Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
96F / 36C
Total Time = 12h 01m 18s
Overall Rank = 412/2157
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 50/222
Pre-race routine:

After a long day of travel Lauren and I arrived in Kentucky on the Thursday before the race and was met by my parents who had rented a cottage in Taylorsville, about 40 minutes outside of Louisville. Friday was athlete check in and a little touring of the city. I drove the out and back section of the bike course and checked out the swim/transition area. Saturday morning was the official practice swim in the river, a 1.5 mile underpants run, and then dropping off the bike and gear later in the day. For Saturday night we moved out of the cottage and into a hotel in downtown. I ate my last meal at the Macaroni Grill and realized that I had left my tri shorts and top back at the cottage. Oh man, I kind of need those! Had to make a detour to go pick 'em up, but when we got there the key wasn't working in the door and we had to wait to be let in and have new keys (keycard like at a hotel) made. I was up later than I wanted to be, but I was in a relaxed state, not out running around so I was good to go. We got back to the hotel and it was lights out.
Event warmup:

Alarm went off at 3:50. I was able to get sleep during the night and was feeling good. I got dressed and had a bagel, banana, and started hydrating. I collected my gear and supporters (Lauren, Brother and his girlfriend) and we walked 15 minutes down to transition. At a little after 5am, transition wasn't overly crowded and everyone seemed pretty calm. I inflated my tires and did a last check through my gear bags and then it was a mile walk upriver to the swim start area where I got body marked. Since IMKY is a time trial swim start, it was another long walk to the end of the line. My support crew was still hanging with me for a while in line before they were told to separate. While in line I had some Clif Shot Bloks and kept hydrating. Without being able to see the river, I heard the cannon fire to start the race. Game on.
  • 1h 16m 50s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

I have a tendency to stay wide on swim courses, away from the main group of people. I don't know if it helps or hurts me, but that's what I did here as well. I thought the swim turn around came right after the island, but had to change my mindset during the swim and just keep going to a now unknown turn around bouy. The waster temp was pretty perfect, I was worried that swimming in warmer water may feel uncomfortable, but it was nicer than freezing my face off like I did in Arizona. The river was brown and cloudy, but tasted pretty clean so I didn't mind having water in my mouth during normal breathing, but it was pretty bad when I got a nice big gulp. Coming up to the turn around bouy, since I was swimming wide, there was a sandbar (mudbar?) that I had to cross over. Some people around me just stood up and started walking, but I used my ocean skills and did some dolphin dives and kept swimming as much as I could. It was definitely faster to do this than try to walk. I knew I was going easier than my goal pace by the time I got to the turn around, but I kept it even. I was swimming a little faster than my 'just out for a swim pace' but under race pace. I was still doing more passing than being passed so I wasn't overly concerned that I was going too easy. At about the end of the island on the way back I tried to pick up my pace and really start moving, but my left calf gave a cramp so I just backed off and stayed even. Since it was a TT start, you don't really know who is around you or what their goal is. There was still some bumping and crowding at times, but not as fierce as a mass start. I came up the to exit and the lady getting out in front of me happened to know the volunteer that was helping us out. They started to have a conversation as I tried to work my away around them and 'encouraged' her to keep moving. The other volunteer at the stairs said to take it easy getting out because it's a long day. Yes, it will be a long day if you stop and chit chat.
What would you do differently?:

Push my pace a litter harder. Show up in line earlier so I could try to position my swim line closer to the inside while avoiding crowd.

The swim start separates into two line for jump in points. Staying to the right will put you on the dock that is a little further up stream. It will save you about 10 yards of swimming and that much time, might as well do that if you can.
Transition 1
  • 04m 8s

It was a decent run from swim exit to change tent. I was able to get my gear bag pretty quick with the help of volunteers. I wasn't wearing a wetsuit so in the change tent was just shoes on, race belt on, glasses on, helmet on, go! I had a powerbar and some shot bloks that I loaded into my back jersey pocket at this point and I had already had gels in my tri short pockets during the swim. I thought the volunteers would grab our bike for us as we came out, but the guy by the bikes wasn't even helpful to point out where I needed to go. I had some idea of where my bike was, but I was yelling at him asking where 980 was and he completely ignored me. Found my bike and headed to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Know exactly where my bike is because the volunteers may not be useful. Next time I would consider swimming topless and having my tri top or cycling jersey in my gear bag, prepacked with nutrition in the pockets.
  • 5h 41m 34s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.67 mile/hr

I started out really hard on the bike. I think for the first half of the course I averaged around 22mph. The way I had my garmin set it was only showing me moving time and distance covered, so I wasn't able to see my current speed, which I would normally look at to keep me in check. I was feeling good though and was excited to be on the bike. UNTIL...
I reached back to grab my powerbar, but it had bounced out of my jersey. My shot bloks were gone as well. I had taken a gel earlier in the ride , but never checked my pockets to make sure everything was staying in place. I continued riding for a bit and decided to reach for another gel, only to find that those were gone too! Those might have come out during the swim though. I wanted to grab some solids at the aid stations but liquid was a priority. Sports drink was first in the aid station, then food, then water, so I would grab the sports drink and by the time that was in my bottle cage I was past the food and grabbing water. I was able to grab a banana a couple times, but those weren't cutting it. Around the start of the second loop is when cramping set in. I have never cramped on the bike before, and now I was cramping all over. It was in my hamstrings and in my calves. I wasn't really feeling any heat, but cramps were probably caused by a mix of heat and missed nutrition. I was taking in lots of sports drink for calories, but it wasn't enough for the effort I was giving. My average speed for the second loop dropped down into the 19s and then the back half of the loop and the stretch back to the city was painful! It was still pretty hilly and we had that slight headwind. My pace dropped down into the 17s. There were a few people on the side of the course that had to stop and lie down/and or drop out. I knew the last bit down river road was flat, so I got out of my shoes pretty early and just kept moving.
What would you do differently?:

I would pace a little slower to start out with, maybe 20 or 21mph and definitely make sure I'm on top of nutrition, even if it means slowing or stopping at an aid station to load up.
Transition 2
  • 03m 22s

Another quick transition! I was out of my shoes coming up the the mount line and had already transferred my garmin from bike to wrist. I stepped over my frame was as able to hand off the bike and keep moving in to transition. The gear bag volunteers were again pretty helpful with getting my bag to me while I was still moving forward. The only things in my T2 gear bag were shoes, socks and a hat. The longest part was putting my helmet into the bag. The socks I had thrown in there not knowing if I was going to wear them or not, but I'm glad I had them and I'm glad I rolled them for fast entry.
What would you do differently?:

I thought the first aid station would be right outside of transition instead of at mile 1, so maybe next time I would leave some nutrition in my gear bag. I would also leave my sunglasses instead of taking a hat and glasses. Leave the glasses behind if you know you're going to be pouring water on yourself. The hat can hold ice and cold water so it is a much better option. I ended up losing my glasses within two miles :-(
  • 4h 55m 23s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 16s  min/mile

I started out of transition pretty quick because I wanted to see what I could do and if my body would accept running. It didn't. I still needed to get nutrition in. I made my way onto the bridge and to the first aid station. At this point I was still trying to treat this like a normal run so I kept moving, but by the time I made it back to the aid station after another mile I knew that I needed to readjust and start walking the aid stations and getting myself in check. I knew that no mater what I could jog a mile from aid station to aid station that was my new plan. I started jogging about 10 min/mile to the next aid station and then walked, so I could maximize time spent sponging off, drinking, eating, and loading my hat with ice. After a couple miles of this I started to feel a little less like death and a little more like a wounded soldier. For a couple of the miles I was dropping 10 seconds off my back between each one. When I was running I was moving between 9:30s and 10s. As more time went by and I had taken in food and water at every aid station I was feeling alright. I went from a wounded soldier to a trooper and I was out there to get it done. I did however get sick of everything the aid stations were offering I just didn't want any of it but I kept taking it. A couple times I felt like I wanted to puke and wished I could so I would have a fresh start, but it never came. The entire time on the run I kept looking for my cheer section. I really wanted to see them. They gave me a great boost during the bike and I was keeping an eye out for them on the run because I was moving at a pace where I could really see them and get a good smile going. I didn't end up seeing them until the start of the second loop which is a little after the half way point and by that time I was out of it and asked them where they have been! I was really happy to see them though and I knew they would be there again when I came back around to finish. People were crashing out of the side of the course wherever they could find shade. At times the only people around were athletes and they were all walking. It was a battlefield out there. Lauren had jogged out to mile 25 to meet me on the run. I talked to her a bit and then pushed on toward the finish. I ran through the last aid station and grabbed my Movement Is Life flag from be brother at the start of the finish chute. It was then arms up and smiles to the finish. I was a little spacey, but still alive. My mom and dad were overhead on a walk way. My finish catcher heard them shouting my name and pointed them out for me. Finisher hat, finisher medal, picture and then hugs from the family.
Post race
Warm down:

I found one of two chairs in the finish area and sat down! Hung out with the family in that area for a bit and then we headed down two blocks to the convention center where athletes could get some food and a quick massage. Unlike at Arizona my appetite was pretty healthy after this one. It was a long walk from the convention center back to the hotel. The store next to the hotel had a sign for those orange sherbet push-ups and man did it look good! Lauren bought one for me and it hit the spot! We were staying at a residence inn so instead of an ice machine they just had the ice maker in the in room refrigerator. The front desk allowed us to grab some ice from their kitchen, but it didn't make for a very good ice back; better than nothing though. After a bit of laying around we went out for dinner and I had a great steak and a sprite. Lauren and I went back to the finish area from 11:30 - midnight for an amazing experience.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nutritional mistakes and cramping.

Event comments:

The bike course is the only thing that would bring me back to this race. The bike was beautiful, challenging and fun, but the run course was the exact opposite. The run was course seemed dirty and empty. The Time Trial swim was more trouble than it was worth. I would rather have a wave start or a mass start and take a few more elbows to have more room on the course later.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-12-16 12:00 AM
01:16:50 | 4224 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 103/222
Overall: 885/2157
Performance: Average
Course: Up river to start with the majority of that being between an island and mainland, then you continue up river for a while after the end of the island. Turn around and have a long straight swim downriver, past the island and under three bridges before angling in towards the stair exit.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
05:41:34 | 112 miles | 19.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 43/222
Overall: 306/2157
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Beautiful and fun course through the country. It is a little more than what I call rolling hills, but less than a hilly course. It was easy an easy hilly course or a hard rolling hill course. Because of the TT start there are all kind of people on the course at once staying to your right and telling people when you are passing is important. It starts out relatively flat and then works into a slight incline before reaching the out and back section which has the longest steepest climb of the course. Stay out of aero on this section because it got a little crazy with people flying down on one side of the road and others climbing up on the other and all the faster people are meeting at the center line as they try to pass. After the out and back you start the loop which you do twice. It starts out with a pretty decent climb, but evens out fairly quick. Aid stations are never far away on the course. Cars may be on some of the roads, but they were all being pretty sane and only caused a little slow down. All the spectators on the bike course are in LaGrange which is somewhere around mile 35 on the first loop. Riding through there is amazing, it feel like you're in the tour de france. A mile stretch of road in lined 3 deep with people cheering you on. after LaGrange you get onto a real country road. A little side street that seems to be the true experience of Kentucky farm life. It's beautiful, but it hides some of the bigger climbs on the loop. The backside of the loop is a little less hilly, but we picked up a slight headwind. This bike course is definitely the highlight of the day.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
04:55:23 | 26.2 miles | 11m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 75/222
Overall: 676/2157
Performance: Average
Course: An ugly 2 loop out and back. This course was not pretty, did not provide shade, and was not good for spectators. It is however pretty flat except for a one or two little climbs with by this point in the day are amplified into mountains.
Keeping cool Average 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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3