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Ironman Louisville - Triathlon


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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I had the best summer training for my 4th Ironman. My bike times improved dramatically over the past few years with a new bike and more time in the saddle than ever. I felt extremely prepared and poised for a PR, and so excited to have Linda alongside me for the 4th time around.

We left Kansas Thursday morning and got to Louisville without incident. We had a great condo just a few blocks from 4th Street Live. Ate dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.

Friday we checked in, ran, ate, watched the Royals game at a bar, and I even had a few cider beers. Skipped the athlete dinner, made a grocery run and ate at the condo. I was so relaxed and had zero nerves.

Saturday we skipped the swim (nervous about the algae), had coffee with some BT peeps, and I picked up my parents at the airport. Checked in bikes, dropped off transition bags, then headed to and early (Mexican, yum) dinner. Still no nerves. In bed early and actually slept more than I anticipated. I was calm and ready to race.
Event warmup:

Got up at 4 a.m., ate breakfast and bundled up (47 degrees). Dave drove us to the great lawn and we checked our bikes and dropped off special needs bags. Started the mile-long walk to the swim start and this was when I finally had a few nerves. TMI but I hadn't pooped in the morning so was planning on hitting the porta potties after we got in the swim line. But the swim line was different than it was in 2011, they didn't "snake" anyone around, it was a single file line from the starting docks. Probably another 3/4 mile of walking to find the end - and NO PORTA POTTIES after just beyond the starting area. We found this to be utterly ridiculous as we didn't think walking another 3/4 mile to the potty, 3/4 mile back before such a long day was in our best interests.

Because I still hadn't pooped I got really nervous about how that would play out and it dominated my pre-race thoughts. That, and the ridiculous number of spectators and family in line with the athletes when that was clearly against the rules. And the guys behind us did not shut up for more than 2 seconds at a time - it was hard not to get annoyed. Deep breaths! Get into the wetsuit! Body Glide All The Things! Eat Honey Stingers! And such.

We heard the cannon go off and finally they told spectators to get out of the line and we started moving. Linda and I decided we would duck into the potties when the line reached them and thank goodness we only had to wait a few minutes. Inside (TMI warning) I had a massive massive poop and thank goodness I brought a bag full of wet wipes as the TP was long gone.

OK now that I am 5 pounds lighter (both physically and mentally!) I was SO FREAKING EXCITED TO RACE!!! Linda and I bee-bopped down to the river and I saw my parents and ran to give them hugs. I think that was the best part of my entire day. I high fived all of the volunteers on the way to the water. I was utterly giddy.

Once on the docks we chose the farther entrance and hippity hopped into the Ohio River for the start of a very long day.
Swim
  • 1h 21m 42s
  • 4200 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards
Comments:

I jumped into the Ohio River and the water temperature was significantly warmer than the air temperature so it felt good. My arms were a little cold but I knew as soon as I started moving they would be fine. My feet were chilly the entire time, but it wasn't horrible.

For some reason I was WAY to the left side of the course, and not long after the start a lifeguard yelled at me to move right. I didn't do this soon enough and actually swam smack into a tree jutting out of the water. I popped up and laughed out lout - only me. My goggles fogged excessively, so I had to stop 7 or 8 times to manually de-fog them - I just couldn't see a thing 90% of the swim. One time after de-fogging, I accidentally scissor kicked to get myself back horizontal, and hit a guy square in the goggles. I felt so bad because he yelled like a drama queen so I stopped and profusely apologized. Moving on.

The rest of the swim was fairly uneventful except for de-fogging every 10 minutes or so. After the turn at the end of the island you can see the first bridge as a landmark and it takes so long to get there - I forget that you are more than halfway done by that time. Under the first bridge I heard a lot of verbal commotion and thought maybe I was off course again, so I popped up - to see a swimmer frantically yelling for help. The kayak next to me bolted over there and I hope that person was OK.

After the first bridge, I just told myself to make it to the second bridge then you're just about done. It was fun swimming into the exit and being pulled out of the river. I had resisted looking at my watch the whole time as I didn't want to be prematurely disappointed in my pace (of course I felt super slow the whole time and was mentally preparing for a 1:30:xx) and was THRILLED to see 1:21:xx on my Garmin. SO HAPPY and ecstatic about a great start to what would surely be an epic day.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out goggle fogging.
Transition 1
  • 11m 40s
Comments:

Got my cap and goggles off, wetsuit stripped, and RAN to the transition bag area. So many people walking here, I swear I cut off at least a minute just by running! Got my bag and ran into the change tent to find utter chaos! Which I expected. No chairs, so I started unpacking my bag on the muddy ground. Saw a chair open up behind me and snagged it super fast.

Did everything I needed to in here - bike jersey, arm warmers, gloves, etc. Headed out and got sunscreen applied to my legs before finding my bike. Running out of the racks I saw Linda and we ran together out of T1 - how awesome!!!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Bike
  • 1h 03m
  • 19.54 miles
  • 18.61 mile/hr
Comments:

Starting the bike I felt amazing. I knew the temperature and wind speeds were going to mean perfect racing conditions - I was comfortable and confident. I passed Linda a few miles into River Road and yelled out "Justin Bieber!" since we had both used her hilarious Justin Beiber duct tape for various reasons leading up to the race, lol. Up the first steep hill my pace slowed a bit but was super happy and making small jokes with people who were passing me.

I get to the "finger" out and back section (1694) and mentally prepared for the steepest uphills and downhills of the day. I've done this race before so know what to expect, but hadn't trained on many hills this summer so just wanted to get it over with. Linda passed me at the start of this section and asked how I was doing - I said I had just popped 2 ibuprofen and was feeling great - or would feel great shortly ha!

At mile 19ish, I must have taken my eyes off the road for a second too long because suddenly my bike was riding off of the road - and unfortunately there was no shoulder and the asphalt dropped sharply maybe 5-6 inches. I lost control in the grass and crashed left, bouncing back on to the road. I heard my head hit the pavement but don't really remember how I landed - but I heard people yelling behind me. I remember that a male athlete was right there when I got up asking if I was ok. He had his arms up in the air waving so others could see from a distance. Athletes were yelling "BIKER DOWN! BIKER DOWN!" and I just kept thinking get back on the bike! And this guy kept asking if I was OK and I kept saying "I don't know." I finally looked at him and asked if I was bleeding - am I bleeding? I can't tell. He didn't see any blood. Good sign? I can ride, yes? I looked at him and asked if my bike was OK - is my bike OK? He pointed out that my back wheel was off of the skewer - I said OK I will get it back on but when I went to take a step my left leg was malfunctioning. I'm sure I can still ride, I just need to shake it off. I told him please go and race, I am not hurt. After I told him multiple times, he reluctantly left but said he would tell the next aid station I was here. OK but I can still ride! I just have to get my wheel on, and my chain back on, and my leg to stop hurting. I will lose some time but I can still ride.

It took me multiple attempts to get my back wheel secured. My brain was in a weird place. It also took me multiple attempts to get my chain on, but when I did I was like ALL RIGHT! Time to ride!! Even though I could tell my left leg was iffy. I waited for a huge break in the line of athletes to get on the bike - OK I am riding! I can finish! And once I finish the bike I will re-assess my leg. Yes that is a good plan! I am so smart.

Except I could not for the life of me clip my left pedal in. Any ounce of pressure on my left leg was surprisingly painful and I couldn't figure out why. I tried 10 or 12 times while soft pedaling with my right leg, and finally came to the realization that my left ankle was very hurt. Like so hurt that I couldn't put enough pressure on it to clip into my pedal. And if I can't clip in, I can't ride. And if I can't ride, I can't run. Or walk. Or continue at all. Is this real life? Am I DNFing?

I decided to soft pedal to the next aid station to assess, like really assess. Maybe I can still figure something out. After a few minutes I spotted some people in an ATV and pulled over - are you medical? Yes. I told them what happened and they asked a series of questions and got me to admit that I couldn't bear any weight on that leg. When I said that out loud I knew what was happening. They said they couldn't tell me what to do, but said if I couldn't bear weight that I would need x-rays ASAP and then just waited for me to say something. They needed me to say I was dropping out of the race or continuing. I said if I can't walk, I certainly can't finish. I need to call it a day here. My eyes welled up pretty bad and my breath caught and stuttered and I felt like a little kid gulping for air between sobs. They asked if I was certain and I just nodded my head, trying so hard to be brave, not cry, and get out of this situation with some grace.

While they were radioing my race number in, I asked to use a cell phone. Surely my parents had seen my athlete tracker stopped and were probably concerned. My dad answered his cell and I put on my brave voice to tell him what happened and that I was going to be transported to the hospital. They were on the shuttle bus to La Grange and that is where they were taking me. As they were getting read to load me into the ATV, they got word that there was a very bad wreck down the road, possible trauma, so I told them to tend to those racers if they promised they would come back for me. I had to wait for about an hour but they did, and they took me to pick up another injured athlete, then to an ambulance for transport to La Grange.

In the ambulance I tried to be upbeat. I was riding with Nicholas from California and he was in a 4-person wreck. His helmet was severely cracked, he was going to have brain scans. Got to the hospital and my parents were there - again I am putting on my brave face and trying so hard to be positive. I am okay. It's just my ankle. I feel horrible for ending my race so early after they flew across the country to support me.

I was at the hospital for 2.5 hours, got x-rayed, confirmed a broken ankle, got some pain meds, a splint and crutches then was released. Dave had driven the car out to La Grange so we all piled in and drove back to town.

I won't lie. While I put on a good face and tried to lift everyone up - my family, the other injured athletes at the hospital, myself - I'm really disappointed. The HOURS and DAYS and WEEKS and MONTHS I put into training, the progress I made over the past year, the money I spent, the time my parents took to come to Louisville, the anticipation of a PR and dancing down the finish chute - gone in an instant, and a long road ahead to even be able to walk, let alone run or enjoy running for who knows how long. It's a hard pill to swallow all the way around.
What would you do differently?:

Not crash.
Transition 2
  • 00m
Run
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Warm down:

I couldn't stand the thought of wallowing in the condo while Linda was still out there and the race was still going on, so I announced to my parents that I would like to hobble over to 3rd street (just a block from our front door) and cheer people on. My mom got out the cowbell and glow necklaces and said OK! Let's go!

We sat on 3rd Street and cow-belled people on while watching for Linda. We saw her finish her 1st loop, then start her 2nd loop - then realized we were really hungry and thirsty. Got Dave and my Dad and we decided to head down toward 4th Street and find a close place to eat. Except there was nothing close until you actually get to 4th Street Live - so I hobbled on new crutches for WAY farther than I should have. My hands and sides were so sore and swollen from the crutch walking but I didn't really care. I wasn't going to be an Ironman today so nothing really matters. I just wanted to eat and see Linda finish.

We got a table at TGIFs right at the finish line, ate a great dinner and I had a huge cider beer. That helped. After we left the restaurant we found a place in the finish chute and note 5 minutes later, here comes Linda! She absolutely smashed her PR and her goal time and I am so proud of her! Dave ran to meet her and we hobbled after. It was so crowded and not fun on crutches but we made it to Linda and exchanged stories. I felt bad because Linda had to retrieve her own bags, Dave got our bikes, and I just walked to a corner to wait for him to pick me up in the car. I was really hurting though.

After getting back to the condo and chatting, I was so tired and sore. I laid down around midnight and slept pretty hard, despite being pretty uncomfortable. We got up and were out of the condo by 9:30 a.m. and in KC by 8 p.m. Stayed there with my Mom and then she drove me the rest of the way home Tuesday morning.

What a crazy weekend.

Event comments:

IMLOU is a great race. This year I crashed at mile 19 on the out-and-back finger section, so I can't comment on much.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2014-10-24 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:21:42 | 4200 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless wetsuit
Course:
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 11:40
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
01:03:00 | 19.54 miles | 18.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Wind: None
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2015-10-13 10:14 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Ironman Louisville


2015-10-14 12:18 AM
in reply to: #5146584

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Extreme Veteran
516
500
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Thanks for the race report. After reading your account I can completely empathize knowing the time, energy, effort, and money you put in, but I'm glad you're OK. Although you didn't get to finish and realize your race goals I'm sure you'll came away stronger and more motivated. Get healed quickly!

2015-10-14 6:25 AM
in reply to: #5146584

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Veteran
493
100100100100252525
West Palm Beach
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
I'm so sorry you crashed! But so happy that you are okay and will definitely be a stronger athlete as you heal.

Sending you healing vibes! Stay strong!

Alicia
2015-10-14 7:37 AM
in reply to: #5146584

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Elite
3683
20001000500100252525
Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
So sorry to hear about your day, Lisa! Your training looked great leading up to this race. I fully expected you to rock IMLou and walk away with a MASSIVE PR!

Those shoulder droppoffs were pretty severe. There were a few times when I got a little close and thought, "man, I go over that and my day is going to be done."

Heal up and put this behind you.
2015-10-14 11:19 AM
in reply to: 0

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Veteran
410
100100100100
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

So many emotions for you. Knowing that it could've been so much worse is only a small comfort knowing how much you had invested in this race and how much you have ahead of you for recovery. Having to say the words that you couldn't go on must've been indescribably tough, watching a dear friend finish and sharing her joy during your personal sorrow, tough. But you ARE one tough cookie.

<Insert platitudes: There's no such thing as "wasted" training...You lived to race another day.... Blah, blah blah>

 



Edited by InnerAthlete 2015-10-14 11:27 AM
2015-10-14 11:47 AM
in reply to: #5146584

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Master
2345
200010010010025
Ellsworth, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I'm so sorry about your crash. I've followed your training and know how ready you were. Sending lots of good thoughts and support.



2015-10-14 12:27 PM
in reply to: kelpeng

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Master
3875
20001000500100100100252525
Toronto
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Hey-  how awesome are you for going out to cheer on your fellow athletes on a broken ankle?? Lisa, you are an Ironman and pretty darn awesome! 

I hope the healing goes by quickly - both physically and emotionally. Not easy either way! 

2015-10-14 12:29 PM
in reply to: kelpeng

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Master
2500
2000500
Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Lisa,

Sorry to hear about the crash! I know it must have been painful to DNF but there will always be another race. Great job coming back out in crutches to cheer on your friend. Get better quick!
2015-10-14 12:49 PM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Extreme Veteran
719
500100100
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
So sorry! :-( You stayed very strong. I don't think I would have been able to stay so positive. Louisville is an amazing course. I hope you have a fast recovery! You will be back!!!! HUGS!
2015-10-14 1:53 PM
in reply to: #5146584

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Master
6582
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I was so sad when I saw the IG pic.  But it was really cool that you were cheering for others while in such a tough place personally.  I'm really impressed with your heart.  Keep your chin up, you'll be healed up and back at it. I'm sure.

2015-10-14 7:56 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Veteran
267
1001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Oh wow. So sorry for the crash and your day coming to an end prematurely. Glad you're going to be okay though. I'm dissapointed for you.

Here's to a quick recovery and a score to settle with that course, down the road.

Randy


2015-10-15 12:55 PM
in reply to: randym95

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Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

So sorry your day ended the way it did.  Your training was so good and you were ready to kill the course.  Heal up and get that revenge next year!!

2015-10-15 2:29 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Pro
5123
5000100
Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I'm sorry to hear about your bike accident!  It looks like you were set for a great day! 

2015-10-15 3:05 PM
in reply to: #5146584

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1300
1000100100100
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Sorry to read you crashed and about your ankle.  Hope you heal up quick

2015-10-15 9:14 PM
in reply to: #5146584

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Champion
5490
5000100100100100252525
Whizzzzzlandia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Ohhhhhh girl, what a bummer. Not sure what else to say... but part of being alive and getting out there and doing it is risking it all... or risking a fall... as the case may be. 

No question you put in the work necessary to have had a stellar race. It just wasn't in the stars. (See what I did there? Stellar/stars? )

There but for the grace of God go any of us. 

Rest up, heal up. You'll end up fine. Do all the rehab, whatever it is, and make sure you get that ankle back and strong. Then you'll be ready to go for the next race. I know you're not finished yet! 

xoxo

 

2015-10-16 12:46 PM
in reply to: Whizzzzz

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Master
7724
50002000500100100
Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville


2015-10-16 2:28 PM
in reply to: #5146584

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Regular
273
1001002525
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
I'm obviously sorry about how your day went. Since misery loves company, I'll tell you that I was also in a single-person crash at IM Austin 70.3 a couple of years ago, and broke my hand. I did the same thing as you - lost focus for a split second, and then found myself going off the road and going down.

And this: "I told them to tend to those racers if they promised they would come back for me" - You rock. I hope you to see or at least hear about you out there at an IM again one day.

Cheers,
Brett
2015-10-16 9:15 PM
in reply to: 0

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New user
1350
10001001001002525
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Lisa,
You've got a tremendous attitude for such an awful situation. Even though you didn't finish, you're still an inspiration to all. They say that bones that break become stronger when they heal, so I hope you come back even stronger next year. Also, If you want to look at the bright side, at least you got to take a really great dump before the swim.



Edited by trijamie 2015-10-16 9:27 PM
2015-10-17 3:04 PM
in reply to: #5146584

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Extreme Veteran
443
10010010010025
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I absolutely hate the way this race ended for you. You had such a solid year of training, and I just knew we were both going to PR it. I thought maybe we'd even be running it in together. That would have been awesome.

I know mentally and physically it hurt, but you WILL bounce back, stronger than ever, and if you want to get your revenge on an IM course, you know I'll be right there to support you. Thank you so much for putting on a brave face and continuing to support all the rest of us at LOU. You are a great friend and such a classy lady. I am proud to be your Iron-buddy.

 

2015-10-25 7:11 AM
in reply to: #5146584

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Master
3485
20001000100100100100252525
Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I can imagine nothing more disappointing than having to DNF during an event you've dedicated so much toward.  Pulling out would have been completely miserable but something comes to mind for me that maybe you can look back on and apply to the decision you made, "discretion is the better part of valor."  Imagine what might have happened had you not pulled the plug.  The injury could have far, far worse.  You made the right call and will live to fight another day because of it.  Recover well.

Thanks for putting the details of your crash together.  In so doing it may help others at some other race to remain focused and save themselves and possibly others a similar fate.

Foggy goggles....baby shampoo.  Use a very light coating on the lens and you'll be clear for as long as you want to swim.  I've been doing it for years.

2015-10-26 3:56 PM
in reply to: DirkP

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Tough day for sure, but you showed strength, a wonderful spirit/attitude, sportsmanship and good will throughout, especially telling the ambulance to go tend to the other accident and get you later.  Heal well.



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