My first Triathlon
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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman
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World Triathlon Corporation
= 12h 59m 56s
Age Group Rank
My alarm went off at about 345, and I finally started to move about 4 or so. Jess
(Tri Take Me Away
) was still mostly unconscious on the couch while Aaron
) was already eating a pb&j bagel and looking seriously focused. I imagine I must have looked somewhat like I was about to crap my pants...though I felt good and ready. I ate a pb&j bagel and spent a little time on BT and then put in my contacts and grabbed my gear. Out the door to start the adventure…not just a day of training…finally the real deal.
We arrived at transition and they were using rubber stamps rather than the traditional sharpie marking. Nice practice for Kona someday!!! Then we waited for transition to open up.
Got to our bikes and aired up tires, filled water bottles, clipped on shoes, etc. Ran into some triathletes from FW that Aaron knows and we bumped into Mike
). Looked around for Jess but she was no where around...obviously she became entranced by some hot guy in spandex and followed him around J So Aaron and I did the porta potty shuffle and started the walk to the swim start. While walking along we ran into: Jess! Apparently she didn't think that we'd wait for her…or so the story goes. I still think she was following some spandex around and drooling!
I checked in my dry clothes bag after talking to my parents. Said goodbye to Jess and then we got into the line for the swim start.
We easily sat in line for 45 minutes they finally started letting people in the water. It was a long and quiet wait for Aaron and I...just gathering our thought and going over our race strategies in our heads. And occasionally losing train of thought to check out some of the ridiculously good looking women that were everywhere…what…I am only a man! Finally we walked onto the dock and got ready to get this started.
1h 20m 18s
02m 05s / 100 meters
Checked the time clock as I we got closer to the water and figured we would be about 20 minutes behind the clock for the duration of the day, which would make it easy to estimate where I was on the course with time.
I started my watch as I hit the timing mat and dove in. Seriously, like 15 seconds in I got kicked in the face and my goggles filled with water. Not sure, but since Aaron started in front of me there is a slight chance it was him…even if it wasn’t I am blaming him…bastard!!! Stopped for a moment to re-adjust my goggles and then just started to swim.
It did not take me long to get into a rhythm. I just kept my eyes on the buoys and swam. I tried to draft, but with the swim start being TT style it was not that easy. So I passed a lot of people early on until I found a nice little group of people going my pace and looked for a pair of feet. I would occasionally draft, then pass, then draft, then pass. It was interesting to say the least.
I knew I would be in the water for a good while so I did my best not to think of the long day ahead. I have a 3 year old nephew who is a little pimp….what does this have to do with anything you ask? Lets just say I have seen Finding Nemo so many times I have the script memorized. This came in handy keeping my focus as I repeated to myself…just keep swimming, just keep swimming! It actually helped.
After what seemed like a surprisingly short time, I came around to the far end of Townhead Island
(or whatever it is called
) and looked up to find that we still had a few more buoys before we turned around. Here is where all the swimmers began to cluster to hug the turn. This is also where I notice the current for the first time as I watched people get sucked into the buoy…and each other. This is where I got to experience what it feels like to have someone swim right over top of me. Pissed me off a bit, so I pushed this dude off me and got a good sprint to get out in front of him…little did I realize this was the first of many more beatings to come in the water.
We finally got out into the main section of the river after the turn and started to head back in. I was able to draft a little more on the way back in which helped to get my HR down and not to push too hard…I still had a very long day ahead of me.
On the way in there was this woman who kept drafting on me so damn close she was hitting my feet. So I spent some time sprinting away from her and moving to the side, but to no avail she was on me each time I made a move. So I dropped back, returned the favor…then took off. I hold a grudge…what can I say. So it that was one of you BT’ers…I would say sorry, but instead I will say GET OFF MY FEET! I was able to put some distance between us and I lost her.
As I swam past the edge of the island I knew I was on the home stretch to get out of the water. After the last bridge I could finally see transition and people everywhere. As I got closer I could see the swim exit and picked it up a little. I just wanted to get the hell out of the water at this point and on my bike. I made sure to cut close to shore to avoid getting pulled out past the stairs by the current. I caught sight of a few people who had obviously not practiced in the water before hand and were having to fight a lot at the end of the swim to get back onto land. Sucks for them.
Got pulled out and checked my watch…about 1:20! Not nearly as fast as I would have liked, but not bad either considering I can’t sight in open water if my life depended on it.
What would you do differently?:
Not a whole lot to be honest. I don’t think a skin suit would have helped much since my form is terrible, and it was TOO DAMN hot in there for a wetsuit. I need a more form and technique works in the pool to bring this time down. Overall I was satisfied with my swim performance.
Got out of the water and had my cap and goggles off before I was up the steps. Ran toward T1 and heard Jess cheering me on. I grabbed a cup of water, drank a little and doused myself with the rest. It felt great. As I ran into transition I stayed focused and headed towards my gear bag. The volunteers called out my number, but I beat them to it.
Ran into the changing tent, grabbed my gels and salt tabs, shoved them in my pocket and headed out handing off my bag to a volunteer. Stopped for a moment to get sprayed with sunscreen…I am a red head after all and knew that no matted how much I put on all day I was going to get toasted in the sun.
Got to my bike, helmet on, sunglasses…run like mad.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. This went better than I expected. I figure after such a long swim I would be slightly disoriented, but no problems.
5h 57m 42s
Ran to the mount line passing several people walking their bikes..a bit of a traffic jam. Jumped on the bike and started to pedal. Turned on to River Rd and started to get my feet into the shoes. I don’t train or race with a HR monitor…but I knew my HR was WAY up there, so I tried to take it easy and settle into the bike. I was glad to be on my bike, but knew I had a long day ahead of me so no need to blow up now!
I kept an easy pace in a lighter gear to drop my HR…but to my surprise I was still passing people up like crazy. Right after the first aid station I latched on to a guy that was holding a comfortable pace and just followed him for a while until my HR was down and I was ready to ride. Careful not to draft…I did get really close once because I noticed something unusual. He had wings tattooed on his ankle…son of a bitch! Mine are cooler J After a few minutes he apparently got comfortable and lost me, so I just rode along at a good pace trying to listen to my body.
We hit the section of the course that Aaron and I rode on the days before the race and I was finally starting to get into a rhythm on the bike. About an hour after the start of the bike I got to the out and back section feeling good and mentally ready for the climbs ahead. I was glad we drove this section of the course so I knew exactly what was coming.
On the first out and back I started up the biggest climb of the day and quickly dropped gears to the easiest gear on my small ring. Sat up and slowly pedaled my way up, I was passing people constantly with little effort…I guess all that work on radio shack hill paid off. There was a lot of congestion on this part of the course, which made the downhill section a little scary. I was heading downhill easily over 40mph when some moron in front of me suddenly moved hard left to the center of the lane almost forcing me to cross over the line. Fortunately he heard me yell at him and move back over.
This section of the course would probably been a little faster had the swim been a mass start and not a TT. The road was lined with trees and was shaded so I made sure to enjoy it while it lasted because I could feel the sun hiding above the trees…waiting to sap the energy right out of me.
When we drove this section of the course we made sure to note where all of the pot hole were at to plan our descents accordingly. On the way back I just hammered it down the hill with no one in front of me and flew over that bridge…it felt great! I wanted to make sure I had some serious momentum going into the next climb which would be the steepest one of the ride. Came out from the shade of the trees and started to near the end of the out and back. Here is where the pack was finally spreading out and I was ready to start reeling them in.
Got onto 393 to start the big loop and was feeling really good. I had to keep my ego in check so as not to start hammering on the bike. Long way to go! Hit the next aid station and yelled out what I needed, and the volunteers delivered. They were really on the ball out there…I was impressed with how well it was set up considering this was an inaugural event.
Right before I got to the turn on 146 and still felt great…the first pro passed me. Wait, passed is the wrong word…rocketed by me…yeah, that’s more like it. This dude was hauling some serious ass, it was impressive to see. The rolling hills were not nearly as bad as I was thinking they were. Everyone worrying about them the days before the race got me a little apprehensive about them, but thankfully I spent some time this past summer doing a few rides over mountain passes which made these feel like nothing. There was some traffic along the course, but everyone seemed to be driving very slow and yielding to the racers…still a little nerve racking to be passing people on the bike with a car a foot or so away from me on my left. For the most part all the drivers gave us lots of room.
Riding into the viewing area I could here the crowds ahead cheering, yelling, ringing bells, and playing music. It was AWESOME! Definitely got my adrenaline pumping so I dropped the hammer a little and smoked through there. I heard a guy on a loud speaker say “number 1606, Andrew Reina from Texas” so I pumped my fist in the air and people went nuts. It was so cool, a great way to break up the monotony of the ride. And it kept me feeling strong knowing that I still got to pass through the tunnel of people once more before the day was over.
Got out onto Sligo Rd and this was the first time that I was noticing that the people surrounding me were guys I had been seeing all day. So I hung with this group for a while and we all took turns passing each other, dropping back, passing again, repeat. It was nice to be riding with the same guys rather that just passing people constantly. These would be the guys I would hang with for the rest of the day.
I got to the 56 mile point on the bike and was glad to see it…half way there. I was on good pace and knew that if I did not hammer too hard and kept my nutrition strategy down I could do a sub 6 on the bike.
Not too long after the second lap, it finally happened. I had to pee. I always heard about people peeing on the bike, but just couldn’t do it. I kept thinking….should I stop…no! Keep riding. Maybe I can hold it. Then the reality hit me, I still had a long way to go…time to empty that bladder. Made sure I was no where near anyone and then just let go….DAMN…never felt so good after peeing in my life. It was like I got a second wind. All of the sudden I felt great!
The second lap was much more enjoyable than the first. The pack was thinned out now, and I was still rolling with the same group of guys that I was with at the viewing area. I was much more relaxed and taking in the beautiful countryside and enjoying the sun. I guess since I spent so much time training in the heat I felt right at home when the temperature peaked and the sun was beating down on me.
Near the end of the second loop I was just hammering it on the rollers. I got into a rhythm and felt like I was flying. It was great. I hit the 100 mile mark and felt a rush of euphoria…almost there! I finally allowed myself to think a little about transition and the run ahead, but only for a moment. 12 more miles to go, had to stay focused.
As I started to descend the big hill on the way to River Rd. everyone was just flying. I was not pushing very hard and still was ably to hit close to 30 on the flats which I knew would bring my average up near 19mph for the day and bring me in less than 6 hours.
Passed lots of people during the final few miles in, and was still feeling good. I could have pushed much harder here, but knew I still had the matter of a marathon to do when I got off the bike.
As I came in for the final mile I could see some of the runners making the first little out and back. I looked for Aaron but did not see him…which was a relief because that meant he was well out onto the course by now.
Got out of my shoes and hopped off the bike running at the dismount line.
What would you do differently?:
Probably could have done more long rides and I am sure that if I ever get around to buying a HR monitor that I could have a better ride. I am still very satisfied with my performance on the bike.
It felt so good to get my ass off of that seat! Ran into transition and saw Jess again along the way. Aimed my bike at a volunteer, handed it off and ran into transition. I heard a few people yell “Go BT’ but had no idea who it was.
I heard the volunteer call out my number, I yelled it back at them and they handed me my gear bag, then into the changing tent. I actually sat down this time to get my gear in order. Put on my shoes, hat, and sunglasses, handed my back to the volunteers and headed out for more sunscreen.
As I turned to leave the sunscreen guy, I turned my race belt to the front so my number would be showing and then…RIP. My number ripped off SHIT!!! So I ran back into the changing tent and looked around…no bags. Ran to where the gear bags were racked…not bag. SHIT!!! Finally found a volunteer and we found my bag, and I got my extra race number, attached it and tore ass out of there. I remember the day before saying to Aaron, why the hell would they give us two numbers, what am I supposed to do with this. And he said put it in your hear bag, you never know. I guess you never know. So thanks for the tip Aaron…I still hate you though J
As I ran out of T2…10 or 11 minutes later
(the number issue screwed me here
) I saw Jess under the bridge as I headed to the run course. Time cash in on all that training.
What would you do differently?:
Other than the number issue, nothing, it was a good transition other than that.
5h 25m 42s
12m 26s min/mile
I headed to the first out and back and was feeling pretty good. I could tell my HR was too high so I tried to take it easy and calm down. At the first aid station I threw back some salt tabs, grabbed some water and sponges and poured water all over me. Mile 1 down, 25.2 to go. I could really feel the heat now.
Around 1.5 or so I saw Jess and she ran along side me for a second and yelled “your doing a fucking Ironman!” Definetly the motivation I needed because I could already tell that those salt tabs were not settling well. Kept on pushing and felt pretty good going into the 2nd and 3rd miles.
This is where the shit hit the fan. There was not much shade on the run course, and my stomach was starting to hurt. Then my head started to throb. I had a terrible headache. My pace went from a run to a pathetic shuffle. I knew I was in trouble. I have run several marathons…but I have never hit the wall 4 miles in.
I tried to keep running, but my head was killing me. My stomach was still boycotting as well. Water, Gatorade, gel, salt…nothing wanted in. I just kept shuffling along and could tell my pace was dropping slower and slower.
Finally about 5 miles or so in…hard to remember details at this point I just had to walk. My head was pounding and my stomach was killing me. I knew from all the research I had done that the best thing to do now was to slow down. So I stopped all my nutrition and walked waiting for my head to feel better.
I felt like ass. My legs felt great, I was just nauseous and fatigued and every time I tried to start running again I hurt. So it was a walk/shuffle for a mile or so. I met a woman who was about my moms age that was doing her third IM. We talked about whatever; I could tell she was hurting too. Then I saw Aaron run by, looking strong. He stuck his tongue out and pointed at me which was a good sign that he was still feeling good. All I could think was damn, I hope he gets that Kona slot. After talking to the woman for a while, she mentioned she had torn her rotator cuff the day before the race and needed surgery. DAMN! That made me feel like a huge wuss for walking because of a headache. Shortly after that I started to run again. My stomach calmed down, but my head was still throbbing. It was at the turn around that I finally had some coke hoping that the caffeine would alleviate my headache. Eventually it did. I ran/walked/shuffled along as best I could and still felt terrible.
I came near the turn to head towards the finish line and to start my second lap where I saw Jess holding a sign that said “kissing booth: 25 cents” I had no change but was given some free lovin anyways! She asked me how I felt, I said “like shit” and then kept on moving.
The second lap was finally where I started to feel better. I could tell the temperature was dropping a little, and with the sun going down there was more shade…which I stayed in every opportunity I had.
By now I threw my nutrition out the window…literally. I chunked my gels and salt tabs and started to do this: a little water and Gatorade and a pretzel at one aid station, then a little water and Gatorade no pretzel at the next….repeat for the rest of the day. This, and a little chicken broth here and there helped tremendously.
After making the turn to head back into town for the final stretch I was actually running, though at a light shuffle. I ran into Mark, a guy who has done a few IM’s and was staying at the same place we were and he recognized me. We ran together and talked, taking little walk breaks here and there. Definitely had a nice walk break by the college frat houses…had to check out the college girls…excellent motivation!!!
About 3 miles in I realized that if my math was right, I could still bring it in under 13 hours. I asked Mark if he wanted to pick it up and he thought I was crazy…I hear that a lot. I told him, come on man, I know we can do it. He declined and I started to pick it up a little. As I was nearing the finish I was hurting pretty bad.
2 miles to go…I knew I would have to hit 7 minute miles or so to actually get under 13 hours. I was not sure of the exact time, but I knew it was cutting it close. I just dug in, picked up the pace and started to pass people like mad. Nearing the finish line I would here people say things like “look at that guy” or other runners say “damn! Take it home” It hurt…a lot.
Mile 26. Almost there…so close…running at what felt like a dead sprint. Saw the finisher chute and kept trucking. Crossed the finish line, stopped my watch and basically lost control of my legs. Thank god for finish line catchers!!! I barely remember the finish, but I looked at my watch and it was stopped at 13 hrs, 1 second. Did I make it under 13? Still not sure.
Aaron and Jess were there. Aaron said congrats and rubbed my head and then said….Ewww. I was nasty!
What would you do differently?:
No salt tabs on the run, use race course nutrition rather than gels. Train harder.
The finish line catchers put me in a wheelchair and massaged my cramping calves. Soon after I was up and walking, and headed to the convention center where I signed up for a massage. While I was waiting Jess got me some pizza and a coke that I devoured while shivering cold wrapped in a foil sheet. My body was freaking out.
As I waited for the massage, I notice that every finisher I saw waiting had bloodshot eyes. Just thought it was interesting, we were all wasted. Killed my coke and pizza and got a massage. The masseuse girl was talking to me and asking me questions…I have not idea what we talked about!
After the massage, we picked up our dry clothes bags and headed to transition to get our stuff. Aaron got a phone call from our buddy Jacob who was watching online. I got on the phone and he yelled 12 hours 59 minutes and 56 seconds….HELL YES! I was so pumped that all that push at the end paid off and I got in under 13. Then we headed back to the apartment, got cleaned up, and went back to eat and have victory beers while we watched finishers come in.
One of the best days of my life. I will definitely do more IM’s in the future!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Issues with nutrition. I need to practice nutrition more for the run segment of the race.
Great race, great organization, great volunteers. Awesome!
Last updated: 2007-08-07 12:00 AM
01:20:18 | 3862 meters | 02m 05s / 100meters
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:57:42 | 112 miles | 18.79 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:25:42 | 26.2 miles | 12m 26s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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