big hills of the out-and-back spur, I was feeling like a million bucks. The hills were cake. I spun right up them and steadily passed people throughout this stretch. Then descents were a blast, but I admit I was scared to see those poor athletes in the ditch, bleeding, getting medical attention.
When I finally hit 393, the stretch I was dreading the most, I was still feeling pretty good. I hadn't touched z3 on the hills earlier, and I wasn't hungry or thirsty. So up and down, and up, up, up I went, picking people off one by one, griding my way through the field.
It seemed like it took forever to get to LaGrange, and I was very anxious to see my family out there. They cheered and yelled like crazy as I zipped by. I was refreshed by seeing them, and was anxious to get to the next downhill stretch at about the 50mi mark. Mile 18 of the marathon weighed heavily on my mind, and I stayed smart and stuck to my plan. Food, salt, and gatorade was processing in my stomache nicely. I pushed the envelope there, too. If I felt like I could take another swig of salty orange Gatorade, then I did. Very frequently, I squirted some water through the vents in my helmet, and also on my legs. It felt amazing! That was something I never had the luxury of doing during training; liquids were a precious commodity and I could never afford to spill any. It needed to go IN me, not ON me because opportunities to refuel were so rare. But out on the course, with aid stations every 10 miles or so, I was always ditching the warm fluids in favor of the cold ones - oh, and speaking of 'cold ones,' i had a beer with dinner last night, and it was SOOOO good.
But I digress... At the turn for the second loop, I picked up the pace a bit (negative split the 2nd loop!) and started seeing the signs of other athletes struggling. There were some folks 10 yards off the side of the road, leaning up against fence posts looking desolate and hopeless. The heat was getting to people, but I was feeling fresh. Mile 18, here I come. If I got to a point where I felt I was working too hard, I would shift to an easier gear and back off a bit. With the relaxed pace, it was easy to digest lots of food. I threw down an Uncrustable, pretzel chips, and 4 Fig Newtowns, rather than simply bars and gels, in the final couple hours just ward off any potential hunger problems and it worked like a charm. I took frequent breaks on downhill sections on the home stretch. I would stand up, stretch both calves, shake things out, and then settle back into a rhythm.
"No need to crush the course now," I thought. With just 10 miles of riding left, I knew that burning any extra fuel would just be a waste. I still continued to pass people fairly steadily because I was so excited to be done, but I never let my heart rate get out of the mid-130's. I had a couple great conversations with people on the way back to TA. It put me in an awesome mood and was a nice mental boost heading into T2.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! I may be biased, but that was well executed ride.
Transition 2
  • 10m 37s

Holy crap, did I really take that long? :)
I hopped off my bike to the cheers of my family. I don't think you could have wiped the smile off my face if you tried. I shouted up to them, "I feel GREAT!" And it was true.

I think I was just having a good time in there letting the wonderful volunteers take care of me. I had one guy clean of my glasses because I could barely see out of them. That was clutch. I was very careful getting my feet prepared for this run, too. Blister Shield in the shoes, body-glide on the feed, 2-ply Wright Socks as well. Triple protection, baby!
I also changed out of my bike jersey into a fresh tri-top that was already loaded with a full container of Thermolytes and extra strength tylenol. I was armed and ready to roll.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go quicker?
Nah... maybe not!
  • 3h 42m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 29s  min/mile

What a run! It was epic.
I knew what to expect for the first couple miles, though. The plan was to go VERY easy until Mile 6, therefore, I stayed in Z1 to make sure I didn't push the pace too much too soon. For the next 12, I could push whatever pace felt comfortable. I would be going into uncharted territory after mile 15, though. Yup, that's the farthest I've ever ran. After mile 18, anything goes, disreguard heart rate, and just finish the race!
So that's what I did. The first several miles were spend carefully monitoring HR and getting myself cooled down and into run mode. I saw people putting sponges under the shoulders of their tops, and under their hats, and I immediately adopted a similar strategy. I also filled a flask with water at each station, and drank it between each station. 6oz x 25 aid stations = 150oz of water! Running out on the bridge to start the marathon was awesome. The breeze up there was pleasant, and the view was spectacular.
After the first 6miles, I pushed a little harder and tried to get my HR into z2, but as you can see, it wasn't happening. There wasn't quite enough power to chug along any quicker. The whole first loop, I looked for somebody I could run with, but to no avail. There was so much walking and shuffling going on. So I did what Dorothy would do... I followed the yellow lines. Literally. I got into the middle of the road (where it was flat!) and cruised. It was as if one aid station practically blended right into the next one. When I started seeing cups and sponges that had been discarded by runners coming the other direction, I would get excited and get ready for what I wanted to grab from the volunteers. For the most part the first half of the marathon was a very solid, controlled, effort. At mile 14, though, my stomach dropped. I needed a port-a-potty like the crops needed rain! The timing was pretty good, thankfully. All the johns were occupied on my side of the street, so I ran across the street and used one there. I was nervous that might knee might lock up because it was getting more and more stiff and achy by the step. When I keep going, it's not so bad, but stopping is downright dangerous. Sitting in the port-o-let, I finally felt the heat. With no breeze blowing on me, I realized that it was pretty damn hot out. I was happy to get back on road after that brief stop, and I felt MUCH better.
That good feeling carried over into downtown where I saw my family and supporters again. I tried to ignore 4th Street Live, and I was actually excited to be on the second loop. Gotta get to mile 18. I plodded down the road, never breaking stride, on autopilot. But as I was approaching the 18th aid station, autopilot went a little screwy. My legs felt like lead. The world slowed down. My pace slowed down. My mind was getting chinks in its armor. As I ran along, slower and slower, I started negotiating with myself for some walking. I thought about how good it would feel to stop the torture on my battered legs, and just walk for a bit. I convinced myself to keep running to the next stop-light and see how I felt. Then I ran to the aid station and found the nectar of the Ironman gods... COKE. Nothing new on race day? Screw that. Anything goes during this last stretch. My coach warned me about that. So I took my time getting through the aid station took in the magic elixir. It made a difference! I still needed to walk quickly through the next 2 or 3 aid stations in order to get a good amount of liquids in my mouth, but I got going again right away with my new-found energy. Like a bull in a china-shop I tore through aid stations. I might have been delerious, and probably looked like a madman. I was grabbing pretzels, oranges, gels, coke, water, sponges, just going nuts and loving it!
I also called up a few songs and memories of people during that rough stretch that helped turn the tide back in my favor. I was terribly close to walking, and fighting that urge is one of the toughest things I've ever done. With just a few miles to go, the only person to pass me on the marathon ran by. We chatted for a bit, but he pulled ahead. Then I came upon RStocks. He joined me for the final miles to the finish, and it was a tremendous help. The overall pain in my body was dulled for a little while as we chatted it up and flew down the street together. People everywhere were telling us how strong we looked, and that our pace was awesome. I love that stuff! That was a lot of fun.
At last, the finish line appeared. The entire chute was mine. I swerved from one side to the other, high-fiving and grinning from ear to ear. Got through the finish line in good shape before collapsing in the catchers' arms. There were no more steps left in my legs.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Medical attention for my excruciatingly painful knee. Some chicken broth. A short massage. And a space blanket to warm UP because I was very chilled.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Are you kidding?

Event comments:

Couldn't be happier with the whole event. It is a top-notch operation run by real professionals.!

Last updated: 2007-10-17 12:00 AM
01:28:34 | 3862 meters | 02m 17s / 100meters
Age Group: 121/161
Overall: 1271/2300
Performance: Good
Suit: tri shorts
Course: Upriver .8mi from the Tumbleweed, then back down 1.6mi to the Great Lawn.
Start type: Dive Plus: Waves
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:49
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:14:23 | 112 miles | 17.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 84/161
Overall: 763/2300
Performance: Good
For the entire first hour, I never hit Z2. The last 2 hours were maintained at a very low HR as well.
Wind: Some
Course: Beautiful rolling Kentucky horse country!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 10:37
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:42:13 | 26.2 miles | 08m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/161
Overall: 243/2300
Performance: Good
Avg HR - 145 1. 8:20 @ 145 2. 8:16 @ 145 3. 8:21 @ 145 4. 8:22 @ 144 5. 8:40 @ 144 6. 8:20 @ 144 7. 8:15 @ 146 8. 8:14 @ 146 9. 8:04 @ 149 10. 8:02 @ 149 11. 8:22 @ 149 12. 8:14 @ 149 13. 8:20 @ 147 14. 10:00 @ 146 (tummy troubles- potty break) 15. 8:24 @ 146 16. 8:14 @ 147 17. 8:26 @ 146 18. 9:09 @ 144 19. 8:47 @ 142 20. 9:05 @ 141 21. 9:00 @ 142 22. 8:14 @ 142 23. 8:23 @ 144 24. 8:19 @ 145 25. 8:14 @ 143 26.2. 9:54 @ 151
Course: Flat out and back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5

2008-09-02 4:17 PM

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St. Louis
Subject: Ironman Louisville

2008-09-02 6:20 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
CONGRATULATIONS!!! You had an awesome race! You had a plan, and executed it wonderfully. WTG.

Are you wearing that belt??

Looks like we had similar problems at the Galt. I should've brought my own pillows. Lesson learned!
2008-09-02 7:07 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome race Brandon!! Way to stick to your plan! I really enjoyed running the last few miles with you. You absolutely rocked that marathon!! Congrats IRONMAN!!!
2008-09-02 7:34 PM
in reply to: #1644404

Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
This is beautifully written. Congratulations. Hey, does that Blister Shield work? If so, that would be magical!
Your race report was epic.
Thank you.
2008-09-02 8:25 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Extreme Veteran
Pekin, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Tremendous race man!!!  You absolutely rocked Louisville!!!  Way to go.  Great execution.
2008-09-02 8:43 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Extreme Veteran
Millersville, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Excellent race, Ironman.

2008-09-02 9:19 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Lacey, Washington
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
WOW! What an awesome race with a truly incredible marathon at the end! Congratulations Ironman!
2008-09-02 10:22 PM
in reply to: #1645114

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

way to smoke that marathon at the end, you really worked your plan well


2008-09-02 10:32 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Amazing race, congrats Ironman!
2008-09-02 10:55 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Dude.. that was an awesome race.. Congrats IRONMAN!!!! Great job...

2008-09-03 5:59 AM
in reply to: #1644404

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Louisville, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Man, that is awesome.  You completely crushed the marathon.  Congrats.

2008-09-03 7:34 AM
in reply to: #1644404

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats on your race! Awesome time!
2008-09-03 9:59 AM
in reply to: #1644404

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Brandon - you are a true ironman!! Way to rock the race!!!  I was so excited to see you in the food area after I finished.  You still looked fresh (minus the ice on the knee)!  Heal up and happy recovery!  Great meeting you!!!
2008-09-03 10:43 AM
in reply to: #1644404

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
WOW - great race! It was nice to run into you on the bike - wish I had been flying like you!!! Great day - congrats!!
2008-09-03 3:25 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Dude! You are a natural runner, at least that is what it sounds like to me. Nice job on keeping the bike in check, I have a feeling you could of gone as fast as you wanted, but you stuck to your plan and the payoff was huge! Congrats on the sub 12!!!!!!!!
2008-09-03 4:19 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Washington , MO
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
 What an awesome race Brandon. Very strong in all 3 events, especially the run. It was hot out there and people were struggling all over the place and you ran the whole marathon. Simply amazing! Congrats Ironman!

2008-09-06 1:53 PM
in reply to: #1644404

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Springfield, MO
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Way to go there Bragadocious  You've definately got something to be proud of.  Excellent execution of your plan.  I'm glad you made it through and I guess we now know what you'll do when the pain sets in.

I'm really glad you had fun.  It seems too often we get busy or even obsessed and forget to Have Fun!!  Good Job and as always tremendous race report!


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