Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
91F / 33C
Total Time = 15h 11m 40s
Overall Rank = 1724/
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 275/
Pre-race routine:

This was my 3rd Ironman and the least amount of training done prior to toeing the start line. Not an excuse, just a reality. I had some serious training gaps and a low amount of run miles. These were avoidable, but I let them happen.
Going into this race I felt nervously good about my swim. I had been swimming about once a week at the lake and my times were good for me. Felt like I could swim forever and push myself without getting exhausted.
I felt decent about my bike. I had been on some long rides and felt good and had been on some in the heat where I melted. But I knew if I took it easy, that I had learned some lessons from those days that I could put to use on "race" day.
I was terrified of the run. My run training was seriously lacking. I hate to admit it and don't suggest it, but my longest training run heading into IMLOU was 10 miles. This kept me grounded on the bike and I hoped that my previous experiences would help me through.

Rode to Lou with Pat, James, and Ed. We checked in on Thursday. On Friday we did a very short very slow bike ride and a little jog just to test everything out.

Athlete dinner Friday night was great with 20+ T3 members taking up about 4 tables.

Checked bike in on Saturday along with transition bags. Ate some pasta and didn't sleep hardly at all.

Woke up Sunday morning and thought I was having an anxiety attack. Wow, I was nervous. My lack of run training would not leave my head and I just wanted to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. I knew I didn't prepare enough for this race and it hit me pretty hard. I usually try to stay calm in front of the family, they certainly don't need the extra worry, but I let a little of it slip to Monica. She sensed it and tried to calm me down. She was GREAT in helping get moving Sunday morning and I owe her big time. I told her not to worry if I was going slow during the day, she told me "Don't go too slow that you're out there forever." LOL, was awesome. But she truly calmed me down and reminded me that I had done this before. She said, "just get through the swim, you know you can swim. You know you can handle the bike and then if you have to walk the run, then walk. You can do this." LOVE that girl.

My goal for the day was to finish before midnight, plain and simple. I was figuring 1:30 swim and be on my bike by 9am. That would give me 7.5 hours for the bike and 7.5 hours for the run. Anything else would be a bonus.

We drove to transition and I told my family I'd see them later. Pumped up my tires and walked to the swim line.
Event warmup:

Stood/sat/laid in line with some of my T3 mates. This was much different then 2008 when I was there alone. Lots of nerves and nervous chatter, but having the fellas there was very calming for me, at least on the outside, on the inside, I was a mess. Lots of doubts.

Saw other T3 mates pass by heading to the end of the line. Wished them all good luck. Saw Brian pass by and was very happy and motivated seeing him get in line. He had been having some trouble with the swim and I honestly didn't know if he'd be there. So happy for that guy, he toed the line, jumped in the water, and faced his fear. Lots of lessons to be learned there.

Line started moving and we were not far from the water. Ran down the dock, waved at the family, and jumped in behind Pat. Think we jumped in about 10 minutes after 7am.
  • 1h 24m 56s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

Jumped in and planned on drafting Pat and possibly him drafting me after awhile. Started swimming and felt like I was smacking his feet every stroke. I know how annoying that is. I knew he said he was going to take it slow, so I felt good, smooth, and easy, so went ahead and passed him. For some reason I had a lot of trouble sighting during this swim. Focused on long smooth strokes and headed up river. Couldn't decide what buoys I was trying to follow, so just made sure I was around people and not out by myself off course. It was surprising again how far past the island we have to swim.

Made it to the turn buoy and started "downstream." Did NOT feel a current at all this year. I have idea where I was in the river, close to the shore or farther out in the river. Probably both at different times, lol. Every now and then I'd find a pair of feet to grab on to and enjoy a little draft, but never found a consistent pair. Had a couple of wrestling matches with other swimmers, but nothing too bad and NOTHING like Madison.

Pretty uneventful swim. It's a little crowded at the finish to get up the stairs, but made it there and was happy the swim was over.
What would you do differently?:

I swam better that I deserved to with the training I put in this year. I'll probably never be a fast swimmer as I will probably never put in the time it takes to be a fast swimmer.
Transition 1
  • 12m 32s

Walked the entire way into transition. Looked for mates in the tent, but didn't see anyone. Sat down, dumped out bag on the ground and made sure I had everything I needed/wanted for the bike ride.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. It was slow, but I took everything I needed with me.
  • 6h 46m 49s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.52 mile/hr

Got started on the bike. Saw some T3 fans and gave a wave. They were all over Sunday. Headed down the road and realized I forgot to put my arm coolers on. They were in my pocket, so I stopped and leaned my bike against the fence and put them on. While doing this, Aaron passed by with a holler.

Back on the bike and headed out of town. This can be a fast stretch of road, but I knew I didn't want to cook myself there. I did ride big ring, but at a very conservative pace. Sometimes the big ring is just more comfy for this former masher. I got passed like crazy, but knew that was the plan. NO PASTE! Saw lots of water bottles on the ground and almost stopped to pick up a dropped Garmin 305 on the bridge. Got almost to the first hill and here comes Pat past me. "Hey sexy, you come here often?" he says on his way past. lol. We go up the hill and I passed him, but knew it wouldn't be for long and it wasn't. He passed me again and was gone. Yocum passed me next and I kept him in sight for awhile.

Had some neck and shoulder discomfort while in aero and looked forward to special needs where I knew I had some Ibruprofin. Pain seemed to come and go and was managable. Chalk it up to lack of swim training and additional sighting over the longer distance swim.

Hit the out and back and saw Ed coming back already. Damn, he must be killing it. Down the hill and back up. Saw Cassie headed back here too. Saw the family at the turnaround, which was a great pick me up. Glen passed me here and I told him "it seems like the whole world has passed me." Back down the hill and back up. Saw James, Christie, Carla, and Joe here, but not sure I remember in what order.

I stopped at each aid station and made sure my bottles were full and I had everything I needed. This cost me some time and I watched my average fall, but I wanted to stick to the plan and be as prepared as possible for the run as I could.

Heading to LaGrange, the women pro leaders passed me. There were 4 of them and they were moving. Pretty cool. Different mindset as they were "racing."

Rode through LaGrange and didn't see the family, so I figured they would be out at the "horse farm." This was nice and gave me something to look forward to. La Grange is awesome, but right after can be a bit of a downer. Made the turn on Ballard School Rd and knew there were hills coming and they did come. I went to smallest gear and tried to spin up and take it easy. Looking at my pacing, I must have taken it easy, lol.

Saw the family at the horse farm hill. I stopped and talked to Bob to see how everyone was doing. He said EVERYONE made it out of the water and I was relieved and excited. I know that swim was on some of our teammates's minds and it was awesome to hear everyone made it through that. Was definitely a pick me up for the day.

Made the turn on the backstretch and saw the sign that said Louisville 33 miles. Felt the headwind and thought to myself, "you better take it easy, cause 33 miles will be a long time headed into the wind after the next lap." Time to settle in. Thoughts of the ride James, Joe, and I had earlier this year home from Tri-Shark into a stiff headwind came to mind.

Had a few lows on the bike. Couple of times I thought about how I could disable my bike so that sag couldn't repair it and I could just be done for the day. These are the thoughts that I knew would come, thoughts I had trained for, and I knew they would pass and they did.

Made it to the turn and finally out of the straight headwind. Stopped at special needs where I left most of the picnic stuff I had in the bag, but did take the Ibruprofin. I did drink a 5 hour energy and that seemed to help me. Headed back to La Grange where I saw the family again. Can't tell you how awesome that is to see the family out there.

OK, confession time. I'm embarrassed, but it happened, so here it is. Sorry Monica. At mile 73, I peed on my bike. Never have before, didn't plan on it ever. But didn't want to get off bike and go to porta pottie and was worried about DQ for doing it in public. I don't think I saw anyone stop their bike to pee this year. Damn!

After passing the horse farm again, I stopped at the next aid station and heard someone yell my name. It was Shafer up by the fence. I asked what he was doing, but couldn't hear his answer cause I had to move up in line to get more water. Got done filling up and hollered at him to come on. We rode together for a short time. He was having a tough day.

I made the turn back into the headwind and saw the sign "Louisville 33 miles." Well, time to settle in, again. Again, thoughts of the training ride with Joe and James came to mind. Hills and wind, why not? I actually felt good here and had to keep effort in check. Miles 80-105 were the best I felt of the day. Steadily passed people and was worried about it, lol. Just tried to keep it in check and not push.

I saw Cassie with about 16 miles to go and knew she must have had a solid ride.

Made the turn onto River road and my Garmin died. Oh, well. My toes started hurting like crazy. They felt sprained. So I took my feet out of my shoes and rode the rest of the way on the tops of my shoes. I have not practiced enough on the new bike putting my feet back into my shoes while riding and the course was a little crowded, so I just left them out. My big mistake of the day.

Nutrition notes:
I went with a less calorie dense Infinit for the bike for this race. 250 calories/hour and planned to supplement as needed on the course. I ate 1/2 banana at the 2nd aid station and GU Chomps at the aid station before special needs. Drank a 5 hour energy at special needs. I ended up about 1 hour behind on Infinit, drank 5 hours worth in 6 hours of the ride and about 5.5 hours (1375 calories overall). Took 1 Salt Stick cap every 1/2 hour. Drank plain water between aid stations and dumped on my arm coolers and head. Doesn't seem like enough nutrition, but my stomach continued to work without shutting down.
What would you do differently?:

Nada. Tried to keep the pace at a "Stupid Easy" pace and think I accomplished that.

Note: The arm coolers were GOLD. I hit them with water often and never felt that heat was an issue on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 14m 51s

Well I came in with my feet on top of my shoes, so I walked barefoot down to transition. The concrete was hot and I remember seeing James's family and even saying I wished I'd have left my shoes on.

Got in the tent sat down and started putting socks on and noticed I had the start of a blister on the ball of each foot. Uh, Oh! I had a small blister on one foot in 2008 at about the 1/2 way point of the marathon and it turned into a big one. I was worried about starting the 26.2 miles with blisters already.

Put vasoline on and socks and shoes and thought, "well, let's see how this goes." Hit the suntan lotion girls again and walked out of transition. Saw Kathy ahead of me and Gene getting into transition.

Took more Ibruprofin here too.
What would you do differently?:

Keep my damn shoes on!!!
  • 6h 32m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 59s  min/mile

My plan was to walk at least the first 1/2 mile or so and get myself collected. I saw Mike Dillard on the wrong side of the fence here and asked him what happened, he just said tough day and to get going. Saw Bob up around the corner and stopped to talk to him for a minute. Asked how everyone was doing. Gene passed me here. Bob said most were doing good.

I walked to the top of the incline then started a slow jog pace. Monica and I had talked about a run/walk strategy and I started with a 2 minute jog/2 minute walk plan while also walking the aid stations.

Saw the family under the bridge and stopped and chatted for a minute. I felt surprisingly ok and let them know I was going to be ok.

Kept up the run/walk interval for the first 2 hours or so. Saw so many teammates on the course, I can't even begin to remember them all or when I saw them. It was awesome, emotional, inspiring, exciting, etc to have them all out there.

The first 5 miles actually went pretty quick and I felt pretty ok. I took a couple of extended walking breaks to make sure I had some legs for later. The blisters were giving me pain and were getting bigger.

Made it to the turnaround and other than the blisters, my legs felt good. I was taking a salt cap about every mile along with water and soda at the aid stations. Also ate some GU Chomps a couple of times and a handful of pretzels. Also, tried the chicken broth, it didn't come back up :) so that was good. Carried salt caps, gas pills, ibruprofen, tums, gum, and altoids in a baggie in my hand held water bottle pocket. They all came in useful at different times during the day.

Saw some teammates who were having a great day and some who were struggling a little. Saw James coming the other way and stopped and talked to him for a minute. I was averaging just under 14'/mile pace and he about 12:30/mile. I knew he was coming and said come on. Made it to the turnaround before special needs and almost to the finish line before they turn those on their first lap around. Such a tease. Didn't really use anything out of special needs. I didn't want to take my shoes or socks off and have to see my feet or let anyone else see them.

I saw so many teammates on the course that I can't remember every instance and will add more as I remember, but a few that stand out.
Gene almost tearing my arm off giving me a high five. Hurt for awhile, he was pumped up.
Christie's huge smile
Carla's always excited attitude
Cassie's smile as she ran, what looked like, easily
Pat's consistent stride
The guy running backwards everytime I saw him. (whole race?)

Headed back out, mostly walking at this point. I could walk about a 15'/mile pace if I could keep my gait steady. This allowed me to keep the fluid in the blisters in the same spot and keep some of the pain away. If they squished and the fluid moved, it would hurt badly.

Saw James again and he asked where the hell special needs was. Lol, just a little further. He was getting closer and I figured he'd catch me soon. Saw many teammates finishing their second lap and heading in to become an Ironman. I offered them all congrats and wished them well.

Walked almost the whole way to the far turnaround point again and was surprised James hadn't caught me. I did see Carla and realized she was catching me too. Made it around the turnaround and not far before James came the other way. I hollered to him to Hurry Up! He caught me about 1/4 mile later. We talked a bit, told him they were probably loving this on the tracker. He was hoping to PR and I let him jog away, but watching him get further ahead, I felt the need to at least try to keep up. Didn't want him disappearing in the distance. So I started jogging for the first time in awhile. I was slowly catching him when he took a walk break. I caught up to him a little quicker than I would have liked. I was planning on shadowing him without him knowing. I didn't want him to go slower for me and miss his opportunity. But, I got too close and my shadow gave me away. We walked and talked for a little bit. Tried to do some math. Math is not easy after 134 miles. We jogged some and walked some until we figured out a PR was probably not in the cards. Saw quite a bit of carnage out there and felt bad for the people. Saw Big Joe and he said he knew he wasn't going to meet the cutoff but that he was staying out there until they pulled him off the course. What an amazing guy.

We started jogging again with about a mile to go. Saw a little girl, probably about 7, with a sign that said "Holy Shit, You're Doing an Ironman!" Made me laugh out loud.

Headed down the chute with James and made for a perfect finish to a very good day. I finished with Pat in Wisconsin. So many training runs with him, this was probably very fitting and worked out for a reason. A very rewarding finish to the day. I probably should have pushed a little to try to allow him to a PR. I didn't realize until watching the finish video at home, but we were almost running in sync down the chute. Was great to finish with him, I was honored.
What would you do differently?:

Not have blisters. My legs felt surprisingly good, but the feet were a mess.
Post race
Warm down:

Saw Mom, Bob, and Becca volunteering at the finish line. This was great. Got my swag and was ushered out the back. Met family and friends and chatted.

I finished better than I deserved to with the training I put in this year.

18 of our 21 athletes finished in the allotted time. Big Joe stayed out there and finished late.

Joe Smith - Finish of the night
Brian Bottorff - Start of the Day

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Huge nasty blisters on my feet, but I caused them

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-11-22 12:00 AM
01:24:56 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 183/
Overall: 1136/
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:32
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:46:49 | 112 miles | 16.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 238/
Overall: 1416/
Performance: Average
10 mile splits: 34:49 34:18 36:43 36:45 37:48 36:53 41:17 37:24 35:18 32:47 Garmin died...
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 14:51
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:32:32 | 26.2 miles | 14m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Mile splits (slightly off of the course mile markers): 12:56 12:23 12:10 13:34 13:56 13:20 14:17 14:20 13:39 15:26 15:50 14:07 15:37 15:45 17:15 15:24 16:26 13:56 16:00 15:41 15:36 14:19 15:43 15:31 17:00 13:50
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]