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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
97F / 36C
Total Time = 11h 16m 29s
Overall Rank = 194/
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 8/
Pre-race routine:

The night before we stuck with the winning combination of egg drop soup and chicken lo mein. We were in bed by 9pm. I surprisingly had a great night's sleep. The nerves had really been calmed by the practice swim earlier in the day. The swim was really the only thing I was nervous about before hand. I knew I had done the necessary training. Like Eagleman, I went into this with a strange sense of peace.

Race morning I woke up around 3:30am, 30 minutes before my alarm had gone off. I felt rested. I got up, had a powerade, coffee and peanut butter and jelly.
Left for transition around 5am. Got there with plenty of time to re-check gear bags, check bike, re-familiarize myself with the flow of the transition area and hit the port a john. We saw Fabrice, Craig and Kim. It was great to do this race with other members of our team. We then walked with Kim to the swim start where we got body marked, put on sunscreen and got in line. I wasn't really all that worried about getting in line early. I wasn't worried about either the swim cut-off or the race cut-off and I figured the extra sleep in the morning would be more useful then starting 30 minutes earlier. I was shocked when we got there at how far up the front of the line we got. We headed there just after they opened the dock up for the line. We didn't rush, didn't push, didn't butt in line, but somehow we were about 30 feet from the front. i've read stories of people in line since 4am who didn't get in the water for 10 minutes. i have no idea how this could have happened. We got in line around 6:15am and were in the water within 3 minutes of the start. The swim start was efficient and well run. I didn't witness any issues.
Nutrition: i took a efs gel shot about 20 minutes before the swim start and chased it with water.
Event warmup:

Just the walk to the swim start
  • 1h 16m 8s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

I couldn't believe how quickly the swim line went. We really just trotted to the dock and jumped off. I LOVED that the water was so warm-just my style. I felt immediately comfortable, but then started hitting pockets of traffic. I found myself very grateful that I didn't have a mass start for my first IM. I can't imagine how overwhelming that would be. As it was, I got my bell rung a few times by some very big dudes. I wish they would make some kind of announcement in the athletes meeting about trying to avoid swimming over women. Mens caps were red and women's caps were white. I was swam over and punched exclusively by red caps. I'm not asking for special treatment or a clear lane, just some courtesy. if you are a 200lb man and you swim over a 110lb women, it makes for an unsafe situation. I was nailed in the face many times, multiple times by the same guy. I'm not proud, but I finally yelled to this guy that I hoped someone was currently beating up his wife. Fortunately, for 80% of the swim, there was clear water and I was able to move along just fine. I kept telling myself to concentrate on form, stay relaxed and not to push too hard. just cruise along. I felt really good. I kept thinking, "oh, my god, i'm doing an ironman!"
I tried to stay near the shore line which seemed to work well. My goal was 1:15. I ended up getting out of the water in 1:16. Not too bad. Not great, but not too bad.
What would you do differently?:

The swim is definitely still my achilles heel. I need to work on this in the off season. I also need to work on sighting (not sure how) and drafting. I tried to draft once and got kicked so hard in the face I thought I was bleeding (completely my fault). That was the last time I tried to draft.
Also, I got some pretty bad chaffing on the back of my neck from the swim skin. I have never had this issue with my wetsuit, so I didn't even think to body glide. next time, body glide will be a must.
Transition 1
  • 04m 20s

I couldn't believe how helpful the volunteers were. this was my first realization that it would be to my advantage to utilize them to their full potential. I was a little discombobulated from the enormity of the day. Having the volunteer just start taking stuff out of my bag and dressing me was a big help. I wish I could personally thank them for all they did for me.
What would you do differently?:

not much. I imagine this will get better with time.
  • 5h 59m 30s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.69 mile/hr

I mentally broke the course out into 4 sections; the way out to the first loop, the first loop, the second loop and the return trip back to loo.
the goal for the first loop was to let my heart rate lower from the swim and then take it easy and try to stay in zone 1 or low zone 2. I did this successfully. Even though I was keeping it easy, I was flying on the way out. For the most part the pavement was nice, it was flat and there was a nice tail wind. I think I averaged upwards of 20mph on this segment. I found out after the fact that teammates that were tracking me were worried I was pushing too hard and was going to blow up. As it turn out, the conditions were just ideal and my HR remained low. It was nice on the out and back segment to see Ryan just before I got to the turn around. I was able to tell him I love him. I was also shocked to see how close I was to him. This was my first indicator that my bike was going well.
The second loop was when the real course began. Decent rollers on rte 393. I concentrated on keeping the climbs very easy and relaxed and utilizing the flats and descents to gain speed. I was closely watching my HR to make sure it never got too high. As it started creeping up to high Z2 and z3, i'd make sure i'd scale it back and soft pedal. I will say that this course definitely favors a rider that is comfortable with many quick and efficient gear changes. i found that i was able to build up enough speed on the flats and descents that i could just quickly switch it to an easy gear and almost glide to the top of the climbs. After the race, my hands were actually sore from shifting, but i'll take soreness in my hands over soreness in my legs from being in the wrong gear. The second loop was also great. I felt even stronger on the second loop than i did the first. The only hitch here was at about mile 85 my chain got stuck between the ring and the frame and my cranks just froze. I tried shifting all kinds of ways, but it wouldn't come undone. I had to get off and try to pry it out. At first I couldn't get it, and I started to panic. I was yanking as hard as I could, but nothing was happening. Finally, I was able to get it out and get the chain back on. Phew. In total this stop only took about 2-3 minutes, and I was happy at how calm I remained. The return trip home was not nearly as easy as I had hoped for. There was a decent head wind headed back and it definitely did not feel "all downhill" like I had heard. I saw that I a sub 6 hour ride was a possibility and probably pushed a little harder than I otherwise would have, but i made sure i kept it in control.
One other point of note is that this is the first time ever on the bike that I felt hot. The heat never really bothers me on the bike. While it didn't quite bother me at Loo, it was definitely noticeable. It made me a little nervous about what I was in store for on the run.
Having team support and my mom in La Grange was amazing. It meant so much to have them all there.
All in all, I am extremely happy with this bike. I never felt tired. My legs never felt dead. I'm really happy with how my body held up in it's first IM bike.
What would you do differently?:

From where I started the season, there honestly isn't anything I would have done differently. I was really pleased with this.
Transition 2
  • 05m

Again, these volunteers were amazing. I didn't have to think about anything. I had two women there to help me. They were amazing. I did stop at the port a john for the best pee of my life.
What would you do differently?:

I need to learn how to pee on the bike. I tried for 112 miles unsuccessfully. This would have saved me time in T2.
  • 3h 51m 30s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 50s  min/mile

This was the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew going into this race that nothing could prepare you for how difficult the IM marathon is. I kept a close eye on my garmin coming out of t2 because I knew my tendency is to run fast off the bike. I really did not want to blow up on this run. I let my HR lower, and really after the first 2 miles I spent the rest of this run in high zone 1. I was passing a lot of people, ryan included (around mile 4) and just kept pushing along. I knew it was hot, but I kept doing self assessments and realized that i felt fine. I got a little nervous on the out portion of the first loop. It felt so LONG. I had no idea how I was going to make it another three lengths of that. It was painful to see the mile markers for the second loop when I was on my first, but I just kept telling myself that if i just hung tight for another 1.5 hours, those mile markers would be for me. I could go another 1.5 hours, couldn't I? I felt great up until about mile 11. I remember my coach saying the goal of the marathon is to delay walking as long as possible. as soon as you start walking, it becomes harder to start again. I just made that my goal, to delay walking. I knew my mom and the rest of the team would be around mile 13-14 and I REALLY wanted to still be running then. That became my first goal. Just make it to mom, and then you can walk, Lisa. Seeing them gave me a boost I really needed. Then it became, just make it to mile 15, and then you can walk. You can make it 2 more miles, right? once I got to mile 15 I realized that I was almost within 10 miles of the finish, just make it to 16 miles, and then you can walk. ...and then finally, it became, Lisa, you are within 10 miles of being done and saying you ran the entire IM marathon. That became the goal. Once I realized sub 11hrs wasn't a possibility, I allowed myself to slow the pace down to something more comfortable and walk the aid stations. I really wanted to PR my marathon in this IM. I knew my best chance of doing that was to not blow up and have to walk at all....and my best chance of that was to ease up on the pace. Mile 19 is when things really started to get bad. I was having major blister issues, and getting running again after the aid stations became harder and harder. I kept thinking of all the people tracking me online and I REALLY didn't want them to see me starting to bonk the run. This was a major motivating factor for me. I really wanted to continue to have strong splits. I have no idea how I found the strength to keep going. When I made the turn onto 4th street and could see the lights of the finish line, I immediately lost it. I was sobbing. It had taken so much to arrive at this point, and I was so proud I had hung tough through it all. It was one of the best moments of my life. I cried for the 3 blocks to the finish. Cried. a lot. tears of complete joy. I heard my friends cheering me in, and then I heard my mom. Just beyond words. I crossed the finish line and just kept crying. The nicest volunteer walked me to the gate where my teammates had run to. I got hugs and congratulations, and cried some more. Other than my wedding day, I don't remember ever being happier.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing I could have done differently. This race really was as perfect as I could have hoped for. To say that I PRed my marathon here is really just one of my proudest accomplishments ever.
Post race
Warm down:

Shortly after crossing, I realized that I would be able to see Ryan finish. Scott, my coach, told me he wasn't too far after me. Tom, a teammate of mine, was nice enough to stay with me incase I collapsed and we made our way back down the street to the finish. I don't remember being prouder when I finally saw him. He looked so happy. I was overwhelmed by being able to share this experience with my husband. For what seemed like minutes afterward, we just hugged. Really and truly just the most amazing day. I will remember it forever.

after we settled down, we each got a massage and pizza and then headed out for the walk to the run special needs station to get our bags. it was a long miserable walk, but we used that time to talk about our races and experience.
since we were wearing our finisher medals we got a lot of "congratulations". so many racers still running and walking told us congratulations. i was shocked. here they were still struggling and they were congratulating us. "go get yours" i'd tell them back.
one spectator who was walking past us stopped and said to me, "oh, you were the girl that was crying! I love you." Yep, that was me, a blubbering fool. I gave him a hug and thanked him.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This race went very near perfect. I cannot think of anything that I'm disappointed about or regret. It's just a matter of getting faster now.

Event comments:

I've heard a number of people who had issues with aid stations running out of water and other supplies. I didn't have any issues.
In my opinion, WTC is beyond negligent for letting any aid station run out of water during an Ironman. Shame on them.

The volunteers, however, were a different story. I truly cannot believe how amazing each and every one of them was. I really wish I could contact everyone who helped me and tell them how much it meant to me. There are no words.
The people of louisville and the surrounding communities were also wonderful. from the very beginning, every single person I came in contact with in my 6 days there was wonderful. There is a special place in my heart for Louisville now. I am so grateful to have done this as my first.

Last updated: 2009-09-16 12:00 AM
01:16:08 | 3862 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 35/
Overall: 831/
Performance: Average
Suit: swim skin
Course: ohio river: about 1200m upstream in a protected channel before turning around an island and heading downstream the rest of the way toward the swim exit.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:20
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
05:59:30 | 112 miles | 18.69 mile/hr
Age Group: 17/
Overall: 594/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:51:30 | 26.2 miles | 08m 50s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/
Overall: 91/
Performance: Good
8:21, 8:12, 8:25, 8:36, 8:32, 8:14, 8:44, 8:34, 8:43, 8:32, 8;37, 8:35, 8:35, 8:59 (special needs; changed socks), 8:27, 8:45, 8:46, 8:47, 9:13, 8:53, 8;59, 9:13, 9:09, 9:02, 9:05, 9:07
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2.6%
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

2010-09-02 5:34 PM

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Reston, VA
Subject: Ironman Louisville

2010-09-02 5:44 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
HOLY SMOKES!  You crushed it, sub 12 , wow, so impressive.  Wished i could have met you guys!
2010-09-02 5:52 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Greer, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
All I can say WOW!  11:16 in your first IM?  Amazing race.  Congratulations.
2010-09-02 6:20 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
"It's just a matter of getting faster now."

say's the girl who will start researching plans to get herself in Kona shape!

Congrats on an amazing day!
2010-09-02 7:56 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Extreme Veteran
Westfield, In
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
WOW great job and great rece report!!!
2010-09-02 9:31 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Thank you for your report and thank you for making me look bad with your time...............................Just kidding, I have never met you and am still very proud of you.

2010-09-02 9:52 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Reston, VA
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I saw you, you were awesome!

2010-09-03 11:36 AM
in reply to: #3079561

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Olney, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Wow, fantastic race!! Congrats on your first IM AND PRing the marathon.  Just awesome.

2010-09-03 1:19 PM
in reply to: #3079561

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Columbus, Ohio
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race report! Thanks for sharing!
2010-09-14 7:26 AM
in reply to: #3079561

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Extreme Veteran
Northern Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
awesome lisa!
so cool to see you execute a perfect im. you certainly worked for and deserve every bit of joy you got at that finish line.
you and ryan are awesome.
2010-09-14 8:26 AM
in reply to: #3079561

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Little Elm, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats on an awesome race. You had a fantastic day. I hope my wife get's inspired to do a race with me in the future. I'm going to make sure she reads your report. Thanks for sharing.

2011-01-28 5:39 PM
in reply to: #3079561

Quail Valley
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
That is awsome. Thanks for writing this because its the first positive race report I have seen so far.
2011-08-10 10:51 AM
in reply to: #3079561

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N Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats!!!!  Awesome race report!!!!
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