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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 35m 11s
Overall Rank = 1189/
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 205/257
Pre-race routine:

I arrived in Louisville late Thursday afternoon. I checked into the Galt House (host hotel) and breezed through the athlete registration, which was nice because the lines were really long the following days. I had dinner with a bunch of BT'ers at the Spaghetti Warehouse and had a blast.

I attended the practice swim Friday morning and again got to see a bunch of BT'ers. The swim course had been changed because of the strong current, but the swim practice was being held out on the original swim course. Someone told me that it was a 1/2 mile loop. It took me about 25 minutes to swim up against the current and only 5 minutes to get back. The current was strong!

The rest of the day was spent in the athlete briefing, checking out the expo and getting a massage. I then met a large group of BT'ers for the pre-race dinner. The food was just about as bad as this mass quantity food can get, but the night was really fun. A few different people spoke, some were more entertaining than others. The mayor of Louisville was there and said a few words and seemed excited to have Ironman in Louisville. My favorite part of the evening was when they asked all the first time IM'ers to stand up. The rest of the crowd clapped and cheered and it felt really cool.

Most of the speakers at the dinner were warning us of the heat and the challenge of the bike course. One of the last people to speak, I cannot remember who he was, said something like "It is going to be hot. But you can't do anything about heat. You are going to need to suck it up." That was fun and got a lot of people going.

My family got into town that night after dinner. I spent a little bit of time with them, but then excused myself to crash. I had a hard time sleeping Friday night which stressed me out even more because this was the night to really get a good sleep.

Saturday morning I went on a short bike and run. I ran down to the new swim start to get a look at it. After a late breakfast, I finished packing my T1/T2 and special needs bags. I then brought them and my bike to the transition area to check them in. I knew that I had everything in them because I rechecked them a thousand times. But it was still stressful dropping them off because once you did, you could not access them again.

I had an early dinner with my family and went back to the room to try to relax and get to sleep. I actually had an okay sleep.

Up at 3:30am and had 3.5 bottles of Ensure and 1/2 of a bagel. Went back to bed and actually relaxed for an hour. Back up at 4:30, got dressed and headed to transition to check in and get body marked. I set up my nutrition on the bike, pumped the tires and fussed with it longer than necessary. It felt strange having almost nothing to do in transition on race morning.

I headed out for the walk to the new swim start. I figured getting there about an hour early would get me in the water at a decent time. Hah! Not even close. The line was already huge and I was probably in the back 20%. Spent the next 90 minutes chilling out and talking to those around me.
Event warmup:

We were not allowed in the water for a warm up. The walk to the swim start was all the exercise I figured that I needed anyway.
Swim
  • 1h 13m 44s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters
Comments:

The swim had been modified because of the strong current in the river. The start had been moved quite a ways up river. The upstream portion of the swim was now between a little island and the shore, this was to lessen the impact of the current. The new start area was too small for a mass start so we lined up to enter the water one at a time.

The cannon fired and I ..... waited. A bunch of hot air balloons launched at what was probably the original swim start. I just waited in line as it slowly wound its way to the water. I did not get into the water until 7:30. For some reason I thought that it was 7:40 all day and I was 10 minutes off with my time.

In a boat slip about 20 yards from the swim start, there was a good old boy that had already tied one on good. He was high fiving everyone that went by. He said something like "You are all crazy sons of bitches. My ladder is down on the back of my boat, if you change your mind after jumping in, just swim over I have bloody marys. You are a bunch of crazy sons of bitches." Good fun!

Athletes were crossing the timing mat and jumping into the water about every second. A guy at the end of the dock was gently pushing you into the water in one direction or the other. When I got there, he pushed me to the left. I swam as quickly as I could away from the dock to avoid the next person landing on me.

The current behind this island was still pretty substantial, although nothing like out in the open river. A lot of people were working pretty hard and not moving very fast. There was a little bumping and pushing, but nothing too bad. I started moving from one set of feet to the next, trying to draft as much as I could against the current.

I tried moving over to the left to swim as close to the shore of the island as I could, hoping the current would not be quite as strong there. I had a really difficult time getting over there, I am not sure why. By the time I finally made it, I did not notice much of a difference.

I couldn't wait to get up past the island to the turnaround. Once I got to the top of the island, I was surprised at how much further up we still had to go. When I made it to the turnaround buoy, I checked my watch, it had been 30 minutes. I think that this had only been 3/4 of a mile, but I am not sure.

The rest of the swim down the river with the current was much easier. I have noticed in the last couple of swims with current, however, that my form is much better swimming against the current than with it.

Everyone was hugging the shoreline on the swim with the current. I am not sure why, the current was stronger further out into the river. I swam out as far as the kayakers and police boat would let me. I was really hoping that I made the right decision, I had no one to draft, but I thought that I would gain some speed further out. There was only one other person anywhere near me.

The race helicopter was overhead during most of the swim. I started playing a game with myself that I was the race leader and the helicopter was following me. After doing this for a few minutes, it hit me with striking clarity that this was going to be a great day and I was going to finish this race. This all sounds really goofy now, but it was at that moment that I mentally prepared myself to have fun the rest of the day and finish.

About halfway down the river we passed under a bridge and it forced me back into the pack of swimmers closer to shore. I made a real effort to stay behind one pair of feet or another.

I got out of the water and felt great.
What would you do differently?:

I should have lined up at the start earlier. I didn't like being in the back of the pack the entire day.
Transition 1
  • 13m 34s
Comments:

I took way too long here. A good bit of this time was the long transition from the swim exit to the tent and then the really long chute from the bikes to the bike mount.

After a volunteer helped get my bag, I ran into the tent. It was congested, but I found a chair and dumped out my stuff. I got my socks and bike shoes on, but then realized that I forgot to BodyGlide my feet. I debated skipping the BodyGlide, but knew that it might mean some ugliness for my toes later in the day. So I took off the shoes and socks and started all over. Really stupid, not focusing.

After getting everything else together, I handed off my bag and headed out of the tent. I hit the sunscreen application right outside the tent. They had just run out of sunscreen in the big tank that they were using for spraying it on. While they were refilling it, another volunteer gave me a couple of sprays from a bottle and told me I was good to go. Uhh...there was no way that was enough. I decided to hit the porta-potties that were right there while they refilled the big sunscreen tank. When I got out of the porta-potty, there was suddenly a huge line waiting for sunscreen. Damnit! I made the decision to wait it out and get more sunscreen, I would rather waste a couple of minutes rather than being burned later in the day. It was one of a thousand little decisions I had to make during the day.

After finally getting sunscreen, I grabbed my bike and headed out. There was a really long chute out of transition to the bike mount line. What a pain in bike shoes. I could have left the shoes off, but my socks would have gotten wet and muddy from the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

I should have calmed down and not made mental mistakes in the tent.
Bike
  • 7h 10m 50s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.60 mile/hr
Comments:

My plan was to really pace myself on the bike using HR and how I was feeling. I took the computer off my bike so that I would not be worrying about speed. I kept my bike as light as possible and kept nutrition as simple as possible. I carried one bottle with Infinit and water in my aerobottle. I had some Hammer gel and Endurolytes as a backup.

The first 10 miles were pretty flat on great roads along the river. The course then turned to rolling hills. None of the hills were really that bad, but they never ended. Never, ever ended. I train on pretty flat surfaces and this got tough for me at the end.

Because I was traveling light, I picked up something at every aid station. Once the sun really came out, I could feel it heating up. I started drinking more than I originally planned and supplementing with Endurolytes.

We passed through the town of LaGrange twice, which hosted a festival for people to watch the race. It was awesome riding through that town. The streets were line with people cheering and ringing bells. That was a great feeling. There were locals scattered throughout the course that had come up from their neighborhoods or farms to watch the race.

At special needs I picked up the extra Endurolytes I had packed. I was glad to not need the extra tube and CO2's.

At mile 80 I saw the first real casualty of the day. This guy was lying in someone's yard being looked over by race officials. An ambulance passed me on what I assume was the way to him a few minutes later.

Other than a pain in my left calf that started at mile 20, I felt pretty good on the bike most of the day. Every time my stomach started getting touchy, I would back off, get out of aero or do something to calm it down. This lasted for about 6 hours. The 7th hour of the ride was no fun. I was spent from the hills and my stomach started feeling horrible. I started getting those burps that I know means I might get sick. Almost exactly as I passed the 100 mile sign, I threw up just a little bit. It was very little and not a big deal.

I pulled over at the next aid station to calm my stomach down. I threw out my Infinit and got the coldest bottle of ice water the volunteers could make me. I hopped back on the bike and headed out. About 2 miles later I passed a dead deer on the side of the road. The smell turned my stomach and I spit up a little bit more.

I could not have been any more uncomfortable the last few miles back to transition. Every minute or two I would stand up and stretch. I was moving really slow, but knew that I was close!

The last 1/2 mile of the bike course was alongside the run. I was so happy to see those runners. But then I noticed that most of them were walking and looked really hot.
What would you do differently?:

More time on the bike. More time training on hills. I feel like I nailed my nutrition and pacing.
Transition 2
  • 14m 46s
Comments:

Much better transition than T1. The official time is not correct, I was not this long.

A volunteer grabbed my bike as I headed back into transition, nice! Another volunteer helped me get my bag and I headed into the tent. It was really hot in the tent. A volunteer brought me some ice water and I dumped out my stuff. I really concentrated on getting everything right this time. I had a list in my bag and I ran through it to make sure that I didn't miss anything. I put an enormous amount of BodyGlide on my feet.

I threw my bike stuff into the bag and handed it off to a volunteer. I grabbed a cup of ice from the aid station on the way to the run chute and I was off.

Everyone was walking up the long chute to the beginning of the run. I said screw this and started to run, dodging everyone in the chute.
What would you do differently?:

I felt really good about this transition. I think that if I had known how hot that tent was going to be, I would have just done everything somewhere outside of it.
Run
  • 5h 42m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 04s  min/mile
Comments:

I dumped the cup of ice from T2 into a ziploc baggie that I was carrying. I put the baggie in my hat and on my head. At every aid station I dumped out the melted ice and refilled the bag. I repeated this at every single aid station but one. It really helped keep me cool during the run.

The run started with a short 1 mile out and back before hitting the 12 mile loop we had to run twice. It was on the street in the full sun and it was really hot. I had planned to run a 10 minute pace and walk 1 minute at every aid station. I knew this was not going to work and I slowed down a bit. The one minute aid station walk soon turned to 2 then 3 then 4.

The run/walk thing did work for me. I was slow, but managed to be able to run at least part of every mile. I followed my nutrition plan and it worked for me, I had no cramping and never bonked. It went something like this from aid station to aid station:

- Force down 1 cup Gatorade and some water
- Force down 1 cup water and some Gatorade
- Force down 1 cup water and endurolytes
- Every hour 1 hammer gel

I hated the gels and Gatorade, my stomach was pissed. I had to walk a bit longer after those aid stations.

The run course was on a closed street, which was nice. But it was pretty unremarkable. It was pretty flat, but did have a few ups and downs. The 6 miles out on the loop felt like it would never end. It felt like the longest stretch of road in the world. I started seeing a lot of people with problems. A lot of cramping, throwing up, dry heaves, etc. One guy was sitting on the side of the road trembling uncontrollably. The race officials were tending to him while waiting for the ambulance. I saw ambulances a few times during the run.

Before starting the second loop, you pass right by the finish line. It was a giant tease. I thought that I had missed the turn for the second loop; it looks like you are going to run down the finish chute. And then at the last possible second, someone points you away from the finish. I stopped and said hello to my family here and told them when I thought that I would be finishing.

I then headed back out of town and away from the crowds and the noise. The sun started to go down, which meant more shadows and that felt great. My plan was to start drinking Coke or anything else that I might need at mile 18. It was perfect timing, at the aid station right before mile 18, I started gagging when trying to get Gatorade or a gel in me.

I drank a Coke for the first time ever in a race at this point. It was the best thing ever! The sugar and caffeine really picked me up. It also seemed to settle my stomach some. I drank nothing but coke the final 8 miles and it worked wonders.

I talked to people a few times, but mostly stayed in my own little world. The miles slowly ticked by and I finally made it back into downtown. I slowed up quite a bit the final mile so that I would have some juice left at the end. Coming down those final two blocks with people cheering everywhere was incredible. As I entered the finishing chute, I was grinning from ear to ear. I heard my name announced and I threw my hands up and crossed the finish line!
What would you do differently?:

I was probably a little too conservative with the run. I could have pushed it a little harder, but I still feel great about it. I nailed my nutrition.
Post race
Warm down:

Two women caught me and gave me my medal and finishers towel (?!?). They both held onto me and gave me the option of drinking some water or Gatorade. I took the water and took a few sips. They held onto me until I had my finisher photo taken. I then found my family and celebrated!

We went to the Convention Center looking for food and to pick up my morning bag. This is one of the only bad things I have to say about this event. The post race food was the worst that I have ever seen at any race. There was cold pizza, cups of vanilla ice cream and water and Gatorade. Yuck.

I ran into Kati (katimomma) and Paul there and heard about their finish and that Matt (mattajw) had also finished. I also ran into Aaron and Andrew heading back to the finish line after they had cleaned up.

By the time I had walked back to transition to retrieve my bike and got back to my hotel, it was just after midnight and everything was closed, including room service. Lot's of pissed off people looking for food!

And for any local Louisville folks that want to make some serious $'s at next year's race, show up at the finish and offer rides back to transition to pick up bikes. I would have dropped $20 for this service without blinking an eye.

Event comments:

This was an incredible event and experience. Hanging out with 2,000 other people that are crazy enough to be doing this is really, really cool. I met so many great people and had so much fun.

This was my first IM so I cannot compare it to others, but for an inaugural event, this seemed to run very smoothly. The people of Louisville were very welcoming.




Last updated: 2007-04-14 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:13:44 | 3862 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/257
Overall: 623/
Performance: Good
Suit: None
Course:
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 13:34
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:10:50 | 112 miles | 15.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/257
Overall: 1312/
Performance: Average
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 14:46
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:42:17 | 26.2 miles | 13m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/257
Overall: 1189/
Performance: Average
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2007-08-29 10:44 AM

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Expert
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Northern VA
Subject: Ironman Louisville


2007-08-29 11:37 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome report! I wanted to go back and add more to mine when I was reading it!! We had such a blast with you guys - it was great to know some folks & not just be there flying solo!!! Lake Placid 2009?!?
2007-08-29 11:45 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
3477
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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Way to go Mr. Ironman!   Sounds like you worked your plan well!!!
2007-08-29 12:02 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
great great job..... way to hang tough....
2007-08-29 12:25 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Extreme Veteran
407
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Greenwood, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job toughing it out on the bike like you did and coming back with a good run. Congratulations!
2007-08-29 12:44 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Veteran
129
10025
Lugoff, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome report!  Great job with the race, Ironman!


2007-08-29 1:04 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Arch-Bishop of BT
10278
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Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

You rock!  Great race report...

You are an Ironman!

 

Peace,
Brian

2007-08-29 1:56 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Veteran
243
10010025
Sullivan, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
outstanding race - IRONMAN....i'm totally inspired.....but common sense will hopefully prevail for a few more years.....
2007-08-30 2:42 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
2998
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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome!  Totally inspiring and definitely makes me want to do an Ironman one of these days! Way t
2007-08-30 2:42 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
2998
2000500100100100100252525
Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome!  Totally inspiring and definitely makes me want to do an Ironman one of these days! Way to
2007-08-30 2:42 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
2998
2000500100100100100252525
Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome!  Totally inspiring and definitely makes me want to do an Ironman one of these days! Way to push h


2007-08-30 2:42 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
2998
2000500100100100100252525
Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome!  Totally inspiring and definitely makes me want to do an Ironman one of these days! Way to push hard!
2007-08-30 2:42 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Elite
2998
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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

AHH- Sorry, my computer totally just whacked out on me...I guess you get the point...stupid computer...



Edited by TexasMPGal 2007-08-30 2:44 AM
2007-08-30 3:11 PM
in reply to: #946777

Champion
6539
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South Jersey
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Wow, Bill. Great job, and great RR...I felt like I was there with you. I am so glad you had such a wonderful race and enjoyed the ENTIRE experience !

I love the little game you played in your head during the swim. I do a lot of "thinking" during the swims too, so I can totally relate. That's awesome how it put you in the right frame of mind to continue on with the day, as I could imagine the TT swim start was a little unsettling (at least for me it would have been).

Nice job with nailing your nutrition and sticking to your plan on the bike. I still don't know how you can race without a cyclocomputer, but it's totally awesome that you can. I know you had some stomach issues on the bike, but they definitely didn't seem to be anywhere near as bad as they were at the beginning of the season. WOOT!

And, awesome job with the run. You can never really know what to expect with the run, especially for your first IM. You did a great job with it and made the right decisions all along the way. I definitely learned a lot from you. And, I really like the plastic baggie for the ice. Good idea!

Oh, and don't worry about the little "blunders" of T1. It wasn't a typical T1 (at least compared to other races), so it's okay. It had no impact on the day. But, I know what you mean.

Great job!!! I am so happy for you, and so glad to have been able to share, albeit virtually, in your IM experience. Now rest up, and eat lots of ice cream .

2007-08-31 5:07 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Expert
830
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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

The helicopter was following me I thought...after all that time it was after you?

 

Great report.  I was very happy to have met you.  We will have to race together once next year.  Let me know when you will do your next Iron.  I am looking towards IMFL for November and definitely IMLP for 2009. 

2007-09-06 3:10 PM
in reply to: #945683

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Not a Coach
11473
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great job, Ironman!

Way to hang in there all day and keep moving.  And who would have thought that warm Coke was nectar of the gods? 



2007-09-07 6:32 AM
in reply to: #945683

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Veteran
200
100100
Charleston, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
congrats on your IM louisville.  i enjoyed reading the details of your report.
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