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Ironman Louisville - Triathlon

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
48F / 9C
Total Time = 10h 32m 58s
Overall Rank = 106/2568
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 21/376
Pre-race routine:


Went to bed at 9PM to ensure I had plenty of time to fall asleep before the race. I didn't feel all that anxious or nervous, but didn't fall asleep until sometime after 1:30AM. The alarm was set for 4:30.

After waking up, mixed my nutrition and put on my wetsuit. I added a couple of layers of clothing, since it was cold out this morning (48F). I wanted to stay warm as long as possible before the race started.

Art and I headed out to T1, set up bikes, then walked to the swim start. HOLY CRAP! The line was HUGE. We probably ended up about 2/3 of the way back, which was easily a mile back.
Event warmup:

At 7:20, I zipped up the wetsuit, had a snack, finished my drink, and started to loosen up while keeping my warm clothes and blanket on. At 7:30, the gun went off and the excitement in the crowd was obvious.

We started to move forward a short time later and it was about 15-20 minutes after the start that I jumped in the water.
  • 1h 07m 19s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 46s / 100 meters

This swim was one of my better ones. I concentrated on form and especially breathing and made sure I sighted every now and then. Everything felt really good, the water was cool, and the sun wasn't really an issue. The lack of current was VERY evident.

My plan was to stay close to the island on upstream portion, then swing out a bit, into the current, on the way downstream. That being said, it didn't matter where you swam, there was no assist today. It was all you.

There was a lot of contact during the first leg of the swim. I'm sure it was very frustrating for a lot of ppl that are not used to the constant nudging, bumping, and jostling. At the turnout buoy, as I was passing a guy, I'm guessing he got fed up with the contact. He punched me in the ribs! It was deliberate. I kept swimming, as it didn't really hurt all that bad. I did think of going back and dunking him, but decided it was best to just keep going and race. Karma, buddy. I hope it comes your way.

I'm guessing that 45-50 minutes into the race, my calves started to pre-cramp. To stave that off, I stopped kicking and stretched as best as I could, while continuing to swim. A few frog kicks here and there changed things up just enough to prevent all out cramping.

Other than that, and the occassional run in with other swimmers, not much going on here. I wore clear goggles, which was the perfect choice, and my sleeveless wetsuit did not inhibit any movement...another perfect choice.

At the finish, swimmers all started to converge into a mass. There were a few volunteers in the water helping swimmers come out. They were awesome. Getting your feet under you after that long a swim is tough, but after a few seconds, I was fine.

NOTE: The river current was not much of a factor. My buddy raced IMLou last year and was slower this time. Last year, he swam a 56 without a wetsuit. This year, he was swam 57 using his wetsuit. The rains last year made the swim faster.
What would you do differently?:

One of my better swims. I'd probably focus more on faster arm turnover.
Transition 1
  • 04m 2s

Ran out of the water, bypassed the wetsuit strippers, unzipped my suit, and zipped up my aero suit before I got to gear bags. I then stuffed wetsuit in bag, handed it off, and ran out.

Even though the temps were in the high 40s, I didn't feel cold and decided not to grab my gloves or arm warmers. I reached my bike a few seconds later and put on my helmet, running my forefinger and thumb over the strap I had sewn together to prevent a repeat of the B2B HIM mishap last year in which I ripped the clip off and spent over two minutes looking for it in the grass. Once my helmet was on, I unracked my bike and ran out hard. All in all, not a lot of time wasted here.

The transitions during this race are LONG.
  • 5h 39m 36s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.79 mile/hr

Not a good bike for me today.

I'd like to say it was due to my nutrition, or a mechanical, or something else, but I honestly think that the hills and wind just got to me. I was also very wary of other cyclists b/c many seemed uncomfortable around so many others.

I had an issue with nutrition during this ride. My UCAN solidified b/c of the cold and I could barely squeeze it out of the bottle. I had to resort to emergency nutrition until it warmed up a bit more. I added water to the bottle as I rode, but it just splashed out as I had taken off the cap and just made a mess. Once it warmed up, I was able to use it, but I think lack of nutrition was a minor contributor to my poor bike.

The out and back was plain SCARY. There were tons of cyclists zooming down freshly paved asphalt, zigzagging all over the place. There were a few times when I thought I was going down due to the blatant disregard for safety many others were displaying. I was glad to be done with this section. There were a few guys bombing down this section, cross over the double yellow lines into oncoming bike traffic, then cut others off as they swerved back into the lane to avoid head on collisions...going a minimum of 45mph.

The rest of the ride was OK. I really felt the hills and wind, and I labored to get up the hills. Once again, I think it was partly due to not starting my main nutrition until almost two hours in, but it was probably more due to a lack of focus on hill training...that, and the darn wind.

At mile 80ish, I hit a rough patch of road and my water bottle fell off and broke on the ground. Upon further inspection, I noticed the bracket broke. I was pretty pissed off about this. At the next aid station, I grabbed a water bottle and sat it on my aerobars, but it was another thing to worry about b/c it kept bouncing all over the place.

At mile 100, I was miserable and could not wait to get off the bike. I was very worried about how my legs would feel at the start of the run.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't expect my nutrition to thicken up due to the cold.
Transition 2
  • 05m 53s

I handed off my bike, then ran towards the changing tent.

I made a last minute decision to change into a running jersey and shorts, since my aero suit was cutting into my legs. Best decision I made all day.
What would you do differently?:

Different socks.
  • 3h 36m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 15s  min/mile

At the start of the run, my legs felt great. The goal was to run a 3:30, so I started off at a 7:50 ace. It felt way too easy, but I knew it wouldn't feel that easy 20 miles in.

I settled in behind a guy running close to the same pace and just let him pull me along. After a while, he sped up and I let him go. I just focused on keeping my running as smooth as possible and taking in nutrition at aid stations.

Fruit and water were my best friends during this race. I focused on oranges and grapes at every aid station. I tried a banana, but it was just too much effort to force it down my throat while running.

After mile 15, I started to use coke and broth, along with fruit, and I still felt good. I also stopped to go to the bathroom here. I started to feel cramping during these miles, too, so I grabbed a Salt Stick and started to take in small doses, along with Gatorade and broth. I was also using ice sponges like crazy, one always going under my cap, and the others on strategic sections to cool down (such as aound the heart and neck). I also dumped a few cups of ice into the mesh of my run shorts, which kept my lower back cool.

At mile 20, I slapped the marker, glad to still feel fine. My feet were starting to feel beat up, though, and at mile 22, they just plain hurt. I was walking the aid stations now, but just long enough to drink and eat, then picked it up. Between miles 24 and 25, I could feel blisters popping up on my feet, but kept going bc I was almsot done. Just a few more miles...

I entered the final mile and excitement coursed through my veins! I could hear the finish, so I decided to pick up the pace, skip the remaining aid station, but grabbed a water bottle from a stand. I had plans for that water bottle!

As I came up on the finished, I ran hard, then as I crossed the mat, I slammed the water bottle down and yelled in triumph. I was happy to be done and happy to have set a new Ironman PR. I think I caught the announcer off guard, and my wife later said she thought I was angry...Angry!? No, not angry...ESTATIC, and delirious!
What would you do differently?:

Run training leading up to IMLou was perfect. My longest run was an 18 miler, but early in the year I ran a marathon and I think that was a contributor to a good run.
Post race
Warm down:

Massage, food, got bike and went to room to change. Then went back out to the finish to wait for Art, whom crashed on the bike and was walking the marathon.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Loved the race, but I feel it's not a great race for first timers. The bike course is tough, and the large amount of ppl on the bike course make for an interesting ride.

Last updated: 2014-11-13 12:00 AM
01:07:19 | 3800 meters | 01m 46s / 100meters
Age Group: 76/376
Overall: 465/2568
Performance: Good
Suit: ZOOT Sleeveless
Course: Jump off the dock, then swim down the length of the island, keep swimming a little further out, then turn around at the buoy. Afterwards, swim the length of the river, going under 3(?) bridges and exit down by the great lawn.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:02
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:39:36 | 112 miles | 19.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 51/376
Overall: 198/2568
Performance: Bad
Wind: Headwind
Course: 4300 feet of climbing. The out and back is VERY fast, and the freshly paved asphalt makes it a joy to ride. Riding through LaGrange is fine, with tons of crowd support, but the back roads after LaGrange leave a lot to be desired, especially after riding the out and back. The ride back into town is miserable b/c the road is broken and bumpy. RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 75
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:36:08 | 26.2 miles | 08m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/376
Overall: 83/2568
Performance: Good
Course: Flat course, two loops, tons of support, and festive atmosphere.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2015-10-13 10:22 AM

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: Ironman Louisville

2015-10-13 10:44 AM
in reply to: #5146372

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Extreme Veteran
In front of computer when typing this.
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
d00d, great race. Sounds like a tough day at the office, and knowing that you are a tough badazz d00d, it sounds like the wind and hills were nasty if they started to beat you down. I was wondering what the sub 20mph on the bike was, knowing what you are capable of. But, having said that, you threw down a really strong run so maybe you actually paced the bike well? That's weird about your UCAN...tough to train in the cold and test it out when it is 95 and humid all summer, but I guess you know that now for the next one! You have me all excited about ironman again though---its a fun journey. Congrats on the PR, especially on a day when things didn't really go your way!
2015-10-13 12:18 PM
in reply to: #5146372

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Love the RR, d00d! I think that any IM that ends in a 3:30mary is a win and swim and bike times were fast, too. Congrats on your day - you're getting faster each time out and your best days are still way off in the future. Take a short break, heal up, and then it's back to it!

Nice goin', ironman.
2015-10-13 2:21 PM
in reply to: #5146372


Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race and by the way - I remember seeing the water bottle spike on the video! It was epic!
2015-10-13 3:18 PM
in reply to: #5146372

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
nice job !! impressive run. swim and bike ain't too shabby either ;-)

2015-10-13 3:29 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Originally posted by metafizx nice job !! impressive run. swim and bike ain't too shabby either ;-) congrats!

x2! Great job! And you managed super well considering the nutrition issues

2015-10-15 12:03 PM
in reply to: #5146372

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Just getting around to reading about everyone else's day... crazy about your nutrition solidifying! Who would have known? Of course I still think you had a killer bike split but I know it wasn't what you were hoping for. Awesome run as well! And you're right, that out and back needs to be eliminated from the course - obviously I am jaded right now but it's just so dangerous the entire way - and I thought that the first year I did this race, too. 

Hope you are recovering well - congrats!


2015-10-16 2:18 PM
in reply to: #5146372

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Nice RR and great job. Very solid run. Sorry about your nutrition and bottle mishaps.
2015-10-19 7:48 PM
in reply to: #5146372

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Nice looking race.  It looks like you were able to put down something you should be pretty happy with.  

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