Ironman Louisville - Triathlon

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
96F / 36C
Total Time = 16h 26m 7s
Overall Rank = 2069/2995
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 187/285
Pre-race routine:

I need to set this up so everyone understands what it took to get here, this was my goal and working torwards it, so many issues came here goes.... On June 18th, 2008 I was at Myrtle Beach, SC and my wife took a picture of me and my daughter Morgan on the beach that day. I saw it later that night and and went to the bathroom and cried, cheesy huh, but a sad. It struck me for the for the first time I was fat, not heavy, but 5'9", 242+ pounds fat. So many years of being in great shape, and now, 3 young kids and this is their example of life, a fat dad. My dad and grandfather had heart attacks young, my mom diabiates, so as I looked at that picture and back at the mirror I said "IT STOPS HERE"! I told my wife the next day on the beach I wanted to do The IRONMAN and that goal would push me to lose weight. But what put on the weight was plantar fasciitis in both feet after years of basketball. 5 years of being seditary, then doctors, cortisone shots in my feet, even surgery on both feet, still they hurt. Finally went to a sports doc and got orthotics reshaped and bam, they worked. August 08 started walking and a little running. Nov 08, do my 1st 1/2 Mary with a broken rib, 2 painful feet, and a headcold, but I finish! Over the next year plus I did 14 triathlons, 3 - 1/2 Marys, 1 Mary, and August 29, 2010 looms. During the middle of all this my bank fails and is bought, then laid off in the worst banking environment, takes almost 1 year to find a new job, 2 states away. So 90 days from IMKY, I move to GA, every weekend for 7 weeks (during training) I drive 14 hours back to NC to see my kids just a few hours, back at work on Mondays, train when I can. Finally get my family to GA just during peak training, my wife is supportive, let me tell you how much and how this gets more inetresting...

On 9/11 my wife was a flight attendant with United, that Monday she had flown to Amsterdam. The next day, September 11th, her sister, who flew for United also, only to keep her benefits, was on a trip to Las Vegas just for a 1 day job...10 minutes before her flight she changes with another flight attendant and Sandy takes the San Fran Flight 93. That one crashed in Pennsyvalania, my wifes sister dies that day. My wife lost her sister and best friend, we almost never married and for 6 months she was in a deep depression while taking care of Sany's 3 and 1 y/o kids. I hung on, and we have 3 wonderful kids of our own today! She quit United and had not flown since, UNTIL, she agreed to fly on Delta to Louisville so I would not have to drive 13 hours each way to do an IRONMAN. She did this for me! MY WIFE GOT ON A PLANE, FOR ME TO DO IRONMAN! DO YOU THINK I WAS GOING TO QUIT DURING THIS IRONMAN, HELL NO!

Just 1 week before IRONMAM my left arm and back mucsles seize up and I can only use it 25%, maybe. I got several deep tissue massages and was about 90% on race day for the swim, and while I type this it still hurts, but I did it! I'm not going to carry on with the amount of obsticals that happened during training, why I did it, or what built up to this, just life, that's all, just life and we move on and do our best right!
So here we go....

Routine? Ha, everytime is different except I wake up every hour on the hour the night before, and before the chcikens! Craig (High School buddy from Clayton NC) agreed to meet at 4 am and get in the swim line becuse we felt we needed the extra time.

Event warmup:

Craig and I were probably 100th in line. From the hotel it was about 1 mile walk, so a nice little warm up. Craig went to Transition first when they opened to get drinks on the bike. Transition closed at 6:30 and at 10 till 6 Craig was not back so the guy behind me, Pat from Alabama said he would save my place and for me to go ahead. Never saw Craig. Got the tires pumped up, 4 hours of INFINIT on the back and Ironman Perform Lemon Lime in the front aero bottle. Walked out of transition right when it closed and it was getting close to swim start so I ran back to swim line....ummm, another 1 mile added to the already mile walk.... So I get to where we were and it was a mad house, no Craig, no Pat...they had opened the docks and they had all walked down...where was my goggles and cap Pat held for me? I passed all the people in line and found Craig and Pat, they had given my bag to the announcer, so I run back up past 200-300 folks, find the goggles and cap, thank you Mr Announcer for saving it, and my day! I went right back down by the same folks again, I know they thought I was an ass and just passing but hey, I had been there from the start, so I was going to go off with my buddy! Ok, 5 minutes till start and I said "CALM DOWN, positive thoughts, focus, go over your plan, breathe", AND I LET IT ALL GO. TODAY I WILL BE AN IRONMAN and I knew there would be obstacles, challanges, mind games, and God knows what, but for all that, I said, FOCUS AND STAY IN YOUR GAME, NOW...JUMP IN! 7:02 am
  • 1h 53m 13s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 41s / 100 yards

With my left arm and neck only at 90% and still hurting this would be the point in the day that would set it up for the rest, would I struggle, catch current, be tired, grab kayaks? So I started the slow turnover, head down, rotate, endurance kick, and sight. Went to the right of most folks but some folks were right of me. I wanted no part of the real swimmers and the churning. Well, that was out the door with 2700+ folks behind me coming fast. I had a goal, get by the island, then the turn buoy, then the train trusses, then the bridge, then I knew I would be almost home. It was mostly uneventful but I did get my share of run overs, hits, kicks, but since I went right to stay away from folks when folks would swim on top of me if they would not get of I literally shoved them to the side and that sent the message, I was nice but not there to use my energy fighting with someone for a what, 1:30-2 h swim time, I knew if they were in the same area I was, there weren't going for KONA either, so why tussel and use energy...thoughts about the day, anything to get by, thoughts about why I was here, planning, strategy, OH, there's the green roof at Joes Crab Shack, almost home, steady, steady, no need to push, save it...I'm out, running, see Sharon, stop and kiss her, then go, easy, easy,.....focus
What would you do differently?:

Be 100%, definately be a better swimmer, not much, I did what I could to finish this leg.
Transition 1
  • 17m 40s

I had a bag with all the essentials but also a clean wet wipe rag so I cleaned the Ohio River off my face, and methodically went through all items I needed for the bike. For 112 miles if I forgot 1 thing I would obcess about it, so yeah, I took my time.
What would you do differently?:

Next time I will be much faster. This was for the experience.
  • 7h 37m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.67 mile/hr

Well, it certainly got interesting here. "Stay in the BOX" was my motto. Don't hammer, do what you practiced. I was averaging 17 and felt great but just before the first water station I ate a tootsie roll and had just put it in my mouth sighted a volunteer and was about to grab a bottle one hand on the horns and reaching and "WHAM". Unbeknowest to me a triathlete / middle linebacker had stopped on his bike in the middle of the drink line and decided to pull out in front of me. As I lay there I spit out the tootsie roll and my left lower tooth, 2nd from the wisdom tooth. A little blood, not much, maybe some pride but damn! So I got up, got my tooth, bagged it for evidence like on CSI, and booked on. In reality, it took about 15 minutes to get everything cleaned up and ready to go. The wind on my tooth ached. Drinking and eating ached. But I remembered what I said before the swim, take what it gives you and give it back harder, and smile, so I did. I cruised down hills, and spun up hills. All those hot humid mornings in 100+ and heat index of 110 paid off this day. In LaGrange I stopped and talked with my wife, showed her my new dental work, and was off. I followed my nutrition plan to the detail, INFINIT every 30 minutes followed by water or IM Perform. Eat a cracker or something slaty every 30 minutes in between the rotation.

All day I looked for Craig but didn't see him. Started second loop and was still good on time though I had made 2 unscheduled stops, the tooth and my wife, seeing here in LaGrange, made my day. My 17 avg now dropped to ~ 16. I stopped at special needs and got my bag which had, another rag in a ZIPP baggie, iced down, wiped off the sweet and grime, and blood then felt like a million dollars. Starting the second loop I began to see the carnage the heat, hills, humidity, and hammering had thrown at people. About every mile I saw folks laid out in grass and under trees, maybe resting, some in bad shape. I checked on a couple that looked bad and moved on. I saw several wrecks. Hey, slow down on the down hills if you are not going for a KONA slot, that extra litle bit really does not help.

Mile 80 now and I feel great, time looks good but all that stopping had hurt my time. It hit me about this point I was going to make the cutoff with plenty of time to spare. Mile 104, I see Craig for the 1st time laid out in a yard on the side of the road. Cramps and vomiting. I spent 12 minutes with him to make sure he was good and he got up to follow me in. I wasn't just going to ride off. I stayed slow the rest of the way. So when I get in though I waited and he didn't come. I waited more and no Craig.
What would you do differently?:

All in all, take out the incidents and stopping to help folks, my avg was ~ 17 though it shows 14.67. I cheked the Garmin and the HR was same as what I had trained and the average speed was 17.2 take out the unsheduled stops. I finished and I also made sure folks were safe. No matter, I felt good.
Transition 2
  • 22m 6s

The time was consumed since I wanted Craig to get in so we could run together. After a while I told a volunteer to make sure he was ok and he assured me they would find him on the course. The guy beside me was in shock and they had paramedics come get him. Again, I had my ZIPP bag with frozen water abd rag the night before, now very cold water...I cleaned off and changed into my US NAVY Blue and yellow Tri top and Sugoi tyi shorts.
What would you do differently?:

Well, again, I could have been faster but I wanted to be methodical and also zoned out on Craig not coming in and the guy beside me going into shock, what do you do. So it was time to finish what I had started, off I go....
  • 6h 15m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 19s  min/mile

Well, this is where the rubber meets the road as they say. Walking out of T2 as soon as I crossed under the Run Out sign I start running, turn right up over a small bridge and Sharon is there taking pictures. I stop, talk, give her a kiss, tell her to look for and encourage Craig, and I go. I actually feel really good here. I stayed in my plan, except for the tooth.

So mile 1.6 was above my pace average since it was out on the bridge that goes over the Ohio River to Indiana. Upgrade, so I ran till the upgrade started the said save it, walked up till the turnaround which now I was at about Mile 1.6, turned around and said, "DO NOT NEGOIATE" RUN! Stay in the plan, which was 10 minute mile pace and 1 minute walk through each aid station. DRINK, EAT, MOVE.

So for the first 9 miles I plodded along at a ~ 12 minute pace. I knew at this point in order to finish I just had to add more walk time but I still ran when I could. I felt cramps setting on both inside quads just like Augusta but each time I would say ok legs, I will stop running and walk for you but as soon as you quit quivering I will run again, and that I did.

I actually got tired of seeing aid stations. It jest felt like there were so many..go figure a complaint like that. Coming up on the MILE 14 9:45 cutoff, guess what, I made it at 8:30 on the nose. Just before at the special needs bags I hanged out socks and again had a cold wet rag in a ZIPP bag, washed my face and felt like a million dollars ecept the legs, going fast.

Turning left off Muhamid Ali Bld down a street then right onto 4th and having to turn right again just before the finish didn't hurt my ego, it pumped me up. As soon as I startd back down Ali blvd Sharon was there and I stopped, talked, and gave her that last kiss before what I knew the day was going to reveal. 11.2 miles folks, 11.2 miles!

I was running again. less people, louder, quiter, louder, so many things happening around me and I started getting tunnel vision. My legs were raw from my shorts being so soaked. I stopped and got vasoline at an aid station, how great that felt. Then oh no, that aweful feeling, my left foot plantar fasciitis started to come alive. I was now limping off the left foot. From mile 18-20 seemed like 10 miles, it just went on and on and on till I go to the turnaround just before the 20 mile mark. Then I hit it at 9:58 PM. As I said, GOD, get me to mile 20 and I will finish it in your grace.

When I turned around and that buzzer sounded so many things started to register. I started running again when everyone was walking. I would not accept just making it at 12. When it hurt I walked, when I could run I did. Sometime I didn't want to and I did anyway. At mile 22 it was very dark and a girl in front of me looked fine and then just fell over. I stopped and she was out. 2 police officers ran over and I was on my way again. So many folks that worked so hard had tough days. On this run, jog, walk, I met some great folks and heard wonderful stories, and I just listened. Then I would run again.

Mile 23 now, dark, quiet, sirens in the distance, few folks left, I started talking to myself and I started listing all the crappy things that have happened to me in my life, you went through hell this last year, then I said your wife got on a plane, you kept your family together when it almost came apart, we moved 2 states away from everything we have ever known, you are a great dad to 3 of Gods gifts as children, you are an example to them to be healthy, to be strong through adversity, and find the positive. I reflected on so much in that last 22 miles, wondering if Craig was ok, friends I have lost, friends I have gained through this wonderful sport who I knew were following me tonight, my days in the military, my grandparents, my parents, all we went throught after 9/11, losing my job, months without a job, how Sharon had managed the kids all summer while I moved to Georgia, how I missed my kids those 7 weeks and I'd cry when I heard their voices and longed to hear them say I love you Daddy and when are you comming home, then on Saturday's while I trained, all those damn hot days that now paid off, now MILE 24, then, the emotions, I knew it would come out, but I smiled all day, and I was estatic about where I was, Mile 25 "beeeepp", reality struk me, I will be running down that chute tonight. Left turn, pull out the American Flag and hold it proudly, right onto 4th Street , lights, music, and then.....
What would you do differently?:

Not a damn thing! It made me what I am and that is someone that can do anything I set my sights on. Tonight I was in great company
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as I finished a catcher had me asked if I was ok, yes, lady gave me a medal, catcher sat me down, great job dude whoever you were! Got my Picture. Got a piture with Sharon. Asked about Craig to several volunteers then one finally said he was ok but had stopped at T2 after the bike. I was relieved. Then it was a real race, off to get my bags from the morning. Then to transition before 12:30 to get bike to TriBike Transport. Still had to lug 2 bags back to the hotel with all that gear. Warm down, NOT! 1;30 finally crashed. Gotta be up at 7a m to catch plane back to Atlanta......

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I was an IRON VIRGIN. Now Im not. My performance was what I expected, slow, methodial, foused, and as The World's Best Say, "ADAPT, EMPROVISE, and OVERCOME".

2011, This 45 year old will rock you IRONMAN, FATBOY TO IRONMAN, NO, JUST IRONMAN!

Event comments:

Pros: Absolutely beautiful bike ourse. Couldn't make a better movie out of it. City of Louisville, LeGrange, and others are tremendously supportive. Great spectator support. Run course was not to hard and had moments of scenic views.

Cons: Getting in line at 4 am sucks. And how is it a WTC event that is supposed to give you 17 hours cuts off at 12 regardless what time you get in the water. 1694 is dangerous, especially for folks that don't understand holding a line downhills and technical turns. CUT THAT PORTION OUT. The road should have been closed to traffic but a truck came down the middle of all of us during my downhill decent. Last 2 water stations on bike course, 96 degrees, 100 degree heat index, and you run out of water.

Overall, yes, I rate it 7.5 out of 10. The volunteers were perfect. I stopped and needed vasolene rubbed under my arms since they were raw on the bike, a lady jumped right in and did it, love you whoever you were. Galt House was perfect location. Great City!

And last, to the lady from Connecticut, thank you for the ride to the Galt House when I must have looked delerious walking down that dead end street from traansition at 1am. I hope your husband was ok after the medical attention!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-09-19 12:00 AM
01:53:13 | 4224 yards | 02m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 229/285
Overall: 2462/2995
Performance: Below average
Suit: AquaSphere Race Suit
Course: Down Channel past Island to turn buoy then back under 2 briges then home.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 17:40
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:37:58 | 112 miles | 14.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 212/285
Overall: 20249/2995
Performance: Below average
142 average, 10 bpm higher than training
Wind: Little
Course: Flat first 17 miles mostly then 1694 downhill fast out and back uphill then right on 42 start loop 2x through LaGrange, then home, false flats last 20 miles with about a 400 ft elvation drop over that last 20-25 miles.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 22:06
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:15:10 | 26.2 miles | 14m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 187/285
Overall: 2069/2995
Performance: Bad
AVG 148 , lower than training
Course: Bridge to Ohio, turnaround, then 2 laps out and back each around 5.5 miles, finish on 4th Street.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4