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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
92F / 33C
Total Time = 18h 44m
Overall Rank = 2313/
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 287/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up a little before 3 am. Had a peanut butter bagel while i mixed up my nutrition bottles. Got dressed and by this point dad was up and ready to go. So I figured why wait at the hotel when I could wait to get into transition. Arrived and found parking at 3:50 and walked over to get in line. Once they opened transition it took less then 30 seconds to get in. I had rehearsed in my mind exactly what i need to do so i was prepared. Loaded bottles, filled the aero bottle, aired up the tires took one last look at my bike and said screw it and headed for the swim start

I ended up a couple 100 people back from the start of the swim, so ended up seeded very close to the front. Around 5 had another peanut butter bagel and then at about 6:50 had a gatorade prime before heading down the boat dock ramp.
Event warmup:

No warmup other then the mile hike to the swim start.
  • 1h 38m 4s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 22s / 100 yards

I felt comfortable the entire swim. I occasionally bumped other people or got bumped but for the most part I had a lot of open water. I have to agree with the people who say that there is not a current as my times do not reflect any benefit whatsever. My left should really started aching around the 65 bridge. Thinking about it I think i pull to hard with my left should because I am breathing to the right. This is something that I am going to have to monitor. I can barely move my left arm today.
What would you do differently?:

At the end I plan on delving into things a little more as to what went wrong overall.
Transition 1
  • 15m 59s

I had planned on taking about 10 minutes in T1 and ended up a little over that. I wanted to be comfortable on the bike and so I switched completely from my swimming outfit into bike bibs with thicker padding. I didn't feel slow but a complete change like that is not something I have ever really practiced before.
  • 7h 47m 6s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.39 mile/hr

I managed to execute my bike plan a little to well. I had planned on keeping it in the small ring the entire first stretch to keep myself from going out to hard. I had about a 16.5 mph average through the out and back finger. Unfortunatly I watched that slowly slip away with each of the lollipop loops.

I had problems getting out of the small ring and into the big ring. So i was never really able to capitalize on the downhills slingshotting me up the uphills. I really tried on the 2nd loop to put it into the big ring, but by then a 10mph head wind had sprung up that quickly sapped me of energy. Wind is truely my biking nemesis.

I was able to stay on my nutrition strategy for the bike for the entire first half, which made me very happy. However after hour 3 my stomach was extremely upset and I was having a hard time putting any solid food in. I still managed to drink and take my salt pills. I didn't do anything different nutrition wise on the bike and had practiced on several training rides, so I am unsure why I was having the stomach problems that I had.

The two biggest killers of my bike, where the stop to create my second nutrition bottle and then later a pit stop to take care of my stomach issues. Sadly I watched as my average slipped under 16, then 15.5, and finally 15 and could not muster up the strength to try and stop the downward spiral. I was at a pretty bad low coming into T2 and did not want to continue. However I decided that I would at least start the run and see how it went from there.
Transition 2
  • 26m 2s

As I had predicted the changing tent in T2 is hell on earth. Guys are just sitting there in a stupor trying to find the will to get up and start the run. Again I had planned for 10 minutes in T2 and I am not sure how it became a half hour.

Part of the problem is that I was almost out of transition when I realized I had forget my race belt with my number. I went back and yelled at a volunteer to take a look, he couldn't find it so i had to go further back into transition. Another volunteer in the changing tents tells me they put the race number on my bike. So I head back out of the changing tent and talk to a volunteer there and he says my race number is with my gear bags. The race belt was with my gear bags and I was finally able to head out to start the run.

  • 9h 19m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 21m 20s  min/mile

I started the run aka shuffle and started doing the math. I hadn't left myself very much time, but if I could maintain a 15m/m pace I would be able to finish with about 15 minutes to spare. I wish I could say that I was able to pull that off, but with each mile my body shut down a little bit more. I think it was around mile 10 as I did the math that I started wrestling with the fact that I was not going to make the cutoff time.

I can't even begin to describe the frustration of knowing that with each step that is a walk and not a jog that another second slips away meaning that you now need to jog even faster to try and make up the lost time. You do the math in your head and think I can do this, but you body has given up and is almost shut down. It was a very miserable walk back into town the first time wrestling with all these thoughts. It was brightened though by all the encouragement I received from my fellow teammates as they would pass me going out or coming in.

I did the math one last time and realized there was no way physically that I could hold a 12min/mile pace for 10 miles and accepted that I was not going to make the cutoff. I decided that I was just going to keep walking until they pulled me off the course. I made it to the turn around and looked at the finish line that I knew I wasn't going to cross in time and headed back out. I saw my parent waiting for me and I gave them a hug and told them I wasn't going to be able to make it in time but I was going to keep going and see how far I could get.

So I walked and got to see all my teammates coming in from the run and give them some encouragement. Finally once I had seen my last teammate I decided that I was done, my body ached and I was honestly surprised that I hadn't collapsed yet. I was headed for the next aid station where I was just going to sit down and wait for somebody to pick me up.

About this time a group from Team Molly came up behind me, they where from Louisville and where walking in one of their members no matter how long it took. They asked how I was doing and I said I was going to the next aid station and then stopping. They said walk with us to the turnaround and decide there if you really want to quit or not. So I agreed and walked with them, finally at around mile 19 a race official stopped and asked if the group had any athletes in it. We said yes and gave them our timing chips officially ending both of our races.

We continued walking, watching the course get picked up until the streets re-opened and we had to continue our journey on the side walk. My legs hurt more than I can even describe, even as I slowed down one of Team Molly stayed with me and kept me going. We celebrated midnight when the race officially ended and probably still had 5 miles to go at that point. I finally turned the garmin off as I was tired of its beeping.

We eventually made the turn onto Fourth street and saw the volunteers tearing down the finish area. I got to finish to the applause of the volunteers and the few people left downtown. I walked to the street sign that said Official Finish Line and gave it a little tap.
Post race
Warm down:

I sat on the curb while my parents went to get the car to pick me up.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I had a lot of time to reflect on this as I was walking. I can honestly say that training burnout probably caused me to peak about a month to early. I love triathlons and everything about it. Last november I started the winter bike training plan, then when that was over I started training for the first race of the season, that lead into another race and then finally to the start of training for muncie which was the gateway to louisville training.

Unfortunately I didn't really take any time off and so by the time late July/ early August arrived I was completely sick of training and lacked the motivation to do anything. If I where to do this again, I would take a month off before starting the Muncie/Louisville training even if it meant skipping out on some of the local early season races.

I missed the cutoff by 1hr 44minuts, but I finished the distance. It is a roller coaster of emotions but the support from all my friends, family and teammates has been invaluable. I will be back, maybe not next year but I have unfinished business with the Lou.

Last updated: 2012-08-27 12:00 AM
01:38:04 | 4156 yards | 02m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 255/
Overall: 1910/
Performance: Below average
Suit: No
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 85F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 15:59
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:47:06 | 112 miles | 14.39 mile/hr
Age Group: 272/
Overall: 2174/
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 26:02
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
09:19:00 | 26.2 miles | 21m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-08-27 5:32 PM

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Subject: Ironman Louisville

2012-08-27 7:15 PM
in reply to: #4383076

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Tough day, quick to get the report out!  As I walked to the hotel after the official time had ended, my daughter said she couldn't imagine being one of the people that missed the time cut off and that she couldn't bear to watch.  I am proud of you or anyone that says, "screw it, I came this far and I am finishing it".  Great job!
2012-08-27 7:57 PM
in reply to: #4383076

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Joe Smith............I cannot even begin to put into words how proud I am of you. When we talked the first time and I asked you to please just keep moving forward and let the cards fall where they may, I had no doubt you would dig down and do just that. For you to make that first step passed special needs and start back out into the night is the most courageous thing I think I have ever witnessed. That was my boy I was talking to when you said I going til they kick me off this course! So inspiring and only motivates me to be more like you man. You ARE and IRONMAN Joe Smith!! From one Ironman to another - Congratulations! You accomplished yesterday what 99% of the population would not even DREAM of doing. It is an absolute HONOR to call you an Ironman..........140.6 big fella.........and you did every damn .6 of it!!

I can't wait to see what the year's ahead have in store for you - your journey continues to inspire me as well as many many others I'm sure.

Get some rest and heal up. Just like we say...........keep moving forward; I have no doubt you will do just that. I LOVED TKs post today of the picture................I can't look at it without welling up and getting goosebumps............cause it IS you:

"I don't stop when I am tired, I stop when I am done" - SOB........damn glands - I think I have allergies! haha

Edited by JamesNissen 2012-08-27 8:09 PM
2012-08-27 8:23 PM
in reply to: #4383076

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Extreme Veteran
Pekin, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
I echo every word James posted. Proud to call Joe Smith my friend and teammate. I regret not being able to be out there with you and at the finish when you came in. You are on a journey, a journey that continues. I dare somebody to get in Joe Smith's way. Can't even drag him off the course. I still say you had the finish of the night.
2012-08-28 7:41 AM
in reply to: #4383076

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Way to tough it out and finish! Great job!
2012-08-28 7:57 AM
in reply to: #4383076

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Romeoville, Il
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I don't usually go read a lot of peoples race reports that I don't know from mentor groups or know personally on BT, but this one sucked me in!!  Really inspiring, way to tough it out!!!

2012-08-28 8:19 AM
in reply to: #4383076

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
good mental toughness to finish, Well done
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