Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 14h 51m 35s
Overall Rank = 1605/
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 146/
Pre-race routine:

Out of bed at 3:30, Brenda makes me oatmeal while I shower and shave, ( hate to swim with razor stubble). Eat oatmeal and banana. Lay back down for back scratch and nap. Back up at 4:30 to suit up and head out. In Transition at 5 or so to set up my final bags and nutrition on the bike. Headed down to swim start and body markings with my son, Bud and one of my best friends in the world Kenny. Get to the swim start and found my buddy (David) and his wife, but felt bad about cutting in line so to the back I went. I thought I was the last one to get in line until the next 1000 people came around the bend. Oh well, I was ready!
Event warmup:

Didn't really need to warm up since I had to walk almost a mile to swim start and had to make several turn arounds to redo something in transition, glasses, sunscreen, running hat, etc. I am really a goober.
  • 1h 31m 49s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

Felt really good about the swim. Wanted a time of 1:40 with a pie in the sky goal of 1:30. Time was 1:31 so not to bad. Only got hit in the face once and I don't think I hit anyone else in their face, which was very important to me. Some things are more important than individual goals. I actually was able to work on my swim stroke during the swim. I was next to a girl that was swimming at the same pace as myself. After reading Gary's post about swimming advances, I tried some of the things he was talking about and actually saw my speed increase as I made the changes. It is funny what you think about during a race. As I exited the water, I was able to jog to the transition area, so I felt like I did well on the swim.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, very pleased
Transition 1
  • 06m 53s

Transition a little slower than I would have liked, wanted a sub 5 min transition. Dumped the bag and started putting myself together. Opened my pbj and took a bite, dried feet, put on socks and bike shoes, tried to put my tri top on and it took 3 times to get it due to hurrying and wet body. Finally got it, helmut on and snapped, drank some infinit, another bite of pbj, sprayed on sunscreen, buckled on my garmin............nothing, nada, ziltch. It was fully charged last night, now it was totally dead. My other garmin was in the run bag and I didn't even think about going back and getting it. I would just do the ride with out the garmin for average speed and heartrate. (bad idea).
What would you do differently?:

Go and get the other garmin from the run bag.
  • 6h 35m 16s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.00 mile/hr

Boy oh Boy, did I screw this pooch. Didn't have any means of checking my pace other than feel. I burned up the first lap and knew by mile 70 I was screwed. I saw Brenda in LaGrange on both laps, but stopped and talked to her on the second lap. I think I told her that she needed to get ready for a long night because I had over done it on the bike and it would be late before I got done. As always, she was positive and told me to stay focused and not give up. At the aid station around mile 60 or 70 (I think) they were out of water. Whats up with that? If they tell use we would be able to "live off the course" than we should be able to "live off the course". My plan was to cut the concentration of the infinit mix, but when there was no water, I had to grab a Powerbar drink. Threw it down like I hadn't had anything to drink in days, big mistake. The change in my nutrition and overdoing the bike and for the first time in my LIFE, I started getting cramps at mile 76. By mile 80, both hamstrings locked up and I was standing stradle the bike on the side of the road thinking I was screwed. I was able to work it out and make it back the last 32 miles to transition at a slower pace cautiously avoiding the ever looming cramps. I was kicking myself repeatedly for riding to hard.
What would you do differently?:

I would listen to everyone that had told me for weeks to take it easy on the bike. I thought I was, but obviously I wasn't. In the future, if I feel good on the bike I will still slow down. "No such thing as a bad run after a good bike". Please don't tell me "I told you so".
Transition 2
  • 07m 53s

I felt so bad after the bike that I didn't even try to run in transition.
Walked to transition bags, walked to the tent, sat down and looked around at the total carnage in the tent. Were we really that unprepared as a group? Was it not just me? I tried to eat another pbj, not happening. Put on my socks and shoes, dried my face, put on my halo headband that Bud have given me, put on hat, put on garmin and it worked, out I went.
What would you do differently?:

I don't have a clue.
  • 6h 29m 44s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 53s  min/mile

Please take this time for a bathroom break, its going to be long.
I knew as soon as I got into transition from the bike that this was going to be horrible. I remembered dropping out of the Panama City Half swim leg. It was the worst feeling I have ever had. I felt like a total failure and never want to experience that feeling again. Fortunately, when I headed out at a brisk jog, I saw my supporters, all holding signs and cheering me on. Brenda handed me some letters that my daughter and son had written as well as one she had written for me. My online mentor had suggested the letters for difficult times during the run. I stuffed the letters in a ziplock and stuffed them in the back of my tri top for later access. As I started to make the turn to go out onto the bridge, I told my daughter that I had made a mistake and was way in over my head. She told me how proud she was of me and started crying, well how could I quit now, right? As I passed the first mile marker on the bridge, I felt really good and thought maybe I could do this. As I made the turn to come back of the bridge, I felt something hit the back of my leg. It was one of the letters. I picked it up and felt for the others but they were gone. I looked everywhere, but they were nowhere to be found. This was very disturbing to me and I actually started to cry, ( strange, I know). When I saw my daughter again at the foot of the bridge, I told her and broke down again. She encouraged me and I continued my death march.
I had a fuel belt with my infinit mixed highly concentrated, but couldn't even think about drinking it. My plan was shot and so was my shot at a respectable finish.. I ended up pouring out the infinit because I didn't want to carry that extra weight around for the next 22 miles. I would just live of the course (or die). As I was run walking, another guy and I kept passing back and forth until we realized we needed each other. For the next 10 miles, we would run from one street light to the next then walk to our next target, repeating until Adam was able to continue past what I could do. My cramps had started coming back and were really causing me problems. I told Adam to go ahead and I would be ok, (I lied). I found a nice lady with a cell phone and asked her to call Brenda and tell her to get me some salt tablets, endurolites, a salt shaker, a margarita with salt or a shotgun, but that I didnt really care which one. When I saw Brenda, I realized she had not gotten the message. Not good. By this time I was also suffering from massive blisters on the bottom of my right foot and a severe hotspot on the left foot. Well, in my infinite wisdom, I had decided not to use a run special needs bag, choosing to let Brenda carry my socks, bandaids, etc. That would have been a great plan had I actually given the stuff to her to carry. Fortunately, my friend Kenny found me some endurolites, and my son donated his socks to the cause, albeit to late. Well I saw the finish line and was reinvigorated to the point I felt like I could finish, so I headed out on my second lap.
During my second lap, I came upon a lady, June, who was struggling mmore than me and decided mybe together it would be better. She was on her first lap and was in trouble of finishing before midnight. We worked together for a couple of miles before she said she was totally spent and that I should go on. I hated to leave but I did have a race of my own. My son had decided to do the second lap with me from the sidewalks just to give moral support and to be there when I collapsed I think. He was without socks and carrying a backpack but stayed right there with me the whole time. He, by the way, is 20 and preparing for his first sprint tri in Oct of this year. I tried to get him to sit down and wait for me to return from the turn around and this is what he said, "Dad, do you remember all the times you carried me on your shoulders at the PGA events? Its now my time to carry you". No finishers medal in the world can compare to that! Together we slogged through the last half of the last lap, me cramping, me trying to run as much as I can, me being the proudest father in the world for both of my kids and their support. I ran most of the last 2 miles just because. Crossed the finish line in 14:51 and change, I am an Ironman, but most of all I am Billy Mcwilliams!

What would you do differently?:

Easy on the bike. Prepare a back up plan for trouble on the course. Use special needs bags on run.
Post race
Warm down:


What limited your ability to perform faster:

Didn't follow race plan correctly and overcooked the bike.

Event comments:

When I started this report, I felt like I would never try another full distance race. I don't know now. I can do better. I felt like not hitting my goals would be a failure for me. Boy was I wrong. If you have ever done a full distance event and finished, you are a hero to me. I don't care if it took 17:00:00 to do it. If I ever see you out with a Ironman tattoo, I will speak and you will know how much you inspire me. This was the hardest thing I have ever done, and you are all my heros!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Last updated: 2010-01-20 12:00 AM
01:31:49 | 4224 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 164/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Desoto Forza trishorts
Course: Swim from Tumbleweeds around Towhead Island into main channel of Ohio river
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:53
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:35:16 | 112 miles | 17.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 161/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some
Course: Out river road, two laps around LaGrange, back in to the river road area. Mostly rolling hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 07:53
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
06:29:44 | 26.2 miles | 14m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 161/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Nice flat out and back (twice) though Louisville neighborhoods.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %15# ?
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]